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Old 13th July 2017, 08:19 PM   #561
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So, now we are at the point of defending slavery with moral relativism in an attempt to whitewash the confederacy.

This thread is getting ridiculous.
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Old 13th July 2017, 11:15 PM   #562
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Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post
So, now we are at the point of defending slavery with moral relativism in an attempt to whitewash the confederacy.

This thread is getting ridiculous.
It does seem a little odd, in part because I think it goes beyond mere moral relativism into revisionism. If the argument is that slavery is wrong now, then monuments to slavery are wrong now too, no matter how kindly we remember our less enlightened ancestors. Moral relativism might work to say we should not judge our forebears too harshly for being creatures of their time, but it does not say we should therefore become creatures of their time instead of our own. If you can see your way to dismiss their sins, fine, but don't sew them to your lapel.
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Old 14th July 2017, 04:16 AM   #563
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Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post
So, now we are at the point of defending slavery with moral relativism in an attempt to whitewash the confederacy.

This thread is getting ridiculous.
Originally Posted by bruto View Post
It does seem a little odd, in part because I think it goes beyond mere moral relativism into revisionism.
I will be the first to point out that there are no moral absolutes. In fact, in this thread, I believe I was. However, defense of behavior by moral relativism only works in a largely closed society where opposing moralistic views have either not been introduced at all or haven't reached some minimum level of adoption for the society as a whole to be aware of.

That was not the case with moral question of slavery in the South by the election of Lincoln. Not only had the South been aware of the moral dilemma of slavery, they specifically rebelled because of it, as expressed in writing in official Confederate documents. The moral relativism defense fails here because they had a choice and chose wrong. We don't have to judge them based on our current values. We can judge them by the values of their own time.

It would be like saying that we shouldn't judge white supremacists today for what they believe because they are a product of their times, i.e. right now. Yes, they have their own beliefs, but they specifically chose those beliefs despite the alternatives available.

So, to bruto's point, to claim they didn't have the choice is entirely historical revisionism.
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Old 14th July 2017, 04:17 AM   #564
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Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post
So, now we are at the point of defending slavery with moral relativism in an attempt to whitewash the confederacy.
And that almost solipsistic, pointless version of moral relatively at that.

See here's the thing. Nobody really believes that "moral relativism" means that actions can be judged as "bad" outside their time frame. Our entire social construct would collapse if anyone actually thought that.

A pleading, lamb bleating "But it was different time!" is not a statement one makes to defend a position or make a point. It is a statement one makes to shut down a conversation after one has been argued into a corner.
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Old 14th July 2017, 05:24 AM   #565
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Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post
So, now we are at the point of defending slavery with moral relativism in an attempt to whitewash the confederacy.

This thread is getting ridiculous.
Not just ridiculous, but deplorable!
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Old 14th July 2017, 09:11 AM   #566
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
You're behind the times. Literally! Didn't you hear about retrocausality? Apparently some physicists just did a paper suggesting that the reason quantum mechanics works is because future events can cause effects in the past. I'm not even making that up.
That is something I'd like to read. Do you have a source?
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Old 14th July 2017, 11:18 AM   #567
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Originally Posted by CaptainHowdy View Post
That is something I'd like to read. Do you have a source?
I saw it in an article on Gizmodo this week.
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Old 14th July 2017, 01:40 PM   #568
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
I saw it in an article on Gizmodo this next week.
ftfy
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Old 14th July 2017, 03:34 PM   #569
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Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post
So, now we are at the point of defending slavery with moral relativism in an attempt to whitewash the confederacy.

This thread is getting ridiculous.
Every defense of the Confederacy is ridiculous. To be fair, this defense is far more honest than the Lost Cause, in that it discusses racist slavery directly, rather than draping it in nonsense about "States Rights" and the like.

Of course, slavery is still a horrible wrong, as is ethnonationalism in general, but that's just a good reason to get rid of this sort of monument, rather than deal with the racist nonsense that is used to justify the existence of such...
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Old 14th July 2017, 03:59 PM   #570
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Maybe off topic, maybe more on topic: I've been trying to find a book about the Lost Cause movement. Any recommendations?
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Old 14th July 2017, 04:03 PM   #571
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The Myth of the Lost Cause: Why the South Fought the Civil War and Why the North Won by Edward H. Bonekemper is a good modern critique of it.

