THE ISSUES OF THE CIVIL WAR

Watching Chris Matthews going after Pat Buchanan on hardball about the Civil war and the issue in Virginia. Buchanan being a member of a Confederate ancestors group.

Brought back the differences between how the North see that war and how the South see it.

The same actions and occurrences but totally different reasoning behind it.

Matthews kept bring it back to the issue of slavery and stating that was what it was all about.

And that was the issue that brought Virginia into the war, Buchanan brought up a different reason.

Virginia did not separate from the Union because it was a slave state it was only after President Lincoln ordered Virginia to send its troops to attack into another state that was a part of the new Confederacy.

The Governor refused saying they would not kill their brothers!

Having talked to several and having lived in a State where the Stars and bars are still flew proudly.
I know how they saw it and their reasons for it, for them it amounted to the same as if Washington D.C. was ordering West Virginia to stop Coal mining.

When a entire regional economy is based on one aspect the questions of it right or wrong has a greater impact then just the moral question.

When it came to the question of slavery to the South it is the same as if the Slave South was demanding that the Industrial North stop using its industry. Either way it would have meant that region would be thrown into hunger and ruin.

I do not defend slavery of any people, but this war was so devastating that it still has not truly been settled.
And may not be until both sides can address the total cases of it.

I have never met a Southern that wants slavery back for them that is not the issue of redress or distress .

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33 Comments

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33 responses to “THE ISSUES OF THE CIVIL WAR

  1. Zippy

    I think more generally it was northern industrialization vs. southern agrarian slave labor, and the economic issues become a flash point for the human-rights issues, particularly when the niggas starting escaping. Remember the Dred Scott Decision ? Abolitionists were a convenient part of the northern coalition, and it worked.

    Industrialization has had its own evils–and casualties–which, lest we forget, is why labor unions exist in the first place. But it’s not the same as involuntary servitude.

    The difficulty, I see, is that there are plenty of Southern racists who like to couch that racism in term of Southern pride. When the Confederate flag sprung on state capitols in the South in the Sixties, when they repeated–and repeat–the mantra of “states rights” (i.e. screw the Fourteenth Amendment) to the very day), it’s pretty obvious this was not some innocuous homage to cultural heritage.

    And Pat Buchanan has certainly made his share of ugly pronouncements. Remember, he used to write speeches for Nixon, the very inventor of the GOP’s repulsive “Southern strategy” to steal disaffected racists (of which there were many) to the Democratic party.

    Further complicating is the reality of Northern racism which, of course, has always existed. As composer/musician Randy Newman (a guy from Los Angeles) put it:

    Now your northern nigger’s a Negro
    You see he’s got his dignity
    Down here we’re too ignorant to realize
    That the North has set the nigger free

    Yes he’s free to be put in a cage
    In Harlem in New York City
    And he’s free to be put in a cage on the South-Side of Chicago
    And the West-Side
    And he’s free to be put in a cage in Hough in Cleveland
    And he’s free to be put in a cage in East St. Louis
    And he’s free to be put in a cage in Fillmore in San Francisco
    And he’s free to be put in a cage in Roxbury in Boston
    They’re gatherin’ ’em up from miles around
    Keepin’ the niggers down

    http://www.lyricsdepot.com/randy-newman/rednecks.html

    The issues of that war aside, anyone is susceptible to prejudices, whether we’re talking about blacks, gays, latinos, Palestinians, left-handers (don’t laugh–it was for real) or whatever.

    Yet I think it we all know, deep down, that it’s possible to respect the Iranian people as equals, cultural and other perspectives notwithstanding, while believing that the “leaders” that stole that election are dicks.

    Even if that never (ahem) happened here. . .

  2. Zippy

    P.S. So long as you mentioned the subject, TooSmart, one big issue we have here is the possible opening of a mine in the Santa Rita mountains. On one side: “It’s going to pollute the water! We live in a friggin’ desert!”

    The other side: “60k jobs!”

