Jefferson: Bountiful Barbarity

Jefferson was an abominable human being. That helped make him an irreplaceable Founding Father, and great American president.

Obama got the bright idea to celebrate the Francophile, long time Paris resident, and Franco-inspired Jefferson with Hollande, to celebrate their love and partnership. I want to thank him for giving me the occasion of firing a broadside at another celebrity, mounted on a colossal amount of darkness.

Civilizations are defined by, and articulated around, master ideas, and the celebrities that incarnated them. Jefferson became one of the greatest American presidents, because he was so abominable. Let me explain.

Why The USA Really Got Rid Of The Brits: To Invade Indian Lands

Why The USA Really Got Rid Of The Brits: To Invade Indian Lands

Sorry to break the spell: the USA did not revolt just because of taxation without representation, but because of a frontier with limitations. (Details in past and future essays.)

The president of the USA showed the president of France the neo-classical palace where Jefferson, the third president of the USA, held his slaves. They both admired whatever they were supposed to admire. Ironical.

Jefferson turned into a great enemy of both France and people of African descent. Jefferson’s purchase of gigantic Louisiana (1803) was the result of his massive CIA-NSA like secret support of the black rebellion in Haiti, to weaken France. In spite of his fear that “the blacks are out to murder us”. But, for Jefferson, greed proved stronger than fear.

Jefferson was twice part of the crack diplomatic team in Paris coordinating crucial help from Louis XVI. The French police visited his residence and ordered him to pay his servants a living wage, and to free them, because slavery was unlawful in France. (Slavery had been unlawful for eleven centuries.) Jefferson is the nexus of the American Dark Side, the quintessential horror of winner take all exploitation.

When the time came to go home to fight the war, Jefferson’s slaves wanted to stay in Paris. However Jefferson promised them freedom. He lied. In his lifetime, Jefferson freed just two slaves.

Jefferson, one of the wealthiest plutocrats in Virginia, held more than 200 slaves. When Jefferson, an author of the Declaration of Independence wrote: “He has excited domestic insurrections among us,” he was actually condemning the English King for “inciting American Negroes to rise in arms against their masters.”

While governor of Virginia for years during the Revolution, Jefferson promoted military enlistment by offering white men “a healthy sound Negro…or £60 in gold or silver”. Hey boys, let’s boogie.

The cult of Jefferson is strong in Washington. Jefferson has his own memorial, much more interesting and beautiful than the massive, Nuremberg bunker like Lincoln Memorial. Inside engraved on the walls, soaring writings of Jefferson.

As president, Jefferson massacred Indians and stole their land. That was, of course, horrific. Only an abominable person could do such a thing. Jefferson was that abominable person. He had carefully trained by mistreating his slaves and raping children. (Sally Hemming, who he bedded when she was at most 14, was three quarter Caucasian.)

The Dark Side of Jefferson was strong. A friend of his, an idealistic Polish Count, who had fought in the American War of Independence, left Jefferson, in his will, a considerable amount of money, so that Jefferson could free his own slaves. Jefferson pocketed the money, and did not free his slaves.

Patriotic Americans, most of them more or less descendants of European immigrants to America (yes, even Michelle Obama) are supposed, implicitly, to be grateful to the child rapist, slave master, holocauster Jefferson. How do I know this? Well, that’s what the cult of Jefferson is all about. Or actually the cult of the USA, as the USA owes so much to Jefferson.

Let Jefferson speak in his own words:

our settlements will gradually circumscribe and approach the Indians… it is essential to cultivate their love. As to their fear, we presume that our strength and their weakness is now so visible that they must see we have only to shut our hand to crush them, and that all our liberalities to them proceed from motives of pure humanity only. Should any tribe be foolhardy enough to take up the hatchet at any time, the seizing the whole country of that tribe, and driving them across the Mississippi , as the only condition of peace, would be an example to others, and a furtherance of our final consolidation….this strategy would “get rid of this pest, without giving offence or umbrage to the Indians”.

In cases where Native tribes resisted assimilation, Jefferson believed that they should be forcefully sent west. Jefferson in a letter to no less than Alexander von Humboldt, 1813:

“You know, my friend, the benevolent plan we were pursuing here for the happiness of the aboriginal inhabitants in our vicinities. … On the commencement of our present war, we pressed on them the observance of peace and neutrality, but the interested and unprincipled policy of England has defeated all our labors for the salvation of these unfortunate people. They have seduced the greater part of the tribes within our neighborhood, to take up the hatchet against us, and the cruel massacres they have committed on the women and children of our frontiers taken by surprise, will oblige us now to pursue them to extermination, or drive them to new seats beyond our reach.

Jefferson ordered his Secretary of War, General Henry Dearborn (top government official responsible for Indian affairs): “…we will never lay [the hatchet against any tribe] down until that tribe is exterminated, or driven beyond the Mississippi”

Obama did good to celebrate Jefferson with Hollande in their presidential field trip. Jefferson, ultimately, celebrated the Enlightenment. But the road to light led through darkness.

