We watched Ken Burn's series on The Civil War this past weekend (all umpteen episodes---my partner is sick and it is winter in Michigan, so you know, we had time), and I was struck by the similarities between Lincoln's era and our era, and the similarities between Lincoln and Obama.
Not all the comparisons were nice ones either--I mean, Lincoln did a lot of things he isn't remembered for that weren't so great (like trying to relocate southern blacks to Liberia and letting the border states keep their slaves in an attempt to prevent them from joining the Confederacy). A lot of Southerners still hate Lincoln.
Anyway, it struck me that we never really 'solved' the Civil War--that the split between people who think States rights and individual rights come first, and people who think unity and equality depend on a strong central government and a level playing field for all. That split is very rancorous right now.
I think we are kind of coming apart again over these issues. It's the same issues minus slavery--but really, slavery is in it too, it's just shifted from race to corporations and class.
What say you? If you haven't seen the series, rent it. It's really good.
Would the future documentary on that be people reading out "wartime" emails as the overdub?
P, I think your spot on. The war, no matter what people say was centered around the 10th ammendment. Anyone who gives a U.S. history book a thorough reading will tell you so. Also, it didn't just spring up out of no where. South Carolina began to get its feathers ruffled way back in 1839, the war started in 1861.
I have not seen the series but am familiar with many issues involved in the Civil war thanks to school and 5 kids who went through school too.
I agree that the USA is heading for a civil war but the problem is that the delimiters are less easy to see. North and South were pretty easy to determine, but conservatives can live in the same home with liberals and Obama worshipers and Obama supporters and Obama haters and Obama policy dissidents are all in the same neighborhoods, on the same streets.
It is not as easy to do the civil war thing. I think that our civil war is more a war of words. I believe that it is disgusting the way neither side can just figure out how to get along. We get along, but those in vocal positions cannot figure that out. The children in Congress and the White House Administration need to realize that calling names is OK for 7 year olds but not for adults in power.
Na, Pam, I don't see it this way. We are in period of unrest, for sure, but we are grappling with very modern issues. Seems to me America is going through some growing pains much of the rest of the Western world has already come through relatively safely and that may cause serious civil unrest here, but doubtfully civil war (that is unless Palin DOES manage to become president in the future, lol - then my vote goes for civil war).
Certain voices on the internet and in the tea bagging set are just being amplified...mainly because they are suffering financially (due to greed, lack of personal responsibility, and lack of government regulation--a motley stew of things). It's a populist unrest, but I don't think it has much for legs (or ideas past anger) and will disintegrate once the money is flowing again.
And truth be told, we are witnessing the dissolution of the Republican party, as well, as it has been overrun by the crazies in the aftermath of the Bush and Rove years. They sucked the formula of exploitation, basically, dry. And we are dealing with the consequences of their actions. I certainly hope that the select few who have benefited from all of it do not sleep well at night...
Thomas L. Frank's "What's the Matter with Kansas" is good to read for understanding the blue state/red state divide that livelonger references.
I agree with this.
Civil unrest, yes. Violent at times? Most likely. But the divisions aren't significant enough for a full blown civil war.
I think any violence will be more like the sort of thing we saw in the 60s and during various labor struggles, when state power was used to crush labor unions.
The state governors and and senators are too dependent on Washington's milky teat to break away. In Tennessee, the loudest critics of government spending are the ones who bring home the most earmarks (sounds like Mrs. Palin actually).
Your post has my head spinning; there are so many topics and points to discuss.
I agree there are many similarities between the presidencies of Lincoln and Obama (perhaps you've read about this, as I have, in the NY Times or the Washington Post?). But war and divisive politics aside, the two men have little else in common, beyond their mutual capacity to inspire by brilliant speech.
Lincoln was brooding and melancholic. Obama? Hardly. And the difference in their wives, the support they brought to their husbands...again, dissimilar. The two war presidents and their generals...Lincoln is diffident when his generals are unmotivated, unsuccessful and under the influence. Obama is more involved; he's engaged in the decision process. Lincoln was hands off on strategy.
