Sunday, July 25, 2021

To live in a society run by left-wing authoritarians is to be surrounded by institutional hatred


To be a left-wing authoritarian is to feel the certainty of anti-conventionalism, the passion for top-down censorship, the thrill of revolutionary aggression
writes Ben Shapiro in a New York Post excerpt from his The Authoritarian Moment: How the Left Weaponized America’s Institutions Against Dissent (thanks to Instapundit).

Tomorrow belongs to them. 

For the rest of us, a society run by left-wing authoritarians is extraordinarily burdensome. It is to be surrounded by institutional hatred. If you are conservative — or merely non-leftist — in America, the hatred is palpable. 

They hate you in academia. They hate you in the media. They hate you on the sports field, in the movies, on Facebook and Twitter. Your boss hates you. Your colleagues hate you — or at least have been told they should. 

They hate you because you think the wrong way.

Perhaps the problem is that you attend church regularly. Perhaps it’s that you want to run your business and be left alone. Perhaps it’s that you want to raise your children with traditional social values. It could be that you believe that men and women exist, or that the police are generally not racist, or that children deserve a mother and a father, or that hard work pays off, or that the American flag stands for freedom rather than oppression, or that people should be judged based on the content of their character rather than the color of their skin. 

Maybe it’s that you haven’t put your preferred pronouns in your Twitter profile, or hashtagged with the latest pride symbol for the latest cause, or used the proper emoji in your text messages. Or maybe it’s just that you have friends, or family members, or even acquaintances who have violated any of the thicket of cultural regulations placed upon us by our supposed moral betters. Guilt by association is just as damning as guilt through action or inaction. 

The reasons they hate you are legion. They change day to day. One day, you might be a ballyhooed champion of justice for standing up for gay rights or feminist ideals; the next day, you might be told that you have been banished for your refusal to acknowledge that a man calling himself a woman is not in fact a woman (Martina Navratilova or J. K. Rowling). One day, you might find yourself a hero of the intelligentsia for your cynicism about religion; the next, you might find yourself a villain for the great sin of suggesting that cancel culture breeds radicalization (podcaster Sam Harris or professor Steven Pinker). 

This is not a question of Democrat or Republican. Not one figure named above would identify as a Republican, let alone a conservative. There is only one thing in the end that unites the disparate figures deemed worthy of the gulag in our ongoing culture war: refusal. The standards matter less than the simple message: You will comply, and you will like it

 … The consequences of woke cultural authoritarianism are real, and they are devastating. They range from job loss to social ostracism. Americans live in fear of the moment when a personal enemy dredges up a Bad Old TweetTM or members of the media “resurface” an impolitic comment in a text message. And the eyes and ears are everywhere. One simple tip from someone on Facebook to a pseudo-journalist activist can result in a worldwide scandal. Cross the social justice warriors, and you will be canceled. 

Perhaps the most galling aspect of our culturally authoritarian moment is the blithe assurance whereby Americans are informed that they are exaggerating. There is no such thing as cancel culture, our woke rulers assure us, while busily hunting down our most embarrassing political faux pas. There’s nothing wrong, they say, with calling your boss to try to get you fired — after all, that’s the free market just working! Why are you whining about social media censorship, or about social ostracism? People have a right to tear you to shreds, to end your career, to malign your character! It’s all free speech!

In a certain sense, they’re not wrong: Your boss does have a right to fire you; your friends and family do have a right to cut you off. None of that amounts to a violation of the First Amendment. 

It simply amounts to the end of the republic. 

 … We have been silenced. 

And now is the time for the silence to be broken by one simple, powerful word, a word that has meant freedom since the beginning of time:

No. 

Saturday, July 24, 2021

During the Winter of 1860-1861, Did the South's Democrats Obtain Their Aim — the Secession of 7 Slave States — Thanks to Elections Filled with Stealth, Lies, Voter Fraud, Intimidation, Violence, and Murder? (Wait 'til You Hear About… Georgia's Dark Secret)


Plus ça change…  As we view allegations of massive voter fraud during the election of 2020 — along with the reigning Democrats' haughty and disdainful attitude in the wake of Joe Biden's dubious "victory" — it leaves a bitter taste in the mouth to go back in time and read about the disturbing truth concerning the South's secession conventions of 1860-1861.

These used to be presented by historians and history teachers as straight-forward as well as a reflection of the Southern people's true desires; but they turn out to present the same lack of scruples as the presidential election 160 years later. (Remember that an American election is not one single election for the White House, but 51 elections for the presidency… Oh, and by the way, regarding this post's title, if you protest that there were 11 states that formed the Confederacy, I am speaking only of the slave states — seven, slightly less than half the total number — which had seceded prior to the war's outbreak at Fort Sumter.) 

