Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist

June 14, 2011

Was the Civil War a mistake?

Filed under: african-american,racism,slavery — louisproyect @ 6:36 pm

Last Thursday a rancid article appeared on Salon.com, written by the magazine’s editor Joan Walsh. Titled “Everything you know about the Civil War is wrong”, it is a fawning review of David Goldfield’s newly published “America Aflame: How the Civil War Created a Nation.” Walsh writes:

On the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War, Americans are engaged in new debates over what it was about. Southern revisionists have long tried to claim it wasn’t about slavery, but rather “Northern aggression” – which is a tough sell since they seceded from the Union despite Lincoln’s attempts at compromise on slavery, and then attacked the federal Fort Sumter in South Carolina. That would be Southern aggression, by any standard.

But there’s still room for smart revisionism. Instead of the traditional view that finds the Civil War a great moral and political triumph, David Goldfield calls it “America’s greatest failure” in his fascinating new book, “America Aflame: How the Civil War Created a Nation.” It killed a half-million Americans and devastated the South for generations, maybe through today. And while many Northern Republicans came to embrace abolishing slavery as one of the war’s goals, Goldfield shows that Southerners are partly right when they say the war’s main thrust was to establish Northern domination, in business and in culture. Most controversially, Goldfield argues passionately — with strong data and argument, but not entirely convincingly — that the Civil War was a mistake. Instead of liberating African Americans, he says, it left them subject to poverty, sharecropping and Jim Crow violence and probably retarded their progress to become free citizens.

Apparently this kind of objectively pro-secessionist revisionism has gladdened the hearts of at least one racist website in the South. The Southern Nationalist Network endorses Walsh’s review, stating “It’s … pleasantly surprising that Salon.com has is running an article by Joan Walsh which reviews David Goldfield’s new book America Aflame: How the Civil War Created a Nation. While Walsh’s article and Goldfield’s book are not Southern-friendly, they do attack many of the myths supporting the Yankee view of American history. For this reason, Walsh’s article should be welcomed and applauded by Southern nationalists.”

(For what it’s worth, the Southern Nationalist Network is militantly opposed to intervention in Libya and condemns Obama as an “imperial” president.)

If I ever had access to big time pundit like Walsh, I’d ask her what she meant by this:

It’s popular to suggest that had Lincoln lived, Reconstruction would have been more successful. But Lincoln’s pattern of compromise throughout his political career makes speculating on what he’d have done very difficult. Goldfield makes clear, though, that Lincoln wanted reconciliation with the South, not Southern humiliation.

Southern humiliation? What the fuck?

This is a dead giveaway that there is a natural affinity between the Southern Nationalist Network and David Goldfield’s scholarship. The idea that the south was being “humiliated” is a canard that belongs to “Birth of the Nation” and “Gone With the Wind”, not a liberal online publication like Salon.com. What exactly did this humiliation amount to? Having former slaves as Congressmen? Putting up with uppity men and women who insisted on their right to forty acres and a mule?

In Goldfield’s version of post-Civil War history, things turned out badly for the Blacks because their emancipators were committed to “free soil and free labor” to use Eric Foner’s formulation:

Republicans were first and foremost the party of small business, an emerging class of industrialists, the nascent middle class, and anti-Catholic nativists. They despised the working class – or denied it existed. Lincoln himself talked of the emerging caste of wage-earners optimistically as “young beginners,” who would work for a time, save money, then buy land and/or their own business. Republicans either couldn’t imagine an America with a permanent class of laborers (like Lincoln), or they dreamed of one, but found ways to convince those workers it was all in their interest. In their defense, in the decades after the Civil War, the Horatio Alger, rags to riches story was never more true.

When reading this, I could not help but think of the revisionism of Eugene Genovese, who started out as a Marxist but ended up as a neo-confederate. For Genovese—like many 60s radicals—the big bourgeoisie was to blame for the nation’s ills (and surely it was.) In developing a counter-narrative of the South, one in which the plantation was far more benign than the northern factory, Genovese eventually became seduced by the pastoralism of the Old South, the same world that the Southern Nationalist Network celebrates.

There is a grain of truth in Goldfield’s analysis. The northern bourgeoisie was reactionary and anti-working class but the failure to follow through on Reconstruction did not flow from their own class interests but from a perceived need to get on with the business of business in the South even if it meant retaining the semi-feudal institutions that the northern victory was intended to remove.

According to a NY Times review of “America Aflame: How the Civil War Created a Nation,” Goldfield prefers what we would call centrists nowadays:

Goldfield’s heroes are those who, in the face of this impasse, sought a solution short of secession — men like Alexander Stephens, a congressman from Georgia, later a reluctant vice president of the Confederacy, who was, in his words, ”utterly opposed to mingling religion with politics,” and Stephen Douglas, a figure ”of selfless patriotism and personal courage” who, recognizing his impending defeat in the election of 1860, campaigned through the South in an effort to save the Union and, after the attack on Fort Sumter, threw his support to Lincoln.

One supposes that Stephen Douglas was a “patriot” and had “personal courage”, for what that’s worth, but he was also a supporter of slavery. In 1854 he backed the Kansas-Nebraska act that would allow settlers in new territories to decide whether they would permit slavery or not. And just three years later he gave his nod to the Dred Scott decision of the Supreme Court that said that slaves were not protected by the Constitution.

More fundamentally, the problem with Goldfield’s book is that it fails to understand that social revolutions tend to be messy affairs and not the sort of thing that follow some conscious plan. The North represented progress in history because it rose to the challenge of wiping out a mode of production in the South that was not only a fetter on future industrial progress but also a violation of fundamental human rights. Because the working class was too weak politically to act in its own independent interests, the northern industrialists were able to betray the broader vision of Reconstruction which would have threatened inequality in the North as well.

There will come a time in when a Third American Revolution will be on the agenda, one in which the working class will be in the driver’s seat. And at just such a time, people like Joan Walsh and David Goldfield will wring their hands over the prospects of a change so sweeping that it might unleash unpredictable results. This much we can be sure of. The longer we persist in maintaining a social system that will destroy the planet either through environmental or thermonuclear cataclysm, the deeper the hole we will be digging for ourselves. In a time of polarization such as we are living through now, there will be voices urging restraint but we should take our cue from those Northern Protestants like John Brown who threw caution to the wind.

70 Comments

  1. SNN is not a “racist” website, although it is quite typical for anyone who disagrees with someone in our society to call them “racist,” especially if they are pro-Southern. We do not promote the concept that one race is superior to another race. In fact, our focus is on culture and nationality, not race. We wish only the best for all peoples of the world and we recognise the natural right of all peoples to self-determination – a right that has been denied to us by the USA.

    But you are right that we do strongly oppose US imperialism, where ever it rears its ugly head – be it in Dixie, Mexico, Libya, Afghanistan, Iraq, etc.