    Uhm. . . well, I’m realistic about tradeoffs and such but, silly me, I wonder, as wages have been continually depressed for blue-collar workers, how much those 60k jobs will be “adjusted” downwards. And it’s nasty, dangerous work.

    I also understand the reality trying to get energy independence (which really means Fuck the Middle East, and thankfully, but they aren’t our dominant source) but, even with the stimulus money, I don’t think enough has been done here–the home of full-on sunshine (except for the last very wet winter)–to exploit solar, any more than Kansas is using its natural windiness.

    And there’s no such thing as “clean coal.” technology. Not yet, anyway.

    More generally, I know that mining used to be big here, back when this was a small town. Welcome to 1950. Screw all those pretensions of being an educated, iconoclastic metropolis and cultural center. Why don’t we shut down the Mars Rover project at the University of Arizona while we’re at it?

    60,000 a year jobs!

    • Zippy

      P.S. By the way, though we’re talking about copper mines, the issues are quite similar, as copper is quite valuable in the energy industry, of course.

  3. indypendent

    I have family in the Deep South and even though I love them dearly, they are quite a different breed.

    These are people that have been taught from birth that the South will rise again.

    To alot of them, that means the blacks will again find their ‘proper’ place in the world. But to most of them, it means the South will become prosperous.

    Haven’t you noticed most of the lowest ranking states are in the Deep South?

    To them, education is not exactly the way to better yourself. There are too many families that depend on their older kids to go to work and help support the family.

    But they always seem to find money to buy that whiskey! One thing I also want to comment on is the fact these people all tend to drink, smoke and live like the Devil during the week but come Sunday – they are in church.

    Of course, their church and my church are as different as night and day. Their church is really fundamental and usually it’s the theme – us against them.

    Does that theme sound familiar to you? Think GWB.

    When you feed people a constant diet of ‘us against them’, do we really wonder why the Deep South is where most of the Religious Right – devoted Republicans come from?

  4. Does it seem like “us against them” is the strategy used to keep everyone busy while the powerful and wealthy few take over and take from everyone else?

  5. indypendent

    I have to laugh when Republicans have used the old line that the Democrats and evil government wants to make everyone dependent on them and that is why Republicans are better to be in power.

    Pardon me, but as I’ve stated before – the lowest ranking states and those states that take in far more federal dollars than they give; are in the Deep South and heavily Republican.

    I guess that trickle down economics hasn’t reached that far down South yet.

    • Back to that lack of education you mentioned — those brainwashed GOPers from the deep South still believe at any moment they are going to become rich beyond imagination. That takes a bunch of stupidity!

      • indypendent

        Like I said before – I love my Southern family dearly but they are definitely different – LOL

  6. This is an interesting read, and some of the comments are equally interesting.

    The GOP’s Confederate Madness

  7. indypendent

    When I think of the Civil War, of course the issue of slavery comes to mind. But it was about more than that issue.

    The North had their industrialization/manufacturing going strong and the South had mostly agriculture going for them.

    Now, think about this – machines doing the work versus working the land by hand. Which way is going to be more prosperous?

    The Northerners were willing to think outside the box and the Southerners held strong to the old way of life.

    But I think we are at another crossroad in our country’s life – another Civil War – if you want to think about it that way.

    We have never gotten away from slavery – not really.

    Slavery has just morphed into corporatization. In today’s economy, corporations pretty much run everything. These companies dictate the jobs, the pay and how employees are treated. Republicans demonize unions and there are many people applauding them.

    When corporatization and their rampant greed went global – that is when our economy was brought to its knees – think Wall Street bailouts, etc. And yet Republicans still defended these Wall Street fat cats and their huge paychecks and bonuses.

    And the average hard-working American? We are expected to slave for our company at whatever wage and at whatever working conditions they deem appropriate.

    I know alot of people who still have their jobs but they are working longer hours, no raise in pay and when layoffs happen – the remainign workers are the ones that pick up the slack by doing two peoples’ jobs for the same pay. And don’t even think about asking for a day off – that is a red flag that you’re not loyal to company.

