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 Post subject: The American Civil War (Rogue 9 V Straha) PostPosted: 2010-06-30 08:31am
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BATTLE!

The topic of this thread: "Resolved: That the United States was justified in suppressing the rebellion during the Civil War." Our combatants are Rogue 9, who affirms this position, and Straha, who intends to argue against it.

RULES (as laid out by Rogue 9 and Straha):
  • Instead of a 48 hour time limit for rebuttals, there will be a set period of total preparation time. Say, for instance, ten days each. Each debater, after the other person's reply, can then declare how time he is going to take, and then use as much, or as little, of their total time to prepare their response. The amount they use would be deducted from their total time This gives leeway for both personal emergencies and for in depth preparation of response, while maintaining a relatively predictable and short time frame for reply.
  • 3 Rounds of debate, which can be continued for up to three more rounds at the agreement of both debaters, with the approval of the mods.
  • After a post by a debater he then must answer up to five questions from the other debater, within 24 hours. Though either debater can waive their own questions, should they so choose.
  • Any sources used must be cited, preferably with a url where the material can be found.
  • Any points unanswered by the immediately following rebuttal post will be considered conceded for the purposes of the debate. Calls for evidence, etc. are considered contending the point, belittling statements are not. At mutual consent of the debaters, this may be waived.
  • No editing of posts for non-grammatical reason after they have been made, except with mutual consent of both the debaters.
  • An understanding that both engaging in a debate, and thus their views are solely those being expressed in the debate and not, necessarily, those they hold in real life.
  • A commentary thread will be maintained in either the History or Off-Topic forum.

Ready?

FIGHT!



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 Post subject: Re: The American Civil War (Rogue 9 V Straha) PostPosted: 2010-07-01 04:22pm
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This day I find myself called upon to defend the proposition that the United States was justified in suppressing the rebellious states during the U.S. Civil War of 1861-65. There was a time when I would have been dumbfounded at having to do so, yet time and experience have sadly taught me that the post-war effort at revisionism on the part of the Slave Power's former leaders1 was all too successful, and has resulted in the mal-education of many of the Civil War generation's descendents even to this day.

The question before us is not as specific as it could be, for the resolution is simply that the United States was justified. There are many ways one can be justified; legally, morally, and ethically prime among them. For legal justification there is no question; suppressing rebellion is well within the legal powers of the federal government under the United States Constitution. Should my esteemed opponent wish to dispute this, I will defend it as well, but since it is hardly a debatable point, I shall focus on moral justification as the crux of the debate for now.

So this leaves the question of whether or not the United States was morally justified in suppressing the Slave Power and bringing it to heel when it plunged the nation headlong into war in an effort to remove itself from federal authority. The answer: Of course it was; the conclusion is obvious. The so-called Confederate States initiated their rebellion for the express purpose of defending and expanding the institution of chattel slavery,2 one of the greatest evils of human history by the reckoning of any humane moral system. The utter ruination of that institution in what was at the time its greatest bastion on the face of Earth was a direct result of the war, as was the amendment of the Constitution to extend citizenship to the emancipated slaves and to grant them enfranchisement, as made the supreme law of the land by the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments to the Constitution.3 Had the Union not gone to war for its own preservation, these great advances in liberty would not and could not have been made.

That alone is enough to justify the suppression of the rebellion, but that is not all. The rebellious states fired on and seized federal installations;4, 5 expelled or impressed into their armies citizens who remained loyal to the United States;6 fired on and seized U.S.-flagged ships even before Lincoln took office;7 attempted to force several states to join the Confederacy through means ranging from falsifying secession votes and intimidating loyal voters in Tennessee8 and Missouri to an outright (though bloodless) coup in Texas against Governor Houston;9 enslaved, summarily executed,10 massacred,11 and systematically starved to death12 tens of thousands of captured United States soldiers; and committed almost all the moral outrages under the sun that a warring power can produce against the citizenry of the United States.

All this combined with the plain fact that the Slave Power had no moral justification for its aggression in the first place13 adds up to essentially no case for the opposition. Suppression of the rebellion was and is justified in every sense of the term.

1 McPherson, James. This mighty scourge. Oxford University Press, USA, 2007. 93-108. Print.

2 A Declaration of the Immediate Causes which Induce and Justify the Secession of the State of Mississippi from the Federal Union

3 United States Constitution, Amendments 13, 14, and 15

4 The Battle of Fort Sumter

5 The Seizure of Forts and Federal Property in Louisiana. Every Deep South state committed similar acts of treason and theft before Lincoln ever took office.

6 Testimony of David T. Patterson to the Joint Committee on Reconstruction, February 2, 1866

7 This was done to both the Star of the West and, less famously, the sloop Isabella, seized in Mobile Bay on March 20, 1861 while carrying supplies to the U.S. squadron at Pensacola.

8 Brownlow, William G. Knoxville Whig newspaper, May 18, 1861

9 Flanagan, Sue. Sam Houston's Texas. 1964

10 McPherson, James. Battle cry of freedom. Oxford University Press, USA, 2003. 634. Print.

11 Ibid. pp793-795

12 U.S. National Park Service. Andersonville Prison.

13 At least not by any reasonable standard; the South was not oppressed in any way, had certainly not suffered the "long train of abuses and usurpations" that the Declaration of Independence laid out as necessary to justify revolution, and was in fact in almost total control of the federal government even while the Deep South secessions were taking place.



