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(The Atlantic)   150 Years of Misunderstanding the Civil War   (theatlantic.com) divider line 336
    More: Interesting, evangelical christianity, American wars, Battle of Gettysburg, Union Army, Emancipation Proclamation, Gettysburg Address, Na Tuk Kong, Drew Gilpin Faust  
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19641 clicks; posted to Main » on 20 Jun 2013 at 6:27 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-06-20 11:47:15 AM  

Waldo Pepper: manimal2878: Waldo Pepper: manimal2878: Waldo Pepper: Sure I have but that doesn't change the facts that most of society supported the myth of africans being less than human and born to be slaves.

Sigh.

No most of society did not support that myth.  In most of the world slavery had been abolished by the point that, propagandizer took to the works of darwin as a defense of their "peculiar institution" in stating blacks were an inferior race and needed teh help of slavery to keep them in line.  Ever wonder why it was peculiar?  Because most people no longer recognized it as moral.

sorry I should have said United States society, it was my fault for assuming everyone would understand what I meant since we were talking about the Civil war and slavery in America.

What we are talking about is whether people should have known slavery was wrong or not.

in the context of America and the Civil war.


And ?  People in America during the civil war didn't know the rest of the world existed?
 
2013-06-20 11:47:31 AM  
Oldiron_79: Well I'm sure a British court would rule that the Declaration of Independence was illegitimite and invalid and all the signers are traitors to the crown.

Probably. However, in the case of both the U.S. War of Independence and the Civil War, the options were as the Supreme Court stated them to be "revolution or consent". In both cases, revolution was attempted; in only one was it successful. And I would argue that the War of Independence, a rebellion against an unrepresentative, undemocratic foreign power, is in no way the moral equal of the Southern insurrection, a rebellion in defense of chattel slavery against the democratic, representative government which the States had willingly agreed to.


Securitywyrm: Perhaps you should also familiarize yourself with Dred vs Stanford, link here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dred_Scott_v._Sandford
Summary:It made two main rulings. The first ruling was that African Americans were not citizens, and therefore had no standing to sue in federal court. The second ruling was that the federal government had no power to regulate slavery in any territory acquired after the creation of the United States.


The moral bankruptcy of the Court in Dredd Scott has absolutely no bearing upon its legal legitimacy. The Court has been established by the Constitution as the ultimate arbiter of U.S. legal questions, and disagreeing with a decision doesn't change that fact.
 
2013-06-20 11:55:33 AM  
We'd be better of summarily executing anyone over the age of 18 who thinks slavery wasn't the primary cause of the civil war.  A bunch of conservative racists thought the legitimate results of a presidential election were grounds for succession, attacked the United States, while proclaiming their own moral superiority.  The rest of the civilized world had already gotten past slavery, and South Carolina did everything they could to maintain their backwards morality.
 
2013-06-20 11:57:53 AM  

mikewadestr: It was the Civil War that freed Aunt Jemima and Uncle Ben.  And don't forget about Mrs.  Butterworth.  Pancake houses would never have existed if it weren't for her.


Waffle House is Lincoln's fault? Who knew?
 
2013-06-20 11:59:19 AM  

Kome: "We've decided the Civil War is a 'good war' because it destroyed slavery," says Fitzhugh Brundage, a historian at the University of North Carolina. "I think it's an indictment of 19th century Americans that they had to slaughter each other to do that."

The only reason we had to slaughter each other is because the South couldn't learn to f*cking deal with the fact that sometimes politics doesn't go your way and they became traitors who should have all been hanged.


The founding fathers were also traitors who seceded for political reasons, would you hang them also? (not to conflate the dickweeds in the south with the ff's, just saying that the outward reasons for each incident are quite similar in structure)
 
2013-06-20 12:04:53 PM  
 People are complex. We look back with our hindsight and call the people of history barbaric, but in another 150-200 years, the people living then will say the same of us. We don't have much of a reliable way to predict why they will say these things, but that they will is beyond doubt: it has been true ever since the rate of social change reached Renaissance-era levels, and it has only gotten more true as social change has sped up. Even before then, the only real difference was that it took longer.


 I don't need to look back in hindsight.  I can go and read the writing of those at the time that said it was wrong, and I agree with them.   Not everyone during that time had the same view of slavery.
 
2013-06-20 12:06:17 PM  

Waldo Pepper: Georgia started a university system in the 1780s, I'm sure they had books there. If they had newspapers the debate would surely have been presented, even if it is presented in a biased way, a rational person still has the ability to discern the truth.

oh yes that farm boy a hundred miles away from the university had such easy access to the books. who do you think ran the local newspaper which might just be owned by a slave holder or maybe the local school which is on land donated by a rich planter

 
2013-06-20 12:07:02 PM  

ChaosStar: clkeagle: NobleHam: I don't know what the article mentioned that people have "misunderstood." I think most people know the civil war was a bloody, brutal affair. I think most people know that great change often comes with a terrible price, and that life for blacks didn't magically become great afterward. I just... I don't know what the point of that long, tedious article was. I was expecting some "Mount Stupid" article about how it wasn't about slavery, but instead I got some unnecessary bullshiat.

