This time I suggest you read the evidence provided instead of just ignoring it and moving on.
I reject the notion that the discovery doctrine is at all relevant. If a past generation stealing land is basis for illegitimacy, then the Native Americans in question had no better claim to the land in the first place, since the native tribes had been pushing each other off of various territories in North America for thousands of years prior to the arrival of European settlers. If that is your argument, then no one has claim to any territory on this planet, since that has in fact been the modus operandi of humanity for all of history. This, I believe, makes the issue moot even if we accept that premise, which brings us back to whether or not the Confederacy was morally worthy of the destruction and subjugation visited upon it by the Union as the only useful measure of the question.
You've offered no proof of anything here. You've merely made a bald faced assertion as to the nature of this land. Further, the nature of how the land was gained by the Native Americans is irrelevant to the question at hand, what matters here is the actions of the United States. Immoral actions from one group do not justify similar immoral actions by another, and making such a claim is the very antithesis of Justice in all its form. I can gladly concede everything you say here without challenging a word, and because of it the United States: A. loses the moral high ground, B. can no longer claim to have any better a claim to the territory of the CSA than the CSA, or any other nation, because you have essentially reduced the issue of legitimacy to “might makes right,” and C. is guilty of rampant mass genocide, ethnic cleansing, disrespect for property rights and massive infringements of civil freedoms. In short, this debate is over thanks to your wholesale concession of all the points I made, and because I only need to win that the U.S. was claiming land that it had no justified claim to in order to prove the resolution . Congratulations.
That said, there are two sub points that sink any chance you might have of finding a way out of this hole:
1.You rely on the constitution for the justification of the U.S. reclaiming the land of the Southern states, and specifically rely on the supremacy clause of the Constitution to make such a claim, which says that treaties the U.S. signs and make shall be the highest law in the land. However U.S. had treaties with Native tribes stating that they would respect the rights of various tribes in perpetuity, including most of the lands in the southern states. Then the U.S. took the land for themselves, drove the natives to the west where convenient and slaughtered them when it proved inconvenient. This includes most of the lands of the South. To just use the Cherokee as an example (and this is one of many, the Choctaw, for instance, were recognized as being the proper owners of pretty much the entirety of Mississippi.):
The U.S. and Cherokee signed the Treaty of Tellico in 1798 which in its Article VI
included the U.S. guaranteeing the Cherokee the right to its lands, forever. This land amounted to most of Georgia, and a good portion of Tennessee. However, the U.S. government continually sliced and cut away at Cherokee rights to their own land
, culminating first in the last 1820s and early 1830s where the State of Georgia declared that Cherokee first had no right to survey and mine their own land, followed by declaring they had no right to anything on Cherokee lands other than their own residencies, followed by a declaration that the Cherokee didn't even have a right to that. Even though the U.S. government was bound by treaty to protect and guarantee Cherokee land, and Cherokees appealed to the Supreme Court, Congress and the President to protect their lands, the U.S. not only did nothing to stop it, but declared that it would unilaterally consider any treaties contradicting State law null and void. (This is all common knowledge, if you want a quick and dirty summary read here
from page 22 on) The final insult was the Treaty of New Echota, where a dissident band of Cherokees signed a treaty agreeing to Cherokee removal and, even though the Cherokee legislature rejected the treaty and sent a delegation to congress declaring that they did not recognize the treaty as having authority over them, the U.S. government ratified it anyway and sent the Cherokee packing on the trail of tears. I don't need to tell you what happened there, I hope.
This means that by the supremacy clause, the very clause of the constitution you claim gives the U.S. sovereignty over the states, the U.S. is bound legally from claiming most of Georgia as its own. In this light, and thanks to your concession of the 1830 Indian Removal evidence you concede, the war to reclaim southern lands becomes a constitutionally moot point. The United States is fighting for land it has no right to, and which it is against the constitution to have any claim to. You lose.
2.On top of that, your concession of the massive injustice of the Johnson V. M'Intosh case means that the only way you can win that the U.S. was justified in any of its actions in the past, or present, is if you can defend the idea that white folk have an inherently superior claim to ownership of land than Native Americans. This is how the United States justifies its own existence, if this claim is not justifiable, the United States has no right to exist. Congratulations son, you've got to defend Apartheid or lose. Woohoo!
Before you roll your eyes in bewilderment at why I am continuing to beat a dead horse I shall explain why this means you have lost the debate in simple ideas:
1.The resolution for the debate is “ "Resolved: That the United States was justified in suppressing the rebellion during the Civil War." this is what you have to defend in toto, you do not get to severe out of part of this, for reasons that should be obvious. If I prove any part of this resolution to be wrong-headed/illegitimate/whatever you lose. What I am doing here is two fold: 1. attacking the credibility and legitimacy of the United States to exist as a political entity, and 2. attacking the entire idea that the United States can act in a way that is “just”. These are both necessary premisses for the resolution to be affirmed, and you need to defend them.