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 Post subject: Re: The American Civil War (Rogue 9 V Straha) PostPosted: 2010-07-01 04:53pm
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I believe I shall be taking a day to respond, though I may have my response up tonight.

My five questions are:

1. In your third paragraph you seem to assert that the eradication of Slavery is a justification for the United States' suppression of the Confederate States. Is this an accurate assessment of your stance?

2. Why was the Revolutionary War a just war, and what separates it from the Civil War?

3. When is Secession justifiable?

4. Do you claim that the land of the Southern States rightly belonged in/to the United States of America?

5. Since there is no clear prohibition against secession in the Constitution of the United States, wouldn't the power to secede fall to the States and the People under the tenth amendment?



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 Post subject: Re: The American Civil War (Rogue 9 V Straha) PostPosted: 2010-07-01 05:29pm
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Responses to the opposition's questions:

1.) Yes, this is an accurate assessment.

2.) I don't believe this falls under the scope of this debate. That stated, the American Revolution's causes and aims were stated in the Declaration of Independence as a reaction to George III's ongoing (over a period of many years) despotism, including dissolution of elected representative bodies for opposing his will and refusing to allow new elections for their replacement, making the judiciary dependent upon the good will of the Crown rather than able to independently administer justice, placing the military above the civil power, maintaining a large-scale military occupation of the colonies, protecting the troops of that occupation from punishment for crimes - even murder - that they may commit, cutting off trade with all the world apart from Britain, the infamous taxation without representation, deprivation of the right of trial by jury, subjection of the colonies to acts of war and barbarism, and refusing to hear petitions to the Crown from the colonists.

In stark contrast, the Deep South seceded immediately upon losing a duly and fairly conducted election, before the opposition could even be inaugurated, over the concern that the Republican Party might bar the expansion of slavery into the western territories. The two cases are not even remotely comparable; to claim that immediate revolution is the appropriate response to losing an election would be the end of organized government.

3.) Legally, secession is not justifiable under Constitution in its current form. Morally, it is the same as any other exercise of the right of revolution; it is justified as an act of self-defense against oppression and tyranny.

4.) Legally, this is indisputable. The Constitution grants the authority to regulate the borders, territory, and property of the United States to the federal Congress.

5.) Same answer. Article 4, Section 3, Clause 2 of the Constitution reads:
Quote:
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.

As a power explicitly granted to the federal government, the tenth amendment, which regulates powers not so apportioned, does not apply to it.



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 Post subject: Re: The American Civil War (Rogue 9 V Straha) PostPosted: 2010-07-02 04:38am
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(As a note on my citations. I've provided the text for them in spoiler tags, with the relevant bits bolded. I'm only using the relevant bits to make my case, but I will defend the entirety of the evidence presented.)

My opponent has limited himself to justifying the Union's suppression of the Rebellion based only around primarily moral issues. Here I shall attack his stance mainly in that same regard, and in three different ways. First, I shall prove that the Union had no just claim to the land of the Southern states. Second, I shall prove that the war was not the war of liberation and freedom that my opponent makes it out to be, but a war to allow the state and its rulers to expand control over the populace. Third, I shall directly attack a number of points he has made, such as the idea that the States did not reserve for themselves the right to secede from the Union, and the idea that the United States was engaging in this fight to free slaves.



First, the legal claim to the land. The United States' legal claim to all territory in North America is based on the 1823 Supreme Court case Johnson v. M'Intosh, this case declared that the U.S. Government and its citizens were heirs to the “Discovery Doctrine,” a medieval idea regarding the finding of uninhabited land. The Supreme Court in the Johnson case declared that Native Americans had a lesser claim to the land on which they grew up, and which belonged to their ancestors for uncountable generations, than incoming White settlers. Because of their lesser claim to the land, they could live on the land but could only do so until an American made them an offer for it, at which point they had to sell it, to not sell it was illegal and act of war.

[Reveal] Spoiler: Churchill, Ward. From Native Son, P. 26, published in 1996.
To cast a veneer of legality over his government's conduct, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court John Marshall penned a series of high court opinions during the 1820s and '30s, based in large part upon the medieval Doctrine of Discovery. He remained on firm juridical ground long enough to contend that the doctrine imparted a right to the United States to acquire Indian territory by treaty, a matter which led to ratification of at least 371 such nation-to-nation agreements over the next four decades. In a bizarre departure from established principles of international law, however, Marshall also argued that the United States possessed an inherently "higher" sovereignty than the nations with which it was treating: Indians held no right not to sell their land to the United States, in his view, at whatever price the United States cared to offer. Within this formulation, any resistance by "the savages" to the taking of their territories could thus be cast as an "act of war" theoretically "justifying" a U.S. "response" predicated in armed force.18 By 1903 the "Marshall Doctrine" had evolved—and the indigenous ability to offer physical resistance had been sufficiently crushed—to the point that the Supreme Court was confident in asserting an "intrinsic" federal "plenary" (full) power over all Indians within its borders, releasing the United States from any treaty obligations it found inconvenient while leaving the land title it purported to have gained through the various treaty instruments intact. In conjunction with this novel notion of international jurisprudence, the high court simultaneously expressed the view that the government enjoyed "natural" and permanent "trust" prerogatives over all residual native property.


