Skip to comments.Is There Something Wrong With The Term: "War Between the States?"
Posted on 01/11/2014 11:16:07 AM PST by Davy Buck
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Joe Johnston and Braxton Bragg had distinguished careers prior to the Civil War as well. Both had served with distinction in the Mexican War as well as Indian wars. Both were found lacking. Albert Johnston could have wound up being another Lee or he could have wound up making Bragg look good. We'll never know.
So you acknowledge then the war was not about slavery. Good.
“About” is a complicated thing.
I am convinced the Civil War is the single most difficult thing to get your head around that there is. The more I study it, the less I seem to know.
The distinction is in the modifier: individual rights, state rights, individual powers, state powers (whatever any of the foregoing may be).
You question referring to states as ruling regimes. I honestly do not know what to call them if not that.
a nation or territory considered as an organized political community under one government.
a politically organized body of people usually occupying a definite territory; especially : one that is sovereign
When I think of a "state" I think of more than the ruling regime. I think of the people, the territority they occupy, their government, the things that bind them together, not just the rulers. The ruling regime may change while the state remains.
As to the "consent of the governed", the words trouble me. I don't know if there is a government that has the consent of all of the governed on a national scale, at least not in all matters.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. (emphasis mine)
Do you recognize the above phrase? Are you equally troubled by the expression all men are created equal? How far do you suppose any responsive government should take the meaning of that expression on a national scale? Should it demand that every person must have the same number of bathrooms in every home? The same square feet? The same climate control? The same quality and quantity of food and clothing? The identical level of education?
By the same token, are governments instituted among men to control their every movement and choice, or do governments exist and derive their just powers in order to secure the certain unalienable rights of every person? Which sort of government would have your consent? Would you prefer a ruling regime of unlimited powers? Would your choice hinge on whether or not you are a member of the ruling elite?
Im not demanding you agree with me. Im simply asking you think a little about the proposition.
Are you equally troubled by the expression all men are created equal?
Not as long as it means they are equally endowed with equal unalienable rights; that they may not constrain the rights of others by virtue of their creation.
How far do you suppose any responsive government should take the meaning of that expression on a national scale?
As far as necessary to secure the unalienable rights the government was instituted to secure.
Should it demand that every person must have the same number of bathrooms in every home?
The same square feet?
The same climate control?
The same quality and quantity of food and clothing?
The identical level of education?
By the same token, are governments instituted among men to control their every movement and choice, or do governments exist and derive their just powers in order to secure the certain unalienable rights of every person?
Just governments exist and derive their just powers in order to secure the certain unalienable rights of every person over whom the government justly holds sway.
Which sort of government would have your consent?
The sort that exists and derives its just powers in order to secure the certain unalienable rights of every person over whom the government justly holds sway.
Would you prefer a ruling regime of unlimited powers?
Would your choice hinge on whether or not you are a member of the ruling elite?
I've never been a member of a ruling elite as far as I know, but I don't believe so.
I answered your questions, now please answer mine:
First and most important, why did you change the subject? You started off quoting me on "consent of the governed", marginally addressed that, and then went off sideways. Are you unable to discuss "consent of the governed" or unwilling?
When our side won the Revolutionary War and established a new government, did that government have the "consent of the governed" when the particular people in question had been Tories, Loyalists? Should it not have governed them?
Are you acquainted with the Sovereign Citizen Movement? Basically, they don't consent to be governed by any of our governments. Should our governments leave them alone because they don't consent?
Did we not establish government in Germany and Japan after WWII and did those governed give their consent?
Have the various criminal organizations in the US given their consent to be governed by other than their own hierarchies?
Is consent really consent if it is forced by circumstance or superior power?
Has everyone subject to our National, State and Local governments freely given consent to be governed? Did you ask them? Did anyone ask them for their consent?
“By the time John Brown hung from the gallows for his crimes at Harpers Ferry, Northern abolitionists had made him a holy martyr in their campaign against Southern slave owners. This Northern hatred for Southerners long predated their objections to slavery. They were convinced that New England, whose spokesmen had begun the American Revolution, should have been the leader of the new nation. Instead, they had been displaced by Southern slavocrats like Thomas Jefferson. This malevolent envy exacerbated the Souths greatest fear: a race war. Jeffersons cry, We are truly to be pitied, summed up their dread. For decades, extremists in both regions flung insults and threats, creating intractable enmities. By 1861, only a civil war that would kill a million men could save the Union.”
I prefer the term the war of southern independence.
First and most important, why did you change the subject?
How did I change the subject? The assertion does not prove the fact. Prove the fact. Demonstrate in detail in what manner the subject has been changed.
The subject was the consent of the governed, was it not? Can we at least agree on that?
I introduced the context in which the phrase consent of the governed appears, although I can hardly believe anyone even dimly aware of American History would likely understand otherwise (not even Lenin, Pelosi, or 0bama). I am unaware of any other context in which consent of the governed appears, or of any other context from which consent of the governed might be taken.