It's an older work, written right after the Civil War and largely jumpstarted the whole movement, but The Lost Cause: A New Southern History of the War of the Confederates by Edward Pollard is good in the sense that it is the best overview of the idea of the lost cause, not that I believe a word of it.
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Old 14th July 2017, 04:06 PM   #572
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Originally Posted by Upchurch View Post
Maybe off topic, maybe more on topic: I've been trying to find a book about the Lost Cause movement. Any recommendations?

Not recommendations, but there's a pretty extensive bibliography included in the Wiki article on the subject.

Might be a good place to start.
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Old 14th July 2017, 04:16 PM   #573
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Originally Posted by Upchurch View Post
Maybe off topic, maybe more on topic: I've been trying to find a book about the Lost Cause movement. Any recommendations?
That's difficult. It seems that few bothered to look into that angle.

Honestly, many standard High School books tell this the. and my reading has mostly been on demolishing the "Lost Cause" crap. I don't know of any book that actually defends the view of the south, outside of some clearly white supremacist tracts and speeches.
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Old 14th July 2017, 09:59 PM   #574
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Originally Posted by JoeBentley View Post
The Myth of the Lost Cause: Why the South Fought the Civil War and Why the North Won by Edward H. Bonekemper is a good modern critique of it.

It's an older work, written right after the Civil War and largely jumpstarted the whole movement, but The Lost Cause: A New Southern History of the War of the Confederates by Edward Pollard is good in the sense that it is the best overview of the idea of the lost cause, not that I believe a word of it.
The latter is fascinating because it was a part of the contemporary effort. By admitting former Confederate officials and officers immediately back into the Union with no penalties, they assured that the re-write started almost immediately. Such is Pollard's book. It should be noted that he changed his opinions a zillion times during his career; he was a journalist and somewhat mercurial. But,... it's a good starting point; just remember that it's from an unrepentant, albeit relatively moderate, Confederacy apologist.

(Do you solemnly swear to uphold the Constitution of the United States even though you just spent four years not doing so and in open revolt against it? Well, yeah, I guess. Congratulations, you are now a citizen again and what the **** let's make you a mayor!)
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Old 14th July 2017, 10:13 PM   #575
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Originally Posted by Foolmewunz View Post
(Do you solemnly swear to uphold the Constitution of the United States even though you just spent four years not doing so and in open revolt against it? Well, yeah, I guess. Congratulations, you are now a citizen again and what the **** let's make you a mayor!)
The other option didn't turn out to be very popular.
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Old 15th July 2017, 06:34 AM   #576
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Originally Posted by Babbylonian View Post
Which was totally unnecessary. If Johnson wasn't such a dickwad and actually made some effort to anything other than welcome his good old boys back into the family fold, the radical Republicans might not have been afforded the opportunity to have their little reign of terror. If they'd banned Confederate officers and politicians from holding office for a period of fifteen years and occupied the former rebellious state, there were actually some moderate southerners who could've formed a government.

Carpet-bagging in "yankees looking for work" was just plain stupid.
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Old 15th July 2017, 08:36 AM   #577
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Originally Posted by Foolmewunz View Post
Which was totally unnecessary. If Johnson wasn't such a dickwad and actually made some effort to anything other than welcome his good old boys back into the family fold, the radical Republicans might not have been afforded the opportunity to have their little reign of terror. If they'd banned Confederate officers and politicians from holding office for a period of fifteen years and occupied the former rebellious state, there were actually some moderate southerners who could've formed a government.

Carpet-bagging in "yankees looking for work" was just plain stupid.
Reconstruction was filled to the brim with stupid, perhaps unsurprisingly on the heels of a miserable war and losing the leader who might have combined enough pragmatism and heart to make things work.
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Old 15th July 2017, 08:41 AM   #578
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Too bad it couldn't have been like the aftermath of modern wars, where as soon as the war ends everything's organized and set for lasting peace immediately, and everybody's full of good feelings and calm.
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Old 15th July 2017, 08:50 AM   #579
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
Too bad it couldn't have been like the aftermath of modern wars, where as soon as the war ends everything's organized and set for lasting peace immediately, and everybody's full of good feelings and calm.
It would be nice if we could get to an aftermath.
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Old 17th July 2017, 03:14 AM   #580
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Originally Posted by Emily's Cat View Post
Unless you ascribe to the idea of an objective morality, then yes. That is what I'm saying.

Morality is defined by the society of the time. There may be disagreement between societies across the globe, but morality is still socially defined.
Then why won't you admit that promoting slavery was the motivation behind the south's start of the civil war? If it is all moral relativism why does that change anything?

