And yes, Michele…

the Civil War was indeed fought to end slavery.

Your average teabagger probably thinks that the American Civil War was not fought to end slavery. I’m guessing that they subscribe to one of those revisionist versions of American History in which the Civil War was about something else and slavery had nothing to do with it. That idea always perplexed me until now. Now, because of comments made by Michele Bachmann last week I understand that they don’t link the Civil War to slavery because they think that the institution of slavery was ended by the Founding Fathers.

Lat week, Bachmann said: “”we also know that the very founders that wrote those documents worked tirelessly until slavery was no more in the United States.” ”

What an idiot.

Anderson Cooper responds to this and other remarks made by Michele The Moron Bachman:

John Quincy Adams worked tirelessly to what???? Hey, Slavery ended in the United States after it ended in any other Western country. We were the slavery country, and later, we became the Jim Crow country.

And now, sadly, we’re the Teabagging country. We’re doomed.

Hat tip to my friend Aseem Nevrekar, who knows more about American History than any teabagger and he’s not even an American! Which does not surprise me.

Comments

  1. #1 Rob
    January 25, 2011

    Actually, Brazil was the last Western Hemisphere country to end slavery; it did so in 1888.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slavery_in_Brazil

  2. #2 Greg Laden
    January 25, 2011

    Western, not Western Hemisphere. (There’s a difference). Of course, by the new terminology I could say “Non-southern hemisphere” but I don’t like the new term “Southern Hemisphere” because it includes, for example, Afghanistan.

  3. #3 James Hanley
    January 25, 2011

    the very founders that wrote those documents worked tirelessly until slavery was no more in the United States.” “

    What? You don’t know that George Washington came out of the grave … er, retirement, one final time to lead the Grand Army of the Republic to victory? You didn’t know that the 14th Amendment was crafted from a draft amendment found among James Madison’s papers; that he purposely contacted a medium during a seance so that he could direct him to that draft amendment, tirelessly written just before he died? Not to mention Thomas Jefferson’s ghost waving the Declaration of Independence and it’s claim to inalienable rights and equality in the face of every slave owner south of the Mason-Dixon line? Or Nathan Hale’s ghost appearing at every Civil War battle and crying, “Give slaves liberty or give them death”?

    And you claim to know history. Pshaw.

  4. #4 tara
    January 25, 2011

    um, actually, Brazil and all of South and Central America are commonly considered “western” countries, the prdominant culture and polities are derived from western European roots, themselves based in the Greco-Roman tradition.

    Spain and Portugal are definetly “western” cultures.

    As for Ms. Bachmann, I did not hear her remarks, but “the founders”, while usually referring to the major players in the Revolution, Declaration, and Constitution creation period, can be taken to mean the historical persons most influential in creating the American culture and polity we have today. Including the anti-slavery/abolitionist/Union victors in that sense is plausible.

  5. #5 dean
    January 25, 2011

    It may be because I’ve just finished teaching a night class and I’m tired, but I’m seeing a pattern in this crap. There have been isolated discussions from the right of eliminating “criticism” of the founding fathers from the teaching of history. The idea that “they fought to eliminate slavery” seems to tie into that view. You can’t whitewash a fence until you sand over the portions that are in bad shape.

    (Or perhaps lecture discussions of outliers, leverage points, and influence values have triggered an overly suspicious response from me. I better head home.)

  6. #6 Greg Laden
    January 25, 2011

    Tara, there are probably a number of different definitions and meanings for terms like “Western.” I use it as a shorthand for Western Industrialized. The complexity of the term is what caused people in global studies and related fields to come up with the silly “Southern Hemisphere” term. In any event, be assured that I was speaking of the European-American-Westerno-Industrio-Normative countries, and not Brazil.

    I did not hear her remarks, but “the founders”, while usually referring to the major players in the Revolution, Declaration, and Constitution creation period, can be taken to mean the historical persons most influential in creating the American culture and polity we have today. Including the anti-slavery/abolitionist/Union victors in that sense is plausible.

    Tara, all you need to do is click on the little “play” thingie and hear her remarks, then decide if you want to defend them. Get back to us on that.

    And no, “The Founders” are not what you say they are. You’re just plain wrong.

  7. #7 Emily
    January 25, 2011

    Tara, Wikipedia is your friend:

    “The Founding Fathers of the United States were political leaders and statesmen who participated in establishing the American Independence by signing the Declaration of Independence, taking part in the American War for Independence, establishing the United States Constitution, or by some other key contribution. Within the large group known as the “Founding Fathers”, there are two key subsets: the “Signers of the Declaration of Independence” (who signed the United States Declaration of Independence in 1776) and the “Framers of the Constitution” (who were delegates to the Federal Convention and took part in framing or drafting the proposed Constitution of the United States). Most historians define the “Founding Fathers” to mean a larger group, including not only the Signers and the Framers but also all those who, whether as politicians, jurists, statesmen, soldiers, diplomats, or ordinary citizens, took part in winning American independence and creating the United States of America.”

  8. #8 Tex
    January 25, 2011

    Damn!

    This speech totally ruins my plan to start an internet meme that portrays Michelle Bachmann as ‘The Thinking Man’s Sarah Palin.’ Apparently, even that aspiration is too high for her.

  9. #9 PicassoIII
    January 25, 2011

    The war was fought to preserve the union. Ending slavery helped win it.
    Still, from not the best intentions came the best of outcomes.

    And yes, yes. Bachmann be a bit batshit.

  10. #10 Susan
    January 25, 2011

    OMG. O…M…G. This is a member of Congress. (Rummages on desk) OK, where is that application to immigrate to New Zealand?

  11. #11 Greg Laden
    January 25, 2011

    PicassoIII … and the Union was in need of preservation becauese of the succession of the south because … ??? Sorry, Picasso, Yes, there were a number of reasons that war happened, and there were various motivations, as there always are, for each individual or institutions or businnes’ role in it. But Slavery was a MAJOR component, a major reason, for the war. Pushing that aside is part of a modern revisionist racist would-be “history.”

  12. #12 Andrea
    January 25, 2011

    The Civil War was fought over succession. Succession was the South’s resistance to the North’s attempts to end slavery. Therefore the Civil War was fought over slavery.

    And Michele Bachman is and idiot and Tara is a Michele Bachmann apologist and should be ashamed.

  13. #13 Darrell
    January 25, 2011

    What an idiot. She opens her mouth and this shit comes flying out.

  14. #14 Fran Barlow
    January 25, 2011

    Greg Said:

    but I don’t like the new term “Southern Hemisphere” because it includes, for example, Afghanistan.

    Unless Southern Hemisphere means something apart from having an “S” in the longitude of all parts of the jusrisdiction, I don’t follow this. Is this an “in” joke?

  15. #15 Jolene
    January 25, 2011

    Why do people assume Bachmann is less significant than Palin? Palin ran for Veep. Bachmann is IN CONGRESS. Palin spewed unintelligible rhetoric. Bachmann STARTED THE TEA PARTY. Bachmann may be an idiot but she is a real and measurable threat.

  16. #16 Greg Laden
    January 25, 2011

    Fran, “Southern Hemisphere” is a term used lately instead of “Third World” or “non-Western” etc.

  17. #17 Calli Arcale
    January 25, 2011

    IMHO, the war was not fought precisely to end slavery. It is more accurate to say that the ending of slavery precipitated the Civil War, and, in turn, made it possible for the North to win that war. The Civil War, though part of the ending of slavery, was really only part of the story. (After all, slavery really only ended in name; thanks to Jim Crow, something only marginally better than slavery persisted for quite some time.)

    But that’s a quibble; it’s fair to say that the Civil War was fought over slavery, because that’s what started the mess, and was a common thread throughout it.

    Michelle Bachmann is . . . man, I don’t even have words. I can get that some Americans are so pathetically ignorant of their own history that they believe things like this, but an actual lawmaker? Who thinks it was all equality and roses? I mean jeez — she doesn’t even seem to realize that suffrage wasn’t universal even among white men in the late 18th Century — in many areas, it was restricted to landowners. (Classless society, my sweet bippy.) Good grief. I hate to think what more she said in the rest of the piece if this part was so bad. What is *with* this deification of the Founding Fathers?

  18. #18 DuaneBidoux
    January 25, 2011

    I’m beginning to get the feeling that the only thing that has been saving Bachman’s ass is Palin’s stupid shadow. It seems that since the Arizona massacre Palin has actually stopped talking as much.

    This allows Palin’s shadow to lift a bit and, oh my God, what do we find? A creepy crawly thing even more stupid than Palin.

    I am a bit relieved. What I have seen with Palin in the last week makes me just a little bit more spiritual–at least spiritual enough to believe in karma. Ultimately, Bachman will go down, even in a Republlican America.

  19. #19 Pierce R. Butler
    January 25, 2011

    How can Cooper, or anyone, “keep” Bachmann honest?

  20. #20 Greg Laden
    January 25, 2011

    Calli: Oh come on! WTF?? Why do you fucking have to say it? Please explain that. The civil war happened, as noted above, because the central government was busy passing various laws to end slavery, and the south walked out of the union. Period.

    The knee jerk reaction to jump into any discussion like this and insist that “The civil war was not fought over slavery … it just started because of slavery, ending slavery was a key feature of it, and at the end, the side that wanted to end slavery won, and they ended slavery”????????? Perhaps you are unaware of the fact that this knee jerk reaction really is part of a racist revisionist history. Don’t spew it on this blog please. You went ahead and denied the role of slavery as central to the civil war, then admitted that it was central. Why? What was the point in making that remark? Are you attempting to lable yourself as part of this modern racist movement? Seriously? Please rethink this. [/endrant]

    Anyway, yes, it is unbelievable that Bachmann is an actual lawmaker. She has been running classes in constitutional law for the other members of congress, as a matter of fact. Totally unbelievable.

  21. #21 iknklast
    January 25, 2011

    All one really needs on the Civil War is to read the articles of succession that the states passed. Slavery was clearly mentioned as the cause. End of problem. Just read history that was written when it was happening, instead of many years later.

    Truly, Churchill was wrong about history written by the victors, at least in this case. Where the Civil War is concerned, the South went through and rewrote the history, and now way too many people obediently parrot the meme that the south is trying to peddle.

  22. #22 Rich Wilson
    January 25, 2011

    Tara, there are probably a number of different definitions and meanings for terms like “Western.”

    I would say the same of ‘slavery’. I don’t think serfdom has been considered slavery by all. And I often read that ‘slavery’ in the bible wasn’t really slavery since it wasn’t racially based. Not saying I agree in any way- that’s just the argument.

    But nit-picking definitions that put us last or 2nd last or 3rd last for bazillionth last doesn’t change the fact that we were, and in many ways still are, a nation of slavery.

  23. #23 Paulino
    January 25, 2011

    “European-American-Westerno-Industrio-Normative countries, and not Brazil”

    Oh! I get it! The nice people.

    Anyway, Brazil still hasn’t de facto ended slavery.

  24. #24 Rob
    January 25, 2011

    The civil war was not started over slavery it was started bc of the south succession after the war started states that did not succeed were allowed to keep slavery so most of you are actually wrong

  25. #25 Susan
    January 25, 2011

    “Secession” people! NOT “succession!” And “secede” not “succeed!” Please!

  26. #26 Other Rob
    January 25, 2011

    Rob, you are wrong. Would you care to explain to us why the southern states walked out of the union? You don’t know, do you. You are an idiot. Much like Michelle Bachman.

  27. #27 Greg Laden
    January 25, 2011

    Susan, you’ve succeeded in getting your message acrost.

  28. #28 Rob
    January 25, 2011

    Other rob your actually wrong the republicans campaign was based on not allowing the spread let me repeat that the spread of slavery that’s exactly why missouri Kentucky west Virginia Maryland and Delaware all maintained slavery until the emancipation proclamation was passed so your wrong south Carolina declared secession days before Lincoln was even sworn in so tell me other wise they didn’t wanna ban slavery read and you will see Lincoln never had the idea of banning slavery

  29. #29 Other Rob
    January 25, 2011

    Sorry, Rob, I thought you were an idiot. I was wrong. You are a blithering idiot.

  30. #30 Calli Arcale
    January 25, 2011

    Greg: read my post before deciding that because I prefer a longer explanation of the Civil War I must be denying the role of slavery in the Civil War. You’ll note I went on to say that it’s perfectly fair to say the war was fought to end slavery. It’s a simplification; too many people grow up thinking that the Civil War really did end slavery in America — racists especially. They think the Civil War ended things, and we can all forget about it. But it didn’t, and simply ending slavery did not solve the essential problems. Many of those problems persist today, and the worst of the racists are the biggest obstacles to solving them. There’s a nice little story, especially in these northern states, that bad people believed in slavery, and so good people went and beat them up until they agreed to let their slaves go free. But it’s hardly so noble, or so neat, and many of the people on the Union side were really only marginally kinder to blacks. Notably, it wasn’t until a fair ways into the war that blacks were even allowed to participate on the Union side — nearly a year after the Emancipation Proclamation — and even then, the regiments were segregated, and only whites were allowed to lead. Black men were enfranchised by the 14th Amendment, but in practice found it difficult or even impossible to actually exercise their right to vote due to systematic oppression that kept them as a servant class.

    Slavery ended with the Civil War, but that was not the end of the story. Oversimplification on this point has the danger of allowing revision of more recent history — namely, the history of the civil rights movement. Here in the northern tier of states, a lot of people simply aren’t aware of how systemic the abuses were in the South throughout much of the 20th Century. So my objection sort of goes the opposite way of your stereotypical antebellum Southern apologist.

  31. #31 wolfwalker
    January 25, 2011

    And once again, the post ScienceBlogs chooses to ‘tagline’ for every visitor …

    … has nothing to do with science, being rather a Two Minute Hate by bigots who know neither spelling nor history, directed at another person who is no more (and no less) knowledgeable than they are.

    The Civil War did not start over slavery. It was a cultural war, in which the peculiar institution was only one factor. In many ways it was a second stage of the American Revolution: the final conflict between those who wanted a single central nation and those who wanted a loose federation of smaller nation-states. The people of the South, and of South Carolina in particular, wanted a war with the Union. Slavery was simply their excuse. War could still have been avoided, slavery or no slavery, right up to the moment the fire-eaters in Charleston declared themselves an independent nation and then committed an act of war in seizing United States territory by armed force. Yes, people, under the law of nations the conquest of Fort Sumter was an act of war, and in 1861, “an act of war” meant exactly that, and those who committed an act of war had to live with that war and its consequences.

    Very disappointing, Greg. Please, go back to talking about science.

  32. #32 rturpin
    January 25, 2011

    Greg, when the south seceded, the federal government was still in the business of supporting slavery. It was starting to be unwilling to extend it, and with that, the south saw the inevitable shift in the balance of power. You’re quite correct to say that the south seceded to preserve slavery. And extend it! They had aims at Brazil and Mexico. It’s incorrect, though, to think that the north was ready to end it in the south. Had the south not seceded, slavery would have continued for many decades. Possibly to this day. Emancipation came about as a happy consequence of secession and the ensuing Civil War, not as a cause of it.

  33. #33 Greg Laden
    January 25, 2011

    Greg: read my post before deciding that because I prefer a longer explanation of the Civil War I must be denying the role of slavery in the Civil War. You’ll note I went on to say that it’s perfectly fair to say the war was fought to end slavery.

    Yes, I saw that, and I noted that you said that. Read my comment on your comment before commenting on the comment!

    OK, I see your point about the slavery bit being misinterpreted the other way. But please do not ignore my point about the knee-jerk reaction about the Civil War being part of the racist revisionist history.

  34. #34 Rob
    January 25, 2011

    And how so bc iv given solid known facts and you can do little more then call me some names sorry my friend you still haven’t proven it was started bc of slavery you sure look pretty dumb just calling me names with no backing the war was fought indirectly due to slavery but was not the sole purpose and considering I have studied US history for over twenty years I’m sure i know what I’m talking about AND thank you wolfwalker maybe some people do learn history besides at a tenth grade level

  35. #35 Greg Laden
    January 25, 2011

    Ah .. Calli … just read the other comments regarding slavery and the civil war … the ones that pretend that the complexity of that war (which is true of all wars) and the political situation of the time somehow obviates the role of slavery. Shameful pandering. Anyway, do read those comments and note that your comment is just like them.

    Rturpin, it is not true that the north was uninterested in ending slavery in the south. It is true that some of the major legislation passed and on the table at the time was about the states outside of the original south, and that was the key event, but ending slavery not only in the US south but elsewhere was absolutely the agenda of most northern politicians. You are almost certainly correct that had the southern states not seceded, slavery would have for the immediate future continued, but it is not as though the north would have simply accepted that.

    Wolfwalker, actually, I chose to put that tagline there, not Scienceblogs.

  36. #36 Stephanie Z
    January 25, 2011

    I love these comments that the Civil War happened, not because of slavery, but because the South seceded. Um…sure, and the South did this why?

  37. #37 A little common sense
    January 25, 2011

    Reply to Greg.

    For what it’s worth, there were more emancipation organizations in the South in 1820 than there were in the north.

    In 1860, slaves represented the single largest category of property, personal or real, in the South. Yes, most of the articles of secession mentioned slavery. In particular, they forbid their new government from abolishing slavery without compensation.

    The Southern states had often proposed a national end to slavery, but they wanted to be compensated for the loss of their property. Northern states adamantly refused to even consider such an accomodation.

    Slavery was an economic issue, nothing more or less.

    The South rightly viewed abolitionist demands that all slaves be freed as an action that would immediately erase the largest portion of their wealth. It would be similar to the effect of our federal government abolishing personal real estate ownership today.

    While slavery had been banned in the northern states, slave owners were given the opportunity to either sell their slaves south or keep them for an extended period, decades even. New Jersey, for example, still had slaves when Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation.

    After the war ended many northern states forbid former slaves from entering their states. They forced the newly freed men to remain in and live in the South. However, no provision was made or even proposed by the north to support these persons.

    Prior to the Civil War, the South was contributing about 2/3 of the federal revenues. During the same period, the northern states were receiving about 2/3 of the federal projects such as lighthouses, navigational aids, harbor and canal construction, bridges, post roads, and other federally funded infrastructure.

    In 1860, the Union imposed duties on imports of about 10 or 15%. After secession, the South levied duties of 5%. In particular, New Orleans threatened to become the port of entry for over half of the imports into the North and South combined because of its commanding location at the mouth of the Mississippi River.

    No, Greg, you are wrong. The Civil War was fought over economics. Slaves were simply one kind of property.

  38. #38 PicassoIII
    January 25, 2011

    Slavery could have been ended without all out war, like many other civilized nations. It’s called compensated emancipation, no? Slave rebellions recognized by the Union would have worked too.
    Just my inner Spooner talking.
    The hawks on both sides got their way and off we went.
    ‘War is the Health of the State’ you know…

    Honestly, the batshit on the right do give me shivers. I’ve heard Michelle talk about being subservient to her husband and i felt a little nauseated.

  39. #39 Other Rob
    January 25, 2011

    Slavery was an economic issue, nothing more or less.

    You’re a white guy, right? I think slavery may have been something more.

  40. #40 Ricky Adams
    January 25, 2011

    Why do the racist apologists hardly ever use their real names?

  41. #41 Drivebyposter
    January 25, 2011

    And how so bc iv given solid known facts and you can do little more then call me some names sorry my friend you still haven’t proven it was started bc of slavery you sure look pretty dumb just calling me names with no backing the war was fought indirectly due to slavery but was not the sole purpose and considering I have studied US history for over twenty years I’m sure i know what I’m talking about AND thank you wolfwalker maybe some people do learn history besides at a tenth grade level

    Recommended reading. You’re (note: this is how you spell the contraction of ‘you’ and ‘are’) not even coherent most of the time.
    http://www.zaphu.com/v1/wp-content/uploads/2007/11/grammar-book.jpg

    also….

    your wrong south Carolina declared secession days before Lincoln was even sworn in so tell me other wise

    I will let SC tell you otherwise

    The General Government, as the common agent, passed laws to carry into effect these stipulations of the States. For many years these laws were executed. But an increasing hostility on the part of the non-slaveholding States to the institution of slavery, has led to a disregard of their obligations, and the laws of the General Government have ceased to effect the objects of the Constitution. es provided by her own law and by the laws of Congress. In the State of New York even the right of transit for a slave has been denied by her tribunals; and the States of Ohio and Iowa have refused to surrender to justice fugitives charged with murder, and with inciting servile insurrection in the State of Virginia. Thus the constituted compact has been deliberately broken and disregarded by the non-slaveholding States, and the consequence follows that South Carolina is released from her obligation.

    http://americancivilwar.com/documents/causes_south_carolina.html
    Why did SC secede?
    States were being like…total assholes to the slave-states according to SC at the time of its secession.

  42. #42 Calli Arcale
    January 25, 2011

    OK, I see your point about the slavery bit being misinterpreted the other way. But please do not ignore my point about the knee-jerk reaction about the Civil War being part of the racist revisionist history.

