sam on May 29, 2011, 10:08:02 pm
Lincoln was of a sort with Stalin and Mao and Hitler!?!  Are you kidding me?  The American Civil War was many things, but not a social engineering experiment.

Before the civil war, the Unites States was plural, after the civil war, singular.

That was gigantic, and disastrous, change.

What does that even mean?

Before the civil war, people said “the united states are …”

After the civil war, people said “the united states is …”


Bob G on May 30, 2011, 03:20:20 am
Lincoln was of a sort with Stalin and Mao and Hitler!?!  Are you kidding me?  The American Civil War was many things, but not a social engineering experiment.

Okay, maybe not Stalin, Maybe Lenin, though. L Neil Smith seems to think so, anyway. http://www.lneilsmith.org/abelenin.html The question was, are the States truly free and sovereign entities or are they merely administrative divisions of a strong National government, the answer to which we're still in the process of hashing out (and probably will be until we're absorbed into the UN/UW WorldGov).

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On another note, I think one has to distinguish between social engineering carried out top-down in one big step, by force, to eliminate all evil and social engineering that works piecemeal to identify specific ills in a society and works to eliminate them.  (This distinction is due to Karl Popper, but it is one I agree with).  Collective Farms are an example of the first, the campaign against drunken driving in the US is the second.

Unfortunately, the 'campaign against drunken driving' is NOT an example of the second, it still uses the power of government to effect behavioral change. The MADDites succeed in getting the States to change the legal limit from .10 to .08 (Under threat from the feral federal government to withhold highway funds, and then we are Shocked! Shocked! that the number of arrests for drunken driving go up (while the trend before the change was downward).
 And people who are most decidedly not driving drunk by sleeping off benders IN THE BACK SEATS OF THEIR CARS are arrested for drunken driving.

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In fact, it is hard to come up with a more legitimate use of government resources then preventing innocent people from dying.

Then where does the power of government stop? The ONLY (if any) legitimate exercise of government power is to 'secure the blessings of Liberty' Since government is the main threat TO liberty, it's kind of a self=negating proposition.

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If you think that all power is actually centralized in the central government, you have clearly spent your life living in a different country than I have.

Not yet, but becoming more so every day. Getting fined FRN 1,000.00 / year for not buying health insurance? Invasive pat-downs or technological strip searches before you can get on an airplane (or, soon, a train or a bus)? Where did THAT come from?
Whatsoever, for any cause, seeketh to take or give
  Power above or beyond the Laws, suffer it not to live.
Holy State, or Holy King, or Holy People's Will.
  Have no truck with the senseless thing, order the guns and kill.

The penultimate stanza of Rudyard Kipling's MacDonough's Song

J Thomas on May 30, 2011, 09:03:06 pm

The question was, are the States truly free and sovereign entities or are they merely administrative divisions of a strong National government, the answer to which we're still in the process of hashing out (and probably will be until we're absorbed into the UN/UW WorldGov).

Fascinating to consider that this was an issue people were ready to die for, but now that it's settled it doesn't seem so important. Does it really matter whether you are coerced by a federal government, or a state government or both?

What made it so important then was that people perceived the states as distinct cultures, with government that catered to local prejudices. Of course each state government had minorities it tried to suppress, but of course they didn't want an even larger empire suppressing *them*.

Now we have free travel among states, and TV tends to homogenize the culture. The Internet etc breaks down the consensus but not by regional lines. So there's no particular reason to think a state government would repress you less than a federal government, except that you could choose among flavors of repression -- assuming they let you immigrate to whichever state you wanted to.

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In fact, it is hard to come up with a more legitimate use of government resources then preventing innocent people from dying.

Then where does the power of government stop? The ONLY (if any) legitimate exercise of government power is to 'secure the blessings of Liberty' Since government is the main threat TO liberty, it's kind of a self=negating proposition.

So, EmoteControl, do you see the pattern? Once we decide that the ONLY legitimate function of government is to improve liberty -- not prosperity, not even survival, only liberty -- I'm sure you can see that this beginning point will lead to interesting consequences.

