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TwinSwords 12-10-2011 12:18 PM

Re: Whitewashing The Civil War
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Sulla the Dictator (Post 234154)
They didn't think of themselves as fighting for slavery, they thought of themselves as fighting for Virginia, or Florida, or Georgia. People conceived of these entities in far more significant ways than we do today.

Oh, they absolutely did. They knew exactly what they were doing. And one of their motives was to protect their social rank above blacks. As long as slavery existed, even the non-slave-owning southerner was a member of a kind of mass aristocracy that enjoyed certain benefits and privileges. Furthermore, these poor whites were not at the bottom of the social structure. These were compelling reasons that all southerners, slave owning or not, were determined to continue the institution.

Non-slave owning whites also didn't want blacks, whom they regarded as animals, to have rights, either -- to take real jobs, to own property, to live among them as equals. The thought horrified them, and they were willing to wage the bloodiest war in American history to prevent it.

It's not surprising you're on their side.

TwinSwords 12-10-2011 12:19 PM

Re: Whitewashing The Civil War
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Wonderment (Post 234160)
I agree with you here, and I do view the Civil War as a terrible, needless tragedy.

This is a faith-based belief, and a convenient one for someone who faults the North for ending slavery. The Confederates had just established a new nation founded on slavery -- slavery was the cornerstone of the new republic -- and profits from cotton were at an all time high in the years before the Civil War. Slavery was the single largest and most profitable part of the Southern economy. Between the economic motive, the cultural attachment to the institution, and the need for the white South to have a permanent lower caste that elevated all whites into a kind of "mass aristocracy," there is absolutely no credible basis for the claim that it would have somehow just magically disappeared.

Rather, it would have expanded -- to Cuba, and West, and there's no reason to think it couldn't have survived for decades -- well into the 20th century. Maybe beyond. The argument that slavery would STILL exist, in 2012, is at least as easy to make as your claim that it would have magically vanished without war.


Quote:

Originally Posted by Wonderment (Post 234160)
The South was definitely on the wrong, hideous and genocidal side of it, but that doesn't mean that the North was on the right side. There was no right side

What about World War II? Was neither side right in that conflict, too? Should Hitler have been left alone? Should the extermination of Jews and others been left to proceed without the meddling interference of the Allies? Would the Holocaust have just magically fixed itself had the Allies not intervened?



Quote:

Originally Posted by Wonderment (Post 234160)
... and it's troubling that the only country that needed a million-casualty war (with the usual enormous negative consequences for future generations) to end slavery was the USA.

The fact that it did take such a war should tell you something about the monstrous scale of evil and the utter determination by the South to continue and expand slavery.

TwinSwords 12-10-2011 12:29 PM

Re: Whitewashing The Civil War
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Sulla the Dictator (Post 234154)
No. By all accounts, Robert E. Lee was a decent man who did his best to conduct war in accordance with the understanding of honor in his time.

It's untrue that he was a decent man "by all accounts," though it is true that he has been valorized since his death. But opinion is not unanimous as you suggest.

Robert E. Lee was a traitor who committed treason so he could defend slavery. He wasn't just a murderer; he led whole armies of murderers. And he didn't just lead whole armies of murderers, he led them against his own countrymen. To protect slavery.

A decent man?

The claim tells us all we need to know about you.

TwinSwords 12-10-2011 12:42 PM

Re: Whitewashing The Civil War
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Sulla the Dictator (Post 234142)
Stonewall Jackson, a guy who taught slaves and freedmen how to read in his spare time

This is, of course, a well known factoid about Jackson, but seeing you bring it up here as part of your program to rehabilitate and humanize traitors, murderers, and slavers made me curious to Google it and see what kind of swampy corners of the internet discuss this fact.

And, lo and behold, apropos of other recent discussions, look what I found:

Stonewall Jackson, Champion of Black Literacy

Guess where that gem appears? On the web site of Lew Rockwell.

And who is Lew Rockwell? The editor of the Ron Paul Newsletters, and the person who was ultimately blamed for writing the most vile and racist material found in those newsletters. Of course, Ron Paul is one of those Confederate apologists who says slavery would have magically disappeared and that the North was wrong to have ended it.

TwinSwords 12-10-2011 01:09 PM

Re: Whitewashing The Civil War
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by TwinSwords (Post 234199)

Speaking of Stonewall Jackson, here's something the Confederate once said:

Quote:

If the general government should persist in the measures now threatened, there must be war.

In 2008, Sharron Angle, the Republican candidate for US Senate, said almost the same thing:

Quote:

...if this Congress keeps going the way it is, people are really looking toward those Second Amendment remedies and saying, 'My goodness, what can we do to turn this country around?' I'll tell you the first thing we need to do is take Harry Reid out."
If it's not clear, Angle was threatening violent revolution; she was threatening to murder political opponents she could not legitimately defeat following our Constitutional political process.

And Sulla the Dictator voted for her. He voted for an advocate of treason.

I guess it shouldn't come as a surprise that he's defending and rehabilitating the Confederacy.

graz 12-10-2011 02:10 PM

Re: Whitewashing The Civil War
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by TwinSwords (Post 234199)
This is, of course, a well known factoid about Jackson, but seeing you bring it up here as part of your program to rehabilitate and humanize traitors, murderers, and slavers made me curious to Google it and see what kind of swampy corners of the internet discuss this fact.

And, lo and behold, apropos of other recent discussions, look what I found:

Stonewall Jackson, Champion of Black Literacy

Guess where that gem appears? On the web site of Lew Rockwell.

And who is Lew Rockwell? The editor of the Ron Paul Newsletters, and the person who was ultimately blamed for writing the most vile and racist material found in those newsletters. Of course, Ron Paul is one of those Confederate apologists who says slavery would have magically disappeared and that the North was wrong to have ended it.