    The point is taken; indeed, I figured it had been well enough made already in this thread that I didn’t think you needed me to say it as well. I’m just trying to let you know that my comment was NOT one of those knee-jerk “the war had nothing to do with slavery, and slavery was a side-issue” posts. I do not believe that.

    Ah .. Calli … just read the other comments regarding slavery and the civil war … the ones that pretend that the complexity of that war (which is true of all wars) and the political situation of the time somehow obviates the role of slavery. Shameful pandering. Anyway, do read those comments and note that your comment is just like them.

    Just like them — except that it’s saying the opposite, as I thought you’d just noted!

  43. #43 Drivebyposter
    January 25, 2011

    Oops. Messed up that massive quote. Should’ve deleted “es provided by her own law and by the laws of Congress.” and threw in an ellipsis there.

  44. #44 A little common sense
    January 25, 2011

    Reply to #39 by Other Rob.

    And you’re a racist, right?

    You can think what you want, but the fact is that slaves, in 1860, were personal property.

    That slavery ever existed in America is regrettable, but it is a fact. IMHO, slavery is contrary to the principles of Christianity, but it is also a fact. Slavery is morally repugnant, but it is a fact.

    Slavery existed, and it was recognized, regulated, and protected by the laws of the land.

    Very few people, either north or south, objected to emancipation of the slaves. Many, Lincoln included, wanted to free them and return them to Africa. However, the sticking point with both sides was the question of compensation of slave owners.

    Once again, it was a fact, slaves were personal property, and facts do not change simply because someone doesn’t like them.

  45. #45 Jan
    January 25, 2011

    Why does Rob hate punctuation marks?

  46. #46 stevenz
    January 25, 2011

    Two things because this is far too tedious to read in its entirety:

    1. Susan, I emigrated to NZ several years ago in part because of the political climate in the US. I recently came back – and am questioning my sanity. You see, I’m unemployed and people like Michelle Bachman and Sarah Palin have really good jobs. If you’re serious, and I highly recommend NZ as a place to live, get going on your visa application. It’s a long and tedious process designed to keep out the faint of heart.

    2. A thought experiment: If there had been no slavery in America, would there have been a civil war?

    Over and out.

  47. #47 PicassoIII
    January 26, 2011

    K, better than any other comment so far is Mr. Cooper telling some truth about MOST elected officials.

    They’d fail the 8th grade ‘constitution test’ as a pop quiz….

  48. #48 Drivebyposter
    January 26, 2011

    Little Common Sense:
    So slavery WAS the primary issue causing the civil war?

  49. #49 Calli Arcale
    January 26, 2011

    PicassoIII — slavery could indeed have been ended without all-out war, had the slaveowning states been willing. They weren’t. Strategies like compensated emancipation had been suggested, and implemented in some areas, but in the end, the states that would form the Confederacy were not willing to go that route universally. The situation was complex; the political landscape of the time was so dynamic (and that’s putting it nicely) that it makes today’s politics look staid. But the bottom line was that in the end, the Confederacy was willing to secede rather than sign on to a national policy of emancipation. That’s where the “states rights” thing comes into play; in a political theory dating back to the Revolution, they argued that such things were not the business of the federal government. The other states, via the federal government, were successfully pressuring the southern states to phase out slavery, but the South wouldn’t stand for it, and secceded. That was the point of no return, where war became necessary. Slaveowning may eventually have ended without the war, but it would have taken longer and we’d be two much weaker nations today and it’s possible the whole course of history since then would have been significantly changed. And civil rights would never be as far along in the south as they are today if we’d remained a fractured nation, even if slavery had eventually been abolished there.

    There was a strong theme of “white man’s burden” running through the slaveholding states. Few slaveowners were monsters, or at least saw themselves as monsters. They frequently felt they were doing the slaves a favor by owning them and caring for them. This was probably the case with George Washington, who seems to have been quite shocked when his favorite slave (a prize chef) escaped when at long last he had the opportunity. This is the logic that leads to massive class disparities, and I rather suspect Bachmann’s head would explode if she considered the fact that even Washington owned slaves.

  50. #50 Calli Arcale
    January 26, 2011

    A LIttle Common Sense:

    Very few people, either north or south, objected to emancipation of the slaves. Many, Lincoln included, wanted to free them and return them to Africa. However, the sticking point with both sides was the question of compensation of slave owners.

    I’m not so sure that emancipation was quite as widely appreciated in the south as you might think. The politicians had come to realize the necessity — they saw the handwriting on the wall, and knew slavery’s days were numbered. Compensation was an attempted compromise to make it more palatable to their constituencies. I’m not so convinced the slaveowners themselves were so keen on involuntarily surrendering property, even for pay. How many people like the idea of eminent domain today, when it’s their own land being seized? Those who regarded slaves as property would in many cases have had the same attitude.

  51. #51 Jacob
    January 26, 2011

    Mmk well for starters Bachman’s claims are outrageous and completly untrue when it comes to our history. It is unfortunate that she like many other Politicians are about as educated on American History as a third grader. However To this articles original “poster” THE CIVIL WAR WAS NOT FOUGHT TO END SLAVERY!!!!! You need to bone up on your history bro because it was not. It is true howver that congress at the time was considering abolishing slavery. But the South did not want and in their single minded view of life believed that it was right and constitutional to keep and own slaves. The civil war was fought because the Southern states Decided to draw away from the North ecause they beleived that the North was being unconstitutional for “thinking” about ending slavery. Because at this time many Northerners had given slaves at let them free. However you have to look at the reason’s why the South wanted to keep slavery. It was because the south was a major cotton and textiles farming community, amongst other things. So the southern farmers felt that they shouldn’t have to pay for labor. So my point being that you are no smarter than Bachman when it comes to American history because you pretty much did the same thing she did. Which is shot their mouth off before really thinking about what they were saying. And this country is much better off in the hands of a bunch of “teabaggers” as you like to call us than in the hands of a selfrightous arrogant unmoral dumb ass like you. Have a nice day. :)

  52. #52 Elizabeth
    January 26, 2011

    That slavery ever existed in America is regrettable,

    Regrettable? Regrettable? REGRETTABLE?????

    The decision for the chief of staff to quit and run for mayor of Chicago was regrettable. The use of price controls under Nixon was regrettable.

    Slavery was not regrettable. It was a horrific abomination and one of the worst things that has ever happened. Clearly you are clueless, you have no clue of the magnitude of the insult you have just laid on untold people.

  53. #53 PicassoIII
    January 26, 2011

    Reminds me of a snarky comment on the Agitator.

    “We’re only pumping up her value so we can sell her on e-bay!”
    Talkin bout Palin but you get the gist.

  54. #54 Greg Laden
    January 26, 2011

    Stevenz:
    2. A thought experiment: If there had been no slavery in America, would there have been a civil war?

    Over and out.

    Indeed.

  55. #55 Elizabeth
    January 26, 2011

    I should have said “untold numbers of people”

  56. #56 Moderation
    January 26, 2011

    Haha, watching history discussed on a science blog is like watching science being discussed on a celebrity gossip blog!

  57. #57 A little common sense
    January 26, 2011

    Reply to #48 Posted by Drivebyposter

    If you will be satisfied with a gross over-simplification, slavery was the most significant issue that led to secession.

    However, the basic issue was not slavery per se. Slaves were merely a part of the larger issue which was property.

    As noted above, by 1860 most people were morally uncomfortable with slavery, and could not rectify it with their personal values and religious beliefs.

    Indeed, there were some in that era who believed that blacks were inherently inferior to whites, and that Africans received a net benefit from being enslaved. Today we have people who believe that socialism works and should replace capitalism. Both ideas are wrong.

  58. #58 Greg Laden
    January 26, 2011

    “Indeed, there were some in that era who believed that blacks were inherently inferior to whites”

    Some? And are you implying that no one thinks this today? Please don’t brush racism of the 19th century under this rug of “economics” and don’t sidestep racism that is very much alive today.

  59. #59 Fran Barlow
    January 26, 2011

    Not the least bizarre thing here is noting that some can say that refusal to discuss compensation for the “equity” slaveholders had in their human property was distinct from the macro question of slavery. One poster compared humans to real estate and seemed to imply that an ethical government could be spending its time working out what fair compensation for the loss of the right of unlimited possession and coercion over others might be. Here in Australia, it’s unimaginable that those involved in human trafficking could imagine that their claims for loss of property might be sympathetically entertained.

    One shakes one’s head in disbelief that such arguments can be raised at all and worse, go unremarked by an American. No wonder the USA is in such a cultural mess.

  60. #60 AC
    January 26, 2011

    The main cause of the Civil War was “states rights”; e.g. one of those rights being the right to own slaves…Secession is what started the war however. And Lincoln DID NOT free the slaves….he emancipated slaves in the south as a strategic economic ploy against the south during the war. W.Virginia and Kentucky were excluded from freeing slaves…not until the 14th amendment were ALL slaves “free”.

  61. #61 A little common sense
    January 26, 2011

    Reply to #51 posted by Elizabeth

    That slavery ever existed in America is regrettable,
    snip
    Slavery was not regrettable. It was a horrific abomination and one of the worst things that has ever happened. Clearly you are clueless, you have no clue of the magnitude of the insult you have just laid on untold people.

    I did not say that slavery was regretable, Elizabeth. I said that its existence in America was regrettable. There’s a difference.

    I also clearly stated that “slavery is contrary to the principles of Christianity,” and “morally repugnant.”

    If that’s not good enough for you, too bad.

    By the way, since you seem unaware, slavery has existed since the beginning of human civilization, probably before. It was a feature of the Greek city-states, the Roman Empire, the African tribes, the Muslim nations, China, and just about every other civilization I can think of.

    The point is, Elizabeth, that slavery is and was a fact. In 1860, slaves were personal property to be bought and sold. They were a resource. They fetched a price and had a value just as did a shovel, a horse, or any other form of property.

    No insult there, just facts, so get off your high horse and try to be human.

  62. #62 Evilcor
    January 26, 2011

    @alittlecommonsense:

    Your point that slavery was strictly an economic institution — something akin to owning a pickup truck — is wholly false.
    The practice of enslaving humans of another race has always been deeply woven into the fabric of the slave society. Antebellum slavery was always of a piece with racial identity, religious identity and local/geographic identity.

  63. #63 Drivebyposter
    January 26, 2011

    If you will be satisfied with a gross over-simplification, slavery was the most significant issue that led to secession.

    However, the basic issue was not slavery per se. Slaves were merely a part of the larger issue which was property.

    I see. It was about property and not slavery. And the property in question was slaves. I now see why the distinction is important.

    As noted above, by 1860 most people were morally uncomfortable with slavery, and could not rectify it with their personal values and religious beliefs.

    Maybe? Except that we are talking about those who WANTED TO KEEP slavery and seceded and started a war to keep it.
    The general public opinion that slavery is wrong is a non-sequitur

  64. #64 A little common sense
    January 26, 2011

    Reply to #58 posted by Greg Loden

    “Indeed, there were some in that era who believed that blacks were inherently inferior to whites”

    Some? And are you implying that no one thinks this today? Please don’t brush racism of the 19th century under this rug of “economics” and don’t sidestep racism that is very much alive today.

    No, Greg, I am not implying or even speaking to anything today. I thought I was clear about the period of which I wrote. I tried to make it easy for you by explicitly stating “1860.”

    Apparently you had a problem understanding that.

    If you would like to talk about conditions today, we can do that, too.

    By the way, I believe you have things reversed. I believe that racism in 1860 was primarily a result of slavery, not the other way round. If you bother to read publications of that period, you will learn that it was common to try to justify slavery with unsupportable racial theories.

    I believe that racism has always existed in the human race, and that it was developed and systematized as a justification for the enslavement of blacks and Indians in America.

  65. #65 Drivebyposter
    January 26, 2011

    I also clearly stated that “slavery is contrary to the principles of Christianity,”

    Hmmm…let’s look it up…

    However, you may purchase male or female slaves from among the foreigners who live among you. You may also purchase the children of such resident foreigners, including those who have been born in your land. You may treat them as your property, passing them on to your children as a permanent inheritance. You may treat your slaves like this, but the people of Israel, your relatives, must never be treated this way. (Leviticus 25:44-46 NLT)

    No. It seems perfectly compatible with xtianity.

    Let’s try an analogy. Say child porn was not illegal, then congress made it illegal. Is it wrong to demand that people give up their child pornography they obtained before owning it was a crime? Clearly pornography is a resource and property. Should people be forced to give it up in this hypothetical situation?

  66. #66 Jon
    January 26, 2011

    Whatever terms you care to use to dress it up, it was a conflict over the institution of slavery. That’s pretty unambiguous. If you read the statements of secession from the southern states, it’s pretty clear that slavery is their main concern. Dressed up in the language of state’s rights, yes, but specifically the right for states to continue the institution of slavery.

    http://avalon.law.yale.edu/19th_century/csa_scarsec.asp

    for example

  67. #67 A little common sense
    January 26, 2011

    Reply to #63 Posted by Drivebyposter

    I see. It was about property and not slavery. And the property in question was slaves. I now see why the distinction is important.

    No, you do not see. It was about property and slaves were the largest single category of property. So how could it not be about slavery as well?

    Maybe? Except that we are talking about those who WANTED TO KEEP slavery and seceded and started a war to keep it.

    I am sure that some wanted to perpetuate the institution of slavery. I am also sure that some wanted to keep their slaves just as they did all their other property, but did not care for the institution of slavery and would have willingly abolished it if that had not meant economic ruin for them.

  68. #68 A little common sense
    January 26, 2011

    Reply to DriveByPoster

    As I recall, Leviticus is in the Old Testament.

  69. #69 Drivebyposter
    January 26, 2011

    No, you do not see. It was about property and slaves were the largest single category of property. So how could it not be about slavery as well?

    Jesus fucking christ. The south seceded because they were going to lose their property. Which was slaves. It was about slaves. The property is the slaves. The slaves were the property. I’ve seen no mention of other properties, so slaves were the only property so far listed in the category of property. Which I guess WOULD make slaves the largest single category of property.

    I am sure that some wanted to perpetuate the institution of slavery. I am also sure that some wanted to keep their slaves just as they did all their other property, but did not care for the institution of slavery and would have willingly abolished it if that had not meant economic ruin for them.

    So the majority of slave owners opposed slavery down to their very core but you know…stuck with it. Why? Because of money according to you.
    Why didnt those opposed to it just sell their slaves and their farms/plantations/whatever and go somewhere where they don’t have to do monstrous things?
    Or you know…not be a horrible person and take the financial hit in order to grant someone their freedom?

    What you’re suggesting makes no sense. You’ve offered nothing to suggest that most people INCLUDING slaves owners hated slavery and wanted it to end but you still insist this is true and these people were violating their own moral codes for money. All of them fighting to keep slaves were doing this. It’s amazing.

  70. #70 Drivebyposter
    January 26, 2011

    As I recall, Leviticus is in the Old Testament

    As I recall this is where all of the “prophecies” jesus “fulfilled” came from. Also Jesus followed the OT and xtianity has its roots in the OT.

    And the 10 commandments are in the OT but not the NT if I remember.
    And the creation story was in the OT
    And the flood.
    And the same god in the OT is also jesus sometimes/partially or something depending on the denomination…
    And jesus never denounced slavery and said he wasn’t going to change “the law” [the OT] that he made as god.
    I really don’t see how you can pretend the OT has nothing to do with xtianity.

  71. #71 Laura
    January 26, 2011

    Here in Australia, it’s unimaginable that those involved in human trafficking could imagine that their claims for loss of property might be sympathetically entertained.

    But Fran, present-day Australia is a society where human trafficking is not normative. In the southern states in the United States before the Civil War, slavery was normative. It was a huge part of the economy. There’s a BIG difference. And perhaps slaveowners should have been compensated for losing their slaves.
    I notice people can’t seem to talk about this without slinging accusations of racism. I think an environment where accusations are being slung around so much, makes really thinking very difficult.
    Maybe it would help to contemplate that, if you had grown up in the South in the United States in that time, you would very likely have believed in all sorts of justifications for slavery. The people who didn’t were vilified, as I understand.
    We probably have commonly accepted behavior today that is seriously immoral, and (hopefully) will come to be regarded so at some time in the future. The institution of housewifery is in many ways a milder version of slavery, and women have only slowly been working their way out of the slave aspects.
    I’m sure that decent slaveowners in the South did good things for their slaves and had affectionate feelings for them (without freeing them). Just as billions of men have “loved” their wives, felt something they called love, without respecting them or letting them achieve their full potential. It is an aspect of the ability of human beings to rationalize, and the power of our conditioning as children.
    It is very shocking that Michelle Bachman would actually have major power in our government, and be so ignorant and/or dishonest.
    However, having been super-powerfully impressed with the irrationality of the populace in SO many ways, I’m not surprised at all that irrationality finds its way to the top of government. I am surprised that the government is not much more irrational!
    And I wonder sometimes how academia manages to have good standards of rational thought in some ways, when surrounded by a sea of frothing insanity.
    Hoping to shed some light by profound disillusionment,
    Laura

  72. #72 Laura
    January 26, 2011

    My comment above starts with a quote from Fran. I used quote tags, but somehow they didn’t appear.

  73. #73 Fran Barlow
    January 26, 2011

    In the southern states in the United States before the Civil War, slavery was normative. It was a huge part of the economy. There’s a BIG difference. And perhaps slaveowners should have been compensated for losing their slaves. {my emphasis}

    You miss the point. To compensate the slaveowners for loss of the equity in their slaves clearly entails recognising property in human beings as lawful. That’s why other posters can compare them to real estate or chattels. Accordingly, an argument over compensation is an argument over the standing of the institution of slavery. That must have been clear even then. Can you imagine working out a set of guidelines for how to compensate each “deprived” slaveowner? Try it as a mental exercise and see if I’m mistaken.

    To put it into a contemporary context, imagine people who are involved in trafficking children for labour or prostitution haggling over being deprived over their property. Would we say that a person who was willing to give it up for “fair compensation” was really against trafficking?

    That this connection is not clear to some people even now is bizarre and it has little to do with what is normative here.

  74. #74 Clam
    January 26, 2011

    Greg:

    Fran, “Southern Hemisphere” is a term used lately instead of “Third World” or “non-Western” etc.

    Lordy, lordy, now you’re re-writing geography as well as history.
    BTW I was fascinated by the way that most Americans appeared to know less of their history than I did. And then I realised that most young Brits know sod-all about their history nowadays. Including the fact that the British Empire abolished slavery in 1833.

  75. #75 M. the Canadian
    January 26, 2011

    As someone who has actually studied history in an academic setting, including the civil war, I think I can add a few remarks here.

    The idea that slavery was a “purely economic issue” is probably bogus. Support for slavery seems to have been strong in the South, and not for non-economic reasons. Because we lack polling data, we can’t really say what the American opinion of slavery actually was in 1860, in either the north or the south. Luckily, we have other data to work from, and this data strongly suggests that support for emancipation was tepid at best, even in the north.

    In south, the generally accepted view is that defenses of slavery, especially defenses based on moral grounds became more adamant and more frequent in the 1850’s. This was a response to increasingly vocal northern abolitionists like William Lloyd Garrison (publisher of The Liberator) and Henry Ward Beecher. The sources for this view are above all southern newspapers during the late 1850’s and even early 1860. I’ll lay out a few examples:

    There is a vast deal of foolish talk about the delights of freedom and the hardships of slavery. In one sense no one, white or black, is free in this world. The master orders his slave to work in a certain field, when he perhaps would prefer to go elsewhere–this is slavery. But is the master free to do as he pleases! Not so.–He is driven by as stern a necessity to labor with his hands or confine himself to business, as the slave ever feels. We are all therefore slaves.–But when the man, whatever his complexion, recognizes the fact that his lot is ordained of God, and cheerfully acquiesces, he becomes a free man in the only true sense. He then chooses to do and to bear what otherwise might be irksome and intolerable. (The Spectator, 1859 — http://www2.vcdh.virginia.edu/teaching/vclassroom/proslavewsht2.html )

    [Slaveholders] believe that an institution of slavery is ordained in Heaven, and that the slaveholder who trusts in the Almighty arm will find that arm a refuge and a fortress. They expect to be delivered from the snare of the Abolition fowler and the noisome pestilence of fanaticism. Truth is their shield and buckler, and they are not afraid of the terror by night nor the arrow that flieth by day. (The Stauton Snpectator, 1859 — http://www2.vcdh.virginia.edu/teaching/vclassroom/proslavewsht1.html )

    They work well and cheerfully in the day, and at night, during the holidays they sing, dance and smoke, eat sweet potatoes, drink hard cider, sit around big kitchen fires, “laugh and grow fat,” regardless of all the “tomfoolery” and nonsense about the “poor oppressed slaves.” (The Spectator, 1860 — http://www2.vcdh.virginia.edu/teaching/vclassroom/proslavewsht3.html )

    I would encourage people to read those whole articles, as they are much more illuminating in their entirety.