This doctrine is the core basis for the entirety of the claim that the Untied States has over all lands in North America, especially those lands east of the Mississippi, which were brutally taken from the Native Americans under the Indian Removal act of 1830, which forced Native Americans to give up their land in the east for land in the west, to be provided for them by the United States.

[Reveal] Spoiler: U.S. Government, 1830, Indian Removal Act.
Link
CHAP. CXLVIII.--An Act to provide for an exchange of lands with the Indians residing in any of the states or territories, and for their removal west of the river Mississippi.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, That it shall and may be lawful for the President of the United States to cause so much of any territory belonging to the United States, west of the river Mississippi, not included in any state or organized territory, and to which the Indian title has been extinguished, as he may judge necessary, to be divided into a suitable number of districts, for the reception of such tribes or nations of Indians as may choose to exchange the lands where they now reside, and remove there; and to cause each of said districts to be so described by natural or artificial marks, as to be easily distinguished from every other.
SEC. 2. And be it further enacted, That it shall and may be lawful for the President to exchange any or all of such districts, so to be laid off and described, with any tribe or nation within the limits of any of the states or territories, and with which the United States have existing treaties, for the whole or any part or portion of the territory claimed and occupied by such tribe or nation, within the bounds of any one or more of the states or territories, where the land claimed and occupied by the Indians, is owned by the United States, or the United States are bound to the state within which it lies to extinguish the Indian claim thereto.

SEC. 3. And be it further enacted, That in the making of any such exchange or exchanges, it shall and may be lawful for the President solemnly to assure the tribe or nation with which the exchange is made, that the United States will forever secure and guaranty to them, and their heirs or successors, the country so exchanged with them; and if they prefer it, that the United States will cause a patent or grant to be made and executed to them for the same: Provided always, That such lands shall revert to the United States, if the Indians become extinct, or abandon the same.

When I say that this is how just about every acre of U.S. soil came to be, I mean it, even lands “purchased” in the Louisiana Purchase, which only gave the United States the right to buy land from Native American tribes in the relevant territory, and not direct claim to any lands not already under French control.

At its core, we can all agree now that this seizure, and ethnic cleansing of Native Americans was wrong, but when the Civil War is viewed through this particular lens it takes on a different light, turning it from a fight between a legitimate government and would-be rebels into a fight between two squatters bickering over who has 'right' to a house that they have stolen from a third party. From this perspective, the United States was not, and could never be, justified in laying claim to any lands in North America, including the territories that tried to declare themselves the Confederate States of America (with the possible exception of Texas, more on that later.) To make matters worse, any further continuation of this claim to land only furthers the genocide and ethnic cleansing of Native Americans. In short, not only is the claim that the United States was justified in taking back “its territory” in the CSA patently false, but to claim it as true only perpetuates and tries legitimate genocide, ethnic cleansing, and much greater injustices.


This brings me to my second point. The war was not fought for, as you put it, “the utter ruination” of slavery, it was instead fought to bring the South “to heel”. Power, and sovereignty as it has evolved, regardless of its use operates and exists in the relationship between a juridical force and its subjects. Law has become the apparatus through which the sovereign can exercise power over subject populations while looking legitimate – it has evolved from a tool to control bodies through brute force to a normalized regime of control. To say that this was done to end slavery, protect democracy, or whatever else does nothing but mask the ways in which law has become the central apparatus of power that the sovereign can deploy.