For thirteen years, ever since the close of the Seven Years War between GB & France, the British Colonials had been in dispute with King George and Parliament over the degree of control King & Parliament might have over the colonies (King & Parliament claimed total; the colonies claimed none without their consent and then only with representation). Gradually the Colonialists came to realize King & Parliament were never going to say anything but fppt! to either consent or representation. Hence Mr. Jeffersons remarkable tome, including the much disputed Consent of the Governed.
Historians seem to be in general agreement that at the beginning of the American War For Independence about a third of the Colonials were patriots, about a third wanted to remain loyal to King & Country, and the other third simply wished everyone else would just go away. So, in that you are approximately correct. Five years later, when Cornwallis finally gave it up, that action signaling the impending end, I dont know what number composed the mix, but a good many of the Loyalists packed up and moved north to Canada (whether they wanted to or not).
So, I guess you can claim we have never consensually existed with a legitimate government, if your contention is that the only acceptable alternative to consent of the governed is criminal activity or armed insurrection. Although criminal activity, along with the claim of religious exclusivity, might be thought aimed more directly against Society rather than simply government.
Consent of the governed can mean something no more complicated than consenting to be governed rather than ruled. You seemed to have no contextual problem with the Jeffersonian expression all men are created equal, a phrase upon which the phrase consent of the governed logically and genetically depends, but I guess consent of the governed totally defeats you. Just as the Colonials had a number of options before armed insurrection, so do we. As did they, between the Seven Years War and the American War For Independence, we seem to be handicapped by a population that, by half or more, doesnt care if it is governed or ruled, so long as they have their flat screens, their housing allowance, their booze, their sex tools, and their Email texting.
We also have our Separatists and Supremacists (which we used to call hermits) and there are, of course, others who believe we can exist without a government of any sort (although they seem to be primarily opposed to being ruled without making any distinction between that and being governed). And there are, of course, those who are convinced that the people are helpless to govern themselves and must be ruled (for their own good).
If you are among any of these last named, I can certainly understand why you would be violently opposed to consent of the governed.
We can agree on that. Specifically, in post 320 you wrote (among other things):
If I understand you correctly, you wrote that you can't "name a few governments that are conducted genuinely by the 'consent of the governed'" while I wrote "I don't know if there is a government that has the consent of all of the governed..." That troubles me about the words "consent of the governed"; we can't, in your words, "name a few governments that are conducted genuinely by the 'consent of the governed'". We don't know if there are any.
I'm a little vague on where we differ in this regard.
How did I change the subject?
You quoted the Declaration Of Independence, emphasizing the words "from the consent of the governed", and in the next paragraph, the first in that post of your own composition, started writing about all men are created equal and went on about "equality" with no obvious to me transition, connection or tie in to "consent of the governed".
That strikes me as a change of subject from "consent of the governed" to "all men are created equal".
Now in your last post, 330, you did write 'all men are created equal,' a phrase upon which the phrase 'consent of the governed' logically and genetically depends", which makes the connection, but you didn't write it till paragraph 7 and it being in post 330 didn't do me any good in my post 327 response to your post 326. (I'm not convinced that "consent of the governed" logically and genetically depends on "all men are created equal".)
So, I guess you can claim we have never consensually existed with a legitimate government, if your contention is that the only acceptable alternative to consent of the governed is criminal activity or armed insurrection.
I do not contend that.
If you are among any of these last named, I can certainly understand why you would be violently opposed to consent of the governed.
I'm not "violently opposed to 'consent of the governed'.
As I wrote above:
What else are you not a little vague on, besides your disagreement with the phrase consent of the governed? You seem to be a little vague about the existence, or the number, of public figures who do not think of themselves as rulers, but who knows for sure, since you have positioned yourself so as to be able to declare your vagueness, or the lack thereof, after the fact. Likewise, you seem a little vague about the existence, or the number of, governments that are conducted genuinely by the consent of the governed.
a change of subject from "consent of the governed" to "all men are created equal".
text surrounding word or passage: the words, phrases, or passages that come before and after a particular word or passage in a speech or piece of writing and help to explain its full meaning.
surrounding conditions: the circumstances or events that form the environment within which something exists or takes place
Are you a little vague about the importance of context? Do you dispute the role that context has in supporting our understanding of an idea? a philosophy? a concept (political or otherwise)? I explained to you that consent of the governed exists within the context of The Declaration, adding that I knew of no other context and also expressing some astonishment that anyone would be unaware of the context. Are you aware of some other context? Do you propose another context in which consent of the governed might be considered? If so, what?
I also explained that consent of the governed depended, genetically and logically, upon the idea all men are created equal. Consent of the governed would make no sense if all men (meaning all of mankind) were not created equal. Without the equality of all men (all Mankind) we could, indeed, make a distinction between Rulers and the Ruled. What about that understanding do you find a little vague? Likewise I explained that consent of the governed could be nothing more complicated than consenting to be governed, rather than ruled. Do you fail to comprehend the difference between being governed and being ruled as I use the terms? The distinction hinges on why I note a difference between governments that govern and regimes that rule.
Perhaps you find the difference to be too vague to apprehend. What else might you be a little vague about, I wonder? Perhaps anything you dont wish to understand?
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