More thread for those who wish to discuss Ron Paul

Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness. — Martin Luther King Jr.

Since we’re now approaching 300 comments on the previous Ron Paul-related post, it may be good to get some fresh, front-page thread for those who would like to continue that discussion.

I’ll turn to Tim Wise to push the conversation forward a bit: “Of Broken Clocks, Presidential Candidates, and the Confusion of Certain White Liberals.”

If a man believes there is a straight line of unbroken tyranny betwixt the torture and indefinite detention of suspected terrorists on the one hand, and anti-discrimination laws that seek to extend to all persons equal opportunity, on the other, that man is a lunatic. Worse than a lunatic, that man is a person of such extraordinarily obtuse philosophical and moral discernment as to call into real question whether he should even be allowed to go through life absent the protective and custodial assistance of a straightjacket, let alone hold office. That one might believe in unicorns would still allow one to profess a level of sagacity and synaptic activity in one’s brain several measures beyond that of the man who thinks liberty is equally imperiled by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission as by the CIA.

That any liberal, progressive or leftist could waste so much as a kind word about someone as this is mind-boggling. There are not many litmus tests for being a progressive in good standing in this country, but one would think, if there were, that surely to God, civil rights would be one of them. It is one thing to disagree about the proper level of taxation, either on the wealthy or corporations: honest people can disagree about that, and for reasons that would still permit one to claim the mantle of liberalism or progressivism; so too with defense spending, drug policy, trade, education reform, energy policy, and any number of other things. But the notion that one can be a progressive, even merely liberal, while praising someone who believes that companies should be allowed to post “No Blacks Need Apply” signs if they wish, and that only the market should determine whether that kind of bigotry will stand, is so stupefying that it should render even the most cynical of us utterly bereft of words. It is, or should be, a deal-breaker among decent people.

(See also, via Shakesville: Answers to the Turner Diaries vs. Ron Paul Newsletters quiz.)

And since earlier I compared Paul’s opposition to imperialism and torture to similar stances from liberal Rep. Dennis Kucinich, I should note Robert Farley’s argument on that point: “Ron Paul Ain’t Good on Foreign Policy.”

This comparison rests on a basic falsehood, which is that the foreign policy of Ron Paul resembles that of [Sen. Bernie] Sanders or Kucinich in any meaningful way. Kucinich, for example, is an avid supporter of the United Nations, as well a host of other international institutions. He also supports robust foreign aid, and a variety of other positions that suggest a commitment to using US social and economic leverage in a non-violent way to improve international outcomes.

Bernie Sanders has a very similar record. Kucinich and Sanders are both firmly on the left side of the liberal internationalist consensus, while Paul rejects that consensus altogether. This means that they incidentally share a few positions, just as Kucinich and Sanders incidentally share a few positions with Jim Demint, but it doesn’t mean that they’re saying the same thing about foreign policy, or that progressives ought to think of them in the same way.

 

  • Lori

     
    Was the Civil War the only option for ending slavery?  I’m not so sure, and I’m asking that anybody who wants to jump on me for saying that read on before doing so.

    The Civil War was incredibly bloody and those unfortunate enough to be involved in it suffered far more than they had under the status quo.  There was more agony and death than I believe most of us here can possibly imagine.  

     
    No one really needs to read any farther than your first paragraph to have every reason to “jump on you”. You think that 4 years of war involved far more suffering for blacks than two and a half centuries and counting of slavery? Somehow I doubt that’s what you meant, and if it’s not then you’re making the exact same (rather disturbing) error that Chris has been making for who-knows-how-many posts now. You’re treating the suffering of whites as vastly more important than the suffering of black slaves. 

     
    In my opinion, no.  It was the wrong thing to do.  Nothing is worth that kind of cost in human life. 

    And here you prove that you’re either deeply ignorant about slavery or you really do count white lives and white suffering as vastly more important than black lives and suffering.

    I’m not even going to bother to “jump on you” about this. We’ve covered this ground with Chris already (you should really check out the parts of the thread that you clearly skipped) and it’s not worth it to go over it again with another supposed valuer of life. 

  • Lori

     
     One that didn’tinvolve war?  Looking at the way India gained its independence, and the way South Africa finally ceased to be an apartheid state, makes me wonder if war truly was the only option left.   

     

    What the hell? India was a colony, the South was not. Apartheid was quite different than chattel slavery in ways that were actually important WRT ending it. 

     
     Secession was how the United States of America was born in the first place.  

    Good lord. We didn’t secede from Great Britain. We were a colony a group of neighboring colonies. That actually does make a difference. 

