“The war between the North and South is a tariff war. The war is, further, not for any principle, does not touch the question of slavery, and in fact turns on the Northern lust for sovereignty.” Karl Marx (Charles Adams, 2000, 79)
“Union means so many millions a year lost to the South; secession means the loss of the same millions to the North. The love of money is the root of this as of many many other evils….The quarrel between the North and the South is, as it stands, solely a fiscal quarrel. Charles Dickens, December, 1861 (Adams, 2000, epigraph)
“Despite arguments at the time (and those that continue to this day) that Lincoln was acting as a dictator…” William Bennett, 2006, 327.
A flashback at age 68…
“I don’t give a damn what the General thinks!” – A lady selling bicycles on an army base in southeast Georgia in 1954. I was eleven years old. Ninety years earlier, Billy Sherman marched through, looted, and burned that area not once but twice. Rumors were that my seventh grade teacher, Addie Fraser, put him up in her house. To my schoolmates, the worst thing to be was a “Yankee” and only Miss Addie could say nice things about Negroes. (And she was so smart and tough that no one ever said an unkind word about her.) I also left blood in the schoolyard’s sand over whether to say “genu-WINE” or “GEN-uine” and why Stevenson would be a better president than Ike. A half century has passed and now I understand their sentiments but still won’t say genu-WINE…
Henry Mencken on the Gettysburg Address…
“The doctrine is simply this: that the Union soldiers who died at Gettysburg sacrificed their lives to the cause of self-determination – that the government of the people, by the people, for the people, should not perish from the earth. It is difficult to imagine anything more untrue. (emph added, jb) The Union soldiers in the battle actually fought against self-determination; it was the Confederates who fought for the right of their people to govern themselves.” “Five Men at Random,” “Prejudices: Third Series,” 1922, 171-76: First printed, in part, in the “Smart Set,” May, 1920, 141.
A Different History: An Unnecessary War – Not Slavery but Tariffs and Secession
“To secure these rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed….Whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government.” 1776.
Lincoln argued that the Union was older than the states and that secession was not a right. Attempts to secede were a rebellion, one that gave him authority to ignore the constitution, order the arrest of anyone who disagreed, suspend habeas corpus, raise an army without Congressional approval, and invade the South. He also ignored orders from the Chief Justice of the U. S. Supreme Court.
Our Obama appears to believe him.
First, in regard to slavery, the war was unnecessary. Slavery was expensive, it was inefficient, it had – except in Muslim countries – dropped from the lives of farmers and businessmen, and slowly ended around the world. Southerners, led by dollars and profits, invention and relief from aggravation, would have made the same decision.
Second, America had two wars of secession, one in 1776 and another in 1861.
In 1825, New England Federalists debated the wisdom (but not the right) of secession for fourteen years. They hated Jefferson and Virginia’s dominance of the republic. They hated the Louisiana Purchase because it encouraged hordes of foreigners to settle. They hated Negro representation in the Congress. They hated the War of 1812. But opposing the right of secession was un-American.
Third, as Lincoln came to office, New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey, and Delaware were for secession. So were New York City, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and New York’s Hudson Valley. The City of New York wanted to secede and become a free-trade zone.
Secession was driven by local politics and unfair tariffs on Southern products. Money flowed from the South to the North to pay Northern expenses. Author Charles Dickens knew it and often shared his thoughts with the British public. Even for Alexander Hamilton, a supporter of central banks, waging war over secession was unwarranted: “It would be impossible.” John Stuart Mill, however, told the great lie and convinced Europeans that slavery was reason for the American’s fratricide.
The Emancipation Proclamation – intended to encourage Southern blacks to join the Union army – applied only to Confederate states. (Northern states had riots to discourage blacks from moving north.) Lincoln consistently saw blacks as inferior and made several attempts to send them to Central America or to Liberia. He was dissuaded by Frederick Douglas.
Thus, Miss Addie and my classmates had and still have a point: There was a “War Between the States,” not a “Civil War” and Lincoln, a Republican, conveniently deserted the law and liberty for centralization and tyranny.
He saw himself as the successor to Henry Clay and, therefore, a Whig, a believer in central government, high taxes, special deals between government and favored customers (deals that kept you in Washington), the nonexistence of States Rights, and the development of canals and railroads across the nation at government expense. The Whig organization collapsed and the Grand Old Republican Party continued Whig objectives that were later adopted by Wilson and FDR and Progressivism.