This is the third post in a series of three on the Civil War era compared with modern times, and evidence of the lack of scruples in the Democrat party since its very inception.

But before we delve into details of the "the great secession winter," we need to establish some parameters. (If you want to skip directly to the meat, it is below the cover image of Stephanie McCurry's audiobook below…)

Did you know that in the 1850s, members of the Democrat party were referred to regularly as fire eaters or as locofocos? Just as one of this blog's most prominent posts over the past 17 years explained how we are (now) living in The Era of the Drama Queens.

As talk over the past two or three years has warned of a second civil war, doesn't it sound like the Democrats have not changed an iota since the 1850s and perhaps even since the party's foundation by Andrew Jackson?

That, after all, was the thesis of Dinesh D'Souza's book and film on The Secret History of the Democratic Party (in which King Andrew the First plays a prominent role).

Moreover, as I have written before, prior to his becoming the Republican Party's 1860 candidate, Abraham Lincoln held a speech in February 1860 (indeed, his Cooper Union speech galvanized the Republicans to eventually choose him as their candidate) in which he told his audience how he would address himself to them as if they were composed of Southerners and Democrats:

  … when you speak of us Republicans, you do so only to denounce us as reptiles, or, at the best, as no better than outlaws. You will grant a hearing to pirates or murderers, but nothing like it to [Republicans]. In all your contentions with one another, each of you deems an unconditional condemnation of [Republicanism] as the first thing to be attended to. Indeed, such condemnation of us seems to be an indispensable prerequisite — license, so to speak — among you to be admitted or permitted to speak at all. Now, can you, or not, be prevailed upon to pause and to consider whether this is quite just to us, or even to yourselves? Bring forward your charges and specifications, and then be patient long enough to hear us deny or justify.
How many democrats amd MSM outlets in this day and age are willing to be "patient … to hear [Republicans] deny or justify"? Don't CNN, MSNBC, and the New York Times deem "an unconditional condemnation of [Republicanism or Trumpism] as the first thing to be attended to"? "Reptiles, outlaws, pirates, murderers"… How often have Republicans been called (domestic) terrorists in the past years?  (And in the years, in the decades, before that?).

Doesn't Lincoln's Cooper Union speech sound like something a Donald Trump or a George Bush could legitimately say (obviously, in different words) in the 21st century?

Locofocos. Fire eaters. Drama Queens.

As their name implies, the leftists' raison d'être is to constantly search for melodrama, to find offense in everything, and to lie, or at least to exaggerate, to the very limits of reason (the first example in more recent times that comes to mind being Ed Driscoll's observation that every Republican candidate since the 1940s has been likened to none other than Adolf Hitler).

(This led to another of my posts on — present-day — leftists: The Leftist Worldview in a Nutshell: A world of Deserving Dreamers Vs. Despicable Deplorables.)

The hysterics of such locofocos is what leads to the Democrats' creation of the Ku Klux Klan, Antifa, and Black Lives Matter, along with opening fire on Fort Sumter. And by the way, before you mention racism, don't forget: the Southern slave states of the 19th century were all solidly Democrat, just as later, the (same) Jim Crow states of the 20th century were all solidly Democrat.

In that perspective, another lie, as we have seen, is that, contrary to modern leftists' contention that the two parties have switched since the Civil War era, such people as Dinesh D'Souza and Prager University's Carol Swain have demonstrated that during the so-called Big Switch, only one single solitary Dixiecrat in fact joined the Republicans while in the very first election after the Nixon/Ford administrations, and their alleged winning "Southern Strategy," the South was swept by the Democratic nominee, Jimmy Carter.

Again, as I have written before, we have all heard that the debate about what caused secession and ergo the Civil War: Was It Slavery and/or States' Rights? Wasn't It Rather Something Else — the Election of a Ghastly Republican to the White House? The victory of such a despicable being made the Democrats' locofocos go bat-shit crazy and proceed to tear the country for the next four years apart… That wouldn't sound like the 2016 election now, would it?

This brings us to the meat of this post, which is the secession conventions of 1860-1861, which turn out to resemble the 2020 election more than anything else…


The Youtube video maker Have History Will Travel uses the book Confederate Reckoning (Power and Politics in the Civil War South) to answer the question How Popular Was Secession? (video embedded below)

After all, as Harry Jaffa points out in A New Birth of Freedom, "over one hundred thousand Southern men joined the Union army in the Civil War."