    Edited to fix a error.

  • Matri

    this is all supposition on your guys part though.  You couldn’t possibly know what southern men or women were thinking.

    Pretty convenient way to dismiss all of our arguments while you spent the last few days attacking Lincoln on the basis that you know more about him than God itself!

    And Lincoln was a liberal republican. Just like your hero. Square that away, ronbot.

  • Rob Brown

    Jesus Rob, seriously? A single person can’t really be in rebellion
    against the government. Seceding from the Union and seizing federal
    property pretty clearly is. 

    There are a lot of problems with the lack of trials at Gitmo, but this really isn’t it.

    If the single person is part of a larger group, or alleged to be part of a larger group, then one could theoretically make the claim that they were rebelling against the government.  “This person is a member of Al Qaeda!” for example.

    And as for seceding and seizing federal property, well…by talking about how bad that is you could very easily be making a case for why the British were the good guys during the Revolutionary War, why they shouldn’t have allowed the colonies to break away.  The founding fathers, the revolutionaries, were trying to “seize federal property”, weren’t they?  They wanted to “secede”, didn’t they?

    I know that there’s a difference: with the Civil War, it just so happened that the secessionists were doing something reprehensible, i.e. owning and mistreating slaves.  But what if they had stopped doing that before they seceded…would the Civil War have still been justified?  And, if so, wouldn’t that mean that the Revolutionary War was not justified?  Because if secession is always wrong, if rebellion is always wrong, then there’s no way it could be.

  • Lori

     
    If the single person is part of a larger group, or alleged to be part of a larger group, then one could theoretically make the claim that they were rebelling against the government.  “This person is a member of Al Qaeda!” for example.  

     

    No. 

    I mean John Yoo could probably pull something out his ass about it, but no honest Constitutional scholar is going to make the case that a group like AQ which is in no sense part of the US is in rebellion against the US. They’re a non-state actor which attacked the US. This is not at all the same thing.  

    ETA: It should also be noted that committing treason is not the same thing as being in rebellion.

     
    And as for seceding and seizing federal property, well…by talking about how bad that is you could very easily be making a case for why the British were the good guys during the Revolutionary War, why they shouldn’t have allowed the colonies to break away.  The founding fathers, the revolutionaries, were trying to “seize federal property”, weren’t they?  They wanted to “secede”, didn’t they?  

    We did not secede from Great Britain. Secession means something. The difference between being the colony of an empire and a state in a federal system has actual significance. Did they not cover this in your US history classes?

  • Rob Brown

    You’re treating the suffering of whites as vastly more important than the suffering of black slaves.

    Oh Christ…NO, I’m not.  I’m anti-war, period.  In wars, EVERYBODY suffers.  Do you honestly believe that during the Civil War, no black slaves were killed, or got maimed, or suffered?  Do you think that civilians, including slaves, were magically protected during the whole conflict?

    But hey fine, call me a racist just because I want to know if war was really the only option.  Whatever.

  • Rob Brown

    We did not secede from Great Britain. Secession means something. The
    difference between being the colony of an empire and a state in a
    federal system has actual significance. Did they not cover this in your
    US history classes?

    I don’t believe they did, given that I’m from Canada and the history I learned was divided between the U.S. and the rest of the world.

    As for the meaning of the word “secession”…you know what, it still basically comes down to this: “Hey, these people living under our rule want to break away from us and start their own country!  Well, we’re not gonna let ‘em get away with that!  We’re going to conquer them right back!”

    Now that kind of response is either okay or not okay, regardless of whether the people who want to break away live in a “colony” or in a “state”.

  • Lori

     I don’t believe they did, given that I’m from Canada and the history I learned was divided between the U.S. and the rest of the world.  

     

    Fair enough. You might want to keep your limited knowledge in mind though when talking about the ACW. 

     
    As for the meaning of the word “secession”…you know what, it still basically comes down to this: “Hey, these people living under our rule want to break away from us and start their own country!  Well, we’re not gonna let ‘em get away with that!  We’re going to conquer them right back!”  

    No it doesn’t basically come down to that. A state is not “living under our rule”. “Our rule” includes the state. That’s the point. 

    “Citizen of a country” =/= “resident of a colony”. As a citizen you have rights and options that a colonist does not have. You also have responsibilities that a colonist does not have. 

    You can’t have a stable democracy if the response to a national vote not going your way is to simply announce that you’re not part of the country any more. Especially when not everyone in your state agrees. (Note especially the comment above about the states the seceded in spite of the fact that the popular vote was to stay in the Union.,)

  • Rob Brown

    It should also be noted that committing treason is not the same thing as being in rebellion.