Emote Control on June 02, 2011, 04:16:02 am
Lincoln was of a sort with Stalin and Mao and Hitler!?!  Are you kidding me?  The American Civil War was many things, but not a social engineering experiment.

Okay, maybe not Stalin, Maybe Lenin, though. L Neil Smith seems to think so, anyway. http://www.lneilsmith.org/abelenin.html The question was, are the States truly free and sovereign entities or are they merely administrative divisions of a strong National government, the answer to which we're still in the process of hashing out (and probably will be until we're absorbed into the UN/UW WorldGov).


I read the webpage you directed me to, and it was full of garbage.  It begins with an accusation that the people who disagree with you favor domestic abuse -- always an indication that the author may not be totally concerned with facts.  It continues with the utterly false assertion that the South's secession was due totally to tariff issues and abstract concerns over state right, which is directly contradicted by the statements made by Confederate politicians throughout the war.  They seceded because of slavery, and that was it.

Then we get to the fact that the Emancipation Proclamation only applied to the slave states.  L. Neil Smith seems to live in a Saturday morning cartoon fairyland where no one, not even a president during a civil war, has to set priorities.  I've read that Lincoln and several members of his cabinet initially wanted the Emancipation Proclamation to apply to all states, even those in the Union, but military necessity argued against it.  Four slave states had stayed fully in the Union, and counties of several others had also refused to secede when their parent states did.  Freeing the slaves in those territories, while heavy fighting was still going on, could have had very serious consequences and prudence argued against it.  And while the Emancipation Proclamation had little immediate effect, it committed Union generals and troops to freeing slaves in territories they reconquered, as well as making it clear that after the Civil War there would be no returning to the status quo in the South.

Now we come to his statement that Lincoln "disappeared" thousands of people during the war.  This is more serious matter, and I personally think that the North used too heavy a hand in this matter.  But the people were not "disappeared".  In the Latin American and Communist dictatorships that Smith seems to think the US is no different than, disappeared people just vanish.  In the Civil War the families of those imprisoned knew where they were, and they were freed when the war ended rather than being dumped in unmarked graves.  Suspension of habeas corpus was a grim and temporary necessity, rather than an integral part of governing.

And finally, stating that a UN WorldGov will take over the world is just total absolute garbage.  Given the fact that the UN has no military force, and is totally dependent on the nations for its funding, and is routinely ignored -- ain't gonna happen.

OBQuiet on June 02, 2011, 07:35:44 am
Lincoln was of a sort with Stalin and Mao and Hitler!?!  Are you kidding me?  The American Civil War was many things, but not a social engineering experiment.

Before the civil war, the Unites States was plural, after the civil war, singular.

That was gigantic, and disastrous, change.

What does that even mean?
Before the war, the primary association of people with governments was with the State. The US was seen as a collections of states that shared some common goals via a federation. After the war, people increasingly associated government with the Federal government. We became a nation ordered into states. This is actually a rather significant change in perspective with major implications.
 
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On another note, I think one has to distinguish between social engineering carried out top-down in one big step, by force, to eliminate all evil and social engineering that works piecemeal to identify specific ills in a society and works to eliminate them.  (This distinction is due to Karl Popper, but it is one I agree with).  Collective Farms are an example of the first, the campaign against drunken driving in the US is the second.

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Prohibiting slavery was the latter, but centralizing all power in the central government was the former.

If you think that all power is actually centralized in the central government, you have clearly spent your life living in a different country than I have.

Certainly saying that 'all power' was centralized overstates the case. But when you combine laws, regulations and mandates, the Federal government is now responsible for significantly more impact in our day to day lives than the other levels combined. Even the 'local' laws raising the drinking age to 21 are the result of Federal mandates. 

mellyrn on June 02, 2011, 07:40:48 am
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It begins with an accusation that the people who disagree with you favor domestic abuse

Wow.  I don't recall ever seeing an analogy interpreted as an accusation before.  I thought the message here was, "If we strip away the red-white-and-blue glorifying froufrou, we will see not the 'preservation' of a union but the enforcement of one."