Quoting Confederate Reckoning author Stephanie McCurry, the Civil War enthusiast explains that

"each state campaign was a struggle by politicians to win — or appear to win — the unanimous consent of the people"

 … However, as the [South's] public began to turn their backs on secessionists, and disagree with their policies, other means were used to combat treason [!] to secession. 

 … "In the end, secession in the American South was neither a popular Democratic movement nor the accomplishment of a small slave-holding political élite. It was instead a hybrid thing, evincing at once the character of an administrative coup and of an open-fisted Democratic brawl"
South Carolina stands as the symbol of secession, since it had on more than one occasion attempted to leave the Union. In December 1860, its secession convention voted unanimously to secede, not one vote against. However, those numbers are misleading, as McCurry describes. After the Compromise of 1850, [the Palmetto State] had attempted secession, but had been voted down by the yeoman up-country population. In 1860, fire-eaters were now going to risk not gaining a full withdrawal from the Union. 

Anticipating the possible rise of the Republican Party to national prominence, and in the wake of John Brown's raid at Harper's Ferry, secessionists began to form paramilitary groups in districts all over South Carolina, in their words to defend against threats to the state. However, secessionists used the paramilitary groups to attack political opponents, by harassing, brutally beating, whipping, tar-and-feathering, running them out of town, and lynching them. This was all used to force Unionists against voting in the upcoming elections, particularly for the electing delegates to the secession convention

South Carolina had subverted the democratic process in their state. More than half of the elections were uncontested, with only one person running for a position.  Therefore, even the unanimous decisions in South Carolina was done under duress and did not reflect the opinions of the people.

Alright, got that? Because the secession-supporting Democrats (suffering from extreme LDS (Lincoln Derangement Syndrome)?) were so upset over the previous (special) election, they decided to use extralegal methods, not least violence (prefiguring the postbellum Ku Klux Klan) as well as an administrative coup d'état, in the following election. Don't you recognize this one? Ain't it 2016 and 2020 all over again? (All over again, except it takes place 160 years previously…) 

Had Time Magazine existed in the 1860s, how would it have reacted to a shadow campaign to produce the “proper outcome of the election”? Plus, note that 1860's Democrats had no compunction about calling the fellow (state) citizens/voters who do not follow the their desires as operating from a mindset of "treason."

But you know about Fulton County in Georgia (the 2020 version), correct? (That is, you do if you read and watch beyond the mainstream media…) Wait until you hear about what happened in the Peach State in January 1861…

Similar things happened all over the South. Let's look at one more state. Georgia's secession debate was fraught with election fraud. The vote by citizens on secession was suppressed by the governor until after the delegates voted in the secession convention. The delegates had a few test votes, and the first one resulted in 166 for secession and 130 against. There was [therefore] a prominent group of delegates that supported cooperation. But the fire-eaters had the advantage. The debate raged between the delegates and many of the cooperationists caved under the pressure of secessionists in the final vote, which resulted in 208 for and 89 against.

Pro-secessionist delegates did not get the unanimous decision they hoped for. They knew if they formed their own country, that dissent would threaten their independence. After the convention confirmed leaving the Union, the governor released the election results, showing secession with an advantage of 54%.

However, the governor had cooked the numbers. Up until the 1970s, that number was used by historians. But new research and documents demonstrated that those against secession had gotten just over 50% of the vote, meaning that Georgia left the Union under false pretenses. 

Again, political maneuvering done all across the South to gain a majority towards secession. It was not clear-cut. Many states displayed a loyalty to the Union. Stephanie McCurry uses these examples to support the argument that the South was not a cohesive unit…

It's the Georgia debacle all over again. (Except, of course, it is not "again"; since it happened 160 years ago.) Indeed, it sounds like Georgia (and perhaps a handful of other states?) might have become like a state-size West Berlin enclave inside the CSA had the rules been adhered to properly. (A couple of interesting questions: how would that have affected General Sherman's march to the sea and his desire to "make Georgia howl"? Since there was no reason to make the Peach State howl, the march probably would never have happened… At the risk of having a Union enclave inside their midst — which Union troops (under perhaps a Georgian general?) could use to march West (or North, towards and through the Carolinas and Virginia) — wouldn't Confederate armies have tried to invade and occupy their (non-)sister state?) In real life, interestingly, Georgia would be the final of the 11 secessionist states to be re-admitted to the Union, five years after Appomattox.

