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Tea Party Confederate flag-waving

Tea Party Confederate flags aren’t emblems of small government and freedom. Historically, they’re the opposite. From John Majewski’s book Modernizing a Slave Economy: The Economic Vision of the Confederate Nation:

Although southerners rebelled against growing centralization of the federal government, they had no qualms about establishing a strong national state of their own. Scholars have classified the Confederate central government as a form of “war socialism.” The Confederacy owned key industries, regulated prices and wages, and instituted the most far-reaching draft in North American history. The Confederacy employed some 70,000 civilians in a massive (if poorly coordinated) bureaucracy that included thousands of tax assessors, tax collectors, and conscription agents. The police power of the Confederate state was sometimes staggering. To ride a train, for example, every passenger needed a special government pass…Political scientist Richard Franklin Bensel writes that “a central state as well organized and powerful as the Confederacy did not emerge until the New Deal and subsequent mobilization for World War II.”

[H/T: Marginal Revolution

Tea Party Confederate flag

Tea Party Confederate flag

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