The article, like many that have come before, once again only address slavery as a moral issue. It was only a moral issue to the north.

To the south, it wasn't about the morality or immorality of slavery. It was about money, pure and simple. Their entire economy was based around having labor that wasn't paid with anything more than a leaky roof and just enough food to stay alive. Taking away slavery, purely from an economic standpoint, would force all those plantation owners to suddenly start paying their help... resulting in a major economic shift.

You make it sound like the North wasn't benefiting from the South's economic boons...


The South had a great market for cotton in Europe.  Getting rid of slavery was going to hurt the south far more than the north.
 
2013-06-20 12:07:31 PM  

hb0mb: Neither side cared about black people. Lincoln used the issue as a means to an end.


100% wrong.  The south fled the union upon Lincoln's election because he was a know abolitionist.  Due to his careful, political handling of the issue, if you want to make him look like he wasn't a real abolitionist through cherry picking it is possible, but that's not because it's a valid argument, it's because you can make anything look like a real argument with enough cherry picking.
 
2013-06-20 12:09:45 PM  

Waldo Pepper: manimal2878: Waldo Pepper: manimal2878: Waldo Pepper: manimal2878: Waldo Pepper: Sure I have but that doesn't change the facts that most of society supported the myth of africans being less than human and born to be slaves.

Sigh.

No most of society did not support that myth.  In most of the world slavery had been abolished by the point that, propagandizer took to the works of darwin as a defense of their "peculiar institution" in stating blacks were an inferior race and needed teh help of slavery to keep them in line.  Ever wonder why it was peculiar?  Because most people no longer recognized it as moral.

sorry I should have said United States society, it was my fault for assuming everyone would understand what I meant since we were talking about the Civil war and slavery in America.

What we are talking about is whether people should have known slavery was wrong or not.

in the context of America and the Civil war.

And ?  People in America during the civil war didn't know the rest of the world existed?

I'm willing to bet most southerners never travel very far from  their home prior to the civil war especially the poor whites. The rich planter tells you that the black man was born to be a slave who are you to argue with the man who has the power and money.


So your argument is basically that Southerners are too stupid to recognize bullshiat and ever come to the conclusion on their own that owning another human being is wrong?

Sorry, I don't buy that.
 
2013-06-20 12:14:43 PM  
Waldo Pepper:

do you even comprehend how the rural life in the south is now much less how was over 150 years ago?

I'm guessing it was pretty similar to rural life in the north, where they managed to figure out that slavery was wrong.

 
2013-06-20 12:17:49 PM  

Sandwyrm: The best way to look at the Civil War is that the North fought to preserve the Union and the South fought to preserve slavery their freedom from federal authority.


Wrong.  Lincoln was known to be appalled by slavery.  Slavery was the cause of the civil war.  The south left the union because in electing Lincoln they knew they were on the road to losing their ability to own slaves.
 
2013-06-20 12:24:55 PM  

log_jammin: 1. The war had nothing to do with slavery.

2. Lincoln didn't care about black people.

3. The south didn't care about slavery, just their freedom.

4. The north started the war.

There. all your southern historical revisionism in one tidy little package.


In other words, that standard Libertarian view of that period.
 
2013-06-20 12:29:35 PM  

StaleCoffee: Where do they teach that the Civil War was some romantic, noble cause?


I'm guessing that those people who like to do civil war re-enactments think if it that way.
 
2013-06-20 12:31:27 PM  

clkeagle: NobleHam: I don't know what the article mentioned that people have "misunderstood." I think most people know the civil war was a bloody, brutal affair. I think most people know that great change often comes with a terrible price, and that life for blacks didn't magically become great afterward. I just... I don't know what the point of that long, tedious article was. I was expecting some "Mount Stupid" article about how it wasn't about slavery, but instead I got some unnecessary bullshiat.

The article, like many that have come before, once again only address slavery as a moral issue. It was only a moral issue to the north.

To the south, it wasn't about the morality or immorality of slavery. It was about money, pure and simple. Their entire economy was based around having labor that wasn't paid with anything more than a leaky roof and just enough food to stay alive. Taking away slavery, purely from an economic standpoint, would force all those plantation owners to suddenly start paying their help... resulting in a major economic shift.


Like I said, the Libertarian point of view, economics first, everything else is secondary.
 