Ron Paul is a great and magical thinker. The enslavement of blacks was not racism. It was merely an economic conundrum. Had the North provided enough libertarian/bucks, the issue of enslavement of strapping bucks would have simply faded. And I know this because I selectively choose to apply The great Paul's thinking to my fever dream of past, present and future military conflict. I have to choose to ignore the implications of his deep thought on obviously related matters such as race or economic inequality. Otherwise, no freedom ... no peace ... QED!

TwinSwords 12-10-2011 02:38 PM

Re: Whitewashing The Civil War
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by graz (Post 234202)
Ron Paul is a great and magical thinker. The enslavement of blacks was not racism. It was merely an economic conundrum. Had the North provided enough libertarian/bucks, the issue of enslavement of strapping bucks would have simply faded. And I know this because I selectively choose to apply The great Paul's thinking to my fever dream of past, present and future military conflict. I have to choose to ignore the implications of his deep thought on obviously related matters such as race or economic inequality. Otherwise, no freedom ... no peace ... QED!

It's depressing, isn't it?

BTW, here's another video in which Dr. Paul goes on and on about what a tyrant Lincoln was, and how cruel it was for him to interfere with slavery.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sRx-trdMGtY

stephanie 12-10-2011 03:54 PM

Re: Whitewashing The Civil War
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Wonderment (Post 234160)
I agree with you here, and I do view the Civil War as a terrible, needless tragedy. The South was definitely on the wrong, hideous and genocidal side of it, but that doesn't mean that the North was on the right side. There was no right side, and it's troubling that the only country that needed a million-casualty war (with the usual enormous negative consequences for future generations) to end slavery was the USA.

One of the worst unintended consequences of the Civil War was to reinforce the notion that the USA was an exceptional nation that could wage "righteous" wars for a greater good and glory. That mentality is a factor in our ongoing bellicosity and delusions of grandeur.

I don't completely agree with you, as I think by 1861 the alternative was let the South go and things remain as they were for a longer period of time, and I don't see that as an acceptable alternative. However, your position is both one that I understand, and one that I think is related to the "tragic" take on the war that TNC spoke about and that is an important strain in how we think about the war. It was definitely an important aspect of how the US reacted to the war for years afterwards, as well in how we understand it now.

The kind of take you are articulating here was actually in my mind when reading cragger's post, as he seemed to be referring to "whitewashing the war" as merely limited to the "it's not about slavery" argument, the understandable (if wrong) desire by the South to see the aims of the war from the perspective of the Confederacy as heroic or at least the fighting of it as such. I think there's as much angst in the North about portraying it as heroic, whitewashing it in that way, both because of the destruction involved and because it suggests a much more pure-hearted, we are better than you, position re the South than is really fair, given both the range of attitudes toward slavery and race in the North and, of course, the economic elements.

Wonderment 12-10-2011 04:02 PM

Re: Whitewashing The Civil War
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by TwinSwords (Post 234197)
This is a faith-based belief, and a convenient one for someone who faults the North for ending slavery. The Confederates had just established a new nation founded on slavery -- slavery was the cornerstone of the new republic -- and profits from cotton were at an all time high in the years before the Civil War. Slavery was the single largest and most profitable part of the Southern economy. Between the economic motive, the cultural attachment to the institution, and the need for the white South to have a permanent lower caste that elevated all whites into a kind of "mass aristocracy," there is absolutely no credible basis for the claim that it would have somehow just magically disappeared.

It is no more faith-based than the standard establishment view that the war was just, necessary and the only way to end slavery expeditiously.

Also, it is false that I fault the North for ending slavery. Many of the great abolitionists I admire were from the North. I think the Abolitionists were the great visionaries and moral giants of the period. It's somewhat analogous to the way I view neo-cons today. They are right that democracy would be a big advance for places like Iraq and Afghanistan; they are wrong, however, to wage wars (under false pretenses like the Civil War) to attain the goal.

Quote:

Rather, it would have expanded -- to Cuba, and West, and there's no reason to think it couldn't have survived for decades -- well into the 20th century. Maybe beyond. The argument that slavery would STILL exist, in 2012, is at least as easy to make as your claim that it would have magically vanished without war.
This is just more American self-delusion and grandiosity. If not for us and our noble war, there would still be black slaves in 2012. Sorry, that's ridiculous.

Quote:

What about World War II? Was neither side right in that conflict, too? Should Hitler have been left alone? Should the extermination of Jews and others been left to proceed without the meddling interference of the Allies? Would the Holocaust have just magically fixed itself had the Allies not intervened?

Jews were not spared the Holocaust by "Allies." The Holocaust WAS left to proceed without meddling.

Quote:


The fact that it did take such a war should tell you something about the monstrous scale of evil and the utter determination by the South to continue and expand slavery.
I think WWII was a huge avoidable mega-catastrophe too. I don't want to get off on a tangent to discuss that, but there's lots of literature available on how Nazis and other Fascists could and should have been stopped without violence.

No one is disputing how evil slavery was, or how evil it was to leave the ex-slaves to fend for themselves in the post Civil War racist South, or how evil it was to make political alliances with Segregationists and Jim Crow that lasted till the 1960s, to the immense and everlasting shame of the Democratic Party.

I'm only suggesting that there were peaceful alternatives to the Civil War (and to European anti-Semitism). Of course, no one can "prove" such alternate histories. But you can't have it both ways: you can't present your theory of a just war as fact, while trashing my theory of an unjust war as "faith-based."

Wonderment 12-10-2011 04:36 PM

Re: Whitewashing The Civil War
 
Quote:

The kind of take you are articulating here was actually in my mind when reading cragger's post, as he seemed to be referring to "whitewashing the war" as merely limited to the "it's not about slavery" argument, the understandable (if wrong) desire by the South to see the aims of the war from the perspective of the Confederacy as heroic or at least the fighting of it as such. I think there's as much angst in the North about portraying it as heroic, whitewashing it in that way, both because of the destruction involved and because it suggests a much more pure-hearted, we are better than you, position re the South than is really fair, given both the range of attitudes toward slavery and race in the North and, of course, the economic elements.
Right. Slavery was extirpated from the West by peace-loving abolitionists, by moral and religious philosophers, and by (civil)l disobedience and activism among the slave population and freed slaves elsewhere. Not by some noble, over-glorified, self-righteous war.

