Confederate History Month: Stolen Labor

When one mentions Slavery it seems that many members of the Republican Confederate Party feel that you are trying to buzzkill their celebrate Confederate History Month.

ConfederateGOP Logo

A certain fat bastard from Mississippi called it Diddling a Nit (or something like that). And all over one can hear the sons of the Confederacy recite their talking points that the Civil War was not about slavery. They insist that the system of human bondage was a side issue. And as I look at the record of the Republican Confederate Party in recent times and the history of the Confederate Party regardless of its political host over the last 150 years–I am ready to admit that there is a bit of truth to their POV.

The Confederacy really wasn’t about slavery. That was just a tactic. The real issue was finding the best way to steal the labor of others.

Before the Emancipation Proclamation and the passage of the 13th Amendment (which Mississippi has still NOT officially ratified) slavery was a State sponsored institution in America and it was the easiest way to steal the labor of others. Protecting the simplicity of that labor stealing system is why the Confederates started the Civil War.

Back in the day, slavery was a great deal for the owners, a bad deal for the slave and a real problem for the average working man or women of the South. Having a way that the elites can steal the labor of some always hurts the wages of most working people–especially if this theft of labor is protected by the State. This was true in 1860 and it is still true. As the Civil War began the business of stealing labor was massive. In the Ta-Nehisi Coates essay I mentioned last night he quoted Civil War historian David Blight about just how much money was being made though this organized system to steal the labor of others:

By 1860 there were approximately 4,000,000 slaves in the United States, the second largest slave society–slave population–in the world. The only one larger was Russian serfdom. Brazil was close. But in 1860 American slaves, as a financial asset, were worth approximately three and a half billion dollars–that’s just as property. Three and a half billion dollars was the net worth, roughly, of slaves in 1860. In today’s dollars that would be approximately seventy-five billion dollars. In 1860 slaves as an asset were worth more than all of America’s manufacturing, all of the railroads, all of the productive capacity of the United States put together. Slaves were the single largest, by far, financial asset of property in the entire American economy. The only thing worth more than the slaves in the American economy of the 1850s was the land itself, and no one can really put a dollar value on all of the land of North America.

Naturally, the elites profiting from this system could not let it end without a fight and so they ginned one up a war using the same rhetorical tactics and fear mongering that they still use today. In 1860, racism, pride, and fear were used to get working class folks to take up arms to protect a system that was actually harming them. Same as it ever it was (see party, tea or news, fox).

Fortunately these Confederate bastards got their collective asses kicked and State sanctioned slavery in America came to an end (it was a great victory even though slavery in America is still with us today–but that’s a story for another night). Despite taking a beating on the battlefield, the Confederates have shown over the last 150 years that they are still an ongoing blight on the American soul. It may be time to call them out and kick their collective asses a second time.

Reconstruction was hard on the Confederate Party. It took a couple of decades for them to regroup and figure out new ways to steal labor once outright slavery had been outlawed. By the 1890s the new system of debtors prisons, sharecropping and Jim Crow laws had been established and enforced though the domestic terrorism of night riders. Back then, the Confederate Party had also found a political host–the Democratic Party. The Confederates and the Democrats would be bound together for decades and many shameful things were done and many solutions to the abuse were blocked.

The news ways to steal labor spread. Union busting, exploiting immigrants, child labor and unsafe working conditions were just some of the new tools. Every now and then a reform movement would nibble at the edges of the worst cases of abuse. When FDR came to office the Democratic Party started to focus on protecting workers and their wages. It took decades. By 1948 the Confederate Party began to feel like their host Party was moving away from them and that their access to cheap stolen labor was in jeopardy. Over the next twenty years they fought for control of the Democratic Party and lost. In 1968 the Confederates were in the wilderness. George Wallace was their candidate and he made a respectable showing in a run for President. Richard Nixon saw an opportunity and he invited the Confederate Party to join the Republican Party.

It has been over forty years and now the Confederate Party owns the Republican Party so completely that any Republican from any state must support the Confederate agenda–and that agenda is all about helping the elites steal the labor of others to fatten their bottom line. The old plays learned during Reconstruction are still being run over and over again. One needs to be anti-union. One needs to be anti immigrant. One needs to be anti-black. One needs to be anti-poor. One needs to be pro-elite at all time and one needs to cloak it a patina of carefully tested ‘populism’ and dog-whistles to motivate working class folks with racism, pride and fear. Properly done, this Luntz tested hype will get many a rube to work against their best interests.

So as the Republican Confederate Party celebrates Confederate History Month and insists that it is not about slavery, I am inclined to concede that they have a point. Slavery was not the main goal of the Confederacy–stealing labor was. Slavery just made the theft of labor easy and so it was an important tactic. Losing the war led to the loss of that tactic, but ever since the Confederate Party have been creating new ways to steal labor. Sure, these labor stealing tactics can and have changed with the times, but the ongoing goal to steal the labor of others is why the Republican Confederate Party exists. It is what they do. And this is something to remember as these weasels celebrate Confederate History Month.

Cheers

dengre

129 replies
  1. 1
    Bnut says:

    The newest iteration would be the use of cheap immigrant labor. We can’t let those damn Mexi-cants in, but by jove we should exploit the ones here. I mean, a white man can’t build his own deck…

  2. 2
    TenguPhule says:

    Slavery was not the main goal of the Confederacy—stealing labor was.

    The right to rape black women as they pleased and sell off the children sired was just a side benefit.

    The Gene pool needs cleaning, I recommend arsenic.

  3. 3
    Bnut says:

    @ TenguPhule

    And old lace???

  4. 4
    Tim in Wisconsin says:

    Thank to the Texas schoolbook commission, the Civil War is the only one where the losers wrote the history books.

  5. 5
    machine says:

    Excellent piece.

  6. 6
    Joey Maloney says:

    Diddling a nit

    So much to be unpacked there. We can first observe that it’s probably true that Haley Barbour’s equipment is so mini-sized that anything larger than a nit is of no use to him. Then we note that a nit is the juvenile of the species, making Barbour yet another Republican child molester. Finally, the adult form of a nit is a louse, so we could speculate if Barbour is actually engaging in interspecies sex or just keeping to his own (segregation, as any good Republican would urge).

  7. 7
    kimalanus says:

    And the newest way to steal labor is to inflate the value of what a working man owns and then bleed off the value with credit default swaps when the inevitable crash comes. For bonus points, make the taxpayers rescue the other end from failure.

    Thank you, I laughed till I cried when I got to the punch line….

  8. 8
    Eric U. says:

    my sister owned a small farm in Virginia. She researched the original owners down at the courthouse, and one of the things she found was the property tax declaration. From memory, the land and buildings were worth about $20, a rifle was worth $1.50, and the 2-3 slaves were worth hundreds. These people ended up freeing their slaves and giving them a significant part of the land.

  9. 9

    TNC put up some accounts of slaves from LA today, and a couple of them really got to me/[url=http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2010/04/honoring-chm-one-drop/38952/] linky[/url]

    Wilson Chinn is about 60 years old, he was “raised” by Isaac Howard of Woodford County, Kentucky. When 21 years old he was taken down the river and sold to Volsey B. Marmillion, a sugar planter about 45 miles above New Orleans. This man was accustomed to brand his negroes, and Wilson has on his forehead the letters “V. B. M.” Of the 210 slaves on this plantation 105 left at one time and came into the Union camp. Thirty of them had been branded like cattle with a hot iron, four of them on the forehead, and the others on the breast or arm.

    Branded like cattle. Mother Mary of Jeebus.

