"Sequestering" Resources-- the South and the North

MARIPOWER716 at aol.com MARIPOWER716 at aol.com
Tue Jul 15 17:46:32 MDT 2003


In a message dated 7/15/03 12:48:06 PM Pacific Daylight Time,
MLause at cinci.rr.com writes:



Offhand, though, any rethinking of the Civil War period should probably
encompass a number of rather important and related factors usually
absent from these discussions:

* the Southern Democratic faith that authority could be legitimately and
violently imposed on inferiors who did not consent to be governed
(sorry, that social contract terminology again) forms a common theme
informing what they tried to do in Nicaragua, Kansas, and--for that
matter--the slave states themselves in 1860-61.

* the conflict was a social struggle not a simple conflict among
sections or territories.  The language of "North" and "South" tends to
smudge this dimensions of the conflict into the assumption of a war
between distinct nations and peoples.  As an illustration of this, most
historians are coming to the conclusion that the Confederacy lost the
war first and foremost because it never really won the war for the hears and
minds of the Southern people.  Despite the conscription, military control,
etc. some one in four or one in five Southerners who fought in the war actually
bore arms for the Union.  In the end, the Confederacy was never as popular
before 1865 as it became after it was safely a nullity.

* the diverging ideas of republican order and progress are essential,
not just in consciously economic terms but encompassing a wide range of
questions touching upon the value of "free labor"....  This is where the
differences over the ideas of natural rights and the social contract (which you
disparage as meaningless) are, in fact, vital to the divisions between
secessionist and Unionist leaderships.  As an
essential dimension of this, these ideas not only divided secessionists
and Unionists but reflect marked differences among Unionists and
Republicans--the struggle for a resolution of which would shape the
course of the war and reconstruction.

mal

Reply/Comments

A Marxist approach or materialist dialectics cannot be applied to anything
much less history.  On can shift through critical and empirical data and
interpret it through the prism of Marx approach to history and the logic of logic. A
rethinking of the Civil War presupposes several things. The most elementary is
what is the "thinking" that requires rethinking? Historical materialism means
the materialist conception of history. You misunderstand the elementary facts
of American history. No historian or novice disputes that the Civil War was
between two distinct peoples and economic/social formations geographically
bounded. How ever you define the concept "economic/social formations
geographically bounded," in short speak = slang, this is called a nation as opposed to a
tribe or "race."

The fact of the matter is that prior to the Civil War the South had a
stranglehold on political power in America. The reason it became known and called the
"slave power" was not simply because slavery existed, but because through the
constitutional provision that slaves counted as 3/5 of a person for
appropriating representation in Congress, the Slave Oligarchy ruled the country.

The "Southern democratic faith" - a concept so horrible as to indicate that a
person has crossed the line between being an imperial scoundrel and stepped
into the arena of white chauvinism, is no rethinking of the Civil War era but
the same old tried and tested logic of reaction. You are grievously mistaken on
ever level including the political phase of the Civil War called
"Reconstruction."

In its most basic logic the Southern-dominated Senate, Supreme Court and
Presidency refused to pass harbor, railroad canal and tariff appropriations,
beneficial to Northern industrial interest. Such legislation was necessary to the
growth of industrial in the North, but not in the interest of the slave-owning
agricultural South. This becomes understandable if you look at a map of the
topography of America and check out the mountains and the direction of the major
waterways. This does not require a Marxist conception but the ability to look
at a map.

Perhaps the problem is my tendency to be abstract on one level and avoid
concreteness. Where I grew up we insist that everyone has to do their own work and
this includes looking at maps and basic history books.

UUUgggh  . . .dig. A look at a topographical map will show that large-scale
migration and commerce between the east and west was almost impossible. The
Allegheny Mountains were an insurmountable barrier, and the rivers in America
happen to run north to south. Therefore, all trade and migration was between
North and South, not east and west. Consequently, the Northwest - Western
Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Michigan (shout out to the homeboys!;-), Illinois,
Wisconsin and Minnesota - was sparely populated, primarily by southerners. This
combination made the Northwester a political reserve for the slave owners. A
turning point - nodal line, came with the explosive growth of the Northwest. The
construction of the Erie Canal changed the rules. Suddenly the markets of New
York were open to the rich farmlands of the area.

Democratically minded settlers from the east and from Europe flooded into the
Northwest. Now there was more money to be made trading with the east than the
South. The North soon needed a railroad that would run from the western part
of Minnesota all the way through Milwaukee, through Chicago, right through all
these industrial cities of Indiana, and into the east or into the canal
system so they could begin shipping their produce more cheaply.

