4 July 2014

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

US Declaration of Independence.

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86 Responses to 4 July 2014

  1. Grigory M

    That’s been one of my mantras — focus and simplicity.
    Simple can be harder than complex:
    You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple.
    But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there,
    you can move mountains..

    Steve Jobs

  2. incoherent rambler

    God bless America.

  3. Infidel Tiger

    Where’s the bit about free frangers and food stamps?

  4. JC

    That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

    How about getting rid of the Kenyan?

  5. And yet.. no men are created equal; we have no rights save those which we contend for; sovereignty can not be devolved to popularity; and they never did bother to reform their government.

    They got what? 70 years out of that before it was summarily ignored as and when needed?

  6. JC

    I find the words very powerful and yet I can’t quite get my head around the fact that some of the men who signed up this beautiful set of sentences also owned slaves.

  7. Squirrel

    Let’s hope our newly installed Senators take time today to reflect upon those immortal words from across a great Ocean.

  8. Now that is a preamble! Profundity in each sentence.

  9. Gab

    I’m afraid the benighted yoof of today would have no understanding or appreciation of the Constitution. Perhaps it could be summarised down to 140 characters or less for the twitterati generation. Oh yeah, and there should be a “like” button. And a hashtag.

  10. Is this open thread or topic thread?

  11. Infidel Tiger

    They’ve got a 2nd amendment they never use either.

  12. JC

    Oh yeah, and there should be a “like” button. And a hashtag.

    Lol

    I read somewhere that for those seriously into Facebook it’s considered offensive if you don’t hit the like button for someone’s posted swill. I’m guessing there’s no dislike button, right?

  13. JC

    And here I was thinking there were too many Catholics in the Australian Cabinet.

    Puffington Post asks:

    HUFFPO asks: Too many Catholics on High Court?

    So the question asked in the article should be uncomfortable, not because you are asking a big-brained question but because you show yourself to be an imbecile. But we would also have the right to ask is it fair that a third of the Court is Jewish when they are only 2% of the population? How about two “unmarried” women (IYKWIMAITYD) on the court? Do “unmarried” women (IYKWIMAITYD) rate their own justice? What about “unmarried” men… now that Souter is retired? How about one sorta dense Latina? I know the mediocre need representation but do the last couple of sigmas on the intelligence curve also need their own justice?

  14. Ant

    Truly revolutionary words.

  15. Fisky

    It’s funny – most Catholic countries are busted-ass failures, but when you look at the Protto countries, the higher % of Catholic involvement in an institution, the reasonable and competent it generally is. If SCOTUS were majority Protto/Jewish, the 1st and 2nd Amendments would have been explicitly repealed by now.

  16. MartinG

    That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

    For all it’s fine words it has not stopped the Obama administration from hatching a plan to aid and abet terrorist organizations in destroying regimes it finds intransigent. Obama is promoting the concept that the USA is hated because it is not being nice to those who wish to see it’s destruction.

  17. It’s funny – most Catholic countries are busted-ass failures, but when you look at the Protto countries, the higher % of Catholic involvement in an institution, the reasonable and competent it generally is. If SCOTUS were majority Protto/Jewish, the 1st and 2nd Amendments would have been explicitly repealed by now.

    I think the failure of the former has more to do with them being largely former Spanish colonies.

  18. Baldrick

    … and right on cue, Obambi hosts the biggest threat to American independence-

    Obama to Visit Mosque and Host Muslim Leaders on July 4th –

    White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest announced today that President Obama will be visiting a Washington D.C. area Mosque on the morning of July 4th as a goodwill gesture to Muslim Americans. The President has long been criticised for being sympathetic towards Muslims and has even been accused of secretly being Muslim himself. His announcement to visit a Mosque on the morning of America’s most patriotic holiday will likely add to this criticism.
    According to Earnest, following his visit to the Mosque, the President will host the traditional White House July 4th cookout. Several influential Muslim leaders have been invited to attend the cookout, as a further gesture of goodwill.

  19. Blogstrop

    I wish them all the best, but really, this is a good opportunity to take stock and pinpoint just what has brought the once mighty USA to where it is now.