    Augusta Boujey is nine years old. Her mother, who is almost white, was owned by her half-brother, named Solamon, who still retains two of her children. Mary Johnson was cook in her master’s family in New Orleans. On her left arm are scars of three cuts given to her by her mistress with a rawhide. On her back are scars of more than fifty cuts given by her master. The occasion was that one morning she was half an hour behind time in bringing up his five o’clock cup of coffee.

    In a way, I am glad that today’s southern wingnuts are trying to resurrect and cleanse the so called War of Northern Aggression, into something it wasn’t. It provides the opportunity to examine the deep stain of evil this country must never forget. Especially when some of the same sentiments still exists today, seemingly being awakened from am immortal slumber.

    Being from the south, I know full well this cancer has never been cured, and only awaits the right conditions to reemerge and it is apparent to this southerner that electing a black president has been a “right condition” for it’s repackaging in a flurry of new code words churned out by the wingnut wurlitzer for tea baggers and others.

    If some of my liberal friends also from the south are offended by broadly painting the south with the racist and seditious brush, then I don’t care. Heritage be damned, mine and yours/ This beatification of evil that was the Confederacy we are getting from asshole crackers like Haley Barbour and friends needs to be stomped, hammered, staked and then buried in unmarked grave.

    You keep going there Mr. Dennis G.

  10. 10
    Zam says:

    You know I’m thinking that if we keep this up republicans are gonna try and take a shit on black history month. This could be hilarious watching them backpedal the racism

  11. 11
    mcd says:

    “One needs to be pro-elite at all times”

    Do you not see that the real elites are the unions? And the college professors? And Hollywood actors? The Confederate Party works day and night to protect us from them.

  12. 12
    asiangrrlMN says:

    I am going to NC tomorrow and to a concert in Norfuck Norfolk, VA. I am nervous, though my friend says not to be. I have only been in Texas (I try to forget) and Florida (Miami, which isn’t really south), so I don’t know what to expect. I’m going to see Vienna Teng play. She’s Taiwanese American, too.

    I have been following TNC’s posts over at The Atlantic, and they have been very hard to read. Like I’ve said here before, any Southern who does not acknowledge that the South was built on the backs of slaves is not someone with whom I wish to argue. That is the basis for a discussion. I am willing to talk about the racism of the north and the degree in attitude, but only if the aforementioned point is clearly stated.

  13. 13
    Bnut says:

    Republicans have to the stupidest mofos to ever walk the earth. Both African-Americans and Latinos would be natural allies of the conservative movement through their strong family values, religion and work ethic. But no, preserving the status quo is more important. Catch-22?

  14. 14
    Annamal says:

    Might be worth looking at stolen labour from prisons as well?

    How many people are locked up and working for little to no money in awful conditions as a result of “crimes” that harm no-one but themselves?

  15. 15
    tc125231 says:

    Sure, these labor stealing tactics can and have changed with the times, but the ongoing goal to steal the labor of others is why the Republican Confederate Party exists. It is what they do.

    True, but not widely understood, and if the prima donnas of the MSM have their way, it never will be widely understood.

    After all, it wouldn’t be bipartisan.

  16. 16

    Excellent post. I plan on coming back tomorrow when I’m not as tired and savoring it.

  17. 17

    @Bnut: prior to 9/11 (like, months prior), I remember reading more than one article about how the future of the GOP was tied to winning over socially-conservative groups, Hispanics and Muslims in particular, and how both groups should be natural constituencies of the Republicans…

    File that under “D’oh!”, I guess…

  18. 18
    MikeJ says:

    @Bnut: You think liberals don’t have family values, religion, or work ethic?

  19. 19
    Kayla Rudbek says:

    And stealing the labor of non-black women as well by insisting that they stay barefoot, pregnant, and in the kitchen…

  20. 20

    You know Breitbart is toast when even Roger Ebert is talking smack to you on Twitter. See here:

    http://twitter.com/ebertchicag.....2201931901

    Ebert misspells Breitbart’s name though.

  21. 21
    Bnut says:

    @MikeJ

    Of course they do. Guess my words were ill chosen? I thought I made a good point…

  22. 22
    Mark K says:

    When the my idiotic southern brethren say the war was about States Rights, I say…”Yeah, states rights about what? About slavery, you lying moron”.

  23. 23
    daveX99 says:

    yikes. Nice post – it’s an angle I hadn’t considered: not just naked racism, but naked capitalism (even though it’s obvious, now that you point it out). Cheap labor uber alles.
    It’s sickening – because you’re right: that’s still the ethos today, but for the pushback from the progressive end of the spectrum.
    I’m confused, though, by this line:

    One needs to be pro-elite at all time and one needs to cloak it a patina of carefully tested ‘populism’ and dog-whistles to motivate working class folks with racism, pride and fear. Properly done, this Luntz tested hype will get many a rube to work against their best interests.

    The current Republifederates are all about being anti-elite, I thought (see: Palin, etc.). Can you elaborate?

  24. 24
    GregB says:

    Leave Jefferson Davis alone!

  25. 25
    Paul says:

    @Bnut:

    Sorry, but I really have to take issue with this bit of CW:

    Both African-Americans and Latinos would be natural allies of the conservative movement through their strong family values, religion and work ethic.

    Holey buckets of goo, conservatives have no special claim to strong family values, religion or work ethic. None. I, my mother and siblings, the memory of my father and our Catholic, working-class background, are maligned every time I hear something like this.

  26. 26
    rootless-e says:

    On topic:
    http://docsouth.unc.edu/neh/weld/weld.html
    contemporary testimony about the treatment of slaves in the Good Old Confederacy.

    Off Topic:
    ProPublica the new “investigative reporting” organization that has been writing some slightly off stories on the financial meltdown turns out to have a very familiar writer. Our old friend Jeff Gerth of Whitewater fame.

    Well, well, well.

  27. 27
    Mnemosyne says:

    @TenguPhule:

    The right to rape black women as they pleased and sell off the children sired was just a side benefit.

    What do you mean, side benefit? It’s pretty much the heart of the scheme since it means you can literally create your own capital.

    “Stealing the labor of others” has more than one meaning here.

  28. 28
    Mnemosyne says:

    @daveX99:

    The current Republifederates are all about being anti-elite, I thought (see: Palin, etc.). Can you elaborate?

    dengre was a little confusing there, because he’s talking about the REAL elite, not the fakey conservative-created “elite” where Lady Lynne de Rothschild complains about Barack Obama being an “elite,” unlike her salt-of-the-earth self.

  29. 29
    Mark K says:

    Really good post Dennis, it reminds me of the great Ambrose Bierce and his definition of Labor: n. One of the ways A aquires capital for B.

  30. 30
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @Bnut: I think you have a valid point. The conservative party is the party that mercilessly touts themselves as being pro-family, pro-religious, and having a strong work ethic. They are full of shit, of course, but it is what they purport to be. Still, they can’t help but let their natural (lack of) color show through.

    @Calvin Jones and the 13th Apostle: Ebert twits ruthlessly on the stupidity of the rightwingbatshitcraziness, bless his heart.

  31. 31
    DPirate says:

    Not quite. Inasmuch as capitalism itself is about stealing other people’s labor, then yes, but the civil war, like most if not all of our wars, is best understood as being about “making money”.

    @General Egali Tarian Stuck: “almost white” Classic.

