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Hot Topic (More than 10 Replies) Is There a Libertarian Way to End Slavery? (Read 1739 times)
Jim Powell
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Re: Is There a Libertarian Way to End Slavery?
Reply #10 - Feb 27th, 2013 at 10:40pm
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Okay, I'll try this.

I think Northerners would have resented Southerners for spurning the Union and the Constitution, and the slave hunters would have been blocked.  I think slaves would have been safe after crossing the U.S. border.

The number of runaways from border states was going up, which is why border state slaveholders were selling their slaves to the Deep South.  The number of slaves in border states was going down, and the stake that border state people had in defending slavery was going down.

The number of slaves in the Deep South was going up, and the risks of slave rebellion were going up, too.  I think it's fair to say that the Deep South was becoming more unstable. 

It's very subversive for a slave society to have a long border with a free society, and I expect that if the South had seceded, it  would have been increasingly desperate to stop runaways.  Probably there would have been incidents where blacks were shot trying to cross into the North, and abolitionists would have publicized such barbarism around the world. 

Just think of the tensions and embarrassments that occurred along the border between East and West Germany, North and South Korea.

After 1888, if the U.S. still had slavery, it would have been the only slave society in the Western Hemisphere.

The last Western-controlled slave society was in the Belgian Congo, and the owner -- King Leopold -- felt so much pressure from non-slave societies that he take elaborate measures to keep the wretched operations secret.  The truth was exposed, and a new movement for emancipation began in Britain, thanks to an African-American journalist, an African-American Presbyterian minister, a Polish-born novelist, an Irish diplomat and a British shipping clerk.  By 1908 the king surrendered control of the Congo, and the slaves were liberated.  Conditions continued to be pretty bad for many years after that, but overt slavery was over.

I believe the Belgian emancipation suggests that if the American South had been allowed to secede, it would not have been as easy as many people assume for slavery to have continued much longer.

The longer the South hung onto slavery, the more it fell behind the North, because all the new inventions, the new industries and the new immigrants were in the North.  Immigrants didn't want to compete with slave labor.  Many immigrants started what became big businesses in the North.

If the South had been permitted to secede, the slaveholders wouldn't have had incentives to avenge losses, and I doubt there would have been outfits like the KKK.

I wrote about all this in my book GREATEST EMANCIPATIONS, chronicling the experience in Haiti, Cuba, Brazil, the British Caribbean, the United States and the Congo.

I focused on individuals playing key roles in the British and American abolitionist movements in several chapters of my new e-book THE FIGHT FOR LIBERTY.
  
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Crystallas
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Re: Is There a Libertarian Way to End Slavery?
Reply #11 - Feb 27th, 2013 at 10:59pm
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A big fat welcome to you, Mr. Powell. I enjoyed Wilson's War,  an outstanding read. I'll keep an eye out for Greatest Emancipations.

  
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Shiva_TD
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Re: Is There a Libertarian Way to End Slavery?
Reply #12 - Mar 1st, 2013 at 9:42am
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Jim Powell wrote on Feb 27th, 2013 at 10:09pm:
I think the best way to abolish slavery is for government (yes, it will probably take a government) to set a date for abolishing slavery and make clear that the government will no longer support slavery -- everywhere slavery has depended on government support, such as fugitive slave laws, enforcement of laws against slaves being able to learn how to read, to travel freely, etc. Government should pay slaveholders for their slaves at the market rate, and slaveholders should be able to do whatever they want with the money except going back into the slave business in the government's jurisdiction.


If a person is found to have stolen property (i.e. property acquired by an act of aggression) then that property is taken from them without compensation. All of the slaves were enslaved by an act of aggression and the slaveholders were not entitled to any compensation.

Slavery should have been abolished in 1776 and no compensation paid the the slaveholders that were violating the inalienable Rights of the person enslaved.
  
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Re: Is There a Libertarian Way to End Slavery?
Reply #13 - Mar 1st, 2013 at 1:54pm
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First, I would also like to say welcome to the boards Mr. Powell. I picked up your 'FDR's Folly: How Roosevelt and His New Deal Prolonged the Great Depression' and I'm planning on reading it once I get through 'The Real Lincoln'.

I agree with a lot of what you are saying. Remembering what I was taught in school, Lincoln was always held as the deity of the man who freed all of the slaves. Every single person should be thankful for him and his fight for liberty. Now, from being on several boards, reading the first half of The Real Lincoln, doing my own various research, I begin to see a different side of Lincoln that was never taught to me.

While attending High School, my History teacher was my favorite teacher. He had a PHD in American History and he absolutely wanted to be called 'Doc'. From that point, I knew I could respect him as he's earned himself that title and I learned a lot about History because of him. What I disagree with him is when he told me his favorite President was Richard Nixon...but I digress.

Getting back to the topic, while I agree with Shiva, I also agree with your statement that by paying off the slaveholders, we may have abolished slavery peacefully. What I find the most interesting is Lincoln had a magnitude of opportunities to work with the South to end the war and even potentially slavery, all at the same time. He chose to completely abolish slavery without any sort of compensation. To me, I believe his policies was ultimately why he was targeted by John Wilkes Booth. I don't believe it was racially spurred. To a degree, yes, 100%, not so much.

With that in mind, with your statements, it makes sense, to me, why the KKK & Black Panthers formed and why there is still a lot of racial hatred among whites & blacks. While I don't fully believe Lincoln was racist, I do believe he was for the Union of the States. Why I believe that is because, in my opinion, he tried to work with the black community leaders to have the blacks colonize in another country. While we can say anything about this, I believe because there was still no civil liberties for the blacks, he was also trying to protect them. While we can say he was trying to get them out of the job market, which could very well be true, I also look at it from a racial & protective side as well. I could be wrong, but I think it might have been both cases with him. More to the point, I think he wanted to find ways to strength the Southern States by spurring up the economy by potentially freeing up the job market. Regardless if it was racial or logical, I think the intentions were for the Union versus racism.

I also do believe the South wanted to secede because the North wasn't obliging to the laws (Fugitive Slave Act of 1850, in particular). With this, a lot of the Northern States were warning slaves to be careful of who you talk to you as some people were capturing slaves and returning them to their slave owners. In knowing this, you begin to see why the hatred between blacks & cops are so endowed among one another. Even more so than that, if you look at the overall cultural differences between the Southern States (Who wanted to keep slavery going, regardless if it would've ended or not) and the Northern States (Who wanted to abolish slavery), you can see how various iterations of generations of that mentality continue today. I think, only recently, have most younger generations begun to break free from that mold. Will racism be completely gone from the US? I don't know, but I surely hope so.

In closing, I believe a lot of the things that are occurring today can be accounted because of the way slavery was ended. It wasn't ended in a peaceful manner and the hatred is still there because of it. Can we honestly say it wouldn't have been there if we would've ended peacefully? Maybe not. What we can say, as you've stated, is that most, if not all, compensated slaveholders would find a new means of making money. At that point, their focus would be less on how the slaves are going to hurt them from making money into what kind of business they're going to run to make money.
  
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