Save Your Confederate Money…

“Many of the regime’s policies also violated political,social,and cultural imperatives and taboos that over the decades had become central to southern white identity.Those entrenched beliefs included THE NECESSITY OF KEEPING GOVERNMENT SMALL AND WEAK,EXALTING LOCAL AND STATE SOVEREIGNTY OVER THAT OF A NATIONAL GOVERNMENT,AND KEEPING BLACK PEOPLE FIRMLY SUBORDINATED AND STRICTLY EXCLUDED FROM MANY SPHERES OF LIFE.”This quote is from Bruce Levine’s The Fall of the House of Dixie(thanks again LR).If one were to add poor people,visible minorities including most women(numerically not a minority)working class people,those in failing health(physical and mental) ,illegal immigrants and recent immigrants,you have the 99 percent as well as the non avowed mantra of a current Republican old guard.You have the unclaimed mantra of many red dog democrats.Levine points out that the resistance to centralized authority,not federal but confederate,helped defeat the south.The preservation of money and privilege for an elite damaged the South more severely than the North in this view.Is it allegiance to these principles that is required of Trump? Why is Kissinger involved in the fealty test? Maybe Paul Ryan is taken aback by the task of having to teach the 47 percent how to fish not really wanting to depend on opioids,crystal meth,cocaine and heroin to keep the hoi poloi from noticing their worsening position in the world.Abe Lincoln held fire with his emancipation proclamation and was willing to live with limited slavery but was ultimately forced to expand the doctrine to discourage foreign intervention on behalf of a South that, observant of the effect of the industrial revolution on England and France, tried to drag them in on its’ side.The heightened moral tone drove the Europeans to the sideline.The South burned its’cotton(with many personal greed exceptions),but the competing southern empire ultimately failed.There are undoubtedly fewer words in the Emancipation Proclamation than in the Constitution but each document had to fail in keeping ahead of history.The amendment process is remarkable but slow and vulnerable to the exploitation of an endowed minority at state and local levels and to a politicized Supreme Court.
Sander’s supporters are showing their capability of embracing intolerance through violence indicating that the Trump phenomenon is bipolar.Many suggest that Elizabeth Warren can end this internecine conflict.Can she?How, and at what price? Who would be the Republican equivalent? Maybe it’s not possible on that side because of the mantra of the once  would be imperial South.

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11 Comments

  1. Daedal2207 writes, “By the way an Act to be implemented on behalf of 350,000,000 people cannot be compared to a declaration of principles for fewer than a million people many of whom were declared ineligible for participation.”
    What “act” is Daedal2207 referring to? Maybe it is our Constitution, which declared principles of individual liberty, individual equality under the law (and corresponding responsibilities). It is true that at the time many were declared ineligible for participation. (But later this was remedied because the Constitution provided for itself this degree of flexibility.) But the colonies in 1775 had a population of about 2.40 million – not fewer than one million.
    Some “acts” I think would be quite valid for populations of any size. An “act” that declares that no one should murder another could easily find sufficient evidence and I think agreement to be “declared” a valid principle for one person or even seven billion people.
    So, my question for Daedal2207 is: Please clarify how the size of the population alters in a significant way the important principles (or “acts”) created to guide our lives?

    1. The “act “is the “Healthcare Reform Act”also known as “Affordable Healthcare Act” &”Obamacare” and which you referred to as an act.Sorry if I’m rattling you. If your 2,400,000 didn’t include slaves,native Americans,women and indentured folk I stand corrected.If it isn’t obvious that principles are more easily applied and followed when numbers are low and diversity is minimal there is no more for me to say.This is a perfect illustration of how “back to the future” with accompanying roseate distortion of the past is a major conservative stance,the pursuit of which masquerades as forward movement but which is necessarily moving ” behind history”.
      I suggest that you and I simply leave further debate and clarification or obfuscation to our readers.I hope that this garners strong participation.

