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"Slavery, or the 'Peculiar Institution'" Topic


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Brechtel198 Supporting Member of TMP21 Jun 2021 2:15 a.m. PST

No, Adams is absolutely correct as everyone, depending on the subject, has their own 'truth.' And if that is what is relied on 'historically', then the facts pertaining to the subject will suffer because of it.

I believe Adams is quite clear in his object here.

Brechtel198 Supporting Member of TMP21 Jun 2021 2:17 a.m. PST

Leaving aside the later career of Cinque until more concrete information comes to hand, go to your favorite web-browser and search under -"black slave-owners in America"

What point are you trying to make here?

Brechtel198 Supporting Member of TMP21 Jun 2021 2:19 a.m. PST

While I would clearly not under any circumstances select a lifetime of slavery as a career choice, human servitude has existed in various degrees throughout recorded human history. Every race has both practiced slavery and been its victim. Numbers of my ancestors labored in servitude under the Ottoman Turks over the six centuries during which they held sway over the Grecian peninsula. In fact, slavery is still practiced today in parts of this world

The subject of the thread is slavery in the United States, not the rest of the world.

doc mcb21 Jun 2021 4:29 a.m. PST

And CONTEXT doesn't matter? Context is everything.

The point is that the racial dichotomy was not so clear. Slavery in the southern US was MOSTLY white owners and black slaves, but not universally. The narrative oversimplies a lot of complexity.

Here's some more: the south was by far MORE tolerant than the north in two important areas: there was relatively little prejudice against Roman Catholics and Jews, FAR less than in the north at the same time. Name the first American president to include both a Jew and a RC in his cabinet.

That would be Jefferson Davis.

It is COMPLICATED.

Brechtel198 Supporting Member of TMP21 Jun 2021 4:45 a.m. PST

…the south was by far MORE tolerant than the north in two important areas: there was relatively little prejudice against Roman Catholics and Jews, FAR less than in the north at the same time.

What does that have to do with the 'institution' of slavery in the south?

As for Catholics, Archbishop John Hughes remarked that 'we Catholics, and a vast majority of our brave troops in the field, have not the slightest idea of carrying on a war that costs so much blood and treasure just to gratify a clique of Abolitionists.' McPherson, 507.

doc mcb21 Jun 2021 7:10 a.m. PST

Yes, the Hughes quote illustrates the point I have made before, which was Lincoln's point: the war was to preserve the Union, not against slavery. Abolition was the happy by-product, after the blood price had already been incurred.

Brechtel198 Supporting Member of TMP21 Jun 2021 8:08 a.m. PST

That isn't what Hughes has stated.

And others here and elsewhere have also made the point that the war was prosecuted to preserve the Union.

Au pas de Charge21 Jun 2021 9:57 a.m. PST

I do not think anyone is defending slavery.

I'm not quite convinced of that. Truly, to declare that slavery is wrong but to contort oneself into assorted "Whataboutism" pretzel shapes to excuse the behaviors of the practitioners of slavery is to say that slavery was bad but all the owners and beneficiaries were very good people.

Also, to use arguments that they didn't use back then to justify slavery exposes a modern day mindset of excuses. If someone wants to label criticizing American slavery as a sort of present day revisionism and "virtue signalling" it must be true that defending the same people with rationales they never employed in the past is a form of "Vice signalling".

In the long run, as well as the short run, there is no difference. One compliments the other.

Why do you think black Africans were the ones who were enslaved? It is because they were thought to be 'inferior' to whites. That's the bottom line-it's quite simple really.

And at some point, long before the civil war erupts, in the slave states the words "slave" and "negro" become both interchangeable and synonymous. Thus the race and slavery became the same thing here and if it was unique, it was unique in a uniquely more sinister manner.

Even in biblical slavery, Joseph was able to become Pharaoh's vizier. It's hard to imagine a black slave being able to accomplish this even if Catholics and Jews were greeted in open arms. However I would imagine whites released from the horrors of indentured servitude could pretty much blend in anywhere they liked.

Au pas de Charge21 Jun 2021 10:16 a.m. PST

Yes, the Hughes quote illustrates the point I have made before, which was Lincoln's point: the war was to preserve the Union, not against slavery. Abolition was the happy by-product, after the blood price had already been incurred.