    We also advocate the independence of our people from the awful US Empire. It was forced upon us by killing our ancestors and burning our cities to the ground. One hundred and fifty years after our occupation by the US, we are still not free. But the days of the US Empire are numbered. All empires fall. And this one is quite obviously on the way out – thank goodness!

    Comment by Michael in SC — June 14, 2011 @ 7:35 pm

  2. No doubt Ms. Walsh thinks the Russian and Cuban revolutions were a mistake as well. What a lame brain, but what can one expect from the MSNBC crowd? Good refute, Louis. For those interested in a very good — and relatively short — historical overview of the Civil War, slavery and Radical reconstruction I would suggest the following: Racism, Revolution, Reaction, 1861-1877, written by Pedro Camejo in the mid-nineteen-seventies and published by Pathfinder Press.

    Comment by dave r — June 14, 2011 @ 7:40 pm

  3. Even the popular *Battle Cry of Freedom* by McPherson destroys any rational basis for neo-confederate and southern nationalist politics. The south was so committed to sovereignty for the individual states that it forced northern states to follow the fugitive slave acts – hypocrites. Contra Goldfield, the roots of black suffering today are to be found in the moderation of Lincoln and the short duration of reconstruction. For starters, Every man with an officer’s commission in the confederate army should have been hung treason. Truman Nelson’s biography of John Brown should be required reading for every American. Brown’s only crime was being right too soon.

    Comment by SN — June 14, 2011 @ 8:40 pm

  4. The kneejerk, all-emotion, no-cognition epithet “Racist!” — a favorite of Marxists and left-liberals, and frequently completely untrue — is reaching the end of its useful shelf life. Anyone with internet access can visit the Southern Nationaiist Network and see that it isn’t racist. People seeing for themselves that it isn’t true is part of the reason the accusation is reaching its expiration date. The other reason is because folks who are not racists, but labeled that by people promoting a questionable agenda, are getting to point of just-not-shiving-a-git WHAT they’re mendaciously labeled — particularly when the people doing the labeling embrace a philosophy like Marxism, that killed millions of people in the 20th century and caused/still causes untold human misery.

    In the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson established that people are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, and that governments are instituted to secure those rights. One right he specifically identifies is the right of the people to alter or abolish their government and create another that suits them better. This right both pre-exists and transcends the U.S. Constitution. How grotesque, then, that the only time Americans have attempted to exercise this right, the government that was supposed to secure it for them made brutal war on them instead.

    If the north had a claim of moral superiority over the South because some of its states abolished slavery when it became unprofitable, that moral authority was obliterated by northern industry’s accumulation of wealth processing slave-grown cotton in its textile mills and its maritime interests’ accumulation of wealth shipping slave-grown cotton to Europe.

    It was obliterated by the military invasion of the Southern states, the barbarity with which the Union Army made war and the economic enslavement of the Southern people, black and white, for generations after the war, with purposely created poverty.

    The claim of U.S. moral superiority was obliterated by the U.S. government’s official policy of genocide of the Plains Indians; by herding native Americans onto reservations in conditions worse than slavery; by the internment of Japanese Americans in WWII; by the Tuskegee Syphilis experiments; by the CIA’s torture and murder in Central America; by Abu Ghraib.

    Whatever sins the CSA may have committed, the USA was, and is, no better

    Comment by Connie Chastain — June 14, 2011 @ 9:48 pm

  5. Here we are in the year 2011, two-hundred and twenty years after the Bill of Rights was ratified to the United States constitution, and one-hundred and forty-six years after the defeat of the southern slaveocracy, and people are actually on-line defending a state and government whose economic foundations rested upon human bondage. I’ve seen (and heard) everything now. I can surely die in peace.

    Comment by dave r — June 14, 2011 @ 10:36 pm

  6. Of course, Walsh had it wrong about aggression by the South, the initial act of war was the US government invasion of South Carolina territory.

    South Carolina lawfully seceded from the United States on 20 December, 1860. At that time, Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor was not in use and had no soldiers stationed on it. Further, the US government had agreed in writing to not attempt to move troops out to the fort at all. In the early hours of 26 December, 1860, the US government moved troops onto South Carolina’s Fort Sumter, which was the first act of war. In January 1861, the US government attempted to reinforce the invaders by landing 300 additional troops and munitions by ship, it was turned away by South Carolina’s militia firing cannons from shore. That’s act of war by the US government number two.

    Still South Carolina and later the Confederate Army commander gave the US government nearly three additional months to withdraw the invading troops, which was rebuffed by the US government. When a large invasion fleet appeared off the coast of Charleston to both reinforce the fort AND occupy Charleston, the Confederate Army was forced to fire on its own occupied territory until they surrendered. No one was killed during the shelling. No one was taken prisoner of war even though that would have been lawful.

    Why the southern states seceded is quite simply irrelevant to any discussion of why the US government initiated the bloodiest war it has ever prosecuted, and why it used rape and pillage as methods of warfare, and why, after it’s blood soaked victory, it elected to conduct a twelve year reign of terror benignly called reconstruction against the conquered south.

    Comment by Pat Hines — June 14, 2011 @ 11:30 pm

  7. Yes and Hitler said that the German people were suffering at the hands of Jewish imperialism also. No he wasn’t racist either!

    How did these disgusting racist trolls find out when they’re mentioned so quickly? The confederacy was organized around one thing: chattel slavery and with it genocide against black people. Those who long for the balmy days of Dixie may find their own nostalgia quaint, but don’t be fooled. It’s American Hitlerism and nothing less.

    “The constitution, it is true, secured every essential guarantee to the institution while it should last, and hence no argument can be justly urged against the constitutional guarantees thus secured, because of the common sentiment of the day. Those ideas, however, were fundamentally wrong. They rested upon the assumption of the equality of races. This was an error. It was a sandy foundation, and the government built upon it fell when the ‘storm came and the wind blew.’ Our new government is founded upon exactly the opposite idea; its foundations are laid, its cornerstone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery subordination to the superior race is his natural and normal condition. This, our new government, is the first, in the history of the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth.”
    –Alexander Stephens, Vice President of the Confederate States of America in his Cornerstone Speech, 1861

    Comment by ish — June 15, 2011 @ 12:24 am

  8. I see, a filthy Marxist has pulled out the classic ad hominem by calling southern men by the name of the other murderous socialist pig, Hitler. Both Marxism and National Socialism prove one thing, “the only good socialist is a dead socialist”, be he Marxist or fascist.

    There’s no need to address any of the Marxist tripe.

