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Prosthetic Conscience

Jason McBrayer's weblog; occasional personal notes and commentary

Tue, 06 Nov 2007

Republican virtue

Rad Geek Peoples’ Daily has an article on Republican virtue.

Not the virtue or lack thereof of modern day Republicans, but of figures of the old Republic. Rad Geek argues against romanticising the founding fathers on the basis that slavery was a worse tyrrany than monarchy.

Roderick Long contributes this:

The interesting question is: how many (white) people today who are anti-slavery would still have been anti-slavery if they’d been born in antebellum Virginia? There’s no easy way to test this, but one clue is in the attitude they take toward widely accepted injustices today. If they passively accept present-day injustice, the likelihood that they would have rebelled against equally widely accepted injustices 200 years ago is slight. (Of course the — perhaps suspiciously? but nonetheless reassuringly — self-congratulatory moral is that we today who are anarchists, feminists, antimilitarists, etc., can plausibly claim that we would have been abolitionists back in the day!)

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