[Reveal] Spoiler: Michel Foucault, History of Sexuality, P. 84-87, published in 78
The uniformity of the apparatus. Power over sex is exercised in the same way at all levels. From top to bottom, in its over-all decisions and its capillary interventions alike, whatever the devices or institutions on which it relies, it acts in a uniform and comprehensive manner; it operates according to the simple and endlessly reproduced mechanisms of law, taboo, and censorship: from state to family, from prince to father, from the tribunal to the small change of everyday punishments, from the agencies of social domination to the structures that constitute the subject himself[sic], one finds a general form of power, varying in scale alone. This form is the law of transgression and punishment, with its interplay of licit and illicit. Whether one attributes to it the form of the prince who formulates rights, of the father who forbids, or the censor who enforces silence, or of the maters who states the law, in any case one schematizes power in a juridical form, and one defines its effects as obedience. Confronted by a power that is law, the subject who is constituted as subject – who is “subjected” – is he[sic] who obeys. To the formal homogeneity of power in these various instances corresponds the general form of submission in the one who is constrained by it – whether the individual in question is the subject opposite the monarch, the citizen opposite the state, the child opposite the parent, or the disciple opposite the master. A legislative power on one side, and an obedient subject on the other.
Underlying both the general theme that power represses sex and the idea that the law constitutes desire, one encounters the same putative mechanics of power. It is defined in a strangely restrictive way, in that, to begin with, this power is poor in resources, sparing of its methods, monotonous in the tactics it utilizes, incapable of invention, and seemingly doomed always to repeat itself. Further, it is a power that only has the force of the negative on its side, a power to say no; in no condition to produce, capable only of posting limits, it is basically anti-energy. This is the paradox of its effectiveness: it is incapable of doing anything, except to render what it dominates incapable of doing anything either, except for what this power allows it to do. And finally, it is a power whose model is essentially juridical, centered on nothing more than the statement of the law and the operation of taboos. All the modes of domination, submission, and subjugation are ultimately reduced to an effect of obedience.
Why is this juridical notion of power,
involving as it does the neglect of everything that makes for its productive effectiveness, its strategic resourcefulness, its positivity, so readily accepted? In a society such as ours, where the devices of power are so numerous, its rituals so visible, and its instruments ultimately so reliable, in this society that has been more imaginative, probably, than any other in creating devious and supple mechanisms of power, what explains this tendency not to recognize the latter except in the negative and emaciated form of prohibition? Why are the deployments of power reduced simply to the procedure of the law of interdiction?
Let me offer a general and tactical reason that seems self-evident: power is tolerable only on condition that it mask a substantial part of itself. Its success is proportional to its ability to hide its own mechanisms. Would power be accepted if it were entirely cynical? For it, secrecy is not in the nature of an abuse: it is indispensable to its operation. Not only because power imposes secrecy on those whom it dominates, but because it is perhaps just as indispensable to the latter: would they accept it if they did not see it as a mere limit placed on their desire, leaving a measure of freedom—however slight—intact? Power as a pure limit set on freedom is, at least in our society, the general form of its acceptability.
There is, perhaps, a historical reason for this. The great institutions of power that developed in the Middle Ages—monarchy, the state with its apparatus—rose up on the basis of a multiplicity of prior powers, and to a certain extent in opposition to them: dense, entangled, conflicting powers, powers tied to the direct or indirect dominion over the land, to the possession of arms, to serfdom, to bonds of suzerainty and vassalage. If these institutions were able to implant themselves, if, by profiting from a whole series of tactical alliances, they were able to gain acceptance, this was because they presented themselves as agencies of regulation, arbitration, and demarcation, as a way of introducing order in the midst of these powers, of establishing a principle that would temper them and distribute them according to boundaries and a fixed hierarchy. Faced with a myriad of clashing forces, these great forms of power functioned as a principle of right that transcended all the heterogeneous claims, manifesting the triple distinction of forming a unitary regime, of identifying its will with the law, and of acting through mechanisms of interdiction and sanction. The slogan of this regime, pax et justitia, in keeping with the function it laid claim to, established peace as the prohibition of feudal or private wars, and justice as a way of suspending the private settling of lawsuits. Doubtless there was more to this development of great monarchic institutions than a pure and simple juridical edifice. But such was the language of power, the representation it gave of itself, and the entire theory of public law that was constructed in the Middle Ages, or reconstructed from Roman law, bears witness to the fact. Law was not simply a weapon skillfully wielded by monarchs; it was the monarchic system's mode of manifestation and the form of its acceptability. In Western societies since the Middle Ages, the exercise of power has always been formulated in terms of law.


This conflation of the force of law and sovereign power culminates in the modern state of exception which has reached its fullest deployment today, turning every worldly occupant into bare life – that is, life that can be legally eliminated at will of the sovereign because that life possesses no intrinsic legal rights. We can see this most in the Civil War in three separate instances:

First, Abraham Lincoln's suspension of Habeas Corpus, which declared that American citizens had no rights because he viewed them as a threat to the union. He continued with this action even though it was declared blatantly illegal in Ex Parte Merryman.

The second is the Emancipation Proclamation. While we remember this today as when the slaves were freed, what actually happened was that slaves in all territories that were not either loyal to the union or under union control were freed. Slaves in slave states that had not seceded like Delaware, Maryland, etc. were left in chains, as were slaves in 'liberated' New Orleans, or the western parts of Virginia. (To say nothing of de facto slaves in states like New York or New Jersey.) What the Emancipation Proclamation did was change the status of Black people in the United States from one of presumed slavery, to one of slavery at the condition of the good behaviour of White folks. This is not justice, this is not justifiable by any stretch of the imagination except as sublimating the rights of the people so “the state” may survive. It is the continuation and extension of the power of the state over the populace, pure and simple.

The third way to see this is in Abe Lincoln's famous letter to Horace Greeley. In it he declares, famously, that he wants to see all black slaves freed, but only if it will be convenient for the union. In short, he declares that liberty, justice, freedom are all secondary to the continuation of the United States as an active political body. This is not only unjust, but sets a horrible precedent. If the black person can be thrown under the bus now, to join the Native American, why not the Asian in de facto slavery in California? Or the Mexican in Texas? Or the Arab in New York City? To call this war, fought blatantly to continue State power over people who wanted not to have power exercised over them “just,” is perverse in the extreme.

To do so grants the Sovereign power the ability to suspend the law at any moment deemed convenient, and to thank them for it for maintaining “justice” and “order”, two things the law is meant to preserve and protect – to not recognize it as such condemns us to face continued global violence that has no end. And this isn't just the repression of danger, it is the mobilization of us all for our own slaughter, this is what enables warfare, genocide, even slavery in both chattel and de facto forms.

