Is Slavery Wrong?

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Mr Fight the Power
 
Reply Tue 6 Oct, 2009 11:00 am
@Aedes,
Aedes;95491 wrote:
Washington was not exactly a fan of 'state's rights' either, of the founding fathers he was one of the most in favor of a strong central government.


I have no admiration for the founding fathers of the US beyond when they did what I think is right. I merely believe that the liberal trends represented by Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution represented the most just political document up to that point, and since there have been egregious attacks made against it. Lincoln sits at the forefront of the aggressors.

Quote:
The Constitution was undermined in many ways during the Civil War, some of which were by Lincoln. But it can be argued that slavery was an inherently criminal institution that was antagonistic to the constitution unto itself. If you think otherwise, then you're taking the Confederate view that slaves were property and not humans.


I agree with you completely, but most point out again that Lincoln was perfectly willing to tolerate slavery (even opposing abolitionist movements to a certain degree) yet unwilling to tolerate secession.

He repeatedly stated such in personal and public correspondence.

Can you truly say that, knowing what we do of what Lincoln said, had he would have allowed secession if the CSA had proceeded with emancipation on its own?

I will never defend the CSA, but I won't accept glory being heaped on someone merely as a consequence of another's evil. Do we glorify Stalin for his capture of Berlin?

Please note that I do not wish to say Lincoln's immoral actions in any way compare to Stalin's.
 
Aedes
 
Reply Tue 6 Oct, 2009 11:03 am
@Mr Fight the Power,
Mr. Fight the Power;95499 wrote:
he obliterated the vast portions of his own country and initiated the death of 650,000 Americans to do so.
The South was the first to recruit an army, the South fired the first shots, after skirmishing in the no-man's land between Washington and Richmond for a year the South invaded the North. The South bayonetted black Union prisoners of war, the South had a veritable concentration camp at Andersonville, oh yeah and the South would have never taken up arms were it not for the protection of SLAVERY. So how is it that you're laying all of this carnage on Lincoln's head?
 
Mr Fight the Power
 
Reply Tue 6 Oct, 2009 11:06 am
@Arjuna,
Arjuna;95501 wrote:
I had assumed the British supported the Confederacy because they wanted to cement the division in North America. It hadn't occurred to me that Lincoln's apparent ambiguity about slavery might have been a factor.


Lincoln certainly walked a tightrope as he would have likely seen massive desertion and dissent if he had issued the emancipation proclamation early on.

DT neglected the war that went on the North. Draft riots waged through major cities and did result on Union troops firing on American citizens.
 
Aedes
 
Reply Tue 6 Oct, 2009 11:07 am
@Mr Fight the Power,
Mr. Fight the Power;95502 wrote:
I merely believe that the liberal trends represented by Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution represented the most just political document up to that point, and since there have been egregious attacks made against it. Lincoln sits at the forefront of the aggressors.
This is the tough thing about documents. There's no way to write them in a way that is immune to interpretation in a different historical context.


Mr. Fight the Power;95502 wrote:
I agree with you completely, but most point out again that Lincoln was perfectly willing to tolerate slavery (even opposing abolitionist movements to a certain degree) yet unwilling to tolerate secession.

He repeatedly stated such in personal and public correspondence.

Can you truly say that, knowing what we do of what Lincoln said, had he would have allowed secession if the CSA had proceeded with emancipation on its own?
That is impossible to know, but the thing is that crises and events unfolded for him in a certain order, and he performed the way he performed. He never had the opportunity to prioritize slavery over the secession, because secession was an acute problem and slavery was a chronic problem.

Mr. Fight the Power;95502 wrote:
I will never defend the CSA, but I won't accept glory being heaped on someone merely as a consequence of another's evil.
I think he deserves a tremendous amount of credit for his decisions, his leadership, and his legacy. Of course leaders don't really declare themselves until they're thrown into a crisis. Most of whom we consider 'great' presidents also led us through crises.
 
xris
 
Reply Tue 6 Oct, 2009 11:25 am
@Aedes,
Gentlemen you dont need my complements, im sure, but you are giving a more balanced view on one of your greatest presidents. I never intended to denounce him, as he was a compassionate man with greatness thrust upon him and he did the best he could.
 