According to Thomas DiLorenzo, newly-elected Lincoln manipulated the South to fire on Fort Sumter in Charleston harbor– their cannonballs killed no one but kept food away from the Fort’s trapped and hungry Union troops. Lincoln next collected war funds from New York’s bankers, asked for 75,000 young men to enlist, arrested editors and politicians who disagreed with him, and eventually ordered – via the War Department’s telegraph office – battlefield strategies and the burning of Atlanta and nearly every city, village, farm, plantation, and house between Atlanta and Washington. 620,000 soldiers died from bullets, infection, and disease. Perhaps a hundred thousand deserted. There was no good count of civilian deaths.
The terror spread by Sherman and Sheridan was accompanied by blockades of Southern ports and the plunder and burning of Southern property. Outcomes: women, old men, and young boys were often shot, many of Dixie’s ladies traded sex for food, and the standing chimneys, called “Sherman’s sentinels,” guarded his sixty-mile-wide path.
After the War, the Union League paid black former soldiers to destroy more Southern property, register former slaves as Republicans, forbade the vote to former Confederates or to anyone critical of the North, and promise the newly-freed Negroes the property of whites. If not for the Union League, the Ku Klux Klan probably would never have come to existence. Nowadays, the League operates a Philadelphia club and restaurant for Republicans in jacket and tie. The South experienced a century of economic depression.
Jeremiah Wright, Saul Alinsky, and William Ayers were Obama’s teachers and sometimes his ghost writers. Lincoln must be included with this faculty and Obama hires employees, creates agencies, and makes appointments, increasing government size and intrusiveness, running up its costs, and nourishing each political generation with bribes and deals arranged by the prior one. The strategy that Obama now uses – to “rescue” us from one crisis or another parallel those of pushers – find the customer, feed his need, and then make him pay big. Was the War a crisis that Lincoln used?
As Lincoln did, Obama nurtures Washington’s cancer that the Founders tried to prevent by the separation of powers. Now our government buys car companies and banks, puts more money into rail, highways, and bridges, welcomes illegal aliens not for their skills but their votes, and takes money from the successful and redistributes through government workers. Once they take a share off the top, they pay off unions and corporations as well as the unemployed, the uneducated, the drug-addicted, and the imprisoned.
Illegal immigrants and Muslims arrive as do superstitions about global warming, carbon footprints, and an imagined need to “go green.” Coal and oil nourished America and she has a 500 years supply, locked away by federal taxes and regulations. Our major cities implode due to such things, each of them becoming one more beggar in a Democrat regime that merely repeats what Republicans once did.
As was true of Lincoln, Obama’s had two years of loss, our media and our Congress help him suppress criticism, and – as was true of Lincoln – while much of this nation is unemployed, Obama’s wife spews money like a broken hydrant. No surprise, Obama’s war is, like Lincoln’s, largely with conservatives who tend to be Southern or Western and Christian rather than atheists. I also can imagine Palin, Bachmann, or Ryan jailed. The only significant change is that Republicans and Democrats have traded their scripts.
“Truckers have to care about each other and follow rules.” Bubba Bo, WLW 700AM, Cincinnati, September 5, 2010.
Orderly change may be a fact of human cultures or a fact of the minds that study such changes. I believe the former. Network physics describes the self-organization of singletons into “emergent” networks, networks that include hubs, nodes, and links. Individuals who are already part of the network have a say in who joins it next…recruiting is local, rather than orchestrated by a king or czar. Emergent organizations grow best if they understand Fred Hayek and Adam Smith. Similarity – often genetically led and whether between mates or friends, neural pacemakers or transistors – is one of the underlying guides for what links together and what remains apart.
Networks often have stages – phases that sometimes conform to the thermodynamic rules for Bose Condensates and that consist of chaos, the rich-get-richer, winner-take-all, and – with further demands on and exhaustion of resources – collapse. Toynbee and Spengler align with Bose and Einstein.
As commonsense and Kuramoto’s math demonstrate, similarity of interest and mutual influence drive fields of oscillators into synchrony. This is true of clock pendulums and neural pacemakers. It is true of traffic density, audiences at concerts, and the popularity of politicians, actors, and other performers. It is also true of homosexuals, feminists, Hispanics, blacks, teachers, and the members of any imaginable labor union.
America is in Stage 4.
First, the Union did not need to be “saved.” There was sufficient commonality of heritage and interest to make compromises and reunification inevitable. Modern physics assures us of such.
Second, the battle of 1861 is with us again as Patriot, TEA, and other national groups take to buses and protest in local, state, and national arenas. My hunch is that Americans for Progress and Freedom Works find members and energy from the South in a rough parallel to that faced by Lincoln.
Third, Stage 4 is very stable until there are abrupt environmental changes. The elaborate relationships between hubs and nodes resist system changes that might keep up with environmental changes. Droughts, disease, and invasions sometimes demand changes that rulers, preachers, fortune-tellers, and mothers don’t approve and collapse an existing society.