[Reveal] Spoiler: Michel Foucault, History of Sexuality, P. 136-137, published in 78
Since the classical age the West has undergone a very profound transformation of these mechanisms of power. “Deduction” has tended to be no longer the major form of power but merely one element among others, working to incite, reinforce, control, monitor, optimize, and organize the forces under it: a power bent on generating forces, making them grow, and ordering them, rather than one dedicated to impeding them, making them submit, or destroying them. There has been a parallel shift in the right of death, or at least a tendency to align itself with the exigencies of a life-administering power and to define itself accordingly. This death that was based on the right of the sovereign is now manifested as simply the reverse of the right of the social body to ensure, maintain, or develop its life. Yet wars were never as bloody as they have been since the nineteenth century, and all things being equal, never before did regimes visit such holocausts on their own populations. But this formidable power of death – and this is perhaps what accounts for part of its force and the cynicism with which it has so greatly expanded its limits – now presents itself as the counterpart of a power that exerts a positive influence on life, that endeavors to administer, optimize, and multiply it, subjecting it to precise controls and comprehensive regulations. Wars are no longer waged in the name of a sovereign who must be defended; they are waged on behalf of the existence of everyone; entire populations are mobilized for the purpose of wholesale slaughter in the name of life necessity: massacres have become vital. It is as managers of life and survival, of bodies and the race, that so many regimes have been able to wage so many wars, causing so many men [sic] to be killed. And through a turn that closes the circle, as the technology of wars has caused them to tend increasingly toward all-out destruction, the decision that initiates them and the one that terminates them are in face increasingly informed by the naked question of survival. The atomic situation is now at the end point of this process: the power to expose a whole population to death is the underside of the power to guarantee an individual’s continued existence. The principle underlying the tactics of battle – that one has to be capable of killing in order to go on living – has become the principle that defines the strategies of states. But the existence in question is no longer the juridical existence of sovereignty; at stake is the biological existence of a population. If genocide is indeed the dream of modern powers, this is not because of a recent return of the ancient right to kill; it is because power is situated and exercised at the level of life, the species, the race, and the large-scale phenomena of population.


Moreover, if you want to see the hollowness of the claim for justice being dished out by the United States, victory here doesn't free the blacks, it only declares them free. Marginalizing their problems, leaving them at the hands of the former slave keeper turned landlord over a horde of share croppers. Ignoring the fact that their economic status has, in fact, degraded since the time of slavery in many real terms. Instead Slavery is declared defeated, the union is restored without this serpent in its bosom, justice is declared 'done', and life goes on as it was before, including the horrible misery for the ex-slaves.

My overall point here is three fold:
First, that this was a not a war fought for justice, it was a war that was fought to increase biopolitical control over the entirety of the populace, and to make sure the ruling powers-that-be would not be destabilized.
Second, that no justice was done. People were subjugated, live ruined, all for the continuation of the power of the states.
Third, that the United States had no right to decide that it had complete control over everyone that it declared beneath its power.

Or, to put it bluntly, even if the USA was justified legally to act as it did, it was certainly not justified morally, especially if you consider the overall moral, ethical, and socio-political ramifications of its actions.

Now, to directly respond to the points you raised in your post.

Your first point may be, broadly, summarized as saying that there was no legal justification for secession. This brings up three separate responses:

First, the right to secede is not ever directly mentioned in the constitution. However, the tenth amendment declares that all powers not directly delineated in the Constitution are reserved for the states and their people. As such, the right of secession is clearly implied to lie with the individual states. Now you claim Article 4, Section 3, Clause 2 places restriction on this, but there is a major fault here, it expressly says that the constitution will not “prejudice any claims of... any state.” Now that's good for you, except that states already laid claim to the right to secede when they signed the constitution, and both New York and Virginia went so far as to make their claims in their ratifying documents. Virginia's reads as such:

Quote:
We the Delegates of the People of Virginia duly elected in pursuance of a recommendation from the General Assembly and now met in Convention having fully and freely investigated and discussed the proceedings of the Federal Convention and being prepared as well as the most mature deliberation hath enabled us to decide thereon Do in the name and in behalf of the People of Virginia declare and make known 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: that therefore no right of any denomination can be cancelled abridged restrained or modified by the Congress by the Senate or House of Representatives acting in any Capacity by the President or any Department or Officer of the United States except in those instances in which power is given by the Constitution for those purposes


Source

In short, at anytime the people could say “No more!” and get out. With this power firmly in the hands of the people and states at the time of ratification, and the U.S. Constitution saying no claim to such relevant matters made by the states could be infringed by the federal government, you're shit out of luck for justification for suppressing the rebellion.

