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Joined: 26 Nov 2003

PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2012 9:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Unposter wrote:
Has America always been an oligarchy which supports the wealthiest few and doesn't care about anyone else?

For the most part, yes.

It is kind of confusing because most of us were born at the tail end of any real efforts to care about our communities but the actual historical answer is our sense of American community really is a construct of the New Deal/Worl War II politics, fed by a more liberal-mythical interpretation of America's founding fathers, which pretty much ended with the Vietnam War, though there are still people who are trying to keep the dream alive against the overwelming forces of money which are trying to push it back

In the New Deal, the American government stepped into the American economy in ways which the American government had never dreamed it could before. The reasons were of course the Great Depression had left far too many people unemployed or under-employed and the government stepped in and gave people jobs when businesses seemed uncapable of doing it. Of course, they were able to do it because American infrastructure was so under-developed and there were was a very real worry about communist revolution, which had over taken Russia less than 20 years earlier.

Before this time, there was no sense of national unity in the U.S. and no concerns about the people. But, some people were so impressed by the U.S. government's efforts to get people back on their feet and make sure that they were taken care of in their old age, many people in the U.S. looked at their government differently.

This sense of unity may have helped an otherwise insular looking American population to be more proactive about engaging in World War II.

It was not 100%, but there had never been greater feelings that American people should help their government and the government should help the American people in return, in those time just before, during and after World War II.

The American oligarchy was actually very pleased with the American people after World War II and voted for all sorts of largesse (social programs) for the surviving veterans of World War II and to a certain degree their offspring.

All this was true to the Vietnam War when the sons of World War II said No to fighting in Vietnam and the American oligarchy turned their heads away from the American people again.

In sense, they said fine, you don't want to fight in Vietnam, you don't have to, but you are now on your own. We don't want to give anythign to you.

Social programs still exist in the U.S. But, the best funded are all for the U.S. military.

You want an education, early retirement and social security? Well, you better do enough time in the U.S. military, and you might just get it.

Otherwise, you are on your own. Die in sweat shops or on the streets for all we care, not one penny more to you.

Yes, there are still politicians who want to keep the New Deal/World War II sentiment open to all but they become fewer and fewer and the American people just sit and stew about how their government has abandoned them, except when a hurricane hits and a Democrat is in the White House.

I agree with pretty much everything Unposter says here. Good post.
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2012 9:35 pm    Post subject: Re: KILLING THEM SOFTLY epilogue Reply with quote

caniff wrote:
I'll wait to hear how I'm wrong and be edumacated.

Ask and ye shall receive.

caniff wrote:

I know I'm cutting your quote here, but starting out like that has a tendency to cloud what really went down.

Quite the opposite, caniff: beginning with ridiculous assumption that slavery was not the root cause of secession is what has a clouding effect on our ability to perceive "what really went down." We need only look at the words of the southerners themselves to see that slavery was the cause of their actions:

Declarations of the Causes of Secession:

Georgia wrote:
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.

Second line, straight to slavery. Slavery is mentioned 26 times in the rest of their declaration, and it's not an especially long document. "Tariffs" and "taxes" are mentioned zero times, and "rights" are mentioned exclusively in relation to slavery. It goes on to make it even more clear:

Georgia wrote:
But they know the value of parchment rights in treacherous hands, and therefore they refuse to commit their own to the rulers whom the North offers us. Why? Because by their declared principles and policy they have outlawed $3,000,000,000 of our property in the common territories of the Union

So mysterious.

Let's move on to Mississippi. They get right to the point, again starting at line two:

Mississippi wrote:
Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery-- the greatest material interest of the world. Its labor supplies the product which constitutes by far the largest and most important portions of commerce of the earth. These products are peculiar to the climate verging on the tropical regions, and by an imperious law of nature, none but the black race can bear exposure to the tropical sun. These products have become necessities of the world, and a blow at slavery is a blow at commerce and civilization. That blow has been long aimed at the institution, and was at the point of reaching its consummation. There was no choice left us but submission to the mandates of abolition, or a dissolution of the Union, whose principles had been subverted to work out our ruin.

I don't see how much more clear that could be. How much more clear does it need to be? Slavery is mentioned ten times (7 times as slavery, three times just as an "institution"), but don't think the less of them for that, because although they fail to live up to Georgia's numbers, their declaration was also much shorter and to the point.

Now let's turn to South Carolina. South Carolina is a bit friendlier to your case, at least as first; they were a firebrand on this issue since well before Lincoln's election, making them somewhat unique here (this also makes them a supreme example of my culture-driven argumentation; the people of South Carolina clearly had a certain uniqueness of character that caused them to behave in such an aberrant fashion in comparison to the other States in their region). This character leads them to ramble a bit about the history leading up to the present before they get to the meat of the issue. Guess what that meat is? Don't bother, it's slavery. They mention slavery 18 times in their declaration. Here is what I feel is the most important excerpt:

South Carolina wrote:
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. The States of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin and Iowa, have enacted laws which either nullify the Acts of Congress or render useless any attempt to execute them.