Rules – zoning, education, election, taxes, driving, medical, education, and sports – are the gift and curse from worried mothers and ambitious lawyers. Every zoning board or firm, like an anxious mother consulting her pediatrician or psychologist, consults with an attorney before making a decision. Opportunities are missed and so are the departed opportunists.
Fourth, the rug in the oval office is at this moment ringed with Lincoln’s quotes, the Lincoln Bible was used to swear in a man who does not protect and defend the constitution, our congress passes legislation that no one read and for sums that no one comprehends. Grant, Sheridan, and Sherman have been replaced by “czars” who throw Obama’s stones into the gears of private initiative. Our governor misses debt payments, the teachers’s union has one of the tallest buildings in Harrisburg, and jackass Americans support China’s military when they buy toys distributed by WalMart and sensitive to EMP attacks.
It is probably not a good thing that Obama arranged shortly after his election for a private, evening tour of the Lincoln memorial.
Of course, things will be different when this generation’s Republicans take office….
References for Nearly Anyone
One of the big, unnoticed rules in biology is that every living creature – coral, worms, spiders, crickets, and primate teenagers – makes its own world. This self-arrangement is perhaps the dominant factor in human careers after the eighth birthday.
Lincoln is loved by leftist historians but just as passionately by conservatives. You can pick from this list to reinforce the view that you already have ….
You can Google “Obama, Abraham Lincoln” and get 1.8 million hits.
Adams, Charles (2000) When in the Course of Human Events: Arguing the Case for Southern Secession. NY: Rowman & Littlefield.
Barabási, A-L (2002) Linked: The New Science of Networks. NY: Perseus. Also Bianconi, G. & Barabási, A-L (2000) Bose-Einstein condensation in complex networks. arXiv:cond-mat/0011224 v1 13 Nov 2000; Bianconi, G (2002) Quantum statistics in complex networks. ArXiv cond-mat/0206433 v2 13 Sep 2002; Bianconi G (2007) Entropy of randomized network ensembles. arXiv:0708.0153v2 [cond-mat.ds-nn] 17 Nov 2007; Bianconi, G & Barabási, A-L (2000) Competition and multiscaling in evolving networks. ArXiv:cond-mat/0011029 v1 2 Nov 2000.
Bennett, William J (2006) America: The Last Best Hope. Vol 1. From the Age of Discovery to a World of War. Nashville, TN: Thomas B Nelson. Bennett, William J (2006) America: The Last Best Hope. Vol 1. From the Age of Discovery to a World of War. Nashville, TN: Thomas B Nelson.
Boot, Max (2005) Incorrect History: Reading Thomas Woods’s “Politically Incorrect Guide to American History.” http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/005/246eaokp.asp
DiLorenzo, Thomas (2003) The Real Lincoln: A New Look at Abraham Lincoln, His Agenda, and an Unnecessary War. NY: Three Rivers Press. (Key reference for the skeptics…)
Donald, David Herbert (2001) Lincoln Reconsidered: Essays on the Civil War Era (3rd Ed.) NY: Vintage.
Gillespie, Nick (2010) Reason saves Cleveland.
Goldberg, Jonah (2009) Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, From Mussolini to the Politics of Change. New York: Random House.
Guelzo, Allen C. (2009) Lincoln: A Very Short Introduction. New York: Oxford University Press.
Guelzo, Allen C. (1999) Lincoln: Redeemer President. Grand Rapids, MI: William B Eerdmans.
Kennedy, James & Walter Kennedy (1994) The South was Right. Gretna, Louisiana: Pelican (The 14th printing, for folks who are still angry!)
Nichols, Hans (2009) Obama Inaugural Strains Lincoln Comparisons While Inviting Them. http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=az5HzIamy_NQ
Plomin, R. (1994) Genetics and Experience: The Interplay between Nature and Nurture. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Rushton JP (2005) Ethnic nationalism, evolutionary psychology, and Genetic Similarity Theory. Nations & Nationalism. 11(4), 489-507.
Sowell, T. (2002) A Conflict of Visions: Ideological Origins of Political Struggles. NY: Basic Books.
Sowell, T. (2005) Redneck Blacks and White Liberals. San Francisco: Encounter.
Strogatz, S. (2003) Sync: The Emerging Science of Spontaneous Order. NY: Hyperion.
Everyone should see: Synchronization demo at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W1TMZASCR-I or at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RMVxVbCIPjg&feature=related
Woods, Thomas E. (2004) Politically Incorrect Guide to American History. Washington DC: Regnery
Williams, Frank (2004) Abraham Lincoln and Civil Liberties in Wartime. Lecture 834: The Heritage Foundation. http://www.heritage.org/Research/Lecture/Abraham-Lincoln-and-Civil-Liberties-in-Wartime