By Paul Clark
America is on its way to its third self-inflicted war. In the revolution of 1776-1783, the British monarchy, in its stubborn arrogance, would not compromise with our great-grandfather colonial subjects on taxes or parliamentary representation, and the result was a disaster. American colonists were fed up from decades of tyranny. Had the British crown compromised on the tyranny part we would all still be British subjects. But war came and England’s centralized governing philosophy, along with the prize of America, were lost to them. America’s governing philosophy, based on the natural rights of man, won out big — for a brief moment that is.
By the early 1800s, in the South mainly, the limited government tenets of the Jeffersonian Revolution took hold, but almost simultaneously in the North, those seeking to centralize power and grow the federal authority were growing in strength. Sadly, in the ensuing decades leading up to the election of Lincoln in 1860, the country split ideologically over the means of power and who controls it: the collectivists (Hamilton, Webster, Clay) or individualists (Henry, Mason, Madison, Jefferson). It was the collectivist thinking, manifested in the desire for centralized federal power in the North, that infected the new nation and ultimately won out. These philosophical differences led to America’s second war, the war between the states (1861-1865). We’ve never been the same since.
In this second war, the Lincoln Administration, in order to crush the southern states’ “rebellion”, demanded the seceding states return to the union. The South truly believed the northern states had completely abandoned their vows to the Constitution in favor of a new philosophical crusade which favored centralized power similar to the authoritarian version their grandfathers fought the British monarchy over. Lincoln blockaded, then invaded the southern states.
Lincoln and the abolitionists ignored last ditch efforts at peace when the South sent a delegation in February of 1861 (before the final four southern states seceded). The Lincoln-led northern abolitionist collective wanted a war to settle the matter. They couldn’t afford a multi-state southern pull-out of the union. Tax revenues from tariffs alone amounted to almost 90% of the entire federal revenue – revenue that went North, not South. So, the newly minted Lincoln nationalists devised a political strategy to justify their war based on “saving the union”.
War should have, and could have been avoided, but inevitably, as we’ve now learned, northern victors were comfortable with a more centralized, nation-first collective, instead of a federation of independent, sovereign states, as envisioned in the Constitution. The Yankees won. The Constitution and the American people lost. Saving the Union was a subversive political strategy to isolate and divide an entire half of the country and force the other half to have to choose sides. Fast-forward to today, and this dividing strategy is on the march again, only this time, it’s all over America not just North vs. South.
For Lincoln and his northern allies, long seduced by the prospect of centralized power (by now the United States Government), war was the only means to settle this philosophical divide. Many northern politicians and Lincoln wanted war. For southern people, they had simply had enough of this unholy “union”, and wanted to secede to actually avoid war. They formed their own true union in the form of the Confederate States, based on the original Constitution, not what it had devolved into.
It is evident that even in the fall of 1862, when the war was going badly for the union, Lincoln could have chosen peace, but England and France, already culturally and economically siding with the South, looked to jump in completely on the southern cause in order to protect their trade. So, Lincoln deliberately changed his strategy from “saving the union” to the ultimate superficial political weapon – emancipation – which caused the foreign help to delay their decision long enough that it effectively ended full southern support.
The war went on for another three long years, killing 650,000 Americans, including Lincoln himself. In 1861 and 1862, Lincoln could have sat down and listened, and he would have heard the South’s willingness to compromise on taxes, issues of slavery and other disputes over limited government and state sovereignty. It wouldn’t have solved all the issues, but it certainly would have stopped the war. But why didn’t Lincoln stop the war? After all, he was supposedly a compromiser and debater by trade, wasn’t he? He could have stopped the whole thing on many occasions, so why did he choose not to?
Unfortunately, Lincoln was not philosophically in the limited government corner. He was a nationalist, and no longer saw the value of sovereign states as an American concrete. He argued that states were akin to counties. His heroes were Hamilton, Webster and Clay and he was admired by Karl Marx himself, who wrote him a letter to congratulate him on his re-election in 1864 to which Lincoln responded in kind. Today, so-called conservatives worship Lincoln only because he was a “Republican”, and in doing so they abandon any real allegiance to the Constitution for purely political reasons, such as sanctimoniously disavowing the Confederates and associating them with evil and racism, which is completely disingenuous garbage. If certain Republicans today had any real honesty they’d deplore Lincoln as an anti-conservative, but alas, there are many hypocritical, false conservatives today. Lincoln’s worldview was fine with federal authority; he didn’t espouse state sovereignty or true federalism.
After the war, with America’s founding philosophy defeated, politicians, academics and intellectuals became accustomed and comfortable with centralized government. In the last half of the 1800s, they even began adopting elements of Marxism and socialistic philosophy. After all, it was Karl Marx who enthusiastically agreed with Lincoln’s view that his “civil war” was a rebellion of “slave drivers” against a “great democratic republic”. Marx also thought the war was waged against his own newly arrived kindred German progressive immigrants to America, who he believed, were better than southern patriots and founders. Lincoln admired Marx. It has been estimated that some 300,000 foreign immigrants were used over the war to fill the ranks in Lincoln’s army.