There were several reasons and they were different in North and South. The generic unifying war aim in the North mightve been to preserve the union, what of it? Different factions had their own hopes and dreams.

You left out Southern war aims which were different than war aims, the paranoid crusade to prevent abolition. If it took the North a few years to morph into abolishing slavery, the South was never in doubt that the war was worth starting to preserve slavery and prevent blacks from having freedom/rights.

I am surprised you didnt bring this slavery war aim up. When it comes to understanding all the subjective southern stories, you seem obsessed with the 50 shades of confederate grey but when it comes to ACW war aims, there can only be one aim for everyone involved?

Au pas de Charge21 Jun 2021 11:07 a.m. PST

@Blutarski

Correct. Trading and ownership of slaves was also legal in Great Britain, France, Spain, Portugal, the Ottoman Empire, the Mideast, West Africa, China, Russia, India. You can look it up.

Right and we know the South was all about abiding the laws which is why when they got the remotest whiff that things may not go their way, they seceded. Further, they passed their own laws to stop slaves from fleeing or serving in the union army with attendant death penalties. Then, after the war they sometimes refused to free slaves or passed new laws to recreate slavery conditions. A perverse form of law abiding.

Please do not start wagging the Holocaust around; there is zero relationship between slavery and extermination camps. Of course, if you want to point to the slave labor employed by Germany in WW2, then fine; I agree that the Nazis, as punctilious as ever, would have established all manner of rules and regulations to govern the practice.

The vast majority of the camps were labor camps and the Nazi plan was to work people to death for one or several generations which should sound familiar to Jefferson Davis etc. Thus the connection is appropriate. It might be that the Nazis even studied the plantation model. Most of the mass killings began when the Nazis realized they might lose the war and have to surrender their work forces and decided to exterminate the camp populations as one last nasty Nazi hurrah.

Speaking of which, since you like to toss out books, here is one you might consider which, among other things, suggests the Nazis were fascinated with American discriminatory laws. There were even some US race laws the Nazis rejected because they were far too harsh!

link


Au pas de CHarge said: If the 13th Amendment got repealed and the states re-instituted slavery, that'd be alright by you?

Blutarski said: I hate to think that you have been reduced to taking such a cheap shot. Perhaps this is this just a miscarried venture into rhetorical device on your part. However, to answer the distasteful question – no, it would indeed be very far from "alright" with me. It appears that you have either lost the plot, or are unable to grasp the distinction being drawn between the institution of <<<slavery>>> as an historical human socio/economic construct and <<<racism>>>.

You yourself have said it's all about who is in charge. I never mentioned race; just wanted to clarify that you believe we all live on the brink of a possible return to slavery. Based on your logic, what exactly would be wrong with a return to slavery; perhaps with a different ethnic group standing in this time around?


Au pas de Charge said: And once again, we can indeed judge them; 160 years wasnt that long ago. WW2 itself is what 80 years ago? Is anyone going to as much trouble to say that because other people used concentration camps, other people committed genocide, other people degraded people based on race, so really, what was so bad about Nazi behavior…and we cant judge them by today's standards because it was 80 years ago?

Blutarski said: Feel free to cast all the judgments you like; just be cognizant of the fact that they will represent little more than ex post facto virtue signaling exercises totally out of historical context. It is like criticizing Tiberius or Genghis Khan or Louis XIV (or Joseph Stalin) for their failure to embrace the "one man / one vote" principle of governance.

Sorry, not the same thing. Ghengiz Khan, Tiberius and Louis XIV all had one thing in common which Southern slave owners did not, namely some historical value to posterity.

160 years is not only not that long ago but frankly it happened in my country and it has created serious social problems which are currently with us. I have every right to judge people who have gone out of their way for generations to create enduring social strife. Again, this is an odd and unique argument that I cant criticize plantation owners because it's as far away and long ago as Ghengiz Khan. And incidentally, who would support/defend Ghengiz Khan if i did?

Also, you havent explained why I have to live by someone's laws from 250 years ago but I cant criticize someone's behavior from 160 years ago?


If you think that slavery was uniquely a southern phenomenon, I invite you to look into the slaves held in the northern states of the US. To be sure, the numbers were not on the same scale as in the southern states, it was not until the 1840's that slavery really became a rarity in the north. Go here to view the time line – link . On the other hand, the involvement of northern traders and financial speculators in the slave trade is also interesting to examine. Go here – link

I dont necessarily think this but it does seem like it's the only version that upsets you and you feel the need to defend. I do not absolve anyone from this but i dont see a lot of posters defending Northern slave owners' behaviors. If they pop up, i will address it at that time.