    Definitions of “treason”:

    1. the offense of acting to overthrow one’s government or to harm or kill its sovereign.
    2. a violation of allegiance to one’s sovereign or to one’s state.
    3. the betrayal of a trust or confidence; breach of faith; treachery.

    That second definition could be applied to any number of actions that a particular government didn’t like, some more justifiable than others.

    But let’s only focus on the first one for now.  Let’s say that we’re talking only about people who want to overthrow a government or kill its sovereign when we talk about “treason”.

    The Libyan government got overthrown.  Its sovereign was executed.  Were the people who did that “traitors”, or were they “rebels”?  Seems to me that you could call them either, depending on how you want to spin it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Charity-Brighton/100002974813787 Charity Brighton

    Fair enough. You might want to keep your limited knowledge in mind though when talking about the ACW.

    I think that this is one of the more frustrating aspects of this whole thing. Not so much Rob Brown, but that other guy who freely admits he has no idea what he’s talking about but is fairly convinced that the rest of us are wrong because of something that was written a book he never read about a topic he’s never studied in detail.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Charity-Brighton/100002974813787 Charity Brighton

    If you really want to know, then why didn’t you read this thread where this issue was discussed and dissected in excruciating detail with historiographical evidence? It sounds like you’re doing this right now (I know you’re not actually trying to do this, but it’s starting to get extremely frustrating since you’re the second or third person to come here and make this exact same argument, only to have it disproved — and it’s also an argument that a lot of really nasty people fall back on over and over).

  • Lori

     
    Were the people who did that “traitors”, or were they “rebels”? 

     

    What they definitely were was not covered by the US Constitution, so my impulse is to snark that they’re not relevant to this discussion. The level of ignorance in this thread is rather trying my patience. 

    I’m going to try to be nice though and clarify what I meant. All rebellion (in the sense meant by the Constitution) is treason. Not all treason is rebellion.

  • Matri

    As for the meaning of the word “secession”

    By your logic and definition, there is a secession every time a teenager demands their own space.

  • Rob Brown

    I know you’re not actually trying to do this, but it’s starting to get
    extremely frustrating since you’re the second or third person to come
    here and make this exact same argument, only to have it disproved — and
    it’s also an argument that a lot of really nasty people fall back on
    over and over

    I thank you for giving me the benefit of the doubt, unlike certain others.

    You know, at this point I suppose the only real smart thing I could have done was to not read anything in this thread, because there is absolutely no way whatsoever that I could make it through 650 comments–some of them pretty long–in one sitting.  There is just no time.  But looking at the most recent stuff and responding to that runs the risk of rehashing old stuff.  I can understand why this would be irritating for the people who’ve been participating in this thread from the beginning; I get frustrated if I find I have to repeat myself, and I find it even more frustrating if I have to do it on a subject that gets me angry.

    So I think in the future I’m gonna try to either be involved in a thread from the beginning, or not at all.  And I think the best thing for me to do would be to withdraw from this one, right after I say something to Lori that I think needs to be said.

  • Rob Brown

    I know you’re not actually trying to do this, but it’s starting to get
    extremely frustrating since you’re the second or third person to come
    here and make this exact same argument, only to have it disproved — and
    it’s also an argument that a lot of really nasty people fall back on
    over and over

    I thank you for giving me the benefit of the doubt, unlike certain others.

    You know, at this point I suppose the only real smart thing I could have done was to not read anything in this thread, because there is absolutely no way whatsoever that I could make it through 650 comments–some of them pretty long–in one sitting.  There is just no time.  But looking at the most recent stuff and responding to that runs the risk of rehashing old stuff.  I can understand why this would be irritating for the people who’ve been participating in this thread from the beginning; I get frustrated if I find I have to repeat myself, and I find it even more frustrating if I have to do it on a subject that gets me angry.

    So I think in the future I’m gonna try to either be involved in a thread from the beginning, or not at all.  And I think the best thing for me to do would be to withdraw from this one, right after I say something to Lori that I think needs to be said.

  • http://twitter.com/lesterhalfjr Chris Hadrick

    it’s not just sour grapes if an entire region wants to leave an ostensibly voluntary union.

    charity- Oh I forgot you’re all civil war scholars with vast libraries and published materials on the subject. feel free to challenge any of the points I brought up, but the fact that I am not currently employed as a history teacher isn’t any sort of refutation. My principles are the same wether I know a little or alot about something. 

  • Lori

     
    Oh Christ…NO, I’m not.  

     

    Yeah, you are. 