    As a final example of this sort of pro-slavery flourishing, I point you toward James Hammond’s (Governor, representative and senator from SC) famous “mudsill speech,” (more generally known as the “Cotton is King” speech). A quick quote:

    In all social systems there must be a class to do the menial duties, to perform the drudgery of life. That is, a class requiring but a low order of intellect and but little skill. Its requisites are vigor, docility, fidelity. Such a class you must have, or you would not have that other class which leads progress, civilization, and refinement. … Fortunately for the South, she found a race adapted to that purpose to her hand. A race inferior to her own, but eminently qualified in temper, in vigor, in docility, in capacity to stand the climate, to answer all her purposes. (source: http://www.sewanee.edu/faculty/Willis/Civil_War/documents/HammondCotton.html )

    He also underlines that the conditions of slaves in the south are better than those of “wage slaves” and above all free blacks in the north. This is a common thread in defenses of slavery (you will see it if you read the full text of the first three examples), the idea that blacks are better off as slaves, and that a slave society is a stable and all-round better society that a wholly free one.

    What we don’t generally find in the strong defenses of slavery during this period, is the idea that slaves are “just property” and that with proper compensation southern slaveholders would have been happy to abolish slavery. This may have been the case previously, but by the late 1850’s, the peculiar institution had become deeply entwined with southerner’s views of themselves are their societies. Many seem to have believed that it was not only an economic necessity, but a moral good which improved the lives of previously “savage blacks” (another common theme) while allowing “superior whites” the leisure they required for civilized pursuits.

    I have never seen any serious (recent) work on the civil war arguing that slavery was a purely economic issue. To say this is to deny a large body of sources which suggest quite the opposite. If anyone would like to provide evidence to the contrary, I’d be happy to look at it.

    I’d love to go over views on abolition in the north as well (support was tepid, as I mentioned, and racism was rampant), but I feel I’ve gone on long enough. If there’s interest I might write on some of the (many) other misconceptions in this comment thread.

    BONUS: Actually, I’ll add one more thing quickly. The idea that slavery was not the main cause of the civil war is not really a “revisionist” view. In fact, this was really the first school of civil war history to be developed. The idea was that the Civil War was a sort of vanguard action fought by the south in defense of state’s rights and a decentralized union. This school views the civil war as a heroic “lost cause,” just but doomed to fail because of the march of modernity.

    Why was this view developed? With the end of reconstruction and the creation of the Jim Crow system in the South, it was no longer really possible to talk about a war of emancipation, because blacks weren’t really all that much better off than before. And with racist regimes in place in a large bloc of southern states, the north needed to find common ground with the south for the nation to move forward. In a sense, the north won the war, and the south won the peace, or the battle over how the war was remembered.

    This view of the civil war was not seriously challenged until the civil rights movement began in the 1950’s and 1960’s. At this point, a revisionist history emerged which began to recapture the central role of slavery in the war.

    Therefore, the return to the lost cause ideology is more of a racist reactionary movement.

  76. #76 Royster
    January 26, 2011

    I really have no idea what Bachmann (I wish she had another name, her name semi-associates her with BTO, whos a band I love…) is doing in office. I thought she was finished when she went on Hardball on October 17, 2008 and spouted all that McCarthyism gibberish. Is it just a coincidence that the places that end up electing the extremely stupid (AK, MN) end up being places where its very cold?? The thing that is also weird is I have known people from Minnesota and while they come across pretty book smart, they seem to have the common sense of a grapefruit. Please note, this is coming from someone, that despite my political differences, I have great respect for both Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee.

  77. #77 Dunderhead Down Under
    January 26, 2011

    A little common sense said, “However, the sticking point with both sides was the question of compensation of slave owners.” I would like to state that those “owners” that went with the “flow” and employed slaves, deserve no compensation at all. In fact, their subsequent hardship is easily merited by them. If I had been around at the time, I would NOT have used any slaves at all. If I was rich enough, I would have employed paid servants from my own country, not imported, forced refugees against their will, with little or no pay. Humans lack common sense. They seem to be intrinsically evil, on the whole. Lazy sheep coaxed into doing the devil’s work!

  78. #78 Tsu Dho Nimh
    January 26, 2011

    Spain ended slavery in 1880, with an 8-year period of what was supposed to be ‘training” for the slaves, but what ended up being over-worked indentured servitude as the owners tried to get as much as possible out of their slaves before time was up.

    That was in their colonies of Cuba, Puerto Rico, and Santo Domingo. Spain’s abolished slavery in the mother country in 1811, but AFAIK, visiting slave owners could bring slaves in and leave with them still slaves.

  79. #79 The other Susan
    January 26, 2011

    I lived in the South for about 12 years after I completed college. That’s when I first heard the phrase “The war of Northern aggression”.

    @#46 Good thought experiment.

  80. #80 Tom Degan
    January 26, 2011

    I love Chris Matthews. I thinks he’s the smartest son-of-a-bitch out there. But I really have to chide him for giving the country Michele Bachmann. She was a deservedly unknown Minnesota congresswoman in October 2009 when he invited her on his program “Hardball” for an interview. It was there that she called for an investigation of all the Democrats in congress for their “un-Americanism”. Under normal circumstances such an idiotic statement would have hurled her right back into obscurity. Instead, the GOP made her a star.

    Isn’t life strange?

    http://www.tomdegan.blogspot.c

    Tom Degan

  81. #81 DuWayne
    January 26, 2011

    Greg –

    It is not the southern/northern hemisphere, it is, like East/West, the North/South. The East/West is terminology that is still used today, though the meaning has been muddled since the end of the Cold War. The East was the Warsaw Treaty Organization, while the West was the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (and other “first” world nations). While it is still used today, the West has grown with the addition of several ex-Soviet block states. Essentially East/West is a purely political divide, with minimal economic connotations.

    The North/South divide is entirely based on economics. Like the East/West divide, it transcends mere geography and also largely ignores aggregate GDP and GDP per capita, focusing rather on the UN Quality of Life Index and the Human Development Index as indicators of economic success. This means that countries that are rich in exploited natural resources, but where the income from said exploitation is sharply limited aren’t counted as economically successful if their population is still impoverished and/or brutally oppressed.

    That is not to say that like the E/W divide, the N/S divide isn’t largely a Eurocentric tool for propaganda (and exploitation) – it most certainly is. It is based on formulas used to decide where “aid” should go, including of course, “development” loans that often tend to line the pockets of despots and infrastructure contractors who do a half-assed job of making a few cities here and there look Westernized. But whether one is actually actively supporting the propaganda machine or dead against it, E/W and N/S have specific meanings in terms of international studies scholarship.

    I think the definitions and indeed the terms themselves are important because while the terms are predicated to a very small degree on geography (i.e. most of the South is in the Southern Hemisphere), the definitions have nothing to with geography. The ethnocentrism and exploitation implicit in these definitions is firmly entrenched in our dominant cultural, political and especially our economic institutions. By using them accurately, we can understand them and the role they play in perpetuating these failed institutions – and they do play an important, arguably a critical role in that perpetuation.

    What is really sad about this paradigm, is that it is definitely a critical aspect of our current economic crisis.

    Sorry for the interruption, I will now let you get back to your regularly scheduled argument about slavery – which was, of course, not at all about racism, or wasn’t at all driven by economics, or something like that. Or it could be that racism provided the justification, while economics was the motivation.

  82. #82 Sman
    January 26, 2011

    Fran Barlow @ 59 wrote:

    One shakes one’s head in disbelief that such arguments can be raised at all and worse, go unremarked by an American. No wonder the USA is in such a cultural mess.

    and again @ 73:

    To put it into a contemporary context…
    That this connection is not clear to some people even now is bizarre and it has little to do with what is normative here.

    Not everyone accepts yours, and other’s, moral/cultural relativism as the paradigm, through which, history is viewed.

    A very wise man, many centuries ago, wrote: It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. .

  83. #83 Rose Colored Glasses
    January 26, 2011

    Slave labor still exists in the USA. In prisons.

  84. #84 Mike Haubrich
    January 26, 2011

    I also clearly stated that “slavery is contrary to the principles of Christianity,” and “morally repugnant.”

    While quibbling over what is in the new and what is in the old testament, Christianity either expects us to buy the entire bible or to cherry pick the parts that followers are comfortable with following. But even if the Christians were to discard the Old Testament wrt slavery, there is a great deal of approbation of slavery implicit and explicit in the Nice Testament.

    ” Slaves, obey your earthly masters with deep respect and fear. Serve them sincerely as you would serve Christ. (Ephesians 6:5 NLT)”

    “Christians who are slaves should give their masters full respect so that the name of God and his teaching will not be shamed. If your master is a Christian, that is no excuse for being disrespectful. You should work all the harder because you are helping another believer by your efforts. Teach these truths, Timothy, and encourage everyone to obey them. (1 Timothy 6:1-2 NLT)”

    “Who then is the faithful and wise slave, whom his master has put in charge of his household, to give the other slaves their allowance of food at the proper time? Blessed is that slave whom his master will find at work when he arrives. (Matt. 24:45-46) ”

    “Slaves, accept the authority of your masters with all deference, not only those who are kind and gentle but also those who are harsh. For it is a credit to you if, being aware of God, you endure pain while suffering unjustly. If you endure when you are beaten for doing wrong, what credit is that? But if you endure when you do right and suffer for it, you have God’s approval. (1Pet. 2:18-29)”

    I have found that “a little common sense” is often wrong when it comes to checking out the facts. Christianity isn’t contrary to the principles of slavery. Christianity is all over the map, and its moralities are as helpful for guidance as tea leaves and palms.

  85. #85 PicassoIII
    January 26, 2011


    Slave labor still exists in the USA. In prisons.
    Posted by: Rose Colored Glasses

    Or as close as one gets these days.
    That’s racist, classist, often both.

  86. #86 Sally Strange
    January 26, 2011

    I notice people can’t seem to talk about this without slinging accusations of racism. I think an environment where accusations are being slung around so much, makes really thinking very difficult.

    I would like to know why it is that “accusations of racism” makes it difficult to think. What the hell can you possibly mean by this? Your prefrontal cortex shuts down whenever you detect the words “racist” or “racism”?

    Or is it simply that you, like most white Americans, simply can’t handle discussing racism? It’s “difficult to think” because as soon as racism is mentioned, you instantly leap into a defensive crouch, ready to deny culpability and responsibility for any and all injustices related to racism. The actual phenomenon of racism, its effects on people of color, the intrinsic role it has played in American history, all take a back seat to assuring paranoid white Americans that, “There there now, it all happened in the past, it’s not your fault, you don’t need to worry about any unconscious racist assumptions that are knocking around inside your pretty little head. YOU aren’t responsible for taking steps to end the racism that still exists today. Someone else will take care of it.”

    Grow the fuck up, my fellow pale-faces! Racism is one of the things Americans are known for, along with the moon mission, beating the Nazis, jazz, motherhood, and apple pie. It’s a part of fucking reality; please do your country and the entire world a favor by stopping with the hysterical hyperventilation every time racism is mentioned. This is a racist culture and a racist society. We are all, by default, racist. It takes hard work to become not-racist. People who actually care about ending racism are the first to acknowledge that they harbor racist assumptions within their own consciousness. People who would like to be in denial and pretend that racism is all in the pass and only lazy ingrates who are looking for government handouts are the ones who scream, “I’M NOT RACIST HOW DARE YOU ACCUSE ME!!”

    So, which one of these are you? The person who rationally acknowledges that they probably have some racist thoughts, but does his or her best to fight against them, or the person who remains in denial about reality in a desperate attempt to escape responsibility for the continuation of this terrible legacy?

  87. #87 Sally Strange
    January 26, 2011

    Obviously, “all in the pass” should be “all in the past.”

  88. #88 Greg Laden
    January 26, 2011

    Clam [74]:

    Lordy, lordy, now you’re re-writing geography as well as history.

    Who is rewriting geography? I think you are confused.

    Thank you for your declaration of expertise, by the way. Would you post your c.v. please so it can be verified?

  89. #89 Greg Laden
    January 26, 2011

    Jacob. “But the South did not want and in their single minded view of life believed that it was right and constitutional to keep and own slaves. The civil war was fought because the Southern states Decided to draw away from the North ecause they beleived that the North was being unconstitutional for “thinking” about ending slavery. ”

    So, you’re saying that the Civl War was fought over the issue of slavery. Interesting. Good point, I think you may be correct.

  90. #90 Sally Strange
    January 26, 2011

    Also, “only lazy ingrates who are looking for government handouts” is missing a clause.

    People who would like to be in denial and pretend that racism is all in the pass and the only lazy ingrates who are looking for government handouts ever claim that racism affects them are the ones who scream, “I’M NOT RACIST HOW DARE YOU ACCUSE ME!!”

    Sorry about that.

  91. #91 Greg Laden
    January 26, 2011

    A Little Common Sense [57] “slavery was the most significant issue that led to secession.”

    Was it? Interesting. So, the Civil War was mainly a war about slavery. Interesting. I’m sure there were other factors too. But yeah, it makes sense that since the south seceded because the north was trying to limit slavery, that would be, like, the key issue, and denying that would be, well, suspicious.

    Fran: “One shakes one’s head in disbelief that such arguments can be raised at all and worse, go unremarked by an American. No wonder the USA is in such a cultural mess.”

    I agree that the USA is such a mess,etc. but I really think you are not paying attention if you think things are going “unremarked” here. But, I have to admit that your post [59] is a bit unclear. What am I missing?

  92. #92 Greg Laden
    January 26, 2011

    AC .. 14th amendment. That is one of the “reconstruction amendments” …. one of the amendments passed as an out come of the civil war. Yeah, I remember that. So, you are arguing, then, that the civil war’s outcome was the end of slavery? Interesting.

  93. #93 Bruce Gorton
    January 26, 2011

    IMHO, slavery is contrary to the principles of Christianity, but it is also a fact.

    BULLSHIT. Oh, and I am not going to point simply to the OT for this one – here is the New Testament:

    Ephesians 6:5-9: “Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ; Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart; With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men: Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free. And, ye masters, do the same things unto them, forbearing threatening: knowing that your Master also is in heaven; neither is there respect of persons with him.”

  94. #94 Greg Laden
    January 26, 2011

    Common Sense [61]: What Evilcor said. Your attitude is deeply offensive. You don’t seem to understand why. You should think about that.

  95. #95 -
    January 26, 2011

    Let’s try an analogy. Say child porn was not illegal, then congress made it illegal.
    Inspiring: “when child porn is outlawed, only outlaws will have child porn.” (therefore, child pornsters secede)

    btw alcs,
    socialism!!=capitalism
    rather,
    communism!=capitalism
    socialism!=anarchy

  96. #96 Greg Laden
    January 26, 2011

    Laura [71] great comment, and thanks for tying in the two separate points in the post! (civil war/slavery and Michel Bachmann as an exemplar)

    One reason there are “accusations of racism” is because there is racism. The whole “the civil war was not about slavery” is part of a white supremacist revisionist history that comes out of the south, flies the Confederate flag, and serves as the social repository for Jim Crow behavior. It’s real and needs to be called out when it comes around.

  97. #97 Greg Laden
    January 26, 2011

    Common sense 64: You are starting to get on my nerves. I have read publications of the day and of the previous several centuries regarding both slavery and race. I’m not quite sure what your point is regarding slavery causing racism vs. racism causing slavery. I’ve not made a statement about that, and it has not come up on this thread yet you seem to be arguing that i’ve got that reversed .

    Your oversimplification is, of course, a joke and an embarrassment, but it is also clearly wrong. Racism was not caused by slavery. Nothing so simple happened in early American history. And what we think of today as “racism” is not something that has always existed in “the human race.” Modern racism, and mid 19th century racism (which are not too different at a moderately deep level and deeper, if very different on the surface) are not found in many cultures today, and in the past where we have some idea.

    You have very strong strong opinions drawn from almost no actual study or knowledge, yet are very quick to tell others that “they need to reedzz!!!”. I suspect that you are a half-educated high school student who’s parents let him on the Internet. Get back to your homework, young man.

  98. #98 PicassoIII
    January 26, 2011

    Please note, this is coming from someone, that despite my political differences, I have great respect for both Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee.
    Posted by: Royster

    Wait, what?!?
    Romney is ‘moderately’ mostly harmless, Huckabee while not the same level of batshit, is still quite the so-con authoritarian.

  99. #99 A little common sense
    January 26, 2011

    Reply to # 69 and 70 posted by Drivebyposter
    Your habit of finding things I did not write and arguing with them is rather disconcerting. In effect, you are arguing with yourself, and that is foolish since you cannot win such an argument.

    Posted by A little common sense: “I am also sure that some [slave owners]… did not care for the institution of slavery and would have willingly abolished it if that had not meant economic ruin for them.”

    Somehow you got this out of that simple, straight-forward, unambiguous statement :

    Posted by Drivebyposter in reply: “So the majority of slave owners opposed slavery down to their very core but you know…stuck with it. Why? Because of money according to you.”

    While “economic ruin” could be described as “because of money,” it’s a bit more than that. However, I did not write that “the majority of slave owners opposed slavery.” That’s your stupid idea, and you made quite a good argument against yourself. I did not state that anyone was “opposed to slavery down to their very core.” They weren’t, but they did have moral objections to slavery, and they did question how slavery fit in with the teachings of Christ.

    Posted by Drivebyposter: “Why didnt [sic] those opposed to it just sell their slaves and their farms/plantations/whatever and go somewhere where they don’t have to do monstrous things?”

    That’s a very foolish question, and we should look at the ignorance and misunderstanding that motivated you to ask it.

    First, why would any sane person suggest that an entire population should uproot their families and their lives and move elsewhere when the institution we are discussing, slavery, was legal, accepted, specifically protected by the laws of the land, and common practice? The answer to that is obvious: you have no idea of the conditions in America during the antebellum period. In other words, you are ignorant, and I have neither the time nor desire to educate you.

    Second, if you are so offended by slavery, how can you suggest that these people should have sold their slaves? That is what the northern states did, and it only perpetuated slavery. Banning slavery in the north did nothing to end slavery, but it gave the South more reason to oppose abolition.

    Third, why didn’t the holier-than-thou, Yankee traders and shipowners simply refuse to carry Southern goods produced with slave labor? That would have put an immediate end to the institution. Answer: those Yankees were far more interested in profits – money – than they were their so-called high principles. Isn’t that what you were criticizing slave owners about?

    Posted by Drivebyposter: “What you’re suggesting makes no sense. You’ve offered nothing to suggest that most people INCLUDING slaves owners hated slavery and wanted it to end but you still insist this is true and these people were violating their own moral codes for money. All of them fighting to keep slaves were doing this. It’s amazing.”

    What I am stating makes no sense to you because you are as ignorant as a stump.

    I suggest that you try reading a few books about the period, and not just the ones written after the war by northern apologists. I recommend as a start “Sarah Morgan – The Civil War Diary of a Southern Woman,” “The Private Mary Chesnut,” and “Memoirs of Service Afloat” by Raphael Semmes.

    Another invention by Drivebyposter: “I really don’t see how you can pretend the OT has nothing to do with xtianity.”

    I did not so state. That is another of your asinine inventions.

    I wrote that “slavery is contrary to the principles of Christianity.” The teachings of Christ which are the “principles of Christianity,” are to be found in the New Testament, not the Old.

    Drivebyposter, why don’t you try to comprehend what I write instead of inventing strawmen to argue against?

    Your values are from the end of the 20th Century and beginning of the 21st. They have absolutely no bearing on the values of the early 19th Century; they do not even vaguely reflect the conditions and beliefs of that time.

    You are a collection of anachronisms. You could make no less sense if you tried to justify the Civil War by citing the 13th Amendment.

    When you ignore the conditions of the society then, you voluntarily choose ignorance. Therefore, all of your subsequent ponderings are tainted by that lack of knowledge, and any judgements you make will be faulty.

    “Santayana’s famous aphorism ‘the one who does not remember history is bound to live through it again’ is inscribed on a plaque at the Auschwitz concentration camp translated into Polish.”

    That advice was in reference to the Holocaust, but the same can be said for slavery, violence, racism, and partisanism – all of which afflicted this country 150 years ago and are still with us to varying degree today.

  100. #100 Elizabeth
    January 26, 2011

    I did not say that slavery was regretable, Elizabeth. I said that its existence in America was regrettable. There’s a difference.

    Bull. From your ‘regrettable’ remark and all of your other comments it is clear that you do not truly understand the severity of what slavery was or the magnitude of your offense.

    I also clearly stated that “slavery is contrary to the principles of Christianity,”

    As a female black atheist lesbian, I am unimpressed. The slavery of the American past was an act of Christianity. That you even mention this is an affront.

    By the way, since you seem unaware, slavery has existed since the beginning of human civilization, probably before. It was a feature of the Greek city-states, the Roman Empire, the African tribes, the Muslim nations, China, and just about every other civilization I can think of.

    Sorry, I failed to notice that when studying for my masters in American Studies, focusing on slavery in the US.

    The point is, Elizabeth, that slavery is and was a fact. In 1860, slaves were personal property to be bought and sold.