That's why this thread has bothered me: the standard underlying assumption that the Good Guys (albeit with mixed motives, albeit without giving enough credit to African Americans) triumphed through violence over the Bad Guys, and that no matter how horrific the consequences we can forever sing the Battle Hymn of the Republic:

Quote:

In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea,
With a glory in His bosom that transfigures you and me:
As He died to make men holy, let us die to make men free,
While God is marching on.

stephanie 12-10-2011 05:09 PM

Re: Whitewashing The Civil War
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Wonderment (Post 234219)
That's why this thread has bothered me: the standard underlying assumption that the Good Guys (albeit with mixed motives, albeit without giving enough credit to African Americans) triumphed through violence over the Bad Guys, and that no matter how horrific the consequences we can forever sing the Battle Hymn of the Republic:

I don't actually think that's a standard assumption, although I think it's one strain.

This thread has bothered me because what was a thought-provoking article by TNC isn't being discussed. It was derailed by Sulla's ridiculous "not as bad as the Nazis" argument, that has nothing to do with anything, including cragger's post, IMO. I understand why those responding to some of the points feel it necessary to do so, but I don't really think US response to the Civil War lends itself to an easily breaking up into two sides. It's complicated, and TNC raised some of the complications.

Wonderment 12-10-2011 06:58 PM

Re: Whitewashing The Civil War
 
Quote:

I understand why those responding to some of the points feel it necessary to do so, but I don't really think US response to the Civil War lends itself to an easily breaking up into two sides. It's complicated, and TNC raised some of the complications.
Agree that it's complicated. I just hate to see violence (of course slavery was inherently violent) taken for granted as a solution to conflict.

I'm most interested in how the Civil War shaped future conflicts and US self-perception going forward, particularly our interventionism in WWI, WWII, Latin America, Vietnam and ultimately the neo-Con wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. A case, I think, could be made that the neo-Cons are natural cultural heirs to the violent, self-righteous North of the Civil War.

As an aside (unrelated to the South and the Civil War) I don't see anything inherently wrong with secession. For example, if there were a path to Vermont seceding from the USA or joining Canada, I think it would be an attractive idea. There is nothing sacred about The Union. The USA broken up into several republics might have been a good thing, especially for those of us who think the USA's overall impact on the world may have been a net negative.

graz 12-10-2011 07:10 PM

Re: Whitewashing The Civil War
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Wonderment (Post 234231)
Agree that it's complicated. I just hate to see violence (of course slavery was inherently violent) taken for granted as a solution to conflict.

And yet you cosigned with Sulla (who tried to minimize slavery) just to try to alter the tone you suspected might be gaining in the thread.

Quote:

I'm most interested in how the Civil War shaped future conflicts and US self-perception going forward, particularly our interventionism in WWI, WWII, Latin America, Vietnam and ultimately the neo-Con wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. A case, I think, could be made that the neo-Cons are natural cultural heirs to the violent, self-righteous North of the Civil War.
Your theory is Gingrichian in its insouciance and Tofflerian in its historical span.

Quote:

As an aside (unrelated to the South and the Civil War) I don't see anything inherently wrong with secession. For example, if there were a path to Vermont seceding from the USA or joining Canada, I think it would be an attractive idea. There is nothing sacred about The Union. The USA broken up into several republics might have been a good thing, especially for those of us who think the USA's overall impact on the world may have been a net negative.
The last is sure gonna get you some converts at the next tea party rally.

stephanie 12-10-2011 07:19 PM

Re: Whitewashing The Civil War
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Wonderment (Post 234231)
I'm most interested in how the Civil War shaped future conflicts and US self-perception going forward, particularly our interventionism in WWI, WWII, Latin America, Vietnam and ultimately the neo-Con wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

I think that's an interesting topic. For a long time, one could have argued that the most prominent effects were contrary to neo-con aims. I'm thinking of the argument in The Metaphysical Club, for example, that pragmaticism, skepticism about grand aims was the main takeaway from the war for many, as people who had joined for idealistic reasons were disillusioned by the reality.

It seems consistent with the argument (or common wisdom, anyway) that the pre WW1 assumptions were that the war would be analogous to the Franco Prussian War, that they failed to consider the American Civil War as a possibility.

I do think that "tragic" takeaway maybe lost its effect, as we've moved farther in time from the war. I was thinking about how my grandparents grew up knowing relatives who had fought in it, which of course isn't going to be true today. Maybe now it's more of an example of "clearly justified war" (like WW2) in our national rhetoric than national tragedy. I don't think so, actually, but I could see such an argument.

Quote:

A case, I think, could be made that the neo-Cons are natural cultural heirs to the violent, self-righteous North of the Civil War.
Yeah, I really, really don't agree with you here, although I suppose the neo cons would like that comparison. I suppose one's take on secession would be part of this, although not the whole thing.

Sulla the Dictator 12-10-2011 07:50 PM

Re: Whitewashing The Civil War
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Wonderment (Post 234231)

As an aside (unrelated to the South and the Civil War) I don't see anything inherently wrong with secession. For example, if there were a path to Vermont seceding from the USA or joining Canada, I think it would be an attractive idea. There is nothing sacred about The Union. The USA broken up into several republics might have been a good thing, especially for those of us who think the USA's overall impact on the world may have been a net negative.


Two replies by liberals to this post so far, and neither one expresses any degree of shock or disapproval at how extreme this comment is.

This will disappear down the memory hole. Just like all that secession talk during the Bush administration was forgotten.