    At least with the plantation slaves, they did get a house to live in and some food. In today’s corporate slavery, the masters don’t even have to provide that anymore.

    • Zippy

      Very perceptive, Indypendent. And the defacto-World-corporate-state they’d like to see doesn’t want anyone to have any other options.

      When you’re choice is to submit to that or starve, that’s similar to slavery. You serve the master or you don’t survive.

      The alternative? Independent businesses and contracting and, by that, I mean, start one if you dare, and give business to them if you can’t start one.

      That doesn’t necessary mean buying inferior products, and modern corporatization–with some notable exceptions–tends to produce shoddy products (the reason being that the masses are regarded are monetary device for increasing stock earnings–whatever you will put up with, they will continue!).

      That only works in a world a “too big to fail” world where the competition has been largely driven out of business (Wal-mart, anyone?). I got a seemingly sturdy floor-jack for only $25 dollars from them. Yay, low prices!

      . . . which stopped working in about six months.

      Wal-mart – Your Source For Cheap Plastic Shit®.

      • indypendent

        I’ve noticed something else about cheaper goods. They tend to break easily and then it brings more profit when the person has to buy another one, and another one to replace that one, and so on.

        It’s a built-in ATM for the corporate masters.

        Here’s another thing that sticks in my craw. Republicans claim to be all for free trade and competition – yada, yada, yada.

        But in the same breath they hold Walmart up as a shining example of Democracy, Free Trade, Capitalism, Yankee Doodle Dandy and Mom’s Apple Pie.

        But in most places where Walmart comes in – competition is soon stifled or at least driven to a slow trickle.

        If there is little to no competition – then isn’t that the same thing as a dictatorship – only the bad guy is a corporate master instead of some politician.

        Does it really matter what it is called when the big picture is the same?

  8. tosmarttobegop

    Often it is the old thought process of why fit it if it an’t broken that keep from change.
    some actually see it as an assault upon their idea of the work ethic.
    If anything Southerners seem to value hard work whether they actually work hard or not.
    Being able to claim they work hard gives them stance among others.

    We often see the same thing from Conservatives and Republicans.
    “I have worked hard for it and earned everything I have!”.
    And seeing a threat of theft from those who they see as not willing to work hard for theirs.
    Rather then if they have two loafs and only need one they are not willing to settle for one and a half.
    While others have no loafs at all, even if that half a loaf would be given for working for it.

    • I see it as so-called conservatives seem to be very afraid someone is going to get something they don’t deserve. They set themselves up as judges on who is and is not worthy, and they convince themselves they know who is without ever having walked a mile in another person’s moccasins.

    • Zippy

      I am firm believer of a strong work-ethnic myself, but to me that means pride in actually accomplishing something, not absolute devotion to the employer, even to the point of going against your own interests.

      With the indulgence of conservative “thinking,” people are working harder than ever in unsafe conditions and, paradoxically, producing less–because “productivity” has come to be a synonym for short-term profit (via economists’ blather), and nothing–seriously–to do with actually producing anything.

      That serves Corporate America. Why does Joe Sixpack fall in line so easily? What happened to Huey Long?

      I think it was stated upthread: divide and conquer. Use religious/cultural/anything to excasterbate (sic) existing tensions (i.e. competition in a crappy economy). You then have worker pride translated into “Brownnose the Man,” because it’s Every Man For Himself.

      And your current situation is all those people’s fault, because they stole three tril—er, because they outsou—er, wait a minute, because those people aren’t pulling their weight.

      Those who condemn those who are worse off seem not to realize that they are creating an America chock-full of such persons. And it could happen to them, too.

      Our Corporate Masters must find it quite amusing!

  9. indypendent

    ‘Often it is the old thought process of why fit it if it an’t broken that keep from change’

    toosmart – that is exactly what my Southern family think about paying taxes. My great-great-great granddaddy did not pay all these taxes, why should I?

    My response to that logic is that government provides alot of useful services now that were not provided back when all those greats were living. The entire world has changed since then and if you want a better life, then alot of somebodies are going to have to be willing to pay for it.