    Comment by Pat Hines — June 15, 2011 @ 1:49 am

  9. Ish said “The confederacy was organized around one thing: chattel slavery and with it genocide against black people.” No society with chattel slavery would commit genocide against its workforce, neither the USA nor the CSA. Not only that, if the CSA was organised around slavery in 1861, was not the USA in 1776? Apparently, Marxists make poor debaters.

    And as long as you’re quoting CSA VP Stephens, let me quote USA President Abe Lincoln:

    “I will say then that I am not, nor ever have been in favor of bringing about in anyway the social and political equality of the white and black races – that I am not nor ever have been in favor of making voters or jurors of negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor to intermarry with white people; and I will say in addition to this that there is a physical difference between the white and black races which I believe will forever forbid the two races living together on terms of social and political equality. And inasmuch as they cannot so live, while they do remain together there must be the position of superior and inferior, and I as much as any other man am in favor of having the superior position assigned to the white race. I say upon this occasion I do not perceive that because the white man is to have the superior position the negro should be denied everything.”

    Abraham Lincoln
    (1809-1865) 16th US President

    Source:
    Fourth Debate with Stephen A. Douglas at Charleston, Illinois, September 18, 1858
    (The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln edited by Roy P. Basler, Volume III, pp. 145-146.)

    Comment by Michael in SC — June 15, 2011 @ 1:56 am

  10. So ish gives you a direct quote from the V.P. of the CSA stating in no unclear language that the Confederate government was established on the basis of racism, and Pat writes it off as Marxist tripe. You Southern nationalists may not personally be racist, but when you pine for the good ol’ days of Dixie, buttressed by an economic system which relied mostly on the subjugation of an entire race, don’t act shocked when most people respond by calling you a racist.

    Comment by Rob — June 15, 2011 @ 2:06 am

  11. Louis you need to clean these KKK scum off your blog.

    Comment by ish — June 15, 2011 @ 2:06 am

  12. Michael, no one on this board would say that Lincoln was an angel. It’s widely known that he, personally, was a racist. However, in the grand scheme of history, his actions speak louder than his racist words.

    Comment by Rob — June 15, 2011 @ 2:09 am

  13. I only skimmed your diatribe b/c I didnt want my brain cells to melt. Arguing with Marxists is pointless. The statement that stood out for me was ‘militantly opposed to intervention in Libya’. How can you be “militantly” opposed to military action? That makes no sense. But, I shouldnt expect a Marxist to have any respect for the Constitution, the rule of law, or care about human life, b/c when it comes to killing & Marxism “the ends justify the means”. Just like your “heroes” Pol Pot, Mao Ze Dung, V.I. Lenin, and Josef Stalin. All these “great” men for you to be proud of and want to emulate.

    Comment by The Masked Walnut — June 15, 2011 @ 2:13 am

  14. That brings us to the Corwin Amendment, endorsed by Lincoln (in itself unusual, presidents seldom endorse proposed Constitutional Amendments) and passed by both houses of the US Congress.

    This amendment would have made slavery permanent and unAmendable by the US Constitutional process.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corwin_Amendment
    http://www.lib.niu.edu/2006/ih060934.html

    Slavery would have lasted far longer had the seceded states remained in the Union, secession was all about self government, just like the secession from Britain had been 80 years earlier.

    Comment by Pat Hines — June 15, 2011 @ 2:34 am

  15. Rob, Lincoln himself made clear that the war was not about slavery when he said “If I could preserve the union without freeing a single slave, I would do so” Abolishing slavery was nothing more than a war tactic to create slave rebellions in the south to weaken his enemies and to provide a moral foundation for northern abolitionists to support the war effort. The emancipation proclamation explicitly excluded slave holding union states such. If the war was truly about slavery there would be no union slave states.

    Comment by libertarianbiker — June 15, 2011 @ 2:37 am

  16. To Comment 9.

    Ish, who wrote this?

    “The negro of the North is the ideal negro; it is the negro refined by white culture, elevated by white blood, instructed even by white iniquity; — the negro among negroes is a coarse, grinning, flat-footed, thick-skulled creature, ugly as Caliban, lazy as the laziest of brutes, chiefly ambitious to be of no use to any in the world. View him as you will, his stock in trade is small; — he has but the tangible of instincts of all creatures, — love of life, of ease and of offspring. For all else, he must go to school to the white race, and his discipline must be long and laborious. Nassau, and all that we saw of it, suggested to us the unwelcome question whether compulsory labor be not better than none….”

    It certainly mirrors parts of Alex Stephens’ cornerstone speech, only in far more racist and insulting language. So, who wrote ti? Some inbred, scum-sucking-racist hick Confederate?

    Why no, it was written by ABOLITIONIST Julia Ward Howe. She who penned the Battle Hymn of the Republic. What kind of “abolitionist” supports compulsory labor (slavery)?

    She also wrote, “Now we who write, and they for whom we write, are all orthodox upon this mighty question. We have all made our confession of faith in private and public; we all, on suitable occasions, walk up and apply the match to the keg of gunpowder which is to blow up the Union, but which, somehow, at the critical moment, fails to ignite.”

    What kind of “unionist” wanted to “blow up” the union?

    She was one of the most prominent abolitionists of the day, married to Samuel Gridley Howe, who helped to finance John Brown’s terroristic attempt to start a race war in the South. BTW, did you know that John Brown’s raiders murdered a black railroad employ in the Harper’s Ferry Raid? I guess you could call that the breakin’-eggs-to-make-omelets school of abolitionism….

    The war that brutalized the South and kept it in poverty for generations was egged on by a bunch of rich, sadistic hypocrites….

    Comment by Connie Chastain — June 15, 2011 @ 3:33 am

  17. Dave R, from where we sit today, knowing what we know — it sure looks like the Russian and Cuban revolutions were mistakes. Bigtime.

    Comment by Connie Chastain — June 15, 2011 @ 3:35 am

  18. Reply to comment 5.

    Dave R — the economic foundations of the United States rested upon human bondage, so it was a slaveocracy, as well. The existence of slavery in the colonies predated the formation of the union. Slavery was legal and constitutional in the United States for 80 years, including the time when the Bill of Rights was ratified. It did not become illegal in the USA until three years AFTER the Confederacy ceased to exist. By contrast, slavery was legal and constitutional the Confederacy for four years.

    While the union army was making brutal war on white and black civilians in the South, SLAVES were helping to build the U.S. CAPITOL in Washington, D.C.

