How Nullification Was Used To Fight Slavery, in the Words of a Marxist Historian

From Marxist historian Eric Foner’s latest book, The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery (p. 134): “[A]s the New York Times pointed out, by nationalizing the right to property in slaves the Dred Scott decision made the doctrine of state rights . . . [slavery's] foe.  A number of northern states had already enacted personal liberty laws that…

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H.L. Mencken on the “God” of Democracy

“There’s really no point to voting. If it made any difference, it would probably be illegal.”

“Every election is a sort of advance auction sale of stolen goods.”

“Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want and deserve to get it good and hard.”

“Under democracy one party always devotes its chief energies to trying to prove that the other party is unfit to rule — and both commonly succeed, and are right.”

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Political Correctness at Monticello

I went on a tour of Monticello, Thomas Jefferson’s home, yesterday with some friends.  It had been a long time since I had visited The Great Man’s home, and I fully expected to be exposed to a strong dose of political correctness, which now pervades all of American society.  It didn’t take long before the school-marmish tour guide announced that “historians tell us” that Jefferson fathered six children with slave Sally Hemmings.

She didn’t say which historians say this, nor did she indicate why anyone would expect historians to have knowledge of DNA science, which would be necessary to come to such a conclusion.  Nor did she mention that there are many prominent scholars who have objected to (and ridiculed) this assumption.  For example, as Professor Marco Bassani writes in his great new book, Liberty, State, & Union: The Political Theory of Thomas Jefferson:

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The Jeffersonian Position

From Thomas Jefferson: Writings (Library of America, 1984), pp. 1056–1057 is a January 26, 1799 letter from Jefferson to Edbridge Gerry (inventor of “gerrymandering”) explaining his political philosophy: “I do then, with sincere zeal, wish an inviolable preservation of our present federal constitution, according to the true sense in which it was adopted by the…

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