Wonderment 12-10-2011 08:10 PM

Re: Whitewashing The Civil War
 
Quote:

I think that's an interesting topic.
Here's an article on "How Lincoln Could have Prevented the Civil War" and how that might have affected our future.

I don't agree (or know enough about the minutiae) with the entire argument, but at a minimum I believe Beck makes a good argument that challenges the conventional wisdom of US history books and what's been expressed upthread in defense of the North.

Disclaimer: The author is a close personal friend of mine.

miceelf 12-10-2011 08:42 PM

Re: Whitewashing The Civil War
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Wonderment (Post 234231)
A case, I think, could be made that the neo-Cons are natural cultural heirs to the violent, self-righteous North of the Civil War.

The difference is that neo-cons are more self-righteous than their opponents and more willing to use violence to further their ends.

The North was no more violent or self-righteous than the South. They just happen to have won.

Don Zeko 12-10-2011 08:48 PM

Re: Whitewashing The Civil War
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Wonderment (Post 234241)
Here's an article on "How Lincoln Could have Prevented the Civil War" and how that might have affected our future.

I don't agree (or know enough about the minutiae) with the entire argument, but at a minimum I believe Beck makes a good argument that challenges the conventional wisdom of US history books and what's been expressed upthread in defense of the North.

Disclaimer: The author is a close personal friend of mine.

This article, and your previous posts in this thread, demonstrate the intellectual hazards of being a radical single-issue advocate. If I didn't know you and your approach to other issues, I would expect the author of this kind of thing to be one of the fine folks at Steve Sailer's site. The extent to which this article goes out of the way to blame Lincoln for the conflict, despite the fact that most of the Confederacy had seceded before he took office, notwithstanding the fact that he had never even suggested a policy any more radical than stopping the further expansion of slavery, is pretty shameful. I'm also pretty gobsmacked by the notion that not allowing any minority to secede whenever they get outvoted through a normal, legitimate democratic process is inconsistent with democratic values; if anything I think that allowing this makes a hash of democratic governance. As with your arguments about World War II, you're taking your pacifism to some extremely nutty places here, Wonderment.

Don Zeko 12-10-2011 08:49 PM

Re: Whitewashing The Civil War
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Wonderment (Post 234231)
I'm most interested in how the Civil War shaped future conflicts and US self-perception going forward, particularly our interventionism in WWI, WWII, Latin America, Vietnam and ultimately the neo-Con wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

What exactly is your evidence for a causal relationship here? Doesn't the historiographical tradition that Coates criticizes in his article cut against your thesis? Wouldn't the Mexican War, with its quick and mostly bloodless success, do far more to legitimate war in the national consciousness than the Civil War? Doesn't the fact that the country engaged in fairly shameless wars of conquest against Mexico and the Indians put the lie to your notion that the bloodshed of the Civil War changed the national character going forward? Man Wonderment, if you keep this up you might have me sounded like Graz or Twinswords when I talk to you. You're smarter than this.

Wonderment 12-10-2011 09:13 PM

Re: Whitewashing The Civil War
 
Quote:

What exactly is your evidence for a causal relationship here? Doesn't the historiographical tradition that Coates criticizes in his article cut against your thesis? Wouldn't the Mexican War, with its quick and mostly bloodless success, do far more to legitimate war in the national consciousness than the Civil War? Doesn't the fact that the country engaged in fairly shameless wars of conquest against Mexico and the Indians put the lie to your notion that the bloodshed of the Civil War changed the national character going forward? Man Wonderment, if you keep this up you might have me sounded like Graz or Twinswords when I talk to you. You're smarter than this.
Well, I certainly didn't grow up being brainwashed that the Mexican War or the genocide of American Indians was our greatest moment, but I did grow up being indoctrinated into believing the Civil War and WWII were glorious triumphs that proved the greatness of our national character.

I'm not saying the Civil War explains everything (or anything really). I'm just proposing that we look at the entire history of violence in this country (and everywhere else) with a critical and skeptical eye.

Since Lincoln is the paradigmatic Great American Hero, Martyr, President, Intellectual and Humanitarian Icon of both parties, whose face is on our currency (penny and $5-dollar bill) and stamps, and whose name graces scores of towns and hundreds of schools across the nation, we might wonder to what extent our warist leaders today model themselves on his thought and actions. Did George W. Bush want the Patriot Act powers because Lincoln had suspended Habeas Corpus? Of course not. But is there some transmission of spiritual and intellectual values from Lincoln to Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Reagan, Bush and Obama? Yes. It behooves us to understand it. The fewer preconceptions (and misconceptions) we bring to the table, the better.

Sulla the Dictator 12-10-2011 09:21 PM

Re: Whitewashing The Civil War
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by TwinSwords (Post 234199)
This is, of course, a well known factoid about Jackson, but seeing you bring it up here as part of your program to rehabilitate and humanize traitors, murderers, and slavers made me curious to Google it and see what kind of swampy corners of the internet discuss this fact.

And, lo and behold, apropos of other recent discussions, look what I found:

Stonewall Jackson, Champion of Black Literacy

Guess where that gem appears? On the web site of Lew Rockwell.

I don't understand what your point is supposed to be. Are you actually suggesting that Lew Rockwell is the source for this well known, and established fact? This is another case of embarrassing, unintentional admission from you. Just like how you were unfamiliar with the historical view of Persia vs. Greece as an example of civilization struggle, rather than a comic book movie.

Quote:

And who is Lew Rockwell?
Who cares? It's not the topic of this thread.

Sulla the Dictator 12-10-2011 09:24 PM

Re: Whitewashing The Civil War
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by TwinSwords (Post 234200)
Speaking of Stonewall Jackson, here's something the Confederate once said:




In 2008, Sharron Angle, the Republican candidate for US Senate, said almost the same thing:



If it's not clear, Angle was threatening violent revolution; she was threatening to murder political opponents she could not legitimately defeat following our Constitutional political process.

And Sulla the Dictator voted for her. He voted for an advocate of treason.

