The Essence of Liberty, Part 110
A Summary of: Lincoln Unmasked: What You're not Supposed to Know About Dishonest Abe by Thomas J. DiLorenzo
Summarized by Toni Jolin
Edited by Dr. Jimmy T (Gunny) LaBaume
Chapter 15: Making Cannon Fodder
The traditional American philosophy of individualism creates a serious dilemma for the state. Young people, concerned with pursuing their own ends, are not motivated to join the military and risk their lives for “abstract ideas” that are considered by the state to be bigger and more important than their own individual lives.
America's youth must be prepared to sacrifice their lives, not just in defense of their own country, but “for the welfare of others” all over the world. Philosopher kings decide which parts of the globe need “salvation.” Then, safely ensconced in their academic offices, they send the nation's youth to fight and die for abstractions (like “democracy in the Middle East”).
The dilemma is how to motivate the youth to become sacrificial lambs for the state. The ideal expressed in the Declaration of Independence is that citizens have inalienable rights and the sole purpose of government is to secure those rights, period. Under this philosophy citizens are the masters of their government, which only exits to serve them by securing their rights. So the problem becomes how to convince young people to serve –and even die for –the state to promote such notions as the forceful imposition of “democracy” around the world. To do this, the principles laid down in the Declaration of Independence must be repudiated.
The solution to this dilemma is to devise a “civil religion”—not a genuine religion, but one that worships the state as defined by its gatekeepers. What is needed is a “national poet” to mesmerize and unite the nation's youth and inspire “patriotism” in them. That “national poet” is Lincoln. If America's youth are to become the equivalent of Muslin fanatics, they must be indoctrinated in Lincoln's greatness.
It is typical of the Lincoln cult to concentrate on Lincoln's nicer-sounding political speeches while showing no interest in his actual behavior . Another typical characteristic of the cultist is to ascribe angelic motives to everything Lincoln said or did and pretend to know what was “in his heart.” Many of these types of statements are so absurd as to be nothing but pure nonsense. For example: Lincoln launched a full-scale invasion of the South because “his purpose was peace” which literally says that war is peace. The fact is that Lincoln rebuffed every opportunity to discuss peace, yet “his purpose was peace?” Really?
Further, Lincoln's massive disregard for the law and the Constitution is actually offered by the cultists as evidence of his devotion to the law and the Constitution. DiLorenzo offers a laundry list of constitutional digressions:
Lincoln illegally suspended the writ of habeas corpus and had his military imprison tens of thousands of Northern political critics and opponents without due process; he censored all telegraph communication; shut down over three hundred opposing newspapers; imprisoned dozens of duly elected officials of the state of Maryland; participated in the rigging of Northern elections; waged war without the consent of Congress; illegally created a new state, West Virginia; and deported the most outspoken member of the Democratic opposition, Congressman Clement L. Vallandigham of Ohio.
To claim such as “devotion to the law and the Constitution” is absurd.
Lincoln never became a Christian. Yet, according to the cultists, he “of course… read the Bible” and used biblical language “to save the American Republic…” The voluntary union of the founding fathers was destroyed, not “saved.” After the war, it was no longer voluntary. Furthermore, it was not Lincoln's political rhetoric that accomplished this result. Instead, it was the largest and best-equipped army in the previous history of the world—an army that waged war on civilians based on Lincoln's orders.
According to the cultists, “Lincoln never looked upon the confederates as enemies.” Yet, he micromanaged a war that killed hundreds of thousands and maimed more than double that number. And he did it “because he loved them?” Yeah, right! Lincoln admired Grant because “he fights” –e.g. he would never stop killing his fellow citizens, no matter how many of his own men he had to sacrifice. To the cultists, behavior like this is proof that Lincoln “loved” Southerners.
A war that killed over 600,000 Americans taught us “to love the Union” and “helped make us patriots?” The war did not teach Southerners “to love the Union.” What “loving the Union” means is submitting to the blind obedience of the dictates of the state. The cultist confuses the word country with the word government.
According to the cultist, the “greatest importance” of the Lincoln legend, is that it has been used for generations “in the public schools” where “we” were taught “to love our country.”
The deification of Lincoln has gone a long way toward defying the presidency itself—and the state. The purpose of the myths and distortions is to attach the “moral authority” of Lincoln to various political agendas, for example, imperialistic foreign policy.
At the time this work was completed, Toni Jolin was a student in the School of Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences at Sul Ross State University where Jimmy T. LaBaume, PhD, ChFC is a Professor of Economics and Statistics.
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