You, on the other hand, are defending the idea that the CSA/Slave Power/Southern States/Davis Government/Whatever was a god awful abomination. That's fine, I'll gladly concede that, pretty much completely. I'm not offering any defense of their nature, and I never will. I'm attacking the nature, laws, and actions of the United States. Separate story, but one you've gotta defend.
2.The sixth sentence of your first post said that you'd focus on the moral nature of the justification for the Civil War. When you frame the debate this way you've got to win that the U.S.A. Was a morally justified in its actions and deeds! When you concede the points that I've made above (and the biopower stuff, but more on that below), you lose that moral justification! This is separate from point 1, because point 1 is about me attacking the Resolution, this point is about me attacking your case.
3.Finally, if we were on the national debate circuit, you'd have lost for the wonderful gem of your first paragraph, where you justify the theft of Native lands and Genocide of Native Americans by the argument of “well, they probably did it first, so the U.S. could do it to them.” In debate like this representations matter, and your representation of Native Americans as a legitimate target for theft of land, and genocide is abominable and has far greater real world effect than whether or not we come to the conclusion that the United States were justified in suppressing the rebellion of the southern states. Firstly, because this is how all genocides, from the Armenians, to the Jews, to intellectual dissedents, to the Native Americans are committed:
Prime Bbcode Spoiler Show
Prime Bbcode Spoiler: Mark Levene, Why is the Twentieth Century the Century of Genocide? P. 323-324
[An obvious conclusion one might wish to draw from this picture is that perpetrators of genocide are stridently ideological or authoritarian regimes more often than not led by unhinged, psychopathic dictators. Popular portrayals of Hitler, Stalin, Saddam Hussein, or Pol Pot only reinforce the sense that their actions against "imagined" enemies are essentially symptoms of extreme paranoia, delusion, and projection. The very fact that in some instances, as for example in the case of the "kulaks," the construction of a coherent and identifiable adversary took place in the heads of the Stalinist leadership and bore no relationship to social realities, only adds to the view that our subject is one primarily for clinical psychological investigation. Indeed, Nazi ranting and raving about Jewish world conspiracy as just cause for their actions would suggest that worst cases of genocidal behavior are not simply deeply irrational but completely mad. The problem with this line of reasoning, however, is threefold. First, while the alleged "madness" of the above genocide instigators is not easily verifiable one way or the other, an extended list which might, for instance, include Atatürk, Mao, and Milosevic would be hardpressed to support the generality of this assumption.
Second, even where genocidal states are totalitarian and heavily policed, they are founded on a domestic support base-- however limited or narrow that may be--which must itself at least in part be mobilized as accomplices in the perpetration of genocide. It must therefore follow that either this support base is itself suffering from similar delusions as its leaders, or alternatively believes that the leadership is acting rationally in the best interests of polity and people. In fact, the two positions are not necessarily irreconcilable. Norman Cohn provocatively demonstrated some thirty years ago the manner in which fantasies reminiscent of medieval times took strong hold of a significant proportion of post-1918 German society, including, indeed especially, amongst many highly educated and professional people, in the form of the notion that worldwide Jewry, despite its dispersal, minority status and history of persecution, was actually spearheading an international, even cosmic conspiracy to emasculate and ultimately wipe out not only the German people but all western civilization. 31 Fears of sexual, cultural, and mental contamination, of the spread of disease, and the consequent debilitation of a healthy, virile volk by races of Jewish or gypsy antimen, it could be argued, [End Page 323] did not so much have to be manufactured by the Nazis but simply echoed and then amplified as the visceral instincts of a vox populi. In this way, it could be further argued, state organized genocide is actually constructed not from the top down, but bottom-up from hate models provided by grass-roots societal phobias.
This is, of course, the well-known Goldhagen position in which genocide is plausible because it is deeply embedded within the cultural archetypes of a society. But Goldhagen does not conclude from his study of ordinary German participants in the Holocaust that they were anything other than normal, simply that they were impelled toward often sadistic killing of Jews by an eliminationist anti-Semitism. Undoubtedly, Goldhagen's thesis is important for the issue of comparative research in its implicit demand for further consideration of the genocidal interconnections as well as stepping stones between popular culture and state-building agendas. What is missing from Goldhagen is the context. Traditional anti- Semitism within large sections of the German population crystallized into something utterly toxic only during 1918-19, in other words in quite extraordinary circumstances of mass trauma and disorientation. This provides a third reason why blaming "mad" or "evil" regimes alone for genocide will not suffice if this fails to take heed of the circumstances in which those regimes arise. It is surely no accident that the first great wave of contemporary genocides comes out of the actuality and aftermath of that great twentiethcentury catastrophe and watershed, the First World War, in which particular states--the ones which collapsed, or were defeated, or were most obviously embittered by the war and postwar outcome--and not least by the post-1929 economic aftershock--were also the ones which increasingly discarded the received wisdoms of the liberal-capitalist system in favor of alternative "second" or "third" ways to progress and ultimate triumph. Ordinary people did not initiate the genocides which were sometimes consequent. But the manner of their response to these domestic convulsions, either in their enabling, or possibly in their inability to resist or put the brakes on new masters with their programs for a radical reshaping of society, were critical to these outcomes.