    My point is that human ownership of other humans, while seen as property by many of those involved, is a abhorrent act, and was in fact seen as one by others involved in the historical struggle of the time. My point is that by insisting that the war was about property and NOT about slavery (but the slaves were the property) you have sanitized history to your benefit from a position of privilege. You need to spend more effort learning the consequences of your statements and less effort attempting to propagandize others.

    No insult there, just facts, so get off your high horse and try to be human.

    My great great grandparents were thought of as not human by your great great grandparents. Things have changed less than many assume.

  101. #101 isaacschumann
    January 26, 2011

    M. the Canadian,

    Thanks! People seem to prefer their own interpretations, though, I saw no reply to you.

    Reading this thread I find it hard to believe I’m at scienceblogs, how is this a controversial issue?

  102. #102 isaacschumann
    January 26, 2011

    All should read comment #75 (sorry to double post)

  103. #103 I also have a bad attitude :-)
    January 26, 2011

    Michelle Bachmann as ‘The Thinking Man’s Sarah Palin.’
    I’d been thinking (slightly) vice versa. So maybe this is a multiply zero by zero problem…
    http://ht.cdn.turner.com/cnn/big/politics/2011/01/25/ac.kth.bachmann.history.cnn_320x180_dl.flv
    Watch her kindergarden audience hand language. She tells the Pet Goat story than George W Bush did. She’s the thinking bagger’s George Bush. (‘Remember. A vote for Bachmann is a vote for Bush. So why not just vote for Bush? Go ahead…’)

    (Also, her taxidemist is far more competent than Pat Robertson’s.)

  104. #104 I also have a bad attitude :-)
    January 26, 2011

    edit: Pet Goat story better than George W Bush did

  105. #105 bcoppola
    January 26, 2011

    “…slavery has existed since the beginning of human civilization, probably before. It was a feature of the Greek city-states, the Roman Empire, the African tribes, the Muslim nations, China, and just about every other civilization I can think of.”

    Yes, but the devil is in the details – or rather, one particular detail. In ancient societies AFAIK, slavery was usually just one consequence (along with murder and rape) of being conquered by another group. The conquerors could just as well find themselves or their descendants enslaved by another polity, and they likely knew this deep down. It was the way of the world. Greeks conquered and enslaved “barbarians” and the inhabitants of other Greek city-states. One generation of, say, Corinthians could be slaveholders and the next generation slaves. Rome conquered and enslaved Greeks and other peoples including the Slavic tribes, whose very name connotes “slave” (look it up). Ditto for Mughuls and Mandarins and Mongols*.

    The American South was different in one critical regard. Unlike in most other cultures, American slavery was buttressed and justified by an elaborately constructed racial ideology and body of law, itself further justified and buttressed by their interpretation of Christianity. And it focused on one particular group of people: Africans, whom they not so much conquered as raided for their human labor (in collusion with native African warlords and chiefs who probably simply saw “slaves” in the old-fashioned way – as conquered people to be disposed of as one wished). White Southern slaveholders did not see themselves as conquerors over a subject people (the natives having been mostly exterminated and “ethnically cleansed” to use the modern term) and the potential slaves of another conqueror; they saw themselves as a divinely ordained superior race.

    I must qualify all the above. I’m not an academic historian. But I’m confident that, while I may have details wrong I’m correct in my overall thrust. Constructive criticism is welcomed.


    *I likes me some alliteration.

  106. #106 bcoppola
    January 26, 2011

    BTW, your basic Roman legionnaire or Visigoth raider might have found Ms. Bachmann good for a diverting roll in the hay before putting her on household duties.

  107. #107 Dunderhead Downunder
    January 26, 2011

    To address,
    #99 A little common sense states, “… the institution we are discussing, slavery, was legal, accepted, specifically protected by the laws of the land, and common practice …”

    and also other comments to the effect that “… slavery has been around a long time …”

    Please stop trying to condone bad human activity, no matter how widely accepted, or how long a time used. We know it’s bad, and you know it’s bad. All consciousness has something inside that tells when something is right or wrong. If you ignore it, your conscience nags you. Getting someone to do things for you, without you ever doing anything for them, is just plain wrong. Hence, slavery is wrong.

    As a species, humans need to wake up to the fact that they are, by virtue of physiology, guardians of this beautiful blue-green orb. They need to stop their “secret” sordid lives, and get on with their purpose – protect and encourage all life on this planet.

  108. #108 James Sweet
    January 26, 2011

    I’ve been thinking some about the “Civil war was not about slavery!” revisionism and what underlies it and allows it to be such a resilient meme. Of course the core reason is just flat-out racism and/or a refusal to deal with the more painful aspects of our nation’s history (depending on the person). But the idea does seem to have some vague pseudo-intellectual appeal, and I’ve been wondering why.

    I think one could make a cogent argument that the Civil War, while obviously being about slavery, might not have actually risen to the level of war without the other factors (differing opinions of federalism, different culture in the South, etc.) that the Lost Cause revisionists point to. After all, I can’t see there having been a rebellion over Brown v. Board of Education, eh? Then again, slavery was critical to the Southern economy, whereas segregation not so much… so maybe it was just the economics of slavery that elevated it to the point of war.

    Dunno, just thinking aloud. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter, because the Lost Cause folks are wrong… the Civil War was ultimately about slavery, and the South (sorry guys) had the obviously morally inferior position.

  109. #109 James Sweet
    January 26, 2011

    Rewatching the Bachmann video, I think the vilest quote was “We know that slavery was still tolerated” (emph. mine)

    Dude, it wasn’t tolerated, it was institutionalized. Saying “tolerated” is a sick rhetorical minimization.

  110. #110 TTT
    January 26, 2011

    LittleCommonSense, you keep making excuses that you think are refutations but actually aren’t.

    “The Civil War was fought over property rights!”–yes, the right to own human slaves as property.

    “The Civil War was fought for economic reasons!”–yes, the economy of the Slave South being dependent on slavery and vulnerable to abolition laws.

    “This or that Northern policy didn’t end slavery!”–is a non-sequitur.

    You are quick to accuse others of “not understanding 19th-century values,” but as Greg pointed out if you actually read the primary literature written by the Slave South’s leaders at that time they were all openly coming out and saying that they would go to war to defend slavery and keep blacks inferior to whites forever.

    It was an evil practice of an evil culture, and both the practice and the culture deserved to be annihilated. The good guys won. You’re welcome.

  111. #111 Rob
    January 26, 2011

    If you really think the Civil War wasn’t fought over slavery, please have a look at Jon Stewart and Larry Wilmore

    http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/thu-december-9-2010/the-south-s-secession-commemoration

  112. #112 A little common sense
    January 26, 2011

    Reply to #91, 94, and 97 posted by Greg Laden

    Posted by A Little Common Sense [57] “slavery was the most significant issue that led to secession.”

    Reply by Greg Laden: “Was it? Interesting. So, the Civil War was mainly a war about slavery.”

    Greg, your reasoning is faulty if you get that from what I wrote. To reach that conclusion, it would be necessary to state all the issues, weigh each one, and determine that slavery represented more than half the total. You failed to do that. You merely jumped to a conclusion that supported your original faulty premise.
    Indeed, in post #11, you stated exactly the same thought when you wrote, “But Slavery was a MAJOR component, a major reason, for the war. Pushing that aside is part of a modern revisionist racist would-be “history.”
    A major reason for the Civil War, but not “mainly a war about slavery.” And anyone who can premise their argument with “slavery was the most significant issue…” is neither pushing it aside nor attempting racist revisionism.

    Posted by Greg Laden: “What Evilcor said. Your attitude is deeply offensive. You don’t seem to understand why. You should think about that.”

    Oh, I have. I’ve often wondered why people such as you, Evilcor, and others here think disagreement with their ideologies is an insult. And why simple statements of fact illicit the same reaction. That is not mature behavior.

    Posted by Greg Laden: I have read publications of the day and of the previous several centuries regarding both slavery and race. I’m not quite sure what your point is regarding slavery causing racism vs. racism causing slavery.

    In an earlier post you wrote, “Please don’t brush racism of the 19th century under this rug of “economics” and don’t sidestep racism that is very much alive today.”

    I took this to mean that you saw slavery (the economic issue) as an expression of racism. To be precise, I stated “I believe that racism in 1860 was primarily a result of slavery, not the other way round. If you bother to read publications of that period, you will learn that it was common to try to justify slavery with unsupportable racial theories.”

    I did not state that racism was caused by slavery. I said just the opposite, that “racism has always existed in the human race, and that it was developed and systematized as a justification for the enslavement of blacks and Indians in America.”

    Since this obviously confused you, I will explain. Slavery began in the colonies as a result of the need for cheap labor. The first slaves were whites and Indians. Later Africans were imported.

    Despite the fact that slavery was practiced in just about every colony in the New World as well as many European countries, many people were uncomfortable with it. Please recall that this period coincided with the beginning of movements for personal freedom and human rights.

    A realization that slavery was evil did not spring fully grown into the world like Athena. It took time to develop and spread.

    As it was doing so, practitioners of slavery were fighting a rearguard action to protect the institution. One of their tactics was racism; they put forward all kinds of racial theories about why blacks were really not human, were inferior if they were human, were unable to take care of themselves, were really happier being slaves, were incapable of higher reasoning, etc.

    Systematized racism aimed at justifying slavery.

    Therefore, as I stated, racism was developed and systematized as a justification for the enslavement of blacks and Indians in America.

    Posted by Greg Laden: “what we think of today as ‘racism’ is not something that has always existed in ‘the human race.’ “

    Would you care to explain the distinction between racism in the Roman Empire, racism in early Muslim societies, racism in 1860 Atlanta, and racism that “we think of today”?

    I find racism rather a simple concept to understand. Apparently you see it as being much more complex. Please explain.

    I try to keep personal remarks out of my comments.

    Posted by Greg Laden: “You have very strong strong opinions drawn from almost no actual study or knowledge, yet are very quick to tell others that “they need to reedzz!!!”. I suspect that you are a half-educated high school student who’s parents let him on the Internet. Get back to your homework, young man.”,

    If your historical knowledge is as flawed as your guesses about me, you are truly not worth the effort. If you wish to learn, as I do, we can swap reading and study recommendations.

    However, if you merely wish to hold forth on what you think you know, have at it, but I am tiring of your vacuous arrogance.

  113. #113 reboho.pip.verisignlabs.com
    January 26, 2011

    As with everything, it’s complicated. Reading about what was happening leading up to the war would be helpful. Growing up in the Missouri-Kansas border area, I remember being taught much more about the prewar years and the causes of the Civil War.

    Not an authority, but from WikiAnswers:

    The long range consequences were many and varied. One historian has remarked that, before The Civil War, this country was known as the United States; after The Civil War, we called ourselves these United States, a small but important etymological distinction. These United States were forged in the terrible crucible of Civil War. We were not the same country coming out of it as we were going in.

    When the Civil War began, it was not, in theory, specifically over the issue of slavery, although slavery became the issue as the war progressed. As Bruce Catton, one of the giants of Civil War historians, points out in his great trilogy on the war, The Centennial History of The Civil War: Doubleday, 1961-65, when Abraham Lincoln was elected to the presidency in 1860, the first of the 11 states to secede, South Carolina, did so primarily in the mistaken belief that Lincoln and the so-called “Black Republicans” intended to interfere with the institution of slavery in the states where it then existed. In fact, Lincoln and the Republicans had repeatedly said they would make no move against slavery where it already existed, but that they did oppose the expansion of slavery into new territories. In other words, slavery would be left alone as long as it stayed put.

    Read more: http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_were_the_consequences_of_the_civil_war#ixzz1CAZddyJQ

  114. #114 Emily
    January 26, 2011

    reboho, how does quoting an obvious apologist source support the apologist position?

  115. #115 reboho.pip.verisignlabs.com
    January 26, 2011

    It’s worth noting that Michele Bachmann and Paul Ryan essentially gave the same speech but Ryan is the serious one……

  116. #116 Rob Jase
    January 26, 2011

    Hey Ed, have you noticed that the attacks on teaching evolution are generally coming from the same folks that are trying to teach that slavery wasn’t the main cause of the US Civil War?

    Its an amazing coincedence!

  117. #117 Greg Laden
    January 26, 2011

    Rob, good point. Almost certainly true, and a very important observation.

    Who’s Ed?

  118. #118 Rob Jase
    January 26, 2011

    Sorry Greg, I’ve been watching it snow too much.

  119. #119 Greg Laden
    January 26, 2011

    That’s OK, Wilber!

  120. #120 Montana
    January 26, 2011

    Michele Bachmann did not say how we got here from eight years of poor leadership, two wars without end, diminsihed Civil liberties. Its like she crawl out from under a rock just to complain about our current President. We all know that Americans for Prosperity and Freedom Works started the Tea Party, grasroots, please. She like Sarah Palin, Christine O’Donnell, Sharron Angle and Linda McMahon, they are just not right but funny. I especially like the clip of Bachmann saying that the founding fathers abolished slavery, wow, what a liar, not the first or last time that will happen. Does anyone with self-respect real believe her?

  121. #121 Drivebyposter
    January 26, 2011

    No common sense:
    Your argument is “What I say is true. If you’d read these books you’d know people are betraying their values for money and that I’m right”

    I still say bullshit. You haven’t shown that almost everyone opposed it, even the slave owners. You can tell me to do my own research all you want, but you should know that argument is fucking crap. If what you are saying is true you should be able to show me a virutally endless supply of primary documents where slave owners are awful goshdarn upset over the fact that they own people but refuse to do anything to correct this problem.

    And this is all really besides the fucking point. Whether they felt bad about owning people doesn’t change the fact that they did and you’re still defending a monstrous institution.

  122. #122 Pete
    January 26, 2011

    The current administration was given a 30 year old beat up car. And now they are getting blamed for the fact that the clutch went out, while they were driving it…And they are having really hard time finding parts

  123. #123 Fran Barlow
    January 26, 2011

    Greg Laden said:

    I agree that the USA is such a mess,etc. but I really think you are not paying attention if you think things are going “unremarked” here. But, I have to admit that your post [59] is a bit unclear. What am I missing?

    My point was that some here are trying to claim that the Civil War was not caused by the struggle over abolition but was driven by an “economic” argument over fair restitution for forfeit property (in this case human beings and their “issue”). I was seeking to show that this distinction was specious — in that one could scarcely negotiate about restitution without affirming the integrity of slaveholding as a system of property.

    What I found bizarre was that while many objected to the revisionist historiography attaching to the Civil War, none before me raised this stunningly obvious objection. By implication, the conclusion is invited that claims for compensation for lost human chattels were, in principle, recoverable. In turn, this invites a connection to a broader problem in American cultural life –that property and property rights as concepts are inviolate, not merely in the eyes of the right, but amongst many identifying as on the left as well.

    Now I do not doubt that self-identifying American leftists (and even most right-of-centre liberals and conservatives) would, if they thought it through, utterly reject the idea that there can be a legitimate equity in a human being, but that is not the same thing as saying that self-identifying American leftists and their fellows travellers on this matter always work backwards to the foundations of their claims and arguments. One may pick at the signs of a problem without understanding its etiology.

    This development in this thread of this topic underlines the point that the slogans and claims attaching to human struggles are often a misleading guide to the underlying problems (and certainly, in a separate context, we’ve seen that played out over climate change for example). There can be no doubt that the struggle to sweep away chattel slavery and to supplant it with an industrial society covering the whole of the American Commonwealth was at the foundation of the Civil War. Yet the signs of this struggle were obscured by the participants as they sought to find the language required to mobilise their supporters.

    As Marx notes in The 18th Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte

    Men make their own history, but they do not make it as they please; they do not make it under self-selected circumstances, but under circumstances existing already, given and transmitted from the past. The tradition of all dead generations weighs like a nightmare on the brains of the living. And just as they seem to be occupied with revolutionizing themselves and things, creating something that did not exist before, precisely in such epochs of revolutionary crisis they anxiously conjure up the spirits of the past to their service, borrowing from them names, battle slogans, and costumes in order to present this new scene in world history in time-honored disguise and borrowed language. {…} In like manner, the beginner who has learned a new language always translates it back into his mother tongue, but he assimilates the spirit of the new language and expresses himself freely in it only when he moves in it without recalling the old and when he forgets his native tongue.

    It is scarcely surprising that the proponents of the “revisionist” account of the genesis of the Civil War can find any number of talking points, sourced in the actions of the then Republican side, to muddy the waters on this matter. Both the reformers/revolutionaries and the defenders of slaveholding were products of the tradition of all dead generations and had perforce to start from this rude platform. Yet the underlying battle — one over slaveholding as a system of social organisation was utterly plain.

  124. #124 Greg Laden
    January 26, 2011

    Fran: Ah, I get your point now. Indeed. Good point.

    that property and property rights as concepts are inviolate, not merely in the eyes of the right, but amongst many identifying as on the left as well.

    I don’t think the average American has much of a clue regarding approaches to property seen in even “sister” cultures like Britain. And from the right, anyway, discussions that engage the topic of property are usually assumed to be part of a socialist plot.

  125. #125 Chris
    January 26, 2011

    If the Civil War was all about slavery, how come no slaves fought in it?

  126. #126 Tea bag thrower
    January 26, 2011

    Technically the war was about states rights. of course much of the fight was over slavery. Besides, the yankees started the war, the south was just defending itself against those awful capitalists in the north. They were fighting against imperialist yakees.

    Oh, and only a racist calls someone else a racist.

    Teabaggers? That is so fucking faggoty of you. Everytime I get hear a marxist DICKtator call a regular american a teabagger I would love to have a real teabag soaking wet and shove it up their ass. Better yet, freeze it and use a slingshot to shut their fascist mouth. Teabag that!

    My one rule is this. No one calls me a teabagger uless I get to call them a marxist faggot/ gorrila asshole licker. People who call other people “teabagger” secretly stick their tongue up their dog’s asshole. I guess that somehow contributes to global warming too. Wait. I think that is common practice in san franSICKo. Oh well. Power to the sheeple.

    Teabagger. You idiot. Go stick your tongue six inches up a slimy cow’s ass.

    All you america haters do us a favor. Stick you arm up each other’s ass, grab your uvula, then pull real hard. Teabag that! I think the police/military should develop a fully automatic weapon that fires wet tea bags. Then we can use it in greece and at the G20 summit where all the braindead/brainwashed comujnist kids go on violent rampages and burn stuff. Nothing like wet tea bag traveling at 700 feet per second across your face to get your attention. That would be hilarous to see police firing wet tea bag at asshole communist revolutionaries. I would even pay to see that. Especially if every other bag was frozen. Maybe then they would have a legitimate reason to hate tea bags.

    I though thought teabagger was a homophobic term anyway. What are you communist oppressives doing usin it? Teabagging is what goes on in san frasicko where your butthole stretcher buddies live and rule. You homophobes.

    Tea bagger. How dare you use a homopathic term to describe us. I guess that’s all we can expect from people who use violence while at the same timke have their tongu up an animal’s ass.

  127. #127 Drivebyposter
    January 26, 2011

    Uh oh…sounds like some closet bestiality fan is upset.

  128. #128 Greg Laden
    January 26, 2011

    I wish he was in the closet. At least we’d then have a chance of slamming closed the door and nailing it shut.

  129. #129 Drivebyposter
    January 26, 2011

    Tea bagger. How dare you use a homopathic term to describe us. I guess that’s all we can expect from people who use violence while at the same timke have their tongu up an animal’s ass.

    I think teabaggers are actually made of pure irony and stupidity so dense that it becomes and actual solid, living, almost-sentient thing. This guy just proves my theory.

    Teabagger!

  130. #130 shenlee
    January 26, 2011

    How stupid is the Tea Party anyway? They keep coming up with representatives who haven’t the foggiest idea of what the constitution represents and furthermore keep changing history to suit their needs. If you put Michele Bachmann and Sarah Palin in a paper sack you would you have one big whoop ass bag of DUMB!

  131. #131 Sal
    January 27, 2011

    Never mind that John Quincy Adams was not a founding father

  132. #132 NJ
    January 27, 2011

    Tea bag thrower @ 126:

    How dare you use a homopathic term to describe us.

    OK, there’s got to be a diluted/deluded joke in there somewhere…

  133. #133 A little common sense
    January 27, 2011

    Reply to #100 posted by Elizabeth

    Bull. From your ‘regrettable’ remark and all of your other comments it is clear that you do not truly understand the severity of what slavery was or the magnitude of your offense.

    Frankly, Elizabeth, I don’t give a damn how people dead a century might be offended.
    My ancestors were not only enslaved, but they suffered planned genocide up to the first decade of the 20th Century, a half-century after your people were freed. And your people helped the whiteman do it. You don’t hear me whining about that.

    As a female black atheist lesbian, I am unimpressed.

    female…black…atheist…lesbian? Damn! That’s three strikes.

    The slavery of the American past was an act of Christianity. That you even mention this is an affront.

    No, Elizabeth, it was an act of Christians and Muslims and animists and even atheists like you.

    But it was not an act of Christianity.