I guess it shouldn't come as a surprise that he's defending and rehabilitating the Confederacy.

I stand by this statement:

Let's put it this way, I would have voted for Caligula's horse over Harry Reid. It illustrates my contempt for your High Priest, not my love for Sharron Angle, who was a ridiculous character.

Wonderment 12-10-2011 09:27 PM

Re: Whitewashing The Civil War
 
Quote:

The extent to which this article goes out of the way to blame Lincoln for the conflict, despite the fact that most of the Confederacy had seceded before he took office, notwithstanding the fact that he had never even suggested a policy any more radical than stopping the further expansion of slavery, is pretty shameful.
Beyond the scolding, the Steve Sailer stink bomb and calling me "nutty," do you have anything of substance to object to in the article? I am not a specialist (by any stretch of the imaginations) on the Civil War, so if there are factual errors I'd be interested in learning them.

Quote:

I'm also pretty gobsmacked by the notion that not allowing any minority to secede whenever they get outvoted through a normal, legitimate democratic process is inconsistent with democratic values; if anything I think that allowing this makes a hash of democratic governance.
Maybe. I don't really have a strong opinion about secession one way or the other. If my moral objections to the union were strong enough, I'd be open to it, however. For example, let's say slavery had only been abolished in Massachusetts, Connecticut and New York, while all the other states practiced slavery and enforced the Fugitive Slaves Act. I think a good case could have been made for MaConnNY secession.

Sulla the Dictator 12-10-2011 09:27 PM

Re: Whitewashing The Civil War
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by TwinSwords (Post 234198)
It's untrue that he was a decent man "by all accounts," though it is true that he has been valorized since his death. But opinion is not unanimous as you suggest.

It is true that by all serious accounts, Lee was a decent man.

Quote:

Robert E. Lee was a traitor who committed treason so he could defend slavery. He wasn't just a murderer; he led whole armies of murderers. And he didn't just lead whole armies of murderers, he led them against his own countrymen. To protect slavery.
"A murderer who led whole armies of murderers"....

Ugh. How disgusting. Did you just finish some Bolshevik's second year American history class?

Don Zeko 12-10-2011 10:01 PM

Re: Whitewashing The Civil War
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Wonderment (Post 234248)
Beyond the scolding, the Steve Sailer stink bomb and calling me "nutty," do you have anything of substance to object to in the article? I am not a specialist (by any stretch of the imaginations) on the Civil War, so if there are factual errors I'd be interested in learning them.

The errors aren't factual; they're all ones of interpretation and emphasis. The article recounts in exhaustive detail Lincoln's restrictions on civil liberties and the various ways in which invading Union armies destroyed Southern property and whatnot. I don't disagree that any of that happened, but it's some pretty weak tea when it comes to lists of wartime misdeeds, and represented far greater necessity in a far better cause than today's neoconservative arguments that you want it to evoke. And of course if the author wasn't just trying to throw as much dirt as possible on the union cause, then it might have taken the time to note the injustices committed by the Confederate army that emphasize the unjust nature of their revolt and the degree to which a successful revolt would have created a society founded upon chattel slavery and white supremacy. Then there's plainly bizarre interpretations of events, like the article's description of Lincoln's approach to the Fort Sumpter crisis:

Quote:

Lincoln was careful to avoid beginning the war with an attack. However, he managed to instigate an attack on Fort Sumter by refusing to negotiate with South Carolina or to withdraw Federal forces from there. He informed the government of South Carolina that he was sending in supplies to his besieged men with the warning that he would retaliate against an attack. President Jefferson Davis and his cabinet authorized the attack by the forces of South Carolina that began the fighting. Lincoln had provoked it by insisting on keeping control over Federal forts in their territory. He took the position that a minority who lost an election should not be allowed to withdraw from the nation, and he jumped to the erroneous conclusion that to do so would destroy democracy. Yet from the other point of view, he was denying democracy to the seceding states. If he had recognized their right to be independent states, surely both nations could have co-existed as republics. I do not believe that we should be blind to these democratic rights, as he was, simply because we believe that slavery is wrong or because we have a desire that the Union should be perpetual. Clearly the main motive for the South’s withdrawal from the Union was a bad one, but that does not mean that they did not have sovereign rights as states.
So to review, Lincoln's refusal to give up his war aims unilaterally, which he did without any violence, is still considered an aggressive act because it prompted the South to attack the fort. What kind of a pacifist is writing this?

But what underlies those errors is the rampant wishful thinking about what an independent Confederate States of America would have looked like:

Quote:

Clearly the historical trend in this era was toward emancipation and the abolition of slavery. The proportion of slaves in the population had been declining for three decades in Delaware, Maryland, Kentucky, Missouri, and most of Virginia. The American Civil War, which Lincoln called the War of the Rebellion and others called the War Between the States, cost $6.6 billion and was borne about equally by both sides. The greatest cost of the Civil War was the death of 625,000 people—one-third in combat and two-thirds by disease. In the South one out of four males between the ages of twenty and forty perished in the war. Hundreds of thousands were also wounded, and tens of thousands were crippled. Nearly forty percent of the American economy was destroyed directly by the war. From the monetary costs alone all the slaves could have been freed by compensating their former owners while providing each of the former slaves with forty acres.
So I suppose that it's true that compensated emancipation would have been cheaper than the actual cost of the war. So what? The South's secession was caused by far less than an offer of compensated emancipation. Why should we consider this an even slightly realistic outcome? How on earth would any anti-slavery President have convinced the north to pay to free slaves without the radicalizing effects of the war?