Secondly, it pulls the rug out from underneath your moralizing about the U.S. being a shining White Knight coming in to end slavery, because you have conceded that this a state that will gladly commit genocide, break treaties, and do all sorts of nasty things if it deems it convenient to its interest. Finally, it pulls the rug out from your moralizing. When you get up on your soap box and declare that being an apologist for “the Slave Power” is an abomination, remember that you are an apologist for pre-planned, deliberate, and thoroughly executed GENOCIDE
So, yeah, you lose.
You do bring up one point in my questioning of you.
The land is immaterial and your continuing obsession with it is equally so. The Supremacy Clause establishes the sovereignty of the United States over the state governments. This isn't about the chunk of land surrounding the Mississippi Delta; it's about the state of Louisiana (and similar). 4.3.2's first subclause simply denies the right of the state governments to regulate and dispose of territory. This is about what the states may and may not do, regardless of what state it is and the previous ownership status of the land before it was a state.
What you miss here is that the land is inseparable from the entity of the state. These are governments that are expressly bound and tied to the land they govern. To talk of the states without the land that they represent, or the land without the states that they constitute, is problematic to say the least, and obfuscates the matter horribly. What matters is that what you are defending is the U.S. government reclaiming territory that it took illegitimately in the first place. As long as I win that that conquest of land was illegitimate (and thanks to your concessions, I have) you cannot defend the Civil War as a justified endeavor.
Now to your misunderstanding of my second argument.
To your second point, would you like any help burning that strawman? I did not say that the Union fought for the utter ruination of slavery; I said that was a direct result of the war. That stated, the South did fight for the express purpose of preserving, expanding, and perpetuating slavery. This was the reason for the rebellion, and remained a primary Confederate war aim until bare months before the end, when General Lee issued a call for slave regiments to bolster his army, with a promise of emancipation for service to motivate them in February, 1865.1
The south's actions are irrelevant to this portion of the discussion. What we are investigating is whether or not the North was justified in its actions in response to the South. Even if you win that the South was a horrific and monstrous state, you still need to win that the NORTH was justified in how it acted. You agreed to the statement that “ the eradication of Slavery is a justification for the United States' suppression of the Confederate States “, this is what I'm challenging.
As to your argument concerning the nature of law and sovereignty, your source fails to make a crucial distinction: He fails to recognize that the modern West, unlike Europe in the Middle Ages, is not ruled by a series of absolute monarchies; the operation of law is limited and applies also to those in power in a functioning republic.
You are so hilariously wrong here that it's almost not even funny. Especially considering that a bare reading of the two sections I cited before (and highlighted down for you) would have proven that Foucault was talking about the modern West. I'll treat your assertion about the limitation of law later, but let's first deal with Foucault 101.
Lawrence Chin wrote:The coming of bio-power represents a shift in European "power-type", at the threshold of the classic age, from the aristocratic ("oppressive") type correlative with "civilization" in the classical sense (i.e. our second stage of history, the age of aristocracy) to "bio-power" correlative with the modern nation-state with its concomitant industrialization. Bio-power is an essential aspect, or an essential structural component, of modern nation-state, and hence of modern life.
What is bio-power? It is best contrasted with the preceding "aristocratic" type of power.
The aristocratic type: Foucault characterizes this type of power as
"le droit de faire mourir ou laisser vivre"; "instance de prélèvement... sur les choses, le temps, les corps et finalement la vie." ("The right or power to make die or let live"; "the power to 'tax' on subjects' things, time, bodies and finally life", p.178.) This type of (negative) power is representative of the "regulation system" for the metabolic pathways (energy-dissipation pathways) belonging to the "agricultural civilizations" (those kingdoms and empires). In Foucault's analysis, where his principal concern is the chronology of French history, this type of power corresponds to the "classic" age, i.e. the pre-Revolution period.Example: The King drafts his subjects to go to war, and taxes his peasants' grain for the consumption of aristocracy; if the subjects and peasants dare rebel, the King will kill them. If they obey, he'll let them live.
