Libertarian Jackass

"Life is short, but truth works far and lives long; let us speak truth." -- Schopenhauer

Saturday, September 10, 2005

LIBERTARIANISM OR CONSTITUTIONAL FETISHISM? Can you see the dangers of mixing yourself up in arguments about the legality of gun possession?

But, don't worry: you're free because you can have the NRA bring a lawsuit on your behalf.

Nonsense.

http://hnn.us/blogs/entries/15048.html

In a similar way, libertarians get too caught up in arguments on the War Between the States and the Constitution:

Here Woods lapses back into constitutional fetishism, of a particularly silly form. Why should any libertarian care one whit whether secession was a legal right? The vital, unaddressed question is whether the southern states had a moral right to secede. With respect to evaluating the American Revolution, do we ask whether it was legally justified or whether it was morally justified? If the secession of the slave states was truly immoral, than of what possible import was the legal right? On the other hand, if they indeed had a moral right to leave the Union, so what if doing so was illegal? Only a legal positivist would let the legality determine the morality of the act.

Whether the MORAL right of secession is conditional or unconditional is a question about which libertarian political theorists disagree. I have made the case for an unconditional right of secession in my own book on the Civil War.[9] But Woods dares not go down that path. Because if the states have a moral right to secede from the Union, regardless of motives or grievances, than counties have an unconditional moral right to secede from states, and individuals from counties. This not only sanctions the Confederacy's 1861 firing on a federal fort in Charleston Bay but also John Brown's 1859 raid on a government arsenal at Harpers Ferry, which was merely an attempt to apply the right of secession to the plantation.

Consequently, THE POLITICALLY INCORRECT GUIDE TO AMERICAN HISTORY enmeshes itself again in a futile debate over the Constitution's one-and-only proper interpretation, which as emphasized above, is a quest for a chimera.

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