Quote:

If there had been no war, the northern abolitionists could have found ways to help the slaves in the South, and most likely the Fugitive Slave Law would not have been enforced. If all the slave states seceded, then slaves could have run away to the northern states. One could argue that this might also have led to a war. Yet the North could simply defend its borders. It seems to me that in this situation it would have been much less likely that either side would have significantly invaded the other’s territory. The northerners might have used economic pressures to urge the southerners to emancipate their slaves. Eventually the southern states would have learned what all other countries had found out—that free labor is more productive and more socially desirable than slavery.
You know what Keynes said about the long run. When do you think an independent CSA, with no anti-slavery North voting, no economy save the slave economy, and with slavery and white supremacy enshrined in its constitution, would have gotten around to emancipation? 1925? 1950? How many wars would it have fought in the Caribbean and Central America to expand the institution first? Even after emancipation, surely you don't believe that black citizens of the CSA would have voting rights by now, do you? The fact is that your only non-violent solution to the civil war is to let the South go, and to let the South go means the dissolution of the United States and the perpetuation of slavery.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Wonderment (Post 234248)
Maybe. I don't really have a strong opinion about secession one way or the other. If my moral objections to the union were strong enough, I'd be open to it, however. For example, let's say slavery had only been abolished in Massachusetts, Connecticut and New York, while all the other states practiced slavery and enforced the Fugitive Slaves Act. I think a good case could have been made for MaConnNY secession.

I think I covered this adequately in my prior post. Recognizing a right to secede makes democratic decision-making impossible, since it means that any minority can take its marbles and go home if they don't like the outcome. And in this situation, where the minority in question is wrong and wants to take a victimized population of slaves with them, it becomes particularly absurd. There's nothing tyrannical, which is the word this article used, about preventing a minority from breaking up a polity purely in order to enslave and disenfranchise others.

Sulla the Dictator 12-10-2011 10:35 PM

Re: Whitewashing The Civil War
 
Quote:

When do you think an independent CSA, with no anti-slavery North voting, no economy save the slave economy, and with slavery and white supremacy enshrined in its constitution, would have gotten around to emancipation? 1925? 1950? How many wars would it have fought in the Caribbean and Central America to expand the institution first? Even after emancipation, surely you don't believe that black citizens of the CSA would have voting rights by now, do you? The fact is that your only non-violent solution to the civil war is to let the South go, and to let the South go means the dissolution of the United States and the perpetuation of slavery.
Why do you think that the Confederacy would be the unique nation in human history that would have slavery into the 20th century? So the Confederacy would retain slaves while the Ottomans, the Brazilians, the Chinese, and the Afghans all abolished it? Really?

What a barbarous, evil place.

AemJeff 12-10-2011 11:07 PM

Re: Whitewashing The Civil War
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Sulla the Dictator (Post 234252)
Why do you think that the Confederacy would be the unique nation in human history that would have slavery into the 20th century? So the Confederacy would retain slaves while the Ottomans, the Brazilians, the Chinese, and the Afghans all abolished it? Really?

What a barbarous, evil place.

What's unique, from the perspective of many of the people commenting here, is that the Confederacy is a part of our specific history. Regardless of anything that have been true elsewhere, slavery in this country is something for which anybody who loves this nation ought to feel some share of the moral burden imposed by it. The belief that institutional slavery is especially troubling when it was practiced by your countrymen doesn't diminish the enormity of it as a general proposition. It seems right and proper to be especially outraged by its practice by Americans.

Sulla the Dictator 12-10-2011 11:33 PM

Re: Whitewashing The Civil War
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by AemJeff (Post 234253)
What's unique, from the perspective of many of the people commenting here, is that the Confederacy is a part of our specific history. Regardless of anything that have been true elsewhere, slavery in this country is something for which anybody who loves this nation ought to feel some share of the moral burden imposed by it. The belief that institutional slavery is especially troubling when it was practiced by your countrymen doesn't diminish the enormity of it as a general proposition. It seems right and proper to be especially outraged by its practice by Americans.

None of this speaks to the idea that slavery would have persisted until the 1950s. You guys are putting the cart before the horse on the issue. Slavery wasn't some gratuitous exercise of racism. It was a gratuitous abuse of labor. That is to say, people have rarely gone through the trouble of gaining slaves simply to enjoy the experience of power. There is a reason they're there. Industrialism simply makes the economics of slavery senseless. The unique condition in the United States which made slaves an economic asset was the value, and harvesting techniques of cotton. Since Britain dealt a severe blow to the value of cotton by expanding its planting, slavery in America wasn't going to last much longer than it actually did. You can see the difference between the decline of slavery in tobacco states and cotton states.

As to a moral burden, that weight was carried by the 360,000 Union soldiers who died extirpating slavery from the nation. Their blood is sufficient as a sacrifice for atonement to their contemporary black American brothers.

As to any leftist who feels otherwise, I advise them to take it to a discussion group about the Balkans. There they will find a great deal of company in their wailing about distant historical grievances, replete with demands for modern reparation. Sometimes in blood.

AemJeff 12-10-2011 11:43 PM

Re: Whitewashing The Civil War
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Sulla the Dictator (Post 234254)
None of this speaks to the idea that slavery would have persisted until the 1950s. You guys are putting the cart before the horse on the issue. Slavery wasn't some gratuitous exercise of racism. It was a gratuitous abuse of labor. That is to say, people have rarely gone through the trouble of gaining slaves simply to enjoy the experience of power. There is a reason they're there. Industrialism simply makes the economics of slavery senseless. The unique condition in the United States which made slaves an economic asset was the value, and harvesting techniques of cotton. Since Britain dealt a severe blow to the value of cotton by expanding its planting, slavery in America wasn't going to last much longer than it actually did. You can see the difference between the decline of slavery in tobacco states and cotton states.

As to a moral burden, that weight was carried by the 360,000 Union soldiers who died extirpating slavery from the nation. Their blood is sufficient as a sacrifice for atonement to their contemporary black American brothers.

As to any leftist who feels otherwise, I advise them to take it to a discussion group about the Balkans. There they will find a great deal of company in their wailing about distant historical grievances, replete with demands for modern reparation. Sometimes in blood.