  32. 32
    TuiMel says:

    @General Egali Tarian Stuck:

    In a way, I am glad that today’s southern wingnuts are trying to resurrect and cleanse the so called War of Northern Aggression, into something it wasn’t. It provides the opportunity to examine the deep stain of evil this country must never forget. Especially when some of the same sentiments still exists today, seemingly being awakened from am immortal slumber.

    I agree. I have been “enjoying” these discussions, and I hope the sesqui of the War leads to honest examinations of the myths and propaganda of the CONfederacy and its “Lost Cause.”

    Tonight’s excellent post reminded me of a fairly recent, good book on the subject of the undying evil that the mythology and propaganda has enabled and protected:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04.....69463.html

  33. 33

    Dennis:
    Very, very nice. Very clear, very focused, very on point.

    And absolutely correct.

  34. 34
    Yutsano says:

    Bah. Screw it. Let them go. Let them have their fantasies and their poor ass backwards beliefs and let’s make some actual progress without them.

  35. 35

    @asiangrrlMN: You may find Norfolk very open and friendly. I visited there when my daughter was in the Navy. I found the people [of all descriptions] to be very welcoming and helpful.

    The rest of Va I don’t know about.

    Enjoy your concert!

  36. 36
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @Linda Featheringill: Thanks! I’m actually spending most of my time in Raleigh-ish, NC (smaller town, though). I think it will be fine.

    @Yutsano: Yes. If they would just get the fuck out of the way (in politics), I would be most delighted to do that.

  37. 37
    Yutsano says:

    @asiangrrlMN: Raleigh is most of what gave Obama North Carolina in the first place, so it’s a rather progressive and lovely city. Norfolk is about as diverse as any other military town (there will always be a mix) it’s a bit less safe at night is the only catch there. It should be fun!

  38. 38
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @Yutsano: Good to know. After the concert, I’m sure we’ll go straight back to the hotel, so no worries in Norfolk. I’m just exhausted from cleaning.

  39. 39
    Yutsano says:

    @asiangrrlMN:

    I’m just exhausted from cleaning.

    There’s your first problem right there. That and I hope you’re well stocked on topical disinfectant, since I’m sure your boys will make your absence well-noticed on your thighs. Mine sure did to me when I got home!

  40. 40
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @Yutsano: I couldn’t let my kitty-sitter see the house in the state it was in. I didn’t want her to trip over the giant dust bunnies and die. As for my boys, they rub against me for exactly five minutes before wandering off to do whatever it is they do. Pretty much the same thing they do any time I leave the house.

  41. 41
    Brick Oven Bill says:

    Slavery was never an efficient system Dennis G. This is because the slave-owner had to care for the slave in infancy and old age, acts performed out of decency.

    It is far better to allow Mexicans to work under the table, and then place the burdens of their infancy and old age on the taxpayer.

    Then, I guess we will just find some sort of government program for the rest.

  42. 42
    Ecks says:

    @Paul: He’s making a valid point, but unfortunately using the language of the right wing to do it, hence the confusion.

    For “family values,” read: belief that the ONLY acceptable forms of domestic life monogamous heterosexual families with kids, plus perhaps just a few dalliances on the side for dad, so long as he keeps up with the general providing. Any other arrangement is unacceptable. Even opting for staying a bachelor and/or childless is seen as darkly suspect and indicative of some kind of partially hidden character flaw.

    For “religion,” read: belief in a manichean world that contains only good (i.e., you) and bad (those other people), with strong authoritarian leanings towards justifying who gets to be the good time, and no sympathy at all for the “bad.”

    And for “work ethic” read: a belief that riches come only from working hard, and so therefore all rich people are deserving (they must be or they wouldn’t have gotten rich), and all poor people have just let themselves down. So stop whining and get cracking under whatever conditions our richer and better neighbors think fit for us.

    It loses a little something in the translation.

  43. 43
    Calouste says:

    Leave it to BoB to mention slavery and decency in the same breath.

  44. 44
    IndyLib says:

    @Linda Featheringill: @Yutsano:

    I second both of you about Norfolk and that the Navy is a large source of diversity in the area. That same US Navy is considering moving us out there. The Hampton Roads area is definetely less “real merikan”-ish than the rest of southern Virginia I’ve visited. Though, if that’s where we end up it ought to be quite the culture shock from Wisconsin.

  45. 45
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @Calouste: You know, when the other trolls stop by, I think, “That B.o.B. ain’t so bad”, and then he actually posts. I don’t usually read them, but I don’t expect him to be on at this time of night.

    @IndyLib: So, it’s unanimous that Norfolk is a cool place? Excellent.

  46. 46
    Ecks says:

    had to care for the slave in infancy and old age, acts performed out of decency.

    Oh BOB, you gave it away! I’d never really bought that you were a spoof before, but it kind of ruins it a little bit to know this now.

  47. 47
    TuiMel says:

    the slave-owner had to care for the slave in infancy and old age, acts performed out of decency.

    Hence the phrase “That’s mighty white of you” was born.

  48. 48
    Yutsano says:

    @IndyLib: The vast majority of the culture shock will be the climate change. It will be very nice to be on the Atlantic and hopefully you’ll find a decent fishmonger to keep you well-supplied in that regard. I’ve noticed from my days as a Navy brat how same all the bases were, mostly because we were all pretty much in the same boat. So you should adjust to the move rather easily. Dealing with the wingnut governor though, well, that’s another kettle of fish.

  49. 49
    Brick Oven Bill says:

    Ponder, for a moment, de Toqueville’s Democracy in America, another spoof Calouste. This guy was nuts.

    “The white sells his services, but they are purchased only when they may be useful; the black can claim no remuneration for his toil, but the expense of his maintenance is perpetual; he must be supported in his old age as well as in manhood, in his profitless infancy as well as in the productive years of youth, in sickness as well as in health… in the end the slave has cost more than the free servant, and his labor is less productive.”

  50. 50
    iriedc says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Agreed. Rape was (and still is) central to the enterprise of slavery. We can’t assume that 9-yr old girl in TNC’s post was only beaten.

  51. 51
    Yutsano says:

    @Brick Oven Bill: Shame on thee, BoB, turning to those vile French and their wacky egalitarian ideals.

    Also, aren’t you up past your bedtime? I heard tell you have a tea party to attend on the morrow.

  52. 52
    The Main Gauche of Mild Reason says:

    @Ecks:

    It’s been obvious for awhile that BoB is a spoof. I still think it’s impressive that he manages to remain in character so often; I can’t remember him slipping.

  53. 53
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @The Main Gauche of Mild Reason: There have been a few posts that sound dangerously sane, but then B.o.B. will come along and claim that he never wrote them.

  54. 54
    TenguPhule says:

    the slave-owner had to care for the slave in infancy and old age, acts performed out of decency.

    Except for the ones worked to death.

    Or beaten to death for offending their master.

    Or kicked out into the street to die like a dog because they can’t work anymore and can’t be sold for anything and master don’t give a shit about old slaves who can’t make him rich.

    Sometimes I think the only way people like BOB and the Confederate fluffers would ever understand would be to have themselves be enslaved for a few years.

  55. 55
    IndyLib says:

    @Yutsano:

    The Navy has already prepared me, at least in part, for all of those issues.
    I’ve lived in the humidity – if Virginia is worse than Japan I’ll eat my mildewed leather boots. And as far as wingnut Gov’s go – does the Governator count? I don’t suppose he’s really a wingnut, but at least Virginia isn’t going down a sinkhole budget-wise.

    One of the things I love most about moving via USN is that we always end up somewhere with good fish. Even Wisconsin is good for freshwater fish – Friday night fishfrys are everywhere and damned tasty.

