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PREFACE.

xi

camp in such quarters. Society will work out erroneous doctrines to their logical consequences, and detect error, only by the experience of mischief. The world will only fall back on domestic slavery when all other social forms have failed and been exhausted. That hour may 1 not be far off.

Mr. H. will not see this work before its publication, and would dissent from many of its details, from the unrestricted latitude of its positions, and from its want of precise definition. The time has not yet arrived, in my opinion, for such precision, nor will it arrive until the present philosophy is seen to be untenable, and we begin to look about us for a loftier and more enlightened substitute.

INTRODUCTION.

In our little work, “Sociology for the South," we said, “We may again appear in the character of writer before the public; but we shall not intrude, and would prefer that others should finish the work which we have begun." That little work has met, every where, we believe, at the South, with a favorable reception. No one has denied its theory of Free Society, nor disputed the facts on which that theory rests. Very many able co-laborers have arisen, and many books and essays are daily appearing, taking higher ground in defence of Slavery; justifying it as a normal and natural institution, instead of excusing or apologizing for it, as an exceptional one. It is now treated as a positive good, not a necessary evil. The success, not the ability of our essay, may have had some influence in eliciting this new mode of defence. We have, for many years, been gradually and cautiously testing public opinion at the South, and have ascertained that it is ready to approve, and much prefers, the highest ground of de We have no peculiar fitness for the work we are engageu in, except the confidence that we address a public predisposed to approve our doctrines, however bold or novel. Heretofore the great difficulty in defending Slavery has arisen from the fear that the public would take offence at assaults on its long-cherished political axioms; which, nevertheless, stood in the way of that defence. It is now evident that those axioms have outlived their day— for no one, either North or South, has complained of our rather ferocious assault on them-much less tempted to reply to or refute our arguments and obje tions. All men begin very clearly to perceive, that state of revolution is politically and sociaily abnormal and exceptional, and that the principles that would justify it are true in the particular, false in the general. "A recurrence to fundamental principles,” by an oppressed people, is treason if it fails; the noblest of heroism if it eventuates in successful revolution. But a "frequent recurrence to fundamental principles" is at war with the continued existence of all government, and is a doctrine fit to be sported only by the Isms of the North and the Red Republicans of Europe.

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With them no principles are considered established and sal nor will ever be. When, in time of revolution, soul is partially disbanded, disintegrated and dissolved, the

doctrine of Human Equality may have a hearing, and may be useful in stimulating rebellion ; but it is practically impossible, and directly conflicts with all government, all separate property, and all social existence. We cite these two examples, as instances, to shew how the wisest and best of men are sure to deduce, as general principles, what is only true as to themselves and their peculiar circumstances. Never were people blessed with such wise and noble Institutions as we; for they combine most that was good in those of Rome and Greece, of Judea, and of Mediæval England. But the mischievous absurdity of our political axioms and prin. ciples quite equals the wisdom and conservatism of our political practices. The ready appreciation by the public of such doctrines as these, encourages us to persevere in writing

The silence of the North is far more encouraging, however, than the approbation of the South, Piqued and taunted for two years, by many Southern Presses of high standing, to deny the proposition that Free Society in Western Europe is a failure, and that it betrays premonitory symptoms of failure, even in America, the North is silent, and thus tacitly admits the change. Challenged to compare and weigh the advan

and disadvantages of our domestic slavery with

slavery of the masses to capital and skill, it is mute, and neither accepts nor declines our challenge.

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