1865: The Beginning of Universal Servitude in America

With Slavery, Injustice For All


by Steve Scroggins

Most people believe that 1865 marked the ending of slavery in America… and they are wrong.  Yes, chattel slavery ended with the ratification of the 13th Amendment, but political slavery was established in its place and has progressed to include tax slavery for income-earning adults and debt slavery for the yet unborn.

“Honor, justice, and humanity forbid us tamely to surrender that freedom which we received from our gallant ancestors, and which our innocent posterity have a right to receive from us. We cannot endure the infamy and guilt of resigning succeeding generations to that wretchedness which inevitably awaits them if we basely entail hereditary bondage on them.” –Thomas Jefferson

The passage of the ObamaCare health care law was just one more event in a “long train of abuses pursuing invariably the same object”— to effectively repeal the spirit of the 13th Amendment and the founding principle of God-given liberty.

As Senator Rand Paul points out in this video clip, saying that we have a “right” to free health care is, in effect, advocating more slavery.  God gave us the right to Pursue Happiness, not the right to force others to provide material wants.

“…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 to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it…. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security.” –Declaration of Independence, 1776.

The suggestion that I have a “right” to health care paid for by you is absurd to believers in the Founding Principles. But no more absurd, I suppose, than insisting that I have a right to my property or a right to the fruits of my own labor. These old antiquated principles just don’t apply in “modern progressive America.”

Amendment 13 – Slavery Abolished (Ratified 12/6/1865)

1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for a crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

2. Congress shall have the power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
The plain language of the 13th Amendment from 1865 seems to suggest that involuntary servitude shall not exist in the United States, except as punishment for crime. Yet, since the 1930s, the government in D.C. continues to pass laws which in effect say that your property and mine, your labor and mine, can be taken (by force if necessary) and given to other Americans so that collectivist progressives and D.C. politicians can experience the thrill of vicarious charity and spending money that isn’t theirs.

For those people, warm and fuzzy feelings outrank dusty old principles and God-given rights.  When were our liberties really sold down the river?  Lysander Spooner tells us:

Lysander Spooner – Abolitionist

The principle, on which the war was waged by the North, was simply this: that men may rightfully be compelled to submit to, and support, a government that they do not want; and that resistance, on their part, makes them traitors and criminals.

No principle, that is possible to be named, can be more self-evidently false than this; or more self-evidently fatal to all political freedom. Yet it triumphed in the field and is now assumed to be established.

If it is really established, the number of slaves, instead of having been diminished by the war, has been greatly increased; for a man, thus subjected to a government that he does not want, is a slave.

And there is no difference, in principle—but only in degree—between political and chattel slavery. The former, no less than the latter, denies a man’s ownership of himself and the products of his labor; and asserts that other men may own him, and dispose of him and his property, for their uses, and at their pleasure.–Lysander Spooner, from his essay, No Treason, 1867 [bold emphasis added]

Emancipating Slaves, Enslaving Free Men by Jeffrey Rogers HummelThough the 13th Amendment was ratified in December of 1865, abolitionist Lysander Spooner identifies the real result of the war in his 1867 essay entitled “No Treason.”  Rather than reducing the number of slaves, the misnamed “Civil War” resulted in creation of many more slaves in America.

Author H. L. Menken, writing in the 1920s, echoes the same idea when he wrote that men from both sides entered that war as citizens of their respective states and they emerged as subjects of an empire.   Jeffrey Rogers Hummel, echoed the same idea in his brilliant book entitled, Emancipating Slaves, Enslaving Free Men.

Though the war left us effectively as political slaves, it was the (questionable) ratification of the 16th Amendment in 1913 that unleashed the income tax to implement a more draconian means of taxing slavery.  Initially, it was a tax on only the wealthiest two percent (2%) of Americans.  (Sound familiar?  Can you say Mission Creep?)

Millions of American tax slaves now work four to five months of each year to pay their masters (federal, state, and local governments) their due. We surrender more than medieval serfs; we’re more on par with 19th-century slaves.

Tax Freedom Day – taxfoundation.org

Tax Slaves Existing for Government – Paul Craig Roberts, 1/02/01

“The U.S. has constructed a society, the first in modern history, in which native-born productive citizens are the tax slaves of the welfare and immigrant lobbies. The 35 million taxpayers who carry the burden of the income tax have no more claim to their income than did medieval serfs or 19th-century black slaves.” –Paul Craig Roberts, from Compassionate Tyranny, 6/25/02

In addition to economists Hummel and Roberts, Walter E. Williams applies the same analogy in his commentary entitled, “Are Americans Pro-Slavery?”

