Philosophy against Misosophy




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Copied by hand in the Jewish Collection room of the New York Public Library sometime in the early ‘70s from a microfilm reel of The American Hebrew [Brooklyn, NY], March 2, 1928, 590.  The author’s name is given as “Herbert Apotheker (12 years).” 

Winner of second prize in the periodical’s essay contest, this is almost certainly Aptheker's first published piece of writing.  I post it for its historical interest only, not to hold up to ridicule its Lincolnolatry, whose mythology animates the rhetoric of 21st-century presidential candidates.  Aptheker the boy was not wrong when he declared Lincoln a “prophet,” for Aptheker the man was but one of millions who defended hyper-Lincolnesque, i.e., totalitarian, programs to subjugate society to an omnicompetent central state.  See my letter on this matter elsewhere on this site.

Anthony Flood

Unusual Qualities of Lincoln

Herbert Aptheker

Men have called Abraham Lincoln a philanthropist, an intellect, a saviour, and he is that and also more.  Lincoln was the prophet of the nineteenth century.  One chapter of his life, which is history now goes to prove this statement.

While Lincoln was on his barge on the Mississippi and was rowing to shore into New Orleans he noticed a crowd all running toward the market square.  Lincoln, curious, followed.  What he saw held him rooted to the spot.  There on the auction block a Negro woman was being exhibited by her master.  Lincoln turning to his friend said, “John, if I ever get a chance I’ll hit that institution and hit it hard.”

How he became president, and did as he said he would, need not be retold here for I am sure we all know about that, but the fact that he did as he claimed he would makes it only fair to add another praise to his long list and call him the prophet of the nineteenth century.

Posted March 6, 2008