Regarding the ebb and flow of folks arguing states rights vs a strong central government...this has been going on (as you probably know) since long before Lincoln.
During the Revolutionary War, before becoming president, Washington serves as a general in the Colonial Army. This was years before the United States or even a first president ever existed. He and his men, at Valley Forge, were desperate for food, shot and powder, horses, replacement uniforms and winter clothing.
Washington argued, scolded and pleaded in his letters to Congress for delivery of the supplies they promised. If memory serves, Washington even donated his own horse to feed his desperate, hungry army.
The states supported their individual militias as they would. The Congress had no powers to raise funds to purchase supplies. And it's a miracle that Washington could BE successful with such a rag-tag, undersupplied army as the Colonial Army.
So this conflict, this tension of local vs central control has been going on for 250 years now. It's historical ebb and flow is pivotal if we are to understand the American Presidency.
The irony of your quote, "I think we are kind of coming apart over these issues", is enormous. I agree with you. We are coming apart over these issues. But the greater irony is this...we have ALWAYS been coming apart over these same issues...throughout the lifetime of these United States.
The real beauty of this strange and unique democracy is that this tension has not only continued for 250 years...it is the enduring evidence of our strength as a nation, a people, and a democracy.
OMG! I almost fell!
My soapbox busted right out from under me.
My bad for blathering on.
LOL! Great points. Don't worry--I fall off my soapbox all the time.
I take your point that this tension has been present in the U.S. since the beginning, but I do think (as you mention) that it ebbs and flows. I hear stronger echoes of the Civil War in today's political rhetoric than I have for decades, and I do think the lack of civility is building to a point where it is no longer some abstract, dynamic tension between competing views. Instead it is turning into something much uglier and I expect violence to break out at some point if it is not resolved. Will that look like the Civil War with separate armies and so forth? I doubt it. I think we will see sporadic rioting that could organize into more entrenched sides over time.
I know that sounds kind of crazy but I think the main reason it sounds crazy is that there is still a lot of denial out there about how rough things are economically.
When I get my first forced insurance bill I might break something myself.
I have seen the series and it was a wonderful documentary. I should see it again as there was so much to absorb in just one sitting.
I think you draw an interesting parallel between then and now. I have talked to people who are armed to the teeth for a takeover especially if it comes to arms controls they disagree with.
I wonder what the distinction between the two sides would look like if war became a reality as we are no longer separated by geography as we were then. The issues are very muddy and I don't know how the armed forces would be involved. Would they be the enemy to the uprising? Then it would look much like Russia did at the time of the Tzars overthrow. What would the rest of the world do in response?
I wonder how it will go down too. Sometimes I see this happening:
The Democrats and Obama keep bumbling around and pissing off people on both ends, so in 2012 some extremist reactionary people come to power, and the left will not have it, and that's where violence breaks out. It almost doesn't matter who fires the first shot. The point is, we don't seem to have common values anymore, and the lack of them is making the country ungovernable.
The idea is really not that far-fetched. I do think that the possibility is real for civil war at some point, or at least full economic collapse followed by civil unrest and marshal law similar to Eastern Europe several years ago. This is always the thought that crosses my own mind whenever I hear someone use the phrase "we live in interesting times". The word "interesting" is substituted for scary in my opinion.
I will have to find the time to watch that as I do enjoy Ken Burns' work.
I think this one kinda sums it up
"My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that. What I do about slavery, and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save the Union; and what I forbear, I forbear because I do not believe it would help to save the Union. I shall do less whenever I shall believe what I am doing hurts the cause, and I shall do more whenever I shall believe doing more will help the cause."
Lincoln had GUTS! Its a rare quality amongst politicians these days. Can you imagine a politician saying anything remotely this cut and dried these days? He knew what his goal was and wasn't afraid to achieve it, at any cost.
Yes! In fact he only came out with the Emancipation Proclamation when he had to motivate the Federal troops. They were having enough of it and it seemed to be going nowhere, but once he made it about slavery they revived somewhat. He dragged his feet forever on that. Even now you will read history books that say the war was about 'preserving the union' but slavery was the reasons it came apart to begin with.
