Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The American Tyrant

Yesterday marked the 150th anniversary of the establishment of the Republic of South Carolina.  Next year, with the 150th anniversary of the start of the civil war, we are sure to hear incessant praise of America's only tyrant, Abraham Lincoln.  The fact that so many Americans idolize the proto-fascist is revolting, especially when Americans take a dim view towards foreign leaders who kill thousands of their own people in wars.

For example, Slobodan Milošević killed 130,000 people to preserve the territorial integrity of Yugoslavia and he was arrested as a war criminal, dying in jail.

Yet, Abraham Lincoln killed 600,000 people to preserve the territorial integrity of the United States, but a Greek temple was built in his honor and his portrait was placed on America's most common coin.


  1. If they like him so much, you'd think they'd at least be aware that he supported at signed the 13th Amendment. But no, the main thing I heard about Lincoln in school was that he didn't free anybody.

  2. I think the more accurate narrative about him is getting more and more traction. When you examine it, his hagiography is destroyed pretty quick.

    The Emancipation Proclamation did not free any slaves in Union territory... The Gettysburg Address is a bald faced lie, as his invasion destroyed the idea of government for/by/of the people...

    The idea that the war was justified to end slavery is so entrenched, yet so easily debunked. I like to ask students: How did slavery disappear from the northern states? How did it disappear in other countries, like, say, Brazil? Lincoln has the unique distinction of slaughtering half a million people to accomplish something that everyone else did totally peacefully.

    Not to mention the lasting racial animosity that was hammered into a generation of Southerners by Reconstruction.

  3. ... But the Emancipation Proclamation is irrelevant to the question of whether Lincoln freed the slaves, for the reasons I posted on the 21st.

  4. Gun-toting LibertineJune 14, 2011 at 7:06 PM

    "...incessant praise of America's only tyrant, Abraham Lincoln."

    WHOA! Now that's just terrible. America's *ONLY* tyrant? I'm not defending Lincoln, but come on, that's not fair.

    What about...

    William McKinley? America's first modern fascist. Among his corporatist imperialist policies were completely demonetizing silver, only to establish a monometallic gold standard to replace free bimetallism, a "Gold Standard" which was a fiat system in disguise and devolved to a naked fiat system, all in the interests of serving the bankers pulling his strings. Or worse still, a genocidal war of conquest launched to "save" the Filipino "noble savages" from the Spaniards. A war ostensibly for liberation and launched in response to a (now proven) false flag attack? (I think that Czolgosz should be posthumously declared a national hero!)

    What about Theodore Roosevelt? Continued McKinley's coproratist and imperialist policies. I'm sure this should be of interest!

    Or Woodrow Wilson? If you ask me, the single worst president on the list. Ruining America is one thing, ruining the whole world is another. Among his statist policies were kicking off the first federal income tax. But he dragged the USA into the Great War, a conflict that in no way concerned American interests. He also managed to run this country as an authoritarian police state during that imperialist war. Granted, the Central Powers were not perfect, but undeniably we would have been all better off if they won. (And they almost certainly would have won without American participation in the war, not to mention semi-covert shipment of armaments and supplies to the Entente.) For instance, by bribing the Kerensky regime to continue the czar's (unpopular) fight, he gave Lenin ample opportunity to seize power. Would Hitler have risen to power without a humiliating Treaty of Versailles? How about if the moderate-Muslim Ottoman Empire remained in some vestigial form, keeping the more civilized Turks in power over the Near East rather than the Islamic fundamentalist Arab barbarians?

    Whether Lincoln was worse than any or all of these aforementioned presidents is debatable. I happen to think that the unholy trio of McKinley-TR-Wilson are the three worst. But Lincoln was certainly not the ONLY tyrant. Feel free to add FDR, Reagan, Bush I & II, and Obama to the list.