Category Archives: Federalism

UPDATE II (8/29): Lincoln Or Lee? What Would Hitler Say?

Federalism, History, States' Rights, War

Lincoln Or Lee? What Would Hitler Say?” is the current column, now on The Unz Review. An excerpt:

“Some crazy person just compared President Abraham Lincoln to Hitler. Yes, this just happened on CNN and Brooke Baldwin’s reaction was perfect.”

So scribbled one Ricky Davila on Social Media (Twitter).

Indeed, an elderly Southern gentleman had ventured that President Lincoln, not General Lee, murdered civilians, a point even a Court historian and a Lincoln idolater like Doris Kearns Goodwin would concede.

While the Argument From Hitler is seldom a good one; Ms. Baldwin’s response was way worse. Were she an honest purveyor of news and knowledge; anchor-activist Baldwin would have sought the facts. Instead, she pulled faces, so the viewer knew she not only looked like an angel, but was on the side of the angels.

Pretty, but not terribly bright, Ms. Baldwin would be shocked to hear that the civics test administered by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recognizes as correct the following answers to questions about the “Civil War”:

If asked to “Name one problem that led to the Civil War,” you may legitimately reply: “States’ right.”

If asked to “Name the war between the North and the South,” you may call it, “the War between the States.”

Brook would wince, but, again, your reply would be perfectly proper if you chose to name “economic reasons” as one of the problems that led to the Civil War.

Not even the government—the USCIS, in this case—will risk denying that the 1861 Morrill tariff was one cause of the War of Northern Aggression. Lincoln, a protectionist, was expected to enforce the tariff with calamitous consequences to the “the import-dependent South, which was paying [at the time] as much as 80 percent of the tariff.”

It’s fair to assume that the civics naturalization test (I took it) was not written by pro-South historians. Yet even they did not conceal some immutable truths about the War of Northern Aggression—truths banished from Brooke Baldwin’s network.

And from Fox News.

There, you must tolerate progressive Republicans, like John Daniel Davidson of the Federalist, warning about the dangers of identity politics in a majority-white country like the US. (Davidson should try out identity politics in a minority white country like my birthplace, South Africa, where the lives of white farmers are forfeit.) Another Federalist editor seen on Fox is Molly Hemingway. She has vaporized about the merits of “taking down Confederate statues.” If memory serves, that was a position the oracular Chucky Krauthammer was willing to dignify.

Back to the white, marginalized gentleman, mocked on CNN.

In all, Lincoln’s violent, unconstitutional revolution took the lives of 620,000 individuals, including 50,000 Southern civilians, white and black. It maimed thousands, and brought about “the near destruction of 40 percent of the nation’s economy.”

While “in the North a few unfortunate exceptions marred the general wartime boom,” chronicled historian William Miller,  “[t]he south as a whole was impoverished. At the end of the war, the boys in blue went home at government expense with about $235 apiece in their pockets.”  “[S]ome of Lee’s soldiers had to ask for handouts on the road home, with nothing to exchange for bread save the unwelcome news of Appomattox.”

Many years hence, Americans look upon the terrible forces unleashed by Lincoln as cathartic, glorious events. However, “The costs of an action cannot be dismissed as irrelevant to morality,” noted Mises Institute scholar David Gordon, in Secession, State & Liberty.

At his most savage, General William Tecumseh Sherman waged “total war” on civilians and did not conceal his intent to so do. On commencing his march through Georgia, in September 1864, Sherman had vowed “to demonstrate the vulnerability of the South and make its inhabitants feel that war and individual ruin [were] synonymous terms.” To follow was an admission (of sorts) to war crimes: “The amount of plundering, burning, and stealing done by our own army makes me ashamed of it.”

For Sherman’s troops sacked and razed entire cities and communities“: …

… READ THE REST. “Lincoln Or Lee? What Would Hitler Say?” is now on The Unz Review.

UPDATED (8/29): What does Diana West say?

Great job!! Such an important point to bang into the “collective” wooden head!
Marx, of course, was also a huge fan of Lincoln’s at the time.
You may want to revise your casualties upward — 750,000 seems to be the accepted new estimate.

