What man wouldn’t take up arms or otherwise sacrifice his goods in a situation of true self-defense of his country? Since 1812 this criteria has only be met once in this land: by the citizens of the Confederate States of America, 1861-1865. In the marketplace of ideas, a military draft–by its very existence–indicates an unjust cause.
LRC house historian Thomas J. DiLorenzo likes to credit Lincoln with introducing federal conscription to America. But actually the first federal conscription in America was implemented by Jefferson Davis and the Confederate States of America. What puzzles me about Dominguez’s comment is that I don’t get the sense he is condemning the Confederacy as an unjust cause on the basis of conscription. Perhaps he doesn’t know; perhaps he is relying on sources like DiLorenzo for history. You can find plenty of criticism of Lincoln on LRC for introducing conscription, but nary a peep about the fact that the Confederacy beat him to that punch. And the Confederacy’s Conscription Act had another name, many southerners called it the Twenty-Nigger Law because those who owned twenty slaves were themselves exempt from the slavery of conscription. Let me know when someone rips the Confederacy for that on LRC.
When I first started reading LRC I was pleased to see the vigorous criticism of Lincoln. Lincoln is widely perceived as perhaps the greatest president, virtually a saint, when in fact he probably did more harm to America than anyone in history. Most of the criticism of Lincoln you’ll see on LRC is entirely justified. But Rockwellians consistently poison the well when they blend this criticism with a fetish for the Confederacy.