  56. 56
    ExtremismInTheDefenseOfLiberty says:

    @The Main Gauche of Mild Reason:

    He’s a good spoof, no doubt about it.

  57. 57
    ExtremismInTheDefenseOfLiberty says:

    @TenguPhule:

    Spoofing is a lot like slavery.

  58. 58
    gocart mozart says:

    @daveX99:

    The current Republifederates are all about being anti-elite, I thought (see: Palin, etc.). Can you elaborate?

    I’ll give it a stab. Its faux anti-elitism “cloaked in a patina of carefully tested ‘populism’.” These “populists” are trying to kill banking regulations, want tax cuts for the wealthy, are against health care for the uninsured, minimum wage laws and all unions. Its the kind of populism that a plutocrat would love.

  59. 59
    Linkmeister says:

    @IndyLib: Having lived in both Japan and Virginia (and as someone connected to the Navy to boot) I can assure you if you tolerated Japan you’ll find Virginia’s climate easy to live in. Granted I was in Northern Virginia outside DC, but the climate doesn’t change much in those few hundred miles.

  60. 60
    Batocchio says:

    Thanks. I wish more people looked at the class issues in the Civil War, and up to the present day – although as crappy as being a mill worker or dirt farmer or conscript could be, slavery wins the prize for exploitation and cruelty. Hearing about Robert E. Lee’s thoughts on his “lazy” slaves, though (in that C-Span segment), I couldn’t help but think of Reagan and his welfare queens – and all the usual Limbaugh-Fox News-teabagger bullshit.

  61. 61
    gocart mozart says:

    Hearing about Robert E. Lee’s thoughts on his “lazy” slaves, though (in that C-Span segment), I couldn’t help but think of Reagan and his welfare queens – and all the usual Limbaugh-Fox News-teabagger bullshit.

    If they only applied themselves maybe they would get promoted to slavemaster someday. Pull themself up by there imiginary bootstraps so to speak. They could have made a nice living as a pro-slavery wingnut pundit also.

  62. 62
    Dennis G. says:

    @daveX99:

    While the rhetoric is “anti-elite”, the policies and actions are all very pro-elite, especially when it comes to ways of protecting the theft of labor.

    It could be them fighting minimum wage laws, or immigration reform, or oversight on working conditions at mines (especially the non-union ones), or working to protect Wall Street, or how wages decline when they are in charge, or… well there are thousands of examples.

    The talk is for the rubes and so are the optics.

  63. 63
    Dennis G. says:

    @Annamal:

    Sending people to jail to steal their labor is an old Confederate Party idea that extended to the rest of the Nation as they gained power: first with the Democrats and now with the Republicans.

    The theft of labor is a bad idea IMOH–even if you are stealing the labor of prisoners. The ‘free’ labor just creates incentives to find more prisoners and then very bad things happen.

  64. 64
    El Cid says:

    It’s good to see a discussion of how, after the Civil War, and as the federal troops were removed from the South, it was the post-Reconstruction “Redeemer” era when the white supremacist rich of the South sponsored a reconquest (the real Reconquista) of the use of race and terror to completely control the labor and the political system.

    To each his or her own, but I think that overall the best single symbol is the 1898 white supremist, elite-backed coup against the mixed-race elected city government of Wilmington, NC, the port city which was then the state’s biggest and wealthiest.

    The Civil War was a setback, but, yes, the Confederatists had reconquered their territory by the 1890s.

    Yet what is the ideal time period cited by the modern ‘conservative’ Reaganites? What is the year Grover Norquist and Glenn Beck and the TeaTards et al want us to go back to, that better America, the America before Teddy Roosevelt soshullism?

    The McKinley era, 1896 – 1901, the era of Plessy V. Ferguson, the era of white supremacist terror wars against Black and White Populist politicians & voters, gold standard fetishism, federal non-enforcement of the 15th Amendment along with nice words about the rights of African Americans ‘everywhere’ in the country (well, except that tiny little area known as the Old Confederacy), and the cruel and cynical theft of Cuban independence just at the moment that the Cubans themselves had fought off Spain (and they called this cowardly theft heroism in U.S. opposition to Spanish tyranny, and used a faked attack on a U.S. ship and a right wing press baron to gin up a fraudulent invasion & occupation).

    Okay, sure, in any era around the time you could look back and cobble together a list of bad things with which to tar anyone nostalgic — but these are precisely the events in the McKinley / Redeemer era that the Neo-Confederates look back to with admiration.

  65. 65
    El Cid says:

    @Dennis G.: You may want to be more specific about a whole game being played here.

    Right wing populists play with peoples’ natural (and rather sensible) notion that there are elites (in the dictionary sense) screwing them over while enjoying the benefits of the nation’s wealth.

    They just deploy a cultural populist definition of elite that has little to nothing to do with any sane or objective definition of “elite”.

    The “elites” aren’t billionaires buying policies or non-regulation wholesale; no, “elites” are that guy with the glasses at the coffee shop who reads sophisticated books and whom you’re sure looks down on you with your “W” and “Palin” bumperstickers, even if you’re the guy from the super-rich subdivision right up the road.

    Reagan’s billionaire fetishism (remember, they gave him a free $10 million mansion when he left office) wasn’t “elitist” because he and the populist neo-Confederate right played this bullshit game of pretending they were “Western” and “Sunbelt” industrialists and new wealth, even when their administration was still entirely dominated by Eastern establishment wealth.

    This is the bullshit fake anti-elitism of right wing populism which vampirizes off of the most natural of anti-screwed-over sentiments and manages to sell the Eastern establishment lazy criminal scion of the multi-generational super-rich and inherited political power Bush family as a Texas good ol’ boy who’s gonna sock one to them snobby uppity Harvard and Berkeley types.

    In another era, right wing populists played the same game, allying themselves with industrialists and multimillionaires but pretending they were against the real elites — you know, not my good friend here the captain of industry and sponsor of our local sports team, but the Jews or the Masons or those who are secretly Communist.

  66. 66
    georgia pig says:

    @General Egali Tarian Stuck:I tend to agree, and I’ve always wondered why so many of my cousins cling so tightly to the legacy of a bunch of losers. However, some of the critiques of the south I’ve read on this blog tend to be based on childlike ignorance of the region, and I wonder how effective attacks on caricatures like Barbour will be if coming from such ignorance. It risks missing the point, which Dengre touches upon, that a lot of this is really economic and the Confederate imagery is just veneer to create some type of “heritage” to justify selfishness. Yeah, there are lots of places in the South that are hopelessly neoconfederate, particularly in the Deep South (MS, AL, LA). But elsewhere it’s a mixed bag. Wingnuttia in VA tends to be concentrated in SW VA and exurbs of DC and Richmond. A lot of the backing of the asshole faction comes from retirees and middle and upper middle class suburbanites, many of whom are northern transplants that support neoconfederate candidates because they come from an allied school of northern racism or because it furthers their selfish asshole interests in not having to pay taxes. Several southern states (NC, SC, GA, northern FL) have a surplus of these, but, in the case of the retirees, their days are numbered. Some areas in the south are quite progressive, such as Raleigh-Durham-Chapel, which overwhelmingly went for Obama and is represented by two liberal congressman, David Price and Brad Miller. It’s a bit disconcerting to hear somebody express worry about visiting Raleigh (or Norfolk) out of some misguided fear that roving gangs of nightriders are going to attack you on the way home from a concert. It isn’t In the Heat of the Night down here. A lot of the political problems in the south are demographic and turn-out related. Obama won NC largely because he got young people and minorities to turn out, but that enthusiasm is inconsistent.

