News from Neptune

Lincoln Cult – February 2009

The Lincoln birthday celebrations seem to have included little attempt to learn from the past. Lincoln is celebrated — by few more than the current president, who insists upon a resemblance — but there’s little critique of the devastation over which Lincoln presided. The end of chattel slavery is taken to be a retrospective justification of his launching of the war. (The actual economic and social position of American slaves and their families in the years after the Civil War is less attended to.)

I can find only one statement of a contrary view by a present-day American politician:

Lincoln should never have gone to war; there were better ways of getting rid of slavery. Six hundred thousand Americans died in a senseless civil war. Slavery was phased out in every other country of the world. It should have been done as the British empire did — buy the slaves and release them. How much would that cost compared to killing 600,000 Americans? And the hatred lingered for 100 years. Every other major country in the world got rid of slavery without a civil war. (Ron Paul)