    Neither you nor the Liar in Chief in the White House understand that very important, very elementary distinction between people who are Christians and Christianity.

    And when it comes to the truth about slavery, slaves were owned and traded by whites and blacks. Slaves owned slaves. Freedmen owned slaves.

    What have you got to say about the black men that owned other black men? What about the black men that captured other black men, chained them together, and sold them to Muslim slave traders? How about the Yankee traders that brought those people to the New World and sold them in Hispaniola, Cuba, Brazil, and, yes, the American colonies?

    By the way, since you seem unaware, slavery has existed since the beginning of human civilization, probably before. It was a feature of the Greek city-states, the Roman Empire, the African tribes, the Muslim nations, China, and just about every other civilization I can think of.

    Sorry, I failed to notice that when studying for my masters in American Studies, focusing on slavery in the US.

    That’s because the “the Greek city-states, the Roman Empire, the African tribes, the Muslim nations, China” are not in the US. Duh.

    The common thread of slavery throughout history is almost impossible to miss, but somehow you seem to have done it.
    I offered you the opportunity to correct me when I stated that I could not think of a society that did not have slavery, but you dropped the ball there, too.
    If your performance here is an accurate indication, you wasted your money on that master’s degree.

    My point is that human ownership of other humans, while seen as property by many of those involved, is a [sic] abhorrent act, and was in fact seen as one by others involved in the historical struggle of the time.

    Yes? So?

    I cannot believe an educated person would make such an error, but you seen to be unable to understand that times change. What you see as “a [sic] abhorrent act” was an everyday, commonplace, ho-hum, fact of life not so long ago.

    My point is that by insisting that the war was about property and NOT about slavery (but the slaves were the property) you have sanitized history to your benefit from a position of privilege.

    Not privilege, Elizabeth, knowledge. Your subsequent comments about the whiteman not thinking your ancestors were human proves my point.

    You need to spend more effort learning the consequences of your statements and less effort attempting to propagandize others.

    You mean I should forget the truth, bury the facts, and repeat the mistakes of the past like you’re doing? Yeah, right.

    My great great grandparents were thought of as not human by your great great grandparents. Things have changed less than many assume.

    No, my great-grandparents saw your great-grandparents as suck-ups and ass-kissers to the whiteman.

    My great-grandparents tried their best to kill your great-grandparents, a.k.a. Buffalo Soldiers, although they did adopt a few of them, too.

    My great-grandparents accepted yours as human and tried to be their allies, but even then they were betrayed and killed by your people in the service of the whiteman.

    Now use your vaunted education, Elizabeth, and see if you can figure out what a fool you’ve made of yourself.

  134. #134 Drivebyposter
    January 27, 2011

    Tea bag thrower @ 126:

    How dare you use a homopathic term to describe us.

    OK, there’s got to be a diluted/deluded joke in there somewhere…

    Let’s not forget the REAL joke here, Teabaggers came up with the name themselves. They named themselves that. Greg didn’t make it up. No one on CNN started calling them that, THEY STARTED IT! There’s no way you can bitch about calling a group of people by a nickname they chose for themselves.

  135. #135 Paul
    January 27, 2011

    A little common sense, you’ve stepped over a half dozen lines with that tirade against Elisabeth. You are one piece of work. And by work I mean shit. What the fuck is it with you?

  136. #136 Steph
    January 27, 2011

    Common Sense, please crawl back under your rock.

  137. #137 Tea Bag thrower
    January 27, 2011

    @drivebypusster: (pun intended)

    Boy! You are a real peice of work. Boy you are about as shap as a bowling ball. some of us “tea baggers” (homphobic term) are already contemplating carrying large quantities of wet tea bags to throw at liberal scum who call us teabaggers (homophobic term and left wing hate speech) at these rallies. That would definitely get on the news. Even the marxist liar and homo Kieth Olberman at MSLSD would cover that. Of course he has probably been teabagged himself. His mother use to sticker her balls in his mouth every night. There is no other explanation as to why he is so nutty. His violent rhetoric causes violent rhetoric. I would not be surprised to learn that he and SEIU thugs and chumps orchestrated the violence at the G20 last time.

    Oh well. I can’t wait to start throwing wet tea bags at SEIU thugs. Hell. I might even bring a slingshot to make it more interesting. I suppose if marxist communist fuckface revolutionaries can throw flaming COCKtales and break windows, then we can at least throw wet tea bags at those criminals in response to their new world order bullshit.

    I would love to see a pay-per-view match between Glen beck and George uglyface Soros. We give Soros his pot of gold and we give Glen Beck a pile of wet tea bags. hen the bell rings and we see Glen Beck start beating Soros in the face with wet tea bags. Then at the end of the match. he steals Soros’s gold and gives it away to conservatives – particularly Answers In Genesis. See, we can do wealth redistribution exactly the same way the government does. Isn’t that wonderful?

    I may be a tea bagger, but at least I’n not a pee hagger like you. PEEHAGGER!

    You old fart. Go get a job and stop changing stuff.Be normal for once in your life. Dig deep into your childhood. Relive the Andy Griffith days. be happy and stop worshipping marx. It an only lead to totalitarian world DICKtatorship. In other words, stop sucking and start working. Boy!

    Oh, and throwing wet tea bags at anti-america moonbats also includes any left wing media member that might be filming as well. Of course dan Rther is out. He got himself fired (HA HA!) for telling his little lies. Good riddance. Thank God for Fox News.

  138. #138 Tea bag thrower
    January 27, 2011

    What I do not understand is all this talk about reparations to blacks abut their ancestors being slaves.

    I’m sorry, but you will just have to get you a Oiuja board and take that issue up with our ancestors. We have nothing to do with it.

    Besides. You don’t see Israelites bitching to Egypt about reparations do you? Hell at least black slaves didn’t have to build pyramids in the burning desert. I’ve got your reparation in my underpants. Just let me know when you want it.

  139. #139 Drivebyposter
    January 27, 2011

    Teabagger dumbfuck

    First, how am I an old fart? I’m in my 20s.

    Second, HOW IS IF TFUCKING HATE SPEECH IF YOU DIPSHITS NAMED YOURSELVES THAT?

    Third, what the fuck is a pee hagger? Is it as stupid as your are?

    Fourth, just for fun, when the fuck did i ever mention marx? You fucking retard. You realize I was arguing against someone who was justifying slavery and THAT makes me a marxist? Christ…read out loud the words you are typing and maybe you’ll realize how crazy you sound talking about wanting to watch beck teabag Soros.

    Fifth, LULZ at you for bitching about hate speech and pretty much all you say is barely coherent angry rants about people and talking about how much you like teabagging dudes at rallies.

    Sixth, Learn to spell. Your spelling is atrocious.

    To sum it up, You all gave yourselves the nickname of “teabaggers” stop crying over it. And you are stupid.

  140. #140 TTT
    January 28, 2011

    Wow, what a surprise: after all of NoCommonSense’s crypto-racist posts, he finally comes out into just plain ol’ racism. Surely no one could have foreseen that a defender of the Confederacy and its notion of “blacks = property” would turn out to believe that. No one. Surely.

  141. #141 A little common sense
    January 28, 2011

    Reply to #135, 136, & 140

    Posted by Paul
    A little common sense, you’ve stepped over a half dozen lines with that tirade against Elisabeth. [sic] You are one piece of work. And by work I mean shit. What the fuck is it with you?

    Lines? And just who established those lines, Paul? You? Your leftist friends? Since when are there lines limiting what a person can think? What the truth is?
    Would you care to define the lines you think I crossed? Do you even know what they are or are you simply running your foul mouth?
    Do you ever think for yourself, or do you merely drink the PC Kool-Aid prepared for you by your intellectual betters?

    Posted by: Steph
    Common Sense, please crawl back under your rock.

    When in danger, when in doubt, run in circles, scream and shout.
    Thank you, Steph for proving that there is no intelligence in your family.

    Posted by TTT
    Wow, what a surprise: after all of NoCommonSense’s crypto-racist posts, he finally comes out into just plain ol’ racism. Surely no one could have foreseen that a defender of the Confederacy and its notion of “blacks = property” would turn out to believe that. No one. Surely.

    I am continually amazed at the lack of reading skills displayed by so many of the politically-correct posters to this website.
    “…defender of the … notion of “blacks = property”

    TTT, I have never defended that proposition. To the contrary, I have condemned it as morally repugnant and evil. But Elizabeth criticized me because I did not condemn it strongly enough for her satisfaction. Sorry, Elizabeth, but we all must suffer through little disappointments. Keep smiling. You, too, TTT.

    What I really did, what you fools are whining about, is state that slavery was a fact in this country in 1860.

    You want to argue with that TTT? You want to say that slavery was not a legal institution, first established by law in Massachusetts in 1641, and subsequently in every state of the original Union? Are you claimng that it was not recognized by the Constitution that created the Federal government? Are you trying to tell us that slavery, chattel slavery, did not exist? Are you claiming that slavery was not upheld by the Supreme Court? What exactly are you trying to prove with your idiotic meanderings?

    Some fool posted these words above, “It [slavery] was an evil practice of an evil culture, and both the practice and the culture deserved to be annihilated. The good guys won. You’re welcome.”

    Oh, that was you, wasn’t it?

    Evil practice? Yes, but at the time it was an evil that was accepted and recognized and protected by law. Or are you claiming otherwise?

    Evil culture? If so, it included every one of the states of the United States. Even some of the northern states that had banned slavery still held slaves when the Civil War started; the rest had sold their slaves south instead of emancipating them.

    “…the culture deserved to be annihilated.” Oh, so you believe that a peaceful culture, living in strict accordance with the laws of the land, deserved to be annihilated because you think a part of their culture is immoral or evil?

    I guess that justifies open season on abortionists. Hey, they are obeying the law, but many think their practices are immoral and evil. Well, you must be saying that they should be “annihilated.”

    So you must believe that Muslims should be annihilated because their laws call for stoning women, cutting the hands off thieves, executing homosexuals, and murdering innocent men, women, and children. Oh, and keeping slaves, which they still do, by the way.

    Your words, TTT. See, TTT, you’ve got this double standard by which you see yourself as a good, moral person, so you believe you can judge others as being evil, even though they are living by the laws of their society, and then you, in your self-assessed righteousness, can condemn them to death and proclaim yourself to be a “good guy.”

    You are a fool, TTT, a dangerous, violent fool. And people like you are the cowards, the brave talkers, who perpetrate genocide and then claim superior morality.

    You are scum.

  142. #142 TTT
    January 28, 2011

    NoSense, it is both an honor and a relief to be called “scum” by someone like you, since your kind’s usual response to being provoked by your perceived inferiors is to build a fertilizer bomb.

    If you didn’t want to be known as the guy who defends the notion that blacks were seen as property, maybe you shouldn’t have done it over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again. We GET IT. Blacks were seen as property. The whole point is that THAT VIEW WAS WRONG, so who cares if they had it? They were wrong and their “values” are insignificant. The North was superior to the South for having done the right thing and cured itself of the slavery disease first. The South didn’t want to stop raping the preteen slave wenches, so instead they chose treason and killing 600,000+ Americans. Jefferson Davis was the most pure evil scum ever born in the Western Hemisphere, and his crimes dwarf anything Osama bin Laden could possibly dream of.

    But wait, I forgot: something something property rights something something, which made it all okay at that time, which makes it kinda-mostly okay now, amirite?

  143. #143 TTT
    January 28, 2011

    But-but-but, by my own definitions I’m neither violent nor scum. Since my beliefs are valid in my own mind, and the minds of all who agree with me, by your own reasoning I must be immune from condemnation forever. Anything that CAN be justified IS justified. That’s all you have shown of your little common sense.

    You may now spend a week defending me, as you did with the guys who killed 600,000+ Americans so they could keep r@ping their slaves. Of course, that wasn’t bad, because they said it wasn’t bad, and because they said it wasn’t bad you’ll say it wasn’t bad too. Stay away from bridge salesmen.

  144. #144 Elizabeth
    January 28, 2011

    Evil practice? Yes, but at the time it was an evil that was accepted and recognized and protected by law. Or are you claiming otherwise?

    Are you claiming that the slaves accepted slavery? You are clueless enough to think that and mean spirited enough to make that claim. Are you ignoring the global movements against slavery that had been going on for a century (and yes, that was part of my masters thesis, asshole)? Slavery was only accepted and protected by law in a very small, and diminishing, number of places. And the American Civil War was fought because that decreasing realm of legal slavery was threatened and your precious South took up arms to stop that.

  145. #145 Charles
    January 28, 2011

    Elizabeth, I apologize for my fellow human. I use the word “human” for lack of a better term.

  146. #146 Stephanie Z
    January 28, 2011

    little common sense, do you even remember what you’re arguing, and what you’re arguing against, or have you just gotten bogged down in “everybody but me is WRONG, WRONG, WRONG”?

  147. #147 Tea bag thrower
    January 28, 2011

    @drivebypusster:

    We did not name ourselves “teabaggers”. We names the movement the TEA Party which stands for Taxed Enough Already. It was the little punks on the left that started the teabagger bullshit.

    Lutz (whatever the hell that is) for your hate speech toward me. Liberturds always yap about hate speech and wanting to end when usually they are the ones who use it the most. They yap about how we talk about our non-birth certificate owning president while forgeting all the hate speech and death wishes to Bush. Hipocrtic morons.

    A pee hagger is a moonbat that pees on old hags becuase they are confused over what gender they are and what restroom they should use.

    PEE HAGGER!

    Do me favor. Stick you head up your ass, open your big mouth, then take a shit. It’s good for the enviroment. It’s called recycling.

  148. #148 Greg Laden
    January 28, 2011

    Actually, Tea Party members started using the term “teabagger” as an affectionate name for themselves until it was pointed out to them that teabagging is a sexual act that you won’t find in the bible. Well, actually, it is in the bible but whatever.

  149. #149 Greg Laden
    January 28, 2011

    Tea bag thrower: this is hate speech:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-12306077

  150. #150 Teabag thrower
    January 28, 2011

    Who defines hate speech?

    Better yet, who defines hate crimes? I thought all crimes were hate crimes. I have never seen a crime committed out of love for the victim. All in all, the term “hate crime” is just another censorship method or another class warfare method by Saul Alinsky’s nutjob followers. May they be teabagged with big balls for all eternity.

    All crimes are hate crimes. As for hate speech, the far left is just as bad to do it as the right. I have seen cases where they were far worse.

  151. #151 Greg Laden
    January 28, 2011

    Teabag thrower, your selective, willful ignorance is impressive. Hate crimes are clearly defined by law, and there is no ambiguity about that at all. Look it up. Or, commit one and ask the FBI agent interviewing you about it what it’s all about.

    Hate speech is more subjective but while the line between non-hate speech and hate speech may be broad, gray, and fuzzy, certain examples of it are utterly unambiguous. A priest showing up at a funural and haranguing the mourners in this way would be one of those examples, which is why the best response you could come up with is the distraction of noting the ambiguity of the definition.

    Now crawl back under your rock.

  152. #152 Drivebyposter
    January 28, 2011

    Teabagger
    Still as stupid as you were yesterday. I’m surprised you haven’t died doing something moronic while making a youtube video.

    They did name themselves that, and you are a fucking hypocrite.
    Read all of your own posts. Just your own. You contradict yourself several times. You say something is “faggoty” then bitch about homopohbia several times, then ask us why we were using a “teabagger” since we said it was homophobic (that was you though).
    You seem to just be throwing things out there without any consistency at all.

    And your made up insult is stupid. It sounds like something the slow kid in elementary school would come up with. The only difference between you and him is that he would understand why no one wants to sit near him.

    PS: are you 14? I’m being serious here.
    PPS: I said ‘LULZ’ You can’t even spell it right when it is in front of you.
    PPPS: Even more LULZ at you for not even knowing that hate speech is an actual well defined legal term.

  153. #153 A little common sense
    January 29, 2011

    Reply to # 144 posted by Elizabeth

    Posted by A little common sense
    Evil practice? Yes, but at the time it was an evil that was accepted and recognized and protected by law. Or are you claiming otherwise?

    Posted by Elizabeth
    Are you claiming that the slaves accepted slavery? You are clueless enough to think that and mean spirited enough to make that claim.[sic]

    No. Where did you get that idea? That’s utterly idiotic.

    Not only that, but it’s irrelevant. You know what I intended when I wrote the above, Elizabeth.

    The point that you and all the others here do not seem to want to grasp is that it matters not what’s moral or right or wrong so long as it’s legal.

    Like it or not, that’s civilization. The rule of law versus the rule of man, and we in the US opted for the rule of law when we decided not to have a king.

    Annihilating those we think are wrong is not civilized. Hear that, TTT? Hear that, George Bush? Hmm, TTT and Bush. What a pair of genocidal maniacs that would be.

    What should have been done is for slavery to have been abolished legally, through the processes described by the Constitution, not by war and the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people, but by the rule of law.

  154. #154 Elizabeth
    January 29, 2011

    No. Where did you get that idea? That’s utterly idiotic.

    You made the claim that slavery was generally accepted. By whom? By white land owning males in the south. That is not “general.” You should learn to run your thoughts through your brain before you let them out in the form of these idiotic missives.

  155. #155 drivebyposter
    January 29, 2011

    What should have been done is for slavery to have been abolished legally, through the processes described by the Constitution, not by war and the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people, but by the rule of law.

    That would’ve been nice….except for the south doing that whole…”We don’t like the way the laws on slavery are going to change so we are seceding” thing.
    Dipshit.
    The south thought the laws were going to be changed by Lincoln so they threw a fucking tantrum and tried to leave.
    Lincoln said he wasn’t going to end slavery in the states where it existed but wouldn’t accept secession, so the South proceded to attack Fort Sumter.
    …even though the commander in charge of it offered to surrender soon.
    http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/cwphtml/tl1861.html
    There you have it, your beloved south started the fucking war instead of doing things all nice and constitutionally…when you seem to have implied that the war was the fault of the North and they were teh ones who started the killing.
    I don’t even know what point you are arguing any more. You just seem to be saying stupid shit just to argue.

  156. #156 A little common sense
    January 30, 2011

    Reply #154 Posted by Elizabeth

    Posted by A little common sense
    No. Where did you get that idea? That’s utterly idiotic.

    Posted by Elizabeth
    You made the claim that slavery was generally accepted. By whom? By white land owning males in the south. That is not “general.” You should learn to run your thoughts through your brain before you let them out in the form of these idiotic missives.

    Gee, Elizabeth, have you ever considered the fact that accept might have more meanings than the one you want to use?

    Here is what the first hit on Google stated:

    - consider or hold as true; (HINT: This one)
    – receive willingly something given or offered;
    – give an affirmative reply to;
    – respond favorably to;
    – consider right and proper

    Well, gee, Elizabeth, the definition you like is the fifth one listed. Duh.

    Elizabeth, do you or do you not accept the fact that slavery existed in the South?
    Elizabeth, do you or do you not believe that the slaves accepted the fact that slavery existed in the South?
    How about the abolishionists? Do you think they accepted the fact that slavery continued in the South?

    Well, gee, Elizabeth, I guess slavery was generally accepted in 1860.

    Don’t play word games with me, woman. You knew what was meant by my original statement and you played the fool trying to pick at details. You’re just wasting time and trying to score an ignorant point.

  157. #157 Stephanie Z
    January 30, 2011

    little common sense, your argument with Elizabeth now rests on the idea that you felt it necessary to point out that people didn’t deny slavery existed. In a post about a war fought over slavery.

    It’s time to back away from the argument.

  158. #158 A little common sense
    January 30, 2011

    No, Stephanie, you’ve managed to miss the entire point. Again.

    Slavery was legal, recognized, commonplace, and accepted.

    In 1860.

    In other words, our values of today are totally irrelevant. We are not talking about 2011, but about 1860.

    All of you fools seem to think that your opinions today meant anything 150 years ago. They did not.

    And, by the way, you do not kill people for obeying the law.

    Except for TTT. He thinks it just fine to annihilate anyone he disagrees with.

  159. #159 Stephanie Z
    January 30, 2011

    Now you’re contradicting what you just said in your sneer at Elizabeth. Now you’re using “accepted” to describe values. And Elizabeth has quite capably handled that issue.

  160. #160 A little common sense
    January 30, 2011

    Posted by DriveByPoster

    There you have it, your beloved south started the fucking war instead of doing things all nice and constitutionally…when you seem to have implied that the war was the fault of the North and they were teh ones who started the killing.
    I don’t even know what point you are arguing any more. You just seem to be saying stupid shit just to argue.

    I know exactly what my points are, but you and some of the others seem to keep trying to change the subject with your nonsense.

    I also know that I did not imply anything. I am careful to state exactly what I mean. Repeatedly. Despite your insistence on misunderstanding.

    The discussion is what the Civil War was fought about. The correct answer is: money.

    The South seceded from the Union. In your wisdom, could you cite a provision of the Constitution that prohibited secession? How about a federal law? How about prevailing legal opinions?

    So you have to admit that the South seceded legally. In which case, they formed a legally constituted country, independent of the United States, and certainly not subject to intrusion by US warships and other military forces.