The plain fact of the matter is that the American Civil War was not fought "to free the slaves".

So you say but it seems like some people thought it was to free the slaves; certainly more in the North thought so that did in the South. Again, it's this nuance-as-a-one-way-street issue. Perhaps that you are fast to discount any voices that wanted to end slavery as a war aim is closer to the truth.

Where you say "defend", I say "understand".

And where you say "understand", I see "deny"

138SquadronRAF Supporting Member of TMP21 Jun 2021 11:50 a.m. PST

When we consider the Rebellious States, we must look not just at Slavery, but at something more insidious. Indeed the foundation, the "Cornerstone" was the antithesis of the founding principal of the United States, that the advances and progress in the sciences proved that the 18th-century view that "all men are created equal" was erroneous and that all men were not created equal.

Its (the Confederate States of America) foundations are laid, its cornerstone rests upon the great truth, that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery—subordination to the superior race—is his natural condition. This, our new government, is the first, in the history of the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth.

Alexander H. Stephens, Vice President of the CSA in the Cornerstone Speech 26th March 1861

Here is the full text:

link

Now I will say that the Jeffersonian rhetoric of the declaration where "all men are created equal" should be set against the continuation of chattel slavery.

Now one interesting link to the Revolution of 1776 is the matter of slavery. In the case of Somerset v Stewart (1772), also know as Somerset v Stewart, before the English Court of King's Bench. In many ways the facts are similar to the Dredd Scott Cases (Dred Scott v. Sandford, 60 U.S. (19 How.) 393 (1857)), Somerset was a slave of Stewart, who was taken to England, where he petitioned for his freedom. Unlike the US Supreme Court the British court held that:

The state of slavery is of such a nature that it is incapable of being introduced on any reasons, moral or political, but only by positive law, which preserves its force long after the reasons, occasions, and time itself from whence it was created, is erased from memory. It is so odious, that nothing can be suffered to support it, but positive law. Whatever inconveniences, therefore, may follow from the decision, I cannot say this case is allowed or approved by the law of England; and therefore the black must be discharged.

PDF link


Now Scotland, retained a separate legal system had a slavery case Knight v Wedderburn (1778) established that there was no basis for slavery in Scottish Statue or Common Law.

With a growing sentiment towards abolitionism in the UK this is bound to have disposed those Slave States within the 13 Colonies towards rebellion though fear of enforced ending of the institution of slavery by fiat from the Imperial Power.

138SquadronRAF Supporting Member of TMP21 Jun 2021 1:47 p.m. PST

Blutarski asked:

These sanctimonious retrospective virtue-signaling exercises seem to show up with clockwork regularity on the ACW thread. Why exactly is that? In order to provide some well-deserved diversity and equity to the topic, I propose that the next moral chest-thumping consciousness-raising session be posted on the Napoleonics and/or the Eighteenth Century pages to honor the vastly greater numbers of African slaves who labored and suffered under their English, French and Spanish masters in the Caribbean as well as the world-champion exploiters of African slave labor – the Portuguese in Brazil.

No war prior to the French Revolutionary period had slavery as a central issue.

The matter of slavery does get raised on the Napoleonic Boards; Slavery was abolished under the Revolutionary government but reintroduced by Napoleon during his period as First Consul for economic reasons. The British anti-slavery patrol has been discussed on the Age of Sail board.

Slavery was front and central to the Civil War. If you read the Articles of Secession, slavery is front and central. There is no discussion of tariffs. The only "States Rights" discussed is the complaint that Northern States are not enforcing the Federal "Fugitive Slave Act," ironically making the Southern States the Anto-States Rights block.

A better comparison would, I suppose, be the events of 6th January 2021, where a section of the population refuses to accept the vote of the Electoral College and takes the law into their own hands.