Further, in response to my questioning to you said secession is only justifiable in the eyes of long running tyranny. However the United States recognized the secession of both the Texan Republic and the Californian republic from Mexico, in the absence of this same long running tyranny. Surely if the U.S. recognized those states as being able to legally leave Mexico and join the U.S. they could legally leave the U.S. and join the C.S.A.
This puts you into a double bind. Either secession is a legitimate political action, which means the war was not just because the Confederate states were acting well within their rights, or secession is an illegitimate tactic, which means the United States is A. illegitimate in its makeup and B. is laying a fraudulent claim to having sovereignty over the state of Texas and is fighting a war, and causing massive slaughter, over something that it has essentially stolen from Mexico. Either way, you're on the wrong side of this.


You also say the war was justified to free the slaves. Except see my analysis above that their freedom was never the issue, but only a canard to carry out massive injustice, the fact that slaves were essentially slaves after the war pretty much until the late sixties, and that saying that the Civil War was a just war is also saying that the random abridgment of rights over any person is also just. Which is just, on face, wrong.


In short, the North's decision to suppress the rebellion in the civil war cannot possibly be justified. It was a war fought for stolen land, to expand the control of the state at the expense of liberty, and fought in violation of both the spirit of the signers of the constitution and the constitution itself (and against a right reserved by both for “the people”.) It was, at its core, an unjust war.



"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

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 Post subject: Re: The American Civil War (Rogue 9 V Straha) PostPosted: 2010-07-02 01:44pm
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Questions:

1.) Since we are discussing the behavior of the United States toward the Confederate rebels, what the fuck do the Native Americans have to do with anything?

2.) Presuming that somehow they do, isn't the whole thing a wash since the Confederates had no better, and in fact considerably worse, claim to the land than the United States?

3.) In what way is the history of sexuality, of all things, related to the discussion at hand?

4.) Do you recognize a difference between a state acting in its corporate capacity and the people acting in their individual capacities?

5.) Is war ever justified as a response to multiple acts of war committed by a second entity?



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 Post subject: Re: The American Civil War (Rogue 9 V Straha) PostPosted: 2010-07-02 05:36pm
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Rogue 9 wrote:
Questions:

1.) Since we are discussing the behavior of the United States toward the Confederate rebels, what the fuck do the Native Americans have to do with anything?


Everything.

The sine qua non for proving that the United States was justified in claiming the lands of the CSA as "its own" is proving that they had any sort of just claim in the first place. If the United States simply stole the land (at best) from other nations/states/peoples then they have no claim to the land of the Southern states in the first place. Without such a claim, suppressing the rebellion could never be justified.

A second, and higher, moral issue here is the idea that claiming this land as "justly" belonging the United States endorses the Discovery Doctrine in toto. Basically it declares that the Native Americans A. never had any real claim to this land in the first place, and B. anything that came to them was just deserts for getting in whitey's way. Basically, you're trying to stake out the moral high ground while legitimating genocide, and I think that should be called out.

Quote:
2.) Presuming that somehow they do, isn't the whole thing a wash since the Confederates had no better, and in fact considerably worse, claim to the land than the United States?


The United States was actively stating right to control land it had no right to. Even if the Confederates are bad conceding this means you are not proving the resolution, and that you're giving up all the moral high ground you claimed in your first post. Without a moral justification for the war, you lose. If you the Confederates were worse in their treatment of Native Americans, you've proven nothing that helps you.

Quote:
3.) In what way is the history of sexuality, of all things, related to the discussion at hand?


The History of Sexuality is a book by Foucault, despite its title (dude was French) he spends a lot of time ruminating and discussing the relation between power and the people. This was the first book to really discuss the idea of biopolitics and biopower, and that's what makes it relevant to the discussion at hand. The second quote, if you read it, is all about mobilizing populaces like this, and is directly applicable to A. the Union's claim to be furthering the state, and B. your claim to be ending slavery.

Quote:
4.) Do you recognize a difference between a state acting in its corporate capacity and the people acting in their individual capacities?


Sure. I don't really get where you're driving with this, so if you want to ask a more specific follow up question I'd be more than willing to give you an answer.

Quote:
5.) Is war ever justified as a response to multiple acts of war committed by a second entity?


Hypothetically, yes, maybe. But is war ever justified in 'reclaiming' lands that you stole in the first place (or committed ethnic cleansing to rid yourself of pesky natives)? No.



"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

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 Post subject: Re: The American Civil War (Rogue 9 V Straha) PostPosted: 2010-07-02 11:13pm
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With his initial reply, my opponent seems incapable of grasping the basics of what I say. With this in mind, I shall endeavor to use smaller words in this response.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.3 Even 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

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 over 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 to remain 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

To answer your response to my original post:

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

1 McPherson, James. Battle cry of freedom. Oxford University Press, USA, 2003. 836-837. Print.

2 Abraham Lincoln. Letter to Horace Greeley, August 22, 1862.

3 Abraham Lincoln. Letter to James Conkling, August 26, 1863.

4 Quotation from the notes of journalist Joseph Mills.

5 McPherson, James. Drawn with the sword. Oxford University Press, USA, 1996. 214-216. Print.

6 United States Constitution, Article XI

7 Stephens, Alexander H. Cornerstone Address. Atlanta, 1861.

8 Confederate Constitution, Article I, Section 9, Clause 4



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 Post subject: Re: The American Civil War (Rogue 9 V Straha) PostPosted: 2010-07-03 04:13pm
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Questions:

1. How can you defend Lincoln's suspension of Habeas Corpus as legal, when it was declared to be unconstitutional by the courts involved, namely Ex Parte Merryman which I cited above?

