Category Archives: American History

Long Live the Flags of Dixie!

Confederat Flag

On May 19, the House of Reprehensibles passed a proposal that would essentially ban the display of Confederate flags from national cemeteries.  The amendment was added to a Veteran Affairs spending bill.

Not surprisingly, House Speaker Paul Ryan allowed the measure to be voted upon in hopes of not disrupting the appropriations process.  Yes, by all means Paul, the redistribution of taxpayers’ confiscated wealth should take precedent over a draconian attempt to eradicate a heroic symbol of the country’s past.  Hopefully, Ryan will be ousted this November as both Speaker and Congressman for not only his consistent sell out to Obummer and the Democrats on the budget, but his lack of understanding and appreciation of what is arguably the most important period of American history.

In a certain sense, the Confederate flag should not be displayed in national cemeteries or for that matter flown alongside those of the Union.  The two are representations of dramatically opposed political ideologies.  Liberals and political opportunists of all sorts have deliberately smeared the South’s attempt at secession as being entirely over the issue of slavery.  The “Civil War” (which that struggle has become known by) is now seen through Politically Correct hindsight.

A civil war, in the truest sense, is a conflict between factions attempting to gain control of a government typically for their own aggrandizement.  The bloody conflict between the North and South was not that, nor was it solely over slavery although the institution played a role in it.

The Confederacy wanted no part of the Washington establishment at the time, which it believed had become too tyrannical, and attempted to secede from it.  The remaining states of the North, under the “leadership” of Abraham Lincoln, prevented this at the cost of more than 600,000 lives, the vast destruction of property, and the impoverishment of a people who simply sought to rule themselves.

The South’s action was nearly identical to what the colonies, North and South, did some 80 years previously in breaking away from the British Empire and becoming free and independent states under the benign rule of the Articles of Confederation.

As America’s Founding Fathers saw their liberties violated by King and Parliament, Southerners witnessed similar tyrannies and wisely anticipated more federal oppression with the election of Lincoln.

This interpretation has been ably supported by scholarship, though the view is rarely acknowledged in academia or in the mainstream media.  In an essay from an insightful collection titled Secession, State and Liberty, Donald Livingston persuasively describes the ideological content of the Declaration of Independence, the revolution it inspired, and its influence on the South’s leadership.

He writes: “Overall, the Declaration is an argument designed to justify the secession of the new self-proclaimed American states from the British state. . .  [It] is a document justifying the territorial dismemberment of a modern state in the name of the moral right of a people to self-government.”*

The South, imbued with such logic and the example of the Revolutionary generation’s break with Great Britain, attempted to separate from the Union on similar grounds and, in Livingston’s view, had a much stronger claim than the Founding Fathers had for independence:

[T]he colonies were not and never had been recognized as sovereign states, either by others or even by themselves.  At the time of the Civil War, however, the southern states had been and still were sovereign states, and so they could mount not only a moral argument but a legal one as well.  And it was the legal argument they primarily insisted upon.  Each state used the same legal form to secede from the Union that it has used to enter, namely, ratification in a convention of people.**

Although slavery was a part of the South’s final break with the North, the Confederacy could never have been built on such a narrow foundation.  Those who seek to paint Southern secession as a movement solely designed to protect their “peculiar institution” have either misunderstood the genesis of that struggle or do so for political gain.

While Southern secession is mercilessly condemned by the Establishment, scholars like Professor Livingston see it and the War for Southern Independence in a much different and far nobler light: “With the orderly, legal secession of the southern states, the American genius for self-government reached its highest moral expression.”***

The Northern and Southern flags which fly in national cemeteries across the land are indeed representative of different traditions, but not what the Politically Correct crowd would have everyone to believe.

The defenders of Dixie and the flags that commemorate their courageous actions have long since been morally justified.  The Union flag, on the other hand, has been one of aggression and domination, at first, brutally directed at its fellow countrymen who simply sought self-determination, and afterwards against millions of peoples from Vietnam to Iraq.