They viewed slavery as a positive good and were willing to go to war because of it.
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Old 17th July 2017, 03:21 AM   #581
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Originally Posted by Foolmewunz View Post
Which was totally unnecessary. If Johnson wasn't such a dickwad and actually made some effort to anything other than welcome his good old boys back into the family fold, the radical Republicans might not have been afforded the opportunity to have their little reign of terror. If they'd banned Confederate officers and politicians from holding office for a period of fifteen years and occupied the former rebellious state, there were actually some moderate southerners who could've formed a government.

Carpet-bagging in "yankees looking for work" was just plain stupid.
For example general Longstreet. After the war he ran an integrated police force and fought against the Klan. That is why no one builds monuments to him, he turned into a traitor to the southern people.
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Old 17th July 2017, 09:48 AM   #582
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Originally Posted by ponderingturtle View Post
For example general Longstreet. After the war he ran an integrated police force and fought against the Klan. That is why no one builds monuments to him, he turned into a traitor to the southern people.
Lee apologists also blame him for everything that went wrong for the Army of Northern Viriginia, even if it was caused by a direct order from Lee.

So yeah, no monuments for Longstreet. Already a traitor, then made the scapegoat by the traitor worshippers.
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Old 17th July 2017, 11:15 AM   #583
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I grew up in Alabama and even I can't fathom why we have all these damn statues celebrating confederate officers. I mean for goodness sake, it was a bunch of rich white planters and business men living below the Mason Dixon line that didn't want the status quo rocked by federal legislation. They started yelling about states' rights and fussing about the amount of money they were paying in taxes then decided they would fight with no industry or factories to make weapons? What kind of stupid is that? I say take all the statues down, nothing has really changed. The Good Ole Boy's network is still alive and well down in the southeast.
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Old 17th July 2017, 02:39 PM   #584
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Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post
So why do you care about it?
I care about current society's collective view of appropriate behavior for people today. But I don't try to retroactively apply those mores on past peoples. I prefer to understand the perspective at the time, and understand why and how we changed our views. I also accept that my own views of morality are formed by what I was taught - both formally by school and parents, as well as informally through peers and media throughout my life.

I care because I find sweeping judgments of morality applied to several centuries ago to be both ridiculous and poor reasoning.
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Old 17th July 2017, 02:40 PM   #585
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Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post
So, now we are at the point of defending slavery with moral relativism in an attempt to whitewash the confederacy.

This thread is getting ridiculous.
Nobody is defending slavery. Acknowledging that it was not considered universally immoral at the time is in no way defending the institution. Nor is it whitewashing the confederacy.
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Old 17th July 2017, 02:49 PM   #586
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Originally Posted by bruto View Post
It does seem a little odd, in part because I think it goes beyond mere moral relativism into revisionism. If the argument is that slavery is wrong now, then monuments to slavery are wrong now too, no matter how kindly we remember our less enlightened ancestors. Moral relativism might work to say we should not judge our forebears too harshly for being creatures of their time, but it does not say we should therefore become creatures of their time instead of our own. If you can see your way to dismiss their sins, fine, but don't sew them to your lapel.
It wasn't a monument to slavery. It was, however, a memorial for the Civil War, which was in part about slavery. I gather that pretty much any monument that was put up in the south by southerners that memorializes the Civil War from the south's perspective in any fashion at all is something you would consider to be a memorial "to slavery".
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Old 17th July 2017, 02:57 PM   #587
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Originally Posted by bruto View Post
It does seem a little odd, in part because I think it goes beyond mere moral relativism into revisionism. If the argument is that slavery is wrong now, then monuments to slavery are wrong now too, no matter how kindly we remember our less enlightened ancestors. Moral relativism might work to say we should not judge our forebears too harshly for being creatures of their time, but it does not say we should therefore become creatures of their time instead of our own. If you can see your way to dismiss their sins, fine, but don't sew them to your lapel.
Originally Posted by Upchurch View Post
I will be the first to point out that there are no moral absolutes. In fact, in this thread, I believe I was. However, defense of behavior by moral relativism only works in a largely closed society where opposing moralistic views have either not been introduced at all or haven't reached some minimum level of adoption for the society as a whole to be aware of.