2. How would freeing black slaves in the military occupied and controlled New Orleans, or West Virginia, violate Lincoln's power as Commander-in-Chief?

3. So your argument against secession is that the supremacy clause, and you maintain that this is the crux of the right to the land of the Southern states?

4. You state that the right to secede lies with the people, and not the states, if the people of the Southern states wished to secede and expressed their will through the state, why should they be barred from doing so?

5. To clarify a point, you believe that the CSA declared war against the United States of America, and this justified the Northern States' response?



"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

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 Post subject: Re: The American Civil War (Rogue 9 V Straha) PostPosted: 2010-07-04 12:02am
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Straha wrote:
1. How can you defend Lincoln's suspension of Habeas Corpus as legal, when it was declared to be unconstitutional by the courts involved, namely Ex Parte Merryman which I cited above?

Ex Parte Merryman was issued in clear defiance of the necessities of rebellion and invasion. At the time, some states held elections for their representatives to Congress early in the off year, meaning Congress could not be seated for months after the outbreak of the rebellion. Sitting around twiddling thumbs waiting for Congress to come into session would have lost the capital and the war. In any case, Congress promptly affirmed everything Lincoln had done when it did come into session as in line with its wishes and the necessities of the emergency.
Straha wrote:
2. How would freeing black slaves in the military occupied and controlled New Orleans, or West Virginia, violate Lincoln's power as Commander-in-Chief?

Because such a measure would not serve to weaken the enemy (those areas were already thoroughly removed from any ability to meaningfully assist the Confederate cause), and thus could not be justified on the grounds of serving to prosecute the war.
Straha wrote:
3. So your argument against secession is that the supremacy clause, and you maintain that this is the crux of the right to the land of the Southern states?

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.
Straha wrote:
4. You state that the right to secede lies with the people, and not the states, if the people of the Southern states wished to secede and expressed their will through the state, why should they be barred from doing so?

Because the dissolution of the Constitution lies with the people of the United States, not the people of South Carolina. The people of the United States resuming the powers granted under the Constitution involves revoking the Constitution by constitutional convention in the same manner as its ratification, not the legislature of a state passing an ordinance of secession. Alternatively, an amendment could be passed ejecting/releasing a state from the Union, which would involve pretty much the same thing since it would require the consent of a large majority of the co-states.
Straha wrote:
5. To clarify a point, you believe that the CSA declared war against the United States of America, and this justified the Northern States' response?

Not as such. There was no formal declaration of war, but the Slave Power did indeed commit egregious acts of war, which, declared or not, warranted response.



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 Post subject: Re: The American Civil War (Rogue 9 V Straha) PostPosted: 2010-07-07 01:12am
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This time I suggest you read the evidence provided instead of just ignoring it and moving on.

Quote:
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:
[Reveal] 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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:

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.
[/quote]

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.

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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.


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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.

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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.


[Reveal] Spoiler: Ulrike Kistner, 2004
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
Source

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.


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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?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?


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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.

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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.


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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

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 Post subject: Re: The American Civil War (Rogue 9 V Straha) PostPosted: 2010-07-07 02:51pm
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Questions:

1.) If your argument is that it's acceptable to dismember the United States because it sits on land belonging to the native tribes, why is it less acceptable to dismember the Confederate States because they sat on land belonging to the United States?

2.) For that matter, why, in your view, does the land belong to those specific tribes rather than earlier indigenous peoples displaced by both the tribes that were currently on the land during the settlement of the West and by each other before those tribes came into being? Why not view the Sioux as in the wrong for defending their lands, for instance, because they occupied land formerly belonging to the Mississippian civilization?

3.) "Biopower?" What the fuck is this, the Matrix? :lol: I'm not impressed by random lunatics making up scary-sounding words as a means of leveraging their brain-dead ideas.

4.) Since it required the consent of the people of the vast majority (in fact, in operation that meant "all") of the states to enact the Constitution, which binds the states to federal sovereignty and therefore acts as a binding contract, why should the people of only one state get to break the contract? If I were to decide to break my non-disclosure and/or non-compete contracts with my employer, he'd nail me to the fucking wall (or at least he'd certainly try), not simply nullify the contract because one of the parties decided he didn't like it anymore.

5.) Do you also claim that the Allied Powers were wrong to prosecute war against the Axis Powers in the Second World War in response to the many acts of war committed by the Axis against them?



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 Post subject: Re: The American Civil War (Rogue 9 V Straha) PostPosted: 2010-07-08 03:08am
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Rogue 9 wrote:
Questions:

1.) If your argument is that it's acceptable to dismember the United States because it sits on land belonging to the native tribes, why is it less acceptable to dismember the Confederate States because they sat on land belonging to the United States?


Your question is largely irrelevant (I'll get to that in a second), but to answer the second part: it's because the land never rightly belonged to the United States, so your justification is flat wrong. It would be akin to me stealing your car, having the car stolen from me, and then going to the police to try and get it back. They'd laugh me out of the room if they weren't too busy locking me up and throwing me in jail. Similarly the United States has no right to the land in question.

