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Conservatism and Racism, and Why in America They Are the by Robert C. Smith

By Robert C. Smith

Systematically illustrates the inescapable racism of yank conservatism.

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In chapter 4 of The Liberal Tradition in America, “The Feudal Dream of the South,” Hartz is contemptuous: “When we penetrate beneath the surface of southern thought, we do not find feudalism: we find slavery. The distinction is not unimportant. For it leads us to see at a glance that this massive revival of Burke . . below the Mason-Dixon Line was in large measure a simple fraud, and that instead of symbolizing something new in American life, it symbolized the impending disappearance of something very old.

According to Rousseau a few rich men, knowing they had no legitimate right to their property and wealth and knowing they could not defend themselves against constant attacks of the masses of poor people decided to establish a state. Rousseau describes this development as the “shrewdest scheme to enter the human mind” because the “uncultivated and gullible masses” were persuaded to transfer their natural freedoms to a state that would have the power to oppress them. Rousseau observes that the terms of the contract must have been stated in terms of equality, fairness, and justice for all, which led the poor to believe that the state would secure their safety and liberty.

On this reasoning Calhoun could justify the enslavement of Africans, without engaging, like Fitzhugh, in vulgar racism or berating laissez-faire capitalism. 22 In other words, it was the power of groups rather than the rights of individuals that mattered. And since Africans in America had little power, they had no rights. ”23 However, Calhoun also wished to preserve for some men the Lockean idea that men have a property in their persons and in the fruits of their labor, which government should not violate.

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