  20. lotocoti

    pinpoint just what has brought the once mighty USA to where it is now.

    Perhaps forgetting that it’s the pursuit of happiness which is a right, not happiness itself.

  21. this is a good opportunity to take stock and pinpoint just what has brought the once mighty USA to where it is now.

    Sure is.
    Let’s make a list -
    1. Rampant materialism (If they can’t eat it, f**k it or drive it, it doesn’t rate)
    2. National paranoia (They’re scared stiff of each other, so buy guns)
    3. Religious and racial intolerance (Routine religious/racial abuse of their president)
    4. Overbearing arrogance (They believe they are the only country on the planet)
    5. The use of force to solve “problems” (The US Has Invaded 70 Nations Since 1776)

    That will do for starters.

  22. entropy

    One way of seeing how great America truly is is to observe those who see themselves as its enemy. And on queue spuds Numbres turns up.

  23. YT

    I’m hard pressed to name any other force for good in this world. They may not be perfect, but can you imagine the world without the US?

  24. Alfonso

    “That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government.”

    The statist Alinskyites and the statist military industrial complex must believe it can never happen again.

  25. JohnA

    Driftforge #1368877, posted on July 4, 2014 at 12:15 am

    And yet.. no men are created equal; we have no rights save those which we contend for; sovereignty can not be devolved to popularity; and they never did bother to reform their government.

    They got what? 70 years out of that before it was summarily ignored as and when needed?

    That’s because most of the high ideals go no higher than the (humanist) 18th century Enlightenment.

    God did not create us equal in every respect – He created us as unique individuals, with certain common attributes; we have no rights except what God graciously grants, but we do have responsibilities; and government sovereignty is derived from His all-encompassing Sovereignty.

    The document was a compromise between the competing arguments of Deists, humanists, and Christians of various flavours. And it remains compromised today.

  26. manalive

    The US Has Invaded 70 [71] Nations Since 1776 …

    ninemsn: More than 1000 US Marines arrive in invade Darwin (March 26, 2014).

  27. entropy

    Manalive. The numerically challenged is just trying to derail the thread.

  28. Mater

    5. The use of force to solve “problems” (The US Has Invaded 70 Nations Since 1776)

    “Despite what your momma told you violence does solve problems

  29. Dr Faustus

    can you imagine the world without the US?

    Europe: East Germany c.1970 – but fewer foodstamps.
    Middle East: a collection of Soviet satraps – heads on poles.
    China: 215 warlords – famines and peasant massacres every 3 years
    Africa: much as it is now – but no cars.

  30. Supplice

    Especially since those marines are largely invisible, what with all the soldiering they do. Its not like they’re out to depose Katrina Fong Lim and topple a statue of her old man.

  31. James

    Let’s make a list -

    Of all the possible reasons for American malaise, these are definitely the gayest.

    You sound like a huge softcock.

  32. Rococo Liberal

    JohnA

    You have hit it on the head.

    I think that the Americans actually succeeded despite their system of government which has soo much corruption and inefficiency. Now that the government over there is becoming bigger and bigger, the US will decline, no matter how much they go on and on about equality. In fact it is the left’s worship of equality that is the ruin of nations.

    If all people are equal, then why can’t my arthritic mother open the batting for Australia at the next test?

  33. Joe Goodacre

    We hold these truths to be self-evident

    So do Islamists.

    that all men are created equal

    Except that some people are genetically more gifted than others.

    that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness

    The Islamist also says there is also an inalienable right to kill someone who leaves their religion. The declaration isn’t persuasive to people who either don’t believe in an objective morality, or who believe in a diferent one.

    That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed

    This is effectively individuals doing a deal with the devil to protect their liberty and life – other people.

    ,That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government,

    laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

    Within the declaration of independence, was the admission that the people can legitimately decide to found government on principles not based on liberty – instead on safety and happiness (a significant difference). Seems a conflicted message to me.

    Unless the founding fathers thought that the protection of life and liberty was a good basis for government, but they recognised that people would trade off liberty for safety and happiness and there was nothing wrong with doing that.

