10th June 2012
Abraham Lincoln, the truly great classical liberal
Abraham Lincoln gave liberty a new meaning: beyond the meaning originally intended for it by Thomas Jefferson whose interpretation of John Locke forms the basis of the American Declaration of Independence.
He gave African slaves genuine liberty, and gave America further lessons in the concept of liberty, which was beginning to be forgotten. Today, of course, America under Obama has COMPLETELY forgotten what Lincoln said. America waits the rediscovery of freedom.
In Gettysberg, Lincoln started his speech thus: "Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal."
Below I'm presenting three things:
- first, my sketch of Lincoln (that I made in 1982, being a freestyle copy from the cover of Lincoln biography owned by my father: this sketch was published in Deccan Herald Pune as part of an article that I wrote: Who is a superior person? 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 );
- second, extracts from his speech on liberty; and
- third, an actor who presents this speech.
Extracts from his speech [Source]: From address at a Sanitary Fair, April 18, 1864, Baltimore, MD
The world has never had a good definition of the word liberty, and the American people, just now, are much in want of one. We all declare for liberty; but in using the same word we do not all mean the same thing. With some the word liberty may mean for each man to do as he pleases with himself, and the product of his labor; while with others the same word may mean for some men to do as they please with other men, and the product of other men’s labor. Here are two, not only different, but incompatable things, called by the same name -liberty. And it follows that each of the things is, by the respective parties, called by two different and incompatable names – liberty and tyranny.
The shepherd drives the wolf from the sheep’s throat, for which the sheep thanks the shepherd as a liberator, while the wolf denounces him for the same act as the destroyer of liberty, especially as the sheep was a black one. Plainly the sheep and the wolf are not agreed upon a definition of the word liberty; and precisely the same difference prevails to-day among us human creatures, even in the North, and all professing to love liberty. Hence we behold the processes by which thousands are daily passing from under the yoke of bondage, hailed by some as the advance of liberty, and bewailed by others as the destruction of all liberty. Recently, as it seems, the people of Maryland have been doing something to define liberty; and thanks to them that, in what they have done, the wolf’s dictionary, has been repudiated.
And now the youtube video: