Attitudes Toward the Civil War ... How Times Have Changed

This new automatic dismissal of everything any white person has experienced or thinks simply because all white people are bred from the exact same cookie cutter life makes me enraged.

It’s impossible to ascertain anything simply by looking at someone’s skin color. When you lump everyone into the same group based on your lame-brained visual evidence guess what that makes you? A racist. And contrary to current popular belief, white people are also victims of racism in the context that they are judged FOR SOMETHING THEY DIDN’T ASK FOR AND CAN’T CHANGE.

I personally think that the Left has a case here, although it’s a very small one.

Namely … being an identifiable racial minority in America (and, probably, anywhere) does mean that you will sometimes have negative experiences that the majority race does not have. And these are not equal to the negative experiences that the majority may have in those situations where the minority race has power.

And … this was much more true in the past … even within my lifetime. Many whites, and probably especially white conservatives, don’t really believe this, probably due largely to the fact that the Left has tried to weaponize this fact for their own ends.

It’s only within the last fifty years that Blacks in the American South have been brought, more or less, within the rule of law. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lynching_in_the_United_States]

It’s actually a profound tribute to liberal democracy – European civilzation – that the USA has been able to make such huge progress on this issue.

The real racial problem in America today is ‘statistical racism’. Our brains cannot help but make statistical generalizations associating negative behavior with the observable features of people exhibiting this behavior. Everyone knows that young people are more violent than old people, Blacks are more violent than whites, men are more violent than women. (I’m talking personal violence here, not starting wars.)

So, if you’re walking down a lonely street at night and hear footsteps behind you, and turn around … you will be relieved if your followers are white, not Black ; female, not male; elderly, not young adults.

And the fact that most Blacks, most males, most young adults are not muggers will make no difference whatsoever.

Even our language works against fairness: we are not obligated to put quantifiers or equivalent qualifying phrases in our sentences: so it’s perfectly grammatical to say, ‘women live longer than men’, (whether it’s true or not), or ‘Blacks commit a majority of murders in the US’.

This can lead to logical fallacies:
Humans are mortal. Socrates is human. Therefore, Socrates is mortal.
Americans live in America. Doug is an American. Therefore …

The black guy that Focus on the Family interviewed in the article below thought that it was indeed very small. He said that of all the problems that the black community in America had to deal with, race was number 32 on the list.

Yes, I agree entirely with this. The problem the Black community has is mainly cultural, and internal. Now … you can argue that this is all the white man’s fault, it’s a legacy of slavery, etc. But we can concede this – or ‘stipulate’ it, as the lawyers say, ie. let it pass without arguing, but without agreeing … and we still come down to the reality that, if the Black community in America could choose between (1) passing every bit of Democratic reparations, civil rights, police-restraint, more welfare, legislation anyone could imagine, or (2) adopting the work ethic of the Asian community … that everyone knows that choice number (2) would be the right one.

The problem is, (1) can, in part, happen by simple voting and (2) can’t.

And here’s a paradox: what element of the Black community HAS adopted, as far as possible, the Asian work ethic? Answer: the Black Muslims.

That’s why ambitious Black parents who are not Muslims, try to get their kids in Black Muslim schools: because there they will learn self-discipline, genuine pride and not self-pity, and the Three R’s, taught in the old-fashioned (ie effective) way.

Conclusion? Conservatives should reconsider their reflexive hostility to ‘anti-American’ nationalists among racial minorities. Yes, it’s best if they join with white patriots to promote ‘civic nationalism’, which transcends race.

But … if they don’t want to do this, we should be sympathetic to their desire to rule themselves. How this can be accomplished at the moment is problematic. But it may not be so in the future.

I work with a couple of black muslims and they are awesome. Hard working, honest.

I believe patriots should not automatically be hostile to patriots of other nations, including self-proclaimed nations within the US.

