The Friendly Face of American Terrorism, Thomas DiLorenzo

A new book punctures the winners’ self-serving mythology concerning the War Between the States. From Thomas DiLorenzo at

All governments are empires of lies.  As Murray Rothbard wrote in his essay, “Anatomy of the State,” tax-funded political payoffs to political supporters is never sufficient to sustain governmental power.  In addition to that, states must pound into the brains of citizens that their government is good, wise, and at least inevitable — if not the will of God.

At the same time they must constantly warn of the deadly dangers of a free society with its free enterprise, free speech, rule of law (and not of politicians), its civil society, freedom of religion, its rights to protect one’s own life with firearms, its preferences for peace over war, opposition to government brainwashing of children, and its constitutions.  Hence, states must employ “intellectuals” as “court historians” to spread such propaganda far and wide and to censor alternative views as much as possible.

This is nowhere more prevalent than in discussions of the state’s wars, war being the very health of the state – of all states – and the lynchpin of all of its powers.  Nothing grows the state, its tax revenues, and its powers over populations than war.

In the case of the American state, war propaganda is no more egregious, and the court historians more notorious, than with the Lincoln cult and its Official Version of the American “Civil War.”  Everything about Lincoln and his war must be described as good, wise, and inevitable and any dissenters tarred as slavery defenders and enemies of civilized society.  Historical facts be damned.  As Robert Penn Warren wrote in The Legacy of the Civil War, the Official Version of the war created a “treasury of virtue” for the American state, allowing it to declare that everything it does is virtuous by virtue of the fact that it is the American state that is doing it.  One problem with this, wrote Warren, is that one must forget almost all of the true history of the war and of Lincoln in order to believe it.  One must believe the Lincoln cult’s war propaganda instead.

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