    We’ve covered this elsewhere in the thread you clearly didn’t read, so I’m not going to go over it all again. Short version—there is no moral superiority in acting like only the suffering that happens during war counts and when you make the kind of ill-informed comments you’ve made about suffering during the ACW that’s exactly what you’re doing.  

     
    I’m anti-war, period.  In wars, EVERYBODY suffers.  Do you honestly believe that during the Civil War, no black slaves were killed, or got maimed, or suffered? 

     

    Do you honestly believe that more slaves were killed or maimed during the ACW than would have been killed or maimed in the years it would have taken to implement some (highly theoretical) better solution or to to wait for the (possibly mythical) time when slavery simply died on its own? 

      
    Do you think that civilians, including slaves, were magically protected during the whole conflict?   

     

    And we’ve circled right back around to treating white suffering as more important than the suffering of the slaves. 

    I know you don’t mean to do that, but you are. This is one of the side effects of assuming that being anti-war is automatically the morally superior position without thinking deeply enough about what that means in certain very real circumstances. 

    If you’re going to make the case that war is always wrong you can’t make it simply based on some calculation of units of suffering. Attempting to do so leaves one in the exact position that you’re in now—caught in a very narrow viewpoint. The suffering that occurred between 1861 & 1865 isn’t even close to being the whole picture of the ACW and you are either ignorant of that or ignoring it because it doesn’t fit your frame. In either case you should read the rest of this thread and then come up with a way better argument before you continue this.

  • Rob Brown

    I’m going to try to be nice though…

    You know, when you imply somebody’s racist and then say to that same person “I’m gonna try to be nice to you now” a little later, it rings kind of hollow.  Once you make an accusation like that and let it stand, you’ve ended any civil debate or discussion that might’ve been going on.  That’s all I’m gonna say.

    I’m losing patience with this as well, so now I’m going to do what I said and walk away from this thread, and try my hardest not to look back.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Now, the response many would have to that statement is “Well, it was
    worth it, because it ended slavery and made life better for black
    people!”

    Here’s the thing: that is exactly the same
    argument that George W. Bush and Dick Cheney and the rest use to justify
    what they did in Iraq.  “Well, it was worth it, because it ended Saddam
    Hussein’s reign of terror and made life better for the Iraqi people!” 
    Adding “You just wait, history will vindicate us!”

    There’s a difference.

    The Confederates clearly tried seizing a military fort (Fort Sumter). In effect, they shot first, and were a credible threat against the Union, being quite literally next door.

    Iraq didn’t do a damn thing to the USA.

    So the Lincoln case for war has a lot more going for it than the Bush-Cheney one, particularly as the latter was premised on, if by the very technical sense of the term, not lies, certainly grossly exaggerated statements with the tiny kernel of truth, leading to false impressions regarding the validity of treating Iraq as a legitimate belligerent in the War on Terror.

  • Lori

     
    You know, when you imply somebody’s racist and then say to that same person “I’m gonna try to be nice to you now” a little later, it rings kind of hollow.  Once you make an accusation like that and let it stand, you’ve ended any civil debate or discussion that might’ve been going on.  That’s all I’m gonna say.  

     

    That was snark Rob. And I stand by my statement that you, however unwittingly, are valuing certain kinds of suffering over others and that the certain kind you’re valuing is mostly that of white people. 

  • Matri

    My principles are the same wether I know a little or alot about something.

    Your principles have nothing to do with this debate, as a matter of fact you have none. Through this entire thread you have demonstrated that you don’t want to learn the facts, ignore questions that challenge your narrow view, misquote and misinterpret the ones you do answer to discredit everyone who isn’t you.

    In short, you’re a petty Creationist.

  • Lori

     
    Now, the response many would have to that statement is “Well, it was worth it, because it ended slavery and made life better for black people!”

    Here’s the thing: that is exactly the same argument that George W. Bush and Dick Cheney and the rest use to justify what they did in Iraq.  “Well, it was worth it, because it ended Saddam Hussein’s reign of terror and made life better for the Iraqi people!”  Adding “You just wait, history will vindicate us!”

      

    There’s another difference. Those who fought for the North in the ACW didn’t have to wait for some far off verdict of history for vindication because unlike the Iraqis the slaves were actually better off.  The failures of Reconstructions were many and horrible and blacks were not even close to as well off after the ACW as they should have been, but they didn’t spend a lot of time wishing they were still slaves. 

    That’s not supposition. Slavery in the US is not some distant, unknowable past. IIRC the last living person born into slavery in the US didn’t die until the mid-1940s. There are many, many people alive today who had a parent or grandparent who was born a slave. People talked to former slaves. Former slaves spoke about their experiences both before and after the war. As difficult as things were after they were freed very few of them had any wish to return to the life they lead before. 