    The reason it’s being debated online now is because people are finding out they’ve been lied to about the war. They’re finding out that union’s reasons for fighting it weren’t as “noble” as they’ve been told. It wasn’t to “free slaves” but to keep blacks bottled up in the South and out of their states. It worked, and it’s still working. Compare these maps showing the location of the slave population in 1860 with the black population in 2000:

    http://www.sonofthesouth.net/slavery/slave-maps/us-slave-map.htm
    http://www.censusscope.org/us/map_nhblack.html

    People are finding out there’s more in the South’s secession documents that slavery. They’re finding out that the union army was less noble and far more brutal than they’ve been taught; that the federal government violated the Constitution numerous times during the war. They’re finding out that the “noble” United States government set up a brutal military dictatorship in the South, in violation of the Constitution. and purposely kept the region’s people, black and white, in poverty for basically 4 to 5 generations after the war. They’re finding out that some union generals were sadistic in their behavior toward civilians. They’re finding out that Southern POWs were starved and tortured on purpose in yankee prison camp, although for generations, the focus has been only on Andersonville, where prisoners starved because the yankee army destroyed food supplies, farm implements, even crops in the field, killed livestock and threw the carcasses in streams and wells to contaminate drinking civilian drinking water and create deadly disease. Did you know the yanks set up observation stands outside the prison at Elmira, NY, and sold admission to the residents of the townso they could watch Confederate soldiers eating a starvation diet and drink filthy water like some circus carnival side show? That’s noble, iddinit?

    This comment thread illustrates so well why I have no respect for either the yankee or the marxist mentality (the yankee mindset being different from the northern mindset; there were and are a lot of decent northerners). So the yankees come down here under the pretext of “saving the union.” They completely devastate the South with war, in both human and economic terms. They install a military dictatorship. They implement fraudulent governments that spend the state treasuries into deep debt (sometimes for the personal benefit of carpetbagger officials) — so deeply in debt it will take Southerners, already poverty-stricken, literally generations to pay them off.

    As recently as the 1930s, “…average schoolchild in the South had $25 a year spent on his or her education, compared to $141 for children in New York…” because the states treasuries were still recovering from the devastation of war and deliberate carpetbagger fraud and simply didn’t have it to spend on schools — and the yankee mentality ridicules Southerners for being “uneducated.” They created Southern poverty and maintained Southern poverty (see http://freepages.history.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~cescott/freight.html ) and ridicule Southerners for being poor.

    A bully beats somebody up and then ridicules them for bleeding, for having broken bones and a concussion…. That’s the attitude exhibited toward the South down to this day — to this very minute — by brave, internet bullies with a yankee (or sometimes marxist) mentality on discussion groups, forums, comment threads — like this one.

    Calling the CSA a “slaveocracy” doesn’t negate the fact that whatever sins the CSA may have committed, the USA was, and is, no better

    Comment by Connie Chastain — June 15, 2011 @ 3:53 am

  19. It was the South that was the aggressor, their goal was to expand slavery into the new territories not preserve a ‘culture’.

    Comment by purple — June 15, 2011 @ 3:57 am

  20. Libertarian biker, Lincoln excluded the border states from Emancipation out of political necessity. They would have split from the union if he had done so and were on knife’s edge as it was.

    If this is the evidence you bring to the table you truly are a fool.

    Comment by purple — June 15, 2011 @ 3:59 am

  21. Reply to Comment 11 by Ish.

    Yes, Louis, clean your comments. We’re telling Ish a lot of truth he just can’t handle. He’d rather continue to wallow comfortably in the victor-pablum he’s been fed. He’d rather exercise his bigotry and call people KKK just because they know things he doesn’t know — and TYPE THEM in comment threads, for cryin’ out loud.

    Comment by Connie Chastain — June 15, 2011 @ 4:01 am

  22. The mountain folks of West Virgina and the Appalachians felt no interest in preserving Southern ‘culture’. West Virgina was created precisely because they wanted nothing to do with Virgina, a slave state. And the mountain regions of Tenn and NC were long Republican strongholds during the days of the Dixiecrats because of their affinity for Lincoln and their loyalty to the legacy of the civil war era Republican party. Chet Atkins himself often mentioned this at gigs.

    Comment by purple — June 15, 2011 @ 4:04 am

  23. It was obliterated by the military invasion of the Southern states, the barbarity with which the Union Army made war and the economic enslavement of the Southern people, black and white, for generations after the war, with purposely created poverty.

    Yes, because blacks were treated so well after the Union Army left and the Southern aristocracy reasserted itself; the years from about 1880-1960 was a time of unrelenting terrorism against blacks fully backed by the state apparatus of Dixie.

    Those of us whose ancestors actually lived in the South and tried to fight this terrorism understand the horror. Those whose ancestors collaborated or looked the other way obviously don’t.

    Comment by purple — June 15, 2011 @ 4:11 am

  24. Purple, the notion that the south wanted to expand slavery into the territories is ludicrous. Most of “the territories” were not cash-crop-land; they were ranch-cattle land. So you send your herd off across the state to market in the care of a bunch of cowboy/slaves — what’s to stop them from just riding on into the sunset? Also, they’d have to have guns to protect the herd — and a slave with a gun is not a slave.

    There were approximately 10,000 battles in the war, from minor skirmishes to heavy combat, and virtually ALL of them were fought on Southern soil. Southern soldiers were defending from an invader/aggressor, not the other way around. How many northern towns were burned by Confederates? One, Chamberburg, PA? How many Southern towns were destroyed, usually by burning, by the federals? Here’s just a *partial* list, taken from the aggressor’s own Official Records:

    Osceola, Missouri, burned to the ground, September 24, 1861
    Dayton, Missouri, burned, January 1 to 3, 1862
    Columbus, Missouri, burned, reported on January 13, 1862
    Bentonville, Arkansas, partly burned, February 23, 1862
    Winton, North Carolina, burned, reported on February 21, 1862
    Bluffton, South Carolina, burned, reported June 6, 1863
    Bledsoe’s Landing, Arkansas, burned, October 21, 1862
    Hamblin’s, Arkansas, burned, October 21, 1862
    Donaldsonville, Louisiana, partly burned, August 10, 1862

    And then there was the sack and pillage of Athens, Alabama, on June 30, 1862, by Colonel Turchin’s men, who committed rapes and other atrocities on the inhabitants. Turchin was subsequently court-martialed and put out of the military. What happened next? Turchin was rewarded by Lincoln — put back into the military and was promoted to Brigadier General.

    Athens, Alabama, partly burned, August 30, 1862
    Randolph, Tennessee, burned, September 26, 1862
    Elm Grove and Hopefield, Arkansas, burned, October 18, 1862
    Napoleon, Arkansas, partly burned, January 17, 1863
    Mound City, Arkansas, partly burned, January 13, 1863
    Hopefield, Arkansas, burned, February 21, 1863
    Eunice, Arkansas, burned, June 14, 1863
    Gaines Landing, Arkansas, burned, June 15, 1863
    Sibley, Missouri, burned June 28, 1863
    Hernando, Mississippi, partly burned, April 21, 1863
    Austin, Mississippi, burned, May 23, 1863
    Columbus, Tennessee, burned, reported February 10, 1864
    Meridian, Mississippi, destroyed, February 3 to March 6, 1864

    “For 5 days 10,000 men worked hard and with a will…with axes, crowbars, sledges, clawbars, and with fire, and I have no hesitation in pronouncing the work as well done. Meridian, with its depots, store-houses, arsenal, hospitals, offices, hotels, and cantonments no longer exists.” — W.T.Sherman (Hospitals? I wonder what happened to the patients.)

