Sunday, July 14, 2013

On the Nut Jobs Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson

Thomas DiLorenzo writes as part of his discussion of revisionisthistorian Thomas Fleming's new book, A Disease in the Public Mind: A New Understanding of Why We Fought the Civil War :
Fleming contends that the real reason for the [civil] war – and for why, of all the nations on earth, only the U.S. associated war with the ending of slavery – was twofold: First, there was the extreme “malevolent envy” of Southerners by the New England “Yankee” political class, who had long believed that they were God’s chosen people and that they should rule America, if not the rest of the world. Second, there were a mere 25 or so very influential New England abolitionists who had abandoned Christianity and even condemned Jesus Christ, while embracing the mentally insane mass murderer John Brown as their “savior.” This is part of the “disease in the public mind” that is the theme of Fleming’s book.

John Brown, who had declared himself to be a communist, had organized terrorist attacks in Kansas which included the murder of entire families who did not own slaves, and the murder of free black men. “Perhaps most appalling,” writes Fleming, “were the murders of James P. Doyle and his two oldest sons, while Doyle’s wife, Mahala, pleaded frantically for their lives . . . . The Doyles were immigrants from Tennessee who . . . had no interest in owning slaves.” Brown claimed that his purpose was “to strike terror into the hearts of the proslavery people.” He planned even larger acts of terrorism at Harpers’ Ferry in 1859 where he was apprehended by U.S. Marines led by Colonel Robert E. Lee, and he was hanged for his crimes.

Fleming discusses in great detail how John Brown came to replace Jesus Christ in the minds of Northern abolitionists, who adopted his mantra that blood must shed in order to eradicate sin. That is, if they were to be saved and sent to Heaven, there must be bloodshed, and the more the better. That is why peaceful emancipation was not achieved in America, writes Fleming: It was not stubborn and evil Southern plantation owners who were the problem, it was the bloodthirsty abolitionists.


  1. “Ralph Waldo Emerson expressed awe and near-worship of John Brown,” writes Fleming. He lavished praise on John Brown’s “religion of violence.” Emerson called Brown “that new saint” who “would make the gallows as glorious as the cross.”

    i do not believe these citations. i googled and found nothing. perhaps they are taken out of context. thoreau maybe but emerson no way

  2. then he goes on to mention anabaptists in the same sentence as jacobins and bolsheviks. anabaptists were and ARE pacifists, for HUNDREDS of years to the present. it is preposterous