Freeing the slaves. Abraham Lincoln’s afterthought, not as an act of nobility or kindness or decency but as a punitive measure to punish the states in rebellion, or more accurately, to punish the slave owners in the states in rebellion whom he blamed for the sundering of the Union.

But what was the Union? An artificial construct of artificial constructs, all bound by a purported monopoly on the use of force to force its will on conglomerates of individuals, in a sense enslaving them. The nature of all states.

Abraham Lincoln, the father of fratricide and in a real sense, an artist in mass murder, a harbinger of the genocide to come in the first and second world wars although only losers are accused of that crime and thus he’d escaped the historical consequences of his acts. Political heroes tend to do that, especially if they’re fortunate enough to have attained martyrdom through assassination, thus erasing all sins.

History, a collection of fables distorting past realities to create illusions on which the future is to be built explaining the present’s instabilities.

John Wilkes Booth turns in his grave seeking to evade recurring nightmares which drift out of his crypt blighting the hot and damp night air in his perpetual Ides of April. Iulius Caesar, perpetually bound to Brutus in Tartarus looks on, unamused.

© Guillermo Calvo Mahé; Manizales, 2017; all rights reserved. Please feel free to share with appropriate attribution.

Guillermo Calvo Mahé (a sometime poet) is a writer, political commentator and academic currently residing in the Republic of Colombia although he has primarily lived in the United States of America (of which he is a citizen). Until recently he chaired the political science, government and international relations programs at the Universidad Autónoma de Manizales. He has academic degrees in political science (the Citadel), law (St. John’s University), international legal studies (New York University) and translation studies (the University of Florida’s Center for Latin American Studies). He can be contacted at or and much of his writing is available through his blog at

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