    • indypendent

      Of course, my Southern family is the first one in line to get the government check with THEIR name on it.

      Like I said earlier – is it any wonder the lowest ranking states are the ones taking in the more federal dollars than they are paying and the majority of the bottom-ranked states are in the Deep South.

  10. indypendent

    ‘I see it as so-called conservatives seem to be very afraid someone is going to get something they don’t deserve.’


    I see it as some conservatives are just downright mean and hateful. I truly believe most of these Conservatives (and especially those who claim to be Social Conservative Christians) would spit on Jesus if he was next to them in the form of a homeless man, a single mother with kids to feed, a drug addict who is desperate to get off the crack but does not have the resources to do it themselves and let’s not even talk about those uninsured people seeking health care in a for-profit health care system.

    I remember a story about a woman was told that Jesus would come to visit her and she was busying herself to clean the house, put out her very best china, prepared only the finest food. She kept getting visitors at the door while she was preparing to meet her dear Lord Jesus.

    With each visitor at the door, she turned them away without giving them help because she was busy preparing to meet Jesus.

    And I think we all know the moral of the story, don’t we?

    Jesus had come to visit the woman several times that night only she did not have the open loving and kind heart it takes to see him. Jesus came in the form of people seeking help from her and each time this prideful woman turned the visitor away.

    We need more people with open, loving and kind hearts – and I don’t care if you’re Evangelical Christian, Catholic, Buddhist, Muslim or an atheist.

    Religions are man-made. Spirituality is what we are in desperate need of in this country.

    • indypendent

      I need to make a distinction here. When I said ‘most’ Conservatives – what I meant were these Conservatives I have seen ranting, raving, threatening and bullying that seem to do the most yelling.

      Those are the Conservatives I was referring to.

      I consider myself a Conservative when it comes to money but I could never bring myself to deny someone healthcare when they need it.

  11. indypendent

    I’ve also asked Republicans if they hate Liberals so much, then they would have hated most of the Founding Fathers.

    Did you know that the Founding Fathers were called ‘Progressives’ because they were ‘free thinkers’? Conservatives were wanting to keep the status quo.

    So, if Liberals are Progressives (and that must be true because Rush says so), then I say the Liberals are in good company with the rest of the Founding Fathers.

    Do you agree?

  12. I fundamentally disagree with the major tenets of this post. People who want an alternate historical explanation of the civil war, basically think their racism is okay. I contend, it is not!

    I know our “friend” from the other blog has these alternate ideas about history and expresses them often. He is not fooling anybody, not even himself.

    Learn to stop being such a stooge is my suggestion.

  13. tosmarttobegop

    You can not take the degradation of slavery out of our history but neither can it be said it was the only issue of the Civil war.

    Something that still haunts me is what my friend repeated from a man who moved to Kansas from Mississippi. The man is Black and told him he never faced such racism in Mississippi that he was facing in Kansas.

    He told my friend that in Mississippi there was an understanding between Whites and Black each knew and accepted the situation and there was no actual hatred between the races.

    But here there is a fake understanding, many smiling in your face while underneath their is a boiling racism.

    I was told once by a Black man that he would rather deal with a out and out racist.
    They do not disrespect him and insult him with a fake smile and insincere words.

    “I would rather have someone look me in the eyes and call me a no good useless Niger.
    Then to have them smile and tell me how much the feel and understand the plight of the African Americans.

    But I can see it in their eyes, they are thinking “No good useless Niger!””.

    It is true that the slave owner thought no better or different of their slaves then the Northerners thought of their machinery. No different then they thought of their horses and beasts of burden feed them, shelter them and keep them from wandering the countryside.

    Human being as the same as a tractor or weed eater today, ( kind of like a Corporation is a living human being!) the wrong of it can not be overlooked that it true.

    I would like to learn the truthfulness of the statement, but having read some Patrick J. Buchanan books.
    He does do research and quotes factually about history to make a point and you are able to find his quote independently.