Hopefully, in the not too distant future as economic conditions worsen and American hegemony can no longer be maintained, the Union flag and the empire in which it represents will receive greater vitriol than the Confederate flag has gotten for its innumerable mass murders, destruction, crimes, and chaos which it has wantonly brought to every corner of the planet.

*David Gordon, ed., Secession, State & Liberty. Donald W. Livingston, “The Secession Tradition in America.” New Brunswick (U.S.A.), Transaction Publishers, 1997, p. 7

** Ibid., 18.

*** Ibid., 19.

Antonius Aquinas@AntoniusAquinas

https://antoniusaquinas.com/

A Morally Sound Tax Reform Proposal

US Taxpayer

The Oppressed U.S. Taxpayer

This year, Americans’ day of tribute to their federal overlords falls on April 18.  As calculated by the Tax Foundation, the average American will work from January 1 to April 24 (Tax Freedom Day) to pay his share of taxes to all levels of government with some $3.3 trillion to be forked over to the federal government and $1.6 trillion to state and local jurisdictions.*

While any talk of tax cuts are verboten on the Democratic side of the presidential campaign, the remaining Republican contenders have offered their views on the matter suggesting a flat tax, reduction in corporate tax rates, and a call for the consolidation of the current tax bracket from seven to four.*  Most of these and their variations have been trumpeted before and even if enacted would not permanently undo the crushing tax burden or prevent rates from escalating to even more confiscatory heights.

If real and lasting tax relief is ever going to come, a more fundamental alteration of tax policy needs to be taken, which has not been suggested by any of the presidential contenders, but had once been an integral part of the nation’s political thought.

One of America’s most neglected political theorists of the 19th century was South Carolina statesman John C. Calhoun, who wrote the important treatise, A Disquisition on Government.  Calhoun perceptively saw that politically, society is divided between two distinct groups: taxpayers and taxconsumers.  Obviously, taxpayers are the ones who “pay” taxes while taxconsumers, such as government employees, welfare recipients, state contractors, and all others that receive income from the public trough, “consume” or live off taxation.

Naturally, when it comes to the issue of taxation, taxconsumers will be in favor, or, at least, want to maintain the status quo and, more than likely, would support notions of tax increases.  Taxpayers, on the other hand, would oppose increases or enlargement of the tax base, since they are the ones “footing the bill.”

Of course, politicians of all stripes and colors try to blur this distinction that Calhoun so brilliantly made, especially on tax day by declaring how “they paid their taxes.”  This, however, is sophistry.

In reality, politicians are just returning some of the loot that they coercively took from their fellow citizens.  Federal government employees in essence do not pay federal taxes!  Nor do individual state employees pay state taxes.  This is merely an accounting gimmick to bamboozle the public. And, this is one of the reasons that, for the longest time (and wisely so), citizens of the District of Columbia could not vote in federal elections since most of them were government employees and would, in their self interest, oppose tax cuts or public spending reductions.

When government was limited and the welfare state effected only a small group, voting and levels of taxation did not have a significant correlation.  However, with the number of people working for the government in the millions and those dependent on state largesse in the tens of millions, who votes, and in what numbers is extremely important.

It has been recently estimated that of the total U.S. adult population of some 260 million, only one third (some 79 million) can be said not to be dependent on state support for their existence while 70% of the adult population or 57% of the total population is dependent on some form of state aid.  And, unfortunately, all indicators point to more and more headed for the dependency category, primarily due to the destructive economic policies of the Obama Administration.

All of those who seek to lower the oppressive levels of taxation not only in America but throughout the Western world are foolish if they allow those who parasitically live off others to have a voice in choosing candidates or initiatives in regard to taxation.  Democracy does not trump human nature.  State dependents will vote for those they perceive will continue their subsidies.

Instead of lobbying for the redress of phony grievances against Politically Correct victims and groups, social justice warriors should direct their energies to the long suffering U.S. taxpayers and demand that those who live off them should have no say in either how much taxpayers are to pay or how their confiscated wealth is to be dispersed.

*”No Emancipation This Year.”  The Washington Times.  Friday, April 15, 2016, B2.

**Ibid.

Antonius Aquinas@AntoniusAquinas