Saturday, October 3, 2009

"Race war," "Civil war" -- how to equate the two

Chiu Chunling once wrote, in response to a black racist commenter at Loyal to Liberty that "if you don't want a race war, then don't start one.

I think the same principle applies with regard to civil war and the war of ideas which instigates it. As I wrote this morning at the Tenth Amendment Center,

Terry Morris Says:
October 3rd, 2009 at 7:45 am

Congress is doing a fine job of working out details of the healthcare bill, what???

I’ll tell you what, when Congess (or any other government entity) can show me where it (or any other government entity) has any legitimate business whatsoever involving itself in healthcare, then I’ll agree or disagree with the assertion that Congress is doing a fine job of it. As it is, the only ‘fine job’ Congress is doing is the job of overthrowing the principles of the constitution. Which too many people recognize to allow to go off without a hitch.

In other words, if Congress does not want a civil war, then it’s best advised not to start one. End of story.

Of course, I'm not at all convinced that the current Congress does not want a civil war, and am persuaded that it, somewhat like so-called "thrill-seekers" may actually think it wants one. If that's the case, then its members seem oblivious to the fact that their side cannot possibly win such a war. This ain't 1860 after all. But whatever. Most so-called "thrill seekers" do actually recognize that they're very likely to end up on the 'winning' side of things despite the danger inherent to their pursuits. Otherwise they wouldn't do it, or otherwise devise ways of making their pursuits, well, less dangerous. But what about the current Congress? Perhaps they're kind of, sort of, in-a-way something like Grizzly Man (who was violently eaten by one of the objects of his affection). Who knows.


Rick Darby said...

Did anybody want Civil War I before 1861? A few, I guess — fanatical abolitionists in the north, wild secessionists in the south — but except for that extremist fringe, most people on both sides of the divide would have been happy for a peaceful compromise.

The tragedy is that a newly elected president with an obsession about a political abstraction ("the Union, now and forever!") thought that any cost was worth preserving it.

While I don't compare our current newly elected president with Lincoln in most ways (even though I think Lincoln was a humane, well-intentioned madman), he too is determined to impose his vision even on a resistant country, come what may.

It's that "come what may" that's scary.

Terry Morris said...

Yeah, Hussein has no idea; no idea.

I can't personally clue him in (by the way, his severe lack of experience -- which I've mentioned too many times to, well, mention -- has a great deal to do with this), so, well, you know, the ends create the establishment of the means, or is it the other way around? -- the means create the establishment of the ends. Who knows anymore?

Anonymous said...

Lincoln may not have been perfectly stable, but I wouldn't call him a madman. Certainly, careful examination of the geographic and social issues involved convince me that any attempt at peace between the Union and the Confederacy short of agreement on the issue of slavery could only have exacerbated the eventual scale and duration of the conflict.

After all, raids into Northern states to 'recapture' 'escaped slaves' were already becoming a significant source of tension. These raids were increasingly being made with as much surprise and overwhelming force as possible, due to the growing tendency of Northerners to dispute the claim that a neighbor or border was really an escaped slave.

Particularly in the Western states, violence over slavery had been endemic for decades. I don't know that it occurred to anyone in the West that a civil war wasn't already in progress, whether or not anyone wanted it.

The war could have been fought better, but by 1850 it was basically inevitable. A large part of that may have been the desire for peaceful compromise.

Most of the really big wars get that way because of the "peace in our time" crowd. If you would have peace, you must prepare for war.

And, to be truly prepared for war, you must love the military. You must love the valor and honor, the justice and strength, the camaraderie and discipline. As those aspects are only truly characteristic of a military at war (though certainly not all militaries in any given war), to really love the military you must to some extent love war.

The ideal military is composed mainly of those who do the needful labor of their nation, because it needs to be done rather than because it is easy or enjoyable, and respond to news of terrible evils on their borders with a firm determination to destroy them. Interestingly, this is also the composition of the ideal citizenry and the portrait of the ideal husband.

It is...not my own portrait. I often admire terrible evils, as they often embody an aesthetic dimension which good does not usually encompass. I do think that they should be fought, but I'd always rather someone else do the actual fighting. Preferably someone more aesthetically pleasing than's not only a matter of laziness, after all.