    Plenty of Iraqis wish we had just left them the hell alone, and with good reason. History is going to judge the invasion of Iraq quite differently than it does the ACW and that’s as it should be. 

      Iraq didn’t do a damn thing to the USA.  

      

    Also, Iraq was not part of the United States.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    “All right, secede if you want.  Start your own country.  But we here in the Union respect the rights of all human beings, and we will grant amnesty to any and all slaves who make their way inside our borders, conferring upon them the same rights and privileges as white people.”  The CSA probably wouldn’t have tried conquering the Union over that, pissed as it might have made them.  No shots would be fired, no people would have died screaming, and there would be no risk of a possible half century of complete misery for African Americans everywhere between the Canadian and Mexican borders being ushered in.

    I think that’s taking a bit of an unrealistic view of the fact that racism existed in the Union, too. Given that Lincoln had originally thought it politically infeasible to wholesale emancipate the slaves in the North (and in fact, he designed his Emancipation Proclamation originally to apply only to conquered territories in the South, but it had the unintended side effect of eventually applying to the whole of the country), never mind give them full rights and privileges thereto.

    You might say the zeal for extending full rights to the blacks was driven by the euphoria over victory felt among the Radical Republicans (overrepresented in Congress since the Southern legislators no longer sat in Congress), and the simultaneous recalcitrance of the Southern state governments to change the status quo.

    Sometimes it takes a catalclysm to break a logjam that shouldn’t have needed breaking in the way it did.

    I know that there’s a difference: with the Civil War, it just so happened that the secessionists were doing something reprehensible, i.e. owning and mistreating slaves.  But what if they had stopped doing that before they seceded…would the Civil War have still been justified?

    I feel your wording is unfortunate here, in that it unintentionally seems to relegate slavery to a “by the way” when it was really front and center in Southern culture. So the chances of them “stopp[ing] .. that”? In a pig’s eye.

    In some respects, the Antebellum South was a police state. Such states have really their own inertia, especially when social cohesion among the ruling class* (in this case, whites) is almost vital to avoid creating an entering wedge through which discordant ideas might appear, such as talk of a reasonable abandonment of slavery or graduated compensation or anything of the sort.

    So the question of asking if a war over secession in and of itself with no proximate social-justice causes is legitimate? It depends. If the South had purely economic grievances, that’s what sending representatives to Congress was for – airing out those grievances and hammering out an acceptable federal policy to try and deal with them. A war for secession under such circumstances would have looked just as much like a bunch of kids throwing their toys out of their prams as the current timeline’s war for secession does.

    But suppose in a flight of fancy the South had universal suffrage and was dominated by Black governors and legislators and the North kept refusing to recognize them as legitimate on relatively specious racist grounds? I’d say the verdict would definitely have gone to the secessionist side as being the right one then and in history.

    —-

    * other police states are not usually drawn along such sharp ethnic lines; in the case of, for example, Communist police states, in such cases the ruling class would have been those who stood to gain – not necessarily monetarily – materially from being in power and knew that come any political change they would be the likely ones to lose it.

  • http://twitter.com/lesterhalfjr Chris Hadrick

    matri- “Through this entire thread you have demonstrated that you don’t want to learn the facts, ignore questions that challenge your narrow view, misquote and misinterpret the ones you do answer to discredit everyone who isn’t you.”

    example?

  • Lori

     
    example?  

    Seriously? 

    The majority of what you’ve posted in this thread fits Matri’s list in one way or another. If you want examples go back and reread for yourself. 

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    South Carolina was one of the most notable cases where police-state tactics were used to keep slaves “in line” and to keep dissident whites from stirring the pot.

  • P J Evans

    ‘Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War
    against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and
    Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony
    of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.’

    US Constitution, Article III, section 3.

  • P J Evans

     BWAHAHAHA!

  • http://twitter.com/lesterhalfjr Chris Hadrick

    lori – I didn’t find any. creationist?

  • Lori

     
    no people would have died screaming  

     

    No, no people. Just the slaves who tried and failed to reach Union territory or who were so far from the border that they had no realistic hope of success and therefore were trapped in slavery. And of course those who had physical limitations or young children or elderly parents and as a result couldn’t make a run for it. 

    But no people. 

    Edited to clarify that this is sarcasm. Bitter, bitter sarcasm.

      
    and there would be no risk of a possible half century of complete misery for African Americans everywhere between the Canadian and Mexican borders being ushered in. 