Blutarski21 Jun 2021 4:21 p.m. PST

Hi 138SquadronRAF,
I have read the Articles of Secession and a good deal more deeply than that. I can only suggest that you might wish to do the same – particularly with regard to:

1- the issue of states' rights under the Constitution
2- the distribution of national wealth among the states.
3- the importance of the cotton industry to US GDP.
4- which states were bearing the lion's share of the cost of the federal government as a result of the tariff.
5- the tariff struggle between northern and northern interests.
6- the right of secession (which was the official motivating factor behind the Union's mobilization and invasion of the southern states.
7- the fact that abolitionism was little more than a small splinter faction on the political landscape in 1860 and that slavery was not a matter of any great import among the general populace of the country.
8- the fact that the walk-out of the southern delegation from the US Senate was in no way related to any anti-slavery bill or proposal.
9- review the succession of tariff disputes and crises which pitted north against south for over thirty years.

You are certainly entitled to your opinion, but I disagree with it. IMO the American Civil War arose out of a plethora of far deeper issues than the issue of slavery – all of which basically revolved around the fundamental question of who was going to politically control the nation and its purse-strings – the northern industrialists or the wealthier but less politically powerful (in the long run) southern agricultural interests.

No one was particularly concerned about the plight of the slaves unless it was perceived to be politically expedient. Despite the chaos and wholesale destruction of its agricultural economy in the ACW, the South had regained its position as the world's dominant supplier of raw cotton by the mid-1870s by substituting the labor principle of share-cropping – a re-invention of the conditions of slavery, except for the fact that the ex-slave was now responsible for the sustenance and survival of himself and his family.

No one in Washington DC cared one whit about this new economic state of affairs of the freed slaves in the southern states. Nor was Washington DC terribly concerned about the infestation of poll taxes, literacy requirements, etc. that effectively stripped them of their voting rights. The slaves were not really freed except on paper; they were simply abandoned by the victorious northern political interests after the true goal of crushing the political opposition of the ante-bellum South had been achieved.

There were no white hats in this affair.

B

Blutarski21 Jun 2021 4:33 p.m. PST

To the other correspondents who have shared their opinions about the ACW here. I second dr mcb's insightful comment -

If you do not view things in the context of their era, you will never understand history.

Here is a thought for those who are presently supporters of "a woman's right to choose". 160 years from now public sentiment may quite arguably view the pre-natal termination of human infants and then commercially selling their body parts as the most unimaginably horrific practice ever conceived.

It's unpleasant to think about, I know. But although it's perfectly legal today, that may not be the case a hundred years from now.

Just saying ….. context.

B

doc mcb21 Jun 2021 5:25 p.m. PST

For both sides what the war was initially about changed into something else. The war to preserve the Union became a war against slavery. And a war to protect slavery changed into a war for independence; the Confederate Congress (a year too late to matter but that's politicians) approved enlistment of large numbers of slaves into the army, which plainly would result in an end of slavery or at least a complete re-negotiation of the racial dimensions of southern culture.

Lincoln SAID, early on, that he would sacrifice the slaves if necessary to preserve the Union. The South wanted to be independent and also to continue its "peculiar institution", but when imminent defeat forced them to choose, they were willing to sacrifice slavery to win independence.

The rejection of Cleburne's proposal (at a time when it might have made a difference) shows how firmly the Confederacy was attached to slavery; but the enactment of a similar plan, a year later and a short time before the war ended, showed that independence was a higher priority.

War, and certainly MODERN war, is like that; it changes everything. My old professor Frank Vandiver, who knew as much about the South and the war as anyone, opined that the very process of gearing up to fight a modern war doomed the old south and ultimately slavery, even if the CSA had won its independence. Some things are fragile enough that the very act of defending them destroys them; the Old South was such. Gone with the wind, and good riddence for the most part, but there was some good mixed in as well.

Au pas de Charge21 Jun 2021 5:59 p.m. PST

7- the fact that abolitionism was little more than a small splinter faction on the political landscape in 1860 and that slavery was not a matter of any great import among the general populace of the country.

And Christianity was started by 13 dudes walking around Jerusalem spreading the good word; didn't stop it from eventually morphing into one of the world's greatest messages of all time.

If you do not view things in the context of their era, you will never understand history.

I think this is right but it has got nothing to do with also being able to view history from all sorts of different angles. Outside of a self-serving one, I cant think of a reason for viewing history from only one context.

When history is viewed from the context of one's own time we are free to borrow what was useful and avoid repeating what is repugnant. Additionally, this sort of review allows us to test the validity and versatility of what has come before.

