Re: Lincoln: Was Re: Sexuality/was Re: Homosexual

Fred C. Moulton (
Wed, 23 Jun 1999 21:47:00 -0700

At 07:27 AM 6/23/99 -0400, Christopher Maloney <> wrote:

>But make no mistake: the war was about slavery. The reason the South
>wanted to leave the Union was over conflicting opinions about whether
>slavery should be extended into the territories.

Let us be careful to not confuse two different issues. One is the reason the some of the states left the Union. The other issue is the Union response to the succession. There were several factors which lead to the succession, slavery was certainly a key one, but there were others such as tariffs. The second issue is that the Union response to succession was not necessarily to go to war. The option to let the Confederate States succeed could have been
taken. In fact the radical abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison denounced the Constitution as "a covenant with death and an agreement with hell" and urged that the North succeed from the South. One of the factors that facilitated slavery in the South was the enforcement of the fugitive slave
laws in the Northern states. Thus a slave had to get all the way to Canada or be subject to return to the slaveholder. For a discussion of this alternative
see the book Emancipating Slaves, Enslaving Free Men by Jeffrey Rogers Hummell particularly pages 352-353.

>So here's the conundrum:
>should a subset of your population be free to the extent that they are
>allowed to oppress and enslave another subset? I don't think so, but
>it's a hard question, and it comes up all the time.

The issue here is what "your population" means in a political context. Note that many people associated with the extropian movement are anarchists and thus perhaps different view of the legitmacy of the government. Further even if one grants that the federal government has some responsibility to act, then the issue is what action to take and as noted above there was a reasonable alternative to war.

>> I consider Lincoln to be extremely non-extropian in his actions.
>Uh, oh -- I think I detect the embroyo of a thought police here.

I am going to give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that you did not really mean the comment about "the embroyo of a thought police".

I will conclude with the following quote from Lincoln discussing his official duty:

"My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves
I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that." Lincoln writing in the New York Tribune; reprinted
in Emancipating Slaves, Enslaving Free Men page 207-208.

>> Fred Moulton
>Here's a question I have for the group: does "extropian" necessarily
>mean "libertarian"? I read your extropian manifesto, and in section
>5 (politics) it seemed like a pretty good description of the old US.
>I am inclined to be libertarian, when I am not thinking. But then I
>come to my senses, and realize that this world is full of way too many
>would-be oppressors in every possible form (especially economic) for
>any form of pure libertarianism to work.
>Chris Maloney
>"Knowledge is good"
>-- Emil Faber