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Andrew Napolitano and the Pollardism of Slave Condemnation

Could Abraham Lincoln really have sidestepped the entire American Civil War by using the government’s power of property condemnation to buy all of the slaves in the South and then free them?

Compensated Emancipation Was Tried — But Didn’t Work

Ta-Nehisi Coates takes the time to respond, with historical data, to the those who would claim the Civil War could have been avoided through a program of compensated emancipation.  He’s certainly right that this was impossible among slaveholders from the states that seceded — but it’s worth noting that we know compensated emancipation would not have…

Ideology is the Enemy: The Creeping Victory of “Consistent” over “Judicious”

Note: This is part of an ongoing series I’m doing on the growing dangers we face by becoming more ideologically rigid.  They are not intended to go in any particular order, and would be more truthfully catalogued as “musings” than “treatise.”  You can find the introductory post here.  All of the Ideology Is The Enemy…

American Process and Its “Occasional Services to Liberalism”

Liberals endure much teasing for their inability to articulate just what liberalism means.  Even their best and brightest flounder at the task.  “[T]here is something deep within liberalism,” Michael Tomasky attempts, “that prevents it from degenerating into fascism, and that is its explicit recognition that the state must serve both common purposes and individual liberty.” …

Abortion and Slavery again

Ta-Nehisi has pushed once again into the abortion and slavery debate, this time following the invocation of that analogy by Rick Santorum and Joe Klein’s subsequent defense of Santorum’s rhetoric. Now, I’ve admitted in the past two things about the fetus-as-slave analogy: first, that it is not a very good analogy – and indeed I…

Compassion & Knowledge

Good grief, but this is some extraordinary writing from Ta-Nehisi Coates: For an African-American like me, the upshot of all this gorgeous writing is bracing–one is forced to behold beauty in those who saw no such beauty in us. Worse, the partisans of Confederate history are quite often necromancers who would defile that beauty with…

I’m not Harriet Tubman either

I don’t think the pro-choicers and the pro-lifers are going to agree on this one. But I do think that Ta-Nehisi is either missing what I’m trying to say here, or he – and the commenters at his blog – are incapable of seeing how this analogy might look different if they held different assumptions…

No, I am not Frederick Douglass

[updated] Okay. Perhaps I stirred the pot a bit too vigorously. In any case, let me clarify a few things. Ta-Nehisi Coates – whose work I admire greatly, too!* – has quite a lot more to say about the abortion/slavery analogy. I described it as ‘bulky, awkward, creates more heat than light, etc.’ whilst still…

Abortion, slavery & personhood

So several of Andrew’s readers disagreed with my post on abortion and slavery. And at least one of my readers had some particularly colorful things to say to me in an email after it was posted. Let’s tackle Andrew’s readers first and then move on to Ta-Nehisi Coates (via Sullivan, who is keeping the discussion…

Against Progress

Provocative stuff from Robin Hanson: Social norms are slavery. Factory work is worse than farming is worse than foraging. “School, propaganda, mass media, and who knows what else have greatly changed human nature, enabling a system of industrial submission and control that proud farmers and foragers simply would not tolerate – they would (and did) starve…

Sometimes We’re Wrong

Ta-Nehisi Coates, writing on conservatism: But if you are the slave, that essentially conservative approach will always privilege your master over you. Conservatism, with its belief in institutions, traditions, and the past, will seemingly always privilege (perhaps inadvertently) the powerful over the powerless. Institutions, traditions and the past belong to those with power. Privileging them,…