The 10th Amendment itself isn't much. It reads:
"The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."
But as people lose trust in the federal government you see this invocation of the right to secede again--we've heard it from Texas and Georgia, all within months of Obama's inauguration. Then there was the 'You lie!' moment (no canes, but definitely similar), and now the Tea Party folks.
I see this getting very ugly if the economy doesn't improve, and there's just no way the economy is going to improve, not this year, not in five years.
I just finished the book by William Safire "Freedom" about the civil war. You are right there is a lot of the same controversies that are reminiscent of the mid 1800's. There are alot of States right now that are threatening to enforce their 10th amendment rights. That the federal government has no say in what goes on within a single state only interstate commerce can be regulated by a central government. These states are threatening to secede from the union 21 last time I checked. What will the federal government do if this happens?? Very good question I do not think this would lead to a civil war as far as I know these states are not threatening to create a separate united country. Texas governor Rick Perry says " "We've got a great union. There's absolutely no reason to dissolve it. But if Washington continues to thumb their nose at the American people, you know, who knows what might come out of that. But Texas is a very unique place, and we're a pretty independent lot to boot."
quote taken from the Huffington Post
I see it difficult to imagine a civil war given that, while the US is very much polarized, it's really not across broad geographic swathes anymore. There is no North vs South anymore; there is urban vs rural. Your average San Franciscan has more in common with someone living in Austin, Texas than the small agricultural towns of the Central Valley, for instance.
Someone talked about the "urban archipelago" as a model that challenges the red-state/blue-state CW a few years ago, and I believe it still holds.
That's a good point, but I'm thinking it wouldn't have to break down exactly along state lines. We could see violent conflict based on the divisions you mention, with some overlay based on the old North/South divisions.
I say this because I don't think any of the acrimony from the Civil War was ever healed. The South was just beaten into submission and both sides were exhausted, so it was just like, OK, let's move on and leave that alone now. But the same divisions persist.
I know its difficult to believe or invision. However, keep in mind, every state that suceded from the Union before did so with simply a majority, not complete agreement. This is in part what made the "Civil War" so bloody. Even some states with in the Union and Confederacy were divided(as far as pubic opinion went). Tennessee, Missourri, Louisiana, Kentucky, Maine, etc....
Being a history buff, growing up in the south and living all over the US. I can tell you that your right. There has been very little actual healing. The issue has simply been shelved. To get an idea of what a proud southerner feels about this issue, go to a Civil War battlefield. Look at the gravesites. What you will find is mass unmarked graves for the south. You find very little memorials for the south. In fact those that exist were added many years later. Then there is the stereotype of the south particularily the white southern male. If things were said of Blacks, Hispanics or any other group there would be outrage.
Still today, there are people in the south who wont accept a 50 dollar bill(Grant). Still today there are Civil War reenactments, most in the south. Don't even utter the word "Sherman" in Tennessee, Mississippi or Georgia. Still today there are fairly large groups though out the US that have sucessionist movements. They actually have MEETINGS!LOL
Yep, there are more than a few who still smell the powder burning....
The argument was one of Political ideology. That argument hasn't been settled.
I think you are right. When we were watching the documentary and it got to Andersonville, I was so upset I was ready to go shoot some Southerners myself, and Bill said, "Look how fresh this still is." And we realized that yes, bitter feelings on both sides run very deep and are still there.
I see it in how everything today has to be 'not about race' too. Even when something is OBVIOUSLY about race, a whole chorus of people of all colors jumps in to tamp it down. Why? I think it is because the feelings are still so raw---like, don't open that can of worms, we can't handle it right now. Not one more straw or the camel's back could break.
Look at how hard feelings flared up with Obama's election. I've seen some of the most racist over-the-top stuff since the 30s, and it's right out there.
Maybe I will think on this and do a hub.
Here's what I think it comes down to more simply though:
I think some Americans really believe that all men are created equal and that all deserve an equal shot at 'life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness'--and other Americans really believe that certain people truly are born better than others (or have made themselves better) and deserve more power and wealth because of that.
