I have tried to avoid saying much about the “Confederate statues” kerfuffle. That’s partly because the issue is more complicated than it’s often made out to be.
Abolitionism is one of the complex historical topics that is always over-simplified in textbook accounts of history.
Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation of January 1, 1863, declaring the slaves of the rebellious southern states “forever free,” is probably the most important event of his presidency or even his life. But most people — including a few professional historians — get the Proclamation wrong.
Instead of looking for a “side” to champion, we are better served by recognizing that even amid the unbridled horrors of slavery and the devastation of war, there may still be a few who are fighting for something better than their country’s cause.
The most far-fetched myth that I’ve encountered recently is that the wealth of the modern Western world, especially that of the United States, is the product of slavery.
Here are seven criminally underrated philosophers to celebrate this World Philosophy Day.
“Americans are so enamored of equality that they would rather be equal in slavery than unequal in freedom.” – Alexis de Tocqueville
Property rights are key for a free society. Since they set out what belongs to whom, they are the foundation for human freedom. Property norms tell us who can do what, with what, and to whom. When securely guaranteed, property rights offer a basis (if not the best basis) for predictability and stability. As social […]
Given the relatively few examples of true liberty from real life, some of the best expressions of liberty have often come from novels. Such books inspire us to strive toward a future where the individual, not the government and its agents, determine human action. The plot of Don Quixote, a Spanish novel written in 1605, […]
This week marks the Jewish holiday of Passover, which, at least in part, celebrates freedom from slavery. As we observe it, let’s not forget those who fought for freedom in our own country. For instance, this year’s Passover follows last week’s announcement from the U.S. Treasury that abolitionist Harriet Tubman will be featured on the […]
Did you know Frederick Douglass took his name from the hero of Sir Walter Scott’s epic poem, The Lady of the Lake, the leader of the Scottish clan Douglas? Born Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey, Frederick changed his last name to Johnson to avoid being discovered and returned to slavery, then later changed his last name […]