    The decision to fire on Ft Sumter was the worst mistake the South made simply because it gave Lincoln the excuse he needed to use military force.

    Whenever someone I correspond with insists on using profanity and vulgar insults, I terminate the conversation. You’ve reached that point: you’re fired.

  161. #161 NJ
    January 30, 2011

    ALCS @ 160:

    Whenever someone I correspond with insists on using profanity and vulgar insults, I terminate the conversation. You’ve reached that point: you’re fired.

    Futurama, The Day the Earth Stood Stupid:

    The Big Brain am winning again! I am the greetest! Ha ha ha ha ha! Now, I am leaving Earth, for no raisin!

    Plus ça change…

  162. #162 DuWayne
    January 30, 2011

    Little Common Sense –

    Whenever someone I correspond with insists on using profanity and vulgar insults, I terminate the conversation. You’ve reached that point: you’re fired.

    I think I can reasonably speak for everyone here when I say; Fuck you, you racist fuckwit. There, now you have no one left to converse with, we are, as you said it, all fired now.

  163. #163 A little common sense
    January 31, 2011

    Reply to #159 posted by Stephanie Z

    Now you’re contradicting what you just said in your sneer at Elizabeth. Now you’re using “accepted” to describe values. And Elizabeth has quite capably handled that issue.

    Stephanie, Elizabeth,
    How about you quit playing word games and behave like rational human beings? Can you do that?

    Applying your values, your beliefs, and your prejudices circa 2010 to events and conditions in 1860 has got to be the stupidest, most irrational practice a supposedly intelligent adult can engage in. Then you follow that by picking at word meanings when you know exactly what the intended meaning is.

    It occurs to me that the majority of you are archetypal bigots. By definition, a bigot is a prejudiced person who is intolerant of any opinions differing from his own. A bigot is a person obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices, particularly on the subject of race.

    This applies to you all so perfectly that it is amazing. When faced with a facts that differ from your accepted world view, you respond with indignant protests, made-up facts, and insults. You have made your judgements long ago, and anything that differs from these prejudices receives short shrift and vulgarity.

    All of you who believe that the simple fact that there was slavery in America in 1860 is racism, are even less rational. That, DuWayne the Dunce, is particularly aimed at you.

    I had hoped that this site would offer stimulating and objective debate. I was mistaken; most of you are bigots of the worst kind. It’s not that you cannot be convinced, but that you refuse to even consider any view that opposes your own, and insist on insulting and attempting to degrade anyone who holds a differing opinion.

    What is it with you all? Are you liberals? Is that it? If so I would ask what is a liberal? If you all are any indication, a liberal is a bigot. A liberal is closed-minded. A liberal defines progressive as having a single, approved opinion on every subject. A liberal picks and chooses the facts he or she wishes to consider and disregards all others. A liberal is foul-mouthed and vicious.

    Liberals believe in killing – annihilating – those who disagree with them or those they think are their moral and ethical inferiors despite the laws of their society. A liberal offers lip service to the rule of law and then attempts to force their beliefs on others by the rule of man.

    Liberals, in short, are sociopathic and psychopathic. Indeed, those of you that consider yourselves either progressive or liberal are, in reality, examples of the darkest, most evil potentials in human nature.

    I can honestly say that I leave this discussion with a sense of utter and profound contempt for the majority of posters on this blog.

  164. #164 Tom S.
    January 31, 2011

    Liberals believe in killing – annihilating – those who disagree with them or those they think are their moral and ethical inferiors despite the laws of their society.

    Examples please.

  165. #165 Stephanie Z
    January 31, 2011

    That’s the funniest piece of transparent projection I’ve seen in a long time. The guy who wants to define a slavery economy as only a monetary issue, who rails at someone for using the same definition of a word he’s using, who talks about “your people” vs. “my people,” and who can’t put a comment together without calling names is…nah, this is just too easy.

  166. #166 DuWayne
    January 31, 2011

    A couple of points for Fucknut.

    1) I’m not a liberal.

    2) I never said that the fact that there was slavery is racist – I called you out for your racism throughout this thread, most overt @133.

    3) Yes, I am bigoted when it comes to racist fucknuts like you.

    4) Excepting people who completely eschew politics and any sort of political involvement, everyone attempts to force their beliefs on others. That includes racist fuckwits, such as yourself and confused, conflicted asshats like the recently banned teabagger.

    5) You aren’t even worthy of my contempt, so I refuse to hold you in contempt. You aren’t worthy of anything from me, except my pity for your ignorance and stupidity.

  167. #167 TTT
    January 31, 2011

    NoSense, I proudly stand by my use of the term “annihilation,” both because it is true and because it clearly hurt your widdle feewings. Your repeated attempt to trump modern reasoning with discredited primitivist reasoning from 200 years ago, reductionist redefinition of the matter into a property dispute, and tut-tutting of any and all of the means that were used to cure the disease, all show a total lack of moral clarity and basic intellectual honesty. If it takes a word like “annihilation” to wake you up out of your heartless reductionism, I’ll happily say it again. I’m glad the culture of the Slave South was annihilated. They got what they deserved–actually, they got off light.

    The 9/11 attacks were “legal” under a version of shariah law. The perpetrators believe they were right, and many like-mindeds in their culture agree with them. Why don’t you start defending those now?

    Anything that CAN be justified IS justified. That is your little common sense.

  168. #168 Bill James
    January 31, 2011

    Heh… Somewhere within this thread exists a touch of irony in calling out a Native American over perceptions of racism when discussing the economic underpinnings of slavery and the run up to civil war over the matter. Not that being a Native American should factor into the discussion any more than Elizabeth being a Female Black Atheist Lesbian when focusing on such aspects in magnitude that was the southern cotton industry. If anything, “A Little Common Sense” should be commended for bringing the entire matter to attention. Alas, ALCS has been afforded little more than foul mouthed derision. Why?

  169. #169 Stephanie Z
    January 31, 2011

    Bill, that’s not terribly coherent. What did little common sense bring up that nobody else here was factoring in? Also, in terms of tone, he got what he gave.

  170. #170 NJ
    January 31, 2011

    Bill James @ 168:

    Not that being claiming to be a Native American should factor into the discussion

    Edited to enhance accuracy. And given the dishonest argumentation ALCS provided about everything else, said claim should be viewed in the same context.

  171. #171 DuWayne
    January 31, 2011

    Bill –

    The irony, if you want to call it that, is that a Native American is a racist fucking git. As for why he has garnered nothing but derision – that would be because he is a racist fucking git.

  172. #172 nathkatun7
    February 3, 2011

    The University that awarded Congresswoman Bachmann a law degree should be ashamed (Please don’t tell me it was Oral Roberts University). If the founding fathers (I suppose she included the Southern founding fathers who owned slaves) worked tirelessly to abolish slavery how come the country fought a civil war over slavery? Did the law school that granted Bachmann a law degree fail to teach, or even mention, the 1857 Supreme Court’s Dred Scott decision? If everyone who came to America was welcomed as equal, regardless of race, then why was it necessary to pass three Constitutional Amendments: the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth? Did Rep. Bachmann learn any thing about the Jim Crow period that ushered in legal segregation of the races in the Southern States? Is it possible that the college and the law school she attended omitted any mention of the Supreme Court’s “Plessy v. Ferguson” decision? I have a sneaking suspicion that, Rep. Bachmann, a college educated and a lawyer, is not that ignorant. Rather, she seems determined to re-write history to conform with teabaggers’ claims that their mission is to restore the ideals of the pure and blameless founding fathers.

    Who is dumber?; Michelle for saying the Founding Fathers eliminated slavery, or Sarah for saying that the Soviet Union collapsed because of Sputnik. What do you think?

  173. #173 mike
    February 25, 2011

    Hello ,lets all step back for a brief moment take a pause and breath of fresh air ,

    listen to the voice of reson .

    It does not matter if someone thinks that the civil war was based on the freedom for slaves.
    What matters now is the abolition of slaves world wide.a war if you will on all slavery. from your whores to pimps from the endebted to the banks, for thousands of years slaves have been baught and sold ,children for work and prostitution,tribes by other tribes, for there are so many more types and forms of slavery in this world, it no more matters the history ,now what matters is the end of this corrupt system. I am not a fanatic, I fell upon this blog in disgust,none of you can agree on anything,and point of view of tunnel vision you all have. abolish all forms of slavery and you will truly be free. Like it or not it’s true.

  174. #174 mike
    February 25, 2011

    Hello ,lets all step back for a brief moment take a pause and breath of fresh air ,

    listen to the voice of reason .

    It does not matter if someone “thinks “that the civil war was based on the freedom for slaves.
    What matters now is the abolition of slaves world wide.a war if you will on all slavery. from your whores to pimps from the endebted to the banks, for thousands of years slaves have been baught and sold ,children for work and prostitution,tribes by other tribes, for there are so many more types and forms of slavery in this world, it no more matters the history ,now what matters is the end of this corrupt system. I am not a fanatic, I fell upon this blog in disgust,none of you can agree on anything,and point of view of tunnel vision you all have. abolish all forms of slavery and you will truly be free. Like it or not it’s true.

  175. #175 mike
    February 25, 2011

    mind you,

    all wars are based on keeping or getting wealth ,slaves were no exception of the said time line. to assume all men are equal is misguided and uneducated mindset. we are only as free as our govnement lets us be. with that said I invite anyone and everyone to say something.
    The lies they instill as truth ,the rewriting of history,I implore each of you to look deep down and consider what you accept as truth.

    Truth is not accepting what your peers accept as truth.it is NOT complacency.
    it is opening you eyes and seeing through the clouds and fog of deceit that has been spoon fed to us since we were children.
    Search for truth through history,who is wrong or right is not the question. now it is the answer. This world is going through an enlightenment with no acceptance of the falsehood of the governments that rule us.Libya right now is in the news for a good example. all humanity is going to stand up as one to speak out that we had enough.IT’s about time isn’t it.

  176. #176 Pete
    March 18, 2011

    First sentences of Georgia’s Article of Secession….
    “The people of Georgia having dissolved their political connection with the Government of the United States of America, present to their confederates and the world the causes which have led to the separation. For the last ten years we have had numerous and serious causes of complaint against our non-slave-holding confederate States with reference to the subject of African slavery.”

  177. #177 DJ Joyce
    March 20, 2011

    Its secession, not succession. I’m sure it was an honest mistake, just clarifying. And yes, you’re right many southern states chose to secede primarily at the prospect of slavery ending. The north wasn’t necessarily all for freeing the slaves either. Many northern businessmen only wanted them free to hurt their competition that had free labor, and others in the north were afraid the freed slaves would come north and compete with them for jobs and homes since employers could surely exploit them and pay them less (like they do with Mexicans today). But certainly no founding fathers had anything to do with this. They all had slaves. They weren’t against it, although Jefferson had sympathies and was most helpful to the poor and farmers, but the majority framed the original Constitution (pre-amendments) for their own benefit. They only gave voting rights to those like themselves, termed the “betters,” who were wealthy and land owning white males. No poor whites could vote, no women, no blacks, no Indians, and there were few protections for anyone but themselves. That’s why all the same buddies got voted in as President. They also smuggled and committed other crimes. They weren’t as great as the Tea Party likes to believe, and their ancestors are who still rule today primarily at the head of GOP. They always say the “values of our founding fathers” — what, to decimate the Indians? Enslave the blacks? Deny rights to just about anyone but themselves? Those aren’t the kind of values I want back in this country. Most of us aren’t related to them but from immigrants who came later. They stole the land and money and resources, and built a capitalist country where it takes money to make money, and they already had taken most of it. This is the position they still try to hang onto today, and the tea party followers are a bunch of idiots, nutcases, and racists who are blindly doing the evil bidding for them, carrying the torch for the very ones who in the end will not hesitate to burn them.

  178. #178 Anon
    March 26, 2011

    As much as I hate Bachmann in office, whoever wrote this article in a complete idiot.

    The civil war WAS NOT fought to end slavery. Go read through of a few of Lincoln’s speeches, and you will find out the war happened because the south wanted to break off from the U.S.

    Go read Abraham Lincon’s letter to Horace Greeley of the New York Tribune.

  179. #179 Greg Laden
    March 26, 2011

    Anon, instead of responding to you, I’ll just suggest you glance through the 177 comments you skipped past to write your comment.

    Thanks for the comment, though.

  180. #180 Michele
    March 31, 2011

    People tell me all the time that I don’t know Civics. Well DUH I only drive American like a true Patriot!

    http://twitter.com/#!/Bachmonstrosity

  181. #181 Greg Laden
    March 31, 2011

    First that snake. Now this.

  182. #182 JusttheFacts
    April 1, 2011

    OK – I cannot take it anymore. I have seen so many people here claimin that the civil war was not about slavery, and it makes my stomach turn. You are wrong.

    Let me quote for you, the vice-president of the Confederate States of America – in his Inaugural address:

    “Our new Government is founded upon exactly the opposite ideas; 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.”

    So the CSA is founded on slavery. Simple and unalterable truth speaks for itself. Now please – Pull your heads out and realize that there is a thick sheen of ignorance over what M. Bachmann had to say here. She wasnt splitting hairs, she’s certainly not a scholar of history (she’s proved THAT multiple times already). At best, she got some facts wrong. At worst, she labored to make a point that was totally contradictory to established history, hoping to sway an ignorant crowd to her point of view.

    Now the question arises… Are YOU willingly part of that crowd?

  183. #183 JusttheFacts
    April 1, 2011

    OK – I cannot take it anymore. I have seen so many people here claimin that the civil war was not about slavery, and it makes my stomach turn. You are wrong.

    Let me quote for you, the vice-president of the Confederate States of America – in his Inaugural address:

    “Our new Government is founded upon exactly the opposite ideas; 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.”

    So the CSA is founded on slavery. Simple and unalterable truth speaks for itself. Now please – Pull your heads out and realize that there is a thick sheen of ignorance over what M. Bachmann had to say here. She wasnt splitting hairs, she’s certainly not a scholar of history (she’s proved THAT multiple times already). At best, she got some facts wrong. At worst, she labored to make a point that was totally contradictory to established history, hoping to sway an ignorant crowd to her point of view.

    Now the question arises… Are YOU willingly part of that crowd?

  184. #184 theSouthernAtheist
    April 8, 2011

    This may be a little late in terms of where the comments have gone topic-wise, but here goes, and I apologize for any unintentional repeats.

    I’ve found that some of the people I talk to, who are not from the south, can’t name anything about the civil war besides maybe a general or two, the Emancipation Proclamation, and the vague feeling that it happened in the 1800’s. That’s pretty sparse, and I wouldn’t get a much better (or different) response if I started this conversation with a random person in the south, either.

    Slavery was always a key issue, but the idea of ending it came into effect later. The war started because of state sovereignty issues, and continued because of state sovereignty issues. It ended because of the Emancipation Proclamation.

    The South originally seceded because of a policy the government had of allowing new states to vote on if they would keep slavery in their borders or not. For a while, the balance in Senate and Congress was 50/50 to slave states vs. “free” states (bearing in mind that the free states were by no means any better to African Americans). When Kansas became a state, there were major concerns over it upsetting the balance. Abolitionists and pro-slavery people flooded the state and fought each other(“Bleeding Kansas”).

    The violence eventually escalated, the federal government responded by passing a law that made the states above the 41st parallel (or some number) free, giving the free states a distinct congressional advantage. Slave states were not pleased.

    The slave states decided to secede rather than submit. Please note that the Emancipation Proclamation happened in 1863, DURING the civil war. No one was really talking about freeing slaves before that point, because it would’ve been an even worse political nightmare.

    Other states followed, and the Union was furious. Imagine burning the American flag in front of a tea party meeting. Abraham Lincoln said something along the lines of how he would’ve done anything to end the war. Freeing slaves just happened to be the most ideal solution.

    I know that seems like a minor distinction, but that doesn’t make it insignificant. So often in history we’re taught romanticized accounts of what actually happened, glorifying the winners and vilifying the losers.

    I saw in one of the above comments where someone was accused of being a racist sympathizer. How exactly is that warranted? Slavery is wrong, racism is also wrong. Does the above version of the war, sparse as it is, suggest anything else?

  185. #185 everetts
    April 20, 2011

    Come on Repubs,
    Elect Michelle Bachmann AND Sara Palin for Pres and VIce Pres. Bet you can’t do it. TWo morons at the same time? O.M.G. I’d die laughing if they did. Who’d be the one to break the news? These women are wonderful, only they can’t even understand how to cross a road….sheesh.

  186. #186 Stephanie Z
    April 20, 2011

    It’s very nice of you to, for once, engage in some basic honesty in picking your pseudonym. Someday, you’ll get around to applying it more generally. I’m sure of it.

  187. #187 MacTurk
    April 21, 2011

    To return to the original point; Ms Bachmann is a historically challenged idiot. And she only has to worry about 235 years of history. It takes much effort to get so much wrong.

    The South started the Civil War, by firing on Fort Sumpter. That is a fact.

    The seceding states, in the various resolutions published justifying secession, all gave a prominent place to slavery as the main issue, or one of the main issues. That is a fact.

    Abraham Lincoln(Republican) did not go into the Civil War as an abolitionist. It was not one of his war aims. He did not believe in racial equality. He basically would have been happier if all slaves and free blacks had been moved to Liberia. His stance was focussed on the preservation of the Union. The best known quote is “My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it 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 save the Union; and what I forbear, I forbear because I do not believe it would help to save the Union. I shall do less whenever I shall believe what I am doing hurts the cause, and I shall do more whenever I shall believe doing more will help the cause”.

    On the causes of the Civil War, here is Lincoln again. “Without slavery, the rebellion could never have existed. Without slavery, it could not continue.”(Abraham Lincoln, December 1, 1862, Message to Congress, James Ford Rhodes, “History of the Civil War, 1861-1865″, 1917, page 198).

    Anyone who claims that slavery was not a main cause, if not THE main cause, of the Civil War, is lying to her/himself, and is maintaining a position which is not factually based on the source documents of the period. Such a position is idiotic.

  188. #188 David Nabel
    May 20, 2011

    I’m not defending Bachmann and I think the GOP is nuts. But you clearly don’t know history. The Civil War was not fought to end slavery, the Emancipation Proclamation wasn’t even issued until it became clear the war would not be won fast, Lincoln only did it because he wanted to further divide the south. Had the war ended quickly, in all likelihood slavery as an institution would have continued until something else happened. Bachmann is stupid, but so are you for saying the civil war was fought over slavery, this information is easily available and I would try reading at least knowing the basics of what I was talking about next time if I were you.

  189. I don’t think the emancipation proclamation and its limitation fully address the question of why the civil war was fought. The civil war was fought for a number of reasons. The fact that there was more than one reason does not mitigate against the simple fact that slavery was one of those reasons, just because you would like that reason to go away for some reason.

    Also, when you look at the various reasons it was fought, even the ones that post-hoc denialists and revisionists such as yourself jump up and down breathlessly pointing to, most of them stem from the issue of slavery as well.

    Yes, David, the denialist information is indeed available. Also, there is a lot of information on UFO abductions and who shot JFK available.

    You might have looked less foolish in making your remark had you looked through the comments in which this discussion has pretty much been worked over and the conclusion has been reached: The Civil War was fought over slavery.

  190. #190 Greg Laden
    May 20, 2011

    There I go being Ana again. I feel like Steve Martin in that movie where they stitch brains. Sort of.

  191. #191 wassup
    May 21, 2011

    hmmmm i do believe the civil war was NOT about slavery at all, it was about states rights. lincoln just wanted to weaken the south. he hated blacks himself.

    although i think michelle bachmann is a moron, you just proved that you’re not much better either.

  192. #192 Greg Laden
    May 21, 2011

    States rights vs. federal over various issues. Mainly, slavery.

    Thank you for stopping by and calling me a moron, though. I appreciate that. I wonder if you speak in this manner in person to people who say things that you don’t agree with? If so, I imagine you have one of those boxer’s noses.

  193. #193 MN Teacher
    June 14, 2011

    Michele Bachmann has butchered many areas of American history…and tried to re-write it to match her version…She is a “dumbed-down” Sarah Palin…if that is even possible. If you visit our lovely state, you will find that most of her “supporters” are in her district or her back pocket…many of the rest of us don’t trust her and think she is a quack.

  194. #194 prometheus5700
    June 17, 2011

    Isn’t this blog about Michele Bachmann? In fact, maybe in tribute to her, there’s alot of fiction, conjecture, and made-up stuff here. The Civil War was about slavery. She says it wasn’t. That’s all. End of story. Western Hemisphere, Judeo-Christian values, “Succession”, Brazil? A vineyard? Come on…

  195. #195 Roger
    June 27, 2011

    http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig2/miller1.html

    ummm… granted I think she’s an idiot myself, but we might want to do a little more reading on the Civil War. Slavery had already started coming to an end before the Civil War. The South wanted to separate itself from the Union. I’m not saying that slavery didn’t play a part in it, but that wasn’t the reason for the war

  196. #196 Stephanie Z
    June 27, 2011

    Okay, I’ve read it. It didn’t make me any stupider, but it did piss me off in its hand-waving apologetics.