I see both sides. Some people don't seem to be worth spit. You'd have to be blind not to notice this. But I still fall in with the 'all men are created equal' view because I see the consequences of the second view as being very bad.
Still, the federal government has gone rotten to the core and now we're hearing all this old Southern states rights rhetoric again, and all the bitterness with it.
Next time the gun shows in town go get a couple and some ammo and get ready.
you're right, pam. there is no relief in sight. it's going to get worse, most aren't prepared for it.
there's a reason why bush instituted pd-51 and obama renewed it. we will indeed see tanks and soldiers in our streets. coming soon to a nightmare near you. to all of us.
The Civil War has been seen or envisioned, providing that America remains on the same course it has been on for about the last 20-25 years now.
Just a thought.
Actually…a terrific idea for those followers of James Watkins and others of his caliber that advocate succession would be to watch the movie “Gone with the Wind” again…and uhh…perhaps read the history of Sherman’s march to the sea. Secessionist ain’t got a glue of the results of family sufferings they are promoting.
true. rick perry didn't have a clue ten years ago when he was cloned by gwb, and ten years later at the same job he still doesn't have a clue. it will be entertaining, to say the least, in watching the dog and cat show (already started) between him and k.b. hutchinson.
then one of them gets to take on bill white.
Nice thought! But if it gets any more freaky I think you could be surprised! How and where the wealth and manufacturing is located is a big factor and that has changed. The attitude that those who have owe it to those that don't is going to cause the rift.
That's a good point. The North won the first Civil War not so much because it had the moral high ground as because it had most of the wealth and population. Now the rust belt is...um, rusty. And poor.
But it isn't as though Mississippi is Paradise.
Texas could be its own country. I wish it was sometimes. Dick Army can be king.
Whats wrong with Texas? We have all they same nuts you have up north. Our urban areas are no different than any up north except we have jobs and money.
A civil war or a French revolution,either way America is headed for chaos.There is a physician who's office is in the same building as mine and we have become good friends.He is 85 years old and remembers the Great Depression and he is afraid for his children and grandchildren.He gave me a great movie to watch recently called Doctor Zhivago:
"The film takes place for the most part during the tumultuous period of 1912-1921, the years which included World War I, the Russian Revolution, and Russian Civil War, as the regime of Tsar Nicholas II was overthrown and the Soviet Union established. A framing device, from which the film is narrated, takes place some time in the 1950s, though a specific date is never mentioned."
"Peace,Land and Bread"
will be the rallying cry of the desperate but that will quickly disintegrate into every man for himself along ideological,philisophical and political lines which are so clearly drawn in the sands of the free and the blood will soon drown the liberty tree.
Oklahoma is also giving the feds the finger. I say good for them
Oh and there's those Bush people too. Junior didn't really endear me to that family much.
As A Texan pointed out on another thread, aren't the Bushes from Connecticut?
<snipped - no personal attacks in the forums>
Texas is nice but is different and it is hot!
we're not talking about "fish'in" here.
another fact of the matter is that it is truly a pity that hub pages promotes itself as a writer's site only to turn around and allow ignorance and illiteracy to ooze through its very pores. you, dean, are exactly who and what i refer to.
another pity is that internet trolls who offer little of substance remain standing on that center stage of ignorance while intellectual types who actually do bring substance to any discussion end up being banned.
it is highly likely that you offer about as much to the community you live in as you do here on hubpages. we all know what that is.
three thousand four hundred and seventy posts into this project and you've yet to string together anything more than infantile remarks, racist and bigoted comments, and a display of stupidity that shines brighter than the texas sun.
take either of my dogs, divide their iq by five, and they're still eleven times smarter than you are on your best day.
I won't dignify your last comment with a response but I'm easy I will leave the Hubs if enough people convince me I don't belong here. You've posted your vote now get your buddies to tell me the same and once you've reached the breaking point I'll stop posting. It won't take too many so get to work!