(Some links to that and other casualty research in this May column about Trump/Jackson./Civil War — including black soldiers, postwar decimation of freed slaves due to illness, etc. — and I think there’s even one to environment disaster the war wrought also. http://dailycaller.com/2017/05/04/trump-vs-the-historians/. )

The blind worship of these warmongers (including FDR) is unbearable!

D.

UPDATE II: Clyde Wilson says:

“Grandpa Charlie has let his imagination run away with him. Wonder what source he is channeling for his false information? Or possibly reading comic books. Sherman did not have black Buffalo soldiers as a bodyguard. They did not even exist at the time. The notion of powerful black men protecting and liked by Sherman is pure fantasy and could not have been possible at the time. Sherman is on record as saying that he would be happy if the blacks could have been gotten rid of. Yes, Yankee soldiers did tear up dolls and nail pets to the door, as well as put guns to the heads of women, shoot 13 and 14 year old boys and black men, and rape black women. They also danced around in women’s clothes while they burned houses, schools, churches, libraries, convents, etc. It is all documented as well as anything in history. At Appomattox Grant allowed the Confederates some rifles for protection on their way home. So that statement is false. Joe Johnston served as a pallbearer for Sherman not because they were great friends but as a gesture of reconciliation. Grandpa, put down those comic books and read some actual history.”

Jake says:

Ilana Mercer is brilliant and brave. Precious few are her equal.
Anybody who would trash Lee and laud Lincoln is either stupid as a post or just plain evil in the power-worshiping sense.

There Can Be No Unity With Those Who Desire Your Extinction

Christianity, Constitution, Democracy, Federalism, History, Nationhood, Racism, Reason, Republicans, States' Rights

Dr. Boyd D. Cathey

All over the news these days you hear various anguished personalities, political and otherwise, with pained expressions on their faces, voices trembling, even a furtive tear or two, pleading for national unity. “Can’t we all get along,” they mumble, echoing words uttered decades ago by Rodney King. (Remember him from the violence in the streets of Los Angeles?).

But I have a question, and it seems to me to be absolutely central: “Unite around what?” What is that principle or foundation of beliefs around which we should unify? If we posit a series of beliefs, a credo, which we hold as fundamental, and if we hold that those principles and vision for a just society come to us as a precious legacy from our ancestors and from our Western Christian traditions, will there be—can there be—any agreement, any unity with those who openly and forcefully reject that foundation and those essential principles as irretrievably laced with and poisoned by racism, sexism, homophobia, and “white privilege,” not to mention hints of “fascism” and other not-so-pleasant “isms”?

The American republic was formed through a kind of understood compromise between the colonies; the Authors of our constitutional system fully comprehended that there were diverse elements and interests that must be balanced to make the new nation at all workable. But in 1787 there was enough essential agreement on fundamentals that a seemingly miraculous result was possible. Yet, those far-sighted men also feared what might happen should that which they created be perverted or turned from its original propositions. The central Federal government was counter-balanced and limited by newly and fiercely independent states which jealously guarded a large portion of their own sovereignty.

Voting was universally restricted to those considered most qualified to exercise the franchise. Universal suffrage was considered by the near totally of the Fathers of our Constitution to be a sure means of destroying the young republic: absolute democracy and across-the-board egalitarian views were considered fatal for the future of the country. Such views were sidelined to the periphery, without practical voice in the running of the commonwealth.

The American republic was, in all but name, a “Christian” republic. Certainly, the basic documents of our founding did not formally state as much. There was no formal national “religious establishment,” as existed in almost all European countries. Yet, despite that lack of national confessionality, the new nation, while demanding freedom for religious expression, professed de facto the Christian faith as a kind of understood basis of the new nation. As is often pointed out, almost immediately after adopting the Bill of Rights in 1791 (authored, ironically, by slaveholder James Madison), including the “freedom of religion” First Amendment, Congress provided for paid Christian chaplains in the new Northwest Territories. Even more confirming is the fact that nearly every one of the original thirteen colonies/new states had a “religious establishment” or religious test of some sort on the state level, and those establishments were left completely untouched by the First Amendment, which was understood to mean only the formal establishment of a national supported state church.