    Washington, North Carolina, sacked and burned, April 20, 1864
    Hallowell’s Landing, Alabama, burned, reported May 14, 1864
    Newtown, Virginia, ordered to be burned, ordered May 30, 1864
    Virginia Military Institute, Lexington, Virginia, burned, June 12, 1864
    Rome, Georgia, partly burned, November 11, 1864
    Atlanta, Georgia, burned, November 15, 1864
    Camden Point, Missouri, burned, July 14, 1864
    Kendal’s Grist-Mill, Arkansas, burned, September 3, 1864
    Shenandoah Valley, devastated, reported October 1, 1864 by sheridan
    Griswoldville, Georgia, burned, November 21, 1864
    Somerville, Alabama, burned, January 17, 1865
    McPhersonville, South Carolina, burned, January 30, 1865
    Barnwell, South Carolina, burned, reported February 9, 1865
    Columbia, South Carolina, burned, reported February 17, 1865
    Winnsborough, South Carolina, pillaged and partly burned, February 21, 1865
    Tuscaloosa, Alabama, burned, April 4, 1865

    And, of course, this list does not include the thousands upon thousands of private homes which were listed as being plundered and burned by the yankees.

    No, purple. The South was NOT the aggressor.

    Comment by Connie Chastain — June 15, 2011 @ 4:14 am

  25. Such dazzling arguments from the pro-slavery vermin: “Quick! Throw mud! Maybe it’ll stick, and people will ignore the shit on our faces!”

    >applaz<

    Comment by Todd — June 15, 2011 @ 4:15 am

  26. Connie I don’t debate with racist KKK scum. I know my facts. Your tenuous grasp of reality reveals the failure of either the educational system in the south , a tragic childhood of homeschooling….or your delusional adherence to the absolute worst of racist white resentment and false victimization; further evidence of how tragic it was that the Civil War was left unfinished.

    Fuck off.

    Comment by ish — June 15, 2011 @ 4:16 am

  27. libertarianbiker (#15)said:

    Abolishing slavery was nothing more than a war tactic to create slave rebellions in the south…

    Not true but even if it WERE true are you opposed to slave rebellions?(!) Unbelievable, especially from someone calling himself “libertarianbiker” so I presume that this person believes himself to be a champion of liberty.

    Do libertarians become Confederate apologists or is it the other way around? This question has been asked before:

    “How is it that we hear the loudest yelps for liberty among the drivers of negroes?” -Samuel Johnson, 1775

    Comment by Brian Gallagher — June 15, 2011 @ 4:19 am

  28. LOL, Ish, nobody’s asking you to debate KKK scum. I note, however, that you don’t debate reasonable and decent Southerners, either.

    I’ve debated circles around you in this thread. I’ve ripped your comments to shreds. If you know your facts, you’re doing a bang-up job of keeping them hidden.

    About the only thing you do really, really well is cowardly namecalling and petulantly childish obscenity-hurling..

    Comment by Connie Chastain — June 15, 2011 @ 4:55 am

  29. Purple, my ancestors actually lived in the South — I’ve found no northerners or yankees in my ancestry — and they neither collaborated nor looked the other way. They were too busy trying to survive.

    Not everyone in the South terrorized blacks; not all blacks were terrorized. Blacks were oppressed, but so were a great many whites. Reconstruction poisoned race relations in the South. They were already poisoned elsewhere by white attempts to keep blacks out of their states. So the primary reason race relations were so bad in the South was because basically that was the only black-white biracial part of the country. If the black population had been evenly spread across the country, incidents of racial conflict and oppression would have been evenly spread as well. I know this because such incidents DID occur in places outside the South (Minnesota, Oklahoma, for example) where there were very small black populations.

    Like it or not, Confederates and Southerners were/are not the evil demons we’re taught they were/are — and yankees were/are not the noble angels.

    Comment by Connie Chastain — June 15, 2011 @ 4:58 am

  30. Brian Gallagher, do you wish there had been a slave rebellion in the South? Do you like the idea of such bloodshed? Would you be delighted if the entire South had turned into Haiti?

    That’s what yankees and aboes wanted — Southern bloodshed, white and black (and the South’s wealth). Rather than oblige and participate in a race war, the South seceded. The union made war and the abolitionists got their Southern bloodshed, after all — AND Southern wealth.

    That’s what the war was all about — killing Southerners and taking their wealth. If you think it was about yankee concern for the black man, or abolitionist concern about slavery, you are badly, badly mistaken.

    Comment by Connie Chastain — June 15, 2011 @ 5:09 am

  31. One’s culture survives historically through its songs of folklore that tell of those peoples lives of that time era in which they lived. The Southern Confederate songs of that era speak of liberty and the defense of their rights against the Tyranny of the North. They never mention Slavery.

    In defense of Southern Heritage, History and Culture I must ask why is it whenever there is debate over what the War for Southern Independence was about you only hear racist talk coming from the opposed Northern Crusaders? What is it with Yanks and the desired necessity to create segregation amongst us?

    And as far as this water filled conception of being “Neo-Confederate” the term can be flushed with the rest of the sewage that explodes from all the “NEO AMERICANS” (Americans that still believe they are the true America) mouths.

    I am a Confederate. Simple as that. The blood flows through my veins as does my love for liberty and State Independence. Just as it did for my ancestors. We love who we are and know what we want.

    Why are United Americans so afraid to know who they truly are and know who’s blood flows in their veins? Why must you hate anything that is not you or agrees with you? It is why you have so many enemies and even less friends.

    Sometimes I feel sorry for y’all but I leave you in Gods, the Goddesses or the Force’s hands or destiny. Whatever you believe in.

    Frankly Uncle Sam, Dixie just don’t give a damn!

    DEO VINDICE! [><]

    Comment by Jim Thomas Wilson III — June 15, 2011 @ 5:09 am

  32. Whew, this post really drew a lot of negative people out of the woodwork. It really surprises me how quickly that so many people who would otherwise have no interest in reading this blog have jumped to defend their sacred cow. I really find it surreal and depressing that after all this time people are still defending the appalling agenda and legacy of the confederacy. One should think that by now everyone would have accepted the sheer bankruptcy of the confederacy and its undeniable basis in slavery. Keep up the good work, Louis, it looks like we have a lot of work to do with this topic.

    Comment by Eddy Ohlms — June 15, 2011 @ 7:47 am

  33. Chastain said:

    “Reconstruction poisoned race relations in the South.”

