Is Krugman a Zombie?

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It certainly appears that way, Bill. Same with Mike Konczal, that both Yglesias and  Krugman link to. To a zombie, the mere mention of the word “secession” automatically triggers the same brain cell as “pro-slavery racist.” Krugman’s evidence that Tom DiLorenzo is a “Johnny Reb,” is that he wrote — in the context of a discussion on health care overhaul:

Once some states begin seceding from the new American fascialistic state, however, there will be opportunities to restore healthcare freedom within them.

Where is the phrase “Southern secession” (Krugman’s words) or any remote reference to the Civil War?

Even Konczal’s cherry-picked phrases that supposedly summarize DiLorenzo in 100 words aren’t in direct reference to “Southern secession.” He just sandwiched an interpretation of a state’s right to secede — and how this is essential for freedom (of all people) — in between two statements on Lincoln. I won’t bother re-printing the quotes because you can just read the full interview, in context, for yourself.

But, I do wonder what Krugman, Konczal, and Yglesias think about South Sudan’s recent vote to secede from North Sudan. Because, when you actually do find a quote from DiLorenzo specifically discussing (American) Southern Secession, his point is that he believes this was their “right.” And, by extension, the Sudanese have a right to secede from a government that they believe is tyrannical. Or are they pro-slavery racists, too? How anyone can read any book or article or interview by Tom and think that he is pro-slavery is beyond me (honestly — what present-day American is “pro-slavery”??). Here’s my evidence, from the same interview that Konczal quotes from, in which DiLorenzo said (emphasis added):

Slavery could have been ended peacefully as all other nations did — and as the Northern states did — in the nineteenth century. There were still slaves in New York City as late as 1853. The real purpose of the war was to end once and for all the ability of American citizens to control the federal government by possessing the powers given to them by the Tenth Amendment, including the power of nullifying unconstitutional federal laws, and secession or the threat of secession. Thomas Jefferson believed that the Tenth Amendment was the cornerstone of the Constitution. Lincoln, who was the political son of Jefferson’s nemesis, Alexander Hamilton, removed that cornerstone by orchestrating the murder of some 350,000 fellow American citizens, including more than 50,000 civilians according to historian James McPherson.

Those wacky pro-slavery racists! They’re always calling for a peaceful end to slavery!

8:00 pm on February 9, 2011