None of which speaks to my point, summarized in the last sentence of that post. Slavery in this country certainly was certainly an exercise of racism. it was also an intensifier of racist attitudes and it certainly had an extremely disproportionate negative effect on the lives of many millions of people of African descent, something which carries over into the present day. So much for slavery as a "distant historical grievance."

Sulla the Dictator 12-10-2011 11:50 PM

Re: Whitewashing The Civil War
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by AemJeff (Post 234256)
None of which speaks to my point, summarized in the last sentence of that post. Slavery in this country certainly was certainly an exercise of racism.

Obviously. The point is that racism wasn't the point of slavery. People didn't own slaves in order to be racist. They owned slaves for economic reasons. Once the economic reasons are gone, the purpose of slaves are gone.

Quote:

it was also an intensifier of racist attitudes and it certainly had an extremely disproportionate negative effect on the lives of many millions of people of African descent, something which carries over into the present day.
Its also a fact of life. Considering the fact that we live in a country with a black President and a black Attorney General and black First Lady and dozens of black men in Congress, I think that the negative effects have been as ameliorated as they're going to get. To insist on the continued self-flagellation of people is simply a political tool at this point, and serves no ethical purpose.

Quote:

So much for slavery as a "distant historical grievance."
That's what it is. Life isn't a fairy tale. No one has to apologize for its difficulty, either.

AemJeff 12-11-2011 12:06 AM

Re: Whitewashing The Civil War
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Sulla the Dictator (Post 234258)
Obviously. The point is that racism wasn't the point of slavery. People didn't own slaves in order to be racist. They owned slaves for economic reasons. Once the economic reasons are gone, the purpose of slaves are gone.



Its also a fact of life. Considering the fact that we live in a country with a black President and a black Attorney General and black First Lady and dozens of black men in Congress, I think that the negative effects have been as ameliorated as they're going to get. To insist on the continued self-flagellation of people is simply a political tool at this point, and serves no ethical purpose.



That's what it is. Life isn't a fairy tale. No one has to apologize for its difficulty, either.

That's all trivially wrong. The lives of black Americans are, in aggregate, much worse by almost any measure than those of any other large group of people who have been here as long. When blacks have comparable health, education, employees, employment, achievement, etc... statististics as whites, when they have proportional representation in the legislatures and judiciary, then we can begin thinking about the assertion that things are as "ameliorated" as they're going to get.

Sulla the Dictator 12-11-2011 01:36 AM

Re: Whitewashing The Civil War
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by AemJeff (Post 234260)
That's all trivially wrong. The lives of black Americans are, in aggregate, much worse by almost any measure than those of any other large group of people who have been here as long. When blacks have comparable health, education, employees, employment, achievement, etc... statististics as whites, when they have proportional representation in the legislatures and judiciary, then we can begin thinking about the assertion that things are as "ameliorated" as they're going to get.

No, this is wrong. Jim Crow may have delayed the process unfairly for black Americans, but after its repeal, the natural progress of assimilation will eventually lead black Americans into equal position in every meaningful sense. Just like it has done for every immigrant group over time.

Your mention of "black...comparable representation in the legislature" is particularly wrong. What is that supposed to mean? Why should it matter how "black" a government body is, when the issue of politics is disagreement over policy and principle? And how is this supposed to work, exactly? Is Steven Cohen "stealing" a black man's seat because his district is black?

And where is the problem, exactly? Blacks are proportionally represented on the Supreme Court, they're proportionally represented in the US House of Representatives. That they're not proportionately represented in the Senate is the fault of the Democratic Party, and no one else.

Don Zeko 12-11-2011 01:39 AM

Re: Whitewashing The Civil War
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Sulla the Dictator (Post 234274)
That they're not proportionately represented in the Senate is the fault of the Democratic Party, and no one else.

I have a certain morbid curiosity on this point. Why is this the Democrats' fault?

AemJeff 12-11-2011 01:52 AM

Re: Whitewashing The Civil War
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Sulla the Dictator (Post 234274)
No, this is wrong. Jim Crow may have delayed the process unfairly for black Americans, but after its repeal, the natural progress of assimilation will eventually lead black Americans into equal position in every meaningful sense. Just like it has done for every immigrant group over time.

Your mention of "black...comparable representation in the legislature" is particularly wrong. What is that supposed to mean? Why should it matter how "black" a government body is, when the issue of politics is disagreement over policy and principle? And how is this supposed to work, exactly? Is Steven Cohen "stealing" a black man's seat because his district is black?

And where is the problem, exactly? Blacks are proportionally represented on the Supreme Court, they're proportionally represented in the US House of Representatives. That they're not proportionately represented in the Senate is the fault of the Democratic Party, and no one else.

"Will eventually." For your next trick shall we pass you a sealed envelope with an audience member's question printed inside? Blacks are a special class of immigrant and have been here much longer than most.

You cherry-picked a couple of convenient outliers and tried to build a rebuttal, completely ignoring the quality of life statistics I brought up.The Supreme court is not "the judiciary." The House is elected from carefully gerrymandered districts. Senators are elected by statewide electorates who are mostly white. I'll ignore your gratuitous slam on the Democrats, mostly.

Sulla the Dictator 12-11-2011 02:39 AM

Re: Whitewashing The Civil War
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Don Zeko (Post 234275)
I have a certain morbid curiosity on this point. Why is this the Democrats' fault?

Democrats who seek to create safe seats for black "proportionality" create legacy districts. Black Democrats elected to these heavily Democratic districts are far to the left of the statewide electorate (The most liberal states seem to have a lack of diversity). So the easiest mechanism for black political advancement has the dual function of creating a ceiling for black advancement.

Also, combine the racialist districting with the powers of incumbency and you create the worst of both worlds. You invite corruption among politicians who see themselves, and who their constituents are told by the Democratic party, as paladins of their "race". In defense of their nepotism or corruption, the first weapons these incumbents often use is the "racist" club. This poisons the well of politics.

