[Marxism] The American Counterrevolution • Commune

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Thu Jul 4 10:08:37 MDT 2019

The fireworks of the Fourth of July commemorate a slave republic that 
still deserves to burn.

Forty-one of the fifty-six signers of the Declaration of Independence 
owned slaves. In the rare instances where US history acknowledges this 
fact, slave ownership by the Founding Fathers is presented as hypocrisy, 
an embarrassing inconsistency in the American Revolution’s otherwise 
admirable quest to expand human liberty. But for most of these men, 
slave ownership was not a moral blind spot within an otherwise 
liberatory panorama, but an entirely consistent aspect of their belief 
in an independent, white-supremacist settler state. While the American 
Revolution had a variety of motivations, the preservation of slavery and 
the business of slavery was a key issue in elites’ drive for 
independence. In response to this conservative mutiny, enslaved people 
led a simultaneous and often divergent revolution for emancipation, one 
that leaves us a truer legacy of a fight for freedom than that we 
celebrate on July 4.


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