August 27, 2013

"The Same Old Serpent:" Lincoln On Government and the Enslaving of the People

lincolnwhitesuit2.jpg"Now I ask you in all soberness, if all these things, if indulged in, if ratified, if confirmed and endorsed, if taught to our children, and repeated to them, do not tend to rub out the sentiment of liberty in the country, and to transform this Government into a government of some other form.

"Those arguments that are made, that the inferior race are to be treated with as much allowance as they are capable of enjoying; that as much is to be done for them as their condition will allow. What are these arguments? They are the arguments that kings have made for enslaving the people in all ages of the world.

"You will find that all the arguments in favor of king-craft were of this class; they always bestrode the necks of the people, not that they wanted to do it, but because the people were better off for being ridden. That is their argument, and this argument of the Judge is the same old serpent that says you work and I eat, you toil and I will enjoy the fruits of it.

"Turn it whatever way you will---whether it come from the mouth of a King, an excuse for enslaving the people of his country, or from the mouth of men of one race as a reason for enslaving the men of another race, it is all the same old serpent." -- Abraham Lincoln. Speech at Chicago, Illinois | July 10, 1858

Posted by gerardvanderleun at August 27, 2013 8:26 AM
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"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.

Now everyone's enslaved for our betterment, of course. The serpent's argument has won.

Posted by: Jewel at August 27, 2013 11:24 AM

Thanks for posting. Every student in high school should read this, every kid. Maybe just about everyone.

Posted by: Arlene at August 27, 2013 3:55 PM