[Marxism] Obama and His Discontents

Shane Mage shmage at pipeline.com
Thu Jul 28 09:41:25 MDT 2011

On Jul 28, 2011, at 9:26 AM, Louis Proyect wrote:

> ======================================================================
> Rule #1: YOU MUST clip all extraneous text when replying to a message.
> ======================================================================
> (A remarkable piece by someone who took part in a debate with Doug  
> Henwood over Obama's candidacy, urging support. As far as I know,  
> Coates would probably support Obama again in 2012 but this does not  
> prevent him from writing a very astute take-down of the president.)
> NY Times op-ed July 27, 2011
> Obama and His Discontents

> ...The president invoked Abraham Lincoln, noting that the  
> Emancipation Proclamation was a compromise that freed only the  
> slaves in rebel territory. “Can you imagine how The Huffington Post  
> would have reported on that? It would have been blistering. Think  
> about it, ‘Lincoln sells out slaves.’ ”... “Never before had so  
> large a number of slaves been declared free,” writes historian Eric  
> Foner in his Pulitzer Prize-winning history, “The Fiery Trial.”...  
> it’s true that the Proclamation was a compromise...

Coates is as much an ignoramus as Obama.  The proclamation was the  
very opposite of a compromise: compromise in 1862 meant the end of  
secession with the maintenance of Southern slavery. The proclamation  
made compromise impossible and committed the Union irrevocably to  
total military victory.  That it freed the slaves "only" in the  
Confederacy is no sign of "compromise"--slavery was enshrined in the  
Constitution and Lincoln had no legal authority to end it except in  
the context of suppressing the insurrection.

And he is equally an ignoramus when he quotes Foner  in his totally  
false “Never before had so large a number" claim: only a year before  
Lincoln's proclamation Czar Alexander II had declared the freedom of a  
far larger number of slaves ("serfs," the word is the same as the  
Latin servus, or slave!)

Shane Mage

"scientific discovery is basically recognition of obvious realities
that self-interest or ideology have kept everybody from paying  
attention to"

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