You so very much disliked what he said that, to save yourself, you had to twist it almost beyond all recognition.   

I thought the imagery (imagery -- link) apt.  Perhaps, though, you'd prefer it reframed:  suppose the South had written up its own version of "When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another [...] a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation."  And I don't know that they didn't.   

In what way was the South's desire to "assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them" different from the original colonies' desire to separate from Britain?

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L. Neil Smith seems to live in a Saturday morning cartoon fairyland where no one, not even a president during a civil war, has to set priorities.  [....]  Freeing the slaves in those territories, while heavy fighting was still going on, could have had very serious consequences and prudence argued against it.

So, the war was, you say, fought over the principle of slavery, but it was "imprudent" to abolish it particularly in the areas where he actually had political influence. . . .   Ah, true greatness:  sacrificing principle to prudence.

Sorry, the war was fought to retain a 'spouse' who wanted to leave -- just as George III had done (or tried to do) earlier.  Lincoln out-George-III'd George III.

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And finally, stating that a UN WorldGov will take over the world is just total absolute garbage.

Possibly the specific UN taking over is garbage, but the development of a UW is not.  Everywhere there is a drift towards larger organisms/organizations -- from self-replicating molecules to simple cells; from simple cells to complex ones (e.g. ones that contain simpler cells within them a la mitochondria); from cells to colonies to organisms; to societies of organisms; to congresses of societies, aka states (of various sorts); the UN is sort of a congress of congresses.  There may yet be a UW -- with an assortment of entities coexisting with it, sort of within it, the way nonhuman species (Lactobacillus bulgaricus, Escherichia coli, Candida albicans and others) colonize you.  That seems as inexorable as entropy.

quadibloc on June 02, 2011, 11:27:22 am
In what way was the South's desire to "assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them" different from the original colonies' desire to separate from Britain?
Oh, that one's easy!

The Thirteen Colonies desired to separate from Britain so that they would not be exploited by Britain, but would instead be free to retain the fruits of their own labor.

The South desired to separate from the Union so that it would be free to exploit their slaves, and would continue to steal the fruits of their labor.

mellyrn on June 02, 2011, 06:55:43 pm
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Oh, that one's easy!

The Thirteen Colonies [had a capital-G Good reason].

The South [had a capital-E Evil reason].  [slightly modified for clarity]

And the black-and-white-er chimes in.

Yes, slavery is a Bad Thing.  Ever consider the possibility that forcibly abolishing it might be something even worse?  I have to note that, while race relations everywhere can be touchy, they are notably worse in the US than they are in countries where slavery died of natural causes.

You remind me of the Vietnam lieutenant who said they had to destroy the village in order to save it. 

Bob G on June 02, 2011, 07:08:30 pm
In what way was the South's desire to "assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them" different from the original colonies' desire to separate from Britain?
Oh, that one's easy!

The Thirteen Colonies desired to separate from Britain so that they would not be exploited by Britain, but would instead be free to retain the fruits of their own labor.

The South desired to separate from the Union so that it would be free to exploit their slaves, and would continue to steal the fruits of their labor.


Not so easy after all. If I recall correctly, most if not all of the original 13 had slavery in place while members of the English empire. Thus, at least some of the labor producing those fruits was NOT their own.
 
And maybe the southerners were a litle PO'ed at northern manufacturers exploiting them by enacting tariffs making foreign goods inordinately expensive and forcing them to act in a 'seller's market'.
Whatsoever, for any cause, seeketh to take or give
  Power above or beyond the Laws, suffer it not to live.
Holy State, or Holy King, or Holy People's Will.
  Have no truck with the senseless thing, order the guns and kill.

The penultimate stanza of Rudyard Kipling's MacDonough's Song

Scott on June 02, 2011, 07:37:23 pm
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Oh, that one's easy!

The Thirteen Colonies desired to separate from Britain so that they would not be exploited by Britain, but would instead be free to retain the fruits of their own labor.