      1. daedal2207: “This is a perfect illustration of how “back to the future” with accompanying roseate distortion of the past is a major conservative stance,the pursuit of which masquerades as forward movement but which is necessarily moving ‘behind history’.”

        Volumes of words are not required, in this instance, to better amplify on the above conclusion. It is what it is.

        daedal2207: “I suggest that you and I simply leave further debate and clarification or obfuscation to our readers.I hope that this garners strong participation.”

        Contemporary reality is not in the equation of a mind who contentiously relies on 18th century measurements. As a result, any attempt at clarification … such as pointing to the conditions in the 21st century … become responses to baiting. Such baiting is so tangled up in obfuscation that any attempts to detect a practical solution to matters of concern get lost in the maze. As a result, “strong participation” from readers is discouraged. This is unfortunate. A humble suggestion: looking up quotes for “simplicity” would be rather enlightening. Looking forward to thought-provoking topics of concern … and, less platitudes. Thank you, Professor Thomas, for the patience you afford me.

  2. I’m sorry that you’re having trouble with my style.It seems obvious to me that “moving ahead “merely means that time is passing..A value referent adds the bias of belief.Moving ahead to what? A more or a less egalitarian world?,a more or a less egalitarian country? What if we are overvaluing the influence that we have on the unfurling of events?A “best outcome” is unknowable in advance,thus the need for trial action and course correction.Doubtless there is determinism at work making historical change somewhat predictable,but certain projects are foredoomed because they require structures that are not yet in existence.League of Nations,NATO,U.N.work poorly because they require a subordination of national priority to an international priority that may be centuries away from attainment.(if ever).many countries are having trouble moving from tribal aggregation to a nation state.The notion of nation building isn’t working.This is not merely because our military doesn’t know how but because it requires respect for the ballot,the rule of law,respect for rights of ownership(excluding ownership of people) etc,The concept of nation building,externally imposed,is thus “ahead of history”.
    In astrophysical language( which,despite my listing in Science &Engineering’s Who’s Who,I’m not really entitled to (smile), one can get ahead of history by finding a hole in the space time continuum.Such holes do exist but getting close to them is not recommended.(Black Holes)
    The Constitution,the Emancipation Proclamation,Magna Carta etc are written in a deathless style but are all overtaken by history.Only religious doctuments that predict the future (wrongly or not) can warrant this style.

    1. It is helpful to distinguish style from content. One does not have to have a background in the arts to realize that the aesthetic skills of a wordsmith (or actor, or visual artist, or musician) do not necessarily correlate well with the truth-linked qualities of the message (content) being presented. What is FELT to be good may not BE good (most truthful). So, my focus is on content, the probable truth of everything, no matter how aesthetically well the claim to truth is presented. Thus, I am going to probe and ask lots of questions.
      Daedal2207 clarifies his use of “moving ahead” as merely meaning that time is passing. “A value referent adds the bias of belief.” I agree, but what does this tell us? We live within frameworks of time and there exists the bias of beliefs. (Fundamentally, given that we do not possess certain knowledge about all things, and none of us know how much we do not know, there is no option but to be guided by “beliefs”.) We can, however, conduct our affairs such that what we come to believe has an increased probability of correlating well with the objective truth of things.
      Daedal2207 accurately lists reasons to doubt knowledge about the flow of events such that we could exactly know the meaning of “best outcome”. We both recommend a process of governing where there remains a flexibility of course-change. Daedal2207 provides a number of reasons to “believe” that nation building doesn’t work. Depending on some definitions of “nation” and on some time frames within which the meaning of “success” is dependent, he is logically correct. But change somewhat the definitions of nation and alter the time frames involved and I argue that the notion that nation building (even externally-imposed) does not work is false. History is replete with examples where nations have been conquered and re-ordered to become something else. In our lifetime we have seen Japan and Germany forced to alter their aggressive nature and become something “more flexible”. As criteria, I choose “more flexible” because Daedal2207 and I apparently agree that this is among the best of beliefs to advocate for society – ours and others too. I suppose that political agendas are responsible for declaring the “nation building” remake of Iraq impossible. Historic examples tell us that it could have been done, however the costs of a much extended military effort, and the decades of time needed for cultivating this transformation were rightly daunting. Time will provide evidence as to how (even more?) costly our evacuation from of that effort will turn out to be. Nations led by leaders who believe that the world-wide expansion of sharia is a God-dictated command are clearly a threat to those who “believe” that flexibility should prevail. Logic dictates that either they will nation-build us to their God-dictated goal, or we will nation-build them to embrace a system of flexibility! Another couple of possibilities exist, they will somehow alter their faith in that sharia-dictating God or we will embrace their faith. Which of these four options do you “believe” is most probable? (And least costly in the full sense of cost?)