2013-06-20 12:35:00 PM  

pkellmey: kradio: The best way to look at the Civil War is that the North fought to preserve the Union and the South fought to preserve slavery.

No matter how generally inaccurate that may be.


It's only inaccurate to Libertarians aka the ideological descendents of the Confederacy.
 
2013-06-20 12:36:53 PM  

Deadite: CheatCommando: Deadite: That regardless of how loud a southerner screams it, the Civil War was actually the war of southern treason and not the war of northern aggression?

The article quotes mostly professors from Southern universities. What conclusion on that matter do you think they draw? They also claim that the civil rights struggle is over and the South is no longer a stagnant backwater.

The same one I hear from my friend's relatives in oklaholma, that everything would have been just fine since john deere would have came along and freed everyone anyways without blood shed from that damn north. Yeah it's truthiness they keep repeating it and they believe it wholeheartedly but if they catch their daughter with Jamal and its right back to the 1850's.

Mostly trying to get someone to bite and flip out about what I wrote, since that usually gets a southerner's temper flared up.


it's like "the free market system will fix everything without any need for the government to get involved".
 
2013-06-20 12:38:06 PM  

Waldo Pepper: Why not? We accept that buying products we want from nations that treat humans with less than basic humans right as an okay practice and we have tons of information about it.  Do we?  No, Plenty of people are against this right now and trying to change it so that those poeple do have basic human rights.

Again you are viewing this with information and facts that you know today vs what was known back in the 1700 and 1800's. As an example as of today we feel it is okay to own dogs and cats as pets and we believe based on the information we have at this point in time that we are in the right to do so and that the cats and dogs appreciate us owning them. There are a those out there that don't feel any human should own dogs or cats but we blow them off as crazies.  First, cats and dogs are not humans despite what Peta may argue their legal status should be.  Secondly , only psychopaths would try and justify the raping and beating of cats and dogs just because we own them.

but what if in 200-300 years we learn that dogs and cats are as cognizant as humans, does that make us as guilty as those in the 1700 and 1800's who were taught that slavery was okay.  Dogs and cats are not human.  So that is a rhetorical dead end.  Where as anyone, from any time period, with any level of knowledge, should recognize the wrongness inherent in owning another human as a slave.  The fact that system was held intact only by force and violance should hint to any rational being that it is wrong and an affront to that persons dignity as a human.

I agree that it is hard to understand how one group of people could own another group of people and we should do our best to never allow this type of mindset to ever take place again. But to point to those who came before us as if they were somehow more evil then us based on information and hindsight is unfair.

  It's completely fair.  Many people at the time thought slave owners were evil, viewing them that way is not new.  The Jews sure didn't like that Pharaoh treated them as slaves, again, the concept of slavery as an evil institution is as old as time.  I don't have to look at it with my 21st century knowledge to recognize that.
 
2013-06-20 12:42:39 PM  

Negligible: I went to a Catholic school in Dallas in 7th grade (1992). On Robert E Lee's birthday all the kids born in states that seceded got cake and punch and all the kids born outside of those states had to go outside and play until those inside were done. But don't worry, we don't do anything to continue the animosity or glorify parts of the Civil War.


This is why no one in Texas out of Dallas likes Dallas.

We recently celebrated June Teenth (19th) in Texas. It's a state holiday (that i don't get off damnit) to celebrate the day that the North finally told Texas to "knock it off with the slavery already" after the end of the Civil War. Most people that i know kinda joke about it, but i think it is important to remember the institution of slavery and the evil that it brought.
 
2013-06-20 12:43:13 PM  
 
2013-06-20 12:45:59 PM  

Ilmarinen: Waldo Pepper: Charles Darwin

A lot of people in this thread seem to know little about Charles Darwin (who, incidentally, was born on the same day as Abe Lincoln).

"Charles Darwin's thinking about the natural world was profoundly influenced by his revulsion for slavery."

Darwin's Sacred Cause:How a Hatred of Slavery Shaped Darwin's Views on Human Evolution

"the Origin of species was written with a view towards undermining slavery's creationist ideologues"


It's why I've farkied some as The Bevets of Racism.
 
2013-06-20 12:46:35 PM  

Ruiizu: Industry in the south was kept booming by slave workers and the north was frankly very nervous about the amount of power and influence commanded by the south's product.


Yeah, no.

The north was very industrialized. The south was not. The south clinged to an agrarian economy as the north's transformed into an industrial once. "Industry in the south" was insignificant. The north had ten times the industrial might of the south at the start of the war. Slaves by and large worked in agriculture, not industry. The south produced boatloads of cotton, and not much else. While the north benefited greatly from the south's cotton trade, the south was very dependent on the north for manufactured goods. The north was not in any way "nervous about the amount of power and influence commanded by the south's product". The wealth created by the cotton trade did not make the north nervous, it made the north thrilled because the south was a primary market for northern manufactured goods. Even when it comes to textile production, something which you'd think the south would have an edge given that they grew 2/3 of the world's cotton, the northern states produced 17 times the amount of textiles than the south.