     

    What planet are we talking about? It must be some planet where Reconstruction was worse than slavery in the South and that’s not this planet.

  • Matri

    BWAAHAHAHAhahahaaa!!

  • Lori

     
    In some respects, the Antebellum South was a police state.  

     

    This was quite likely a contributing factor to the Southern defeat, because it limited ability of the Confederacy to raise the size army that they wanted. Many places refused to send part, or all, of their local militia to the main war effort because they felt they needed the guns closer to home to prevent the slave rebellion the South lived in fear of*. 

    If the South had cared more about sovereignty or taxes or whatever than it did about slavery one would expect that they would have allowed unhappy slaves to leave rather than have vital men & arms tied up in preventing escape or rebellion. 

    *That is not speculation. We have diaries and letters written by Southerners that talk about this pervasive fear. We also have clear records about the way Southerners raised, armed and used militias for security against slaves both before and during the war. 

  • Dan Audy

    A finer example of the Dunning-Kruger Effect you couldn’t ask for.  The more incompetent someone is, the less capable they are of perceiving their incompetence.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    I just realized the civil war aspect started because Lori pointed out
    that lincoln suspended the gold standard. and I said “oh how civilized
    they suspended it to pay for a WAR” then we got this massive civil war
    discussion.

    Any government that doesn’t resort to the printing press to pay for a war is either reallllly flush with cash, or run by some really confident (and dare I say over-confident?) folks.

    The closest equivalent today would be if a Moon-sized asteroid were dead on target for the planet Earth. No government on the planet would give a damn about the soundness of their currencies in the hell-bent-for-leather drive to find a way to get rid of it.

    When survival is at stake, a lot of the usual rules go out the window.

  • guest

    I can’t believe I’m still reading this, after having chipped in a small piece of information early on; I now feel compelled to jot down three things.  First, the word ‘relevant’ doesn’t appear to be in someone’s personal dictionary…I don’t know why you do it, but good for the rest of you attempting to keep up with all the flying crap.  I guess when I’ve seen this elsewhere on the Net I think ‘that’s really cool, there are so many people who are familiar with so much and willing to share their sources of knowledge.’ 

    Second, re ‘deportation’–I won’t even pretend to be an expert in that part of American history, but I am an expert in what I called, to a colleague’s student the other day, ‘forward history’–’OK, I just sat through your presentation of why x was inevitable because of y blah blah blah, but if you were [in his case] in 1804, what would YOU have known, thought and believed?’  [I was thrilled to see the light go on in this guy's head; apparently he spent the rest of the afternoon muttering to himself about 'forward history'.]  We can say now that it was cruel to consider sending Africans back to Africa, particularly (as a lot of Americans like to think) given subsequent developments in America and Africa, but if I’d been kidnapped from my home, family and social network, taken somewhere with a different climate, food, culture, and language, isolated from everyone I’d ever known, and treated unspeakably cruelly by the people who lived there, and then someone had come along and said ‘we fought a war and now you’re free of this nightmare, what do you want?’ I would immediately say I WANT TO GO HOME.  NOW.  But I guess by the time this happened in the USA it was too late–too many generations had already been born in America, and were Americans.

    Third, re ‘racist’–I don’t know why that’s a conversation stopper.  I prefer the Jay Smooth formulation, not ‘you’re racist’ but ‘that was a racist thing to say’–a couple of times black friends of mine have said ‘you’re wrong, and that’s a racist attitude’.  And I’ve said ‘shit, really?  Hm.’ And later ‘yeah, you’re right, I spoke without knowing what I was talking about and I apologise.’  And there you go.

  • Anonymous

    “My principles are the same wether I know a little or alot about something.”

    As Stephen Colbert once said, “The greatest thing about this man is he’s steady. You know where he stands. He believes the same thing Wednesday that he believed on Monday, no matter what happened Tuesday. Events can change; this man’s beliefs never will.”

  • Hawker40

    What we have here is a confusion of cause and effect.  In reality, the cause preceeds the effect (called “casuality” in some physics textbooks).
    Someone has argued that
    a. The South seceeded over the Morrill Tarrif, which passed only because Southern congressman walked out and didn’t go into effect until the South had seceeded.
    b. The South seceeded because of Lincoln’s tyranny, in that he suspended Habeas Corpus, which occured after the South seceeded in a state that hadn’t seceeded.

    In the desperation to find a excuse for Southron treason that doesn’t involve slavery, they grasp at straws.  A leads to B which justifies A.  But if event A never happens, event B doesn’t happen meaning there is no justification for A!  It’s a paradox worthy of many a time traveler movie.  In fact, it reminds me of the first three Terminator movies.

