Was the Union war against the Confederacy a progressive war or imperialist bloodbath?

188 posts / 0 new
Last post
RC
Offline
Joined: 11-07-08
Feb 17 2016 20:06

Its worth noting how left versions of progress echo the official version of racism in the USA.

The official version goes like this: there was once the “peculiar institution” of slavery which was not in line with the American values of freedom and equality. For blacks to become full Americans, a number of progressive steps had to be carried out by the federal government. America still has a lot of work to do to correct the injustices inherited from slavery and Jim Crow, but progress has been and is being made – maybe too little, too slowly, but overall in the right direction.

This view sees racism in the USA as a legacy of the past, not something produced by the current legal and economic system. It sees racism as something to be eliminated by legal and political reforms -- even though, for all the progress in this regard, racism never goes away. It doesn’t want to look at what racism has to do with the American values of freedom and equality and the private command over the social means of production – which creates a few beneficiaries who own the social wealth and a great mass of wage earners and “superfluous” people.

Slavery and Jim Crow gave blacks the worst initial conditions in the competition, but it is the competition for money and jobs that is responsible for the miserable conditions and police violence in black communities.

Reddebrek's picture
Reddebrek
Offline
Joined: 4-01-12
Feb 17 2016 20:21
lettersjournal wrote:
Slavery or peasantry was 'better' than wage labor because both had a potential escape not leading to waged labor. They had a potential to take the fabled 'Russian Road' and bypass capitalism altogether. (We can say ex post facto that this did not happen, but then the international revolution of the working class didn't happen either.)

You know the first American state to abolish slavery was Pennsylvania in 1780, this means there was nearly a century of free black population* coexisting with slave owning states, not to mention the tens of thousands of blacks freed during the American Revolution by the British. With that in mind why is it that these freed blacks whom unlike you had a direct experience of slavery preferred the life of free people to that of the slave? Why would they constantly agitate for more emancipation and the right to participate on an equal footing even as proletarians and wage earners?

Moving beyond America, why did Black Haitians fight so long and so hard against three Empires to maintain their freedom? Indeed globally and throughout history the pattern is clear, the slave despised their lot and when given the opportunity did all in their power to change it?

What is your explanation for this total lack of nostalgia for the good old days of Dixie?

*Actually it was longer than that, as there were tiny free black population even in the slave owning states/colonies

S. Artesian
Offline
Joined: 5-02-09
Feb 17 2016 21:21
RC wrote:
“Progress” is a rotten idea. It says that all the horrible shit that people have been put through in history was ok if it advanced the productive forces or whatever.

Strawman. Nobody says anything is "ok." I don't say that. Hieronymous doesn't say that. Ocelot didn't say that. Alf didn't say it. Reddebrek didn't say it.

I said the abolition of slavery by means of military struggle against the slaveholders' rebellion was more than OK. It was necessary. It was a step forward in the struggle for the emancipation of black labor, and through that, the emancipation of labor in general.

Nobody's arguing that the means of production "could only have developed in a capitalist form," only that the means of production in the 19th century in the United States were in the capitalist mode, or form; and only that the slave mode, while intimately connected with that capitalist form in the US and Europe, was incapable of creating the conditions of its own overthrow.

If you want to argue about "progress"-- that's another thread completely.

S. Artesian
Offline
Joined: 5-02-09
Feb 17 2016 21:24
RC wrote:
Its worth noting how left versions of progress echo the official version of racism in the USA.

The official version goes like this: there was once the “peculiar institution” of slavery which was not in line with the American values of freedom and equality. For blacks to become full Americans, a number of progressive steps had to be carried out by the federal government. America still has a lot of work to do to correct the injustices inherited from slavery and Jim Crow, but progress has been and is being made – maybe too little, too slowly, but overall in the right direction.

This view sees racism in the USA as a legacy of the past, not something produced by the current legal and economic system. It sees racism as something to be eliminated by legal and political reforms -- even though, for all the progress in this regard, racism never goes away. It doesn’t want to look at what racism has to do with the American values of freedom and equality and the private command over the social means of production – which creates a few beneficiaries who own the social wealth and a great mass of wage earners and “superfluous” people.