Nobody was nervous about the south's industrial might, because the south was utterly lacking in anything resembling industrial might.
 
2013-06-20 12:53:45 PM  

DamnYankees: UNC_Samurai: //wrote a historiography a few years ago comparing German WWI and WWII memorials to Confederate monuments

I'd actually be interesting in reading that if you had it handy.


me too!
 
2013-06-20 12:54:05 PM  

manimal2878: So your argument is basically that Southerners are too stupid to recognize bullshiat and ever come to the conclusion on their own that owning another human being is wrong?

Sorry, I don't buy that.


No, the argument is that the question of slavery is not one that can be decided by logic alone. We look at it today and realize that of course it's wrong to own another human being, but our intelligence and reasoning are not what get us to that point. In a time when the methods of logic and science are far less advanced, that becomes even more true.
 
2013-06-20 12:55:46 PM  

bigwave: The South was great until the North found out about it[www.freewebs.com image 400x305]


And now all those black people have forgotten their place, huh? It must be rough living like that.
 
2013-06-20 01:03:24 PM  

ChaosStar: You make it sound like the North wasn't benefiting from the South's economic boons...


Certainly the North derived some benefit, by way of being able to import cheaper cotton/wheat/tobacco/whatever (different regions had different cash crops). In a similar manner, one could say that the South benefited from the North's industrialization, by way of being able to import cheaper finished products. In that way, even for most Southerners, the benefits of slavery were only indirect.

But there is a crucial difference, because in the South, slavery basically provided the underpinnings of the entire economy. A price spike in raw materials would certainly have hurt Northern businesses, but most could ride it out by passing the cost onto the consumer in the form of higher prices on finished goods.

But some businesses would indeed fail, depressing the demand for these raw materials. And at that point, the South would be hit with a double-whammy: you have less money coming in because fewer businesses are buying, but you're paying more for finished goods because these businesses have to cover the higher cost of raw materials. And that's something that hits everyone, not just the slaveowners.

This is the pragmatic reason not to base your economy on slave labor. When it fails, it fails catastrophically. And that's exactly what happened in the South; some would argue that it's still recovering from that blow, even 150 years later. Most would say nowadays that this needed to happen -that it served a far greater good- and I'd agree with that assessment. But it did happen, and whether or not we accept it from a moral standpoint doesn't change the fact that it occurred.
 
2013-06-20 01:07:31 PM  

Millennium: are not what get us to that point.


Then what does?
 
2013-06-20 01:08:14 PM  
manimal2878: Phinn: That is how we live under the U.S. government today -- "Do as you are told, pay what you are instructed to pay, don't try to keep any more than what we allow because we will decide the point that you've made enough money, support every subsidy and crony-bailout we want, and go buy products you don't want from government-approved vendors. Do these things and you'll have a reasonably good life, so quit biatching about your 'freedoms.' We'll tell you what your freedoms are."

Yeah, having to pay your taxes is the same as being a slave.  TeaParty logic at work here.


A slave has 100% of his productivity taken by force, to benefit of others.  At what percentage does it cease to be slavery?  90%?  80%?

You may not know this (Who are we kidding?  Of course you don't know this!  You're ignorant in general!), but there was a form of slavery that was found in Southern cities like New Orleans and Atlanta, whereby slaves would be "hired out" to work for other people.  Some of those slaves were literate, so they could do forms of work other than agricultural, like bookkeeping, for which they were compensated in money.

The slave-owner was the legal owner of 100% of the slave's earnings, but as a matter of practicality, the slave was ALLOWED to keep a portion of his earnings, to support himself, by paying for room and board and other necessities.

That hired-out slavery arrangement is the functional equivalent of the relationship that exists today between the US government and the 55% of people who pay income taxes.  The US government has, it claims, the superior claim to ALL of your earnings, but out of necessity, ALLOWS some people to keep some arbitrary percentage of their productivity for themselves.

Slavery didn't go away.  It merely evolved from the taking of a person's labor to the taking of a person's money.
 
2013-06-20 01:10:58 PM  

manimal2878: I agree that it is hard to understand how one group of people could own another group of people and we should do our best to never allow this type of mindset to ever take place again. But to point to those who came before us as if they were somehow more evil then us based on information and hindsight is unfair. It's completely fair. Many people at the time thought slave owners were evil, viewing them that way is not new. The Jews sure didn't like that Pharaoh treated them as slaves, again, the concept of slavery as an evil institution is as old as time.