Mr Fight the Power
 
Reply Tue 6 Oct, 2009 11:36 am
@Aedes,
Aedes;95504 wrote:
The South was the first to recruit an army, the South fired the first shots, after skirmishing in the no-man's land between Washington and Richmond for a year the South invaded the North.


Northern governors had been building weapons stockpiles and training militias for months before Sumter was fired upon, and the CSA offered to purchase the fortress that was occupied in South Carolina, a seceded state. Lincoln established himself as an occupying force.

Of course the "no-man's land" that you refer to included the Shanendoah valley which was purposefully invaded by the North for the reason that it was the breadbasket of the South's eastern army. A principle reason for the South's invasion was to replenish its army after fighting in Virginia had eradicated the farmland there.


Quote:
The South bayonetted black Union prisoners of war, the South had a veritable concentration camp at Andersonville, oh yeah and the South would have never taken up arms were it not for the protection of SLAVERY. So how is it that you're laying all of this carnage on Lincoln's head?


The "concentration camp" at Andersonville was composed of Union troops who had destroyed Confederate food production and supply capacities. It seems a rather egregious reversal of roles to blame the confederates for that. And once again, Lincoln did not fight the war because of slavery, but because of secession.

If I break into a person's house to rob it and he just happens to be running a meth lab, his meth lab has nothing to do with my attempted robbery or the violence that erupted because of my robbery.

Lincoln argued that any secession was legally void. That was his justification for war.

---------- Post added 10-06-2009 at 01:44 PM ----------

Aedes;95508 wrote:
This is the tough thing about documents. There's no way to write them in a way that is immune to interpretation in a different historical context.


There can be little doubt concerning the original interpretation concerning the rights of people to self-government.

Quote:
That is impossible to know, but the thing is that crises and events unfolded for him in a certain order, and he performed the way he performed. He never had the opportunity to prioritize slavery over the secession, because secession was an acute problem and slavery was a chronic problem.


Secession is not and was not a problem.
 
Didymos Thomas
 
Reply Tue 6 Oct, 2009 11:50 am
@Mr Fight the Power,
Dude, I've been to Andersonville... more than once. That was a concentration camp. Same as I saw at Dachau, nix the furnaces.

Yeah, I blame the Confederates for that camp just as much as I blame the Nazis for their camps and Union personnel for a few of their camps... War is Hell, and Lincoln did everything he could to reduce that awful war. That first modern war.

It's a wonder the war ended as soon as it did. Thanks, Lincoln.
 
Arjuna
 
Reply Tue 6 Oct, 2009 11:59 am
@Mr Fight the Power,
Mr. Fight the Power;95531 wrote:
If I break into a person's house to rob it and he just happens to be running a meth lab, his meth lab has nothing to do with my attempted robbery or the violence that erupted because of my robbery.

Lincoln argued that any secession was legally void. That was his justification for war.

You're kind of arguing that slavery was entirely an incidental issue in the Civil War. It was a mass event: which means all kinds of agendas came together. Lee was philosophically opposed to slavery. Grant had sixteen slaves up to the Emancipation Proclamation. What's certain is that the Civil War was a bizarre sequence of events which saw the viewpoint of a small minority become the prevailing perspective. Without resorting to ideology, I'm not sure how any sense could be made of it.

As the south was seceding, the Republicans around Lincoln demanded that he make a speech advocating a constitutional amendment permanently protecting slavery in the south... to calm to south down. Lincoln made a speech, but didn't mention this amendment. Instead he said that in sentiment, he was with the abolitionists. Lincoln knew that the Emancipation Proclamation could be overturned by the next president. He struggled to have the northern states initiate legislation allowing citizenship of black men. The northern legislators were stagnant. Lincoln still had war power in the south, so he actually used it to start black citizenship there. In the last years of his life, he put all of his energy into guiding the 13th amendment through Congress. It's said that before he was shot, his health was poor due to stress.

Interestingly, we've focused on North American slaves and pretty much ignored the home of about 90% of the Africans transported to the new world: Brazil and the Carribean.
 