Southern apologists often try to imply that secession was about state-level freedom, and that is what justified their secession and somehow made it noble. Here we see the truth: the anger of South Carolina lies in the exercise of "states rights" by the Northern States. South Carolina here is angry that an exercise of federal power, pushed by the Southern Slave States, was not acceded to by the Northern States with sufficient meekness. This is why Confederate apologists talking about "states rights" has always been so laughable: the South, as a whole, didn't care about states' rights, it cared about getting its own way, and when it seemed like the constitutional democratic process had begun to turn against them, they bid it farewell. This is the sheerest of hypocrisy, the worst of bad faith, and slavery is at the core of it.

Onward. Texas mentions slavery 22 times in its declaration of secession. I wonder how the people of Texas felt about slavery?

Texas wrote:
She was received as a commonwealth holding, maintaining and protecting the institution known as negro slavery-- the servitude of the African to the white race within her limits-- a relation that had existed from the first settlement of her wilderness by the white race, and which her people intended should exist in all future time.

Hmm. Seems pretty important to them to me. Well maybe Texas was really just concerned with each State's individual rights though. Can we hand wave such an excuse into existence to ennoble them? Nope, just like South Carolina, Texas was angrily insistent that the Northern States be bound by federal law on the issue of slavery:

Texas wrote:
The States of Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Wisconsin, Michigan and Iowa, by solemn legislative enactments, have deliberately, directly or indirectly violated the 3rd clause of the 2nd section of the 4th article [the fugitive slave clause] of the federal constitution, and laws passed in pursuance thereof

This is the polar opposite of states rights; the Southern States were perfectly happy with strong exercise of federal rule when it suited them and their interests.

Do we need to keep going on? Because these are merely the most official and obvious of sources. It's a small thing to pull up more prominent Southern politicians who were happy to be perfectly clear why they were seceding. This was about slavery. Slavery slavery slavery. It wasn't just an economic system to them, it was a deeply-held cultural institution. This isn't even on the table for debate, honestly; the debate over the "cause" of the Civil War has always been emotional rather than factual in context. Whether it's southern Confederate wannabes or simply people driven by their ideological hatred of the federal government, you have a large segment of the American population who is emotionally incapable of grappling with this issue in a data-driven fashion.

caniff wrote:
Abe himself explicitly stated the slavery issue wasn't his primary motivation for entering into the war.

This is both irrelevant to my case and lacking in nuanced understanding. It is irrelevant because Abraham Lincoln's motives for pursuing the Civil War are separate and distinct from the South's motives for seceding (and the fact that you even bring it up immediately demonstrates an emotional, rather than rational, conception of this event; trying to drag Lincoln down to the level of the Confederacy -- if not below it -- is a typical tactic of the Civil War revisionist; doing so when Lincoln is entirely tangential to the issue at hand, even more so). More importantly, though, since you clearly want to discuss Lincoln, allow me to address your misconception. Here is the party platform under which Stephen A. Douglass ran:

1. Resolved, That we, the Democracy of the Union, in Convention assembled, hereby declare our affirmance of the resolutions unanimously adopted and declared as a platform of principles by the Democratic Convention at Cincinnati, in the year 1856, believing that Democratic principles are unchangeable in their nature, when applied to the same subject matters; and we recommend, as the only further resolutions, the following:

Inasmuch as differences of opinion exist in the Democratic party as to the nature and extent of the Powers of a Territorial Legislature, and as to the powers and duties of Congress, under the Constitution of the United States, over the institution of Slavery within the Territories:

2. Resolved, That the Democratic party will abide by the decisions of the Supreme Court of the United States on the questions of Constitutional law.

3. Resolved, That it is the duty of the United States to afford ample and complete protection to all its citizens, whether at home or abroad, and whether native or foreign.

4. Resolved, That one of the necessities of the age, in a military, commercial, and postal point of view, is speedy communication between the Atlantic and Pacific States; and the Democratic party pledge such Constitutional Government aid as will insure the construction of a Railroad to the Pacific coast, at the earliest practicable period.

5. Resolved, That the Democratic party are in favor of the acquisition of the island of Cuba, on such terms as shall be honorable to ourselves and just to Spain.

6. Resolved, That the enactments of State Legislatures to defeat the faithful execution of the Fugitive Slave Law, are hostile in character, subversive of the Constitution, and revolutionary in their effect.

