Liberty


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 [sic] 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 [sic] names–liberty and tyranny.”
[Abraham Lincoln, Speech to the Sanitary Commission, April 1864, as quoted in Ronald C. White, Jr., “Lincoln and the Rhetoric of Freedom,” in Harold Holzer and Sara Vaugn Gabbard, eds., Lincoln and Freedom (Carbondale, Ill.: Southern Illinois UP, 2007, 139.)]

What in the language of abolition does not equally apply to the struggle against financial slavery?

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