Aedes
 
Reply Tue 6 Oct, 2009 12:08 pm
@Arjuna,
Arjuna;95545 wrote:
Interestingly, we've focused on North American slaves and pretty much ignored the home of about 90% of the Africans transported to the new world: Brazil and the Carribean.
That's exactly right. And they all have their own unique histories, with Haiti's being perhaps the most remarkabkle.
 
Mr Fight the Power
 
Reply Tue 6 Oct, 2009 12:17 pm
@Arjuna,
Arjuna;95545 wrote:
You're kind of arguing that slavery was entirely an incidental issue in the Civil War. It was a mass event: which means all kinds of agendas came together. Lee was philosophically opposed to slavery. Grant had sixteen slaves up to the Emancipation Proclamation. What's certain is that the Civil War was a bizarre sequence of events which saw the viewpoint of a small minority become the prevailing perspective. Without resorting to ideology, I'm not sure how any sense could be made of it.

As the south was seceding, the Republicans around Lincoln demanded that he make a speech advocating a constitutional amendment permanently protecting slavery in the south... to calm to south down. Lincoln made a speech, but didn't mention this amendment. Instead he said that in sentiment, he was with the abolitionists. Lincoln knew that the Emancipation Proclamation could be overturned by the next president. He struggled to have the northern states initiate legislation allowing citizenship of black men. The northern legislators were stagnant. Lincoln still had war power in the south, so he actually used it to start black citizenship there. In the last years of his life, he put all of his energy into guiding the 13th amendment through Congress. It's said that before he was shot, his health was poor due to stress.


I was under the impression that Lincoln did not believe in equality between the races and supported colonization of Liberia.

---------- Post added 10-06-2009 at 02:20 PM ----------

Didymos Thomas;95542 wrote:
It's a wonder the war ended as soon as it did. Thanks, Lincoln.


I am truly lost as to what perspective this is coming from.
 
xris
 
Reply Tue 6 Oct, 2009 12:30 pm
@Arjuna,
If you noticed i have not condemned Lincoln on that most horrendous of wars, it gave notice to the great war, in its inability to fight with modern weapons with 18c tactics. No one man could contend with this contentious issue, slavery, and only blood appeared the answer, blood would have blood.

My objection was the long reaching consequence of disallowing black and red, also yellow, from the advantages of colonising a new world. Blacks in particular never had the opportunity to show their worth and the Indians never recovered from humiliating defeats. Blacks were landless and relied constantly on the whiteman's willingness to employ them. It was a recipe that had long reaching consequences, give them their freedom but dependant on begrudging ex slave owners. The exclusion was just as bad as any enforced labour.
 
Aedes
 
Reply Tue 6 Oct, 2009 12:39 pm
@xris,
xris;95561 wrote:
The exclusion was just as bad as any enforced labour.
It was bad, but it was not as bad. Under slavery your own children could be taken from you and sold. That could not happen to sharecroppers. You could learn to read. You could move. It was bad, but it was better.
 
xris
 
Reply Tue 6 Oct, 2009 12:54 pm
@Aedes,
Aedes;95569 wrote:
It was bad, but it was not as bad. Under slavery your own children could be taken from you and sold. That could not happen to sharecroppers. You could learn to read. You could move. It was bad, but it was better.
I wont disagree but for many the distinction was not that clear for certain black folk, who had found freedom just as painful. Just remember its not that long ago we had segregation and open violence.
 
Aedes
 
Reply Tue 6 Oct, 2009 01:03 pm
@prothero,
Yes, it was a very slow process that is by no means over even now. The mass migration to the north, which particularly happened during the industrialization for WWI, resulted in severe ghettoization that still exists throughout the north (and I've lived in Boston and Hartford, and spent lots of time in New York, DC, Buffalo, and Chicago, and these are highly highly ghettoized cities to this day).
 
Arjuna
 
Reply Tue 6 Oct, 2009 01:41 pm
@Aedes,
Aedes;95581 wrote:
The mass migration to the north, which particularly happened during the industrialization for WWI, resulted in severe ghettoization

And it also caused black blues players to gather and start innovating. The music they started with fused laboring songs, designed to coordinate group effort, with church music. The real engine behind the production of this music was a trans-atlantic market made up of mostly white kids.