With the South down and out politically following the war, Democrat politicians (and some Republicans, although eventually the sides flipped on issues philosophically) grew the federal government and dictated how, when, and to what extent federal power would rule the United States. Corrupt and impotent politicians from both parties bought in. In the early 1900s, progressivists such as Woodrow Wilson expanded the role of the executive branch and implemented the national income tax. They saw an opportunity during WWI to get America involved in global conflict. Progressives grew stronger politically and expanded power in the 1930s with Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal. The duping of the American people continued with the “need” for more institutionalized central power during the massive military-industrial complex of the 50s and 60s.
With regulations and federal bureaucracy unchecked today, we now see the deep state machine in a complete takeover. The American people are dead, at least in the political sense, because we’ve ceded all power to a central authority in favor of our life-sucking digital platforms and technology. Now we find ourselves moving closer to our third war. Why?
Because in this philosophical dead zone we’ve been in for decades, a philosophy has indeed tried to enter quietly and insidiously into the void – globalist Marxism. Examples abound: our American historical heroes, the Founders, memorials, monuments, literature, art, education and culture are being erased and transformed. That’s a prime first step method for Marxist ideologists: kill the past fast. Our federal behemoth is now Marxist-driven, and both northern and southern politicians have become adopters.
But it’s been downhill for a while. The fact is, a bloodless cold war has been going on since 1865. It was the last time a significant part of our nation recognized the need to stop the slide and reinstate their God-given individual rights. Like then, today is not “civil war”, it’s a philosophical war all over. Even though it was a regional fight in 1861-1865, enough Americans today, from all corners of the nation, have recognized what has happened (Trump’s populism is an example), except this time it’s red vs. blue, or more historically accurate, rural vs. urban. The enemy today is not as much citizen against citizen, it’s two politically and philosophically corrupt parties who control all power, along with unaccountable systems and institutions created by the executive branch after more than a century of unconstitutional delegation of law-making power by Congress. The Constitution had a near-perfect structure and moral philosophy for a flawed mankind, but we were manipulated and allowed a federal bureaucratic monster to take over instead.
Sadly, we gave our political elite, Democrat and Republican, all the power, even the authority to be re-elected indefinitely. Rather than our politicians representing our sides in the battle of collectivism vs. individualism, they’ve all become collectivists. Philosophically, these are the two definitions of people: those who wish to govern others, and those who wish to govern themselves. Our Constitutional founders debated these philosophies, but decidedly came down on the individual rights of man and state sovereignty side. That has now been abandoned.
Since we’ve abandoned the founding philosophy in America, we float around like a sailboat on the equator, unable to produce power, allowing our individual selves to be swallowed up by an ocean of federal yoke. From that comes thousands of bureaucracies, funded by trillions of dollars, inadvertently created by us, but directly paid for by us through our corrupt Congress we continue to elect! We have no intellectual leaders, only an army of federal managers, and a bored and detached people ripe for the taking. And we are being taken from within with the greedy eye of globalists feeding the fire, ready to pounce on the power vacuum.
The coming third war amongst us could be unavoidable, but in fact, history shows it’s inevitable. The unthinkable is coming because of our inability to act and admit we need a return to our founding Constitution, American heritage and culture. We need to renew what works and come to terms with what doesn’t. We need to drop our arrogance and recognize we’re failing, but do something about it. Our corrupt leaders, to start, need to be shamed and voted out. We can’t accept the influence of an elite globalist oligarchy that has infiltrated our institutions and blackmail our politicians. We should focus our hearts on what works: free, limited government where the power is returned to the states and to the people. We need to accept all our Amendments, but then reset back to a Bill of Rights stage in practice, and remove all federal authority accept which is set forth explicitly in the original Constitution. Otherwise, we’ll have a corrupt deep-state congress, nationalist courts, an overreaching Executive branch, and federal institutions that will continue to divide and control us.
The American dream for half the nation, whether they know it or not, is not what they think. It’s one they’ve abdicated to the global Marxists in our own nationalized system, one that history shows will lead to dictatorship and totalitarianism. Yes, it can and will happen here if we don’t act. Our feckless political elite are in control (or out of control) and we just stand by and let it happen. The Constitution will fix that tendency if we just re-dedicate to it and re-adopt its philosophy, the only philosophy that will save us from war. And if “we the people” don’t do it fast, our leaders will continue to hoist up false flags and start that third war for us. Then, America’s really over.
Cover Image: Tenth Communist Party USA convention in Chicago. Portraits of Lincoln, Lenin and Stalin flanked the stage, while the Party’s leader spoke, May 1938.
2 thoughts on “America’s Third War of Independence”
What is your source for the 90% of all tariffs collected?
The Real Lincoln. copyright 2003 by Thomas DiLorenzo; pp. 238-239. Look at the entirety of Chap. 9. Quote: “more than 90 percent of federal tax revenue came from tariffs at that time”, referring to the lead up to the war with protectionist tariffs and the Morrill tariff of 1860.