If a Black person, a Native American, a Hawai’an, a Mexican-American, tells me that they did not choose to be part of this country – that their land was stolen from them by white invaders, or that they were kidnapped from their native land – I am not automatically hostile to them.

I think they’re making a bad choice – that they should choose to be loyal Americans, from their own point of view – but if they don’t, I don’t think they’re traitors, or evil. And I would be happy to consider some arrangement by which they could exercise the right of self-determination, if they want to leave.

For example, I am for cutting Puerto Rico loose immediately. And if the people who support the “Kingdom of Hawaii” and protest that they are not Americans, are numerous enough … then let them have some of their original territory. The same goes for Native Americans, and Black Americans and Mexican Americans.

Lots of practical problems to work out, for sure, such as generous compensation for people living on the newly-independent territory who don’t want to be citizens of the new nations. And military realities would limit with whom the new nations could make alliances: no Chinese bases in North Dakota or Hawaii or the Republik of New Africa on the Mississippi coast or Aztlan on the previous border with Mexico.

Geographic political boundaries are not sacred … they’re accidents of history. And if a people don’t want to be Americans, then we should help them realize their dream.

They were certainly strange times. Black people actually had jobs and worked hard.

There are plenty of Black people who have jobs and work hard now. But then there are others who have fallen out of the American dream – not through ‘white racism’, but through other circumstances.

For one thing, the Black community has been hit hard by the false ideology of the 1960s.

Casual sex and experimenting with drugs was okay – at least not devastating – for middle-class college kids. Go further down the social scale, and it’s disastrous. (And not just for Blacks, as Charles Murray has shown in his book Coming Apart [https://www.amazon.com/Coming-Apart-State-America-1960-2010/dp/030745343X/ ].)

At one point in our history, the majority of Black children were born into two-parent families. Ironically, this is when white racism was far stronger than it is now.

Now, that circumstance is no longer so …only about a fifth of Black children are born into two-parent families. And a one-parent family where the mother (it’s always the mother) is a well-educated person with a good job is totally different to a one-parent family where the mother has only a rudimentary education, is on welfare, and is living in a public housing estate dominated by drug-gangs.

The increasing automation and loss of industrial jobs has also had a devastating impact on the Black community. This has been well documented by the sociologist William Julius Wilson in his book When Work Disappears. [ https://www.amazon.com/When-Work-Disappears-World-Urban/dp/0679724176/ ]

Plus: our inner-city public schools are crap. They don’t have to be. If American conservatives had a real national organization, we would be campaigning to change this situation, because it is not the way it has to be.

Maybe stronger, but clearly still alive and well…

If the conservative wing of this country doesn’t want to be seen as a safe harbor for racists, they simply must be more forceful in calling this kind of thing out. It also doesn’t help the “heritage not hate” people when someone with that flag as their avatar posts stuff like that.

It’s not a job if you didn’t agree to it. People, including blacks, work far harder when you actually pay them.

In 1940s, whites were more likely to be unemployed than blacks.

There are certainly reasons to defend use of the Star & Bars; this sentiment listed here? Not one of them.

Equally, the nature of the Confederacy being anti-humanist can never be denied, thanks to Alexander H. Stephens’s Cornerstone Speech.

They claimed that the Founders were wrong, that equality was false, and that blacks deserved to be held in bondage. The Confederates were morally, and practically wrong on all counts.

The Union was not a kind victor, and it did cruel things or allowed others to perpetrate them, but the Confederates deserved to lose. After reading Stephens words, there can be no doubt.

The problem with the Civil War is the problem with any war, but writ large for our Civil War … namely: people always do things for a mixture of motives.

If they are doing something we want them to do, we pick out their ‘good’ motives (ie the ones approved by everyone) and emphasise those. If they’re doing something we don’t want them to do, it’s the other way around.

Those who have served in the military know that it is not, actually, made up entirely of idealitist, self-sacrificing heroes, all keen to risk their lives for their country. But we must tend towards pretending that they are, rather than acknowledging the less glamorous reality, because, if the rock meets the hard place, that is how we want them to act.

