How the 'Civil War' Changed America and Her Central Government
Destroying the 'Party of Lincoln' = Pursuing Freedom and Prosperity
Posted by Thomas DiLorenzo on January 11, 2012 02:20 PM
A couple of weeks ago Michael Gerson, a former speechwriter for the speech-impaired, mumbling, unable-to-speak-in-complete-sentences President George W. Bush devoted one of his Washington Post columns to a hate-filled, hysterical rant against Ron Paul. If Ron Paul is elected president, he said, it would destroy "the party of Lincoln." Praise the Lord! What exactly would be destroyed was explained by the late Murray Rothbard in an essay published in David Gordon, editor, Strictly Confidential: The Private Volker Fund Memos of Murray N. Rothbard (pp. 131–136):
"It is a measure of the statist consequences of the Civil War that America never recovered from it. . . Hamiltonian neo-Federalism beyond the wildest dreams of even a John Quincy Adams had. . .been foisted permanently on America. . .Let us trace the leading consequences of the War Against the South: there is, first, the enormous toll of death, injury, and destruction. There is the complete setting aside of the civilized rules of war. . ., instead, a total war against he civilian population was launched against the South. The symbol of this barbaric and savage oppression was, of course, Sherman's march. . .Another consequence. . .was the ending of effective states' rights, and of the perfectly logical and reasonable right of secession — or for that matter nullification."
"Further, the Civil War foisted upon the country the elimination of Jacksonian hard money. . .On the tariff, the virtual destruction of the Democratic Party led to the foisting of a high, protective tariff to remain for a generation. . .Further, the administration embarked on a vast program of subsidies to favored businesses. . .The post office was later monopolized and private postal services outlawed. The national debt skyrocketed, the budget increased greatly and permanently, and taxes increased greatly. . .Thus, on every point of the old Federalist-Whig vs. Democrat-Republican controversy, the Civil War and the Lincoln administration achieved a neo-Federalist triumph that was complete, right down the line."
"The Civil War also saw the inauguration of despotic and dictatorial methods beyond the dreams of the so-called 'despots of '98.'" [i.e., authors of the Alien and Sedition Acts]. Militarism ran rampant, with the arrogant suspension of habeas corpus, the crushing and mass arrests in Maryland, Kentucky, etc.; the suppression of civil liberties and opposition against the war. . .the persecution of Vallandigham, etc.; and the institution of conscription. . .Also introduced on the American scene for the first time was the income tax. . . Almost everything, in short, that is currently evil on the American scene, had its roots and its beginnings in the Civil War. . ."