The bio-power (modern) type: Although the seeds of this "modernity" go back to the early middle ages, a clear boundary after which the aristocratic type of power is no more and this new type takes hold is the French Revolution. Foucault's characterization of this type of power is:
"un pouvoir destiné à produire des forces, à les faire croître et à les ordonner plutôt que voué à les barrer, à les faire plier ou à les détruire" (ibid., p. 179; "a power destined to produce forces, to make them increase and to manage them rather than devoted to bar them, to break them in half and to destroy them."); and the new role of power:
"Son rôle... d'assurer, de soutenir, de renforcer, de multiplier la vie et de la mettre en ordre" ("its role... of assuring, supporting, reinforcing, multiplying life and putting life in order.") in contrast to the destruction and beating down of life around which the aristocratic power type centered.Thus the transition to modernity is signified by a shift from the former condition in which people were negatively oppressed and prohibited in certain of their actions, to the modern condition in which people are positively shaped, molded, and conditioned to behave in prescribed ways.
Now the structure of bio-power. By bio-power Foucault refers to a coordinated series of institutions, apparently of independent origins (but created certainly under the same "cultural sensibility"), that may be grouped under the three components of bio-power: the discipline of the individuals (at the level of individual citizens), the regulation of the population (at the level of population), and dispositifs sexuels serving as the link between the first two. In a word, the three components of bio-power constitute "l'administration des corps et la gestion calculatrice de la vie."
At the population level, to multiply Life or life-processes of the whole population and consequently its forces demographic practices, eugenics and racism were instituted all over Germany and France in the nineteenth century; and a new type of self-perception emerged in correlation with these practices as their foundation: for the first time in human history people (Western Europeans) began to talk of themselves as "species", as "races", i.e. objectification, reduction of "people" to biological entities with chemical metabolism (consuming resources and requiring "living space") and producing quantifiable forces. "Survival" became the prime concern of a "race." Now the path was paved toward war against other "peoples" and genocide of a nation's own people, motivated no longer by the king's claim to his sovereignty, as in the aristocratic power type, but by concerns for the survival of the nation's people. The horrendous genocides perpetrated in the twentieth century by Nazism and communist governments are legacies of nineteenth century European bio-power. This will be discussed in full below.
I encourage you to read the website, and to actually read what I posted before, but the crux of it is that in the modern world power asserts itself over people, and shapes how they act, in the guise of providing life and freedom, and this power over people is called “bio-power” and its nature is “bio-political”. For a very clear example, think of eugenics; eugenics was seen as the ultimate provider of life, it was a system to make society better, more free, etc. Even though it involves, say, the sterilization/incarceration and destruction of “unwanted' peoples, it's justified in life-giving terms (for instance: “We're cutting off a cancer on modern society.”) The same thing applies to most modern genocides, ethnic cleansing, and how society treats “dissident” groups ranging from political revolutionaries to homosexuals.
My thesis here is that the Civil War was a war primarily of Bio-political control, and was viewed as one of such since the beginning. That's the purpose for the three examples I brought in before, and it was explicitly stated as such by Lincoln himself to get funding from congress:
Abe Lincoln from one hundred forty-nine years and two days ago. wrote:
This is essentially a people's contest. On the side of the Union it is a struggle for maintaining in the world that form and substance of government whose leading object is to elevate the condition of men; to lift artificial weights from all shoulders; to clear the paths of laudable pursuit for all
; to afford all an unfettered start and a fair chance in the race of life. Yielding to partial and temporary departures, from necessity, this is the leading object of the Government for whose existence we contend
This is important because if I win that the Civil War was such an expression of bio-political control (and your concessions have done just that for me) then I also win that this entrenchment of bio-political control is what was necessary for future destruction of population, future wars, and essentially everything that the state has done to control on populations from restricting abortion rights, to Hiroshima and Nagasaki, to the testing of Nuclear weapons on unknowing Marshalese islanders, to the Tuskegee experiments. This also means that even if you win that there was some sort of legal reason that justified the Civil War (something you cannot
do), you still lose because the long term moral and ethical ramifications outweigh it. In other words, I am testing the resolution not only in its short term context but in a long term view.
Now, to respond to some of your points.
Abraham Lincoln's suspension of habeus corpus was many things, but what it was not was a declaration that "American citizens had no rights." Suspension of the writ was and is provided for in the Constitution as a measure to ensure the public safety in the case of rebellion or invasion, which the United States was then indisputably in the midst of.
Except, this goes directly against you in two ways:
First, this is the very sublimation of the individual to the state that is being condemned, the ability of the state to knowingly throw someone, or a group of people, 'under the bus' to achieve and maintain what the powers that be want. The point of this action was nothing more than to ensure that “American citizens had no rights” that the U.S. government could not take away if it deemed that person a threat to the nation as a whole.
Secondly, this was a blatantly illegal action. Ex Parte Merryman
found it to be one, and Lincoln ignored the decision. This fact (one you concede) not only proves that you are blatantly wrong in your earlier assertion that “ the operation of law is limited and applies also to those in power in a functioning republic.” AND proves that the can be legally eliminated at will of the sovereign because that life possesses no intrinsic legal rights that the sovereign can not immediately take away.