So we applaud – or we should – a group of uniformed soldiers walking through the airport waiting area. We go up to a person in uniform – or we should – and shake their hand, and say, “Thank you for your service.”

We don’t, at that point, wonder, if they are in uniform because they had no other choice. [My best childhood friend fell in with a bad crowd in his teenage years and ended up having a judge allow him to choose between five years in the Marine Corps, or five years in Huntsville State Prison. He chose wisely.

An enlisted man’s cynical expansion of the initials ‘NCO’ [non-commissioned office, ie the sergeants] is, or used to be, ‘No Chance Outside’.

I advise some of the young people I tutor, who are clearly not going to university, to enlist in the military and get a transferable skill (and, although I don’t say this to them, be in a place where the life-ruining temptations available to an 18-year old aren’t quite so available).

But we necessarily tend towards pretending to believe that everyone doing military service is doing so out of a desire to defend the rest of us, giving up their lives if necessary to do so.

The average young German soldier in WWII was not eager to exterminate Jews and conquer the world – he was, in his eyes, defending his country. So also the average young Japanese soldier.

And in the Civil War, the barefoot man with the musket wasn’t fighting for an abstraction called ‘slavery’, or even to defend his own slave property (he had none), but to defend what he saw as his native land – keeping in mind that before the Civil War people said ‘the United States are’, not ‘the United States is’, and the concept of secession was not yet a couldn’t-be-argued issue. (Although it should always be an arguable issue.)

He was no traitor, fighting for a foreign country against his own, but exactly the reverse.

Of course he had to be defeated. But hardly anyone at the time saw the average people of the South as evil white supremacist traitors.

For one thing, the views of the average white person about Blacks, were the same, North or South. [Remember that had they remained loyal to the Union, Lincoln would have allowed to keep slavery.]

That’s why Southern whites were soon running their own affairs again – after swearing an oath of loyalty to the Union – and why the American military was, not too many years after the war, again staffed by many Southerners.

It’s an enormous pity that the Southern slavocracy didn’t see the writing on the wall of world history, and follow their British cousins and allowed themselve to be bought out. They could probably have driven a hard bargain.

I haven’t seen the relevant study, but it’s probably the case that if the Southern Blacks had been given a stake in production, via the sharecroping system, overall output would have risen.

It’s also a pity that the victorious North did not give every Black “40 acres and a mule”, so that they would have had a measure of economic independence. An even more imaginative measure would have been the establishment of an independent Black Republic in part of the South – although this would not have been psychologically easy, having just fought a war around the principle that national boundaries are sacred and that once a country has incorporated some territory, it must never ever let it go.

The “compensate the slave owner” would have never gotten anywhere. Only a few Republicans, like Lincoln, would have supported it. The leading Democrats, Douglas, Breckenridge and Buchanan, would have all opposed it.

I think the reason why it worked in the British Empire was that few British citizens actually owned slaves, and slavery did not exist on the British home land. it was in the colonies were the political influence in Parliament was limited.

Interesting…I didn’t know that. I wonder if the offer had been made seriously … made the subject of a national debate … maybe doing something like was done with rish land reform [its history is complicated, but instructive: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Land_Acts_(Ireland)], In this case – probably politically impossible – give each former slave head-of-household ‘40 acres and a mule’… so they could actually earn something… but that would have probably been too radical.

In hindsight …looking at the French Revolution, the Russian Revolution … you (I) want to grab the stupid rulers by the throat and scream “Wake up, you stupid b********s! The world is changing! Adapt or die!”

From I have read about Lincoln’s slave owner compensation plan, he thought about experimenting with in Delaware, where there were few slaves. The amount batted about was only something like $400 per slave. By the time of the Civil War, a slave in the prime of life was selling for $1,200 or $1,300, which was several times the median annual family income at the time.