Where has any of this been argued on this thread? And by whom. Christ on a crutch man, quit throwing shit around hoping something might stick.

Being ignorant, as you are, is one thing. Being dishonest and ignorant is something else again.

RC
Offline
Joined: 11-07-08
Feb 17 2016 23:28

I was referring to the article I linked to ("Finish the Civil War!"). You yourself said that the 4th International was a terrific thing that capitalism made possible. If you read it, it pretty much says exactly what you have been arguing here: that the civil war progressive, that we should celebrate the Northern capitalists who opposed slavery on humanitarian grounds, that civil rights legislation was further progress, etc etc. I am trying to clarify your argument. If you don't like the implications, then deal with that.

Hieronymous's picture
Hieronymous
Offline
Joined: 27-07-07
Feb 17 2016 23:36
RC wrote:
I am trying to clarify your argument.

Regarding RC debating with a link to another website that they posted themselves, as well as openly putting words in Artesian's mouth:

S. Artesian wrote:
Being ignorant, as you are, is one thing. Being dishonest and ignorant is something else again.

word

lettersjournal
Offline
Joined: 12-12-11
Feb 17 2016 23:45
Reddebrek wrote:
lettersjournal wrote:
Slavery or peasantry was 'better' than wage labor because both had a potential escape not leading to waged labor. They had a potential to take the fabled 'Russian Road' and bypass capitalism altogether. (We can say ex post facto that this did not happen, but then the international revolution of the working class didn't happen either.)

You know the first American state to abolish slavery was Pennsylvania in 1780, this means there was nearly a century of free black population* coexisting with slave owning states, not to mention the tens of thousands of blacks freed during the American Revolution by the British. With that in mind why is it that these freed blacks whom unlike you had a direct experience of slavery preferred the life of free people to that of the slave? Why would they constantly agitate for more emancipation and the right to participate on an equal footing even as proletarians and wage earners?

Moving beyond America, why did Black Haitians fight so long and so hard against three Empires to maintain their freedom? Indeed globally and throughout history the pattern is clear, the slave despised their lot and when given the opportunity did all in their power to change it?

What is your explanation for this total lack of nostalgia for the good old days of Dixie?

*Actually it was longer than that, as there were tiny free black population even in the slave owning states/colonies

I'm not sure how to respond because I made no claims about the everyday conditions of slavery being preferable to anything. As I said and you quoted:

lettersjournal wrote:
Slavery or peasantry was 'better' than wage labor because both had a potential escape not leading to waged labor. They had a potential to take the fabled 'Russian Road' and bypass capitalism altogether. (We can say ex post facto that this did not happen, but then the international revolution of the working class didn't happen either.)

Nobody would trade their job at BestBuy for life as a slave on a cotton plantation, but slaves and peasants had some opportunity to escape/destroy slavery/peasantry into something other than wage labor. In the same way that those initially proletarianized had some chance to resist that fate.

No such 'escape route' exists today. One could say, perhaps, that the Civil War (and its attendant armed conflicts like the Nez Perce War), was the permanent shutting of that escape route in America.

General Oliver Howard, Civil War hero and founder of Howard University, was the commander of the American army in the Nez Perce War. He's an interesting historical figure and could help us untangle this idea of progress.

RC
Offline
Joined: 11-07-08
Feb 18 2016 00:32

Hieronymous wrote:

Quote:
word

Or: amen!

S. Artesian
Offline
Joined: 5-02-09
Feb 18 2016 04:22
RC wrote:
I was referring to the article I linked to ("Finish the Civil War!"). You yourself said that the 4th International was a terrific thing that capitalism made possible. If you read it, it pretty much says exactly what you have been arguing here: that the civil war progressive, that we should celebrate the Northern capitalists who opposed slavery on humanitarian grounds, that civil rights legislation was further progress, etc etc. I am trying to clarify your argument. If you don't like the implications, then deal with that.

As I pointed out, nobody in this thread has said the things you claim have been said. I didn't say the 4th Intl was a "terrific thing." I pointed out that there could be NO international movement of workers and poor for the emancipation of labor under slavery.