When arguing historical points.  It's best to not throw out things as metaphorical examples of situations that have no evidence.
 
2013-06-20 01:15:16 PM  

Phinn: manimal2878: Phinn: That is how we live under the U.S. government today -- "Do as you are told, pay what you are instructed to pay, don't try to keep any more than what we allow because we will decide the point that you've made enough money, support every subsidy and crony-bailout we want, and go buy products you don't want from government-approved vendors. Do these things and you'll have a reasonably good life, so quit biatching about your 'freedoms.' We'll tell you what your freedoms are."

Yeah, having to pay your taxes is the same as being a slave.  TeaParty logic at work here.

A slave has 100% of his productivity taken by force, to benefit of others.  At what percentage does it cease to be slavery?  90%?  80%?

You may not know this (Who are we kidding?  Of course you don't know this!  You're ignorant in general!), but there was a form of slavery that was found in Southern cities like New Orleans and Atlanta, whereby slaves would be "hired out" to work for other people.  Some of those slaves were literate, so they could do forms of work other than agricultural, like bookkeeping, for which they were compensated in money.

The slave-owner was the legal owner of 100% of the slave's earnings, but as a matter of practicality, the slave was ALLOWED to keep a portion of his earnings, to support himself, by paying for room and board and other necessities.

That hired-out slavery arrangement is the functional equivalent of the relationship that exists today between the US government and the 55% of people who pay income taxes.  The US government has, it claims, the superior claim to ALL of your earnings, but out of necessity, ALLOWS some people to keep some arbitrary percentage of their productivity for themselves.

Slavery didn't go away.  It merely evolved from the taking of a person's labor to the taking of a person's money.


Are you the property of your employer because you pay taxes?  Can they sell you to another employer?  No?

Then nothing you said was relevant.
 
2013-06-20 01:17:48 PM  

BafflerMeal: manimal2878: I agree that it is hard to understand how one group of people could own another group of people and we should do our best to never allow this type of mindset to ever take place again. But to point to those who came before us as if they were somehow more evil then us based on information and hindsight is unfair. It's completely fair. Many people at the time thought slave owners were evil, viewing them that way is not new. The Jews sure didn't like that Pharaoh treated them as slaves, again, the concept of slavery as an evil institution is as old as time.

When arguing historical points.  It's best to not throw out things as metaphorical examples of situations that have no evidence.


HURRR DURRRRRRR

  Whether the bible story of the jews being slaves in Egypt is historical fact or not, is not in the least bit relevant to the fact that the story of it in the bible establishes a moral precedent against slavery that most in Western Society no matter the era should be familiar with.
 
2013-06-20 01:22:00 PM  

Waldo Pepper: I believe he is saying you are the property of the United States not his employer. He is wrong if that is what he is saying.  Name one person the United States can sell as property to another entity no matter how much in taxes they pay.  The fact that the government can track every phone call, email and internet activity you create sort of helps his argument

They can track 100% of everything I do, but unless they can sell me to another person then that  is irrelevant as well.
 
2013-06-20 01:34:14 PM  

Millennium: ChaosStar: You make it sound like the North wasn't benefiting from the South's economic boons...

Certainly the North derived some benefit, by way of being able to import cheaper cotton/wheat/tobacco/whatever (different regions had different cash crops). In a similar manner, one could say that the South benefited from the North's industrialization, by way of being able to import cheaper finished products. In that way, even for most Southerners, the benefits of slavery were only indirect.

But there is a crucial difference, because in the South, slavery basically provided the underpinnings of the entire economy. A price spike in raw materials would certainly have hurt Northern businesses, but most could ride it out by passing the cost onto the consumer in the form of higher prices on finished goods.

But some businesses would indeed fail, depressing the demand for these raw materials. And at that point, the South would be hit with a double-whammy: you have less money coming in because fewer businesses are buying, but you're paying more for finished goods because these businesses have to cover the higher cost of raw materials. And that's something that hits everyone, not just the slaveowners.

This is the pragmatic reason not to base your economy on slave labor. When it fails, it fails catastrophically. And that's exactly what happened in the South; some would argue that it's still recovering from that blow, even 150 years later. Most would say nowadays that this needed to happen -that it served a far greater good- and I'd agree with that assessment. But it did happen, and whether or not we accept it from a moral standpoint doesn't change the fact that it occurred.


The Civil War as it happened was anything but the only or best course.   Did the North require a "Dictatorship of the Proletariat" to correct the near slavery conditions existing then?   Would you say that Apple only derives "some" benefit from having FoxConn use Chinese labor to produce their merchandise?
 
2013-06-20 01:36:02 PM  
The only reason I would consider the war a failure is that the north did not kill enough southerners. I'm not sure what the problem is down south but I am seriously farking tired of the hate of anyone they think is different and the crazy religious nuttery that fans the flame of hate.
 