The amount of money the southern plantation owners had invested in slaves was enormous. Even if they had agreed to a compensation plan, which is highly doubtful, the cost to the government would have been staggering given the government expenditures are the time. Of course the Civil War cost far more, excluding the 600,000+ war casualties.

This is very interesting information. Here’s another question: all over the world, the idea that slavery was wrong, was growing, as the 19th Century wore on. It was already accepted even in the 18th Century, in much of the US – even among people who owned slaves. But not among the Southern slave-owners, so far as I know. Why? If the slave-owners in the British Empire could see the writing on the wall … why not the slave-owners of Virginia, etc. (But this is an area of history I know little about.) .

Topic refocus. I loathe the liberals who now, suddenly, talk about the Southerners as ‘traitors’, while simultaneously passing resolutions praising the Soviet spy Ethyl Rosenberg. It’s so totally phoney.

I just came across an interesting piece which shows how the Americans who fought each other in the Civil War, regarded each other afterwards: (Note that Bedford Forest was the worst of the Confederates – a founder of the KKK, for example. But he knew how to respond to a gesture by his former enemies.)

From the Galveston Daily News of June 3, 1875:

“In Memphis, last week, a number of Federal officers and soldiers participated at the decoration of Confederate graves. As a result, Generals [Gideon Johnston] Pillow and Forrest addressed a letter through the Memphis papers to surviving Confederate soldiers and veterans of 1812, Florida and Mexico, requesting them to participate in the Federal ceremonies on Sunday last [i.e., on Memorial Day]. From this letter the subjoined is extracted:”

“However much we differed with them while public enemies, and were at war, we must admit that they fought gallantly for the preservation of the government which we fought to destroy, which is now ours, was that of our fathers, and must be that of our children. Though our love for that government was for a while supplanted by the exasperation springing out of a sense of violated rights and the conflict of battle, yet our love for free government, justly administered, has not perished, and must grow strong in the hearts of brave men who have learned to appreciate the noble qualities of the true soldier.”

“Let us all, then, join their comrades who live, in spreading flowers over the graves of these dead Federal soldiers, before the whole American people, as a peace offering to the nation, as a testimonial of our respect for their devotion to duty, and as a tribute from patriots, as we have ever been, to the great Republic, and in honor of the flag against which we fought, and under which they fell, nobly maintaining the honor of that flag. It is our duty to honor the government for which they died, and if called upon, to fight for the flag we could not conquer.”

Both sides were patriots and were devoted to duty. Neither of which applies in the smallest degree to today’s “progressives”.

Today’s “progressives” are not interested in “The United States of America.” They are “citizens of the world” who think they have a vision that will result in making everything better. They don’t believe in countries or national culture. If their vision has been manifested in experiments like “Chop,” the section of streets they took over in Seattle, Washington, it is a dark and muddled system that will ultimately lead to anarchy.

Many of them want to destroy our history and culture and start over. I don’t understand their vision, and I do not believe that many of them know what it is. It has something to do with ending all racism, poverty and “saving the planet.” They have yet to present a cohesive program on how they are going to achieve that. All they do know is that that they are bent on destroying what exists now.

This is the mentality that now rules the Democratic Party. You can’t reason with them or get an compromises from them. It’s their way or “permanent revolution” and civil unrest. Given that mindset dialog is impossible.

This is what they have been taught in the colleges and universities. The same mentality has worked its way into the public school system. At this point I see little we can do about it.

Yep.

Yes…i was struck by the respect shown to RE Lee by US Grant and vice versa…but let me tell you. Whatever the legacy of the North whipping the SOUTH, it is seen today in the disrespect of northern senators and representatives AND PEOPLES toward the South.

ANd if you think i’m gonna forget the path of William Tecumseh Sherman…well. That’s not gonna happen. He took the war to women and children causing the deaths of many women AND CHILDREN by his actions by direct and indirect. What he did, what he was ALLOWED to do to southern women/children was criminal.