“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Thursday, April 08, 2010

History is History

Too damn bad that the revisionists and thought control police are all in a tither about Robert F. McDonnell declaring that April will be "Confederate History Month" in Virginia.

Confederate history exists. Good people differed, fought and died over the differences. It happened and needs to be recognized and not air brushed from history.

The war between Unionists and the Confederacy was not all about slavery, a flawed human tradition, more practiced in Africa than anywhere else, but exploited in the United States. History is always more complex than most people care to understand.

McDonell is to be congratulated, but won't be by the mindless who chant the mantra that our strength is in diversity but practice the conforming and stultifying group think of the diktat.

A war that ended with 625,000 American dead deserves to be looked at with objectivity and an attempt at understanding all sides of the dispute.

If you love diversity, you will love it in thought and practice. Hooray for the Bonnie Blue Flag of independent thought.

General Robert E. Lee fought for diversity. He lost.


  1. "...slavery, a flawed human tradition..."

    Almighty Christ. John C. Calhoun much?

    Since about the mid 80's there has in fact been a great revival of interest in the Civil War, with no end of publications, documentaries, novels, movies, and enthusiastic hobbyists devoted to it. It's big business.

    I spent some years of my youth in that place that boasted the northernmost point where the cannon on the Old Courthouse lawn face north. Boys with Skoal imprints on their jean pockets drove pickup trucks with the Stars and Bars in the rear window. Fairfax High School was the Rebels and the mascot was Johnny Reb. The latter is gone. The cheerleaders were the Confederettes. They're gone, too.

    It's not that Northern Virginia anymore - but much of the rest of the state isn't that Virginia anymore either.

    When major events have passed beyond living memory, it's as easy to Romantically revive them as it is to pay them little notice while we continue to live out their consequences. The Civil War and the Confederacy with it have benefited from just such a Romantic revival.

    Robert E. Lee, Jeff Davis, and the CAS indeed lost and the nation's course was further set.

    God love us, we're a crusading people.

  2. John C. Calhoun? Hardly, when it comes to slavery.

    Calhoun was an ardent supporter of slavery. I do not recalling any fondeness for such sentiment. The US would have been a far more pleasant place had it used indentured servants than slaves.

    Slavery was possible because slaves were cheap and accesible in Africa. Africans delighted in enslaving their enemies and selling them to the highest biddder.

    Out of 200,000 generations of human experience, slavery is effectively missing from the last 6 or 7.

    199,993 generations makes for a tradition, flawed that is was.

  3. Sorry, it struck me as an utterly weasely description. And I think myself reasonably capable in the department of weasely.

    It wasn't merely "flawed" - it was a moral abomination and profound contradiction of radical founding principles.

    That it flourished through much of human history and sadly continues in some places, does not alter its reprehensible character and warping effect within a nation devoted to individual sovereignty and equality under the law.

    Perhaps it's better to remark that it was *itself* a flaw - a tragic one - removed at finally tremendous cost.

    One of my favorite writers on the subject is Harry Jaffa. Perhaps it's time to drag him off the shelf again.