    It would appear to me that libertarian principles underpinned the US right up until the point the majority starting thinking that a bit of that liberty could go to paying for te welfare of the less fortuante and that the founding fathers saw that as a possibility and specifically mentioned government being constituted without deferrence to liberty.

  34. Joe Goodacre

    I can’t quite get my head around the fact that some of the men who signed up this beautiful set of sentences also owned slaves.

    They had a blindspot – an inconsistency in their reasoning fueled by self interest.

    Negroes were literally savages to them – not men.

    We all have blind spots that by definition, we don’t recognise.

  35. Tom

    White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest announced today that President Obama will be visiting a Washington D.C. area Mosque on the morning of July 4th as a goodwill gesture to Muslim Americans.

    Beyond fucking belief.

  36. rebel with cause

    Tom – you’ve been trolled. That news report is fake.

    Let’s not have another thread about Islam hey? Islam has nothing to do with the Declaration of Independence.

  37. Chris M

    all men are created equal

    Equally human, yes. But unequal in every other way – thankfully.

  38. Oh yeah, and there should be a “like” button. And a hashtag.

    Lol

    I read somewhere that for those seriously into Facebook it’s considered offensive if you don’t hit the like button for someone’s posted swill. I’m guessing there’s no dislike button, right?

    Correct JC.
    Facebook (and that “like” button) are great business tools. I’m learning to use ‘em to great effect.

  39. Leo G

    The self-evident truth- that all men were created equal- was only intended to emphasise that all were created through the same process. Any other interpretation is self-evidently not self-evident.

  40. Mr Rusty

    Just think, without the Revolution the current U.S Head of State would be a sweet old granny who likes dogs, horses and a cup of tea with crumpets and who is loved and respected worldwide rather than a Commie Dhimmi traitor intent on destroying one of the greatest nations ever.

  41. Don’t make the left’s mistake of confusing equality with sameness.

    Equality is having the same selection criteria for all applicants. Sameness renders selection criteria redundant.

  42. All men are created equal.

    The rabid Right has always had a problem with this statement.
    Hence the attempts above to re-interpret.
    Very funny…..

  43. harrys on the boat

    Please people the shit stain, Fuckwit Bob, is being his usual cnut self. Please ignore.

  44. Grigory M

    Please ignore.

    You didn’t.

  45. candy

    All men are created equal.

    I like to think of it in terms of everyone equally deserving the same respect and kindness, no matter from what situation in life, or whether we are the “same” or not. We can’t possibly be the “same” anyway. The Creator did not create it that way.

    So I think some of our left leaning friends tend to get “equality” mixed up with “sameness”, as the Beer Whisperer noted above.

  46. nic

    Best wishes to all Americans for the day that makes them reflect and value what it is to be American and to live there.

  47. Grigory M

    Best wishes to all Americans for the day that makes them reflect and value what it is to be American and to live there.

    +10

  48. incoherent rambler

    So I think some of our left leaning friends tend to get “equality” mixed up with “sameness”, as the Beer Whisperer noted above.

    Often stated is “equality of opportunity versus equality of outcome”

  49. Richard of OZ

    A sober reminder of how things are.

  50. Zatara

    An excellent link Richard.

    “And there is the Declaration of Independence, old and worn, offering up an idea as fragile as a butterfly, that government does not exist to impose solutions, but to protect the individual’s pursuit of happiness.”

  51. Roger

    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

    A pity the humanity of Africans wasn’t so self-evident to the signatories of this declaration. And making the pursuit of happiness an inalienable right without acknowledging the limitations placed by original sin on how one conceives of and pursues happiness was bound to lead to cultural disintegration once the power of religious strictures on behaviour began to wane. As de Tocqueville observed, religion and the family had as much to do with the success of democracy in America as did its constitutional foundation; now that both social institutions are under attack, it is doubtful that American democracy will long survive. A so-called “soft” dictatorship is the most likely outcome in the medium term, I think.

  52. Zatara

    Get back to us when you have a better Declaration written Roger.

    Do make sure that it omits any current cultural prejudices/influences and that it will withstand the test of time so that no smartass will snipe at it after 300 years of massive societal changes.