You want to argue with the Sparts, argue with the Sparts. I am not a Spart; I've laid out my arguments and you've failed to deal with a single one of them.

This is where we tell Sander-- right. This is why we call people like RC who make shit up, who don't know what they're talking about, who can't deal with the actual arguments-- ignorant, dishonest, fucked-up.

Hieronymous's picture
Hieronymous
Offline
Joined: 27-07-07
Feb 18 2016 06:08

Since RC only posts on libcom as a contrarian troll, they might as well be a Spart.

S. Artesian
Offline
Joined: 5-02-09
Feb 18 2016 17:54

BTW, still waiting for RC (or Sander or any one of the-- let's call them-- anti-abolitionists; think that is so fitting for those who call us "progressivists" and other nonsense)..

Still waiting for RC or any other of the anti-abolitionists to respond to the challenge in post #115:

Quote:
Here's an exercise, for Sander and anyone else who is so inclined:

In 1863, in New York City, after the second "drawing" of the draft for Union Army troops, thousands of white, many Irish, mostly poor, or at least poorer, or at least "not of the possessing class" rioted, initially out of outrage that wealthier men could pay a $300 bounty and avoid the draft.

Things being what they were, and are, in the US, anti-black racism soon became the motivation of the rioters, who attacked and lynched numerous black artisans, laborers, shopkeepers, and in the full demonstration of their class solidarity with the victims of the common class enemy of blacks and whites-- burned down the children's Colored Orphans Asylum.

Troops from the Union Army were diverted to NYC to suppress the rioters, but by that time 120 black people had been killed.

OK here's your mission, should you choose to accept.

1. You are the head of a workers group in NYC.

--Write an address, and appeal, an agitational leaflet to the rioters. Tell us what you tell the rioters... about the Civil War, about the draft, about slavery, about those black people being attacked in the city.

2. The Union Army arrives in NYC. You are head of both a local workers group, and a member of an international association. Write the following leaflets, appeals.

So have at it anti-abolitionists. Tell us how you address the crowd of anti-progressive; anti-state (but pro Tammany Hall); anti-draft; anti-militarist; anti-whatever, who, went they aren't killing blacks, burning orphanages, etc. want to know what to do next.

lettersjournal
Offline
Joined: 12-12-11
Feb 18 2016 18:18
Quote:
So have at it anti-abolitionists. Tell us how you address the crowd of anti-progressive; anti-state (but pro Tammany Hall); anti-draft; anti-militarist; anti-whatever, who, went they aren't killing blacks, burning orphanages, etc. want to know what to do next.

There is no Virgil to lead us from this inferno.

Hieronymous's picture
Hieronymous
Offline
Joined: 27-07-07
Feb 18 2016 18:42
lettersjournal wrote:
There is no Virgil to lead us from this inferno.

Literati name-dropping isn't rising to the challenge.

Suggestion: RC & lettersjournal should create a new thread to debate the Spart party line vs. the religious/literary party line.

Reddebrek's picture
Reddebrek
Offline
Joined: 4-01-12
Feb 24 2016 21:22
lettersjournal wrote:

I'm not sure how to respond because I made no claims about the everyday conditions of slavery being preferable to anything. As I said and you quoted:

Yeah not buying it pal, not only were you saying slavery was better (that word does mean preferable) based on an incredibly abstract and frankly empty and speculative argument based on nothing. Literally nothing since you base it on events that didn't happen, and compare to something that also hasn't happened.

But in addition nearly every comment you've made in this thread that you haven't made incomprehensible by your attempts to look simultaneously flippant and deep, has been to deny that the War and the abolition of slavery represented any progress in real terms. So at best you're arguing wage slavery is equivalent to chattel slavery. You can't have it both ways, you can't take such an absolutist nihilistic perspective and admit conditions did actually improve when you get called out, that's just being two faced.

I'm also not the only user to see your bizarre slave excuses, so on the slight chance you're being sincire you have serious communication issues.

RC
Offline
Joined: 11-07-08
Feb 18 2016 19:24

S. Artesian wrote:

Quote:
I said the abolition of slavery by means of military struggle against the slaveholders' rebellion was more than OK. It was necessary. It was a step forward in the struggle for the emancipation of black labor, and through that, the emancipation of labor in general.