That was not the case with moral question of slavery in the South by the election of Lincoln. Not only had the South been aware of the moral dilemma of slavery, they specifically rebelled because of it, as expressed in writing in official Confederate documents. The moral relativism defense fails here because they had a choice and chose wrong. We don't have to judge them based on our current values. We can judge them by the values of their own time.

It would be like saying that we shouldn't judge white supremacists today for what they believe because they are a product of their times, i.e. right now. Yes, they have their own beliefs, but they specifically chose those beliefs despite the alternatives available.

So, to bruto's point, to claim they didn't have the choice is entirely historical revisionism.
Originally Posted by JoeBentley View Post
And that almost solipsistic, pointless version of moral relatively at that.

See here's the thing. Nobody really believes that "moral relativism" means that actions can be judged as "bad" outside their time frame. Our entire social construct would collapse if anyone actually thought that.

A pleading, lamb bleating "But it was different time!" is not a statement one makes to defend a position or make a point. It is a statement one makes to shut down a conversation after one has been argued into a corner.
Oh this is ridiculous. Seriously, people. These are the things I responded to:

Originally Posted by bruto View Post
All of this is garbage for one simple reason: Slavery was evil...
An expression of moral absolutism retroactively applied to the people of a different era.
Originally Posted by Upchurch View Post
While I agree that there are few, if any, moral absolutes, we cannot dismiss every morally heinous act by people as them merely being automatons guided by the society of the time.
Applying the moral judgment of "heinous" to an act that was not universally viewed as such at the time.
Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post
No. What people recognize as a morally heinous act changes over time, but the act itself is wrong whether people recognise it as such or not.
Again, defining it as objectively wrong at the time.

None of what I've said is a defense of slavery. It is however, objecting to the moral judgment being passed by these posts.
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Old 17th July 2017, 02:59 PM   #588
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Originally Posted by Emily's Cat View Post
Acknowledging that it was not considered universally immoral at the time is in no way defending the institution. Nor is it whitewashing the confederacy.
Do you acknowledge that the Lost Cause mythology was an attempt to whitewash the Confederacy? An attempt of which the construction of this monument was a part?
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Old 17th July 2017, 03:00 PM   #589
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Originally Posted by Upchurch View Post
Do you acknowledge that the Lost Cause mythology was an attempt to whitewash the Confederacy? An attempt of which the construction of this monument was a part?
I don't know anything about Lost Cause whatever it is.
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Old 17th July 2017, 03:04 PM   #590
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Originally Posted by Emily's Cat View Post
Applying the moral judgment of "heinous" to an act that was not universally viewed as such at the time.
You're still ignoring what people are saying. You cannot just willy-nilly claim moral relativism. You cannot excuse moral decisions when alternatives were available, especially when these same alternatives are the ones they explicitly railed against.
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Old 17th July 2017, 03:06 PM   #591
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Originally Posted by Emily's Cat View Post
I don't know anything about Lost Cause whatever it is.
I honestly don't know how you got this far into the thread with complete ignorance of it short of willful ignorance. It's been referenced a lot.

But let us remove any pretense: Lost Cause of the Confederacy
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Old 17th July 2017, 03:12 PM   #592
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Moral subjectivity does not mean that all discussions or debates of actions that take place outside your cultural time and place get shut down with "But it was different back then..."

Even with the cultural context of America in the mid-1800s the degree that which the South was obsessed with defending slavery can still be discussed.

Political and social defense of slavery at the time... fine contextually you could maybe defend it to some degree (no I'm not going to define to what level to something silly Nth degree) but to take arms against your own country and fight a war to not even defend slavery but protect you from even a political state that might one day take away slavery.. no.
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Old 17th July 2017, 04:16 PM   #593
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Originally Posted by Emily's Cat View Post
Oh this is ridiculous. Seriously, people. These are the things I responded to:


An expression of moral absolutism retroactively applied to the people of a different era.

Applying the moral judgment of "heinous" to an act that was not universally viewed as such at the time.

Again, defining it as objectively wrong at the time.

None of what I've said is a defense of slavery. It is however, objecting to the moral judgment being passed by these posts.
I don't intend to change my viewpoint, but I note you quoted me as saying.....

"
Originally Posted by bruto
All of this is garbage for one simple reason: Slavery was evil..."

Which I don't recall saying quite that way, and the linked post does not congtain that statement. After all that's gone on in this thread, can't guarantee what I did or didn't say, nor do I care to dig very deep but I think something got mixed up.

