Recently by Thomas DiLorenzo: Spielberg's Upside-Down History: The Myth of Lincoln and the ThirteenthAmendment
Abraham Lincoln, his administration, and members of the U.S. Congress committed treason when they levied war against the Southern states in 1861-1865. This fact is clearly proven by the plain words of Article 3, Section 3 of the U.S. Constitution that defines treason as follows:
"Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying war against them , or in adhering to their enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort" (emphasis added).
As in all the founding documents, the phrase "United States" is in the plural, signifying the free, independent and sovereign states. The free and independent states were united in ratifying the Constitution and delegating a few powers to the national government (Article 1, Section 8), while reserving all others for the people, respectively, or the states, as stated in the Tenth Amendment. If the American people were to be the masters rather than the servants of their national government, the only way they could do so would be through political communities organized at the state and local levels. This of course is how the Constitution was ratified — by political conventions of the states, as directed by Article 7 of the Constitution. Since Lincoln never admitted that secession was legal or constitutional, and insisted that the Southern states had never actually left the American union, he knowingly committed treason as defined by the Constitution by invading the Southern states.
Secession and nullification — or the threat thereof — were held to be essential tools in disciplining the central state (See my LRC article entitled "The Secession Tradition in America"). This is the true history of the founding. The Hamiltonian nationalists, however, waged a decades-long propaganda war to rewrite history in order to achieve their objective of consolidating all political power at the national level, thereby destroying America's constitutional republic and turning it into a militaristic, corporatist empire. Hamilton himself got the ball rolling by telling the outrageous lie that the states were never sovereign but were somehow magically created by the peoples' masters in the nation's capitol. This insidious lie was repeated by generations of Hamiltonian nationalists such as Chief Justice John Marshall, Justice Joseph Story, Daniel Webster, and Abraham Lincoln. As part of this Soviet-style rewriting of history the nationalists, beginning with Story and Webster, redefined treason to mean criticism or opposition to the central government — precisely the opposite of the actual meaning of treason in the Constitution. Lincoln used this false definition of treason to "justify" levying war against his own countrymen not to "save the union," which was a voluntary political arrangement, but to finally realize the Hamiltonian nationalist goal of a consolidated, centralized, monopolistic government in Washington, D.C.
The new Hamiltonian regime would become an unlimited democracy "of the people, by the people, for the people." It would not be an American democracy, however, with most governmental decisions being made in a decentralized system dominated by the people of the states and localities. Instead, it would become a French Jacobin- style "democracy" with "the majority will" defined for the public by a massive, consolidated, centralized governmental bureaucracy in the national capitol.
Many Americans have finally come to realize this, and this realization motivates the new American secessionist movement under which every single state has sent a secession petition to the White House. Texas has reportedly led the way with a petition said to contain more than 120,000 signatures.
The government establishment has of course sneered and screeched at this development, screaming "treason" and recommending the deportation of petition signers. "Traitors" to the "glorious union" should be deported, they say. But what is this union, anyway, and why would any patriotic, liberty-loving American want to preserve it? Let us count some of the reasons why patriotic Americans should hate the cursed union and seek to secede from it.
Far from protecting "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness," as promised in the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. government has become a worldwide killing machine that seems to have no concern whatsoever for the lives of innocents in foreign countries, and little more concern for the lives of American soldiers who it sends on Quixotic missions in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other forlorn places that pose no threat at all to Americans. American foreign policy can be described as perpetual war that creates perpetual, endless enemies for American citizens all around the globe, just so political elites can profit from war politically and economically. It makes life much more dangerous for every American.
Economist Thomas Sowell has written that, although there are many fine public school teachers, the unionized government school monopoly is generally so decrepit that the average "public" school teacher probably "ruins the lives" of about 10,000 children during the course of his or her career.
The war on drugs has long been the chief cause of violent crime in the nation's cities, but will probably never end because there is too much money in it for the war-on-drugs bureaucracy, including the police, the courts, the DEA, the government schools, and other special-interests.
