Thursday, June 25, 2015


It's absurd how quickly the Chas church shooting devolves into a debate over the Confederate flag, and finally a debate over the pros and cons of secession. In 2015, we're revisiting those hoary debates from the 1850s. 

But since some pundits insist on bringing this up: I don't so much object to Southern states seceding from the Union. What I object to is their taking the slaves with them. Freedom is a two-way street: if Confederates are entitled to be free, so are slaves. If Confederates are entitled to be free of the Union, the slaves are entitled to be free of the Confederacy. You're welcome to go, but leave the slaves behind.

That's the central contradiction in the Confederate argument. That's why Confederate apologists could never win the argument. They couldn't get over that hurdle.

If enough people in a given state or region no longer wish to be part of a political coalition, should we kill to keep them in? That's fanatical nationalism.

Should Hong Kong or Singapore be reabsorbed into Mainland China? 

Now, I'm not suggesting that was a practical alternative. Practically the whole point of secession was to keep the slaves. Maintain slave labor as the backbone of the Southern economy. 

Moreover, it would be unfair to the slaves to dispossess them. For many, the South was their home. They felt at home there. They had as much right to live there as anyone else. Even after the war, many remained in the South. That's a weakness with most partition plans. It forces many residents to relocate, because they are embedded in ethnically mixed communities. 

I'm just arguing a point of principle.

1 comment:

  1. I believe the North had no moral high ground seeing as they were as much involved in the slave trade when it suited them ( The South would have eventually abolished slavery because the market would have dictated it. People didn't have to die for it to go away.

    I agree however that slavery is a hurdle that is nearly impossible to get around when arguing for the Confederacy.