Four score and twelve years ago our plutocrats1 brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in power lust, ruthlessness and greed, and dedicated to the proposition that the old republic should be replaced by a corporate state.
Now we are engaged in a Second American Revolution, testing whether that corporate state, or any corporate state so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war, the internet. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, the Libertarian Hall of Fame, as a final resting place for those generations of unsung heroes who gave their lives that the old republic might live again. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this. "Never was so much owed by so many to so few" with so little gratitude!
But, in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate — we cannot consecrate — we cannot hallow — this ground. The brave men and women, who struggled and died for liberty, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought for liberty have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have struggled for liberty in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the plutocrats, by the plutocrats, for the plutocrats, shall perish from the earth forever.
- Plutocracy is "a type of government in which effective control rested with men of wealth who sought to use political means to increase their wealth." H. A. Scott Trask, "William Graham Sumner: Against Democracy, Plutocracy and Imperialism (PDF)," 18 Journal of Libertarian Studies (Fall 2004) 1, 10.
James Ostrowski is an attorney in Buffalo, New York and author of Political Class Dismissed: Essays Against Politics, Including "What’s Wrong With Buffalo." See his website.