Economist/Author Walter Williams

On October 1, 1862, the LONDON SPECTATOR correctly assessed the hypocrisy of the Emancipation Proclamation:

“The principle [of the Proclamation] is not that a human being cannot justly own another, but that he cannot own him unless he is loyal to the United States government.”

Likewise, modern progressives hold that the principle of the 13th Amendment is not that involuntary servitude shall not exist, but rather that such servitude shall exist only as the almighty D.C. government sees fit.

The current slave masters don’t claim to actually own the bodies of taxpayers and citizens. But they do claim substantial ownership of their property and incomes (with an option to take more if needed).  As Paul Craig Roberts writes, if you think you’re a “Free” person, just test the premise by not paying your taxes.  You’ll soon learn that you’re not free.

And what’s worse, we’re not only enslaving current income earners, we’re spending money we don’t have (debt) to be repaid by taxpayers in the future.  Babies far into the future will be born slaves with a debt ball chained to their ankles.  It is unconscionable to enjoy spending extravagance today on the backs of the voiceless unborn.  They will rightfully curse our theft of their freedom.

We slaves can continue to rattle our chains and sing spirituals down on the plantation. Or we can take action for real “hope & change” to win back freedom for ourselves and our posterity.  The issue is knowing the best action(s) to take to effect a real and lasting change to the status quo.

We still have the power to evict 435 House members every other November and one-third of the Senate. We, slaves, would have their undivided attention if we totally “cleaned House” at the next election. Without “shock and awe” delivered convincingly over a series of elections, nothing will change until the D.C. slave masters follow the USSR and other utopian tyrants into bankruptcy and anarchy overwhelms all of us.

Forest Hills Cemetery – Boston, MA

The obligations of we slaves would not end with one election. We would have to continually turn over the compost pile in D.C. every two years from now on until the point was driven home with sufficient force.

It will take years of training and perpetual vigilance on our part to ensure that those people in D.C. understand how government should really operate:

We the People are the masters and they are our servants. Whenever the government stops serving the people as a tool for justice and preserving liberty, it’s up to us to change it.  Do we have the will and the nerve?

It won’t be quick or easy.  Even if we could muster the united effort for one beautiful “shock and awe” election, expect the real power-holders to panic like drowning rats and engage in counter-moves.

They’ll pull every item out of their bag of tricks including martial law, delayed elections, and manufactured crises (“national emergencies”).

We know there are not likely enough Americans (voters) with the character and fortitude required to see the perpetual vigilance thing through.  We’ve grown soft and complacent.

Against masters of the divide and conquer the game, we slaves would not likely hang together when it counted and would,  in Ben Franklin’s words, “most assuredly” … “all hang separately”…. or worse, return to our chains in defeat and everlasting infamy.
“The liberties of our country, the freedoms of our civil Constitution are worth defending at all hazards; it is our duty to defend them against all attacks. We have received them as a fair inheritance from our worthy ancestors. They purchased them for us with toil and danger and expense of treasure and blood.

It will bring a mark of everlasting infamy on the present generation, enlightened as it is, if we should suffer them to be wrested from us by violence without a struggle, or to be cheated out of them by the artifices of designing men.” –Samuel Adams, The Boston Gazette, April 14, 1771.

As with the so-called “revolutions,” we see taking place in Egypt, Tunisia, and across the Middle East, there is reason to fear they’ll end with something worse than they had.  If American tax and debt slaves ever rise up against our D.C. masters, we will need leaders with integrity, courage, and resolve… traits not readily visible in ANY politicians of our time (with the exception of Ron Paul).

Imagining that such an uprising could occur, most likely those leaders with a commitment to liberty and our Constitution will come from the ranks of our military veterans— people with a moral sense of duty stronger than their desire for personal comfort, people who have never forgotten or forsaken their oath to Support and Defend the Constitution (and its underlying founding principles) with true faith and allegiance.

Do Americans have the right stuff to win back liberty?  And hold it?
“Though written constitutions may be violated in moments of passion or delusion, yet they furnish a text to which those who are watchful may again rally and recall the people.  They fix, too, for the people the principles of their political creed.”  –Thomas Jefferson to Joseph  Priestley, 1802.

The Old Man Has the Last Word


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Steve Scroggins brings a variety of talents to Veterans Today... management/accounting/MBA background, computer systems analyst, IT management, and as a web administrator for the past ten years. Along the way he has been very active in a variety of American heritage orgs, an historian and prolific writer featured on the Georgia Heritage Council website along with his infamous satirical X-files cartoons. Steve will be a great addition to the in-progress mulitmedia upgrades for VT. He will be working with Jim W. Dean on several major article series to completely expose some of the major myths and myth-makers who have gotten a free pass from so-called mainstream media.