The South desired to separate from the Union so that it would be free to exploit their slaves, and would continue to steal the fruits of thei

This theory is inconvenienced by two irrefutable facts: 1) Lincoln's first Inaugural Address, in which he sought to assure the Slave States that he had no intention of seeking to end slavery in those states; 2) the structure of Federal taxation at that time, which relied heavily on import tariffs, and had the effect of drawing 80 percent of revenues from the coastal Southern states. That system placed high tariffs on manufactured goods, protecting Northern manufacturing interests, and low tariffs on agricultural goods, subjecting Southern growers to greater foreign competition.

The election of 1860 demonstrated to the Southern leaders that they had become a permanent electoral minority, and as long as they stayed in the Union, would be at the receiving end of Federal power and have diminishing chances of changing it. But the plantation owners and Southern merchants who controlled those state governments faced a problem -- the larger number of free men in those states didn't really care much about tariffs, or the interests of the wealthy classes. But they cared a great deal about slavery -- that institution defined everyone's place in their society, and the example of the Haitian slave revolt and its aftermath put a fright into them analogous to the fright put into most Americans today by the 9/11 attacks. To put it bluntly, even non-slave-owners feared that the end of slavery would bring total chaos and destruction at the hands of rampaging negroes.

So, Southern politicians advocating secession said little about tariffs and talked up the slavery angle, identifying secession with the preservation of that "Peculiar Institution," to bolster popular support and cover a hidden agenda. Sort of like politicians always do.

The Northern ruling classes, in the meantime, had no particular sympathy for slaves, but used popular fears and antipathy of what they called "The Slave Power" to shore up their own support. They were perfectly happy to let the Southerners have their slaves in the existing states, but wanted the new territories in the West to remain slave-free, for their own purposes; and working-class Northerners feared what they regarded as "unfair competition" from slave labor, and likewise wanted to keep slavery bottled-up in the 11 existing slave states.

I could go on, but the historian Jeffrey Rogers Hummel has already done a superb job of sorting through the foibles, inconsistencies, and agendas both open and hidden of both sides of the War of the Rebellion (which is the Federal Government's official name for that conflict, by the way), in his book Emancipating Slaves, Enslaving Free Men.  So I'll just leave it at that.

J Thomas on June 03, 2011, 06:52:35 am

Yes, slavery is a Bad Thing.  Ever consider the possibility that forcibly abolishing it might be something even worse?

No matter how bad things get, usually there's some way to make them even worse. And people can act together or with the sum total of their individual efforts to find that way.

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I have to note that, while race relations everywhere can be touchy, they are notably worse in the US than they are in countries where slavery died of natural causes.

I don't have a list of those countries handy, but a lot of them didn't have that many blacks, right? And where they did, wasn't there usually more miscegenation? Brazil wound up with a system where it was considered best to be pure white, and not so good to be indian or black or some mixture, but there weren't enough mostly-whites that it mattered so much....

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You remind me of the Vietnam lieutenant who said they had to destroy the village in order to save it.  

Slavery was a bomb waiting to explode. A lot of people in all good will tried to defuse it, but they failed.

Looking back, I'm not clear what to blame that on. It was a hard problem. There were a lot of people who didn't have good will, and they had a vote too. There were rich men on both sides who each wanted a bigger slice of the pie than they already had.

One of the things I think doesn't get enough attention was that there were a whole lot of young men who wanted a chance to do something heroic, who were ready for a war. And we simply did not have another credible war available. Mexico was not strong enough for a really good war even before we beat them in 1848. It made no sense to attack Canada. We could beat up anybody else in the western hemisphere with no sweat. (And we did, regularly.) We simply had nobody else we could fight with large land armies, except ourself.

One of the things we have to live with is that every now and then we get a whole lot of young men who really want a war. And they get a vote like everybody else.