2013-06-20 01:38:00 PM  

Phinn: A slave has 100% of his productivity taken by force, to benefit of others. At what percentage does it cease to be slavery? 90%? 80%

At some point before the person is no longer property, need no longer fear arbitrary physical punishment for insubordination to the boss, enjoys full political franchise including the right to run for public office, may own his own property, may travel at will, including beyond his own national borders, may find new employment better suited to his own satisfaction, may even obtain substantial assistance from the government which purportedly "enslaves" him to educate himself in order to improve his lot, enjoys the legal right to benefit on equal terms with those similarly situated to himself from the government's expenditure of his tax dollars paid...


You are not a slave. You are one of the most free, privileged persons ever to walk the planet. A lawfully imposed income tax pursuant to a power expressly granted to the federal government has nothing substantial in common with slavery whatsoever.


This is not a question of opinion. It is a question of IQ. Either you understand the difference between slavery and taxes imposed pursuant to law in a democratic society, or you don't. And if you don't, your failure to understand derives from a deficit in your cognition relating to your ability to process abstract concepts. That deficit in turn may arise from damage to your cerebral cortex sustained in the course of repeatedly beating your head against a hard object such as a brick wall.


My prescription: a medical safety helmet, to be worn at all times. Even around the house.


img.fark.net
 
2013-06-20 01:41:13 PM  

badhatharry: Only very rich people had slaves. Most of the people fighting and dying for the South weren't doing it for slavery.

There was also not widespread mistreatment of slaves. It was against the law. Slaves were treated like what they were. Valuable property.


So you can provide us with examples of white slave owners getting prosecuted for mistreatment of slaves?
 
2013-06-20 01:50:40 PM  

Waldo Pepper: Here comes the trolls


Said the person who thinks living in a democracy is like being a slave (and abused a quote from Darwin in the process).

For those extenuating slavery, let me leave you with this (recently posted by another Farker):

There is a very interesting debate raging at the moment about the nature of sin, for example," said Oats.
"And what do they think? Against it, are they?" said Granny Weatherwax.
"It's not as simple as that. It's not a black and white issue. There are so many shades of gray."
"Nope."
"Pardon?"
"There's no grays, only white that's got grubby. I'm surprised you don't know that. And sin, young man, is when you treat people as things. Including yourself. That's what sin is.
"It's a lot more complicated than that -"
"No. It ain't. When people say things are a lot more complicated than that, they means they're getting worried that they won't like the truth. People as things, that's where it starts."
"Oh, I'm sure there are worse crimes -"
"But they starts with thinking about people as things ..."

-Carpe Jugulum (Pratchett)
 
2013-06-20 01:51:30 PM  

Phinn: That hired-out slavery arrangement is the functional equivalent of the relationship that exists today between the US government and the 55% of people who pay income taxes. The US government has, it claims, the superior claim to ALL of your earnings, but out of necessity, ALLOWS some people to keep some arbitrary percentage of their productivity for themselves.


The way you phrased that is important.  And correct.  The government does not view you as being the owner of your own labor - it considers all productivity to be the property of the government and, in its beneficence, it allows you to keep a portion.  Withholding taxes are a clear indication that the government must be apprised of your income and take the first cut.  There is nothing wrong with paying taxes - it is the duty of citizens living under the protection of the state to do so.  But the State, in demanding that employers report everything they pay to their employees and then divvy that up amongst the various levels of government before the employer receives his wages, is telling both the employer and employee that they are not to be trusted, that they must report against each other, and that the government gets first cut at the fruits of the employee's labor.

Similarly, slave owners may have owned the slave but that made them responsible for their care and keeping.  By confiscating the fruits of the slaves' labor, the slave owner made himself responsible for seeing to it that they had food, clothing, and shelter. The alternative was to watch them  become unproductive and die.  So, while the slave had no freedom, he also had no worries about where he would live, what he would wear, and where his next meal was coming from.  He also had no choice over where he would live, what he would wear, or what he would eat.  Rights and responsibilities go together.  If the slave owner usurped the right to the labor of the slave, he had the responsibility to provide the basics of existence.

Compare that to the U.S. government today.  If we cannot afford food, clothing, or shelter, there are government programs to provide them.  We collectively pay taxes for that.  But, when the government is paying the bill, it assumes the right to determine the kind of housing for which it will pay, the kind of food SNAP may pay for, etc.  We are on the cusp of the ACA going into effect.  In it, the government plays an ever-increasing role in dictating what kind of health care and health care payment plan everyone must have.  It is demanding that employers provide particular kinds of coverage for its employees or pay fines.  In other words, the government is assuming the responsibility of seeing to it that all citizens have access to health care and payment for said health care.  We have already seen that, concurrent with the assumption of that responsibility, it has usurped the right to specify who and how the people will pay for it.  To believe that the assumption, by the government, of the right to determine the nature of health care and who will qualify for any particular health-related services is far behind is naivety in the extreme.  We are becoming once again enslaved (for many, voluntarily) in the hope that the awful responsibility of responsibility will be lifted from us.
 