You're an intellectual? Bitter because you have never been successful at anything maybe but certainly no intellectual.
Um, no. Have you seen this man's beautiful houses and photographs in TX?
And I do not think he's referencing himself. He might even be referencing the opposite of you, I dunno.
Nope - most certainly not. But I can tell you for certain BD is probably talking about the opposite of your alter ego in his post.
And really, check out his photography and his straw bale houses. They are lovely.
if my post makes no sense to you, ask for clarification. nowhere in it do i refer to myself as an intellectual, although i would be honored to be a part of any list with the names ralph deeds, ryan kett and lita sorensen on it.
get real. at the very least, get a life.
The war has already started. Their just in the finger pointing and gesturing stage. When they stop talking they start fighting.
I grew up in Colorado so when I first moved here it was like culture shock and the heat and humidity was shocking! Our cities are teaming with things to do and all the sites and shopping you could ask for. Our urban areas are diverse like any other city we have interesting neighborhoods. I think Austin is the most progressive city. It's big college town with quite abit of the artsy-fartsy crowd and self proclaimed intellectuals.
I worry about violence breaking out - seriously. A lot of folks in the Deep South are furious, and some of them are just crazy enough to do something stupid. I went to a large gun store yesterday to look at rifles, and they've sold out of .308s, 7mms, 30-30s, and 30.06s. Today, I called around to other shops in my town and in nearby towns and got the same story from their owners. The owners told me their sales have skyrocketed over the past year. Sure, deer hunting is popular here, but I don't believe that everyone has all of a sudden decided to buy more rifles for hunting.
Maybe I better start stocking up on venison and canned foods. I'm not normally a tinfoil-hat-wearerer type, but the present situation is causing me a bit of concern.
I think you guys need to watch out for anarchist groups like the Revolutionary Communist Party USA that may disguise themselves as a workers' rights or a peoples rights group to try to bring about a revolution.
Geesh! Can we discuss ANYTHING here without lobbing insults?? What's wrong with intelligent debate? Sharing ideas without being excoriated?
I read several articles that said all the militia groups in the US have greatly expanded in the past year.
It will come soon enough I suppose. Revolution time is near. I shall go to Texas, DC can go to hell!
Charlie, you can always come to GA and hang out with Randy Godwin and me! We've got guns, fish, and lots of wild game. And pecans!
I think all of these issues are then compounded by some religious ideologies that sway in some high offices in this country.
The book "The Camp of the Saints" reads right into the time period we are in today, and read with a certain mind it can be a powerful propaganda piece. It's readership is increasing.
A brief synopsis is this:
the Bible, Book of Revelations Chapter 20:
1 And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.
2 And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,
3 And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.
4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.
5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.
6 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.
7 And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison,
8 And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog, and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.
9 And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them."
Note where "Camp of the Saints" is mentioned....
With this said, one splices this collection of verses, add Anglo-Saxon-Eurocentric "white world under attack by waves of 3rd world immigrants" and you have the makings of the true "3rd world war."
Men like John Tanton and the Scaife-Mellon family have been ramping up their rhetoric and reach these days....
fun fun fun.
This is a fascinatingly relevant discussion. I am on the road so will likely not participate much, but...
Just last night, at a little dive in a small midwestern town, I overheard a conversation at a nearby table about the distinct possibility that the time was fast approaching for Americans to "take up arms once more..."
I listened long enough to realize that they were dead serious. And I wonder if that sentiment is isolated or is springing up in pockets around the country.
I would certainly affirm everything pgrundy wrote in her post that started this thread. And IMHO, sadly & unfortunately, I think the answer to the question is YES.
Given the supercharged partisanship in politics, plus the flame fanning superstars of the media, I am not sure I can imagine a scenario to pull us back from the brink.
Is that cynical...or realism? I really do not know...
Great comment, yes I fear that frustration levels are very high now, I hope we do not turn on each other, though that is a posibility. We should rather turn our frustration towards the politicians we elected, and unelect every incumbent
Yes, the arming of individuals has gotten to be a point of pride even up here in Michigan. We have a group that holds 'open carry' picnics and cookouts--events designed for people who want to show their guns openly. It is legal to do that here, and they mean to teach people this. But why? This was militia country not too far back and likely still is. I mean, I don't run in those circles, but everyone up here has guns.