Who is the subject in these sentences? It can only be the US Army. When did it transform from being an instrument for the “emancipation of labor” and start breaking strikes (not to mention killing Indians)? And why did this happen?

And please explain what’s so good about the “emancipation of labor” -- on its own terms, apart from being better than slavery? Everybody notices the positive side of freedom, that nobody can own you, but ignores the other side – that freedom in capitalist society means you have to get by with whatever property you have or don’t have and this puts labor in the position of absolute dependency on the interests of the capitalists.

You dismiss Marx’s insights about slavery and wage labor in Capital and prefer his letter to Lincoln (“the star-spangled banner carried the destiny” of the European working class – oh please!). You might not know that Marx complained in a letter to Engels about having to write it to satisfy the liberals in the International, and that he tried to write it in a way that would nullify the “vulgar-democratic phraseology.” Little did he know that generations of Marxists would seize on this nonsense to celebrate Marx for “taking sides” in the national struggles of his times.

Marx’s mistake was to think that the creation of conditions for a working class was the same as progress for communism. He can be excused because he got carried away by enthusiasm for the working class movement in its militant early days; but we live a century later and the historical record shows that the existence of a working class is not by itself revolutionary. It would be better to criticize nationalism for the harm it does to the workers than to repeat Marx's mistakes.

RC
Offline
Joined: 11-07-08
Feb 18 2016 19:27

S. Artesian wrote:

Quote:
So have at it anti-abolitionists. Tell us how you address the crowd of anti-progressive; anti-state (but pro Tammany Hall); anti-draft; anti-militarist; anti-whatever, who, went they aren't killing blacks, burning orphanages, etc. want to know what to do next.

I'll leave that one for the larpies.

lettersjournal
Offline
Joined: 12-12-11
Feb 18 2016 19:36

But really, what would I say to a crowd of raving racist New Yorkers? Nothing. I would probably hide underneath my bed and pray they don't torch my house.

What's at stake here is the nature of communist thinking. What does it mean to think about the past?

We could list big events and go down the line, assigning each a yes-vote or a no-vote:
Civil War - yes
WW2 - no
Russian Revolution - it's complicated
etc

Then we could argue about the criterion for voting and the voting outcomes. That's a bit like what we're doing now. One criterion is 'does the war abolish slavery'. By this criterion, the 1935 Italian invasion of Ethiopia would be a progressive war that communists ought to support, since the Italians declared the abolition of slavery as their reason for invading (and then did, in fact, abolish it). Another criterion is 'does the war spread wage labor'. The list of wars gets longer with that one.

But why take this approach at all?

S. Artesian
Offline
Joined: 5-02-09
Feb 19 2016 01:36
SA wrote:
I said the abolition of slavery by means of military struggle against the slaveholders' rebellion was more than OK. It was necessary. It was a step forward in the struggle for the emancipation of black labor, and through that, the emancipation of labor in general.

RC wrote:
Who is the subject in these sentences? It can only be the US Army. When did it transform from being an instrument for the “emancipation of labor” and start breaking strikes (not to mention killing Indians)? And why did this happen?

You expose your true level of ignorance here. The subject-- is the ex-slaves of course. That's who made it a step forward in the emancipation of black labor, and through that the emancipation of labor in general. The ex-slaves, and runaway slaves, and free blacks were the subjects/agents who carried the military struggle beyond that of one "for the union" beyond for the "reconciliation of North and South and forced it to become a struggle for the abolition of slavery and for racial equality. Had the North not embraced that emancipation, they would have never defeated the South-- which, I guess, would have been just fine in your book, as slavery isn't any worse than wage-labor.

The fact that the army before and after the Civil War was used to oppress indigenous people, and after the defeat of Reconstruction was withdrawn from the South and almost immediately deployed against striking railroad workers does not diminish the importance of abolishing slavery and the necessary role the Union Army played in breaking that system.

