Stephan Kinsella and Karen De Coster have sought a response to a recent article by Thomas J. DiLorenzo on Lysander Spooner. The piece is quite evidently a response to me, DiLorenzo has taken it upon himself to school this site on Lysander Spooner.
DiLorenzo’s revel elation is that Spooner held the Civil War to be unjust aggression by the Union. I knew this, of course, and have said so. The Union had no just grounds to force the South to remain in the Union. Southerners were perfectly entitled to defend themselves from such aggression. I freely grant that the cause of defending secession was a just cause and the basis for just war on the part of the South.
But so what? That and pocket change will get you a cup of coffee. The fact that the Confederacy had a just cause in defending secession doesn’t remotely make the Confederacy a just nation. And no cause could justify the means employed by the Confederacy, starting with conscription.
It’s misleading to say Spooner defended the South: He defended secession.
Consider what defense Spooner would make of John C. Calhoun, the champion of slavery so admired by DiLorenzo. Spooner would of course have held that Calhoun had a perfect right to secede from any political union. He would also have advocated making war on Calhoun’s property. He’d have taught Calhoun’s slaves to burn Calhoun’s buildings and kill his cattle and horses. He’d have had Calhoun flogged. Hell, he’d have given John Brown whatever support he needed to separate Calhoun’s head from his shoulder’s if that was what it took to free his slaves.