Plane on June 03, 2011, 05:11:47 pm
The election of 1860 demonstrated to the Southern leaders that they had become a permanent electoral minority, and as long as they stayed in the Union, would be at the receiving end of Federal power and have diminishing chances of changing it. But the plantation owners and Southern merchants who controlled those state governments faced a problem --

......
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This is the beauty and the crisis of the Three Fifths Compromise, The Southern States could have repaired their minority status in short order by freeing and enfranchiseing more slaves , converting the 3/5 to 1 for each made free and able to vote, ther3e would have been more seats in congress, better chances at picking the president etc....
the larger number of free men in those states didn't really care much about tariffs, or the interests of the wealthy classes. But they cared a great deal about slavery -- that institution defined everyone's place in their society, and the example of the Haitian slave revolt and its aftermath put a fright into them analogous to the fright put into most Americans today by the 9/11 attacks. To put it bluntly, even non-slave-owners feared that the end of slavery would bring total chaos and destruction at the hands of rampaging negroes.


   But freeing more than a few slaves was way too scary, Denmark Vessy and Nat Turner along with the Hatian rebellion and extreme abolitionists like John Brown kept the level of fear up and the tolerance of freedmen down.

  I think you are right , and that fear was an imnportant part of it .

quadibloc on June 03, 2011, 10:29:10 pm
One of the things we have to live with is that every now and then we get a whole lot of young men who really want a war. And they get a vote like everybody else.
Well, that's one of the problems that AnCap would solve. Nobody would get a vote, and if they wanted to fight a war, they could just go take their guns and try going somewhere else to make trouble on their own.

Of course, the obvious reply would be that, good heavens, it's the young men who get drafted and get shot at in wars. How could they possibly ever want a war?

Indeed, I don't think the United States went to war in Vietnam because of popular demand from its young men.

However, Germany invading Poland, now...

So I think I understand the scenario you're talking about. There's an economic depression. Young men leave high school, and they can't find decent jobs so they can start families.

So they vote in some demagogue, who proposes to solve the problem by invading the country next door, enslaving its men, taking its land and resources, and carting off its women.

I've figured out how to solve the problem in a non-AnCap world. Put something in the water so that women outnumber men slightly. That way, men won't need to go on strike for wages the economy can't support in order to win the game of musical chairs. Some moderate and intelligently applied protectionism will also be required.

sam on June 04, 2011, 01:06:26 am
Of course, the obvious reply would be that, good heavens, it's the young men who get drafted and get shot at in wars. How could they possibly ever want a war?

Indeed, I don't think the United States went to war in Vietnam because of popular demand from its young men.

There is an obvious solution for that problem:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ygl-Z0S7t2Q

I also like the victory bonus that Raffles gave his mercenaries.

So they vote in some demagogue, who proposes to solve the problem by invading the country next door, enslaving its men, taking its land and resources, and carting off its women.

Not what Hitler said in quite so many words, though he arguably implied it.  The mainstream parties claimed that the hyperinflation was caused by Jews and foreigners, and Hitler was the only politician who seriously proposed to do something about those wicked Jews and foreigners.   (No one dared say something as horribly politically incorrect as to say that the hyperinflation was caused by irresponsible and unfunded welfare statism and vote buying)

However, Hitler implied the solution that you propose, in that he admiringly pointed out that the British empire was founded piratically.
« Last Edit: June 04, 2011, 02:40:18 am by sam »

sam on June 04, 2011, 01:20:09 am
I've figured out how to solve the problem in a non-AnCap world. Put something in the water so that women outnumber men slightly. That way, men won't need to go on strike for wages the economy can't support in order to win the game of musical chairs. Some moderate and intelligently applied protectionism will also be required.

Won't work.  The problem is hypergamy.  Less than ten percent of the males are screwing sixty percent of the females, and about ten percent of the males are fathering spawning (but not fathering) fifty percent of the children.  The solution to hypergamy is restraints on female sexuality, that is to say, patriarchy.  Societies that do not restrain female sexuality fail to reproduce culturally and physically and eventually disappear, due to lack of male investment in children.  Observe that the Mormons are the only whites that are reproducing above replacement.

White males are dropping out of the workforce because they lack wives and children, not the other way around.  Or to state the problem another way, they are dropping out of the work force because getting ahead is not rewarded by good quality virginal pussy the way it used to be.

 

anything