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4 T AYLOR

It answers the following question – how could the United States, a country based consciously on philosopher John Locke’s idea of the “rights of man”, come into existence incorporating the institution of slavery? But it does more than this, it ties this “fatal compromise” to its fatal consequences: a gradual erosion of rights that our country has seen occur over its history. More specifically, because of the slavery issue, the concept of “rights” was split into two supposedly antagonistic ideas: “property rights” versus “human rights”. This led to a number of paradoxes, detailed in the article.

The background of this story, and the way it worked out in our history, is what this article is about, and it is a fascinating lesson indeed.

One of Joan’s great beliefs was that ideas have consequences, serious consequences, which last for centuries. Because of this belief, Joan dedicated enormous energy to the intellectual

articulation of ideas, as clearly as she could, and with no trace of polemics. Although this makes her writing demanding, perhaps the ultimate payoff to her work will be all the greater.

Michael Cook October, 2008

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