In Omnipotent Government (p. 268) Ludwig von Mises wrote that “the adversaries of the trend toward more government control describe their opposition as a . . . contest of states’ rights versus the central power.” To Mises, centralized governmental power was the greatest threat to liberty. And as Edmund Wilson once noted, no one is more responsible for the birth of the centralized, bureaucratic state that Americans slave under than Abraham Lincoln, the “Great Centralizer.” This course will utilize Austrian economics and Austrian social theory to understand the economic and political legacies of the real Lincoln, the man who waged total war on his own fellow countrymen, killing some 350,000 of them; who shredded the Constitution and essentially declared himself dictator; who suspended Habeas Corpus and imprisoned political opponents by the thousands; who shut down opposition newspapers by the hundreds; who intimidated federal judges and deported an opposition member of Congress; who ignored how most of the rest of the world ended slavery peacefully; who destroyed the voluntary union of the founding fathers that was based on states’ rights and federalism; and whose regime introduced America to income taxation, military conscription, decades of protectionism, corrupt corporate welfare, the internal revenue bureaucracy, and transformed the country from a republic to an empire.
Lectures will be Thursdays at 5:30 p.m. Eastern time.
Week 1: Lincoln, Race, And Slavery
Week 2: Lincoln The Hamiltonian Mercantilist
Week 3: The Lincoln Dictatorship
Week 4: Founding Father Of The American Warfare State
Week 5: The Lincoln Curse: Militarism, Dictatorship, Economic Fascism
All readings will be free and online. A fully hyper-linked syllabus with readings for each weekly topic will be available for registered students.
Grades and Certificates
The final grade will depend on quizzes. Taking the course for a grade is optional. This course is worth 3 credits in Mises Academy. Feel free to ask your school to accept Mises Academy credits. You will receive a digital Certificate of Completion for this course if you take it for a grade, and a Certificate of Participation if you take it on a paid-audit basis.
If you drop the course during its first week (7 calendar days), you will receive a full refund, minus a $25 processing fee. If you drop the course during its second week, you will receive a half refund. No refunds will be granted after the second week.