Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Posts Tagged ‘Civil War’

#DylannRoof And #LostCause Backers: Bellicose Lying #Bigots

Posted by Phoenix Woman on June 25, 2015

Ta-Nehisi Coates does an excellent job of running Confederate lies to earth.

For instance, after first demolishing the “War of Northern Aggression” lie by showing how the Southern slave camp owners had been planning to secede and/or invade Cuba, Mexico and other parts of Latin America and the Carribean before finally firing on Fort Sumter, he then takes on the infamous “the war wasn’t about slavery” lie:

… As the Late Unpleasantness [of the Civil War itself] stretched from the predicted months into years, the very reason for the Confederacy’s existence came to threaten its diplomatic efforts. Fighting for slavery presented problems abroad, and so Confederate diplomats came up with the notion of emphasizing “states rights” over “slavery”—the first manifestation of what would later become a plank in the foundation of Lost Cause mythology.

The first people to question that mythology were themselves Confederates, distraught to find their motives downplayed or treated as embarassments. A Richmond-based newspaper offered the following:

‘The people of the South,’ says a contemporary, ‘are not fighting for slavery but for independence.’ Let us look into this matter. It is an easy task, we think, to show up this new-fangled heresy — a heresy calculated to do us no good, for it cannot deceive foreign statesmen nor peoples, nor mislead any one here nor in Yankeeland. . . Our doctrine is this: WE ARE FIGHTING FOR INDEPENDENCE THAT OUR GREAT AND NECESSARY DOMESTIC INSTITUTION OF SLAVERY SHALL BE PRESERVED, and for the preservation of other institutions of which slavery is the groundwork.

Even after the war, as the Lost Cause rose, many veterans remained clear about why they had rallied to the Confederate flag. “I’ve never heard of any other cause than slavery,” wrote Confederate commander John S. Mosby. The progeny of the Confederacy repeatedly invoked slavery as the war’s cause.

The entire article is worth a read, so much so that I pray Mr. Coates has a good home security system. Confederates get violent when their cognitive dissonance is attacked, as Dylann Roof has already shown.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , | 4 Comments »

An Epiphany Concerning Slavery In America

Posted by Phoenix Woman on December 28, 2014

One of the most cherished myths of Neo-Confederates is that the Civil War was unnecessary to free the slaves as slavery was a dying institution.

What they don’t point out is that:

a) the war was started by South Carolina slave-camp owners (aka “plantationers”), who had been agitating for the secession of the slave states almost since before the ink was dry on the Declaration of Independence, specifically to preserve the institution of slavery, and had been planning to invade Cuba, Mexico and Nicaragua* in order to preserve slavery,

b) the introduction of cotton as a cash crop made slavery very profitable indeed by the 1850s, and

c) back in the late 18th century, when slavery actually was on the verge of dying out in the South, cotton – a very labor-intensive crop that grew in warm climates and which was in increasing demand in Europe – was introduced as a way to preserve slavery by providing an economic rationale for its continued existence. As historian Walter Johnson stated in March of 2013:

At the end of the 18th century, slavery in the United States was a declining institution. Tobacco planters in Virginia and Maryland had exhausted their soil and were switching to wheat. Wage labor was increasingly replacing slave labor in both the urban and the rural areas of the upper South.

And then came cotton.

I’ve wondered for quite some time about the intense efforts to preserve slavery in the United States, even during those times when it was increasingly uneconomical. Something was at work here beyond mere capitalistic urges.

I suspect the answer may lie in the fact that most Americans of African descent have much more European blood in their veins than do their distant kin still resident in Africa – and that most of that blood was put there pre-1861.

In a society as outwardly Puritanical (and in the South, highly militaristic) as that of the United States, where both men and women were expected to be celibate before marriage (though the prevalence of brothels and prostitution shows this to be a bit less expected of men), captive female slaves must have been seen by their owners as outlets for the owners’ lusts. Furthermore, with the ending of importation of slaves into the United States, slave-camp owners had an economic incentive to rape and impregnate their female slaves.

Gary Brecher explains how the power of male fantasies concerning women are what fueled the recruitment drives of various groups:

So if you’re that potential IS recruit in Tunis, you’re watching the news from Kobane, but you’re watching it your way. You don’t worry too much about the atrocity stories coming out about IS. Young men have a great tolerance, let us say, for such things. In fact, many of them have a great deal more than tolerance—something more like enthusiasm, and I speak from my own embarrassing experience of a celibate adolescence.

As for sex slavery, it can look very different, if you’re a celibate young man sitting in a Tunis café with no job, than it looks to a New York Times pundit. As William Butler Yeats said a century ago, noting the, er, unusual eagerness of young Irish Catholic males to get themselves killed fighting better-trained and –armed regulars, celibate young men raised in sex-segregated environments get very excited at the idea of war and martyrdom. My hand is the first to be raised here, my old bald head blushing. I’m not one of those old “bald heads forgetful of their sins” that Yeats described; I remember my sins all too well, even if they were mostly imagined. And the average young man in Tunis or Riyadh has been raised in an atmosphere every bit as devout and celibate as the one which forged the martyrs of Yeats’s Ireland.

If you really want to venture into this territory—and it’s very, very embarrassing territory, believe me—you should read an amazing book called Male Fantasies.

The author is an annoying German academic, and the writing is tedious as Hell, but the idea is amazing: A look at the fantasies about women that motivated the young men who joined the Freikorps, the volunteer military forces of Weimar-era Germany. The book argues, in its slow, earnest German way, that these fantasies are ordinary, but very creepy, male ideas leading direct from dumb-ass dreams about girls, to the fatal decision to march off with the Freikorps. And if you were to look for a 21st version of the Freikorps…Ladies and gents, may I present Islamic State?

*By the way: If you hate slavery, you should celebrate Cinco de Mayo as it commemorates the thwarting of French Emperor Napoleon III’s efforts to help out his Confederate allies by setting up a slave state in Mexico. He finally did take over the country, but the Mexicans fought back and overthrew his puppet Maximillian in 1867.

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Wednesday Morning News Roundup

Posted by Phoenix Woman on March 2, 2011

Keith Olbermann’s back and he’s got a blog! Go get ’em, KO!

— The latest attack on WikiLeaks: Unsupported accusations of anti-semitism leveled at Julian Assange. Yup, if they can’t try him in the courts or (as Paul Craig Roberts discussed) assassinate him, they’ll work to make him a pariah by slapping the anti-semite tag on him.

— Speaking of slapping folks with undeserved anti-semite tags, Pete Seeger just got one for his joining the BDS (Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions) campaign intended to persuade Israel to turn away from the path of racism and eliminationism. He shares this distinction with Dov Yermiya, a former IDF officer and whistleblower who is heartsick over what people like Bibi Netanyahu and Avigdor Lieberman have done.

— With the Sesquicentennial of the Civil War’s start this year, Sarah Anderson (via Sally Jo Sorensen’s Bluestem Prairie) reminds us that the safety net which Koch Bircher Tea Party Republicans are so intent on slashing is what kept America together in the aftermath of the Civil War.

Posted in 'starving the beast', (Rich) Taxpayers League, Abraham Lincoln | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

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