As to why the question is largely irrelevant, you seemingly do not understand how to debate with a resolution. So, debate 101 "The Resolution and You!":

The resolution for this debate is: "Resolved: That the United States was justified in suppressing the rebellion during the Civil War." You, as the affirmative, have to prove that the resolution is a true statement, and then defend it from any attacks I lay against it. For you, the resolution is everything, you cannot sever out of the resolution as that would horribly undermine the fairness of the debate, and you cannot change the resolution, for the same reasons. You have to defend it, in whole, while I only need to prove part of it as false.

I have two main arguments against you here, one of which is Native Americans, the other Biopower. The Native Americans one is, essentially, attacking the validity of your actor. I am saying that the United States could never be justified in any action for all the reasons I wont rehash here. If I prove that as true, then you have lost the debate because the statement "The United States was justified in suppressing the rebellion during the Civil War" is now untrue. Even if you win that the South ought be destroyed (which is what you seem to think this debate is about), you lose because the truth value you're supposed to be defending is now proven false.

So, yes. It's no more or less acceptable to dismember the CSA than it is to dismember the USA, but seeing as how you've outright conceded that the USA ought not be doing anything, you lose. And this question? Irrelevant to the debate at hand.

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2.) For that matter, why, in your view, does the land belong to those specific tribes rather than earlier indigenous peoples displaced by both the tribes that were currently on the land during the settlement of the West and by each other before those tribes came into being? Why not view the Sioux as in the wrong for defending their lands, for instance, because they occupied land formerly belonging to the Mississippian civilization?


There are two answers here:

The first, is that it's irrelevant who the land 'belonged to' originally, what matters is that the United States A. had no claim to this land, and B. was in no way justified in claiming that they had a better claim to the land than the Native American inhabitants simply because they were white (a point I made regarding Johnson V M'Intosh, which you kindly conceded.) That's what undermines the credibility of the U.S. government and makes them unsuitable actors (perhaps the kindest perjorative words ever written about a state that engaged in Ethnic cleansing.) Even if you win that the land didn't belong to, say, the Sioux you still haven't proven that the land ought to belong to the United States government, which means you still lose.

The second way this is relevant is in your own view of legality. You rely on the constitution, and specifically the Supremacy clause, as giving the United States the right to suppress the Southern states. However, the USFG signed a number of treaties with tribes, like the Cherokee, recognizing their ownership of the lands which make up the Southern states, and then proceeded to disregard those treaties. According to any reasonable application of the constitution, the U.S. has no right to this land and, as such, any war to claim it for the United States is unconstitutional.

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3.) "Biopower?" What the fuck is this, the Matrix? :lol: I'm not impressed by random lunatics making up scary-sounding words as a means of leveraging their brain-dead ideas.


Your arrogance is breathtaking. This "random lunatic" is, amongst other things, the most cited academic of modern times (source), one of the father's of modern day sociology, and his ideas are probably the most influential force on modern historiography. This is not just me talking (personally, and outside of this debate, I disagree with a lot of what he's written), the man has defined how two generation of academics across all fields have viewed society, politics, ethics, historiography, the nature of power, and everything in between. You should probably have the decency to at least Wikipedia the man before you start denigrating him.

That said, this is all irrelevant. Your utterly non-responsive post conceded three key things:
1. The existence of bio-power.
2. That biopower has undermined the right of the individual and made it something that can be eliminated at will because it possesses no inherent rights beyond what the sovereign power grants it.
3. That biopolitical control is what allows, and indeed condemns us to, genocide, warfare, de facto slavery and global violence.

With these concessions I only need to win the link that the Civil War increased biopolitical control and you lose because the long term effects of the civil war no longer justify the short term "gains."



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4.) Since it required the consent of the people of the vast majority (in fact, in operation that meant "all") of the states to enact the Constitution, which binds the states to federal sovereignty and therefore acts as a binding contract, why should the people of only one state get to break the contract? If I were to decide to break my non-disclosure and/or non-compete contracts with my employer, he'd nail me to the fucking wall (or at least he'd certainly try), not simply nullify the contract because one of the parties decided he didn't like it anymore.


To think of it as a contract between an employer and employee is to misunderstand the nature of the constitution. A better way to understand it, if you want to use a contractual analogy, is to view it as a marriage contract; something which is entered into 'for perpetuity' but which can still be dissolved at the behest of either partner for a myriad of reasons, though it's understood that this is a very bad thing to have happen. Similarly the Constitution was not written with the idea of secession in the mind of the framers, but it was understood (and explicitly stated as such by some signers) that States/the people could leave the Union should they think it necessary. It was hoped that it would never be so, and the government was designed in a way that would make it hard for all involved, so as to discourage it, but it was always an option.

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5.) Do you also claim that the Allied Powers were wrong to prosecute war against the Axis Powers in the Second World War in response to the many acts of war committed by the Axis against them?


This question is utterly irrelevant, the justifiability of a war that happened almost a century after the one we are studying has no bearing on the question at hand. If you want an answer to that question that will be in some way germane to this discussion, please feel free to rephrase it to make your point clear and I'll gladly answer it.



"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

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