Some 50,000 people per year die on the socialized, government highway system. America's massive welfare state has ruined the lives of millions by detaching generations from the workplace, turning them into unproductive social parasites (but reliable voters for bigger and bigger government). Not to mention causing massive family break-up.
Police thuggery has become legendary, with endless news stories of police beating and tasering citizens, sometimes to death. And we used to criticize the communists for street-level executions. The police are, at best, crime historians who show up after a crime has been committed, write up a report, and then use the report to lobby for more money to hire more police, who take down more reports . . . . There are also relentless efforts to disarm the American public and water down or destroy the Second Amendment (and all the other Amendments for that matter).
The notion that the U.S. government protects life and liberty is the most absurd proposition imaginable. Government is always and everywhere the enemy of liberty, and nowhere more so than in an unlimited democracy such as the U.S. has become. No one's property is safe as long as the legislature is in session. Taxes at all levels of government confiscate at least 40 percent of all national income; the unfunded liabilities of government, i.e., promises of future plunder that politicians know they can never keep, are said to exceed $100 trillion; the national government now routinely spends more than $1 trillion more each year than it collects in taxes; and more than 80,000 pages of small-print regulations in The Federal Register threaten to destroy American capitalism once and for all. Indeed, many politicians in Washington, especially the president, seem absolutely thrilled by that prospect and do everything they can to quicken the pace of destruction. As this is being written there is even talk in the news of the elimination of the tax deductibility of charitable contributions, which would destroy many charities, providing yet another rationale for even more government bureaucracy.
The Federal Reserve's monetary monopoly creates endless boom-and-bust cycles, which Fed bureaucrats then blame on "capitalism." They use the busts that they have created as an excuse to give themselves even more central planning powers. For example, after the Fed caused the real estate bubble and the subsequent "Great Recession," Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke quickly blamed the recession on the free enterprise system, which he publicly mocked with a smirk on his face, while making the case for a new government bureaucracy to regulate "systemic risk." Besides this, the only "remedy" for the recession that has been offered by the Fed is more of the exact same policies of "quantitative easing" that caused the recession in the first place. And of course the Fed is accountable to no one, not even Congress.
The U.S. has become one giant plunder-seeking society whereby the "net tax consumers" now outnumber the "net taxpayers." About half of all working adults pay no federal income tax but collect government handouts. They are therefore a very reliable voting block for endlessly increasing the income taxes on the productive, taxpaying class. This will only get worse.
The U.S. is also a fascistic, corporate welfare state that uses billions of tax dollars to bail out failing businesses and industries and their unions. This is poisonous to the capitalist system, which relies crucially on the market feedback system that rewards good performance with profits and penalizes poor business performance with losses. That's what causes capital to be reallocated to more productive uses over time (i.e., uses that actually please consumers). The American system of privatized profits (for the politically-connected) and socialized losses was also a hallmark of fascist Germany and Italy during the 1930s. Subsidizing failure will inevitably lead to more failure. It will continue forever, though, because the politicians who vote for the subsidies receive kickbacks from the corporate welfare recipients in the form of "campaign contributions," high-paying jobs for spouses and relatives, and cushy post-congressional careers.
The U.S has also become a creepy police state with some cities employing literally thousands of spy cameras and red light cameras. There are now unmanned drones flying about, in addition to satellites in space that can peer through the windows of houses. An FBI "whistleblower" recently stated that the FBI is even in possession of technology to eavesdrop on text messages.
The America "union" ceased being a union of the people of the free and independent states in 1865. Today the "union" simply means the political plundering class in Washington, D.C., with all off its welfare/warfare state parasites, lobbyists, and propagandists in the media and academe. That is what one would be leaving behind by seceding. So be patriotic and become a secessionist.
Thomas J. DiLorenzo [send him mail] is professor of economics at Loyola College in Maryland and the author of The Real Lincoln; Lincoln Unmasked: What You're Not Supposed To Know about Dishonest Abe, How Capitalism Saved America, and Hamilton's Curse: How Jefferson's Archenemy Betrayed the American Revolution — And What It Means for America Today. His latest book is Organized Crime: The Unvarnished Truth About Government.