(Don’t) Carry Me Back To Ol’ Virginie



Will writes from Washington, D.C. (well, Arlington, Virginia). You can reach him at willblogcorrespondence at gmail dot com.

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36 Responses

  1. Avatar Chad S. says:

    And nevermind that the Confederate government was an unmitigated structural mess because the states could veto orders/requests from the central government(while they demanded the central government do more to protect them).Report

    • Avatar Will in reply to Chad S. says:

      For most libertarians, I suspect that was a feature, not a bug.Report

      • Avatar Chad S. in reply to Will says:

        Touche, but you can’t claim states rights, then demand that the weak central government has to save them. There was a point during the War of Northern Aggression that Georgia was simultaneously refusing Jeff Davis’ orders to send war supplies to The Army of Northern Virginia and demanding that Davis send the Army of Northern Virginia to Georgia to defend Atlanta from Sherman. Thats not a functional government.Report

        • Avatar Mike in reply to Chad S. says:

          Thats not a functional government.

          As Will said, for most libertarians, that’s a feature. But I think Will’s being silly anyway. The CSA spent its entire (brief and unlamented) career during a total war; that’s not going to lead to hands-off government. Railroads in particular were vital for transporting troops.Report

  2. I’m picking nits here, but that first sentence should say “some libertarians” – views of the Confederacy tend to be a central division in the longstanding libertarian civil war.Report

  3. Avatar greginak says:

    the confeds were just ducky with the fugitive slave laws also. States rights didn’t seem to matter much when it benefited them.Report

  4. Avatar Jonathan says:

    As someone of a libertarian-ish bent, I’ve never understood the romanticism that some libertarians have for the confederacy. It’s pretty sad and abhorrent.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Jonathan says:

      A handful of defenses. Wave your hand at one or all.

      It’s not like Libertarians have a Che’ t-shirt that they can wear. If you want to freak the normals (well, the hippies and pinkos, anyway) without making a reference to the 1930s, you only have so many options. The Confederacy is a great one when it comes to making ladies with delicate constitutions faint.

      It’s not that it’s pro-Confederacy, it’s that the pro-Union mindset is everywhere. Being anti-pro-Union is assumed to be pro-Confederacy. This is not helped when people start attacking the Confederacy with attacks that are a little over the top and not necessarily factually accurate. When one argues in response to these with a precise explanation of what really happened, people get all “you’re defending slavery!!!” when, really, you’re just arguing against an over-the-top (and not necessarily factually accurate) assertion made by a pro-Union type.

      The Confederacy saw the Federal Government as the enemy. The Libertarians see the Federal Government as the enemy. Dude! DUDE!!!

      Libertarians who have roots in the South (not a lot, but a non-zero amount) but don’t have an accent have heard some of the things said about hillbillies, ridgerunners, crackers, rednecks, and hicks in company previously thought to have been polite. This makes it easy to make a false equivalence between the mendacity of the Southern folks and the mendacity of Yankees.


      • Avatar James in reply to Jaybird says:

        I can’t understand why people would be shocked about people making positive statements about a white supremacist state. Those damn liberals!Report

        • Avatar Jaybird in reply to James says:

          Shocking, in some cases, is the end in itself.

          Let’s say that your parents are hippies. What’s the best way to rebel?

          Two Words: Ronald Wilson Reagan.Report

          • Avatar James in reply to Jaybird says:

            I do appreciate that strain of humour. I used to frequent Chans, for instance (or perhaps for the epitome of that kind of joke). But when people write loads of articles along those lines on their own website for that kind of audience it’s something else.Report

            • Avatar Jaybird in reply to James says:

              It’s one thing to be 17 and wear a Che t-shirt.

              It’s quite another to be 33 and writing articles explaining how accusations of Che’s multiple murders lack context and questioning whether those who make such accusations really have a leg to stand on.Report

      • Avatar greginak in reply to Jaybird says:

        the confeds were just fine with the federal gov when it did what they wanted. they had no problem with government and society that practiced slavery, so their whining about the big bad oppressive fed is ridiculous. slavery can’t be separated from the traitors confeds so a defense/support of the confeds is to a significant degree supporting slavery.Report

  5. Avatar Dave says:

    “Some” should be “few”, if not “very few”.

    Learning new things about my political philosophy excites me to no end. Last month, I learned that we are corporate shills. Two weeks ago, I heard we’re the best grandma killers out there. Last week, it was learning about the libertarian paradise of Somalia. Lo and behold, today I learned about my love for the CSA.

    The next thing you know, I’ll be singing praises for the Living Constitution.

    /extreme sarcasm offReport

    • Avatar ChrisWWW in reply to Dave says:

      That’s the danger of being part of any ideological group. There are going to be crazies that you’ll be made to answer for. I’m not sure there’s any way to really avoid it.

      And by the way, libertarians aren’t grandma killers, they are just indifferent to the painful deaths of poor grandmas. Yay for free market health care!Report

      • Avatar James in reply to ChrisWWW says:

        Incorrect: they feel bad about the grandmas, but would rather they die than they be forced to reassess their ideological positioning, as they were if the state was to do something clearly beneficial. The state doing something disastrous is a very unchallenging prospect to Libertarians, it is in accordance with their expectations. The state doing a huge amount of good, by contrast, would be lethal to their outlook.Report

    • Avatar Mark Thompson in reply to Dave says:


      I’m not sure about the “few” or “very few” distinction. That’s certainly true of those of us who have been demonized as eeeeeevil “cosmotarians.” But let’s not forget that Ron Paul’s newsletters not only had a large number of defenders when they were exposed, they were also a very successful fundraising tool for him for years before that. There are a number of people who write for a rather prominent “libertarian” site who are quite openly neo-Confederates. That’s not to say that everyone who writes for that site fits that billing, and it’s definitely not to say that everyone affiliated with the think tank with close ties to that site is a neo-Confederate. Still, that site gets more traffic than any other self-proclaimed “libertarian” site, and it’s tough to argue that the neo-Confederate types aren’t the site’s biggest draw.Report

  6. Avatar Bob Cheeks says:


    Your “violations of liberty” isn’t quite fair in that these are things ‘modern’ gummints do when they go to war.
    So whas with this Confederacy hatred? Dude, all they wanted to do was exercise their ‘right’ to secession. Whas wrong with dat?
    OK, so the African chattel slavery thing was a bit of a stickler but Gen. Pat Cleburne solved that with manumission for all male slaves joining the Confederate army, though the Chief of staff and the prez, unfortunately, didn’t adhere to his brilliant idea which would have not only freed the slaves but freed the white southerners from the clutches of the evil Yankee manufacturers and bankers by providing a victory on the field of honor.
    My guess (and I admit I’m guessing) is that African Americans would have had a much better life in the South under those conditions than their brothers in the north where racism was and is always much more virulent.
    I would like to hear you and E.D. singing “Bonnie Blue Flag!”Report

  7. Avatar Bob Cheeks says:

    Oh, one more thing: “Yip, yip, yip,…”
    That’s the famous Confederate battle cry, the one that made your great-grandpappy wet his pants when he heard it at Stones River, Gettysburg, and a hundred other places.Report