The U.S. As Obstacle to Human Progress

[19th century abolitionist William Lloyd] Garrison, like Simon Bolivar or Thomas Paine, was a patriot with cosmopolitan aspirations…he always understood emancipation as a ‘universal’ ideal. That he happened to work in the most obdurate slaveholding country in the Americas did not blind him to the progress of abolition elsewhere….only in the United States would the masters resort to warfare rather than negotiate some form of emancipation.” [Henry Mayer, All On Fire, p. 151.]

More than once in its history, its own self-perception notwithstanding, the U.S. has been an obstacle on the road to the improvement of human society.


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