  • Anonymous

    “instead the commies won it! I’m sure everyone in the gulags appreciated that.”

    Yeah, them and Argentia, Australia, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Ethiopia, France, Greece, India, Mexico, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, The United Kingdom, The United States, etc, etc, etc

    “Whatever, they’re all awful Stalin Hitler, FDR”

    Stalin death toll approximately 29 million
    Hitler death toll plus-or-minus 11 million
    FDR death toll – Chris’s critical reasoning function

    “they were all a bunch of power hungry manaics who should have just fought each other and left their people alone.”

    So you’re blaming the non-genocidal leaders of the world for not pretending they lived in some alternate reality where murderous dictators took their problems to the octagon instead of seeking world domination and committing mass murder?

    “What Lincoln should have done was said if you release and/or pay (salary!) the slaves I will reduce your taxes to zero forever, across the board and no import duties.”

    Yeah, let’s just ignore everything that’s already been said about the moral, economic, political, social, philosophical and practical impediments to avoiding war while winding down slavery through the magic of economics. I think this is a pitch Lincoln could have made: “If I could cut taxes without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could cut taxes by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could cut taxes by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that. What I do about slavery, and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to reduce Chris Hadrick’s taxes; and what I forbear, I forbear because the Federal Reserve would basically be the same as the Holocaust and the IRS would just be one long pogrom, so let’s nip that shit in the bud before it starts.”

  • Rob Brown

    Goddamn it, I told myself I was gonna not look back at your response, I told everybody else I was gonna not look back at it…and what do I do but look back anyway and see:

    That was snark Rob.

    Ah, well that makes it all right then.

    You said in another thread that you weren’t that good at debating as I recall, and you’re right, you aren’t.  You’re good at flaming people, you’re good at twisting people’s words, and you’re good at pushing people’s buttons, but debate?  No.

    You’ve made it very clear that you don’t think a lot of me, and if you wanted to make the feeling mutual then you’ve succeeded.  Fuck you.

  • Lori

     Ah, well that makes it all right then.  

     

    You’re missing the point again Rob. 

     
    You’ve made it very clear that you don’t think a lot of me, and if you wanted to make the feeling mutual then you’ve succeeded.  Fuck you.  

     
    Wow Rob, talk about twisting and flaming. Pot, kettle, black. 

    I don’t think about you positively or negatively because I don’t know you. I do think quite negatively of your comments in this thread because they were ill-informed on more than one level, poorly thought out and, unconsciously or not, racist. And no, that isn’t a matter of twisting your words. 

    You obviously haven’t gone back and read the parts of the thread where your points were already addressed and you haven’t given any further thought to the problems involved in your framing of the issue. The only thing that you care about is that someone said you were being racist. I guess I should modify what I said in the previous paragraph. I now do know something about you, and it’s not particularly positive. Being called on racism, especially when the person doing it acknowledges that it was likely unintentional, is not the worst thing that can happen to someone. Frankly, anyone who reaches adulthood without experiencing it a few times is almost certainly living in a fantasy world. 

    You can blame me all you want (I guess resorting to “fuck you” is now the mark of a good debater?), but it doesn’t change anything. You don’t get some sort of automatic “good person” pass just because you really, really hate war. If you want to argue that the ACW was wrong looking only at the suffering of the war years is intellectually shallow and fundamentally based on undervaluing the suffering that blacks experienced and would have continued to experience under slavery. 

    If you’re too busy nursing your hurt feelings to deal with that, it’s on you.  

  • Rob Brown

    It’s as much the mark of a good debater as calling somebody a racist is.  I don’t see any point in being civil when I’m being insulted, and I’m not the first slacktivite to drop an F-bomb on somebody.

    As for reading the whole thread, or even the relevant parts which are buried somewhere in it and which I’d need to skim the whole thread to find, that’s about as reasonable a request as asking you to read or skim this entire thread:

    http://forums.comicbookresources.com/showthread.php?t=314662

    If you can start at the beginning of that thread and skim the whole thing without taking hours to do it, then more power to you.  I can’t.  That’s a thread where people complain about the Republican party, and my guess is that they went over the same ground more than once.  If somebody came in on page 47 or whatever and made a post, do you think that somebody else would say “We already went over this!  Why didn’t you go back and check what everybody else wrote before you posted?”

  • Lori

    As far as I can tell you have 2 points

    1. Being called racist is worse than being racist and/or you should be immune from being insulted when you say something offensive. 