Thus, if you only view things from the context of its era you are doomed to endlessly be confined to observing a dead social relic with no relevance or connection to what has come after. This disconnection with the ancients, in turn, would produce both a disturbing and absurd result; a form of dystopian removal from our own ability to adjust our destinies rather than remaining "slaves" to it.

Even the great Edmund Burke believed that History was a sort of chain novel and that gradual, logical change was inevitable but should refer to what has come before rather than completely breaking from it.

Au pas de Charge22 Jun 2021 5:18 a.m. PST

@138SquadronRAF

A better comparison would, I suppose, be the events of 6th January 2021, where a section of the population refuses to accept the vote of the Electoral College and takes the law into their own hands.

I think this is spot on. There is a parallel between Southern refusal to follow the law when it didn't suit their every whim and desire and to convince themselves of a multitude of quasi-paranoid justifications to rationalize their self serving behavior.

@doc mcb

War, and certainly MODERN war, is like that; it changes everything. My old professor Frank Vandiver, who knew as much about the South and the war as anyone, opined that the very process of gearing up to fight a modern war doomed the old south and ultimately slavery, even if the CSA had won its independence. Some things are fragile enough that the very act of defending them destroys them; the Old South was such. Gone with the wind, and good riddence for the most part, but there was some good mixed in as well.

I like this and well said.

Blutarski22 Jun 2021 8:05 a.m. PST

"… Christianity was started by 13 dudes walking around Jerusalem spreading the good word; didn't stop it from eventually morphing into one of the world's greatest messages of all time."

What's your point? Islam, so contrary to Christianity in so many ways, was created (so the story goes) by one man. Its message persists throughout the world to this very day among huge numbers of followers. After that is settled, you can discuss the latest and greatest new "religion" to cast its shadow upon mankind in the past two centuries – Marxism.


B wrote – "If you do not view things in the context of their era, you will never understand history."

I think this is right but it has got nothing to do with also being able to view history from all sorts of different angles. Outside of a self-serving one, I cant think of a reason for viewing history from only one context.

Whether intentionally or purposefully, I suggest that you are conflating/confusing <context> with <point of view>. To state that 19th century attitudes towards slavery and race are not consistent with those of the modern day is perfectly fine. To retrospectively indict historical acts on the basis of changed modern mores is another thing altogether. See my comment elsewhere about the relationship between "the woman's right to choose" and moral values.

When history is viewed from the context of one's own time we are free to borrow what was useful and avoid repeating what is repugnant. Additionally, this sort of review allows us to test the validity and versatility of what has come before.

Once again, you are founding your argument upon the conceit that your moral values of today are somehow uniquely and unassailably valid versus those of any other era, culture or point of view. As history has consistently demonstrated, this is simply not the case. Human moral values (IMO) are as much a social construct as a philosophical construct.

Thus, if you only view things from the context of its era you are doomed to endlessly be confined to observing a dead social relic with no relevance or connection to what has come after.

Exactly. Historical figures can ONLY be fairly judged against the mores of their own times. To do otherwise is nothing more than an intellectual conceit. Precious little in the realm of human morality possesses a timeless and uniformly agreed validity.

This disconnection with the ancients, in turn, would produce both a disturbing and absurd result; a form of dystopian removal from our own ability to adjust our destinies rather than remaining "slaves" to it.

The "Ancients" were not uniform in their moral views, so how exactly does disconnection from the Ancients, or for that matter embrace from the Ancients" work? Does one just individually pick and choose which to embrace? Does one's personal moral choices imply that they coincide with one's social group, tribe, state, nation, religious institution or influential leaders and thinkers? Moral codes and beliefs, as much as we might wish otherwise, are not eternal and immutable, or even consistent from culture to culture within any given time frame.

Even the great Edmund Burke believed that History was a sort of chain novel and that gradual, logical change was inevitable but should refer to what has come before rather than completely breaking from it.

Smart man. But I do feel compelled to point out that Burke's comment about "inevitable gradual, logical change" quuite arguably refers to the progress of History rather than Morality; nor may it necessarily be synonymous with "good" change in the view of all.


B

Au pas de Charge22 Jun 2021 7:15 p.m. PST

Au pas de Charge: "… Christianity was started by 13 dudes walking around Jerusalem spreading the good word; didn't stop it from eventually morphing into one of the world's greatest messages of all time."