    Until then, STFU.

  53. Roger

    What an intelligent contribution to the discussion, Zatara.

  54. Infidel Tiger

    Best wishes to all Americans for the day that makes them reflect and value what it is to be American and to live there.

    Isn’t that Thanksgiving Day?

    July4th is more about getting on the gas, barbecuing and blowing shit up.

  55. Zatara

    It ranks right up there with yours Roger except not dripping disdain.

    Give the Yanks their day.

  56. Roger

    You’ve obviously got a mind like a steel trap, Zatara…closed most of the time.

    I don’t begrudge the Yanks their day – in my experience they celebrate it quite well without our boosting – but since when does that mean we can’t engage in some intelligent discussion of the weaknesses of their democracy?

  57. rebel with cause

    To quote Lincoln:

    I think the authors of that notable instrument intended to include all men, but they did not mean to declare all men equal in all respects. They did not mean to say all men were equal in color, size, intellect, moral development, or social capacity. They defined with tolerable distinctness in what they did consider all men created equal — equal in “certain inalienable rights, among which are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” This they said, and this they meant. They did not mean to assert the obvious untruth that all were then actually enjoying that equality, or yet that they were about to confer it immediately upon them. In fact, they had no power to confer such a boon. They meant simply to declare the right, so that the enforcement of it might follow as fast as circumstances should permit. They meant to set up a standard maxim for free society which should be familiar to all, constantly looked to, constantly labored for, and even, though never perfectly attained, constantly approximated, and thereby constantly spreading and deepening its influence, and augmenting the happiness and value of life to all people, of all colors, everywhere

  58. entropy

    Yes, even Thomas Jefferson grappled with that little issue while continuing to own slaves. I enjoyed visiting Monticello, which is not only a pretty cool house, spends a lot of time discussing this very issue.

  59. Tom

    That news report is fake.

    Thanks, Rebel.

  60. Roger

    I think the authors of that notable instrument intended to include all men, but they did not mean to declare all men equal in all respects.
    With the greatest of respect to Lincoln, I think he is engaging in some creative hermeneutics here, rebel. It would have been more honest to say there was a contradiction in Jefferson’s thought that he was blind to, but evidently that could not be said even in the 1860s.

  61. rebel with cause

    Roger – I wouldn’t go that far – the apparent hypocricy was noted at the time. Thomas Day wrote in 1776:

    With what face, Sir, can he who has never respected the rights of nature in another, pretend to claim them in his own favor? How dare the inhabitants of the southern colonies speak of privileges and justice? Is money of so much more importance than life? Or have the Americans shared the dispensing power of Saint Peter’s successors, to excuse their own observerance of those rules which they impose on others? If there be an object truly ridiculous in nature, it is an American patriot, signing resolutions of independency with the one hand, and with the other brandishing a whip over his affrighted slaves.

    Jefferson himself was contradictory on slavery. But he was a politician. Look at those we have today: is it not contradictory to be anti-carbon tax but pro-RET? Hypocricy abounds in politics.

  62. Driftforge

    Often stated is “equality of opportunity versus equality of outcome”

    Even equality of opportunity is never true. As someone else mentioned above, the only equality we have is that we are all equally human.

  63. Zatara

    Fair enough Roger, my challenge to match their Declaration stands though. The floor is yours.

  64. Ellen of Tasmania

    “The Founding of our nation really was exceptional, because the men who drafted our Constitution knew that American politicians, taking one thing with another, would be every bit as sleazy as the same class of men from any other clime. … Surprise! Crossing the Atlantic did not change human nature.

    The Founders knew we were not exceptional, and drafted a Constitution that did not trust us, not even a little bit. The subtext of the Constitution is not “beware of the English crown,” and it is not even “beware of the commies from the Soviet Union.” The subtext of the Constitution is that we are constantly to beware of boobus Americanus and the inveigling mountebanks they elect. We are particularly to watch their beady little eyes (Art. I, Sec. 2), their greasy palms (Art. III, Sec. 1), their sweaty foreheads (Art. II, Sec. 4), and their glowing promises filled with Uplift and Sunshine (Art. IV, Sec. 4).