Legislatures are the farm team for executive office, usually. By seeking to maximize their voting bloc, and to ensure its liberal orientation, Democrats sacrifice the viability of "black" representation in statewide office. Conservatives have shown a perfect willingness to support Conservative black candidates in the past. And since leftists consider Conservatives to be the locus of all racism (And evil) in the world, one would assume that this means moderate independents would be willing to do so substantially more often, for candidates even of the center left. But due to Democratic politics, it is difficult for them to field black candidates who are plausibly centrist.

Sulla the Dictator 12-11-2011 02:54 AM

Re: Whitewashing The Civil War
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by AemJeff (Post 234277)
"Will eventually." For your next trick shall we pass you a sealed envelope with an audience member's question printed inside? Blacks are a special class of immigrant and have been here much longer than most.

Their time here is immaterial. The impediments to the natural assimilation process were removed with Jim Crow. Now the orderly transition of social acceptance can begin. If leftists stop using these people as pawns in political games.

Quote:

You cherry-picked a couple of convenient outliers and tried to build a rebuttal, completely ignoring the quality of life statistics I brought up.
To endure hardship is a mark of character. It is the nature of the immigrant experience. Black Americans are now free of the statist barriers placed before them, and now can compete as all out groups have done before.

Quote:

The Supreme court is not "the judiciary."
It is the most important one. If we require racial quota systems in order to make sure the Las Vegas municipal traffic court is "properly diverse" in order to fight racism, then I would posit that there is no such thing as significant, operational racism. And I would find the exercise tedious and probably part of an effort to obscure more important matters....such as the systematic failure of the leftist political experiment.

Quote:

The House is elected from carefully gerrymandered districts.
Racialist districts, right? Is the racialist gerrymandering of districts what you have in mind for all facets of American political power?

Quote:

Senators are elected by statewide electorates who are mostly white.
What I would like to do now is measure the extent of cognitive dissonance here. There are what, 18 reliably blue states in the American electorate? That is 36 Senators. Where are the 4 black Senators? Does their absence suggest that the most liberal part of America is racist?

Or might there perhaps be a rational explanation that isn't as "sexy" a story as secret racist conspiracies?

AemJeff 12-11-2011 08:48 AM

Re: Whitewashing The Civil War
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Sulla the Dictator (Post 234281)
Their time here is immaterial. The impediments to the natural assimilation process were removed with Jim Crow. Now the orderly transition of social acceptance can begin. If leftists stop using these people as pawns in political games.



To endure hardship is a mark of character. It is the nature of the immigrant experience. Black Americans are now free of the statist barriers placed before them, and now can compete as all out groups have done before.



It is the most important one. If we require racial quota systems in order to make sure the Las Vegas municipal traffic court is "properly diverse" in order to fight racism, then I would posit that there is no such thing as significant, operational racism. And I would find the exercise tedious and probably part of an effort to obscure more important matters....such as the systematic failure of the leftist political experiment.



Racialist districts, right? Is the racialist gerrymandering of districts what you have in mind for all facets of American political power?



What I would like to do now is measure the extent of cognitive dissonance here. There are what, 18 reliably blue states in the American electorate? That is 36 Senators. Where are the 4 black Senators? Does their absence suggest that the most liberal part of America is racist?

Or might there perhaps be a rational explanation that isn't as "sexy" a story as secret racist conspiracies?

The only person who has spoken of conspiracies or quota systems here is you. Gerrymandering is a practice of incumbents in both major parties and is used to partisan advantage by both. My assertion had nothing to do with anything you've proposed here. What I did say was that slavery (in America) had a component of racism, it exacerbated racism, and that there is clear evidence of the effect of racism in the lives of contemporary black people.

TwinSwords 12-11-2011 08:48 AM

Re: Whitewashing The Civil War
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Sulla the Dictator (Post 234246)
I don't understand what your point is supposed to be. Are you actually suggesting that Lew Rockwell is the source for this well known, and established fact?

Uhh ... no. I just thought it was interesting to see Lew Rockwell's name surface again so soon after the very recent discussion of the racist Ron Paul newsletters. Rockwell edited (and, by some accounts, authored) those newsletters. That he is also hosting this article valorizing and rehabilitating Stonewall Jackson as a "champion of black literacy" on his web site further confirms what kind of racist trash he is.



Quote:

Originally Posted by Sulla the Dictator (Post 234246)
This is another case of embarrassing, unintentional admission from you. Just like how you were unfamiliar with the historical view of Persia vs. Greece as an example of civilization struggle, rather than a comic book movie.

LOL. Nice try. You know perfectly well that what was happening in that discussion was people were openly mocking your simplistic ideas as being about as sophisticated as Frank Miller's 300.

TwinSwords 12-11-2011 08:55 AM

Re: Whitewashing The Civil War
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Sulla the Dictator (Post 234249)
It is true that by all serious accounts, Lee was a decent man.

"A murderer who led whole armies of murderers"....

Ugh. How disgusting.

He oversaw the torture of his slaves. He led armies into the north that captured free blacks and took them south in bondage, to become slaves. He was a traitor who waged war against your country and killed your countrymen, men who were loyal to the United States and died in droves defending this nation from Lee.

TwinSwords 12-11-2011 09:02 AM

Re: Whitewashing The Civil War
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Sanderson Beck
Clearly the historical trend in this era was toward emancipation and the abolition of slavery.

This is a gross error. The historical trend in this era was towards the creation of a new Republic -- the Confederate States of America -- which was expressly founded on the principle of black subjugation. The CSA explicitly established the legality of slavery in its Constitution.

And this makes no sense at all:

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sanderson Beck
The proportion of slaves in the population had been declining for three decades in Delaware, Maryland, Kentucky, Missouri, and most of Virginia.

Four of those five states remained in the Union: Delaware, Maryland, Kentucky, and Missouri. Only Virginia seceded from the union and joined the Confederacy.


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