What you say about the Emancipation Proclamation is true, but ultimately meaningless to those with an understanding of its scope, purpose, and legal grounding. The Proclamation was a war measure undertaken under the President's authority as commander in chief of the armed forces. That it did not go further is a testament to Abraham Lincoln's great respect for the law and limitations of his office. To declare general emancipation in all the territory of the United States, even where this could not be justified as a measure to support the conduct of the war, would be to legislate, which the President is not constitutionally permitted to do. Though characterizing it as sublimating the rights of the people is laughable; claiming that it abridged a right by freeing people held in bondage by the rebels is reprehensible.
Wonderful, and utterly non-responsive:
First, you yourself have already undercut Lincoln's great respect for the law and limitations of his office by admitting that he enforced Ex Parte Merryman
in a manner contrary to both the laws and limitations regarding his office.
Second, you ignore the fact it does uniquely question the rights of ex-slaves, by granting them their rights as a result of their masters' infidelity to the union he is making it explicit: their freedom depends on the misbehaviour of whites. In areas where whites behaved, blacks are enslaved, in areas where he needs whites to behaves (occupied New Orleans, for instance), blacks are enslaved. In areas where whites have rebelled against the state, blacks are “free”. Of course, if whites should start behaving in the future, certainly blacks could be 'enslaved' again, that's the entire point of the pressure on Lincoln to repudiate the proclamation, along with the idea that Lincoln could somehow repudiate the proclamation, or (in other words) take away the rights of people simply because it would be convenient for the continuation of the state. The fact that he didn't does nothing to excuse the way he has situated these rights as being reliant on the misbehaviour of whites and the convenience of the United States.
As for Mr. Lincoln's letter to Horace Greeley, perhaps you are unaware that I am thoroughly familiar with the whole text of the letter,2 which, like the scope of the Emancipation Proclamation, only serves to illustrate Lincoln's respect for the limitations of his office and earnest desire not to take on the mantle of dictatorship. He makes painstakingly clear that what he was doing he did because it was his duty, and that it was also his duty not to overstep the powers of the Presidency to pursue his personal desires. Furthermore, Lincoln point-blank refused to see "the black person thrown under the bus" when doing so seemed expedient to restoring the Union later in the war.3Even in the summer of 1864, when urged to retract the Emancipation Proclamation lest it prove the albatross on his neck that would cost him reelection, Lincoln answered that, "There have been men who have proposed to me to return to slavery the black warriors of Port Hudson & Olustee to their masters to conciliate the South. I should be damned in time & in eternity for so doing. The world shall know that I will keep my faith to friends & enemies, come what will."4
I am aware that you are familiar with the whole text of the letter, I am also now aware that you view it through rose tinted glasses.
[quote=”Lincoln”]I would save the Union. I would save it the shortest way under the Constitution. The sooner the national authority can be restored; the nearer the Union will be "the Union as it was."
If there be those who would not save the Union, unless they could at the same time save slavery, I do not agree with them. If there be those who would not save the Union unless they could at the same time destroy slavery, I do not agree with them. My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that. What I do about slavery, and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save the Union; and what I forbear, I forbear because I do not believe it would help to save the Union.
I shall do less whenever I shall believe what I am doing hurts the cause, and I shall do morewhenever I shall believe doing more will help the cause. I shall try to correct errors when shown to be errors; and I shall adopt new views so fast as they shall appear to be true views.
And there, right there, is the problem. The rights of black people came second to saving the union, and the rights of black people were granted solely, in Lincoln's own wording, to save the union
. That's what makes this reprehensible, it's the throwing of all the slaves in the “border states” (to say nothing of the de facto Slaves in states like New York and New Jersey) under the bus, and saying that while they may, in principle, be no different from a slave living in Georgia they do not deserve rights
because their freedom would not serve the union. Simply because their white owners didn't live in a state that left the union.
See above for why that's bad.
And the last sentence of your paragraph on the letter to Greeley deserves special attention. You say that the war was fought against "people who wanted not to have power exercised Sover them." This is absolute nonsense. The issue was not that the Slave Power did not wish to have power exercised over it; the issue was that they wanted toremain in power themselves. Prior to 1860, nine of the fifteen Presidents of the United States had been Southerners and slaveholders; the Senate had always been composed of at least 50% pro-slavery members, the majority of the Supreme Court justices were Southerners, the civil service and military were both dominated by Southern bureaucrats and officers, and the South had for years and years employed threats of war as a tool to enact its agenda in Washington when it could not do so through the processes of government alone. The rebellion was a gross aggression against the United States committed by a class that wished to maintain its political power at the expense of the majority electorate.
So, what you're saying is that because the North was willing to bend over and take it from the south for 80 years, the south ought do the same for the North? The answer is, no. The United States is made up by its people. When the people of the southern states no longer wish to be under the control of the United States, they ought not be under its control anymore. End of story.
