In an editorial in the February 11, 1991 issue of The Nation magazine entitled "Lincoln's Lesson," Foner called the breakup of the Soviet Union, which at the time was being wildly cheered by freedom lovers everywhere, as "a crisis" that threatened the "laudable goal" of creating a system that demanded "overarching loyalty to the Soviet Union" while at the same time allowing separate republics to exist. No "leader of a powerful nation," Foner wrote, should allow such a thing as "the dismemberment of the Soviet Union."
He concluded that "The Civil War was a central step in the consolidation of national authority in the United States," which he of course views as a great event. One cannot adopt socialism – in the United States or anywhere else – without a highly centralized, monopolistic government. "The Union, Lincoln passionately believed, was a permanent government . . . and . . . Gorbachev would surely agree."
Well, President Gorbachev didn't agree, and on Christmas Day 1991, the Soviet Union was no more. Power is dangerous, especially when pursued for its own sake. If centralization is a necessary step to creating socialism, then it logically follows that we must decentralize to avoid it.
Virtual buckeye to Rebellion.