    Right. Before then, the niggers knew their place: on their knees before their white masters, right?

    That’s pretty clear; I can see how that particular relation got poisoned . . . .

    Comment by Todd — June 15, 2011 @ 11:38 am

  34. I am a little surprised that this thread degenerated into a series of apologias for a social order based on slavery. The issue of morality in history is pretty pointless to debate. There are not 100% noble causes, or 100% immoral ones (the fight against fascism by the Anglo bourgeoisie comes to mind). There are only useful ones and not useful ones. In terms of progress, the South had to be destroyed, simple as that. If it took more brutality than has been previously portrayed, so be it. The chickens coming home to roost, I say. As the great C.L.R. James put it in his monumental work, The Black Jacobins on the slave revolt in Haiti, (I paraphrase), the revenge of the slave never really equals the brutality that the master had inflicted on him previously. For crying out loud, they used to bury uncooperative slaves up to their necks, slather them with honey, and watch a hill of ants devour them alive, all in the atmosphere of a family picnic. Add to this the regime of sexual violence that was a regular part of the slave trade, fathers pimping their own half-black slave daughters, and so on, and you bring up Sherman’s march to the sea? Go cry me a river! Seriously.

    Of course, the one thing missing in these conversations are the slaves themselves. The slaves played an essential part in their own liberation in this country. Read DuBois’s Black Reconstruction in America. The slaves went on a “general strike” during the war, crippling the economy and making the Southern cause unwinnable. That, and the black soilders who went to go fight in the Union army, and the courageous experiments in democracy in the Civil War’s aftermath. The slaves themselves had an active agency in their own freedom, and if they used “Northern bourgeois aggression” to free themselves, then so much the better for Northern capitalism. But yes, the apologists for the slave-ocracy got their revenge with Jim Crow where people were hanged and mutilated for just whistling at a white woman. My in-laws can still tell you all about having to walk two miles to school every morning while the white kids rode the bus. They can tell you about having to go around back to use the faucet that was the “Colored drinking fountain”. They can tell you about people getting beaten within an inch of their life for being “Colored” in the wrong place at the wrong time. But no, the North was the real villain. Yeah, I see.

    Comment by Arturo Vasquez — June 15, 2011 @ 12:06 pm

  35. These white nationalists came here because they have Google alert on their website. The discussion is a waste of time because they obviously have never read Karl Marx. In fact, I was not really interested in what they had to say about Goldfield/Walsh except to point out that their shit drew flies. My suggestion is to ignore them because they are simply too untutored to have an intelligent discussion with.

    Comment by louisproyect — June 15, 2011 @ 12:35 pm

  36. @Todd, wherever slavery existed and was ended without war and reconstruction, you don’t have the kind of race problems that existed in the US after the Civil War and Reconstruction.

    Comment by Connie Chastain — June 15, 2011 @ 1:34 pm

  37. Mr. Vasquez, the mistreatment of blacks was not the only mistreatment that existed, although it is the only thing we are taught to recognize today. Yes, the north was a villain because they behaved with villainy; they didn’t really care about slaves; they just hated white Southerners and wanted their wealth.

    Comment by Connie Chastain — June 15, 2011 @ 1:39 pm

  38. louisproyect, I didn’t come here because of a Google alert. I came because of your gratuitous and mendacious attack on the Southern Nationalist Network. If your aim was to take exception to Walsh and Goldfield, you should have stuck with them. More and more Southerners are reaching their limit with the lies told about them, their culture and history, and when crap is thrown at us, we are likely to pick it up and throw it back. Lesson: if you don’t want it thrown back at you, don’t throw it at us first.

    As far as reading Marx goes, Marxism is as Marxism does, and the theory Marx wrote, when put into practice, turns into something destructive, ugly and tragic.

    Comment by Connie Chastain — June 15, 2011 @ 1:47 pm

  39. I understand that you came here to defend white nationalism. My point is that you only found out about my reference to your white nationalist website because of Google alert.

    Comment by louisproyect — June 15, 2011 @ 1:50 pm

  40. Mr. Ohlms, how does it make you a “negative person” to take exception to lies told about you? You are right about my having no interest in reading this blog under normal circumstances — Marxism has been proven to be unworkable — but mendacious attacks on my region and its history do interest me. Read post 18. It’ll clear up some of the “surreal and depressing” aspects of defense of the Confederacy for you.

    My position is, whatever sins the Confederacy may have committed, the USA was no better, and thus did not have moral authority to lay the South waste and keep its people, black and white, in poverty for five generations. If you don’t think an effort should have been made to find a better way to end slavery (which was not the north’s aim, anyway), I can only conclude that you share the aggressor’s desire for the massive Southern bloodshed.

    Comment by Connie Chastain — June 15, 2011 @ 2:02 pm

  41. I didn’t come here to defend white nationalism (and have not done so) and I didn’t find out about your reference because of a Google alert.

    Comment by Connie Chastain — June 15, 2011 @ 2:26 pm

  42. The only problem with Sherman’s March to the Sea is that he didn’t turn around and march back to the River again, and then to the Sea, and then back again to the River, and burn every plantation down to the ground. What a wimp. “Marching through Georgia” is a great song, though–do you like it too, Connie?

    Not that the North was blameless, particularly in the 1877 Compromise, whereby the Rutherford B. Hayes got some Southern votes in return for rolling back Reconstruction, betraying the black and white Northern and Southern working classes in the process: perhaps the greatest ruling-class victory in American history, and a real game changer.

    And ever since, while solidifying their chokehold on black and white Southern labor, the white Southern ruling class has been whining incessantly about how oppressed and ravaged by war they are. Well a-boo-hoo-hoo, Bubba.

    Comment by Jim Holstun, Reconstructed Rebel — June 15, 2011 @ 3:42 pm

  43. Chastain bleated:

    “wherever slavery existed and was ended without war and reconstruction, you don’t have the kind of race problems that existed in the US after the Civil War and Reconstruction”

    Leaving aside the particular animus former white masters in the CSA held against those who freed their property without recompense (not to mention against said property itself), I beg to differ: wherever slavery existed in the past and now doesn’t, there still exists the racism and Othering that helped to reinforce it. The particular forms that the racism takes are dependent on time and place, but they’re still there.

    And the point still exists: you seek to defend _in toto_ a social system that depended on the buying, selling, and exploitation of human beings for the profit of a tiny minority. Your defense of that system this far past its destruction shows you’re hopelessly deluded, particularly stupid, or just a plain racist; I’m not quite sure of the mix, yet. Simply preferring to not say anything on the subject (here of all places) would show at least an inkling of sense (if not humanity), but you seem to be incapable of even that.

