Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Year

Happy New Year to all. I do resolve to write more here, and, failing that, to discontinue blogging in favor of other pursuits.

I recently finished reading two books relating to the American Civil War. One, America Aflame, is a single-volume history of the period, including the decades before and after. The second, The Guns of the South, is a novel, and a fascinating one despite the contrivance that I won't give away.

On that theme, I've been reading a speech of Lincoln's which is not widely discussed, that of his July 4, 1861 address to Congress. In it he attempts to refute the compact theory of federalism. I also get a much better sense of Lincoln the lawyer. Surprisingly, Barnes & Noble offers Jefferson Davis's The Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government as part of its Library of Essential Reading. This would make for a fascinating rejoinder.

Personally I take the view that if the federal government is indeed derived from 'the people' and not from its constituent states, then how are the states at all legitimate entities, and what reason is there for their continued existence? Contrariwise, if the states are representative of their people, then how are they not legitimate and how can they not act in their interests?

Until next time,