And what if France and Britain, instead of fighting with each other, had kept control of North America? Well, the place would have got more civilized, much earlier, and Prussian anti-semitic racial fascism, and thus the USSR, would never have arisen. The USA may not have become as strong. But then, there would have been no need…

Last, but not least. Jefferson implemented further what I call the “exploitative mentality“. That’s the mood attending, but not reserved, to foundation of the English North American colony (think of the “Virginia Company and her sisters, properties of bloodied plutocrats, the West Country Men). Some, in their naivety, will smart that this is the past. Not so.

The dominant economist system of thought claims markets ought to decide all.

That system is called “Austrian” (because of Hayek and company). That anachronistic name cover-ups its sinister nature. The exploitative mentality is how the USA was founded. “Markets” loved slavery & Indian holocausts, and thus implemented them. Markets sell everything, even civilization.

Patrice Aymé

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10 Responses to “Jefferson: Bountiful Barbarity”

  1. pshakkottai Says:

    Hi Patrice: I learn from your perspectives. Always interesting the what ifs!


    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Dear Partha: Thank you, that’s the greatest compliment one can make to anyone.

      And I need some compliments. Today a (professional) physics blog posted a comment of mine, and then, after a few hours, removed it, without explanation. It’s bitter=sweet how intellectual and commercial, or corporate communities make tribes, and react nastily to those who do not belong (the most enlightening case being when they use the occasion to steal the ideas they previously censored). I feel somewhat bitter when ideas I advocated long ago (in very well attended seminars) are now the hottest thing in physics… Decades later.

      Wait until they get all excited about my attacks against infinity (and make them theirs).


  2. gmax Says:

    Yes Patrice got another good one here on multiple grounds! Too many questions actually. From distopya to utopia… and now back down into the former…


  3. Dominique Deux Says:

    French historians have argued that American Revolutionary leaders’ ambivalence towards slavery (which their shocked French allies thought better to turn a blind eye to) was due to the dire need to keep Southern Colonies aboard the fledging federal vessel. But there was personal nastiness as well. As you show.

    I find your contention that a joint English-French dominion on the American continent would have throttled the ensuing genocides and ethnocides a bit optimistic, alas. France did enforce a ban on slavery on its territory – but not in its colonies, where its attempts at regulating its excesses while duly bowing to the markets produced the infamous Code Noir – and its settlers were much less adverse to racial mingling than English ones – even though the Church and civilian authorities (same thing) actively frowned on it. But its colonial record is far from spotless. Think Algeria, the Congo, Madagascar. As for England, its relations with Indians were such that to this day, Native Canadians keep a fond collective memory of the French – by contrast. Why don’t you google “Amherst” and “smallpox” for an early view at the Saddam mentality.

    There may be less fractious opportunities to remark on French-American friendship in Washington itsefl, with its French-designed Government buildings and early city layout. But it would have been impolite on Hollande’s part to bring as a gift a model of the French castle the White House was a (downsized) copy of.


    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Dear Dominique: The situation in the Caribbean was complex. Some islands had been ruled autonomously (sometimes by pirates), for generations. The mess in Haiti was pretty telling that way.

      By contrast, the French government kept a very tight grip (all too tight) on Canada. Britain itself would have reigned in the American plutocrats, had it not suffered a tumultuous century and in spite of the fact said plutocrats were basically the English government in 1600.

      So the formation of an independent USA was pretty much an accident in which even the thighs of the Pompadour played a crucial role (as Louis XV’s PM, de facto, she inverted the alliances, leading to the catastrophic Seven Years World War that Britain and Prussia won).

      There is no doubt that, had the British and French governments being in control of North America, slavery would have been outlawed. Actually the British emancipation declaration was another reason why American exploiters flocked to the side of Washington and Jefferson. So of course the Founding Father were not going to outlaw slavery: in that war, they were the PARTY OF SLAVERY. It was a war of independence of slavery from civilization.

      OK, after this last outrage, I shall rest and go meet with president Netherlands, I mean Hollande. I feel better than Treveiler. Of the interest of being more than a crumb…


    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      The Congo problem was mostly the work of the fascist greedy mad monster plutocrat, Leopold, king of the Belgians. I don’t know what happened in Madagascar. My maternal grandmother was born there. It was smooth sailing as far as family tradition had it.

      Algeria was a mess, for many reasons, some having to do with NOT ENOUGH Dark Side, or Dark Side posing as good side (that’s an allusion to all the pseudo-left, truly racist deep down inside). Things would have turned out different if Islam had been in the convention of 1905 with the other three. Also racism against Native Algerians was definitively a problem, especially after they learned to make war on a huge scale (my dad, an Algerian, was in that army). The ultimate solution made the problem worse, and here we are.


  4. Kevin Berger Says:


    • Dominique Deux Says:

      Fascinating link and maps.

      I do not think the Fort Necessity incident (Jumonville) was part of a dark conspiracy (even if it is rumored good ole Franklin was really a paid-up IS agent); Washington displayed enough cluelessness and cowardice to rule that out. But the background info on Indian alliances, treaties and betrayals is frightening enough.


  5. Patrice Ayme Says:

    [Sent to NYT Friedman’s column, April 13, 2014.]

    France supports a roughly equivalent way of life with only one third of the USA’s per capita emissions of CO2. Germany does so with half, and the entire European Union is in between.
    How did Europe get there? That’s what Americans have to ask themselves.
    The first way to reduce CO2 pollution is through a carbon tax, and making energy as expensive as it truly is.


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