RC wrote:
And please explain what’s so good about the “emancipation of labor” -- on its own terms, apart from being better than slavery? Everybody notices the positive side of freedom, that nobody can own you, but ignores the other side – that freedom in capitalist society means you have to get by with whatever property you have or don’t have and this puts labor in the position of absolute dependency on the interests of the capitalists.

Which of course is why so many ex-slaves wanted nothing to do with emancipation. So many ex-slaves didn't participate in Freedmen's Bureaus; in labor actions; didn't petition for land. The freedom in capitalist society means you are not a slave; it means your children are not slaves; are not born as property belonging to a master. See previous post about whippings and killings.

RC wrote:
You dismiss Marx’s insights about slavery and wage labor in Capital and prefer his letter to Lincoln (“the star-spangled banner carried the destiny” of the European working class – oh please!). You might not know that Marx complained in a letter to Engels about having to write it to satisfy the liberals in the International, and that he tried to write it in a way that would nullify the “vulgar-democratic phraseology.” Little did he know that generations of Marxists would seize on this nonsense to celebrate Marx for “taking sides” in the national struggles of his times.

Where did I dismiss Marx's insights about slavery and wage labor? Marx ALWAYS made the important distinction between wage-labor and slavery; how capitalism reproduced itself through the generation and extraction of surplus value that required a "free" dispossessed, detached work force. He also made it clear that the chattel slavery of the US South, and the "New World" was integrated into that expanding capitalism, but was not, in itself, subject to the same economic laws as capital. And most of all, he made it clear that those economic laws were nothing but expressions of specific social relations of production.

What I said was that Marx was right in expressing the solidarity of international working class with the struggle which had proclaimed "Death To Slavery." Whether or not I give 2 rats' asses about the verbiage regarding the "destiny of the working class," or the "stars and stripes" is irrelevant. FWIW, the rhetoric makes me want to puke. But "Death To Slavery" is the essential component of Marx's address because it was, and became, the essential component of the Civil War itself , so much so that it took concerted terrorist action, overthrowing elected governments, murdering and maiming hundreds of people who were committed to racial equality to restore near-slave like conditions, which as near as they were, were not slavery.

RC wrote:
Marx’s mistake was to think that the creation of conditions for a working class was the same as progress for communism. He can be excused because he got carried away by enthusiasm for the working class movement in its militant early days; but we live a century later and the historical record shows that the existence of a working class is not by itself revolutionary. It would be better to criticize nationalism for the harm it does to the workers than to repeat Marx's mistakes.

Well yeah, see that's not a mistake; that's what Marx called the scientific basis for communism; it's the basis for historical materialism-- a certain material level of development brought about by specific social relations of production becomes the basis for the abolition for those very same social relations. That's not Marx's "mistake." That's your ignorance.

Nobody is flogging nationalism here. That's just more of your chronic, probably congenital, dishonesty. We're endorsing the abolition of slavery as being essential, not simply for the development of capitalism, but for the development of the forces that can abolish capitalism.

You think, obviously, just leaving slavery alone is a better alternative.

S. Artesian
Offline
Joined: 5-02-09
Feb 18 2016 23:21
LJ wrote:
But really, what would I say to a crowd of raving racist New Yorkers? Nothing. I would probably hide underneath my bed and pray they don't torch my house.

Right, exactly. You would hide and pray. So much for your ability to say anything of relevance when the actual struggle is joined. Your "workers"-- who weren't "much better off" than slaves, actually weren't better off at all, according to you, lynched and murdered 120 blacks, because they were afraid of the competition from free blacks, and you can't say anything. Because you're hiding under the bed and praying.

You don't do anything do you? You don't go into the 5 points neighborhood, where the vast majority of poor and workers resolutely opposed the lynch mobs, do you? You don't try to arrange for a single unit from that area to aggressively undertake the physical defense of black people, black orphanages, black shopkeepers who were being torched by those sympathetic to slaveholders, do you? Because you're hiding under the bed and praying.

You don't even demand universal conscription, prohibiting the paying of bounties or the engaging of substitutes, thereby bringing the class struggle issues to the fore, do you? Because you're hiding under the bed and praying

Quote:
What's at stake here is the nature of communist thinking.