A small point in the end, I think. I still think monuments to the confederacy (as opposed, perhaps, to those that might be erected for local heroes) are inappropriate for public lands, not because we are judging individuals retroactively by today's standards, but because we are judging what is appropriate today by today's standards. We need not rewrite history, nor demonize those who were creatures of their time and place, but if we change what we believe or what we know, why should we not change what we honor, value, and put on public display?
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Old 17th July 2017, 04:26 PM   #594
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Originally Posted by Emily's Cat View Post
Quote:
So why do you care about it?
I care about current society's collective view of appropriate behavior for people today.
I asked why you care about those things, not what they are. So again, why do you care about " current society's collective view of appropriate behavior for people today"?
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Old 17th July 2017, 04:29 PM   #595
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Originally Posted by Emily's Cat View Post
Nobody is defending slavery. Acknowledging that it was not considered universally immoral at the time is in no way defending the institution. Nor is it whitewashing the confederacy.
You didn't just acknowledge that it wasn't considered universally immoral at the time, you used that fact to argue that it wasn't wrong. That's a very different thing. You even argued that northern states not sending escaped slaves back to their masters were participating in theft of property, and that this justified the secession.
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Old 18th July 2017, 12:16 AM   #596
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Originally Posted by Jodie View Post
I grew up in Alabama and even I can't fathom why we have all these damn statues celebrating confederate officers. I mean for goodness sake, it was a bunch of rich white planters and business men living below the Mason Dixon line that didn't want the status quo rocked by federal legislation. They started yelling about states' rights and fussing about the amount of money they were paying in taxes then decided they would fight with no industry or factories to make weapons? What kind of stupid is that? I say take all the statues down, nothing has really changed. The Good Ole Boy's network is still alive and well down in the southeast.

I think you'll find that a more accurate description is that a bunch of rich white planters and business men living below the Mason Dixon Line, after trying (mostly successfully) for decades to get Federal legislation which protected their slave labor and breeding economy, realized that that wasn't going to be enough.

They didn't think whining about state's rights was all that important until after they lost the war they started.
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Old 18th July 2017, 01:03 AM   #597
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Originally Posted by Emily's Cat View Post
It wasn't a monument to slavery. It was, however, a memorial for the Civil War, which was in part about slavery. I gather that pretty much any monument that was put up in the south by southerners that memorializes the Civil War from the south's perspective in any fashion at all is something you would consider to be a memorial "to slavery".

Your premise fails because the reasons the South tried to secede and started a war was not "in part" about slavery.

It was completely and unequivocally about slavery. Their own documents from that time were perfectly clear on that elementary point. Not to mention all of the history leading up to it.

So yes, any monument that was put up in the south by southerners that memorializes the Civil War from the south's perspective in any fashion at all is something that is equally unequivocally a memorial "to slavery".

Sure, they would want to try and paint it as something else, because they cannot admit publicly to being the repressed bigots that they are, either to anyone else or to themselves.

But this doesn't change the simple facts.
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Old 18th July 2017, 03:42 AM   #598
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Originally Posted by Jodie View Post
I grew up in Alabama and even I can't fathom why we have all these damn statues celebrating confederate officers. I mean for goodness sake, it was a bunch of rich white planters and business men living below the Mason Dixon line that didn't want the status quo rocked by federal legislation. They started yelling about states' rights and fussing about the amount of money they were paying in taxes then decided they would fight with no industry or factories to make weapons? What kind of stupid is that? I say take all the statues down, nothing has really changed. The Good Ole Boy's network is still alive and well down in the southeast.
They were not yelling about states rights at the time, they were just yelling about the beneficial institution of slavery. States rights came latter to obfuscate the issue.
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Old 18th July 2017, 03:43 AM   #599
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Originally Posted by Emily's Cat View Post
Nobody is defending slavery. Acknowledging that it was not considered universally immoral at the time is in no way defending the institution. Nor is it whitewashing the confederacy.
Except all the heroes who have the great monuments to them that are the topic of this debate. They defended slavery both figuratively and literally.
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Old 18th July 2017, 03:53 AM   #600
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Originally Posted by Emily's Cat View Post
It wasn't a monument to slavery. It was, however, a memorial for the Civil War, which was in part about slavery. I gather that pretty much any monument that was put up in the south by southerners that memorializes the Civil War from the south's perspective in any fashion at all is something you would consider to be a memorial "to slavery".
Exactly it was a monument to the defense of slavery, totally different. You can be proud about how well you fight to defend and impose slavery with out being proud of slavery.
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