Friday, March 21, 2014

On Ending Slavery

Of course slavery was an abominable institution (and certainly far worse than Lincoln considered it) and of course it had to end. But let me ask you a question here. Suppose I told you that we could totally wipe out all of the violence in Darfur or Syria, but that it would cost us $8 trillion and 7 million lives - would you still say, "Yeah, let's do it?" Probably not, huh? Well that's exactly what the Civil War cost this country in the 19th Century (extrapolating from wealth and population) and I continue to be fully convinced (as were a great many northerners; newspaper writers, the majority of the public, a lot of abolitionists even - William Lloyd Garrison amongst them) that it was unnecessary...............................................................................I mean, think about it here. Are the Civil War proponents and Lincoln Worshipers (The Church of Lincoln, Judge Napolitano calls them) really saying that American southerners were so much more virulent than the Brits who colonized and brutalized Asia, Africa, Australia, etc. that they absolutely, positively couldn't have been reasoned with, EVER? I just don't buy it. And, AND, if in fact the South did secede, the Fugitive Slave Act (which Mr. Lincoln fully supported and actually worked to strengthen via his pushing of a resolution in the Crittenden Amendment which would have made any state's nullification of the Fugitive Slave Act totally NULL AND VOID) would have no longer been applicable. Once a slave crossed over into Ohio or Pennsylvania, that would have been it - no more a slave!..............................................................................I don't know, folks, I think what we may have developed here (in addition to a cult of Lincoln) is a sort of time-tied lack of perspective on the matter; the fact that we are just so far removed from an event that caused 700,000 deaths, hundreds of thousands of amputees, the writ of habeas corpus having been flushed down the toilet, tens of thousands of civilians (the largest percentage of which having never once owned a slave) having been raped, tortured, and murdered, and half the country's resources having been obliterated that it's just about as real as a video game now. Holy shit, huh?..............................................................................P.S. And as far the Civil War having gotten rid of slavery, yeah, it ultimately did. But, so, too, would have a solar flare, meteor, volcano - massive enough, and/or a return of the ice-age. I'm just sayin'.

8 comments:

BB-Idaho said...

Intriguing, a "Lincoln Cult":
We may suppose that Lincoln's popularity through the ages was
enhanced by the shock of his assassination, similar to John
Kenney. Placing his deeds and misdeeds in historical context,
historians tend to give him high marks. For Thomas von Mises De
Lorenzo, and economist on some sort of mission to label them
such is a stretch. One ponders that folks through words like
cult at each other:
it just inserts the frivolousness of emotion into an otherwise stodgy, but rational interpretation of available fact.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

Actual historians, those that write the textbooks and teach the classes, have always seen Mr. Lincoln in a very mixed light. It's only the celebrity historians who've recently (starting in the '60s) attempted to glorify the man and whitewash his atrocities.

dmarks said...

Jersey said over on RN:

"Slavery was a serious national and international issue, Finn. I don't know what kick you guys are on here, but it's very unpleasant. Yes, the North went to war to preserve the Union, as was the right thing to do. The South needed to be defeated in war - in a war they started - in order to drag them into the 19th century and beyond. The South was a despicable and stupid structure in pretty much every conceivable way and fortunately there was great man in Lincoln to understand that and bring it to an end.

And I don't need a lightweight lecture on Lincoln. Forced Into Glory, and excellent read, shows just how Lincoln and the rest of the powers that were in his America did what they did regarding slavery and why, and there was not very much genuine care for black people going on."


Adjusting this to remove the context of Finn, etc, I think Jersey said this quite well.

Jersey is not here to read this. However, this is not the "backstabbing" that Shaw and WD engage in: it is a compliment to the man

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

Lincoln makes George W. Bush seem like a civil libertarian; jailing (and torturing) people WITHOUT CHARGES merely for speaking out against the war, establishing a secret police, intercepting telegraphs, suspending the writ of habeas corpus, closing down hundreds of newspapers, confiscating and destroying property, crushing the New York City draft riots, even deporting a Congressman. The fellow was a dictator, BB. I'm sorry but he was.

BB-Idaho said...

“The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in cases of rebellion or invasion the public safety may require it.”—Article I, Section IX of the U.S. Constitution

Rational Nation USA said...

Derve is who he is, slime feeding off others, and prowls sites, picks a post, and spends hours weaving absurd BS. I suppose you can classify him as you did.

As to Shaw backstabbing, I guess I don't see it as there is IMNHO no evidence to support the contention.

She certainly is opinionated. But aren't we all?

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

I'm not sure that that Constitutional proviso extends itself to simply having an opinion, BB. And especially not to simply remaining silent (something that the fascists Lincoln and Seward apparently thought of as tantamount to treason).

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

"spends hours weaving absurd BS" - Nobody cuts to the chase like you do, Les. I love it.