Pardon me, what the fucking is communist about hiding under the bed and praying? That's what's at stake? That's your new communist thinking?

Piss off.

Hieronymous's picture
Hieronymous
Offline
Joined: 27-07-07
Feb 19 2016 01:47
lettersjournal wrote:
I would probably hide underneath my bed and pray . . .

It can safely be said that you're the only "communist" in human history who's ever advocated this cowardly evasion as the "nature of communist thinking."

James MacBryde's picture
James MacBryde
Offline
Joined: 26-10-15
Feb 19 2016 06:13

S. Artesian :

Quote:
Piss off.

Somethings never change.

Spikymike
Offline
Joined: 6-01-07
Feb 19 2016 12:45

It seems to me that both RC and lettersjournal have a point to make of sorts that would justify some better discussion on this thread: http://libcom.org/forums/general/capitalism-historic-necessity-31012016 as they appear to have fixated on what they think is an underlying theme with broader significance than the more specific and nuanced views expressed here by such as S.Artesian who has reinforced their response in their post no 4 on that thread. There has always been a tension in Marxist influenced pro-revolutionary theory and practice between the emphasis on class struggle past and present as the motor of history and the 'external' objective conditions in which that struggle takes place. It is quite possible to be inspired by the pre-capitalist class struggles of the past (including their short lived and localised communist attempts) and still recognise that a stable and sustainable world human community, ie communism as we understand it today, has only been practically possible, whilst not inevitable, as a result of the universalising process of modern global capitalism. And the issue here of slavery and the American Civil War is one that is nearer enough to our times to have a significant influence on our struggles today in a way that others such as past peasant rebellions perhaps do not.

S. Artesian
Offline
Joined: 5-02-09
Feb 19 2016 16:14
James MacBryde wrote:
S. Artesian :

Quote:
Piss off.

Somethings never change.

Says the guy who thinks slaves have the advantage over wage-workers because they get more exposure to natural light.

Be sure to tell that to those enslaved by the mita system to mine the silver out of Cerro de Potosi for their Spanish masters.

lettersjournal
Offline
Joined: 12-12-11
Feb 19 2016 16:44

The cowardly communist is an old topic here: http://libcom.org/forums/thought/refuge-solution-imperialism-11122007

To put it simply, if you affirm the Civil War, you also get the Nez Perce War (fought by the same army led by the same abolitionist general who founded Howard University). The progressive imposition of wage labor on America involved both the abolition of slavery and the destruction of the Indians. You can't pick and choose.

More than that, the logic of 'preconditions' is endlessly recursive; if one is favor of the extension of wage labor (as a precondition for communism); one is in favor of what preceded it; if the wage relation is necessary, then slavery is necessary; if slavery is necessary, then colonization is necessary. And so on.

And if we are to celebrate wars that abolished slavery, then we're stuck celebrating wars like the Italian invasion of Ethiopia in 1935.

But why go through the annals of history as cheerleaders? The function of this view of history seems, in this thread at least, to be a way of bullying people who don't agree with your sort of Marxist orthodoxy AND as a way to lay the foundation for defending future 'revolutionary' terror and war.

S. Artesian
Offline
Joined: 5-02-09
Feb 19 2016 17:03
Spikymike wrote:
It seems to me that both RC and lettersjournal have a point to make of sorts that would justify some better discussion on this thread: http://libcom.org/forums/general/capitalism-historic-necessity-31012016 as they appear to have fixated on what they think is an underlying theme with broader significance than the more specific and nuanced views expressed here by such as S.Artesian who has reinforced their response in their post no 4 on that thread. There has always been a tension in Marxist influenced pro-revolutionary theory and practice between the emphasis on class struggle past and present as the motor of history and the 'external' objective conditions in which that struggle takes place. It is quite possible to be inspired by the pre-capitalist class struggles of the past (including their short lived and localised communist attempts) and still recognise that a stable and sustainable world human community, ie communism as we understand it today, has only been practically possible, whilst not inevitable, as a result of the universalising process of modern global capitalism. And the issue here of slavery and the American Civil War is one that is nearer enough to our times to have a significant influence on our struggles today in a way that others such as past peasant rebellions perhaps do not.