The guns at the Tea Party protests seemed to me to be threatening and over the top. But it's on both sides. And it is muddy. People are just mad, and as things get worse, there's this growing feeling among many that they better arm themselves because the worst is yet to come--and that almost guarantees it will come.
"I was so upset I was ready to go shoot some Southerners myself"
Do you own any firearms?
Have you ever been diagnosed with any mental illness?
Are you aware the Civil War has been over for 144 years?
Charming. I hope it made you feel superior for just a moment or two.
I do what I can.
WOW! You don't know her very well do you????
Well don't read James A Watkins then! Just kidding. He's on the opposite end of the spectrum politically. Both are GREAT writers. Keep in mind, she's not advocating anything, she's just admitting to being shocked about her own apparent repressed feelings regarding something she had absolutely nothing to do with. Yet it has had such a profound effect on her way of thinking. Think of it, prior to watching this documentary she probably did give the Civil War much thought. Then after watching it, she realizes that she has definite, concrete feelings about it...not just ideas, but ideas that have an emotional attatchment to them. Maybe this point in history has no effect for you. However it does for a lot of people.
didn't mean to speak for you, maybe I described you inaccurately, if so sorry. Its just my take. I get the impression that Mitch see's you as some sort of "gun toting" sucessionist.
No I dont see her as a gun toting secessionist. I was just alarmed that someone could be driven to a homicidal rage by a documentary about events that happened more than 100 years ago. I think most people would see that as a little unusual maybe you dont but maybe you should.
I see the histrionics/rage coming from another source.
Reading for context always helps.
In the context of Andersonville I think the response was understandable. Had I run out and actually killed a few people over it, that would have been impolite at best and yeah, crazy. But just feeling something and saying so is not a sign of insanity. My point of course is that these resentments are still active 144 years later.
These forums degenerate into personal attacks when people are incapable of talking about ideas. It happens all the time and some people ONLY come here to make personal attacks.
Personally, I don't take it personally.
Yeah, it's pretty obvious that Pam was just talking about the feelings that the documentary awoke in her. Very different from making threats to do anything.
And, heh, it might not be a bad thing to ask everyone who wants to buy guns the same sort of questions. LOL.
I'm all for gun rights, but I think it's crazy that we test people for competency before they can drive a car but not when they buy a gun.
Most of the muttering about violence is coming from the nuts who went out and bought up all the guns and ammo when Obama got elected - on the basis of a rumor that he was going to ban guns. I know some of these folks, they are nice people at heart, but too prone to believe any anonymous email that comes into their inbox.
I think we all just need to chill out, talk to each other, and THINK! about what's going on rather than just reacting with fear and anger.
All they did for me was check and see if I had a criminal record. They didnt' test my mental competency, they didn't ask me if I had any training with basic firearm safety, and they certainly didn't ask about the civil war.
You must live in a backward state, all of those questions are asked on the form for purchasing a firearm in the state I live. Not the Civil War questions but those you mentioned plus questions concerning drugs alcohol and many others, maybe you should move if you want to feel safer.
This citizens of America are to blame for the problems within the borders of the country. The lack of knowledge and shame has disrupted society as a whole, because too many people are enraged over something or another.
We have too many people who are willingly to step forward and demand, you are to be told what to do, by someone else. This defies the nature of human beings, because they guide themselves.
We have too many government agencies NOT doing enough work or doing their work properly.
We have too many businesses who bankroll politicians careers, so as to get a foot-hold in Congress.
The reality of the problem in America is a larger issue than just Gun ownership, civil liberties, happiness, or even the pursuit of prosperity. We have simply too many people invading the personal space of other people's lives and it needs to stop.
"We have simply too many people invading the personal space of other people's lives and it needs to stop."
VVery true.....some folks have reached a point where they can "passively" be offended! Not only that but believe that they are therefore entitled to a readdressal of wrongs....