    2. Holding someone responsible for their views is unreasonable if being responsible takes up too much of their time.

  • Lori

     
    As for reading the whole thread, or even the relevant parts which are buried somewhere in it and which I’d need to skim the whole thread to find, that’s about as reasonable a request as asking you to read or skim this entire thread: 

     

    Here’s the thing Rob, you were actually given the summary of the long thread you don’t have time to read, and you apparently didn’t read that either. I’ll try one more time.  

    There is far, far more to evaluating the ACW than looking at what happened between the firing on Fort Sumter and  Appomattox Court House. Acting as if the years of the war itself are the sole issue necessitates ignoring a great deal, including the incredible suffering and violence inflicted on blacks in slavery. Waving that away by saying that sure the war was a faster way to end slavery, but it was still wrong because of how people suffered only makes sense if it’s based on valuing white suffering more than black suffering. If you don’t value white suffering more such statements literally make no sense. 

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

    > If somebody came in on page 47 or whatever and made a post, do you think
    that somebody else would say “We already went over this!  Why didn’t
    you go back and check what everybody else wrote before you posted?”

    I don’t know what people in that thread would do, but if somebody did say that, I would endorse them doing so.

    I am by no means obligated to read that whole thread (nor this one), and I don’t intend to read that thread (nor this one). I’ve got better things to do with my time. But neither is anyone else obligated to reply to me, value my contributions, or even pay attention to me at all… especially if I’m repeating things that have already been said that I didn’t bother to read.

  • http://twitter.com/lesterhalfjr Chris Hadrick

    kubricks- we’re lucky we had the constitution that kept FDR somewhat in check, but the direction towards centralization was the same all over the world. We should have gone in the opposite direction, that would have made a statement and I will say the right is much to blame for this via Buckley and the cold war crowd. Mussolini would probably be a better copmarison to FDR than the others though. People are too blase about the fact that we were allied with Stalin. It’s demented if you really think about it.

    ” What I do about slavery, and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to reduce Chris Hadrick’s taxes”

    solving problems peacefully is for wimps. someone gotta die or it won’t make the history books!

  • Lori

     solving problems peacefully failing to solve the real problem at all is for wimps. the morally superior. someone else has gotta be left to die or it won’t make the history books those of us who are the only ones who are good enough to hate war won’t be able to feel morally superior while spouting lies and doing nothing!   

    Fixed that for ya. 

  • Anonymous

    “solving problems peacefully is for wimps”

    No, solving this problem peacefully, as we’ve been explaining for hundreds of comments now, was not possible.

    “we’re lucky we had the constitution that kept FDR somewhat in check, but the direction towards centralization was the same all over the world. We should have gone in the opposite direction”

    You are obsessed with direction over results. The direction may have been towards centralization, but centralization in a republic is just not the same thing as centralization in a totalitarian state. It is this insistence on ideology over reality on your part that frustrates me so, because you cannot look at life in the US for the past 80 years and claim to see lurking under the thin veneer of progress and slow expansion of liberty (yeah I said it) and justice for all the utter horrors of life under Stalin or Hitler or Mussolini or Mao. No one’s been taken to the box cars, but based on those marginal tax rates and food regulations it’s only a matter of time! No.

    To suggest we should have gone in the opposite direction means what, in practical, real world terms? It’s March 4, 1933 and you’ve just been sworn in as President- last year GNP fell a record 13.4 percent, unemployment rose to 23.6 percent; since 1929 over 13 million Americans have lost their jobs, the money supply has contracted 31%, farm prices have fallen 53% and international trade has fallen by 66%- all under the laissez-faire policies of the prevous administration which has now been rejected by the voting public. Oh, and Adolf Hitler took control of Germany six weeks ago. So what does it mean to go in “the opposite direction” that history actually took? What does it mean for the citizens of America and the rest of the world? President Hadrick, what’s a libertarian to do?

  • http://twitter.com/lesterhalfjr Chris Hadrick

    start a ridiculous rube Goldberg version of italian Fascism of course.

  • http://from1angle.wordpress.com emilyperson

    Lolwhut.

    Do you even know how fascism works? Do you even know who Rube Goldberg was? Are you just tossing word salad here?
    Just admit that FDR didn’t take the worst course possible and that there are worse things than taxes. (Like genocide and its dear relative slavery!)
    And then try to grasp that the US didn’t actually like the Soviet Union, but the USSR was at war with the same people it wanted to go to war with (after the bombing of Pearl Harbor; before that it wanted no part in the war officially, though that didn’t stop it from aiding the Allied cause,) and it was the enemy of our enemy, and all that jazz.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Oh, incidentally the precious Confederacy also suspended habeas corpus during wartime.


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