    “the theory Marx wrote”

    You clearly know nothing about, so, if I were you, I’d stop playing your little mud-flinging game: it’s wasted effort here. Go back to your hole and keep trying to convince people that rape isn’t as serious as it’s made out to be:

    http://falserapesociety.blogspot.com/search?q=chastain

    Comment by Todd — June 15, 2011 @ 4:45 pm

  44. My God she’s positively the Ayn Rand of the KKK.

    “Frankly, the reason I write is to honor such men; in fact, to glorify them … particularly Southern men, who are so often unfairly maligned in popular culture. That makes my stories a bit controversial, perhaps … Southern Man, which is about a false sexual harassment accusation against an innocent man, is intentionally anti-feminism. ”

    http://conniechastain.com/bio.html

    Comment by ish — June 15, 2011 @ 5:03 pm

  45. Hm. I’m not sure I’d glorify a jumped-up Harlequin writer by comparing her with Rand . . . .

    Comment by Todd — June 15, 2011 @ 5:13 pm

  46. “For what it’s worth, the Southern Nationalist Network is militantly opposed to intervention in Libya and condemns Obama as an “imperial” president.)”

    Even fools get lucky.

    Comment by Rick Tudor — June 15, 2011 @ 6:12 pm

  47. TIME Magazine (!) had a good article–a cover article, in fact–a few
    months ago, taking on this nonsense. I could find the cover
    online–but not the article, sorry.

    http://www.time.com/time/covers/0,16641,20110418,00.html

    One important point of the TIME article: This “Southern humiliation”
    crap isn’t so much “revisionism” as it is the *mainstream* view of US
    historians through most of the past 150 years.

    Comment by Capitalism or Democracy-Choose one — June 15, 2011 @ 6:43 pm

  48. Todd wrote: “Hm. I’m not sure I’d glorify a jumped-up Harlequin writer by comparing her with Rand . . . .”

    Huh? If “jumped-up Harlequin writer” was in the dictionary, it would show a picture of Ayn Rand.

    Comment by Capitalism or Democracy-Choose one — June 15, 2011 @ 6:45 pm

  49. Rand, at least, wasn’t grinding out genre-fiction pap designed for quick, mass-market sales, which pretty much typifies Harlequin.

    “This ‘Southern humiliation’crap isn’t so much ‘revisionism’ as it is the *mainstream* view of US
    historians through most of the past 150 years.”

    Really? I’m not an American, but overt sympathy for the antebellum South isn’t something I’ve seen demonstrated very much on US media for the past 30-some-odd years.

    Where do you see this?

    Comment by Todd — June 15, 2011 @ 7:01 pm

  50. I would hardly consider it a mendacious attack on the South to say that its economy historically rested on slavery and that the confederacy seceded for that same cause. It seems far more mendacious to suggest that a leadership composed primarily of slave owners chose to secede for some abstract defense of state’s rights or private property than for the very concrete agenda of defending slavery. Of course that reflects a materialist perspective that neo-confederates would no doubt reject for its Marxian underpinnings and so forth.

    For that matter, I can’t help but laugh at the irony of neo-confederates dismissing Marxism as a discredited ideology. Quite honestly, if you are still pulling for the confederacy, you really don’t have much room to talk about discredited ideologies.

    Comment by Eddy Ohlms — June 15, 2011 @ 7:17 pm

  51. The war was fought over the question of slavery, most blacks supported the union forces the north because they knew they weren’t going to get anything if the south won, and though no black involved in the war had any illusions about the benign quality of northern racism, they still saw a northern victory as essential to the needs of the black worker, whatever came of capitalism or empire after the war. To say the north was no better is to ignore the truth that the free black thought it was, and shed blood behind that belief. If “southern nationalists” can’t respect on those terms, than there is nothing more to say, since clearly the autonomy which the “southern nationalist” claims to prize so highly is still not respected when it was defended by the black worker not just in idea, but also in hand to hand combat. If that understanding of autonomy can’t be respected, there really is nothing more to say.

    Comment by Michael Hureaux — June 15, 2011 @ 7:27 pm

  52. Like post WW2 fascists and their apologists who have a preoccupation with Holocaust Denial, so Southern white nationalists are quick to deny that racism and slavery played anything more than an inconsequential part in the South’s succession from the Union. These denials ironically do not have the desired effect of separating their ideologies from the crimes of the past but instead make them more inseparable.

    Comment by Rick Tudor — June 15, 2011 @ 7:30 pm

  53. Funny how Socialists/Marxists always resort to name calling whenever someone voices an opposing opinion. When you call Southern Nationalists racists and associate us with the KKK it’s just a smokescreen. You are trying to paint the core differences between us as moral when it’s really political. The Socialist/Marxist belief system necessitates a powerful, overarching, centrally controlled State that is capable of controlling/regulating everything and redistributing all the peoples’ wealth. Confederates and Southern Nationalists on the other hand recognize the core truth also known by our Founders that power is corrupting and the more power that is centralized at a given point, the greater the potential for corruption and tyranny and the greater the despotism that is likely to result. As such we belief in decentralizing the power of government as much as is practically achievable and in placing the strongest authority at the level(s) closest to the people who are governed. We also acknowledge the natural right of all people to self-determination as Michael mentioned earlier. Government that does not derive its power from the consent of the governed is not legitimate. Socialist/Marxist government is top down, while Confederate/Southern Nationalist government is bottom up. Obviously, the Southern Nationalists view of government is not compatible with the Socialist/Marxist view which does not recognize the right of people to self-government. That is the REAL reason that you hate us, not because we are supposedly racists and you are not or because you are morally superior in any way, but because our political beliefs threaten your goal of global socialist despotism. We are not the aggressors here. We acknowledge your right to your beliefs (no matter how stronger we disagree with them) and don’t resort to petty name calling. Southern Nationalists have even SUPPORTED the secession efforts of socialists in Vermont who would like to create an independent socialist country there. We believe in the age old principle of “live and let live.” But, you people attack and denigrate us at any opportunity. This does not make me angry. I pity you. But I hope any half-way objective individual reading this would give a second thought to the real reason behind your hatred and see that we are not the bogeymen we are made out to be.

    Comment by Brent — June 15, 2011 @ 7:51 pm

  54. Brent that’s a completely imaginary idea of what socialists or Marxists believe.

    Comment by ish — June 15, 2011 @ 8:06 pm

  55. Brent brayed:

    “The Socialist/Marxist belief system necessitates a powerful, overarching, centrally controlled State that is capable of controlling/regulating everything and redistributing all the peoples’ wealth.”

    and

    “the Socialist/Marxist view which does not recognize the right of people to self-government.”

    Yet another ignoramus feels the need to bloviate.

    Seriously: if you haven’t read anything by Marx, Lenin, et al, don’t presume you have a clue about it.