What about the question? Is the US headed toward another Civil War?
One thing that always strikes me about the US is the amount of very public hatred. The airwaves, blogs, TV etc are so full of it, it is suffocating. I doubt if the US is more hate filled than other countries. I do wonder if it really manages hatred as well as it could. Dialog is hard in an atmosphere of hatred.
Pam, I guess I'm shocked that after learning about Andersonville, you're ready to "go out and shoot a few Southerners." If you feel that way, go read about Rock Island Prison. Then you'll be ready to go shoot a few Northerners. Confederate prisoners were left to freeze to death in sub-zero temperatures. More died of starvation and disease.
The death rate at the Union prison camp at Elmira was even higher than the one at Andersonville. The prisoners were fed better than were their Southern counterparts, but many died of exposure. When clothes were sent to inmates by their relatives, the warden burned them if he didn't like the color of the garments. This resulted in half-naked men facing snow and ice.
Yes, Andersonville was horrific, but plenty of prisons operated by the Union weren't much better.
I've been to Andersonville. It isn't far from me. It is indeed a tragic place, even today.
I agree with a few commentators who have said that civil unrest is more likely than civil war. An outbreak of rioting and, on the back of that, waves of scapegoating of small and wrong targets, whipped up by the worst elements - the ignorant and bigoted. How the government handles it and how the media reports it will be the deciding factors in whether or not it develops into a civil war.
It will (or might) only if the power bases behind government and media want it to. To many outsiders like me, the US seems addicted to division, on almost any topic. And it further appears that this addiction is not natural, but is cynically created by manipulation and misinformation. One thing is clear, any civil war will be the screwed fighting the screwed while the screwdrivers laugh in the wings. It would be best not to give them this pleasure.
Wow, that was perfectly said. The screwed fighting the screwed. Actually the first Civil War was like that too. The poor whites who fought for the South did not have much to gain by winning that war. Many of the immigrants from the North didn't want to fight at all--they'd just come here for the factory jobs. The abstract idea of a confederation of states versus a strong central government did not have to be (and still does not have to be) divisive. And slavery--how can that even be something up for debate? But it still is, even today.
To my mind the deeper division is more between people who think everyone should have an equal shot, and people who believe some people are better and deserve more by virtue of birth. That's an old fight, older than the U.S.
In respect to an "equal shot" America has come a long way! Slavery was ended. Women have voting rights. The civi rights movement was ugly and painfull at times, however we emerged from that a stronger nation.
The division now is percieved by some as whether or not we should garantee "equal outcomes". Having the same opportunities can not garantee the same outcome. Your right, these types of arguments are much older that the US. In fact most democracies in history have ended because of class warfare between the haves and the have nots....
Which democracies are you speaking of?
From my study of history I would say that the most danger is posed to democracy by those who already have a disproportionate amount of power.
Or it may simply be that complexity favors totalitarianism.
Why bother? We will provide the same examples and come to different conclusions......Greek...Roman....of course there was also over reaching governments and power hungry leaders bent on conquest. However in each dibacle there was class warfare. I firmly believe that class warfare is created as a distraction for governments who have run amuck.
I'm both skeptical and intrigued. I studied Greek and Roman history in college and I don't recall any marxist revolutions. If you have some examples of socialism in Athens I'd be happy to look at them.
The excuse for dissolving the Roman republic was foreign threat. Likewise for Athens- the big issue was the power of wartime dictators.
The haves had the vote, the have nots were slaves and had nothing. Not quite the same as in our modern democracies.
Socialism? Marxist? Where did you get those words, not from my reply. Class warfare is not specific to those economic/political ideologies.
The empire's economy failed before the economy itself. Taxes from the people used to support the "wartime dictators" ambitions. That would create class warfare.
To discuss this further here would be way off topic.
Pam, true - that way of thinking is thousands of years older than the US.
I agree with many others here - if there is violence, it won't be North vs South or East vs West. The problem does not follow regional divides. There are numerous pockets of unrest all across America.
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