An enclave is something that, FYI, almost happened to Washington, DC, had Maryland joined the secessionists. Interestingly, Lincoln gets a lot of flack for suspending habeas corpus and imprisoning Maryland delegates and newspaper publishers, but as we can see from Stephanie McCurry's book, Democrat shenanigans and stealthy machinations that were far worse (but that Honest Abe, as well as a significant number of contemporary Americans, must have known about) have been ignored, ignored for a century and a half… 

We must all work to see that the truth about the 2020 elections in Georgia — and in other states — does not wait 110 years (2131?!) before becoming public…

One final note:

In the Amazon's customer reviews section, I am not sure to what extent the commenters realize how close the Democrat Party of the 1850s/1860s (Southerners "professing to have perfected the US Constitution" — Lydia E. York) is to the Democrat Party of the 21st century. One Jacob H. Herring writes that

I found this book most valuable because it answered two questions for me; one, I didn't even know I had and another that has always puzzled me. I'd always assumed, unconsciously, that the states of the Confederacy decided to leave the Union through legitimate, democratic means and that the vast majority of Southerners (except those in what is now West Virginia) supported that move. In Confederate" Reckoning, I learned that in several of the states, the Planters used the same tactics used by the Klan in the post-Civil War period to coerce the exit upon those white Southerners who didn't agree with the move.

Second, I'd always wondered why the average Southern white male, most of whom didn't own slaves, was willing to fight for those slave owners who did. McCurry explains this by describing the dynamic of getting all Southern white men to buy-into the notion that they were fighting to protect Southern white womanhood -- their mothers, sisters, wives and sweethearts. As before the war, so after the war. One thing that Souther white men and women were not taught widely in the South, either before or after the Civil War; i.e., to think critically and for themselves, 600,000 people died as a consequence of this lack of education.…

A lack of education in the 19th century, not being taught to think critically and for themselves? We just keep getting more and more descriptions of life in America under the Democrat party in the 20th and the 21st centuries. Plus ça change…

Plus ça change…

Related: • What Caused Secession and Ergo the Civil War? Was It Slavery and/or States' Rights? Or Wasn't It Rather Something Else — the Election of a Ghastly Republican to the White House?
• Wondering Why Slavery Persisted for Almost 75 Years After the Founding of the USA? According to Lincoln, the Democrat Party's "Principled" Opposition to "Hate Speech"
• Why Does Nobody Ever Fret About Scandinavia's — Dreadful — 19th-C Slavery Conditions?
• The Confederate Flag: Another Brick in the Leftwing Activists' (Self-Serving) Demonization of America and Rewriting of History
How to Prevent America from Becoming a Totalitarian State
• Inside of a month, Democrats have redefined riots and election challenges from the highest form of patriotism to an attack on democracy — And by “democracy”, they mean the Democrat Party

From my and Dan Greenberg's upcoming graphic novel on The Life & Times of Abraham Lincoln:

Friday, July 23, 2021

The Greatest Myth in U.S. History: Yes, the Civil War Era Did Feature Champions of States' Rights, But No, They Were Not in the South (Au Contraire)


Plus ça change…  Did you know that in the 1850s, members of the Democrat party were referred to regularly as fire eaters or as locofocos? It kind of sounds like Trump Derangement Syndrome (TDS) and Bush Derangement Syndrome (BDS), does it not? Do not forget that one of this blog's most prominent posts over the past 17 years explained how we are (now) living in The Era of the Drama Queens

As conservatives have started warning of a second civil war, it turns out that the (first) Civil War and its era has lots to teach us, not least the myths (or lies) that still are generally accepted 160 years afterwards, by all parts (North as well as South, conservative as well as leftist). 

Two of the main myths that will be covered in this and a future post are 1) who it was who really fought for States' Rights in the mid-19th century and 2) the credibility and trustworthiness of the South's secession conventions over the winter of 1860-1861 (guess what: over a century (!) afterwards, it was discovered that Georgia, of all places, voted… against secession).

This is the second post in a series of three on the Civil War era compared with modern times, and evidence of the lack of scruples in the Democrat party since its very inception.

While Joe Biden's Democrat administration engages in truth-stretching while attempting to censor the opposition and while working to undermine states' rights and election integrity through the federalizing of the election process, it is time to debunk one of the biggest myths in American, nay, world, history — not to call it one of human history's biggest lies…

That myth, or lie, is that between 1861 and 1865, the South, i.e., the Democrats, fought, at least partially, for the principle of States' Rights. Notice that I am not saying, unequivocally, that they fought for slavery (although that would not be wrong), and nothing else. I am saying that the facts show that States' Rights was the furthest thing from their mind.

Indeed, nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, you may be startled to learn that the truth is the exact opposite.

Before the war, the only people fighting for state-right principles were from, yes, the states of the North, while the South was deliberately working to undermine the issue.