2013-06-20 01:57:32 PM  

Waldo Pepper: manimal2878: Waldo Pepper: I believe he is saying you are the property of the United States not his employer. He is wrong if that is what he is saying.  Name one person the United States can sell as property to another entity no matter how much in taxes they pay.  The fact that the government can track every phone call, email and internet activity you create sort of helps his argument.  They can track 100% of everything I do, but unless they can sell me to another person then that  is irrelevant as well.

has the United States every traded prisoner of war or any other type prisoner for another from another country. Sure you can say they were saving that americans life by getting them back in the country but when you strip everything else away they were using that person to deal. 

Has America ever extradited anyone in order to maintain relations with a country when the evidence against that person is bogus. I don't have the answer but I'm sure at some point in our current history it has occurred


Neither of those things are saying the person is the property of the government.
 
2013-06-20 01:58:40 PM  
Largely it's the prevailing philosophy. Worth noting is that while the antebellum South typically tried to justify slavery by stating that the slaves were subhuman, this was actually somewhat unusual among slaveholding cultures. They were fully cognizant of their slaves' humanity, yet had no qualms about owning them.

Consider, for example, the ancient Roman code of law. The whole thing was underpinned by the idea of people as property: children were the property of their fathers and wives were property of their husbands, and these were themselves the property of the heads of their families, and these were the property of the state, and it was held to be on this basis alone that the state had any power at all. In a system where everybody is somebody's property, why would anyone think it wrong for one person to own another? Roman slaves sometimes even had slaves of their own.

I bring up the Roman code of law specifically for its continued relevance. Even today, some 1500-plus years later, most nations base their law codes upon it very strongly. They've (at least nominally) given up the notion of the state deriving its power from people-as-property, but a code that is even now considered advanced and enlightened enough to base a modern nation's laws on nevertheless arose from a civilization that held that notion dear.
 
2013-06-20 01:59:45 PM  

hitlersbrain: The only reason I would consider the war a failure is that the north did not kill enough southerners. I'm not sure what the problem is down south but I am seriously farking tired of the hate of anyone they think is different and the crazy religious nuttery that fans the flame of hate.


I consider myself a southerner.  Not everyone here is the strawman southerner you believe is all southerners.
 
2013-06-20 02:05:49 PM  
Waldo Pepper:
it is very possible to be a slave in a democracy as slavery is more complicated than the simple yet horrific chattel slavery that the african were subjected to in American and other countries.  

Who here has family members who's parents were slaves raise their hands

raises his hand.


After a point, it ceases being a philosophical argument on the imbalance of power and it turns into people using a loaded term to garner sympathy for their position.  We need to be careful where we draw the line when defining our most detested concepts, so as to recognize a problem when it appears and avoid the "Cry Wolf" complication.
 
2013-06-20 02:08:28 PM  
Waldo Pepper:

When the government can determines the outcome of your personhood when you have commit no crime in the US or quite possibly the only reason you are being held by another country is because you are an American and the only reason the US bargins for your release is to advance their own cause you are being treated as property.

Clarify, please.  Perhaps I'm misunderstanding your meaning, the sentence structure is throwing me off.
 
2013-06-20 02:08:35 PM  
Those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it.  But so are those who study history, as this thread proves.
 
2013-06-20 02:13:34 PM  

clkeagle: NobleHam: I don't know what the article mentioned that people have "misunderstood." I think most people know the civil war was a bloody, brutal affair. I think most people know that great change often comes with a terrible price, and that life for blacks didn't magically become great afterward. I just... I don't know what the point of that long, tedious article was. I was expecting some "Mount Stupid" article about how it wasn't about slavery, but instead I got some unnecessary bullshiat.

The article, like many that have come before, once again only address slavery as a moral issue. It was only a moral issue to the north.

To the south, it wasn't about the morality or immorality of slavery. It was about money, pure and simple. Their entire economy was based around having labor that wasn't paid with anything more than a leaky roof and just enough food to stay alive. Taking away slavery, purely from an economic standpoint, would force all those plantation owners to suddenly start paying their help... resulting in a major economic shift.


Heh. You make it sound like the Northerners didn't keep slaves for profit. Explain then, why was one of the biggest slave ports (if not THE biggest) in the U.S. located in Boston, Massachusetts? And why did the much lauded "Emancipation proclamation" only free slaves in Secessionist states, leaving the ones owned by northerners secure? And why did fugitive slave laws extend all the way to the northern border, allowing any careless person with darker skin to be snagged and sold at the nearest slave market?