    (dougwils.com)

  65. Ellen of Tasmania

    The left tends to think of political rights in terms of stuff — the right to affordable housing, the right to health care, the right to contraception, and so on. Conservatives tend to think of political rights in terms of non-interference — the right to free speech, the right to assemble, the right to worship God freely, and so forth.

    Now rights always imply corresponding obligations. If I have a right to life, others have an obligation not to shoot me. If I have a right to keep and bear arms, others have a responsibility not to take those arms away from me. If I have a right to peaceably assemble, then others have the obligation not to disrupt my peaceful assembly, and so on.

    In a similar — yet strikingly different — way, if I have a right to free chocolate milk, then somebody has an obligation to provide it for me. If I have a right to free health care, then someone has an obligation to provide free health care. If I have a right to free contraception, then someone must buy it for me.

    This different conception of rights is why the right and left reacted in completely different ways to the Hobby Lobby decision. The left paraded placards that said they wanted their boss to stay out of their bedroom. But they sure wanted their boss’s wallet in the bedroom.”

    (dougwils.com)

  66. Mk50 of Brisbane, Henchman to the VRWC

    And a delightful day to all our trans-Pacific American cousins!

  67. Leo G

    …men are created in the same way, endowed with rights, including Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
    Recognising that not all (men or Governments) are endowed with equanimity, Governments are instituted among men to secure these rights, …

  68. johno

    The American Interest is taking the piss with this rewrite of the opening sections of the Declaration of Independence as they ought to have been written, and indeed as it would have been written, if the still primitive colonial political process had only been sophisticated enough to restrict participation at important conferences to the appropriately certified, trained and peer-reviewed experts who could have produced a document worth remembering.

    The unanimous Declaration of the Thirteen Post-Colonial, Multi-Racial Societies of North America

    When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to strengthen the political bands which have connected them with the Global Community, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the cooperative and deferential station which a careful review of the relevant peer reviewed literature suggests is most appropriate for long term win-win outcomes, a decent and rigorously equal respect to the opinions of woman- and man- and transkind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the ever deeper union.

    We hold these views to be consistent with the evolving cultural consensus, that all humans are equally obliged to the performance of certain Duties, that among these are the Participation in the Struggle against Racism, Economic Injustice, Genetically Modified Organisms, Homophobia, Nationalism and the Excessive Emission of Carbon Dioxide and Other Greenhouse Gasses. That to secure the performance of these Duties, Governments are instituted among humans, deriving their just powers from the considered Opinions of the Educated Classes, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Duty of the Enlightened and Credentialed Guardians of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute a new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect the Unquestioning Performance of their Duties by the Less Enlightened Members of the Public. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Change cannot come too quickly to suit the Convenience and the Predilections of an Enlightened Minority; Governments long established should be changed the Moment a Sufficient Number of Well Regarded Contributors to the New York Review of Books have determined that such Change is Morally Incumbent; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that intellectuals who have never run anything in their lives are the Fittest of all Living People to remedy virtually any evil by abolishing the forms of Government, Laws and Customs of Society to which the brutish and unreflective Common People are accustomed. And when a long train of abuses and usurpations pursuing invariably the same Failed Dogmas of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy evinces a design to allow said Common People to evade all obligations to the Global Community, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide New and Expanded Regulations for the future better restriction of the Lower Orders as they deem Meet for the Purpose.

  69. Aristogeiton

    Joe Goodacre
    #1369151, posted on July 4, 2014 at 9:28 am

    Fuckacre thinks his trollery is cast upon fertile ground.

  70. Aristogeiton

    Joe Goodacre
    #1369161, posted on July 4, 2014 at 9:39 am
    [...]
    Negroes were literally savages to them – not men.

    Why do you care cnut? All that matters to you is whether they constitute a numerical majority or not.

  71. Leo G

    I can’t quite get my head around the fact that some of the men who signed up this beautiful set of sentences also owned slaves.
    They had a blindspot – an inconsistency in their reasoning fueled by self interest.
    Negroes were literally savages to them – not men.
    We all have blind spots that by definition, we don’t recognise.