Secondly, Lincoln wasn't even on the BALLOT for the election in ten southern states. This isn't the Southern states losing an election, it's the Northern states having an election, and then putting their winner over the Southern states.
Thirdly, you can't defend this as a majority election. The grand total percentage of people in the Union who voted for Lincoln? 39% 61% wanted someone else. So, yeah.
You follow with a bald-faced lie, saying that this would permit the sovereign power to "suspend the law at any moment deemed convenient," which is patently false; the sovereign power of the United States has the power to suspend certain portions of the law in the case of extreme public emergency, namely rebellion and invasion, not to simply assume arbitrary power at will. Even in the darkest depths of the war, Lincoln did not do what you claim.
Look above to the Native American issues. When the constitution and the treaties that the US had signed were no longer convenient, they were no longer enforced. When Habeas Corpus was inconvenient, it was suspended illegally
. The North declared certain people free, and others slaves, based on the actions of independent third parties. The North put into effect an illegal income tax, and Lincoln himself declared war and called up soldiers for the Civil War, both rights expressly reserved to congress, while Congress was in recess. The law was suspended left right and sideways, you admitted it yourself. That's the end of the story.
Following that, you say that victory did not free the black slaves. You only prove your own ignorance of the immediate aftermath of the war. In point of fact, during Reconstruction blacks were very much free; they voted, held public office (the proportion of black representatives to Congress in the Reconstruction years was on par with that of the present day, and was better than at any other subsequent point until quite recently), and continued to do so until the end of Reconstruction with the Compromise of 1877. It was the end of federal control that plunged the South into segregation until federal troops were once again sent into the South in 1957, this time to enforce school integration.
I was hoping you'd bring up reconstruction. Do you know how Black representation in Congress was achieved? By disenfranchising the White populace of the South, denying them the vote and treating them like the state treats the lunatic, criminal, and foreigner. When the War was over, the state didn't want the same people who'd decided to leave the Union in the first place to have the vote, so they took it away from them. Then, ten years later, when that was no longer a concern it was given back to them, protection for black people was taken away as soldiers were removed, and they were disenfranchised. Congratulations, son, you're defending the mass removal of rights of the people of the United States. This is the exact thing I was criticizing, the U.S. you're defending is one in which American citizens have no rights except where their enforcement is convenient to the US government. I am appalled at the idea that you'd consider any action by such a government justifiable.
Moreover, what you're claiming here only makes things worse for you because you're falling into the trap of extending civil rights to rectify political violence – civil rights are unable to guarantee the right to life – instead civil rights reproduce bare life by ignoring the fundamental difference between the force of law and the rule of law.
While globalisation of information, technology, division of labour, markets, and finance capital, and the dissolution of national borders in interstate systems place differential pressures on nation-states, they do not obliterate the role of the nation-state altogether. Rather, its functionality is newly inscribed. “At the moment at which humankind becomes economically and, to some extent, culturally “united”, it is violently divided “biopolitically”.” (Balibar 2001: 27) One of the bio-political functions of the state is the creation and policing of new lines of demarcation, by which immigrants are turned into aliens, protection transmutes into discrimination, cultural difference becomes a means of racial stigmatisation, and techniques of identification come to resemble racial profiling.
Bio-political measures are no longer exercised as much through the social, as through the state. The globalised world is tendentially divided into life-zones and death-zones – a division frequently reproduced within the boundaries of a single country or city (Balibar 2001: 17, 20, 21), giving rise to the apparently paradoxical phenomenon of ‘citizens without rights’.18
In the course of these contestations, the recourse to ‘rights’, far from obscuring the relation of sovereign power (which is what Foucault held them responsible for), or mediating between sovereign power and the individual by limiting the power of the former and placing obligations on the latter, exacerbates the struggle between the two poles of this relation. The primary force of law, the violence of the law, is being laid bare. This is all the more so, since the division between human rights on the one hand, and civil and political rights on the other (albeit in a different way than that outlined by Aristotle’s bios and zoe), is asserted even as the right to life is drawn under civil and political rights. This division is evident from the outset in the discourse of human rights. The doctrine of human rights has two components: human liberty (personal liberty and security, security of individual bodily existence, the right to live), and civil/political liberty (e.g. freedom of expression, assembly, of association, etc.). The Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen demonstrates this, as does the South African Constitution of 1996, which grants human rights to everyone, and some civil, political and social rights to citizens (of South Africa). Since the eighteenth century, human rights have been progressively subsumed under civil and political rights.19 At the limits of modernity, however, human rights open a chasm that cannot be bridged and contained from within civil rights.