7. Resolved, That it is in accordance with the true interpretation of the Cincinnati Platform, that, during the existence of the Territorial Governments, the measure of restriction, whatever it may be, imposed by the Federal Constitution on the power of the Territorial Legislature over the subject of the domestic relations, as the same has been, or shall hereafter be, finally determined by the Supreme Court of the United States, shall be respected by all good citizens, and enforced with promptness and fidelity by every branch of the General Government.

Had Lincoln, post election, wished to stop secession in its tracks without a single drop of blood shed, all he needed to do was immediately abandon the platform upon which he was elected and declare this to be the vision under which he would govern the nation; the South didn't uniquely hate Lincoln as an individual, all they cared about was there interests prevailing, and while those who had voted for him would have been outraged, they wouldn't have quit the Union over it. Had he cared more about the preservation of the Union than ending slavery, he had a path open to him, and unlike the Civil War, which was a gamble, this one was more or less a certainty. He did not take it; he chose principle. So let's not pull any of this bullshit, "Lincoln didn't really care about slavery," nonsense, okay? Actions triumph over words, and the actions of Lincoln were those of an ardent opponent of slavery, fighting to hold together a Union in which slavery would be eventually extinguished. Shouldn't that mean more to us than a few silly, reaching, self-validating quotes that Lincoln-bashers like to us to slander him?

What's next, attacking Lincoln for only freeing Confederate slaves with the Emancipation Proclamation? This is another totally wrong-headed attack; Lincoln only freed Confederate slaves with the Emancipation Proclamation because he lacked authority to free Union slaves in such a fashion. This was an example of "Lincoln the Tyrant" refusing to overstep his authority, something which Lincoln-bashers undermine their own case with simply by bringing it up.

Happy New Years.
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2012 11:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fox wrote:
Hell, most people don't even know what the commerce clause is or how it affects their lives.
You and yours don't want all that nasty federal economic regulation? Not a problem anymore. Me and mine want such regulations to be the supreme law of our land? We can pursue it (something states cannot effectively do now due to regulation of interstate commerce being a federal power).

Your proposal is better than what we have now, sure. But the long-term consequences of permanently dividing the country are considerable. It invites the perpetual dysfunction of Europe with little benefit compared to the alternative. Creating national separation will only exacerbate cultural conflicts into potential military ones.

The alternative of course, is what we had in the past. As you so aptly pointed out, States can't administer their territory completely due to Federal restrictions and taxes. Take that away, and you get what you want while maintaining basic rights for all citizens and an interest in the common defense.

Ya-ta Boy wrote:
When you look at the total number of signers of the secessionist petitions submitted, you see an itsy bitsy teeny weeny minority of bad losers whining about losing the last election to a black man.

As opposed to the person who supported secession until he won an election against a white man, and now sees everyone who agrees with his former position as having evil motives. Because it's not possible to disagree with Ya-ta without being evil, even if Ya-ta used to adhere to the "formerly good but now evil" position.
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2013 5:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Precisely what I was hoping for, Fox - a well-articulated reply to what I have oft been told (even up/over here in the Southern stronghold of Taxachusetts). I'm not saying you're correct (I wasn't there to know for sure) but I like the response, so cheers.

OT - I've also heard that Abe was slain over his introduction of the Greenback and that Booth was an agent of the bankers. Any thoughts?
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2013 10:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

caniff wrote:

OT - I've also heard that Abe was slain over his introduction of the Greenback and that Booth was an agent of the bankers. Any thoughts?

That idea comes from a documentary called The Money Masters (or something, not going to look it up). I spent a few hours a couple years back trying to confirm it but was unable. I would not put it past the banksters though.

The focus seems to be that John Wilkes Booth's family had relations in some way or the other with the Rothchilds over in England.

As a neat factoid, John Wilkes Booth is great-great-great-grandfather of Tony Blair's wife.
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2013 4:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

caniff wrote:

OT - I've also heard that Abe was slain over his introduction of the Greenback and that Booth was an agent of the bankers. Any thoughts?

It wouldn't entirely shock me, but I don't know. I suppose that lacks my usual bombast, but there's no helping it.

You know it's strange, how Lincoln handled economic matters seems to me to be a more nuanced and interesting topic than the Civil War, yet it's always the Civil War we argue about.
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Los Angeloser

Joined: 26 Aug 2010
Location: Korea

PostPosted: Sat Mar 09, 2013 12:41 am    Post subject: Re: KILLING THEM SOFTLY epilogue Reply with quote

Gamecock wrote:
They don't trust or at least are wary of their neighbors, 50% of whom they see almost as an enemy through the prism of politics...
Thoughts on the above epilogue?

Watch this movie, it taught me to - Fear Thy Neighbor - kind of like how many Koreans do - at least they rarely if ever talk to them.

Arlington Road(1999) Rated 'R' 117 min - Mystery|Thriller
A college professor begins to suspect that his neighbor is a terrorist.
Stars: Jeff Bridges, Tim Robbins, Joan Cusack
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