  67. 67
    xaneroxane says:

    Very excellent post–so much win, as the bloggers say. TNC does quite well, but if you keep this up, I won’t have to give the Atlantic site so much traffic!

  68. 68
    stuckinred says:

    @georgia pig: Some areas in the south are quite progressive, such as Raleigh-Durham-Chapel,

    And Athens.

  69. 69
    klokanek says:

    Nicely done, sir. History subversively and effectively respositioned. An entirely useful take on the economics of hate.

  70. 70
    DougL (frmrly: Conservatively Liberal) says:

    It’s pretty clear from the secession statements of the time that the powers that be in the south were only interested in the economics of exploitation by slavery. Slavery was a means to an end and the wealthy landowners in the south were very hostile at the idea of giving up something that they believed was their right to possess, use and dispose of as they saw fit. These landowners and the leaders in their respective states used the idea of ‘those people coming down here and telling us how to live our lives’ to stir their citizens and to agitate for secession.

    Great work Dennis. I am enjoying your coverage of this very important issue. We need to keep stuff like this up front and center to refute the revisionist bullshit we are seeing now.

  71. 71
    Kobie says:

    Damn, Dennis. As I’ve searched for the words to describe this (not-so-) recent strain of virulent racism and hate, you put it so succinctly. I would crib from it, if I didn’t have any ethical standards. Kudos.

  72. 72
    Bob K says:

    Way off topic, but a great story for when you’re getting coffee in the break room.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/worl.....sh-iceland

  73. 73
    El Cid says:

    The South and its Confederatist and culturist war against organized labor was great for Northern industrialists, who could establish mills and factories in the South, away from Northern unions.

  74. 74
    Va Highlander says:

    @georgia pig:

    Wingnuttia in VA tends to be concentrated in SW VA and exurbs of DC and Richmond.

    Yes, as a resident of SW Virginia, I must agree. People around here are batshit crazy.

    Personally, I think it just that all of Virginia, even the relatively sane parts, is being tarred with the same crazy brush. There should be real-world consequences – loss of tourism, bad press, &c – for fluffing the ghost of the Confederacy year after year after year.

  75. 75
    Dennis G. says:

    @stuckinred:

    And I called Athens home for most of the years between 1979 and 1997. One makes a mistake to treat ‘Confederate” and ‘South’ as interchangeable terms–especially as the Confederate Party can be found in every State of the Union these days.

    Cheers

  76. 76
    Honus says:

    @DPirate: reminds me of another of my favorites from Ambrose Bierce: “War is capitalism with the gloves off”

  77. 77
    Bob K says:

    These days the “I want my country back” crowd just wants to deport the slaves that are employed by the good Republican business owners.

  78. 78

    Great post. 150 years is not enough to get over it, not when there are still lives to exploit.

    Having worked both North and South, I’ve seen how Southerners allow their bosses to dictate everything they do, right down to a haircut; and how astonished and appalled Northerners are at the very thought.

    Southerners flatter themseves that their culture is more polite; but what does that mean when it boils down to “Thank you sir, may I have another?”

    There’s still a lot of freedom work to do.

  79. 79
    JD Rhoades says:

    @Yutsano:

    Raleigh is most of what gave Obama North Carolina in the first place,

    Where’s the love for Durham and Chapel Hill?

  80. 80
  81. 81
    aimai says:

    I haven’t read this yet but “Slavery By Another Name” is supposed to be a stunning book about the effective re-enslavement of african american men in the south right up until the modern period. And, of course, it was one of the key compromises on the original social security act that it wouldn’t apply to field labor/black labor because the southern senators didn’t want mere security from want in extreme old age to keep elderly black men from working in the fields.
    aimai

  82. 82
    stuckinred says:

    @Dennis G.: Yea, I’ve been here since 84, didn’t want to come and I have no intention of leaving.

  83. 83
    rickstersherpa says:

    By the way, the issue in 1860 was not whether slavery would be abolished or not, but that it be allowed to spread. The Confederate Party’s insistence on its right to spread its malignant institution was broke the Democratic Party and it was Lincoln’s election on a platform of containment of slavery that served there justification to leave the union. It was merely the results of that election, not any action of Lincoln, that caused the South to secede. That this would lead to Civil War was obvious to many at the time, most particularly Stephen Douglas, a long time ally of the Confederate Party which then turned on him when he would not take the last step and turn on Democracy itself. In April 1860, as the Southerners walked out of the Charleston Convention, he told a supporter, “Men will be cutting each other’s within a year.” One year later the Confederates opened fired on Ft. Sumter.

  84. 84
    brantl says:

    @Brick Oven Bill: Hey, shit-for-brains: the slaves cared for the infants (often as not, even the massah’s) and they were often WORKED TO DEATH, WHILE YOUNG. When old, they were given jobs that they could still do. I love it when idiots like you come up with this shit. Go lie somewhere else.

  85. 85
    Alice Blue says:

    It wasn’t just racism, pride and fear that motivated non-slaveholding whites to take up arms for the Confederacy. Many of them were related by blood or marriage to slaveholders, and no doubt hoped that some day they too would be able to afford a slave or two. Loyalty to family played a big part.

    Dennis G., these are important, well thought out pieces. Keep ’em coming.

  86. 86
    El Cid says:

    @brantl: BOB’s just some asshole douchebag who think’s it’s really funny to go on liberal blogs and imitate an asshole right wing racist. Ha ha ha. Such fun. So witty. So difficult to do.

  87. 87
    El Cid says:

    @WereBear (itouch): The Southern racial control of the labor and political system continued formally until the mid-20th century. It may not have been slavery, but it wasn’t freedom, either.

    There still are outbreaks of actual slavery, typically among Southern agriculture mini-barons who pressgang a vulnerable group of immigrants to work for no money, not too removed from the old textile mill system where people got paid in ‘scrip’, not cash, and became more and more in debt to the overcharging company stores — the only place which would accept the fake currency — with company thug violence threatened against them if they attempted to flee their debts.

  88. 88
    DBrown says:

    @Brick Oven Bill: BOB – normally I enjoy your silly ideas and comments but you cross a very important line when you say that the slave owner was decent in their care of their slaves; this is sick and a total outrage on your part. I assume you were attempting to make a joke – withdraw your statement or clarify it. Otherwise, you are beyoud the pale and need to be removed from this site.

  89. 89
    flukebucket says:

    These really are very good posts and I hope you have filed all of them under the same category.

    One makes a mistake to treat ‘Confederate” and ‘South’ as interchangeable terms—especially as the Confederate Party can be found in every State of the Union these days.

    Cheers

  90. 90
    El Cid says:

    @flukebucket: Exactly. There are many more people in the South than the people who think “Southern” means “neo-Confederate”.

    A majority of the nation’s African Americans live in the South, as does a huge percentage of the nation’s Latinos, in addition to a huge urbanized population which doesn’t in general support a white right wing pseudo-ruralist agenda.

    Don’t give the whole South to the right wing whites who think they own it anyway, even if they still get to elect the politicians who are now dominating the Republican Party.

  91. 91
    kay says:

    @DBrown:

    He’s an idiot. The slaveowner had to “care” for the infants of slaves….why?

    Because he wasn’t PAYING their parents for the work that they did. Had he been doing that, they could have “cared for” their own children.

    They don’t even let Brick Oven Bill drive a fork lift at work. There’s a reason for that. He thinks it’s affirmative action, but I suspect otherwise. I think it’s a safety issue.

