Monday, May 11, 2009

Father Abraham

In 1864, Abraham Lincoln said:

We all declare for liberty, but in using the same word we do not all mean the same thing. With some the word liberty may mean for each man to do as he pleases with himself and the product of his labor, while with others the same word may mean for some men to do as they please with other men and the product of other men’s labor.

The second example in that statement is as clear a description of slavery as you can make. What’s interesting is that it’s also as clear a description of how this administration views the general citizenry as you can make. The federal government, as well as many state and local governments, feel that they can take as much of the fruit of our labor as they wish, and use it however they see fit.

So why is it slavery in one case, and not the other?

Because we don’t call it that.