    Anyway, Buchanan said that prior to the outbreak of war and in order to try to convince the states to come back into the Union. President Lincoln offered the Union’s help and support in stopping the slaves from escaping and to recapture them. This to forestall War and try for a peaceful end to the issue.

    That would not be unheard of, the issue of slavery in the beginning was discussed by the founding father and decided that it would be taken care of with more time.

    LOL one of the saddest aspects of a more intense study of history is the disappointment of once thought heroes.

    • I understand what you’re saying because there are some who treat women the same way — say the right words, they may even think they respect women as equals to men in most ways, but it’s obvious to women they don’t. We know who does and doesn’t. Some day there will be equality, but we aren’t there yet.

  14. Thunderchild

    You can do all sorts of thought experiments with the Civil War.

    One thing is inescapable. It HAD to happen. Some of the founding fathers knew that the 3/5ths compromise and allowing the South to keep slavery as an institution was only putting off the inevitable.

    By the middle 1800’s, it was illegal to import slaves from foreign lands. Too, the south knew that as states were added to the union and sent more representatives to Congress, they would be outnumbered into irrelevance and likely lose their slavery And their representation THAT way. So, the only way for slavery to survive was for it to spread.

    Imagine bleeding Kansas played out in every new territory added to the Union. That is what would have happened. To this day, border Kansans and Missourians maintain a dislike for each other, based in events of a time they are now several generations removed from. This balkanization would have spread with slavery across the country, had not the the issue of slavery been settled.

    The timing of the Civil war is also just about as fortunate as possible. Had the Founders NOT allowed the South to keep their slavery, the effort at Independence from England would have failed. Even if the war had happened in the early 1800’s, the foreign powers in the world likely would have used it to tear America into who knows HOW many pieces and one cannot imagine the country ever recovering or uniting again.

    Imagine the implications of a divided America on the war of Mexican Independence, the Spanish American war, and World wars I and II.

    Consider also the ….advances? of the later 1800’s. Repeating rifles, TNT, etc. Fought when it was, the South was badly outmatched already because they embraced human labor over industry.
    Fought only a little later, the war would have been shorter and less bloody in the long run. But the Southern losses against the better weaponization of the industrialized North would have been horrific and far in excess of those of the North. Think of the lingering bitterness of the South not just beaten but mauled by technology in an unfair fight. Dozens of Confederates killed for each Yankee.

    • Wow! Thuderchild, that’s a lot of history and insight!

      Are we close to another civil war?

      • Zippy

        I agree. Very good post. But I think we’re forgetting that Thunderchild can trace his ancestry back to the original colonists.

        One thing I remember reading in Madison’s writiings:

        “Several petitions (from Methodists chiefly) appeared in favor of a gradual abolition of slavery, and several from another quarter for a repeal of the law which licences private manumissions. The former were not thrown under the table, but were treated with all the indignity short of it.”

        http://oll.libertyfund.org/?option=com_staticxt&staticfile=show.php%3Ftitle=1934&chapter=118501&layout=html&Itemid=27

        One important issue that the Civil War decided: Whether the natural rights of human beings, should have national application, or have it be determined on a state-by-state basis.

        Even though the government does not “create” rights, the lack of a federal power to vindicate rights–upheld by the Taney Supreme Court in 1835–meant, for all practical purposes, you could have state enclaves of tyranny (which is of course exactly what slavery is).

        And Thunderchild is right–the conflict was
        inevitable.

        It retrospect it seems bizarre that something as contrary to human freedom as owning another human needed to be nationally forbidden, by Constitutional amendment. Or that the fundamental rights of Americans would also be the fundamental rights of those who lived in, say, Alabama.

        But the capacity for rationalizing and self-deception is considerable. Even Thomas Jefferson owned slaves.

  15. tosmarttobegop

    Yes by all means TB that was very insightful and thought out!

    Fnord years ago I thought there would be another civil War over the abortion issue with the level of passion there is with the issue.

    But yes if a spark is lit before there is a chance to lower the level of partisanship there will be a civil War.
    The Right will continue to move farther Right and the emotions will take over as both sides see a real threat from the other side.

