INDEPENDENCE? DAY

From: rick.boswell@gmail.com

Chuck, Bob Hurst of Tallahassee, FL wrote this column for the Wakulla Journal. He graciously gave me permission to send it to SHNV.

LINCOLN, HITLER, MARX, LENIN AND THE FOURTH OF JULY

The day after Independence Day and all the celebrations that were held in Tallahassee and environs on the Fourth of July, I was sitting in a local restaurant thinking about what I might write this column about while also considering the extravaganzas of the previous day and what it all means.

I have enjoyed the study of history since a very young age and most of my heroes from that earlier time were (and still are) many of the Founding Fathers of this country (plus a Confederate or two as you might have guessed if you have read this column before). I have deep and profound respect for George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, George Mason and other great and noble men of that time who gave us the basic tools for the formation of this country. In fact, of the three busts that I have in my library, two are of Washington and Jefferson – men that I look upon as being almost God-like.

Our Founding Fathers were brilliant men who knew intimately of the follies implicit in strong, centralized governments as existed in Europe at that time. That is why they developed a constitution for this young country that would discourage the development of a centralized government but, rather, would be based on a model of federalism and state sovereignty. They gave us a Bill of Rights as a codification of the restraints placed on the central government and, of course, gave us the Tenth Amendment for the maintenance of states’ rights.(Just as a sidebar, Thomas Jefferson had a grandson who was a Confederate general, George Mason had a grandson who was a Confederate diplomat and Robert E. Lee married the adopted granddaughter of George Washington.)

It is because I am aware of this that I have ambivalent feelings about the Fourth of July – Independence Day. You see, for many of us who have grown up in the South, who have studied the history of our region and people, and have admiration for the stand taken by our Confederate ancestors, the celebration of "Independence Day" rings a bit hollow. We know that our Confederate ancestors fought for the independence of this region. This quest for Southern independence was, as you know, vehemently opposed by Abraham Lincoln and his political minions. By force, Lincoln and company squashed the bid for independence and according to many modern-day politically-correct historians, that settles the question. After all, "might makes right".

But there is a wonderful truism that says "a man convinced against his will, remains of the same opinion still". This holds especially true for the many Southerners who are familiar with the Declaration of Independence. That venerable document says: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it and to institute new government…".

There you have it, the South realized that the central government in Washington was created from among its parts (states) with the consent of the governed to help secure rights but could, and should, be altered or abolished if the need arose. For the South, the need arose in the mid-nineteenth century and culminated with the election of Abraham Lincoln in 1860 as president.

Lincoln’s election was an unpopular event in much of the then United States. Lincoln received only 40% of the popular vote meaning that 60% of the voters preferred another candidate for the office. He was also a sectional candidate since he received not one electoral vote from any of the Southern states or border states (Delaware, Maryland, Kentucky, Missouri).

After his election he micromanaged a war to prevent independence for the South – a war that featured not only the usual military tactics and combatants but also the decimation of civil liberties and the waging of war against civilian populations. Yet today he is revered by a certain faction in this country and our children are taught in schools that he was "one of our greatest presidents".

All of this was going through my head as I sat in that restaurant and prepared to read several newspapers and magazines that I had taken with me. Some of my best reading is done in restaurants. I suppose it was just serendipity that one of those magazines happened to be the latest issue of my favorite magazine, SOUTHERN PARTISAN, for as I turned to the contents page the first thing I noticed was that the feature article for this issue was written by the marvelous Thomas DiLorenzo and was entitled "The Dictators’ Favorite President".

If you’re not familiar with Dr. DiLorenzo, he is a professor of economics, specializing in economic history, at Loyola College in Maryland. He is also a senior fellow at the Ludwig von Mises Institute. Among the eleven books that he has thus far authored are two fine exposes of Lincoln that I highly recommend. The first, released in 2002, is entitled THE REAL LINCOLN and the more recent book, released in 2006, is entitled LINCOLN UNMASKED. Both are superb and present aspects of Lincoln that you will never get from the politically correct authors who comprise the gaggle of Lincoln myth-protectors.

In the SOUTHERN PARTISAN article, Dr. DiLorenzo writes of the admiration that three ruthless suppressors of freedom and independence held for Lincoln. He mentions how Karl Marx, a contemporary of Lincoln’s and the father of totalitarian communism, wrote to Lincoln congratulating him on his election victory and assuring him that the European communist movement supported him. Marx remained an admirer of Lincoln and continued to write of his agreement with Lincoln’s actions for suppressing the bid for independence by the American South. (You can read many of these writings at www.marxists.org.) DiLorenzo documents other Marx writings inspired by Lincoln actions and writings.

DiLorenzo also quotes the fine author and literary critic Edmund Wilson from his 1962 book PATRIOTIC GORE: "

[I]f we would grasp the significance of the American Civil War in relation to the history of our time, we should consider Abraham Lincoln in connection with the other leaders who have been engaged in similar tasks. The chief of these leaders have been Bismarck and Lenin…Each established a strong central government over hitherto loosely coordinated peoples." Wilson then goes on to explain how each of these men (Lincoln, Lenin, Bismarck) was an "uncompromising dictator" whose rule eventually led to powerful government bureaucracies that resulted in the bad potentialities of their policies leading to undesirable outcomes.

Lincoln has long been the darling of totalitarians. The Communist Party USA long held an annual "Lincoln-Lenin Day" parade in New York City and when many members of the Communist Party USA went to Spain to fight for the communists in the Spanish Civil War, they called themselves the "Abraham Lincoln Brigade". For more on this read Pulitzer Prize winner David Donald’s book LINCOLN RECONSIDERED.

Perhaps the most interesting and surprising discovery in the DiLorenzo article was the revelation that Adolph Hitler based an entire chapter of his book, MEIN KAMPF, on Lincoln’s model of suppression of state sovereignty and even plagiarized entire pages from Lincoln’s inaugural addresses. Hitler, as all of the other worst tyrants of modern times, was a sworn enemy of states’ rights and divide sovereignty. He deemed the complete abolition of states’ rights as necessary and essential for the establishment of "a powerful national Reich".

This is one of the reasons that it both amuses and angers me when some self-proclaimed "educated" person tries to link the Confederate Battle Flag with the swastika. These people need to be reminded that the official name of the Nazi movement was the National Socialist German Workers’ Party. Folks, the Nazis and the Confederates were a full 180 degrees apart. No wonder Lincoln was so obsessed with destroying the Confederacy.

Well, anyway, all this just means that the celebration of Independence Day to me encompasses far more than hot dogs, fireworks, beaches and History Channel programs which dwell only on the accomplishments of our magnificent Founding Fathers. Abraham Lincoln changed all that. I hope you will consider this as you celebrate Independence Day in the future. There is always far more to history than the great majority of us are ever aware of.

By the way, I appreciate all the phone calls and emails that I receive about my articles. I am always happy to recommend suggested readings to those of you who are interested in delving deeper into these topics. I also want to express my gratitude to the young man who crossed the street to shake my hand and tell me how much he enjoys the articles after the Fourth of July parade in Sopchoppy. The day was hot and my eight-pound, wool Confederate uniform was heavy, but your kind words made all the discomfort go away.

DEO VINDICE

Bob Hurst is Commander of Col. David Lang Camp, Sons of Confederate Veterans, in Tallahassee and is also 2nd Lt. Commander, Florida Division, SCV. Contact him at confederatedad1@yahoo.com.