Where human rights have resurfaced and been reasserted, they have been excepted absolutely from the regulation of political and social life: “…the very rights of man[sic] that once made sense as the presupposition of the rights of the citizen are now progressively separated from and used outside the context of citizenship, for the sake of the supposed representation and protection of a bare life that is more and more driven to the margins of the nation-states …” (Agamben 1998: 132-133). 20
In other words, your attempt to grant rights to the black community as recompense for political violence committed against them merely pushes them to the periphery. They have “rights”, but they won't be enforced or protected. They have the vote, but it won't be counted. They are citizens in name alone. The problem is “solved”, they are no longer chattel, they are invisible. Your solution isn't even a bandaid, it is a placebo, taken by the leaders and powers that be in the United States to reassure themselves that there is going to be no more problem.
This is why the bio-political nature of the War matters, because it lets the government oppress the Black community, much as it will the Native Americans, Japanese, Chinese and now Muslims, while justifying itself as “justice being done” and in the best interest of the greater whole. That's what I attack. These, along with other bigger impacts (outlined above) are why the war cannot be justified considering its long term impacts and what it legitimates for centuries to come.
In short, your entire position is built upon a foundation of sand, held up with smoke and mirrors, which skirts the central fact: The Confederacy, being a government formed for the express purpose of keeping men in bondage, was inherently morally illegitimate and deserving of destruction by anyone who cared to bring it. Any war against it by any power would be roundly justified. Further, justice was done; it was simply undone by the same interests that had brought about the rebellion in the first place the very instant they were permitted near the reins of power once again.
The actions of the CSA do not concern ourselves here. I will not defend the CSA as any better, nor any worse, than the U.S.A. What matters here are the Northern States and what they did. There are two separate points to raise:
First, I take exception to the idea that any war brought against the CSA was justified. Once again you show the moral depravity that lets you legitimate the genocide of North Americans. Just because the CSA did unjust things did not mean that unjust things ought happen to the CSA. Should slavery have been stopped? Yes. Ought the racial apartheid be undone? Sure. Ought the lands stolen from Native tribes be returned? Yes. Does righting these wrongs legitimate slaughter of masses of people? No. If you do then you link into the second Foucault quote from before, you are legitimating the mass slaughter of people simply because you find the actions they have committed to be unjust (with your defense of Johnson V. M'Intosh, those actions could very well include Native Americans trying to refuse to sell land to White settlers, but I digress.) This legitimation of war is what allows the U.S. to commit events like the Spanish-American War, Vietnam, Grenada, the Iraq War, etc. It's what allows other countries and non-state actors to commit actions ranging from the USSR's intervention in Afghanistan, to 9/11, to events like the Rwandan genocide. If this is what you want to defend as justifiable, then you have to be prepared to take on the macro-scale consequences of your actions, something you can never win as being good.
Second, if you argue that the interest groups in the south are the ones that undid justice after their return to the Union, why bring them back? Doesn't this crime render their return, knowing that they will infringe on Black education to the modern day (when schools are more segregated than they were even before Brown V. Board of Ed), make the return of the Southern states an infringement on the rights and privileges of Northern people, and unjustifiable in that light to?
As for the socio-political ramifications of Union victory, I stand aghast that you would call them negative. The ramifications of that victory was the vindication of representative government. The autocratic powers of Europe, especially in the British government and Emperor Napoleon III of France, dearly wished for Confederate victory,precisely because this would, in the eyes of the world, prove that a government of the people could not sustain itself.5 And they would have been right; Confederate victory would have set the precedent of secession in response to a lost election, which would Balkanize the United States in short order.
The civil war had hardly any effect on the long term development of democracy in Europe, which as an independent affair. Unless you want to present proof beyond aristocrats scoffing at the Union, and show some solid evidence of how the Union helped foster democracy in the late 19th century, this is an irrelevancy.
You are correct that the Constitution does not mention secession, but you grossly misinterpret 4.3.2. The clause comprises two sub-clauses, "The Congress shall have Power to dispose of and make all needful Rules and Regulations respecting the Territory or other Property belonging to the United States," and "Nothing in this Constitution shall be so construed as to Prejudice any Claims of the United States, or of any particular State." The first part is what's of interest; it delineates a power of Congress, and as such that power cannot belong to the states or the people under the 10th Amendment. Combined with the Supremacy Clause,6 "This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding," this provision makes clear that the states may not, in their constitutions or laws, compromise the territorial integrity of the United States.
Firstly, see the Native American stuff as to why the supremacy clause does more to hurt your case than anything else.
Secondly, you misread 4.3.2. the Territory at hand has to belong to the United States in order for it to be relevant, if the territory explicitly belongs to a state, than 4.3.2. expressly protects the state's claim. To put it in real terms, if the Federal Government owned land in New York, then congress has sole claim to it, the State of New York can't do squat. The real point of 4.3.2. is the unincorporated territories in the west, as these places don't have a state government, or representative government of any sort, to control things someone has to run the show. So Congress does it, that's how things like the Utah Territory, for instance, were organized. To use the word territory there in a way to mean the entirety of the United States is both anachronistic and a gross oversimplification of the Constitution.