    A game of tit for tat will start until open firefights occur.

    • I think you’re right, tstb. And the subject of abortion still raises passions on both sides. I know many women who would never allow that decision to be taken away from us. Of course there are many who have exactly the opposite opinion — not so many of those are women, but a bunch of men.

      Several of the hot topic passion inspiring issues are looked at differently by younger people. within a couple of generations at most, you won’t hear so much about abortion or sexual persuasion, maybe with any luck we’ll even be able to achieve equality for women and all races.

  16. indypendent

    If you think there is a chance for another Civil War – I think it is more likely to be in the form of a Generational War.

    Let’s look at the health care reform debate.

    As was quite evident by the Tea Partiers and those town hall protesters, the Medicare Group is well represented and they are demanding that none of their health care gets changed.

    But if these same people are all yelling about not paying taxes, then exactly who is going to be paying for all their health care of which they are not willing to give up some?

    The fastest growing population is the elderly. With medical technology, people are living longer. And with that advanced age, comes the high probability of health care being needed for that group.

    With wages and the number of jobs decreasing, where exactly is the money going to come from to pay for all those Medicare health care costs?

    I’m afraid it will come down to the younger generations beginning to resent the older generations.

    A bad sign for the Republicans in this Generational war is the fact the younger generations are not obsessed about racism, bigotry or being homophobic. The younger generations are not so into religious superiority.

    I think we see this happening in the Tea Parties and the Republcian’s so-called Big Tent. Exactly who are the GOP attracting to their side of the aisle?

    fnord is correct when she says the GOP has become a regional, irrelevant group.

    But I’m afraid at some point the younger generations are going to demand changes when they stop and realize that they’re being taxed so some old geezer on Medicare can get his Viagra paid for.

    I think this is the next possible Civil War – and it will not be pretty.

    • indypendent

      I should have added – the Medicare group demand their health care benefits do not change and at the same time, they are not willing to have a system where health care is available for everyone.

      Alot of younger people are working jobs where health care is not even offered. To them, that is the ‘norm’ but yet they are expected to foot the bill for all those Medicare recipients who seem to have no trouble finding those casinos and dropping a bunch of money into the slots.

  17. Thunderchild

    “where exactly is the money going to come from to pay for all those Medicare health care costs?”

    Taxes on the wealthy at pre bush, reagan, and perhaps even Kennedy levels will need to be restored.

    As to the issue of another civil war, this is unlikely. Ironically enough, by attempting to use State’s rights to preserve slavery, State’s rights was (I would argue) necessarily diminished. These days, State’s rights are used to take freedom AWAY from people still. As in State Constitutional Amendments “protecting” marriage from gay people and recent State efforts to “protect” the right of people to have no health care.

    Slavery was a regionally embraced institution, the same is not true today on many con issues. Even in red states like Kansas, equal protection guaranteed by the Constitution means that even a minority progressive population can demand Federal intervention. THIS is why we see con efforts at moving populations of their ideological to this state or that and talks of state secession.

    These are empty efforts of course. Secession is no longer legal and con efforts at unified action inevitably fail because of the inherent self motivation of the individuals involved. MORE likely, and we hear evidence of this, is that cons will take what they can and leave the country.

    Good riddance, I say.

    • indypendent

      Yes, you’re right about taxes will have to be raised on the wealthy to pay for those Medicare costs.

      But that is the rub – isn’t it?

      Our country is fast becoming divided into the haves and have nots.

      And as George W. Bush famously said once – the haves more.

      Currently, the health care system takes care of both of these sides of the country and the middle class has been the support of both ends of the spectrum.

      But with the middle class disappearing at an alarming rate – what is our country going to look like in the next 10 – 20 – 30 years?

      Something will have to give somewhere – or some tragedy will have to happen to wake us all up .

      I’m afraid if Obama is assassinated like Kennedy was, our next war might be a race war. But I do not think so – I still think it will be a war of economics or generations.

      And I don’t mean an actual combat war – but the American people are tired of seeing those that have are the ones screaming to have more.