You don't believe me? Remember: among the things Northern citizens took for granted were:
• ignoring Southern demands that fugitive slaves be returned,
• a prohibition against slavery in of half the Union,
• banning slave owners from traveling into the North's free-soil states with any member of their chattel (lest they be freed),
• and allowing blacks the right to be an American citizen, as much of the particular state as of the Union (the nation). 

Through the years, and the decades, all of these "States' rights" were undermined, completely or partially, directly or indirectly, by the South and/or the Democratic party. Meanwhile, Americans were told that it was uncouth to debate "the particular institution," and the U.S. post office banned abolition literature  (known today as "hate speech") in the mail.

Indeed, these incessant harassment campaigns is what gave birth to, what caused the rise of, and what provoked the growing popularity of, the nascent Republican party.

Northern states wished to refrain from returning fugitives to the South, if they were not fugitive criminals (white or black) but only fugitive slaves, and this "state right" was nullified by the Compromise of 1850 which created the Fugitive Slave Law.  In 1854, the Kansas-Nebraska Act gutted the Missouri Compromise, allowing slavery where it had previously been banned, North of latitude 36°30'. In 1857, the Supreme Court declared that blacks couldn't be citizens, anywhere in the nation, which was nothing less than a revolutionary move suggesting that the Compromise of 1820 had been null and void from the very moment it had been agreed on, 40 years earlier.

In Crisis of the House Divided, Harry Jaffa writes that

In the decade before the Civil War the South never turned to state-right principles except to defend the institution of slavery.  If state-right principles were sacred to the South, it would not have demanded the rigorous fugitive slave law it did

 … if it were accepted as settled legal doctrine that the right to property in slaves was "expressly affirmed" in the Constitution, there could be no legal barrier to a future decision pronouncing slavery lawful in all the states, old as well as new, North as well as South

As it happens, the Southern strategy of undermining states' rights forms the nucleus of Abraham Lincoln's House Divided speech. in which the Illinois lawyer warned that, eventually, Southerners would be allowed to take their slaves into any part of the country that they wished, and that eventually slavery must become the law of the land, legal in the North as well as in the South, in states as well as territories. 

As much to the point is the fact that this undermining of American society seemed to be part of a stealth campaign. Read the whole 1858 speech, and it becomes clear that what Lincoln is warning about is a covert power grab by leaders of the Democratic party — with the help of political allies on the Supreme Court (whose supposed wisdom we are all supposed to defer to).  (Notice that the first two sentences quoted below are akin to another modern issue, Democrats pressing for a one-time acceptance of millions of illegal aliens in the USA and promising that that will put an end to the matter once and for all…)

We are now far into the fifth year, since a policy was initiated, with the avowed object, and confident promise, of putting an end to slavery agitation.

Under the operation of that policy, that agitation has not only, not ceased, but has constantly augmented.

In my opinion, it will not cease, until a crisis shall have been reached, and passed -

"A house divided against itself cannot stand."

I believe this government cannot endure, permanently half slave and half free.

I do not expect the Union to be dissolved - I do not expect the house to fall - but I do expect it will cease to be divided.

It will become all one thing, or all the other.

Either the opponents of slavery, will arrest the further spread of it, and place it where the public mind shall rest in the belief that it is in course of ultimate extinction; or its advocates will push it forward till it shall become alike lawful in all the States, old as well as new-North as well as South.

Have we no tendency to the latter condition?

It is often thought that Lincoln's June 1858 speech is optimistic (by leaving out the last sentence above) — that one day all of America will be slave-free. In reality, as Abe's question demonstrates, it is precisely the opposite: a pessimistic warning that those in favor of universal slavery are winning — through stealth, hidden agendas, backroom deals, "dark and mysterious" cabals, deliberate temporary pauses, the use of misleading language, and the twisting of the meaning of words

All in the name of putting the American people asleep; declawing the Constitution and the Bill of Rights as well as the fabric of the entire country; and undermining, yes, States' Rights and the Tenth Amendment. Read the words in bold, and see if they don't remind you of the agendas, overt or other, of the Barack, Joe, Chuck, and Nancy "dynasty."

Let any one who doubts, carefully contemplate that now almost complete legal combination - piece of machinery so to speak- compounded of the Nebraska doctrine, and the Dred Scott decision. Let him consider not only what work the machinery is adapted to do, and how well adapted; but also, let him study the history of its construction, and trace, if he can, or rather fail, if he can, to trace the evidences of design and concert of action, among its chief bosses, from the beginning.

 … This necessity had not been overlooked; but had been provided for, as well as might be, in the notable argument of "squatter sovereignty," otherwise called "sacred right of self government," which latter phrase, though expressive of the only rightful basis of any government, was so perverted in this attempted use of it as to amount to just this: That if any one man, choose to enslave another, no third man shall be allowed to object.