Above all, there existed amongst the new Americans the ability to converse and communicate with each other, using the same language, and employing the same symbols and imagery that had brought them together originally as a country. Appeals to traditional English law and the historic “rights of Englishmen,” the belief in a God of the Old and New Testament whose prescriptions found in Holy Writ informed both the laws of the state and the understanding of justice and virtue, and an implicit, if not explicit, agreement that there were certain limits of thought and action beyond which one could not go without endangering the republican experiment, formed a kind of accepted public orthodoxy.

That modus vivendi—that ability to get along and agree on most essentials—continued, sometimes fitfully, until 1861. The bloody War Between the States that erupted that year might have been avoided if the warnings of the Authors of the Constitution had been heeded, if the Federal executive in 1861 had understood the original intentions of 1787 and the precarious structural balance that the Philadelphia Convention had erected. But that was not the case, and four years of brutal war followed, with over half a million dead and thousands more maimed, and, most tragically, that essential “via media” between an increasingly powerful central government and the rights of the states and of communities, and eventually, of persons, distorted and perverted.

The resulting trajectory towards centralization, the growth of a powerful Federal government, has continued nearly unabated for 150 years. With it and with the gradual destruction of not just the rights of the states, but also of communities and persons, came the institutionalization of a large and mostly unseen permanent bureaucracy, a managerial and political class, that took upon itself the role of actually ruling and running the nation. James Burnham and the late Samuel Francis have written profoundly on this creation of a managerial state within the state. Indeed, in more recent days we have come to label this establishment the “Deep State.”

Concurrent with this transformation governmentally and politically, our society and our culture have equally been transformed. It is certainly arguable that the defeat of the Confederate states in 1865, that is, the removal of what was essentially a conservative and countervailing element in American polity, enabled the nearly inevitable advance of a more “liberal” vision of the nation. At base, it was above all the acceptance by post-war Americans of nearly all persuasions of the Idea of Progress, the vision that “things”—events, developments in thought and in the sciences and in culture, as well in governing—were inevitably moving towards a bright new future. It was not so much to the past we would now look, but to the “new” which always lay ahead of us.

And that future was based squarely on the idea of an “enlightenment” that always seemed to move to the political and cultural Left. While loudly professing and pushing for more “openness” and more “freedom,” liberation from the “straightjacket” of traditional religion and religious taboos, and propounding equality in practically every field of public and private endeavor, ironically, the underlying effect and result of this “progress” has brought with it in reality a severe curtailment of not just many of our personal liberties, but of the guaranteed rights once considered sacrosanct under our old Constitution.

I would argue, as well, that this long term, concerted movement, and eventual triumph of nineteenth-century liberalism and twentieth century progressivism, politically, culturally, and in our churches, not only placed into doubt those essential and agreed-upon elements that permitted the country to exist in some form of “unity,” but also enabled the growth of ideologies and belief systems that, at base, rejected the very foundations, the fragile creed, of that origination.

In one of the amazing turnarounds in history, the fall of Soviet Communism in 1991—hollowed out and decaying after years of boasting that it would “bury” the West—witnessed almost concurrently the exponential growth and flourishing of an even more insidious and seductive version of Marxism in the old Christian West, in Europe and the United States. A century of the ravages and termite-like devastation by liberalism and progressivist ideology had debilitated the foundations—and the requisite will—to resist the attractions of a cultural Marxism that eventually pervaded our culture, our education, our entertainment industry, and our establishment religious thought.

Older and gravely weakened inherited standards and once-revered benchmarks of right and wrong, of justice, of rights and duties, were replaced by what the Germans call a “gestalt,” or a kind of settled overarching Marxist view of society and culture which had no room for opposing views. Dr. Paul Gottfried has written extensively on this phenomenon.

That dogmatic vision now pervades our colleges and public education; it almost totally dominates Hollywood; it controls the Democratic Party and large swathes of the Republican Party; it speaks with ecclesiastical authority through the heresiarchs who govern most of our churches; and, most critically, it provides a linguistic template—an approved language—that must be accepted and employed, lest the offender be charged with “hate speech” or “hate thought.” Its goals—the imposition of a beguiling but ultimately phony democracy not just in the United States but across the face of the globe—the legislation of an across-the-board equality which is reminiscent of the kind of “equality” the pigs in Orwell’s Animal Farm “legislated”—the perpetuation of a largely unseen, unanswerable, unstoppable managerial and political class, secure in its power and omnipotence—the proclamation of the United State (and Europe) as an “open nation with no physical borders”—have been and are being realized.

