[Marxism] Whigs and Democrats

mlause at cinci.rr.com mlause at cinci.rr.com
Mon Nov 12 13:25:05 MST 2007

Insofar as they were a national party, the Whigs were as proslavery as the Democrats.  If they were not, the Southern wing would have simply disintegrated and it would have spelled the death of the national organization.  

there were some mildly antislavery elements in the Whig Party, as among the Democrats, but the third party forces after 1848 stripped away most of thsoe who were primarily concerned about slavery.

I can honestly say that I just hate every movie I've ever seen about Jesse James, mostly because the only honest potrayal would probably resemble something like "Helter Skelter."

Jesse James was turned into a legend in Missouri through the "journalism" of John N. Edwards, a small town newspaper editor who recast border bigotry into Homeric prose in a series of book-length "histories" as well as periodical phrase-making.  For years, Edwards warmed neo-Confederate ancestor worshippers to the depths of whatever hearts they had with his  homespun tales of loyal darkeys,trecherous  redskins and benevolent sociopaths like the James boys.  Edwards apparently hit the bottle enough to where he may have actually had a hard time telling the difference between what had happened and outright lying.

The only major addition people have made to Edwards' silliness in recent times  was the invention of a Knights of the Golden Circle connection, something even more groundless and absurd (and without the excuse of Major Edwards' bottle).

Frank James had ridden with Jo Shelby's cavalry early in the war, but returned to Missouri to fight with the guerilla chief, WIlliam C. Quantrill.  In August 1863, Quantril's men had stormed through Lawrence, Kansas slaughtering any male over the age of 11 or 12 that fell into their hands.

Viewing Quantrill as excessively mild, the boys joined "Bloody Bill" Anderson whose msot memorable act was the "Centralia massacre" that left something like 180 dead union soldiers and civilians, some scalped, decapitated and castrated.

So, all in all, Jesse James makes a great Hero for Modern America.


---- Louis Proyect <lnp3 at panix.com> wrote: 
> In the course of reading T.J. Stiles’s excellent biography of Jesse 
> James as background for a review of movies about the famous bandit, 
> including the latest with Brad Pitt in the leading role, I came across a 
> number of references to the Whig Party's efforts to straddle the fence 
> between anti-secessionism and support of slavery. Robert Miller, the 
> editor of a Whig paper in Missouri in the 1850s, wrote “Where there is 
> no legal sanction of slavery the masses, the laboring portion of the 
> people, are oppressed and run over.”
> Stiles describes Miller as “a Whig, struggling like all Missouri Whigs 
> to cling to his party even as it disintegrated. Whig leader James S. 
> Rollins wrote that his party was “ready to resist illegal Northern 
> aggression and abolition on the one hand, and to suppress the Southern 
> fanaticism and nullification on the other.” In other words, they stood 
> for everything and for nothing.
> Eventually, the Whig Party disappeared because it proved incapable of 
> challenging the Democrats who did not have divided loyalties. Some Whigs 
> ended up joining the Republican Party, which was up to the task of 
> confronting the Slavocracy even if they were not totally committed to 
> abolitionism at the outset. The most famous of them was Abraham Lincoln, 
> a great admirer of party leader Henry Clay, who was elected to the U.S. 
> House of Representatives in 1846.
> Henry Clay was known as the “Great Compromiser”. When I first came 
> across Stiles’s reference to the Whigs, I began taking a closer look at 
> this party and came to the conclusion that they were the Democrats of 
> their day. If the Whigs imploded because they were incapable of 
> developing an adequate response to the crisis of their day–slavery–then 
> one can surely anticipate the Democrats to begin to disintegrate in the 
> 21st century for analogous reasons. War, racism, ecological destruction 
> and a host of other ills are associated with the slavery of our 
> time–namely wage slavery. By issuing empty denunciations of these ills, 
> as Al Gore does in “An Inconvenient Truth,” and refusing to tackle the 
> underlying cause of such ills, they prove incapable of sustaining the 
> support of their base, as the low approval rating for Congress today 
> would indicate.
> full: http://louisproyect.wordpress.com/2007/11/12/whigs-and-democrats/
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