    The war didn’t need to happen because slavery was already coming to an end? Sure, in other countries with some fairly important differences in how slaves were already viewed and treated.

    The war didn’t bring about greater freedom? In what meaningful way would that be true? Would the greater freedoms and equalities that happened over the next century and a half have been possible without the forceful end of slavery?

    The South seceded just like the original colonies? Sure, except for that part where the original colonies had no representation instead of just being pissy that votes weren’t going in their favor. (Come to think of it, large parts of the South and its cultural heirs still haven’t gotten this distinction down.)

    Blah, blah, blah. The linked essay doesn’t do anything the other comments in this thread and others like it haven’t already done. The tactic is just the same: Really, the war wasn’t over slavery because it was over this other thing, all while failing to acknowledge that “this other thing” has the dispute over the continuation of slavery at its heart.

    It’s not just dull. It’s utterly transparent.

  197. #197 James Crabtree
    June 27, 2011

    While it is, indeed, obvious that the civil war was fought (at least to a large extent) over slavery, to say that it was fought to END slavery just simply isn’t true. The South fought the war to continue and expand slavery, not end it. Yes, there were many in the North who wanted to end slavery. And, yes, I imagine some of them would have resorted to war to do so if they could have. But the war was initiated by the South and they initiated that war to PROMOTE, CONTINUE, AND EXPAND slavery, not end it. And the war did not end slavery. It only ended it in the states in rebellion. Had the South not started the war, slavery would have continued for decades (most likely).

  198. #198 Greg Laden
    June 27, 2011

    Roger:

    Slavery had already started coming to an end before the Civil War.

    Slavery in the southern united states was an institution going strong. And, having an ancient tradition “staring to go away” does not impact on the relationship of slavery to the war.

    The South wanted to separate itself from the Union.

    You are correct, sir. For a number of different reasons, several of which probably had little to do with slavery.

    But also for a number of reasons that were directly or indirectly connected to slavery.

    I’m not saying that slavery didn’t play a part in it, but that wasn’t the reason for the war

    No one is saying that there were no factors other than slavery. Slavery was a factor, one of several. And, the one that stands out as of primary importance.

    Roger, why the apologetics? Are you a southern guy who likes to dress up in the Old South uniforms and are feeling a bit guilty or something?

    James, it is hard to tell where your irony ends and your analysis begins!

  199. #199 Omega
    July 19, 2011

    American liberty is a good idea that has been thrown around by politicians because of its effectiveness in fooling people. Most people are in love with the concept of liberty but fail to realize that it has never been fully realized in America. The year is now 2011 and America has found the next group of people and ideas to demonize, Muslims, homosexuals and yes, even science. Unfortunately, for America and Americans, there were enough stupid, backward, unthinking people in Minnesota just like Bachmann that voted her into office. America is digressing; just look around the political spectrum and you will see just how many unthinking-ignorant people there really are. Religious zealots, bigots, fascists and even corporate elites all say there is a place for people like a Bachmann in American politics. The Republican grand strategy in the last 20 years is a simple one; they will cater to the rich by targeting the ignorant as their support base. In the last election this strategy seemed to have worked well because the Republicans were able to find many people that were all too willing to sacrifice liberty!

  200. #200 StevoR
    July 19, 2011

    @2 Greg Laden | January 25, 2011 8:27 PM :

    “Western, not Western Hemisphere. (There’s a difference). Of course, by the new terminology I could say “Non-southern hemisphere” but I don’t like the new term “Southern Hemisphere” because it includes, for example, Afghanistan.

    Afghanistan is in the northern hemisphere – the dividing line between Sthn / Nthn hemipsheres is the equator* and that terminology strikes me as confusing and well, outright dumb.

    Is it really so terrible to stick with using First World (Western? English-speaking “Anglosphere”? Free world?) / Second World (Communist and ex-Communist, former non-aligned nations?) and Third World (the poorest nations in Africa and Asia -incl. Southwset Asia aka the Middle East plus perhaps some such as Romania in Europe?) If so why? It is kinda hard when geopolitical terms keep changingand seme to have so many differing definitions and complications. Side issue gripe I know.

    Now to something that occurs to me as a new point here :

    Set aside slavery and (relatively) ancient history for a second.

    What do y’all reckon Michelle Bachman really knows or thinks about Martin Luther King and the whole Civil Rights movement from back in the 1960’s? Has she said anything on that topic? Do you reckon she even knows the name of Rosa Parks?**

    Oh and slavery still happens today in some areas & some forms still – “sweat shops”, brothels, “guest workers”, et cetera. It is appalling and we need to keep remembering and fighting its existence in various froms presently in my view.

    Bachman~wise I predict she must surely to FSM be unelectable. I doubt she’ll win the Republican nomination very much and if she does win that she’ll never win the Presidential race. I have more residual trust in the intelligence and sanity of the US public than to think that could really happen. Too many of you are too smart to let that happen.

    ————————————

    * Picks up globe and checks – Southern hemisphere is everything south of Indonesia, south of Kenya, Congo and Gabon in Africa, south of Columbia and Ecador (funny that!) in South Americaand southof Kirimati island in the Pacific is southern hemispher and north of that = Northern hemisphere. Can we keep it simple and agree on that much, please?

    ** Now desperately wondering if I do – hoping that *is* indeed the right name for the lady who refused to sit at the back of the bus. This Australians grasp on US history is fragmentary, half-remembered and no doubt shaky. But even I know about the US Civil WAr and slavery existing up till then!

    Please feel free to respectfully correct me if I’m wrong.

    Also a lot of “history” is I’ll add contentious and seems to depend on people’s points of view. The past a foreign land indeed.

  201. #201 Greg Laden
    July 19, 2011

    Stevo, I agree that the west/east north/south thing is dumb, but this his how the terminology is used, unfortunately.

    Australians are westernized.

    Yeah, I’ve met and in some cases gotten to know quite well a number of actual slaves and slave owners.

    Bachmann’s chances of getting to where she is now were Zero. Perhaps you are too young to remember that Nixon’s chances of re-entering politics were zero, and Reagan’s chances of getting the nomination of his party were laughable. George Bush Jr was never seen as a viable candidate. Jesse ventura was a total joke. How many times does this have to happen before it becomes possible?

  202. #202 john
    August 10, 2011

    The civil war was fought over several issues, but slavery was 2/3 of them – as both sides stated.
    California’s admission as a free state -thus permanently ending the balance of power existing since the revolution- more than any other single event is what set it off.

    Lincoln’s famous willingness to preserve slavery if it would preserve the union was prewar/early wartime posturing intended to make him look uber-reasonable, presidential and “above politics” -so as to garner support for his war.

  203. #203 Xavier
    August 11, 2011

    “Lincoln’s famous willingness to preserve slavery if it would preserve the union was prewar/early wartime posturing intended to make him look uber-reasonable, presidential and “above politics” -so as to garner support for his war.”

    John has done something incredible. He’s traveled back in time AND read Lincoln’s mind. There’s no historical evidence for Lincoln’s pro-slavery stance as “posturing”, I don’t know where you came up with that. The truth is that only a small minority of Northerners cared about slavery. Most didn’t want to fight the South to free slaves. Take for example the riots in Boston and New York over the draft. Also, on your comparison of sweat shops and slavery, might I suggest going to youtube and entering ” Penn and Teller BS” and “sweatshops”. You might be surprised.

  204. #204 pornonymous
    August 11, 2011

    Greg @193 “one of those boxers noses,”???!!!
    There’s the spirit! Moving past politically correct “words as violence” constructions is a valuable thing to do.

    Unmitigated Racist, where did you go? I was enjoying watching you lynch your argument with plain old ignorance of facts–not that you are entirely wrong about Wright, Farakhan, et al, but really,sticking up Bachmann?

    And yes, “She’s WHITE and CONSERVATIVE and CHRISTIAN with TRADTIONAL MORAL VALUES. That’s how she’s “racist’.”

    She is all that, but your conclusion is wrong: what you should have said was :she’s a white priveleged female idiot in competition with other white females for resources” which would be more accurate.

    Not that she isn’t racist too, but her racism is a sideshow–an accoutrement on what she really is.

    @189 David Nabel “in all likelihood slavery as an institution would have continued until something else happened.”

    You think slavery ended?

    Wouldn’t it be more appropriate if we said “official race-based American chattel slavery” ended, but was replaced with institutionalized prisons, domestic policies that replaced masters with corporations, Jim Crow laws, and so forth?

    I mean, even today one of the remnants of slavery is the child support system. Men are forced to pay for “their” children (children in name only);children that are institutionalized in a system of social control wherein women are paid by the government in the form of incentivized birthing, food stamps, and housing(instead of given food and shelter by the master) and men are “free” to try to find enough money and resources to buy their children out of bondage ( child support.)

    Meanwhile, the children are indoctrinated via public schools rather than educated, which is why China (whose communists ended slavery and replaced it with sweatshops and prison labor)kicks American kids asses in science, math, etc.

    Such an identical system of pseudo freedmen, operated concurrent with slavery, as well as a host of “pass laws” which restricted travel and association of ‘freed men’ whose children were still hostages to plantation owners. Today, men can and do lose their right to travel “freely” if they owe the master some child support.

    And of course lets not forget voting after slavery ended. Today, men–and I remind you that almost all definitions of “criminality” are tailored around the male body–who are convicted felons cannot vote in____________amount of elections.

    Slavery ended? Not for men.

    https://pornalysis.wordpress.com/2011/08/10/rule-number-one-never-never-ever-make-the-white-women-mad-

  205. #205 john
    August 11, 2011

    beg pardon, Xavier, but i didn’t say anything about sweatshops.

    Lincoln’s position was explained by my (5th grade?) history teacher. Also, its blindingly obvious.

    The fact that slavery was illegal in occupied secessionist states but legal in loyal states makes it crystal clear that a pragmatist approach – dictated by political realities- was controlling the issue of slavery during part of the war.

    The fact that Lincoln publicly debated vs slavery before the war, then later made the “anything-to-preserve-the-union” statement, and then again swung back to make the emancipation proclamation later in the war is also no secret. – two clear and rapid shifts of public position.

    The Emancipation Proclamation and many previous public statements were resounding historical proof that any “pro-slavery” stance on Lincoln’s part (it would be more accurately termed “briefly slavery-neutral”) did not reflect his personal beliefs – and the range of things that could motivate him to temporarily overlook his (publicly stated) beliefs about the most controversial topic of the time was pretty narrow: what else, but the outcome of the war, could have been so important?

    ALL presidents strive to be presidential, especially during wartime. Your own statement, Xavier, powerfully supports my hypothesis – the fact that willingness to fight a war over slavery was far from universal even in the north is precisely the reason Lincoln had to elevate preservation of the union above slavery as the primary causus bello. He couldn’t afford to look like a fanatic dragging everyone into fighting for his religious views, it had to be a patriotic cause if he hoped to have sufficient support.

  206. #206 Pastor Fussycat
    August 11, 2011

    “westernized”, Greg? an antique term for a concept now relegated to the dustbin of history.

    The “eastern bloc” is now nearly all in the EU. 3 of the world’s 4 biggest industrial economies are in Asia. Of the seven largest economies, 3 used to be considered definers of “third world” while only 2 are NATO members.

    In 5 decades, fewer than 30 democracies have grown to 130. ..and the Arab Spring is now breaching the last monolithic bloc of cultural resistance to it. Bin Laden was mainly fighting the rising tide of his own grandchildren. (one of the reasons we should STOP calling these values ‘western’ – it fuels the paranoia of the conservatives, and endangers the reformists).

    In the 20th century, the West was definer and defender of wealth, education, democracy, freedom. In the 21st century, these are international standards.

    There are only 2 sets of labels left that have any relevance (and even they won’t last past the mid-21st century):
    Developed and Developing. democratic and undemocratic.

    why does this matter? because bigotry (claiming never-ending western ownership of these ideals) only alienates people, and slows down the process of development. If we can’t be a good winner, then we won’t be a winner for very long.

  207. #207 pornonymous
    August 11, 2011

    @198 Crabtree: “it is, indeed, obvious that the civil war was fought (at least to a large extent) over slavery, to say that it was fought to END slavery just simply isn’t true.”

    This analysis is correct–as long as you overlook the social climate the preceded the war by some forty years or so. Abolitionists, et al who spoke from pulpits and press offices, newspapers and newspaper editors as well as other opinion leaders being struck down, tarred and feathered, run out of towns, etc.

    Abolitionist literature being destroyed, bibles full of abolitionist literature being burnt; control of the postal service and interstate commerce, and information delivery systems precipitated the war–because the burnt bible, hijacked postal service, etc were carrying abolitionist literature.

    Sure–there were other issues–Englands control of cotton, America as a WHOLE dependent on cotton revenues AND slavery; free speech and freedom of association issues, etc. They were all issues.

    But they were all issues that surrounded slavery, not slavery surrounding those issues; and so that statement isn’t mis-interpreted I will put it another way:all of those issues were big circles drawn around slavery, not a circle called slavery surrounding those issues, in which case each individual issue was separate.

    Put another way, in conditions of power, so the above isn’t mis-interpreted: slavery was the common denominator that was at the heart of every argument that preceded the war for forty years. It was the glue which united all issues, even if it wasn’t expressed that way in the subsequent literature for many years to com.

    Slavery at the heatof every issue was the catalyst, not trade, postage mules, newspapers, or cotton.

    And I always thought that bleeding Kansas is what ‘started’ the war–the blatant usurpation of an entire elected state congress!–by pro slavers from Missouri!!

    And then seccession, then John Brown FIRING THE FIRST SHOTS–the ACTUAL working part of the war, at Sumnter.

    Or, put another way, your car is sitting in your front lawn with taxes and titles saying it belongs to the state of YOU, but you haven’t turned the key on yet to get it off the front lawn–you haven’t STARTED the car yet–or taken it on the road to challenge the state that actually has the final say in the state of YOU.

    But speaking of slavery, I would love any new opinions and good articles about the Secretary of the Confederate Treasury, Ben Judah, who was Jewish.

  208. #208 Raging Bee
    August 11, 2011

    Woofwalker blithered thusly:

    The Civil War did not start over slavery. It was a cultural war, in which the peculiar institution was only one factor.

    Yeah — the one factor on which Southern “culture” was founded, and on which it was dependent for its very existence.

    In many ways it was a second stage of the American Revolution…

    Yeah — the stage where people finally decided to apply the basic principle of “all men are created equal” to people who had previously been excluded from the benefits for which the Revolution was fought.

    And here’s Too Little Common Sense with his usual pro-slavery apologetics:

    The Civil War was fought over economics. Slaves were simply one kind of property.

    Yeah, the Southern states were fighting to protect an economy that was wholly dependent on their ability to own and trade people like livestock. So yes, you’ve just admitted Greg was right — the Civil War was about slavery.

    Slavery could have been ended without all out war, like many other civilized nations.

    Yeah, the abolitionists were trying to do just that. And they would have succeeded, if the South hadn’t started a war to protect its slave-based economy from the impact of such peaceful changes.

    Once again, it was a fact, slaves were personal property, and facts do not change simply because someone doesn’t like them.

    Actually, you racist git, “facts” like that can, do, and SHOULD change, precisely because we come to recognize that some practices are evil, whether or not they’re legal. The abolitionists tried to change that fact by peaceful, legal means; the South resisted such change using violence; and that’s why we had to fight a war to end slavery.

    Very few people, either north or south, objected to emancipation of the slaves. Many, Lincoln included, wanted to free them and return them to Africa. However, the sticking point with both sides was the question of compensation of slave owners.

    Right — everyone knew slavery was evil, but the sticking point was that slaveowners, and the politicians who represented their interests, cared more about personal profits than basic decency toward other human beings; and were willing to wage a bloody civil war rather than make any monetary sacrifices to do the right thing. So once again, you’ve admitted that the Civil War, a.k.a. Fudalists United Backlash Against Reality (FUBAR), really was fought over slavery.

    IF anyone really still doubts that the Civil War was waged to protect slaveowners’ ability to own and trade people like livestock, here’s a link to a post by Ed Brayton, where he directly quotes various political leaders of the secessionist movement saying, without guile or irony, that, yes, they were leading their states into secession and civil war to protect their right to own slaves:

    http://scienceblogs.com/dispatches/2007/03/slavery_and_the_civil_war.php

    No trial or debate is even necessary: we have signed, uncoerced confessions from the guilty parties.

  209. #209 Raging Bee
    August 11, 2011

    Slavery ended? Not for men.

    One-track troll is one-track.

  210. #210 pornonymous
    August 11, 2011

    Raping Bee: did you have anything of substance to add to the larger discussion about slavery?

    Would you care to refute my analysis of the modern wage slavery system?

    Do you feel I am wrong in my hypotheses, and if so, please, could you refute it with evidence?

    I am open to talking about what others have mentioned in passing discourse ( Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, et al), namely that slavery never ended. And I add to what others have noted when I say that slavery especially never ended for men–primarily lower income men.

    Does that fact challenge you in some indescribable way, or rattle your sense of privilege? Or are you fat, and happy with the status quo?

    And have you read any articles or books about Benjamin P. Judah? I am curious if he has had any recent profile updates, or revisions.

    And, were you elected quo warranto to zip around and monitor each and every post and add little or nothing?
    I mean really–weeks now, of you gnashing your teeth at my rectum, but no substance–not even a blip of it–comes out of your mouth.

    You must be getting fatter, and more elected to your position–and for my part, I shit a lot less these days.

    And I might add that you must have a boxers nose–because if you don’t, well….you should.

  211. #211 Raging Bee
    August 11, 2011

    Would you care to refute my analysis of the modern wage slavery system?

    No, because it is not even remotely similar to the kind of chattel slavery we were originaly talking about here. Comparing present-day employment practices to antebellum chattel slavery in the US is beyond ridiculous, somewhere between infantile and insane.

  212. #212 P Smith
    August 12, 2011

    It does not surprise me that the mouthbreathing teabaggers know less about US history than I do, despite them being Americans and me being Canadian.

    But what does surprise me is the pride with which teabaggers make such claims and their unwillingness to check facts, their willingness to blindly believe erroneous statements and assume they are true (vis-a-vis, the repeated “edits” of Paul Revere on wikipedia).

    From George Orwell’s “1984”:

    “It appeared that there had even been demonstrations to thank Big Brother for raising the chocolate ration to twenty grammes a week. And only yesterday, he reflected, it had been announced that the ration was to be reduced to twenty grammes a week. Was it possible that they could swallow that, after only twenty-four hours? Yes, they swallowed it. Parsons swallowed it easily, with the stupidity of an animal. The eyeless creature at the other table swallowed it fanatically, passionately, with a furious desire to track down, denounce, and vaporize anyone who should suggest that last week the ration had been thirty grammes.

  213. #213 pornonymous
    August 12, 2011

    Bee @” not even remotely similar to the kind of chattel slavery we were originally talking about here”

    Said like a true Sheriff Arpaio supporter.

    Hey, ass-in-mouth: The prison system in America DID NOT EXIST UNTIL slavery ended. How does that fit in with your asinine assumption that there is “no connection” to chattel slavery? See any correlation-causation issues there for the birth of the PCA?

    “To understand the conditions that have allowed such an exploitative industry to develop, we have to look at the origin of the United States prison system itself. Before the abolition of slavery there was no real prison system in the United States. ”

    http://urbanhabitat.org/node/856

    Let me pause now, and relish the moment of listening to you eat shit-again.
    …………………………..

    Which is why I wonder if you are the dumb ass you sound like, or the smart ass you are always trying to sound like, but not knowing how to ask for the goodies.

    Bee, could you describe those conditions,of 1861, considering that you weren’t there–I mean I understand the whole white liberal knee-jerk reaction to such a statement,and all that middle class blubber about freedom, but It needs to be said that the glorious idea of freedom always has a price–a foot chopped off from running, or a longer sentence for not, with Bubba giving you Cheetos instead of massa’ bringin’ flour before he rapes you.

    But here’s the truth, at least for me: If I had to choose between a drug-stretch at the socially-ritualized male rape factory that is Americas prison system, and a similar stretch in a cotton field, I would choose the cotton field. At least I would have the possibility of being near a woman, a family, and a drum, and maybe even an escape.

    I mean, after all, I have been in in both places.

    “There are presently over 80,000 inmates in the US employed in commercial activity, some earning as little as 21 cents an hour. The US government program Federal Prison Industries (FPI) currently employs 21,000 inmates, an increase of 14 percent in the last two years alone. FPI inmates make a wide variety of products—such as clothing, file cabinets, electronic equipment and military helmets—which are sold to federal agencies and private companies. FPI sales are $600 million annually and rising, with over $37 million in profits.

    In addition, during the last 20 years more than 30 states have passed laws permitting the use of convict labor by commercial enterprises. These programs now exist in 36 states.”

    And that was from year 2000 or so.
    ………………….
    And that’s just Federal prison,or ~ 1/2 of federal prisoners working at 21-41 cents opper hour.