As for the states laying claim to the right to secede, even if they did (more on that in a moment), it is immaterial; the Constitution was ratified not by the state governments, but by the people of the United States, separate from the corporate capacities of the states in which they resided (hence ratification by convention rather than legislation) and binding the states. Furthermore, the Constitution was established to create a "more perfect Union" than the Articles of Confederation which it replaced, which itself established a "perpetual Union." Laws adopted and debts incurred under the Articles remained in force under the Constitution (notably the Northwest Ordinance, but others as well). It boggles the mind to think that the framers of that document intended the better framework of Union that they set out to write to be a temporary measure where the Articles were expressly the governing document of a permanent nation.
It wasn't intended to be “a temporary measure,” it was intended to be permanent but the potential dissolution of the union wasn't legislated against because it might be necessary. Think of it like a marriage, when the Bride and Groom go down the aisle this is supposed to be a perfect union, everlasting, “until death do us part”. Except when the Priest/Judge/whoever says that everyone listening knows
that the marriage could end in divorce or annulment, they just hope it wont.
At any rate, let's take a closer look at the Virginian ratifying document. As you so kindly emphasized, Virginia's convention said that "the powers granted under the Constitution being derived from the People of the United States may be resumed by them whensoever the same shall be perverted to their injury or oppression and that every power not granted thereby remains with them and at their will." Note that it says the people, not the states. Secession was not in state power and they did not claim it was. If the people of the United States wish to dissolve the Constitution, it is up to the people, just as it's ratification was, not the states individually.
And the people of Virginia expressed their will through their state, using pre-existing legal channels that they were told they ought do. To say that the framers expected “the people” to repudiate the union en masse, should they choose to, completely undermines the representative democracy they were trying to crease. So, no. Try again. Why shouldn't the people of Virginia, expressing themselves through their duly elected legislators, representatives and executive branch, not be allowed to leave? Why should representative democracy rule in every other dealing of the United States except here?
The secessions of Texas and California from Mexico were on the heads of the inhabitants of Texas and California. Mexico had recognized Texan independence some years before Texas' annexation into the United States; after that point Mexico had no claim upon it and Texas could (and did) do as it wished. In the case of California, it hardly formally seceded from Mexico; it underwent a popular revolt in the middle of an already ongoing war immediately before it was seized by the United States and soon ceded by treaty. It never formed a government and lasted a grand total of 26 days. I make no judgment on the morality of it for the purposes of this debate, but it was a completely different animal from the secessions of 1860-61. Neither case is equivalent to that of the Civil War.
Conceded as an irrelevancy. I was going to go somewhere with the territorial dispute that triggered the Mexican American war, but when I have so much else to go for it's just not worth it.
The war was justified because it freed the slaves. That this was not an initial Union war aim (it certainly became one by late 1862, however) matters not in the least. More to the point, the war was justified because it was carried out against a nation whose "foundations are laid, it's cornerstone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man, that slavery, subordination to the superior race, is his natural and moral condition."7 That after little more than a decade, federal reconstruction's end permitted the renewed subjugation of blacks' political rights is shameful, but it does not erase the gains that Union victory achieved; without the end of chattel slavery, the service of black troops during the war (which often served to change the minds of white soldiers around them on the matter of race), and the passage of the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments, they wouldn't have been "essentially slaves until pretty much the late sixties;" they'd have been actual slaves for as long as the Confederacy stood, thanks to its constitutional prohibitions on ever enacting emancipation.8
This is answered above.
And to finish up, since you concede that war is a justifiable response to the commission of acts of war by a second entity, and you did not dispute that the Confederacy committed multiple acts of war against the United States by seizing its property and shipping, firing on and imprisoning its soldiers, violating the constitutional guarantee of a republican form of government by launching a coup against a duly elected state governor, impressing its citizens into its armies, and waging incessant guerrilla war in the West, the United States was justified in crushing the Confederate States of America in retaliation for the massive provocations and multiple acts of war committed by the latter against the former in naked aggression, independent of slavery, territorial claims, or any other concern. Concession accepted.
Hahaha, no. I didn't concede that war is a justifiable response, I said “Hypothetically, yes, maybe.” and then laid clear that war was not justifiable to reclaim lands that had been stolen in the first place. The only way the Civil War doesn't fit under reclaiming lands that were originally stolen, is if you regard the CSA not as a rebellious entity but as a separate nation. In which case a defensive war was justifiable, but not a war of utter conquest and barbarity as seen in the Civil War. So, you don't win that point.
"My annoyance is exacerbated by the fact that the suffering I am witnessing now cannot exist on its own, it has to fall into the hierarchy of a “lesser animal suffering.” In the made-for-TV reality of American culture, the only acceptable genocide is historical. It’s comforting—it’s over. Twenty million murdered humans deserve to be more than a reference point. I am annoyed that I don’t have more power in communicating what I’ve seen apart from stuttering: “It’s like the Holocaust” " - Susan Coe