 … the Nebraska doctrine, or what is left of it, is to educate and mould public opinion, at least Northern public opinion, to not care whether slavery is voted down or voted up.

This shows exactly where we now are; and partially also, whither we are tending.

It will throw additional light on the latter, to go back, and run the mind over the string of historical facts already stated. Several things will now appear less dark and mysterious than they did when they were transpiring. The people were to be left "perfectly free" "subject only to the Constitution." What the Constitution had to do with it, outsides could not then see. Plainly enough now, it was an exactly fitted nitch for the Dred Scott decision to afterward come in, and declare that perfect freedom of the people, to be just no freedom at all.

Why was the amendment, expressly declaring the right of the people to exclude slavery, voted down? Plainly enough now, the adoption of it, would have spoiled the nitch for the Dred Scott decision.

 … These things look like the cautious patting and petting of a spirited horse, preparatory to mounting him, when it is dreaded that he may give the rider a fall.

 … We cannot absolutely know that all these exact adaptations are the result of preconcert. But when we see a lot of framed timbers, different potions of which we know have been gotten out at different times and places and by different workmen,- Stephen, Franklin, Roger and James [Senator Douglas, former President Pierce, Supreme Court Chief Taney, and incumbent President Buchanan], for instance-and we see these timbers joined together, and see they exactly make the frame of a house or a mill, all the tenons and mortieses exactly fitting, and all the lengths and proportions of the different pieces exactly adapted to their respective places, and not a piece too many or too few-not omitting even scaffolding-or, if a single piece be lacking, we see the place in the frame exactly fitted and prepared to yet bring such piece in-in such a case, we find it impossible not to believe that Stephen and Franklin and Roger and James all understood one another from the beginning, and all worked upon a common plan or draft drawn up before the first lick was struck.

 … In what cases the power of the states is so restrained by the U.S. Constitution is left an open question, precisely as the same question, as to the restraint on the power of the territories was left open in the Nebraska act. Put that and that together, and we have another nice little nitch, which we may, ere long, see filled with another Supreme Court decision, declaring that the Constitution of the United States does not permit a state to exclude slavery from its limits.

And this may be expected if the doctrine of "care not whether slavery be voted down or voted up," shall gain upon the public mind sufficiently to give promise that such a decision can be maintained when made.

Such a decision is all that slavery now lacks of being alike lawful in all the States.

Welcome or unwelcome, such decision is probably coming, and will soon be upon us, unless the power of the present political dynasty shall be met and overthrown.

We shall lie down pleasantly dreaming that the people of Missouri are on the verge of making their State free; and we shall awake to the reality, instead, that the Supreme Court has made Illinois a slave State.

To meet and overthrow the power of that dynasty, is the work now before all those who would prevent that consummation
.

What the South was fighting for, then, was not States' Rights, but "Southern Rights", which had nothing to do with States' Rights or with human rights or with any other kind of rights at all. For it meant the the (covert and devious) end of cooperation with the North's free-soilers, the end of bringing, or outright owning of, slaves North of the Mason-Dixon line, and thus the court-imposed (We had nothing to do with that, but now all of us have no choice, sad to say, but obey) expansion of "the peculiar institution."

 This eventually gave rise to the Republican party's platform that slavery would be allowed to continue in the states where it existed (Northern Republicans, mainly, defending states rights, again, in this case of… the South!) but that it should not be extended into the territories, just as it had been prohibited for decades.

The South, or rather the Democratic party, had long dominated all three branches of government and could not tolerate the loss of power, even if only temporary.  As Harry Jaffa notes, "the numbers of federal offices held by Southerners were far out of proportion to the number and size of the Southern states." They included "the principle embassies" … "both army and navy" … "the executive department" … "Southern presidents" and "the judges of the Supreme Court"

With the 1860 election of a ghastly Republican, the fire-eaters and locofocos went berserk and decided to tear America apart for the following four years. (Hmm… Where have we seen that — if, fortunately, with less bloody consequences — in more recent times?)

It is mind-boggling to read the South's hysterical reactions to Lincoln's first inaugural speech — with appeals to bonds of affection, the mystic chords of memory, battlefields and patriot graves, living hearts and hearthstones, the chorus of the Union, and the better angels of our nature — styling it hateful and replete with provocations. (Call it LDS (Lincoln Derangement Syndrome).)

This is evidence that Dinesh D'Souza is right, needless to say, when he points out that it is (deliberately) misleading to call the Civil War a conflict between North and South, between Yankees and Rebs, when in fact it was a struggle between the Democrats (in the North as well as in the South), on the one hand, and the Republicans (in the North alone), on the other.