  92. 92
    LA Confidential Pantload says:

    I’m in complete agreement with the governors about the lack of need to mention slavery in connection with the Confederacy. It’s the same as when I celebrate Benedict Arnold Day – the guy was a courageous, skillful warrior and much respected by Washington. Sure, he had a few problems later in his career, but since we all know about them, why bring them up?

  93. 93
    Northern Observer says:

    I think the intellectual link between slavery rationalization from the 19th century and the foundations of modern american conservatism though in the 20th century have not been explored properly.
    I think there is a direct link between the absolute right to property mantra of the modern right and the absolute right to own slaves mantra of the 19th century pro slavery thinkers.
    Worthy of a book.

  94. 94
    Cheryl Rofer says:

    The big irony here is that the Republican Party originated as the only party that addressed the issue of slavery effectively. Both the Whigs and the Democrats had accommodated to slavery and accepted it. Abraham Lincoln was the first Republican president.

  95. 95
    georgia pig says:

    @Dennis G.: Progressivism is not limited to college towns in the south. For example, there was always a strain of business oriented progressivism in North Carolina and Georgia. Relatively speaking, Charlotte and Atlanta have traditionally been fairly progressive, because leaders in those cities realized that neo-confederatism wasn’t particularly conducive to landing new businesses and building a stong local economy.

    What I worry about with all this fixation on neo-confederates is that progressives will fall into easy stereotypes that do more to antagonize and obscure than reveal. I think guys like McDonnell do crap like announcing Confederate History Month because they’re manipulative assholes who know it will inflame liberals and African-Americans, who risk reacting based on facile stereotypes of rednecks. Guys like Barbour stuff their pockets with corporate cash while playing to the insecurities of southern whites (who have a lot of social problems as a group) and the greed of exurbanites and retirees who came to the south to buy some of that good ol’ plantation lifestyle (big houses, low taxes, etc.) with the money they made up north. That’s why Barbour said it was a “nit” – to him it is, just some bullshit to manipulate his constituents.

  96. 96
    Paris says:

    Slavery by Another Name is an excellent account of Jim Crow and forced labor camps in the South post Reconstruction

  97. 97
    flukebucket says:

    @El Cid:

    Don’t give the whole South to the right wing whites who think they own it anyway, even if they still get to elect the politicians who are now dominating the Republican Party.

    My feelings exactly.

    LBJ said he had given the South to the Republicans for 50 years after signing the Civil Rights Act. Well, that 50 years is up folks.

    I stay in the south and I argue against confederate party politics because I believe a little yeast eventually works through the whole batch of dough.

    I can see it in the young people down here. There is a new sun rising in the South. The death rattles of the old ways are loud and they are ugly but they are still death rattles.

    I think often of those immortal words, “I may not get there with you but we as a people will get to the promised land”

    Cheers

  98. 98
    DBrown says:

    @Northern Observer: What bothers me is that this is exactly like saying that German nazi’s before 1942 cared for their Jewish captives – the insensitivity and outright disregard for the terrible suffering is beyond belief. Even to joke about such these is beyond the pale. If BOB chooses to ignore this, then I know that deep down he hates blacks and is a extreme racist and needs to be removed. Such statements by him are sick.

  99. 99

    @georgia pig:

    However, some of the critiques of the south I’ve read on this blog tend to be based on childlike ignorance of the region, and I wonder how effective attacks on caricatures like Barbour will be if coming from such ignorance

    Haley Barbour is the popular governor of a deep south state, so he is hardly a caricature. And while I get your point and agree that the south isn’t what it once was in practice, like I said the other day. I guess what I object to from some comments here by some liberals still living in the south is using the term “heritage” and being proud of that. Because when you leave the cities and travel out into the rural country side where most natives live “heritage” means more often than not the old south which spawned the confederacy and the mindset that created it.

    As I am a respecter of nuance always to flesh out the truth as much as possible, your comment is welcome and needed. But on this particular topic, I personally won’t be spending a lot of time describing the anecdotes that there are good folks like yourself amongst the majority of idiots trying to reborn a rightfully conquered past of evil. It is too important and dangerous too not speak of it with condemnation in a general sense.

  100. 100
    tesslibrarian says:

    @stuckinred: Thank You!

    There’s plenty of pretty nice, normal people here. Don’t group Athens with the crazeees because Paul Broun is our rep–that was post-census gerrymandering.

  101. 101
    Upper West says:

    Excellent analysis — I would add that in the last 30 years the method of stealing labor has been to increase productivity, while keeping wages stagnant. (the first time in US History that that has happened)

  102. 102
    georgia pig says:

    @General Egali Tarian Stuck: This is like debating whether you directly confront Iran or if you try to divide and conquer. Unlike a lot of the folks spouting this horseshit, I actually have roots in the confederacy. My ancestors were dirt poor farmers and coal miners in Tennessee and Georgia who fought and suffered in a stupid war that was only in the economic interest of a narrow ruling landowner class who wanted to perpetuate their feudal lifestyle.

    I cringe when I speak with relatives who cling to this nonsense, but they are a dying breed. A lot of the new followers of The Cause have nothing to do with this history, they’re just pickup truck drivers sitting in the Walmart parking lot in some wasteland exurb looking for a heritage they never had or a bunch of cynical rich people playing at being Planters in gated golf communities.

    A potential problem, however, is that some progressives become knee jerk in their reactions to this crap, when a lot of it is simply political theater put on by hucksters like Barbour and McDonnell. They’re willing to write off large sections of the country, which I think is a huge mistake that plays into their hands. Moreover, they disregard or downplay some of the real problems that rural southern whites experience, e.g., loss of manufacturing jobs, poor education, meth addiction, teen pregnancy, etc. Some of these folks do have real grievances and are simply ignorant and undereducated, just like a lot of the other social groups that progressives hope to help.

    Rather than vocally react (which won’t change their minds), push forward with reform so some of these folks will start seeing positive changes in their lives. There was some progress in attitudes during the 70’s and 80’s as the South started to do better economically. However, there’s been a retrenchment with the job losses to Mexico, China and India. The textile and furniture industries are gone, and there hasn’t been a lot to replace them. You can pin a lot of that on Wall Street, not southern bigot rabble rousers.

  103. 103
    PRD says:

    Excellent diatribe.

    I always wondered how the corporate cons found their way into the Republican party. My assumption was around the big-tent philosophy (theocrats and neocons don’t care about labor), but that always sounded hollow and didn’t explain the southern dem-to-republican shift. I never thought to consider the duality between the Corporate and Confederate around the idea of profit by way of labor theft.

  104. 104
    Jeff says:

    Although slavery is wrong and its roots was the cause to secede, the Confererate History month is (or should be) to honor the fighting abilities and sacrifices of the southern soldier (also American). Its funny that liberals only attack the CSA and not Custer and the US Army for what was done to native Americans and that was done after the Civil War.

  105. 105
    Jeff says:

    Although slavery is wrong and its roots was the cause to secede, the Confererate History month is (or should be) to honor the fighting abilities and sacrifices of the southern soldier (also American). Its funny that liberals only attack the CSA and not Custer and the US Army for what was done to native Americans and that was done after the Civil War.

  106. 106
    jake the snake says:

    The white sells his services, but they are purchased only when they may be useful; the black can claim no remuneration for his toil, but the expense of his maintenance is perpetual; he must be supported in his old age as well as in manhood, in his profitless infancy as well as in the productive years of youth, in sickness as well as in health… in the end the slave has cost more than the free servant, and his labor is less productive–BOB

    .”