It is this overlay, this suffocating ideological blanket, with its dogmas of multicultural political correctness, its anathematization of perceived “racism,” “sexism,” homophobia,” “nativism,” and other characterized forms of “bigotry” as unforgivable sins, that now has assumed near total dominance in our society. The older forms of liberalism were incapable of offering effective opposition, for cultural Marxism utilized liberalism’s arguments to essentially undo it, and eventually, absorb it.

Yet, there were and are still millions of Americans—and Europeans—who have been left behind, not yet swept up in that supposedly ineluctable movement to the Left. They are variously labeled the “deplorables,” or perhaps if they do not share completely the reigning presumptions of the Mainstream Media and academia, they are “bigots” or “yahoos,” uninformed “rednecks,” and, increasingly, maybe “white nationalists,” or worse. The prevailing utter condescension and contempt for them by the established Deep State would make the most severe witch-burner of the 17th century envious.

So, again, I ask: unify around what? Unite with whom? On what basis and on what set of fundamental beliefs and principles? Can there be such unity with those who wish your extinction and replacement?

Frankly, I don’t think so…unless millions have a “road to Damascus” conversion, or some major conflagration occurs to radically change hearts and minds.

******

~ DR. BOYD D. CATHEY is an Unz Review columnist, as well as a Barely a Blog contributor, whose work is easily located on this site under the “BAB’s A List” search category. Dr. Cathey earned an MA in history at the University of Virginia (as a Thomas Jefferson Fellow), and as a Richard M Weaver Fellow earned his doctorate in history and political philosophy at the University of Navarra, Pamplona, Spain. After additional studies in theology and philosophy in Switzerland, he taught in Argentina and Connecticut before returning to North Carolina. He was State Registrar of the North Carolina State Archives before retiring in 2011. He writes for The Unz Review, The Abbeville Institute, Confederate Veteran magazine, The Remnant, and other publications in the United States and Europe on a variety of topics, including politics, social and religious questions, film, and music.

NEW ESSAY: The Anti-Federalists Were Right

Constitution, Federalism, Founding Fathers, History, Individual Rights, States' Rights

The Anti-Federalists Were Right,” is now on Mises Wire. Excerpt:

On the eve of the federal convention, and following its adjournment in September of 1787, the Anti-Federalists made the case that the Constitution makers in Philadelphia had exceeded the mandate they were given to amend the Articles of Confederation, and nothing more.

The Federal Constitution augured ill for freedom, argued the Anti-Federalists. These unsung heroes had warned early Americans of the “ropes and chains of consolidation,” in Patrick Henry’s magnificent words, inherent in the new dispensation.

At the very least, and after 230 years of just such “consolidation,” it’s safe to say that the original Constitution is a dead letter.

The natural- and common law traditions, once lodestars for lawmakers, have been buried under the rubble of legislation and statute. However much one shovels the muck of lawmaking aside, natural justice and the Founders’ original intent remain buried too deep to exhume.

Consider: America’s Constitution makers bequeathed a central government of delegated and enumerated powers. The Constitution gives Congress only some eighteen specific legislative powers. Nowhere among these powers is Social Security, civil rights (predicated as they are on grotesque violations of property rights), Medicare, Medicaid, and the elaborate public works sprung from the General Welfare and Interstate Commerce Clauses.

There is simply no warrant in the Constitution for most of what the Federal Frankenstein does. …

… READ THE REST. “The Anti-Federalists Were Right” is now on Mises Wire.

Yes To Calexit—And To Any Voluntary Exit From Lincoln’s Union

Federalism, Political Philosophy, States' Rights

Tucker Carlson interviewed a Calexit leader about California seceding from the Union.

Tucker: “Why would The Union let California go without a WAR?”

Heavens! Let California, or any state, secede. Political divorce!

A natural right is not nullified by force. From the fact that the Yankees won in 1865; it doesn’t follow that the right to peacefully secede evaporated. Might doesn’t make right.

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