Plus ça change…

Related: • What Caused Secession and Ergo the Civil War? Was It Slavery and/or States' Rights? Or Wasn't It Rather Something Else — the Election of a Ghastly Republican to the White House?
• Wondering Why Slavery Persisted for Almost 75 Years After the Founding of the USA? According to Lincoln, the Democrat Party's "Principled" Opposition to "Hate Speech"
• Why Does Nobody Ever Fret About Scandinavia's — Dreadful — 19th-C Slavery Conditions?
• The Confederate Flag: Another Brick in the Leftwing Activists' (Self-Serving) Demonization of America and Rewriting of History
How to Prevent America from Becoming a Totalitarian State
• Inside of a month, Democrats have redefined riots and election challenges from the highest form of patriotism to an attack on democracy — And by “democracy”, they mean the Democrat Party

Thursday, July 22, 2021

Jaffa on the Civil War Era: For Democrats of the 21st Century as of the 19th, "the emancipation from morality was/is itself seen as moral progress"

As you read excerpts from Harry Jaffa's A New Birth of Freedom below, think of all the leftist shenanigans which have rocked America and the Western world in the past dozen years or so and, indeed, back to the 1960s, from the policies of the Barack, Joe, Chuck, and Nancy "dynasty" to the counterculture of the Hippie movements.

Think of the election of 2020, Black Lives Matter, the youth movement, and efforts across the board to muzzle Donald Trump and other conservatives, demonizing one and all as terrorists. As Jonah Goldberg put it in Liberal Fascism,

That is how the liberal Gleichschaltung works; contrary voices are regulated, barred, banned when possible, mocked and marginalized when not. Progressive voices are ecouraged, lionized, amplified — in the name of "diversity," or "liberation," or "unity," and, most of all, "progress."

But especially, think back a century or two, to the Democrats' decisions of the 1860s, the 1850s, and the 1830s, and how the ideas of Alexander Stephens, Stephen Douglas, and John Calhoun have prevailed over the promises of the American Revolution and the values of Abe Lincoln's Republican party…

It turns out that the liberal Gleichschaltung worked not much differently from the 1830s to the 1860s and beyond…

This is the first post in a series of three on the Civil War era compared with modern times, and evidence of the lack of scruples in the Democrat party since its very inception.

 Without further ado, I give you Harry Jaffa's A New Birth of Freedom:

 … if ever there was a nation annihilated politically on the battlefield that nonetheless imposed the yoke of its thought upon its conquerors, it was the Confederacy 

 … The echo of Calhoun in the [nihilistic] words of [one of the modern era's chief justices] is evidence that the Confederacy is alive and well and that the Union victory at Appomatox [sic] has not been accompanied by any ascendancy of the words of the principles of the Gettysburg Address

  … Atheistic nihilism transforms the "bourgeois" and highly moral individualism of the American Revolution into something entirely different.  That older individualism was based on the idea of unalienable rights endowed by man's Creator.  Such rights were not unconditional.  They were to be exercised only in accordance with the laws of nature and of nature's God, which were moral laws.  Rights and duties were in reciprocal relationship.

From now on, "rights" would be understood as the unconditional empowerment of the individual to do as he pleased

 … we will see in Calhoun the generation of the most powerful forces that today dominate the intellectual life, not only of the United States, but also of the Western world generally

The idea of progress led Hegel, Marx, and Calhoun radically to depreciate the role of reason in all their predecessors, whether statesmen or philosophers

 … The piety professed by Calhoun collapsed into atheism.  Why continue to praise God for what man's unaided powers alone can accomplish?  The progress of science meant that mankind now had the power, and the responsibility, of a God who created ex nihilo.  To be possessed of such power meant that man, like God, was beyond good and evil

 … Self-realization was in fact the only correlate of the new atheism.  As there could no longer be any distinction between man and God, which distinction is as fundamental to the Declaration of Independence as to the Bible, there could be no distinction between base and noble desires.  All desires were understood to be created equal, since all desires were seen as originating in that highest of all authorities, the self-creating self.  Each human being was to be his own God, obeying only those restrictions that were enforced upon him by the fact that he was not yet himself the universal tyrant.  In time, however, Science would enable everyone to act as if he were the universal tyrant.