Blutarski: What's your point? Islam, so contrary to Christianity in so many ways, was created (so the story goes) by one man. Its message persists throughout the world to this very day among huge numbers of followers. After that is settled, you can discuss the latest and greatest new "religion" to cast its shadow upon mankind in the past two centuries – Marxism.

You mean, what is your point?

You said abolitionists were a small sliver of the population and I used that analogy to demonstrate a trickle can become a flood.

B wrote – "If you do not view things in the context of their era, you will never understand history."

Au pas de Charge: I think this is right but it has got nothing to do with also being able to view history from all sorts of different angles. Outside of a self-serving one, I cant think of a reason for viewing history from only one context.

Blutarski: Whether intentionally or purposefully, I suggest that you are conflating/confusing <context> with <point of view>. To state that 19th century attitudes towards slavery and race are not consistent with those of the modern day is perfectly fine. To retrospectively indict historical acts on the basis of changed modern mores is another thing altogether. See my comment elsewhere about the relationship between "the woman's right to choose" and moral values.

I am saying that there is more than one way to approach history. There is room enough both for an FBI-esque straight narrative and for evaluations of people's actions and their reasons for doing it. You can approach history from a myriad of angles; there isn't just the one way you like. And I think you're focusing too much on an ability to judge them by today's standards; mainly because, again, you don't like it. However, there are other ways to evaluate and judge the past. In any case, it's not true that you cannot judge this particular past because:


1. It's not that long ago, it really isn't.
2. Their decisions were done here in the USA and they still affect us today
3. Laws written longer ago still control me today; thus, if the dead can guide my life, why exactly can't I judge their motives and behaviors?


It isn't like they were one dimensional pawns doomed to make quaint decisions in a moral vacuum, without any notions of wrong and right. They had the information on both sides of slavery and they also knew that there was a huge push against slavery developing.

It may have started as a sliver but they saw the writing on the wall. The Lincoln election was that proof to them and they were unwilling to live with the legal consequences.

It would be like telling me, I cant judge the Nazis by today's morals. Did the Nazis have no guiding star against mass slavery and racism? If I were limited to judging them by their own time, you're suggesting that there was no ability to understand any other behavior but the one they indulged in and anything less would be unfair?

I don't think so. They were drunk with the power of both white supremacy and profit and no one was pulling that bone out of their teeth.

In fact the South's behavior was as fiendish as a modern day drug lord, knowing full well they're pushing destructive poison and don't care because they're printing money.

Au pas de Charge: When history is viewed from the context of one's own time we are free to borrow what was useful and avoid repeating what is repugnant. Additionally, this sort of review allows us to test the validity and versatility of what has come before.

Blutarski: Once again, you are founding your argument upon the conceit that your moral values of today are somehow uniquely and unassailably valid versus those of any other era, culture or point of view. As history has consistently demonstrated, this is simply not the case. Human moral values (IMO) are as much a social construct as a philosophical construct.

They did not live in a time when slavery had no challengers and there were many elegant arguments against it both morally and otherwise. They cannot be treated as if they are ancient Rome; they are us.

Au pas de Charge: Thus, if you only view things from the context of its era you are doomed to endlessly be confined to observing a dead social relic with no relevance or connection to what has come after.

Exactly. Historical figures can ONLY be fairly judged against the mores of their own times. To do otherwise is nothing more than an intellectual conceit. Precious little in the realm of human morality possesses a timeless and uniformly agreed validity.

OK, this and the stuff you wrote above sounds a little like you believe there is only one way to approach history and we have no right to question it or give it stress tests…or does that only apply for certain cases? Do both Marx and Marxism get the same kid glove treatment?

It makes me wonder if you believe that history is propaganda and the first guy to control the narrative becomes tradition…and wins, and now anyone who wants to revisit the information really just has an axe to grind. It would explain a little why the idea of any other sort of history than the type you approve of is worrying.

I am also a little suspicious that the one and only approved way to discuss American slavery and racism also segues with your seemingly approved view of it. Is this just a coincidence?


I believe that the truth is arrived at by as much information and as many viewpoints as possible and only via that rich diversity can we can arrive at a working narrative. Further, I think that any story or theory worth preserving can withstand a rigorous set of critiques and deconstructions.

Blutarski23 Jun 2021 5:09 p.m. PST

Hi Au pas de Charge -
Thank you for the following little bon mot – "I am also a little suspicious that the one and only approved way to discuss American slavery and racism also segues with your seemingly approved view of it. Is this just a coincidence?"

