October 11, 2012
Our Longest War: The Civil One

A hundred and fifty-one years and still counting, the Civil War goes on. The Confederacy morphed into the Dixiecrats and then into the GOP which was easily swallowed by the Tea Party and here we are. I cannot think of a single core principle of American conservatism which does not, upon close examination, serve the interests of the master over those of the slaves. Wage slaves to be sure, and no longer exclusively black, but a slave is a slave.

An excerpt from Michael Lind’s analysis of the Confederacy’s continuation of war by other means:

…Notwithstanding slavery, segregation and today’s covert racism, the Southern system has always been based on economics, not race. Its rulers have always seen the comparative advantage of the South as arising from the South’s character as a low-wage, low-tax, low-regulation site in the U.S. and world economy. The Southern strategy of attracting foreign investment from New York, London and other centers of capital depends on having a local Southern work force that is forced to work at low wages by the absence of bargaining power.

Anything that increases the bargaining power of Southern workers vs. Southern employers must be opposed, in the interest of the South’s regional economic development model. Unions, federal wage and workplace regulations, and a generous, national welfare state all increase the bargaining power of Southern workers, by reducing their economic desperation. Anti-union right-to-work laws, state control of wages and workplace regulations, and an inadequate welfare state all make Southern workers more helpless, pliant and dependent on the mercy of their employers.

A weak welfare state also maximizes the dependence of ordinary Southerners on the tax-favored clerical allies of the local Southern ruling class, the Protestant megachurches, whose own lucrative business model is to perform welfare functions that are performed by public agencies elsewhere, like child care…


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Posted by Jerome Doolittle at October 11, 2012 12:26 PM
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Sucks to right these days.

Posted by: One Fly on October 11, 2012 2:17 PM

And it apparently goes back from our civil war to the English one. The earliest English settlers on the east coast of the US left before the English civil war. So rather than settling matters there, they brought them here and fought another war about them.

We're still fighting that war. And as you point out, the war is class, it's not race, nor is it gender, religion, or political viewpoint. It's class, and the power and money required to hold onto privilege. That's what drives our society, and as far as I can tell every society.

Posted by: Chuck Dupree on October 11, 2012 2:57 PM

That was sucks to be right these days.

Posted by: One Fly on October 11, 2012 5:10 PM

No question that the Republicans are the party of ownership, and that peonage has always suited them fine. But sentiments like those have history along the Merrimack and Monongahela Rivers as well as the Mississippi. Not expressed with such consistent brutality as in chattel slavery, but not harmless.

Posted by: Martha Bridegam on October 11, 2012 5:58 PM
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