    Blind spots such as ignorance of Thomas Jefferson’s long relationship with Sally Hemings- and their 7 children?

  72. Joe Goodacre

    How does that offset his owning of hundreds of slaves?

  73. Joe Goodacre

    You don’t think it’s interesting Ari that in the declaration of independence a formation of government was contemplated which put liberty below safety and happiness?

  74. Aristogeiton

    Joe Goodacre
    #1370170, posted on July 5, 2014 at 1:11 pm

    What I think is interesting is that you are a cnut. Wait. I don’t find that interesting at all. Fuck off.

  75. Leo G

    How does that offset his owning of hundreds of slaves?

    How did the fact that he was a slave-owner, like 3o% of households in 18th century Virginia, imply that he believed “Negroes were literally savages”?
    The economy of Virginia was dependent on tobacco in the early part of the century and cotton in the latter, and neither were viable industries without slavery.
    Slavery as an issue for Jefferson could be an ethical analogy to the coal and gas export industries for Tony Abbott.

  76. stackja

    Mk50 of Brisbane, Henchman to the VRWC
    #1369597, posted on July 4, 2014 at 5:34 pm
    And a delightful day to all our trans-Pacific American cousins!

    Happy Fourth of July! at Paco’s

  77. Infidel Tiger

    How does that offset his owning of hundreds of slaves?

    Hard to excuse, but goodness knows what will seem obscene in another century. Hopefully a helluva lot of things will.

    How did he treat his slaves? What would the life of that slave have been like back in Africa?

  78. Leo G

    First: “those who pray”; Second: “those who fight”; Third: “those who work”.
    Happy Fourth?

  79. stackja

    Thomas Jefferson and Slavery
    Thomas Jefferson was a consistent opponent of slavery his whole life. Calling it a “moral depravity” and a “hideous blot,” he believed that slavery presented the greatest threat to the survival of the new American nation. Jefferson also thought that slavery was contrary to the laws of nature, which decreed that everyone had a right to personal liberty. These views were radical in a world where unfree labor was the norm.

    Jefferson wrote that slavery was like holding “a wolf by the ear, and we can neither hold him, nor safely let him go.” He thought that his cherished federal union, the world’s first democratic experiment, would be destroyed by slavery. To emancipate slaves on American soil, Jefferson thought, would result in a large-scale race war that would be as brutal and deadly as the slave revolt in Haiti in 1791. But he also believed that to keep slaves in bondage, with part of America in favor of abolition and part of America in favor of perpetuating slavery, could only result in a civil war that would destroy the union. Jefferson’s latter prediction was correct: in 1861, the contest over slavery sparked a bloody civil war and the creation of two nations—Union and Confederacy—in the place of one.

  80. Joe Goodacre

    How did the fact that he was a slave-owner, like 3o% of households in 18th century Virginia, imply that he believed “Negroes were literally savages”?

    I’m not sure ‘less than 1/3 of other people were doing it’ is that persuasive.

    I tend to think he owned slaves because he didn’t have a problem with viewing Negroes as less than human, or that he viewed it as less of a problem than being a landowner without a cheap workforce.

    I agree completely with being careful to avoid judging too harshy events outside of their context.

    I can see how someone at that time would see Negroes as primitive and possibly savages depending on a particular tribal custom they might have wintessed. It doesn’t change the fact it was a blindspot.

  81. Joe Goodacre

    Jefferson also thought that slavery was contrary to the laws of nature, which decreed that everyone had a right to personal liberty.

    The way Southerners got around this was arguing that Negroes were sub-human and couldn’t be trusted with liberty.

  82. Leo G

    “I tend to think he owned slaves because he didn’t have a problem with viewing Negroes as less than human, …”

    Not having a problem with viewing “negroes” as less than human is hardly a motivation for owning slaves. If slave owners with “negro” slaves regarded “negroes” as sub-human, would slave-owners with “non-negro” slaves regard “non-negroes” as sub–human? It would have been much cheaper for a person with a desire to own less-than-human animals to keep hamsters.

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