Indeed. I have never claimed that capitalism is a universal historic necessity, but where it has developed, where it has penetrated, then certain obstacles, conditions have to be transformed for capitalism to expand. Where those conditions that capitalism encounters cannot be transformed "in its own image" capitalism accommodates them, absorbs them, strengthens and undermines them, embeds itself with them, until the entire system ruptures.

Capitalism was existent in the US, and its growth was obstructed by the slaveholders' in the South, whose own system was integrated through the world markets with the industrial capitalist development of Europe.

For US capitalism to advance, slavery had to be abolished. That abolition was progress, not based on the development of the material productive forces as some abstract quantity, but rather progress based upon the social relations of human beings, which beings, being social, reproduce their social being through a mode of production. {How's that for nuance?}

That the unfettering of capitalism was not sufficient to remedy the enduring legacy of the slave system, the "loyalty" that private property forges among its various iterations, is not doubted. The military destruction of the slave system by Northern capitalism was necessary and sufficient for the expansion of capitalism. It was necessary, but not sufficient for the full emancipation of the social relations of human beings. For that, there was need a continuing struggle for full racial equality, which then, no less than now, threatened private property in all its iterations.

We, myself and others, have pointed that out. Necessary but not sufficient is how to best describe the Civil War. There is no point to calling for "finishing" the Civil War, as indeed it was finished, and did about as much as it could. Might be a romantic and a wonderful slogan to call for finishing Radical Reconstruction, but the failure of Radical Reconstruction means that the model itself-- of creating an independent black farming class, was in fact unattainable as capitalism's development precluded such a possibility.

What Sander and others want to proclaim is that because the US Civil War was prosecuted by the Northern bourgeoisie for the expansion of capitalism, the Civil War is of no interest to the working class; is of no significance for the development of class consciousness, merits no intervention or participation by the working class. That abstentionism however is a direct capitulation to the backward level of class consciousness, the racism that has paralyzed the US working class as a whole, and in fact ceded the entire question of slavery, discrimination, segregation, and the opposition to slavery, discrimination, segregation to the bourgeoisie, something proven so tragically in the NYC anti-draft riots, where our so-called super-communists can't propose anything other than hiding and praying, while white sympathizers with the slaveholders, abetted by the NY branch of the slaveholders' party, murdered black people. .

Whatever Marx's language, or compromises on language, in the letter of congratulations to Lincoln, the fact remains he identified the struggle for what it was-- of great material interest to the working class; of great historical significance for the development of class consciousness. Marx did say "Death to Slavery." His "mistake" was not to confuse development of the working class with conditions for communism, but not to add to "Death to Slavery"... "Necessary but not Sufficient."

lettersjournal
Offline
Joined: 12-12-11
Feb 19 2016 18:18

It's illustrative to compare the arguments in favor of the Civil War in this thread and the arguments in favor of the Egyptian revolt here: http://libcom.org/forums/news/what-exactly-are-you-supporting-02022011

S. Artesian
Offline
Joined: 5-02-09
Feb 19 2016 18:28

Another place where you would hide under a bed and pray.

S. Artesian
Offline
Joined: 5-02-09
Feb 19 2016 18:37

Simple question: Do you support the abolition of the slave system that existed in the US South prior to 1865? Yes or no?

If no-- say no more.

If yes, exactly what mechanisms were available to make that a reality?

You might as well be telling us that there was no point in supporting the Haitian Revolt because Dessalines, had risen to the role of foreman on a plantation, because Dessalines and others reconstituted the plantation system and compelled former slaves to work harvesting and processing sugar, and because Dessalines had himself anointed emperor.

lettersjournal
Offline
Joined: 12-12-11
Feb 19 2016 18:43
Quote:
- "I'm against war, even the 'good wars' like WW2."
"You're a moron! Why do you support the Nazis?"

Bless you, Artesian.

S. Artesian
Offline
Joined: 5-02-09
Feb 19 2016 19:42

If you ever bothered to answer a question, I would be shocked.

I'm not a pacifist. If you are, then simply say so and quit with the bullshit about how slavery and wage-labor are the same.

Back under the bed, wanker.