Face the facts. Slavery was a minor issue to the north at best. The main concern that took center stage was what a secession would mean if it was pulled off. For the north it meant that the south could impose tariffs on all goods produced for export AND keep those funds for themselves. It also meant that the north would no longer be paid any taxes by the states that split. The last (and most concerning) issue was that the south produced a massive amount of the industrialized north's food. The loss of that supply or an increase in cost was the deepest seated fear among the north, should a secession occur.
 
2013-06-20 02:14:19 PM  

BarkingUnicorn: Those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it.  But so are those who study history, as this thread proves.


This is a valid discussion, we are going to face a similar situation in the near future.  The creation of an artificial intelligence is going to be the most significant event in human history, but it won't happen with a bang.  There's going to be gradients of marginally improved programs until we'll reach a threshold of true sentience.  How we treat these personalities will either vindicate or condemn our entire race.  The civil war is the most recent event with the most relevant study material.
 
2013-06-20 02:17:35 PM  

Waldo Pepper: Latinwolf: badhatharry: Only very rich people had slaves. Most of the people fighting and dying for the South weren't doing it for slavery.

There was also not widespread mistreatment of slaves. It was against the law. Slaves were treated like what they were. Valuable property.

So you can provide us with examples of white slave owners getting prosecuted for mistreatment of slaves?

Historian
Lawrence M. Friedman wrote: "Ten Southern codes made it a crime to mistreat a slave. ... Under the Louisiana Civil Code of 1825 (art. 192), if a master was "convicted of cruel treatment," the judge could order the sale of the mistreated slave, presumably to a better master."

I can't find any links for it but I would imagine there were some trials before the courts concerning slave mistreatment.

also this is intereting
http://slaverebellion.org/index.php?page=the-black-slave-owners


I asked for examples of white slave owners getting prosecuted, which you didn't provide.  Black slave owners don't count as the laws back then, and today in many of those places, would have been applied differently. Nor does claiming that you imagine some whites were prosecuted count.
 
2013-06-20 02:18:50 PM  
I've participated in a bunch of Civil War reenactments, so I can handle this one. I was on the Union side in the reenactments I was in, and I heard the Confederate soldiers use the N-word. This, to me, makes it clear that the South was full of racists. So, the Civil War was very clearly only about slavery.
 
2013-06-20 02:22:35 PM  

Thrag: Ruiizu: Industry in the south was kept booming by slave workers and the north was frankly very nervous about the amount of power and influence commanded by the south's product.

Yeah, no.

The north was very industrialized. The south was not. The south clinged to an agrarian economy as the north's transformed into an industrial once. "Industry in the south" was insignificant. The north had ten times the industrial might of the south at the start of the war. Slaves by and large worked in agriculture, not industry. The south produced boatloads of cotton, and not much else. While the north benefited greatly from the south's cotton trade, the south was very dependent on the north for manufactured goods. The north was not in any way "nervous about the amount of power and influence commanded by the south's product". The wealth created by the cotton trade did not make the north nervous, it made the north thrilled because the south was a primary market for northern manufactured goods. Even when it comes to textile production, something which you'd think the south would have an edge given that they grew 2/3 of the world's cotton, the northern states produced 17 times the amount of textiles than the south.

Nobody was nervous about the south's industrial might, because the south was utterly lacking in anything resembling industrial might.


The best I can really cede you is my poor choice of the word "industry." I don't mean to say there were factories dotting the south, but cotton and tobacco were huge money making crops. The loss of the south would have cost the north a fortune in tax revenue, but there was also still a real concern of plotting with a foreign power against the north.

Your points about industrialization are correct, but it would be doing a disservice to history to not also account for how valuable the south's production of raw materials was and how much their ties to slavery made law making unnaturally difficult. I'm not pro south by a long shot, but the north definitely did not have very noble intentions by and large.
 
2013-06-20 02:30:58 PM  

Uncontrolled_Jibe: The Civil War as it happened was anything but the only or best course.


I'll agree that it wasn't the only course. But whether or not it was the "best" course depends on what the goal was. Nowadays, we say that the war was fought to free the slaves from the evil rebellion. There are two goals implicit in that statement, and war was most certainly the best way to accomplish them both, at once, that quickly.

Did the North require a "Dictatorship of the Proletariat" to correct the near slavery conditions existing then?

Marx himself thought that the US might be able to avoid the bloody revolutions and such that he otherwise considered inevitable, because it had never experienced feudalism.

Would you say that Apple only derives "some" benefit from having FoxConn use Chinese labor to produce their merchandise?

Not as much as FoxConn itself does.
 
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