As these doctrines were filtered trough the intellectual establishment of modern liberal regimes, of which Chief Justice Rehnquist is a typical representative, the emancipation from morality was itself seen as moral progress, and the opponents of that emancipation were seen as the reactionary enemies of both freedom and morality.  The essence of the new Liberalism was to make each human being, as far as possible, a universal tyrant within his own world, commanding all the pleasures possible in that world, and emancipated from everything except those limits upon his power which Science had not yet conquered.  Thus would the return to a Garden of Eden — but one in which there would be no forbidden fruit — be accomplished.

 … the overwhelming power of Darwinism upon the intellectual life of Western man in the later nineteenth and early twentieth centuries

 … The doctrine … that might makes right, certainly enlisted Hitler and Stalin among its disciples, along with many others.  It denies any legitimacy to the distinction between noble failure and base success, a distinction fundamental to the idea of human dignity as enshrined in the tradition of biblical and classical ethics, no less than in the Declaration of Independence.  What Becker writes here constitutes as well an endorsement of Calhoun's theory of the concurrent majority, by which only those minorities that are powerful enough to obstruct the will of the majority are entitled to the veto power.  Hence Southern slaveholders had minority rights, but Southern slaves (or free Negroes) had none

 … The great proposition of human equality, the central idea of the Gettysburg Address as of the Declaration, … means that laws are rightfully for the benefit of the governed, not of the government. It means that … Those who live under the law have an equal right in the making of the law, and those who make the law have a corresponding duty to live under the law.

 … the overwhelming majority of these [black] Americans regarded their destiny to be in the United States.  They were, after all, sold into slavery by black tribesmen, who captured them in order to sell them, and who slaughtered the ones they did not sell.  No resentment of slavery, however profound, engendered any love of a mythical African homeland.  To have asked them to return to Africa was not unlike asking American Jews whose parents or grand-parents fled czarist or Stalinist tyranny to return to Russia.  However involuntary their emigration from Africa, American Negroes, whether free or slave, have always seen America itself as the only promised land.  Both Christianity and the Declaration of Independence embodied promises to all men.  They saw no better or equal hope anywhere else, and certainly not in Africa.  The truth is that the slaves, ignorant and illiterate as they may have seemed, were far from unintelligent.  

 … submitting to compulsion is not submitting to authority.  An authority, properly so called, is someone whose commands we recognize as carrying with them obligation

"Truth" becomes merely a euphemism for what men believe, or say they believe, in order to persuade (or deceive) others for basely interested reasons.

[Abraham Lincoln said that] "You will find that all the arguments in favor of king-craft were of this class; they always bestrode the necks of the people, not because they wanted to do it, but because  the people were better off for being ridden."…

 … Jefferson and Lincoln both understood that the process of resolving political differences peacefully by free elections was possible only within a system combining majority rule and minority rights, a system resting upon certain axiomatic premises.  In Jefferson's words, "The republican is the only form of government which is not eternally at open or secret war with the rights of mankind." [i.e., including the democratic form of government] 

 … For Stephens it was sufficient refutation of the Founders' belief in human equality to say that it had become anachronistic

 … one might call Calhoun the founding father of "interest group liberalism" in twentieth-century American political science.  Calhoun's theoretical writings are a landmark in the transition from individual rights to group rights as the ground of constitutionalism and the rule of law …  More than anyone else, Rousseau is Calhoun's intellectual progenitor

 … That there are forces operating on the souls of men exactly as gravitation act upon their bodies, and upon all bodies, is the axiomatic premise of Calhoun's political science.  As this leaves no room for moral virtue as traditionally understood, so it leaves no room for human freedom as traditionally understood 

 … Had Calhoun been writing in a later generation, he would have declared himself to have carefully avoided any "value judgments"

 … "truth is great and will prevail, unless deprived of her natural weapons, free argument and debate, errors ceasing to be dangerous when it is permitted freely to contradict them"
— Thomas Jefferson's 1779/1786 Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom

 … It is no accident that the civil rights movement, ever since the passage of the great Civil Rights Act of 1964 and 1965, has been based almost entirely upon the idea of group as opposed to individual rights.  As a theoretical concept, "black power" is no different from the "white power" espoused by Calhoun

More quotes from Harry Jaffa's A New Birth of Freedom here

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• Wondering Why Slavery Persisted for Almost 75 Years After the Founding of the USA? According to Lincoln, the Democrat Party's "Principled" Opposition to "Hate Speech"
• Why Does Nobody Ever Fret About Scandinavia's — Dreadful — 19th-C Slavery Conditions?
• The Confederate Flag: Another Brick in the Leftwing Activists' (Self-Serving) Demonization of America and Rewriting of History
How to Prevent America from Becoming a Totalitarian State
• Inside of a month, Democrats have redefined riots and election challenges from the highest form of patriotism to an attack on democracy — And by “democracy”, they mean the Democrat Party