I wonder what you folks think about the essential moral issue here, though. Did any slave owner really mean to be immoral? Before the Portuguese started the Atlantic slave trade, they asked the Pope for persmission, which he gave.

What Xris says about having a balanced view of Lincoln, doesn't that also apply to the "villians" in this scene?
 
Aedes
 
Reply Tue 6 Oct, 2009 01:43 pm
@prothero,
No one really intends to be immoral. They just convince themselves that they're being moral; or that their other positive moral choices atone for their immorality; or that their immoral choices are small. All of the above diminishes the humanity and overlooks the suffering of the slave.
 
xris
 
Reply Tue 6 Oct, 2009 01:53 pm
@Aedes,
I find it inconceivable that one man could enslave another and think he has moral authority. BUT then im not from that generation so i must assume that many did. The church did consider the black man as lesser than white.

If my memory serves me right does genesis condemn one of Adams sons, tribe and so the Mormons, till recently, claimed all black men were descendants of them?
 
Aedes
 
Reply Tue 6 Oct, 2009 02:18 pm
@xris,
xris;95602 wrote:
I find it inconceivable that one man could enslave another and think he has moral authority. BUT then im not from that generation so i must assume that many did.
They considered them beasts of burden, brutish, without potential for intelligence, and as such were not owed the same moral obligations.

With every institutionalized prejudice there is something comparable. The one metaphor that the Nazis constantly used about the Jews was that they were a plague or a disease. The colonists in Africa regarded the indigenous people as brutes and savages. And the world has had its infidels, its apostates, its heathens, its witches... The way to overcome a moral inhibition is to regard your adversary as inferior, set apart.
 
Fido
 
Reply Tue 6 Oct, 2009 04:26 pm
@xris,
xris;95418 wrote:
Views may change and while the victor rights the script, truth can be gathered by certain means. There was good roman caesars relative to others but lets be sober in our judgement. If you praise you must also condemn.

Sure; what ever that means...

What we know and what we guess together make history, unless you are simply revisionist and then any thing goes...

You know we can never be certain...That is why history is a branch of philosophy...We must always frame history as a question: What can we say we know upon what evidence???

---------- Post added 10-06-2009 at 06:41 PM ----------

Aedes;95612 wrote:
They considered them beasts of burden, brutish, without potential for intelligence, and as such were not owed the same moral obligations.

With every institutionalized prejudice there is something comparable. The one metaphor that the Nazis constantly used about the Jews was that they were a plague or a disease. The colonists in Africa regarded the indigenous people as brutes and savages. And the world has had its infidels, its apostates, its heathens, its witches... The way to overcome a moral inhibition is to regard your adversary as inferior, set apart.

You must be careful with your They's...Spanish slaves were baptised as well as branded, and the thought that the slaves might be equal in the sight of God sooner led to their manumission...Among Southern Whites who generally defended blacks being held as property, one, Thomas Stonewall Jackson taught one balck friend to read and write, and the slave promptly wrote himself a pass to the North...He also caught hell from the locals while teaching at VMI for teaching their slaves the Bible...He accepted slavery as just, and so, moral...But he was kind of a nut...
 
Aedes
 
Reply Tue 6 Oct, 2009 07:59 pm
@Fido,
Fido;95639 wrote:
You must be careful with your They's...Spanish slaves were baptised as well as branded
Lucky them...

Fido;95639 wrote:
Thomas Stonewall Jackson taught one balck friend to read and write, and the slave promptly wrote himself a pass to the North...He also caught hell from the locals while teaching at VMI for teaching their slaves the Bible...He accepted slavery as just, and so, moral...But he was kind of a nut...
Stonewall Jackson was out and out crazy, but very few of the Confederate generals were hardcore idealogues. All they really cared about was defending their homeland. The Confederate government and the southern plantation owners, on the other hand, were trying to preserve an aristocratic and somewhat caste-based southern society that required slavery.
 
 

 
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