  3. Wow! you are indeed a creatively thoughtful man. Oh, if only our current political scene did not require it.

  4. It is the way we tend to read history – group agendas versus other group agendas. May the best among these groups prevail! But, apparently “best” is not the only way of “history”. The individuals who must try to survive – better – thrive, are carried along among these big currents wherever and however dangerously they flow. Democracy at least gives the average individual a chance to partially direct the flow of larger currents. But complexities beyond average understandings jeopardize the effectiveness of this participation. Complexity favors the “elite” who wish to preserve and magnify their control. In the light of this understanding would Daedal2207 clarify the meaning of his following statement: “There are undoubtedly fewer words in the Emancipation Proclamation than in the Constitution but each document had to fail in keeping ahead of history. The amendment process is remarkable but slow and vulnerable to the exploitation of an endowed minority at state and local levels and to a politicized Supreme Court.”
    In what way does the number of words relate to the Emancipation Proclamation and the Constitution having to fail?
    What does “ahead of history” mean?
    Is it “exploitation of an endowed minority” or should it be “exploitation by an endowed minority”?

    1. One of the complexities that favors an established elite is the ability to hire an army of experts to research and find favorable solutions( for their group}, or to block unfavorable ones.The number of words reference is to DS’ COMMENT ABOUT THE LENGTH OF THE CONSTITUTION.It is my way of saying that neither brevity nor length make a document sacrosanct.
      Exploitativeness is what I meant by exploitation and is one of the senses in which the word exploitation can be used.Yes, it is a more passive use than the use justifying “by”.
      The term Liberal is “Zeit und Ort gebunden”,i.e. entirely caught up in meaning by the time and place that it references. I like “Progressive” which implies forward movement and anticipation(of need and exigency in particular) and thus moving ahead of history.An important concept if we are not to be forever “locking the barn door”. Thanks for the query.

      1. Thank you Daedal2207 for the answers. But some new questions arise:
        I agree that “neither brevity nor length make a document sacrosanct.” But sacrosanct was not the issue or the context when I mentioned the short nature of the Constitution relative to the massive multi-million word length of the Affordable Health Care Act. The context was oriented to the ability of those governed by it to understand it (and thus have a realistic chance to apply it – and shape it if need be). And yes, complexity is a means by which “the wool can be pulled over the public’s eyes” when the agenda, if understood, is likely to evoke unwanted questions.
        As for “moving ahead” there can be no disagreement. Moving ahead is what we all must do, and hopefully our plans for what is “ahead” will produce something better than what is “behind”. Why add the words “of history” when they aren’t needed? This introduces complexities associated with the suggestion that one possesses prescience (how history will report a future event) without adequate evidence.
        Perhaps related, could you clarify the “had to fail” part of your statement: “There are undoubtedly fewer words in the Emancipation Proclamation than in the Constitution but each document had to fail in keeping ahead of history.”

        1. By the way an Act to be implemented on behalf of 350,000,000 people cannot be compared to a declaration of principles for fewer than a million people many of whom were declared ineligible for participation.

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