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Where Can You Find Freedom Today?

The condition where one individual is treated as property by another


Anne Robert Jacques Turgot, Who First Put Laissez-Faire Principles into Action, by Jim Powell, The Freeman, Aug 1997
Biographical essay, covering his life, works and involvement with the Physiocrats, as well as his accomplishments as an administrator
Turgot displayed remarkable vision. For instance, he predicted the American Revolution in 1750, more than two decades before George Washington and Benjamin Franklin saw it coming. In 1778, Turgot warned Americans that "slavery is incompatible with a good political constitution." He warned that Americans had more to fear from civil war than foreign enemies ... Turgot made clear his opposition to slavery: "This abominable custom of slavery has once been universal, and is still spread over the greater part of the earth."
Commentary on Slavery in the American South, by Dave Walter, Freedom Network News, 2001
Letter to the editor, arguing that the right of the Confederate States to secede is "morally neutral" but not if the right is invoked "to continue enslaving other human beings"
I think we Libertarians should say "a pox on both your sides" and give no moral cover to the South. While it is certainly true that only a minority of Southerners owned slaves, it is certainly true that the ruling class in the South was principally slave owners. Nearly 80% of the members of the Virginia secessionist convention were slaveholders, while slavery was much less prevalent there than in the deep South. It is also true that most non-slaveowning Southerners – especially farmers at crop time – would rent slaves to help with their work, so these people also had a strong stake in the slave-holding institution.
Founding Father: Rediscovering George Washington, by Clarence B. Carson, The Freeman, Sep 1996
Review of the 1996 book by Richard Brookhiser, concluding that it is "a worthy testament to the greatness of Washington"
Anyone who is inclined with so many in this misbegotten age to believe that Washington is just a dead white male who kept slaves should read of his principled refusal to sell any of his slaves "down the river," and the provisions he made for freeing those who were able to earn their own keep, and providing a fund to take care of those too old or infirm to provide for themselves.
How Much Do You Know About Liberty? (a quiz), The Freeman, Jun 1996
A 20-question quiz (with answers) on various topics related to liberty in the history of the United States
4. How many slaves were liberated by Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation? ... The Emancipation Proclamation didn't free a single slave. President Lincoln issued it on September 22, 1862, and it applied only to slaves in the rebel South—then beyond Union control. The aim of this war measure was to help stir insurrection in the South. The Emancipation Proclamation didn't apply to the North or loyal border states, so slavery continued there.
Lysander Spooner (1808-1887) and Foreign Policy, by Joseph R. Stromberg, 8 May 2000
Begins wih biographical summary and then delves into Spooner's views on slavery, the U.S. Constitution and the War Between the States
As someone who cared more about freedom than any other value, Spooner allied himself with the abolitionist movement ... This led him to a number of disputes with prominent abolitionist leaders like William Lloyd Garrison ... Against the Garrisonians, Spooner sought to show that slavery contradicted both English law and natural law in The Unconstitutionality of Slavery ... This rather eccentric argument apparently persuaded few people ... The bankers had never complained about slavery in the South–they had indeed been its great supporters–but secession presented them with a dilemma.
Murray Rothbard's Philosophy of Freedom, by David Gordon, The Freeman, Nov 2007
Examines the arguments made by Rothbard that, given the premise that slavery is wrong, self-ownership, private property rights and a free market without government interventions follow
Murray Rothbard (1926–1995) based his political philosophy on a simple insight: slavery is wrong ... It is Rothbard's singular merit to show that rejecting slavery leads inexorably to laissez-faire capitalism, unrestricted by the slightest government interference. If we reject slavery, then are we not saying that each person owns his own body? Just what seems immoral about slavery is that some people, the slave owners, have the right to control the bodies of those under their domination. The owners can tell the slaves what to do and force them to obey if they refuse to comply.
To Defeat the Assault on Liberty, Our Appeals Must Be Moral, by Jim Powell, 13 May 2013
Argues, by providing several historical examples, that "compelling moral appeals for liberty" are needed to confront various current problems such as government spending and debt, higher taxes and disregard of constitutional limits on executive power
The British historian Thomas Babington Macaulay, in an 1825 speech, eloquently evoked moral sympathy for slaves and expressed hope for emancipation. When set free, he declared, a slave in the Caribbean "will no longer crawl in listless and trembling dejection round a plantation from whose fruits he must derive no advantage and a hut whose door yields him no protection; but when his cheerful and voluntary labor is performed, he will return with the firm step and erect brow of a British citizen from the field which is his freehold to the cottage which is his castle."


Emancipating Slaves, Enslaving Free Men: A History of the American Civil War
    by Jeffrey Rogers Hummel, 1996
Partial contents: Slavery and States' Rights in the Early Republic - Emergence of the Republican Party - The Confederate States of America - The War to Abolish Slavery? - Dissent and Disaffection-North and South - The Ravages of Total War
The Unconstitutionality of Slavery, by Lysander Spooner, 1860
Partial contents: What Is Law? - Written Constitutions - The Colonial Charters - Colonial Statutes - The Declaration of Independence - The State Constitutions Of 1789 - The Articles of Confederation - The Constitution of the United States