    It is NOT counting the chain gangs and work crews that have steadily popped up in the last twenty years, while you were snoozing in your self-righteous liberal and jaded slumber, from amongst the other 2.1 million American males who are incarcerated or jailed every year.

    And not counting the families “broken up” or the children “sold” to the foster care system, the adoption system, etc.

    And definitely not documenting the gross and disproportionate pursuit of lower class, and lower income males as “perpetrators” of whatever is the fashionable crime of the day, the stigma that attaches to them from ‘labeling’ and the infinite doors that close for “criminals” whose offense was selling weed to pay their child support–and coping with the stigma after that.

    Not counting sex offenders sleeping under bridges, or the salaries of the “overseers” that routinely harass the “usual suspects”and certainly not counting the 30% of males and females who joined the military as a ‘way out’ of poverty and single mother homes.Or their bodies once they show up at Arlington, or elsewhere.

    And definitely not counting the attitudes–and the harmful effects of those attitudes–on wage slaves, from people like you.

    Your attitude on such a modern issue of great magnitude, is the equivalent of an 1855 Free stater, or a New York Know-nothing on this issue–you might wanna check your carpet bags at the door before you go yapping any more about the lack of ‘connection’ between chattel slavery and modern chain gangs.

    But since you are clearly and unequivocably on the side of “all men should be raped” dialogues, here’s a twelve year old boy faced with prison, just for you, bubba’–he’s faced with prison because of your attitudes toward reform, and males.
    http://pornalysis.wordpress.com/2011/08/12/457/

  214. #214 Raging Bee
    August 12, 2011

    Yep…unhinged troll is still unhinged.

  215. #215 StevoR
    August 13, 2011

    @202. Greg Laden | July 19, 2011 11:17 AM

    Stevo, I agree that the west/east north/south thing is dumb, but this his how the terminology is used, unfortunately. Australians are westernized.

    Yes, we are but we’re in the southern hemisphere and in the (conventionally) eastern one too for that matter. When the terminology is bad perhaps it needs changing to something better?

    Yeah, I’ve met and in some cases gotten to know quite well a number of actual slaves and slave owners.

    Interesting in a macabre kind of way. Have you blogged on this here? I’m presuming your meaning Arab /African slaves and owners here as opposed to the historical US /European ones, right?

    Bachmann’s chances of getting to where she is now were Zero. Perhaps you are too young to remember that Nixon’s chances of re-entering politics were zero, and Reagan’s chances of getting the nomination of his party were laughable. George Bush Jr was never seen as a viable candidate. Jesse ventura was a total joke. How many times does this have to happen before it becomes possible?

    I guess you’re right on the precedents but Michelle Bachman becoming President of the United States? Yikes! Really? I just can’t see it happening – I hope we never do.

  216. #216 pornonymous
    August 13, 2011

    Raping Bee, let me just put this the way that I put it within minutes of ever encountering you: Lets just not talk to each other, o.k.? You are a complete troll and a waste of time–how sad–your pathetic withered life, boiled down to trolling Greg Ladens blog.

    Try real hard to never ever again respond to my comments.

    Can you do that, troll?

    Once again, you wasted my time, you have no legitimate RESPONSE, COMMENTARY, or REBUTTAL.Wow, do they still make people that stupid, or is it just a you thing?

    Not even a reply to your broad, and phony assertion.You make Bachmann look like a genius on the subject.

    But once again for anyone reading up there note Raping Bee’s flat argument about how there “is no connection” between chattel slavery and the US prison system.”

    Or in other words, [UNI-GENDERED/SPECIESIST EPITHET ALERT] you stupid bitch-ass cunt.

  217. #217 Greg Laden
    August 13, 2011

    Michele Bachmann, 4,823

    Ron Paul, 4,671

    Tim Pawlenty, 2,293

    Rick Santorum, 1,657

    Herman Cain, 1,456

    Rick Perry, 768

    Mitt Romney, 567

    Newt Gingrich, 385

    Jon Huntsman, 69

    Thad McCotter, 35

  218. #218 Raging Bee
    August 14, 2011

    Lets just not talk to each other, o.k.?

    …says the guy who can’t stop talking to me. Trust me, boy, I’m not wasting much time talking to you.

    Try real hard to never ever again respond to my comments.

    If you don’t like my responses, you’re perfectly free to get the fuck out of here. You are NOT free to tell me who to talk to or how to talk to them.

    Once again, you wasted my time…

    Excuse me? I didn’t force you to stay up all night trying to come up with witty biting insults (and failing). If you feel your time is wasted here, that’s your problem. And you have the solution.

  219. #219 StevoR
    August 14, 2011

    Thanks but, um, what are those figures from and for, please?

    Republican candidate names only and no Obama numbers for comparison – so I’m guessing something regarding the Republican nomination – but they haven’t started voting yet for that have they?

  220. #220 Greg laden
    August 14, 2011

    Those are the numbers fresh out of Iowa

  221. #221 DuWayne
    August 14, 2011

    StevoR –

    East/West and North/South are useful for very different reasons.

    First, Second and Third world are no longer used in academia because of the very racist connotations involved. This has as much to do with their colloquial use, as it does their use in academia. In colloquial useage (as a generality, not in absolute terms) those terms had a tendency to imply intelligent/wealthy white people countries, backwards/poor/stupid white people and dirty, subhuman brown people respectively.

    East/West is still used because of it’s historical connotations. It has very little to do with geography today, ultimately it never really had a lot to do with geography. Western nations subscribe to certain, specific ideals and as countries that have never been associated with the West begin to fully integrate those ideals, they become Westernized and in (poli-sci, international studies) academia, they are subsequently considered Western nations.

    North/South has a little more to do with geography, but not a whole lot more than East/West. There are several Northern hemisphere countries that are “Southern” nations and there are several – though rather less, “Northern” nations in the Southern hemisphere. North/South is entirely about economic power – both in terms of absolute wealth and median economic status/quality of life/standard of living. This is so that even including nations where there is a great deal of natural resource wealth – but wealth that is entirely concentrated within a fractional elite population, while the majority of citizens are impoverished are still considered Southern world.

    There are terms that break things down further, but they (and all systems that delineate socioeconomic status on a state level) are controversial, as their use can and often does have bigoted connotations. Ultimately I think that there needs to be some delineation, with the understanding that such terms will inevitably be used in the context of bigotry. As long as these economic discrepancies exist, we need language with which to discuss them.

    I think that the East/West divide is useful, because in academic terms, it denotes a certain (espoused) conjunction of civil liberties, constitutional democracy and human rights positions. While those ideals aren’t perfectly implemented – especially by the U.S., they are important standards. While historically the “East” indicated a very specific ideological position, that is broader now and would include any authoritarian/totalitarian state government.

    North/South is useful, because it is specifically about economics and nothing else. In theory, if the impoverished population of the U.S. grows enough, we would become a Southern nation and while I hope it won’t happen and don’t believe it is inevitable, it is certainly a possibility. That this could happen, even while the U.S. maintained a super-power status, is what makes this a useful set of terms. That this has been used mainly to prevent countries such as India and China from being categorized in the same terms as Western nations (which is ironic, as India is actually moving headlong into a more functional and representative democracy) is unfortunate, but I suspect that it will be coming to bite us in the ass before too long.

    They are absolutely problematic and largely arbitrary labels, but again, any such labels are going to be problematic and largely arbitrary. But regardless of how we might feel about them, we need some sort of language to use in important conversations.

    I just noticed I didn’t address “developed/developing/underdeveloped.” The problem with those, is that they also have connotations that are more easily used disparagingly, to imply something about the people, rather than economic/industrial status. North/South, East/West don’t have inherently derogative connotations – first, second, third and the developing paradigms do.

  222. #222 cyberCMDR
    August 14, 2011

    I see a lot of comments here about how people in the South were troubled because slavery was contrary to their Christian beliefs. In the US, we have Southern Baptists, but no Southern Methodists or Southern Episcopalians. Why? Because the U.S. Baptist church declared slavery to be immoral, and the Southern Baptists broke with the church because they disagreed. Ergo, the Southern Baptists saw nothing wrong with the institution of slavery, and sought to preserve it.

  223. #223 Jesse
    August 14, 2011

    @DuWayne–
    I’d have a minor quibble with the statement about First/Second/Third world having necessarily racist connotations. When the terms were originally coined it was the Cold War so First World meant the rich capitalist nations (the US, NATO, Japan, Australia and New Zealand, for instance). The Second World referred to the European Communist nations and the Third World was everything else. There was a brief period in the early 1990s when Fourth World was used by people trying to describe marginalized peoples in any nation (Native American groups did this, there was even a Fourth World Conference back in oh, 1992 or so) but with the disappearance of the USSR it kind of fell out of fashion, since Second World no longer meant anything.

    “Global South” I have found sometimes useful, and sometimes among financiers you hear about emerging markets (though less so these days). Interestingly that term seems to capture from an economic standpoint who is where a lot of the time since HK and South Korea (and even Ireland) would have been considered emerging markets, but at a certain point you had to sort of admit that a number of countries (South Korea, Turkey, Hong Kong, Ireland, Taiwan, and I am sure you could come up with more) had standards of living and economies that functioned in ways that were little different from the US or Western Europe. In fact I don’t know of anyone who has called Korea an emerging market in a while.

    I admit I am a bit less hung up on terminology — I figure as long as it’s sort of clear what you mean then that’s OK, and I haven’t ever had a ton of patience with the hard-core identity politics people in the humanities who seem to be in a race to come up with what always seemed to me like some kind of liturgical language. But I’ll also freely admit that some of that frustration came from a feeling that it wasn’t helping achieve any of their stated political aims either. So that’s my bias.

    (To put it another way, I don’t think most working women I knew cared that their position was being “normalized by phallocentric linguistic processing.” They wanted bigger paychecks and paid maternity leave. Get the latter two and the former matters less. Does language matter? Sure, but it seems to me that it does so in ways far more subtle than a lot of the old(er) line Marxists and feminists were willing to admit).

    Applying that to this discussion of the Civil War, when I think about the various titles and reasoning applied to its causes, that’s where it gets interesting. When people say the war wasn’t about slavery, for instance, strictly speaking that is almost right, just as you would be strictly speaking correct to say that the American Revolution wasn’t about representative government, but taxes. But of course that ignores a gigantic part of the story.

    I’d say that slavery was the trigger, the major issue that brought out a lot of others dealing with federalism et cetera. But to say that the Civil War wasn’t over slavery at all is to me simply silly. Certainly you have to account for the fact that in the occupied border states — Kentucky, Missouri, what would later be West Virginia — slavery remained legal until the 14th Amendment was passed. (The Emancipation Proclamation specifically exempted these areas). The war that started over the right to secede — but they wanted to secede b/c of slavery.

  224. #224 pornonymous
    August 14, 2011

    Raping Bee: “You are NOT free to tell me who to talk to or how to talk to them.”

    Go take your Geritol, would you? The shit is backing up out your mouth. Or just rebut my assertion–that the US prisons are the remnant of slavery.

    But you like playing with mean words, don’t you?

    So here’s a snack for you–TROLL FOOD:

    O.K. Raping Bee, you creepy old grey-haired, ass-raping child molester. I hear you. You were lost in the 80’s on coke and ass-rape charges, and now you have to make up for lost time. Cool.

    The good news for me though, is that I will out live your dingy old ass. Are you dying yet? Hahahahaa. Isn’t it fun using mean language and insults–ad hom instead of rebuttal?

    hahahahaha. I can hear you dying! What a great sound! I can here you withering away! Music to my ears. You are old, old, old, and soon gone.These are your last breaths here–your memorial service; the thing you will be remembered for.

    How’s shitty spiteful, and mean? It is the one groove your broken record is stuck in.

    Fucking troll–don’t you have some playground to take a walk in wearing your Speedos, and beaver fur hat?

    You are a piece of useless shit if ever there was one.

    Anything to say about the correlation between slavery and the US prison system yet?

    Didn’t think so–you useless, brainless, statistically and intellectually challenged fucktard.

  225. #225 StevoR
    August 15, 2011

    @221Greg laden | August 14, 2011 2:18 AM

    Those are the numbers fresh out of Iowa

    Okay. thanks. I did hear something on the TV news last night about the Iowa Straw Poll. I’m Aussie not American and I must admit I’m no expert on the US political system which to be honest doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense to me. I somewhat follow US politics in the news and on the blogosphere because it does matter for the rest of the world
    and has global implications for all our futures.

    So how significant is this Iowa Straw Poll thing really?

    I agree the numbers here (#218) supporting Bachman are a worry and a bad thing – but are they really representative of what a majority even of dedicated Republican supporters – let alone the rest of Americans – think? Or is it just what a comparative handful of political zealots believe and NOT at all representaive of the mainstream US view?

    (That’s NOT a rhetorical question btw, I don’t know & that’s why I’m asking.)

    It seems to me there’s a couple of huge and long procedures which will have many twists and turns for Bachmann to – FSM forbid – triumph politically. First she’ll have to win the Republican nomination which is one big mountain to climb. I suspect (hope!) the moderate Republicans will do better than her and the other further right-wing extremists such as Rick Perry and, if she enters, Sarah Palin.

    From what I’ve been hearing, reading and thinking, (perhaps mistakenly granted) it seems most likely that the eventual winner of the Republican nomination will be Mitt Romney. That he’s the front runner with the highest probability of eventually winning that and he will be helped in his campaign by being a more moderate, more centrist and thus more electable candidate.

    But if Michelle Bachmann somehow wins that nomination, she then has to defeat Barack Obama and that will be far tougher to do than even the very tough process of wining over the Republicans. I think Obama, secretly, would probably even prefer Bachman as his main opponent because I think most Americans are at heart better, smarter people than the Tea Party mob appeals to. The one’s I know and talk to online and, previously, in person certainly are.

    Greg Laden has called Bachmann an unmitigated racist idiot. I agree with that judgement and I think Americans (mostly) will too. I think that’s exactly *why* she won’t become either President or even Republican presidential candidate.

    I think, hope and expect that Michelle Bachmann is plain unelectable as are Perry, Palin and the like. I think most Americans are better and smarter than to choose her over Obama, over Huntsman, Romney and the other more moderate Republicans. I think Americans generally know and *are* better than those who think Bachmann will win give them credit for.

    I could be wrong but I really hope I’m not.

  226. #226 Raging Bee
    August 15, 2011

    I’m supposed to argue about prison policy with an unhinged troll who compares Rebecca Watson to Mao Tse Tung? That’s about as ridiculous as…well…just about everything else you’ve said, pornonywotevs.

  227. #227 Greg Laden
    August 15, 2011

    So how significant is this Iowa Straw Poll thing really?

    That is worth some research and a blog post. I think a) it depends on the party to some extent (dems vs. republicans have different relationships to the straw poll) and b) mainly affects approaches, funding, and strategies in the early race but rarely correlates to the outcome of the primary process. It serves the purpose of knocking candidates out rather than pushing anyone ahead.

    But it would be interesting to get a basic chart of who got what in the ISP and then who got what in the party primary.

  228. #228 Deita Klaus
    August 15, 2011

    Michele Bachmann is a NAZI and has a drug addiction.

    Please GET HER OUT she is a criminal getting away with crimes.

  229. #229 pornonymous
    August 15, 2011

    Raping Bee–don’t you have a grade school library to troll around this afternoon?

    And again–just read your stupid comment–argue? Why would I let some old pedophile like you vent your rage on me?

    You approach the world from an argumentative standpoint, not a talkative one.

    You’re ONCE AGAIN entirely untrue, unvalidated assertion–RW& Mao? Where the hell did that come from? Is, well–the kind of nutball BS I have come to expect from you.

    Hey: the good news is? YOU ARE STILL OLD, and will die before I do. Cool, huh? But you can keep tryin to run your game on these young gals via the internet–and I don’t even wanna know what someone like you might be thinking–or doing–with a Rebbeca Watson video…

    And BTW, I am so happy you opened the door with ageist, sexist insults and pure rhetorical loonacy–your so fun to shit on now, scatfan.

    Ahhhhh–Don’t you have a diaper to change or something? Your own this time?

  230. #230 Raging Bee
    August 15, 2011

    You’re ONCE AGAIN entirely untrue, unvalidated assertion–RW& Mao? Where the hell did that come from?

    It comes from here, asshole:

    http://scienceblogs.com/gregladen/2011/07/how_badly_did_rebecca_watson_a.php#comment-4706012

    And here’s the specific quote, FROM YOUR COMMENT:

    Was Rebecca Watson in the right to criticize Stef McGraw from the podium? Yes, she was well within the norm of people who seek power, and status, and who are also known to misuse power and status. For examples, think Mao-v-Deng, or Lenin-v- Trotsky, etc

    Either you don’t even have the guts to own up to your own words, or you’re too emotional and thoughtless to remember what you said. Either way, porny-boy, no one here has any reason to take you seriously. You and your belabored bathroom humor have no place in a grownup dialogue.

  231. #231 pornonymous
    August 15, 2011

    Raper: There IS much to be said for the value of ‘tone’ in a discussion of any kind–except with you–a Sheriff Araipo voter.(!!!!sound of Raping Bee salivating at the thought of blacks, Natives, Latino’s and po’ white folks sweating in tent prisons.)

    Your hostility and overt rageful manner do not suggest dialectic/logic possibilities.

    On the other hand, speaking of immature ( especially for a very old 52 year old), look at how you ate the bait–poopoo on a stick.

    Yup, I said that, but I really wanted to see if you would do the homework for once–that’s the only way to deal with bad 52 year old children–trick em’ into wanting to do the work.

    and re: “he was well within the norm of people who seek power, and status, and who are also known to misuse power and status. For examples, think Mao-v-Deng, or Lenin-v- Trotsky, etc”

    Maybe you in all your seniority ( suppressing chuckle) can tell me how dissing someone from a podium is NOT a power move, or a preemptive diss?

    Bee, you old commie–your just nuts, or you forget your history. But, um–I am leaning towards both.

    Perhaps if I had said Adler was dissed by Freud at the Geneva Societyyou might not have started your yap running in circles.

    But get used to talking–I mean, analogies are part of talking–or didn’t they teach you that in white-middle-class drug dealer school?

    But you are an old commie, so here is a refresher of the nature of disagreements within movements:

    “Although Trotsky had supported Lenin against the opposition of Kamenev and Zinoviev on the need to organise an insurrection in October 1917 he was to find himself at loggerheads with him at the beginning of 1918 on the signing of a peace treaty with Germany”

    and of course that damned MAO and his group, dissmissing people from podiums!

    http://www.sjsu.edu/faculty/watkins/china2.htm

  232. #232 StevoR
    August 16, 2011

    @228. Greg Laden | August 15, 2011 11:08 AM

    That is worth some research and a blog post.

    And I see you’ve now got on on that here :

    http://scienceblogs.com/gregladen/2011/08/i_am_iowan_i_am_barn.php

    thanks. :-)

  233. #233 Hannah
    August 20, 2011

    I feel like a 7th grader wrote this article. If you’re going to make sweeping criticisms and purport to b so knowledgeable and educated, please return to your local undergraduate university and learn to write more meaningfully and concisely. Then, maybe I will buy into what you’re selling.

  234. #234 Hannah
    August 20, 2011

    I feel like a 7th grader wrote this article. If you purport to be so knowledgeable about so many important issues, please return to your local undergraduate university to learn to write more concisely and meaningfully. You can’t honestly expect to make such sweeping criticisms of any person or theory when you fumble for words and effective, powerful syntax. Maybe I’ll buy what you’re selling when you turn from a blogger know-it-all to an actual journalist.

  235. #235 Marple
    August 20, 2011

    Hannah, do you have a specific criticism or are your shorts in a knot because you’re a teabagger and, well, you’ve all got your shorts in knots?

  236. #236 JACK
    August 29, 2011

    SO THE KIDS WHO DIED DURING THIS HURRICAN WERE PUNISHED BY GOD BECAUSE OF WASHINGTON POLITICS? I THINK SHE NEEDS A GIANT TREE LIMB UP HER ARSE AND COME OUT OF HER MOUTH TO SHUT HER HOLE UP.

  237. #237 Angie
    September 1, 2011

    Jeez, that’s a lot of comments. All that for me to say I agree – she’s a moron. :)

  238. #238 Ranmaa Guererol
    USA
    July 15, 2012

    I am delighted to see this you tube video at this web page, thus now I am also going to add all my movies at YouTube site.

  239. #239 [D.C.D.A] Duderocket69
    Hendersonville North Carolina
    January 21, 2013

    The American Civil War was not started because of slavery. It was originally fought over the “more money” that either machines would bring or the hard labor of the enslaved Africans. Abraham Lincoln even said that the war was not started to end slavery. Abraham Lincoln states,”“I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the States where it exists. I believe I have no lawful right to do so, and I have no inclination to do so.” SO there you have it. He did not even care until the war was in progress that slavery should end. That is one thing that Michele Bachmann should know. So she can shut her mouth up and stop coming up “political” tales!

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