Please accept my compliment on your zesty little ad hominem stab implying some sort of wistful sub-rosa affection for slavery and racism on my part.

I think the most polite thing to do at this point, before things get further out of hand, is to terminate this "discussion" on an "agree to disagree" basis.

Have a nice day.

B

doc mcb23 Jun 2021 6:18 p.m. PST

Blutarski, he has done the same to me. Can't tell if he doesn't realize or is doing it on purpose. It does tend to poison the interaction.

Au pas de Charge23 Jun 2021 6:30 p.m. PST

Sorry there is no ad hominem attack in that sentence. You have said many times there is only one way to cover the subject and that the way it has been covered is the right way. There is no connection between my sentence and whether you like or dislike either slavery or racism themselves.

And incidentally, do you remember this little chestnut you lobbed at me earlier in the thread?:

Blutarski said: Feel free to rationalize your world view in any way that fits your pre-suppositions.

Sound similar? Like Ive said, sometimes people think free speech is a one-way street.

I think what the two of you are trying to say is you cant handle either my questions or my points and have to feign outrage to justify walking away.

doc mcb24 Jun 2021 6:24 a.m. PST

I am very nearly a free speech absolutist. But if you think someone is a racist you should have the courage to say so, to their face. What's best all around, though, is to refrain from speculating about motives. Even face to face it is hard to discern another's heart, and I often enough have trouble discerning my own. On a board like this it is well nigh impossible. Best to simply respond to the words and the ideas they contain and not worry about motives or hidden agenda.

Au pas de Charge24 Jun 2021 7:26 p.m. PST

But if you think someone is a racist you should have the courage to say so, to their face.

But I have no problem telling people what I think of them. The event you are referring to was an attempt to give you a chance to explain what could be a racist remark. I thought that was fair before I made any further comment. Instead of clarifying your position, you chose to get outraged. But that's on you.

But you need to be clear, if you were so very certain to the point of outrage and report that I was calling you a racist, what would calling you that to your face achieve?

Best to simply respond to the words and the ideas they contain and not worry about motives or hidden agenda.

This is a fiction. Further, it's even more of a fiction on here where calling someone a Marxist is OK but calling someone a Nazi is not. Im certain a free speech absolutist like you can see that a mile away.

I debate on this forum because I get to interact with people who dont hold the same ideas as i do and I dont think I lose my temper if they dont agree with me. I always think all ideas can be discussed.

However, many of these discussions hold little passion for me and I don't always identify with the positions I take. In fact, sometimes I agree more with the poster I am debating and I am simply sounding out the argument. Im like that, I dont think any idea has any worth if it cant withstand scrutiny.

Unfortunately, it seems like not a few people on here have intertwined their discussions both with their closely held beliefs and their egos. This makes them ideologues. Ideologues can rarely discuss things without wanting to attack the other party; mainly because to lose is an existential threat. Those attacks usually take the form of censorship, often with a rationalization that it isn't really speech they are censoring because it was some sort of outrage. Therefore, I think it is fairly common for ideologues to feign anger when their tenets get challenged or have holes punched in them. Perhaps it would be better if posters had discussions here about subjects they weren't deeply passionate about instead of trying to force feed their credos on everyone with the resulting feelings of rejection when everything they hold dear is disputed.

In any case, if these posters could recover from their verbal vertigo and subsequently think through the questions being posed to them, they might come away with their arguments stronger or at least modified to make more sense. But such is the intolerance, that it is easier to ignore 99% of the conversation and find one justification to storm off and shelter among those who agree with them. It isn't my loss, it's theirs.

Ironies abound but perhaps the most ironic thought for today is that you believe both you and Blutarski have the absolute right to both interpret my words and impute motives to them but admonish me for doing the same…except that in my case, you're not quite sure what I meant but are still willing to make the leap. Is that the approach of a free speech absolutist, or a free speech magic flutist?

doc mcb25 Jun 2021 5:37 a.m. PST

Passive aggression is a thing. I have been guilty of it myself, and on a forum like this it is often necessary to avoid the Doghouse. You are an expert yourself. I find a certain slyness in many of your comments. But as we say in the south, bless your heart.

Blutarski25 Jun 2021 2:28 p.m. PST

The scent of projection weighs heavy in the air.

B

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