    Apart from the question as to how much support was given,

    BOB has half a point. The share-crop system that replaced slavery was actually more efficient, in that the share-cropper was paid a pittance and was responsible for his own upkeep out of that pittance. Very often the share-cropper worked on credit, which was arranged in such a way that the tenant would never be able to pay it off and survive (see also, company store in mining camps.)
    Of course BOB is using the TIDOS argument that slavery was more humane than its replacement. Wonder which BOB would prefer to be a slave or a share-cropper?

    Other than having less of a risk of being beaten, maimed, castrated or murdered, share-cropping at least provided an illusion of freedom.

  107. 107
    Mary says:

    Dengre, this was the best post I’ve read all month.

  108. 108
    El Cid says:

    @Jeff: Is some governor proposing Custer celebration month?

    And have you been asleep when people point out what the hell is wrong with “Columbus Day” as the first European slaughterer of the natives?

    And, as a native Southerner myself, allow me to say, fuck the god-damned plantation owned bullshit “Confederacy” and the Redeemer/Jim-Crow hell that followed it.

  109. 109
    El Cid says:

    @jake the snake: Under slavery, you could never leave without risking being killed or recaptured, even exported home from the ‘free’ North.

    Under Jim Crow, from the 1910s to the 1940s, nearly 2 million black citizens (and perhaps as many or more poor whites) escaped the Southern hellhole for the other parts of the nation.

    It was definitely better after the end of slavery. Not great. Just better.

    The other parts of the nation certainly weren’t open-armed paradises, but they weren’t state-level ethno-fascist shitburgs.

  110. 110
    Jeff says:

    Hey El cid not custer month but we do celebrate the US Army and don’t mention the indian wars. Like I said it was to honor (or just remember) the fighting prowess of the southern soldier. Robert E. Lee has been talked about as one of the best American Generals. so get off your liberal ass thinking and let them have the month. There’s a month for everyone and everything else. No one is asking you to honor the month and no one is saying we should have parties and whoop it up. Its a sectional thing and there is nothing wrong with it. Its done anyway and is a part of our histroy. If you think it was done to celebrate slavery or the protection of it, I pity you. Think about it and don’t be so fast to react. Like I say again, its not about the plantation owner, slavery, southern politics at the time, but the ability of the southern soldier (who fought bravely and won many a battle) especially outnumbered. As was said in the late 1800’s “With Union artillery and Confederate infantry we could whip the world”

  111. 111
    El Cid says:

    @Jeff: The army has certainly done quite a bit more than fight the Indian wars, so someone could celebrate, say, WWII victories without purposefully meaning to celebrate the genocide against Native Americans upon which this nation was founded.

    The only reason someone — such as the Governor of Virginia — is proposing to honor the “Confederacy” without simultaneously putting it into the context of the horror it was built upon (rich plantation owners’ slavery) is because they simply don’t care about the reality of the Confederacy, at all.

    The Confederacy existed solely to war for slavery, and whether or not your average poor white soldier was aware of why rich plantation owners and rich politicians were sending them out to starve and die to protect large landholding slavers is irrelevant to defining the purpose of a war.

    Sure, some soldier might have told himself any number of stories about what he was fighting for, based on the fraudulent bullshit of the rich assholes lying to him and forcing him into this war.

    I’m very proud of my home state of North Carolina for having the greatest number of deserters and dodgers of the Confederate military. These individuals were truly noble heroes for defying the law and refusing to fight and die to protect rich men’s slave system.

    I pity the ignorant morons who think that there’s not only pride in the efforts put out by ordinary soldiers but in the nasty, corrupt, evil, fraudulent cause they served.

    Every monument to Confederate soldiers should be accompanied, nay, vastly outnumbered, in honoring the African Americans who died under the regime they protected, as well as the Union soldiers who saved this nation from Confederate treason in defense of slavery.

  112. 112
    frankdawg says:

    Jeff, please join brick head bill in remedial class. Would you (well lets do better: would a reasonable, decent person we’ll ignore you and BHB for the moment) support a Nazi History month? And while doing so ignore the 12 million people exterminated in camps? And call the millions of civilian deaths a “nit” not meaning “diddley”? Of course they wouldn’t and we should not let the evil rewrite the evil history of slavery either.

    While totally not germain to this discussion the attempt to bring Custer into this is hilarious. Liberals bemoan the treatment of Native American’s regularly and are met with the same sort of derisive, dismissive bullshit you are spraying here. Nice try though. Maybe next time you could play “look what that evil liberal FDR did to the Japaneses – how come non of you liberals whine about that – HUH?”

    The history of America is not a straight line from bad to good, we do better and do worse from time to time.

  113. 113
    Jeff says:

    Cid just because the avg csa soldier was told it was to protect their land is no reason not to let them be honored. How about the bullshit given to us during Vietnam, should we not honor the American soldier for fighting or was it the “cause” you speak of, I guess you may be one that spit on homecoming soldiers from that war. Or not honor the soldier that fought in Iraq because of the cause. Wake up, it the American soldier that is to be honored. And Frank listen I keep saying to honor the soldier, not the idealism like nazism. The movie :Letters from Iwo Jima showed both sides and how they fought. According to you that movie should not be. And again to reiterate, whether you like it or not, I—me—myself—-say it should be about learning of the exploits of the American soldier (who happened to be southern) in a terrible war —like all wars.

  114. 114
    Beej says:

    Dear Teabaggers,

    The world you want to celebrate, the one where your white skin made you the king and allowed you to subjugate anyone whose skin wasn’t as white as yours and keep them subjugated by law and custom and feel superior because your skin was white and theirs wasn’t, even if you had no education and no class and no brains? That world is gone. No matter how much you wish or scream or threaten, it is not coming back. You are the dregs of history. The leftovers. The world has moved on, way on. You can either drop your baggage and follow or be left behind in the wasteland. Your choice.

  115. 115
    Svlad Jelly says:

    Trillions. The comparative value of $3.5 billion in 1860 would be in the multiple trillions today.

    Using you’re math, the Civil War would have cost less than $150 billion.

  116. 116

    […] in Business, Daily life, GOP, Government at 9:59 am by LeisureGuy Dennis G at Balloon Juice: When one mentions Slavery it seems that many members of the Republican Confederate Party feel that […]

  117. 117
    El Cid says:

    @Jeff: Fine — honor the Confederate soldier. But I live in the South. Where are the monuments to those hurt by the treasonous Confederate rebellion, which aimed to destroy this nation?

    Where are the equal time monuments to all the slaves who gave their lives so their families could live?

    Where are all the monuments to the Union troops who saved not only our African Americans from permanent slavery but our nation, including Southern whites like me thankful that the Confederate cause was defeated?

    It shocks me that fellow Southerners want to honor one side in the battle, but don’t really give much of a shit about the other Americans who suffered and died under the Confederate cause and those who saved us all from it.

  118. 118
    Jeff says:

    Ok Cid I think we beat this enough, the monuments to the Union Soldiers are in every small town in the north, just like the south. I think the reason of our disagreement or should I say different view is that I like military history and can see both sides and respect the stategies and tactics used in battles. I don’t like to neglect them because it may be confederate and wonderful (like Jackson’s valley campaign) which I think is still studied at West Point. I am not posting any pro slavery or anything like that and take offense at having that implied (not by you) Who in the hell is Beej and what brought up teabaggers. I like the open mind of all. How narrow can we get. I guess we agree to disagree but I don’t see it as a major item to get riled up about. Get riled up about the loss of jobs and what to do about it.

