SharksWithLasers -- Seth Cooper

A CUTTING-EDGE BLOG FOR THE WORLD OF THE 21st CENTURY, Currently operated by Seth L. Cooper, a 27 year-old attorney in Seattle (sethlcooper at comcast dot net)

Saturday, May 21, 2005

REVIEW OF THE FACTUALLY INCORRECT POLITICALLY INCORRECT.... The latest issue of The Claremont Review of Books includes an article by John B. Kienker--reviewing a much-advertised book called The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History. Turns out that aside from a few worthile points, the book peddles pro-Confederacy nonsense.

Says Kienker:

At its core, The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History is just more wheezy propaganda from the Old Confederacy (the book's cover features a scowling Dixie general). "Thomas E. Woods, Ph.D.,"...rehearses all the familiar fictions: the "States had the right to secede," the so-called Civil War was really a "War of Northern Aggression," Abraham Lincoln was probably a racist and only "fought to 'save the Union'… and consolidate its power."

Kienker also points out the author's support of nullification--contra James Madison. I don't know about anyone else, but whenever Madison said something concerning the dynamics of state power vis a vis federal power, I listen.

The Pro-Confederacy claptrap is enough to keep me from purchasing the book. It's a shame that such a great title should be wasted on a publication containing that kind of content.

Something to keep in mind: politcal incorrectness finds value in truthfulness--in factual correctness. By contrast, political correctness silences or ignores facts and reality when they do not support the sentiment of the contemporary moral elites or the currently preferred victim-group sentiment. In the end, the whole "War of Northern Aggression" stuff doesn't amount to political correctness because of its factual incorrectness.

(North Seattle--Green Lake, WA)


  • At 8:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I was taken aback by your lack of understanding of the "War of Northern Aggression." This is a case of the winner writes the history. I bet not one in a hundred will fail to tell you that the war was over slavery but that was at most a side issue.

    To understand the slavery part I suggest you may want to get copies of the London Times for the last quarter of 1863. The purpose of the emancipation proclamation was to stop anti slavery England from supporting the south. Please! do not take my word for it scan those papers and find the reason there.

    BTW, the emancipation proclamation freed slaves where Lincoln had no jurisdiction and didn't free them where he did have jurisdiction.

    Do no take anyones word for this start looking at original documents and you may well find things you do not realize. Even your teachers teachers were mistaught.

  • At 10:09 PM, Blogger Coop said…

    If slavery didn't still exist in the middle of Nineteenth Century America, there would have been NO Civil War. Period.

    The North found a war upon its hands because of a rebellious South. While it is undoubtedly true that the North galvanized around the principle of Union preservation rather than the abolition of slavery, it eventually became crystal clear to President Abraham Lincoln that, somehow, slavery was the cause of the war and that it could no longer continue to exist in the government of the people, by the people and for the people. President Lincoln's Second Inagural Address is a most telling ORIGINAL DOCUMENT in this regard.

    In sum, whatever my Unionist/government schools may or may not have taught me in my K-12 years, I think it utterly ridiculous to say that savery was " most a side issue."

    Guelzo recently wrote a DYNAMITE book about the Emancipation Proclamation. It is correct that the EP was NOT written to end all slavery in the United States with the stroke of a pen. But this in no way denigrates that important document. President Lincoln carefully crafted the EP in such a way so as to preserve the Union and avoid as much political fallout as possible in the wavering border states and from other Northerners who were fence-sitters on the slavery issue.

    Furthermore, the good President had grave concerns about a possible court challenge to something like the EP. Chief Justice Roger Taney, the author of a terrible decision that helped to start the war--Dred Scott--was still in charge with the Supremes. President Lincoln wisely wished to avoid a judicial decree that would decimate presidental war powers in the nation's desparate hour.

    [As I write this, I wish to point out that while I forthrightly condemn the Confederacy, I do not claim to support some sort of Northern self-righteousness. There were many fence-sitters and slavery proponents in the North during before and during the war. Further, my comments in no way endores the reflexive anti-Southern sentiment that is all too popular in elitist academia. I strongly oppose such sectional bigotry. Being anti-Confederacy does not equal anti-Southern.]

  • At 11:17 PM, Blogger James B. said…

    I have had this conversation before with "the northern war of aggression" proponents. While I would agree that the North's primary reason for fighting was not slavery, but rather preserving the union, there is no question that the primary reason the south was fighting was to preserve slavery. Yes, there were some other issues such as tariffs, but they were the side issues, not slavery. Don't take my word for it, the southern states published their reasons for secession, here are the reasons from 4 states, they mention slaves or slavery more than 60 times. I doubt you can find any other subject mentioned more than 1 or 2 times.

  • At 10:17 AM, Blogger Coop said…

    Thanks for the links, James.

    And I completely agree with your assessment of the reasons for the South to go to war. The claim is sometimes made that "states' rights" and an over-reaching federal government were the reasons for secession. But the Supreme Court actually sided with Southern slaveowners in the Dred Scott decision concerning the personhood of slaves and the status of slavery in the federal territories, and in the past there had been numerous legal and political battles involving strong states rights and nullification proponents.

    Issues pertaining to federal power were just as much implicated in court decisions surrounding state steamboat monopolies, the Bank of the United States and state bankruptcy and insolvency laws that ran afoul of the federal constitution's bankruptcy clause (in its dormant state or otherwise). But the Southern states never thought to succeed in THOSE situations.


Post a Comment

<< Home