Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Question

When confronted with so-called liberal "achievements" Dr. Thomas Sowell said he asks a few simple questions that almost always serve to deflate liberal claims on moral superiority. One is, "At what cost?"

The Empire has sought to justify the unspeakable evils of the War for Southern Independence with one thing only: it brought the end of slavery.

Now, any Southron who knows the least bit about history knows an objective reading of what actually transpired then puts the lie to even that piece of the Yankee mythology. The truth is both southrons and northerners were reconciled to the eventual end of slavery--but there was no clear idea on how best to do it and how it might best happen.

Virginia, not Massachusetts, was the first state to propose manumission, and the proposition failed by only a few votes. It failed, not because Virginians thought slavery should not end, but because they could not agree upon how to do so. This was the prevailing opinion of many prominent soutrons, including Thomas Jefferson, Jefferson Davis, R. E. Lee and countless others. Hindsight shows us clearly that with the rise of technology slavery would have soon become unprofitable in the south--and manumission would have gradually taken place, just as it did in the north and other places.

This largely peaceful process was denied to the Southern people, both black and white, slave and free.

When one considers the events of this most tragic of American eras, the least debatable issue is this: Of all the possible ways slavery might have ended the way it did, the War, was the worst conceivable––the worst in every way and worst for every one--except for the imperialist, the statist and the banker.

When I say "the worst" I am not thinking of just the cost of blood and treasure in the actual shooting phase of the war. That is comparatively minor when one considers the whole. I am thinking of all the events, acts and policies that have ensued since the war which can be directly or indirectly attributable to the war, up to and including the present day. More precisely, I am thinking of how the war and so-called reconstruction that followed have eternally poisoned the waters in our country. It has infused enmity, hatred, distrust and malice between racial and social groups. It has bitterly divided us with no means of repair or reconciliation. It has destroyed the voluntary nature of the Compact, and indeed, our original Federalism itself. It has brought liberty to an end and turned our history into a web of government generated propaganda and lies––and that is only the short list.

The War was carried on as an unconstitutional tyranny, and it has born the fruit of tyranny, demagoguery and the enslavement of us all to a Unitary, authoritarian state.

THESE and many other horrors, not Emancipation, are the real and enduring consequences of the war––THESE, not liberty, are the PRIMARY effects and sorry fruit of the Linconian, Jacobin, liberal, revolutionary madness.

It is not our statements or arguments to counter Yankee propaganda that will really change hearts and minds, or make the Yankee hang his head in shame as he should. Rather, it is that searching question, offered in the Socratic spirit, that challenges him in his arrogant self-righteousness for an honest answer. Do the Yankees have enough self-honesty to respond as they should? My guess is only a precious few do. But I ask the rest, if only rhetorically:
"At what cost?"

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