  119. 119
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Jeff:

    Wake up, it the American soldier that is to be honored.

    No, they were Confederate soldiers, not American soldiers. The Confederates rejected the United States of America and formed their own country.

    You’re asking us to honor enemy soldiers who tried to break away and form their own country as great Americans even though they explicitly rejected America and formed their own country. How does that make sense to you?

  120. 120
    Jeff says:

    @Mnemosyne:
    Look Keep telling yourself they were not americans. Even Congress said they were american soldiers and have the benefits. So it is legal they are Americans, its part of our thats our history dont bury your head in the sand. How much do you know about the Civil War? I am a CW buff and don’t claim to know all but if you read letters, diaries and regimentals you migh just mellow a bit.

  121. 121
    frankdawg says:

    Jeffy – back to remedial class:

    1: the bullshit about soldiers being spit on during Viet Nam has been well and thoroughly debunked – nice try please play again.

    2: I would have much less of an issue about Treason in Defense of Slavery Month if there was some emphasis placed on the actual cause of the treason instead of pretending that slavery was an afterthought. If you really have read about the Civil War than you are well aware that the slave owners had no problem using the full weight of the Federal Government to defend and extend slavery (I’d suggest Shelby Foote’s first volume on the pre-war period as a good starting point except some of the words you will probably have to have explained to you, many are longer than two syllables). Just like the teabaggers of today they want the government to do for them alone, even if they are the minority. When it does not bow to their wishes they rule it tyranny.

  122. 122
    DPirate says:

    @iriedc: Disagree. Rape was surely prevalent, but it still is. Rape is an aside to the question of slavery, even as it applies to trafficking today, which is, again, entirely about making money.

    @DBrown: Uh oh. Godwin’s Law.

    @Upper West: Untrue. Haven’t you heard of the industrial revolution? Labor-saving devices manage the same thing. Hell, when cavemen introduced the wheel, someone was out of a job…

    @Mnemosyne: It makes sense to me in the same way as honoring ANY revolutionary makes sense. Maybe you only care about the ones who win…

  123. 123
    jake the snake says:

    @ ELCid

    I certainly was not saying that share-cropping was not better, but only by degree.
    It is true that many blacks and whites did escape and go north. Here in rural Kentucky, there was an old folk saying that the three “R”s were readin’, ‘ritin’ and the road to Ohio.
    you may or may not have heard the term “Briarjumper”.

  124. 124
    Lisa K. says:

    @Jeff:

    I think the reason of our disagreement or should I say different view is that I like military history and can see both sides and respect the stategies and tactics used in battles.

    Strategies and tactics have diddily to do with anything. The Viet Cong and Al-Qaeda have developed some brilliantly effective strategies, too (talking people into blowing themselves up for someone else’s good is the height of genius IMO) so why not celebrate their accomplishments as well?

  125. 125
    Lisa K. says:

    @Jeff:

    “Look Keep telling yourself they were not americans. Even Congress said they were american soldiers and have the benefits. So it is legal they are Americans, its part of our thats our history dont bury your head in the sand.”

    While they were fighting, they were not Americans. They were not fighting to defend America. They were fighting to destroy America. They were fighting as soldiers of the Confederacy, not as soldiers of the United States. They were traitors. If preservation of the union had not been necessary to bring about emancipation, I sometimes wish we had just let their resentful, bigoted hides go.

    And that’s our history, don’t bury your head in the sand…

  126. 126
    DPirate says:

    @Lisa K.: They were not fighting to “destroy america”. They were fighting to LEAVE the REPUBLIC of the united states OF america. Talk about burying your head in the sand…

    But you are correct, they were not americans, just as the people we are fighting in afghanistan are not afghanis. They were georgians and carolinans, etc, as the afghans are loyal to whatever tribe they were born to and not this edifice of nationalism we’ve set up and which they couldn’t give a shit about.

    As to treason, if a democratically erected republic cannot be dismantled democratically, it is simply tyrannical and ought to be left by whatever means prove necessary. Perhaps they jumped the gun on this, I do not know, but I think not. Nevertheless, it would behoove the republic to allow its disgruntled members to secede instead of killing off half its citizens.

    Furthermore, is it the vietnamese who shouldn’t laud its heroes or just us? Giap was an incredible military man and is recognized all over the world as such. And please don’t compare suicide bombers to the confederate army because it’s rather pathetic. It’s much like comparing William Rehnquist to Eric Rudolph.

  127. 127
    Lisa K. says:

    @DPirate:

    They were not fighting to “destroy america”. They were fighting to LEAVE the REPUBLIC of the united states OF america.

    No, by fighting to leave, they were effectively fighting to destroy. They were fighting to undo what had heretofore been a nation. Talk about burying your head in the sand, not to mention making the lamest of excuses.

    As to treason, if a democratically erected republic cannot be dismantled democratically, it is simply tyrannical and ought to be left by whatever means prove necessary. Perhaps they jumped the gun on this, I do not know, but I think not. Nevertheless, it would behoove the republic to allow its disgruntled members to secede instead of killing off half its citizens.

    It is generally against the law to secede from the United States of America. If you want to call that tyranny, I suppose that is your business, but it is the law nonetheless.

    I am also curious as to what you mean when you say you think they didn’t “jump the gun” with secession. Was seceding to preserve slavery justified? What do you think the union should have done when southern states started announcing their intention to secede from the country after the election of Abraham Lincoln made it clear that the days of free lunch were coming to a close. Say, oh, well, slavery won’t be an issue as long as it is confined to the confederacy? Emancipation of enslaved peoples on our continent is not a cause worth fighting for anyway? And please don’t give me garbage about how the end of that institution was right around the corner in Dixie anyway, so you might as well have let us go. Tell me-what should have been done?

    Giap was an incredible military man and is recognized all over the world as such.

    I could not possibly care less about who is “an incredible military man.” That means nothing to me. Erwin Rommel was a great tactitian, too. Should we have a month for him?

    “And please don’t compare suicide bombers to the confederate army because it’s rather pathetic.”

    Why? It’s the same thing-people committing suicide to benefit others. The only difference is that the confederate soldiers agreed to do it by the hundreds and hundreds of thousands. How many confederate soldiers do you think were plantation owners on antebellum homes? How many of them had anything to gain by their state seceding from the union? I’ll give you a hint: Damned few, and yet they were convinced (just as teabaggers are now) to do slave owners, politicians and businessmen’s dirty work for them. THAT is what is pathetic.

    It’s much like comparing William Rehnquist to Eric Rudolph.

    Ummm…ok. Whatever.

    At this point, if everything south of the Mason-Dixon and east of New Mexico wanted to leave the US, I would be the first one to hand them their hat. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out. But it would be interesting to see what happened the minute the Mexican drug violence spilled over into meth-addled Texas and there was just no federal help to be had…

  128. 128
    Bill Murray says:

    Isn’t the Norfolk/Virginia Beach area ground zero for Pat Robertson, CBN and Regent’s University?

  129. 129
    Jeff says:

    Frank does it boast your ego to say such stuff like ‘two syllable words’ wow did you think of that yourself. cut me some slack and go back and read history yourself. As slavery was the thread in all that was done in the 1830′ s through the 1850’s Lincoln was not going to stop slavery just stop the spread. If you think the average union soldier fought for the end of slavery there is no use discussing this any more for you know absolutely nothing. The emancipation proclamation did not free one slave. The states left the union (which was not illegal in 1860) since it was a collection of states for the common defense. I still question the spitting no matter what you say but the soldier was definitely scorned I know I was there.

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