    “Government that does not derive its power from the consent of the governed is not legitimate.”

    Now, if you’ll just define “consent”, “governed”, and “legitimate”, we might be able to get somewhere.

    “We believe in the age old principle of ‘live and let live.'”

    Unless you’re black and not eager and willing to lick Whitey ass for a few crumbs . . . .

    “we are not the bogeymen we are made out to be.”

    To be a credible bogeyman, one has to be a threat. Nobody here takes anachronistic supporters of a dead way of life as a threat to anything. You’re just one more bunch of (passive) racists, a dime a dozen (unfortunately) in the US.

    Comment by Todd — June 15, 2011 @ 8:13 pm

  56. If you don’t know what such basic words as those mean, I suggest you find a dictionary. And so we’re “passive racists” now… Care to define THAT term? And, concerning the earlier comment, I know what Socialism/Marxism is in THEORY vs. what it actually always turns out to be in PRACTICE.

    Comment by Brent — June 15, 2011 @ 8:29 pm

  57. Socialism/Marxism has always failed everywhere it’s ever been tried and never come anywhere close to the theoretical version (which it seriously flawed itself). The problem isn’t that the “right” people have never emerged to operate such a government. The problem is Socialism/Marxism simply does not work and never will.

    Comment by Brent — June 15, 2011 @ 8:34 pm

  58. Brent,

    Hi hope you are well.Communism was immensely successful for the Native Americans who had a society far superior to anything Europeans could ever dream of. It worked before and it will work again when the land is returned to it’s rightful stewards, that Allmighty God has given the land too.

    Love,

    John Kaniecki

    Comment by john kaniecki — June 15, 2011 @ 9:06 pm

  59. Actually, Ish, you know nothing. You’re a flaming collectivist, and in the 21st century, that means you know next to nothing.

    Comment by Pat Hines — June 15, 2011 @ 9:43 pm

  60. Why yes, yes I am a collectivist. Look they got something right!!!!

    Comment by ish — June 15, 2011 @ 9:47 pm

  61. In what sense would you consider the confederate ideology successful anyway? It sparked a bloody civil war that killed over half a million people in defense of the atrocious institution of slavery. Its remnants in the form of white supremacy and vigilante terrorism led to thousands of lynchings and other acts of violence, an entire suite of racist legislation that disenfranchised millions for their race, and continues to cause us trouble today. It has not led to bottom-up democracy or minimized government intrusion into our personal lives, not for the millions who faced severe restrictions on their activities owing to segregation. It certainly has not fostered a live-and-let-live atmosphere, quite the opposite in fact as even the vaguest awareness of the KKK and similar phenomena will attest.

    Comment by Eddy Ohlms — June 15, 2011 @ 9:53 pm

  62. The slaveocracy was collectivist, too. It “collected” vast fortunes through the forced system of slave labor, and to a lesser degree, from the oppression of poor whites as well. Socialists are a different kind of collectivist, flaming or otherwise, because we believe that the fruits of society should be shared by those who labor and who produce the wealth to begin with.

    Comment by dave r — June 15, 2011 @ 10:21 pm

  63. Todd, sorry, you are wrong. You are letting emotion overcome cognition; I don’t seek to defend _in toto_ a social system that depended on the buying, selling, and exploitation of human beings for the profit of a tiny minority. I simply point out that the people who came South and made war, not on the tiny minority, but on the whole region — even the blacks they NOW say the federals came to liberate — were no better themselves. To say that B is no better than A is not saying that A is blameless.

    Julia Ward Howe and Alex Stephens held exactly the same views of blacks — including the necessity of slavery (she “softened” it by calling it compulsory labor).

    BTW, the social system that depended on slavery included the New England textile and maritime industries. Where is your condemnation of them?

    I’ve read enough of Marx to know that the practice and the theory are two vastly different things.

    Check your mirror for the length of your nose because claiming that I try to to convince people that rape isn’t as serious as it’s made out to be demonstrates that you are a baldfaced liar. http://falserapesociety.blogspot.com/2011/05/gender-101-discussion-group-obstinance.html. What is there about “false accusation” that you do not understand? Do you support innocent men being thrown in prison for 30 years on the basis of a false accusation of rape?

    Comment by Connie Chastain — June 15, 2011 @ 10:23 pm

  64. А у вас негров линчуют

    Go away, trolls.

    Comment by Brian Gallagher — June 15, 2011 @ 10:27 pm

  65. Mr. Holstun, your desire for destruction is most unbecoming, but provides a marvelous insight into the Marxist mindset. The Marxist view of the “ruling class” is distorted by hatred and does not produce a reliable view of the past.

    Comment by Connie Chastain — June 15, 2011 @ 10:31 pm

  66. Last post on this for me, which is four more than any of this deserved. The more interesting discussion would have centered around Joan Walsh, but that never happened, unfortunately.

    Chastain wrote: “BTW, the social system that depended on slavery included the New England textile and maritime industries. Where is your condemnation of them?”

    The difference, C.C., is that the worker in the textile plant (oppressed as he/she was) could walk away from the job and not be hunted down by a pack of dogs dogs, beaten half to death, had limbs hacked off, and perhaps even put to death as a result of such an action. Get it?.

    Comment by dave r — June 15, 2011 @ 10:33 pm

  67. Mr. Vasquez, do I really have to point out that the Southern states were and are not Haiti? Must I point out that more blacks are murdered by blacks in a single year in this country than were lynched the entire 86 years that Tuskegee Institute kept the statistics? The thing is, I think they’re both tragic — you apparently think only one is.

    The slaves did participate in the conversation, telling their storys to WPA workers. You ought to read the WPA slave narratives sometimes.

    It isn’t about who is the “real villain.” It’s about the predominating version of history being written by the winners who focus totally on their heroism and hide their villainy, and attempt to pen total blame on people who were no worse than they were.

    Comment by Connie Chastain — June 15, 2011 @ 10:40 pm

  68. Todd, you reveal your childish mentality with term like “bleat” and “bray.” It waters down your whole message. Why don’t you see if you can get your point across without resorting to such juvenile “debate” methods.

    Comment by Connie Chastain — June 15, 2011 @ 10:46 pm

  69. Dave R — pay attention. The subject was not textile mill workers. The point was that the New England textile mills processed SLAVE-GROWN COTTON. New England maritime interests shipped SLAVE-GROWN COTTON to Europe. Get it now?

    Comment by Connie Chastain — June 15, 2011 @ 11:02 pm

  70. […] how Leonardo diCaprio felt about portraying a slaveholder in Django Unchained: Here she is defending the Southern Nationalist Network: Here she is characterizing abolitionists: Here she is on racial conflict and Reconstruction: […]

    Pingback by A Connie Chastain Primer | Crossroads — April 19, 2014 @ 6:53 am


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