There was a rapid growth of the cities in the North, especially Chicago. But
it could not continue because of the stranglehold of the slave power in the
appropriation of funds for infrastructure. The South inhibited anything that the
North needed for this new wing of the capitalist class to develop. The
Congress, dominated by the Southern planters refused to pass bills to improve the
harbors or build the railroads. Understanding the economic and political dangers
to them, the slave power basically said, "Fuck you guys." When comrades tell
me "fuck you" that is a disagreement. When sectors of classes say, "fuck you"
to one another that is class antagonism.

This is not a question of terminology but basic history and then proceeding
from the standpoint of Marx - then the dialectic unfolds on your ass. Trying to
apply the dialectic is useless and naive. There is nothing wrong with
presenting an outline of the shape of process and movement in the language that your
workers will understand, which requires understanding "the dialectic of
thinking"  - form and substance.

Every person in America looking at the Civil War agrees that the new
industrial productive forces in the North came into conflict with the productive
relations of slavery in the South and this was at the base of the different body
politics. Such historic contradictions of economic forces cannot be fought out
in the economic base of society. Repeat: Such historic contradictions of
economic forces cannot be fought out in the economic base of society. (This is why
comrade Miyachi, draft program for the 21st Century is incorrect as well as the
approach to the system of credit under bourgeois property relations. The
"alternative economy proposal" - backed by and buttressed by non-governmental
agencies to boot, is nothing more than a cooperative movement and misunderstands
the law of value, its operations and in the end a petty bourgeois yearning.
Petty bourgeois means the class striving of the small producer, not where one
works or even the size of their income.)

Economic contradictions are fought out in the social superstructure as
ideological and political struggle. Not only this, but more importantly, this
specific social contradiction at ever phase of class society - competing economic
forces, move in antagonism. Antagonism does not mean violence, although class
struggle more often than not erupts violently.

As these economic contradictions became political antagonism, the South
militarily attacked the North to whip it back under its control. Its aim was to
reorganize the entire country and eventually the entire hemisphere on the basis
of slavery. The North responded with a war to whip the South back into the
union. Its aim was to convert the South into an agricultural reserve of industry.
This is not a Marxist conclusion but common sense as "common sense" exists at
our current stage of mass consciousness.

The industrial empire of the North was based and evolved on the cotton of the
South. It was not in the interest of the industrial-financial oligarchy of
the North to abolish slavery. Their political aim was to abolish the political
supremacy of the slave power. Yet, the war could not be won without abolition -
emancipation. This is not a Marxist conclusion but elementary military logic.
Marxists understand why the southern form of commodity production was
historically impossible to maintain.

Instead of becoming lost in historical data, the generation of Marxist
generated on the basis of the class separation of the 60s says "he productive
capacity of the North outran the consuming capacity of the South and the
irresistible conflict came to a head."

The logic that the South lost the war because it could not win the hearts and
minds of the Southern masses is insanity. This logic excludes the mass of
slaves, who as a class could not be convinced to remain slaves as an economic
category. The internal class structure of slave society moves on the basis of its
own antagonism, as well as in antagonism with the industrial process.  To
state the Civil War - "the conflict," was a social struggle means that you have
defined the meaning of "social struggle."

Hey . . .what do you suggest . . .that we give ourselves back to England?

In all honesty you are going to run into serious problems "explaining
American history."

You have made me aware that I tend to write assuming that other have a
certain understanding. Your statement about what and who constitutes nations and
national groups and advanced national groups should be reconsidered.

I shall not enter the fray about natural rights and stick to the map of
America and what is meant by the slave power. As a man who wakes up and wants to
bum rush the bankers I take you very serious and admire your passion.


"Reign Supreme in your "Uni"

V E R S E  . . .with the shortness.
Narrow role building
No space for partners
No space for drivers
No space for walkers
No space regardless

You on my path and get off it.

....

Come with the cannons spark in . . .they doggin

. . . . .

a thousand yard march appears through your armor
you can get it on if you want to.

But when you front now
Get marched to. .

I warned you

You know who forever belongs to.

Eye ay -
I against I
Flesh of my flesh
And mona my my

Two of a kind
But one won't survive

My image is reflect in the enemies eye
And his image reflect in mine the same time.

Survive! Survive! Survive! Survive! Survive!
Survive! Survive!
Survive!


(Most Def from the Soundtrack Blade II. Title: "I Against I" or Massive
Attack)



Melvin P.





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