Modern socialist foundational belief: expressed.

Isaac Bailey provides some interesting insight into the sort of thinking that is foundational to modern socialism. The title, Commentary: Civil War wasn’t so simple provides the first clue as it is oxymoronic – representative of the reduce to the absurd logical fallacy.

Then there is the class warfare loaded with envy: “as you examine the motives of the wealthy landowners who started a war that killed 620,000 Americans, don’t overlook the precarious predicament poor white farmers faced in 1861.”

And what has been overlooked for too long is that there are thousands of Southern white families mired in poverty begun during slavery. It’s one of the ironies of that period, that black slaves and poor whites were more damaged by slavery than others and could have provided a formidable opponent against the wealthy slave owners who benefited the most. But race got in the way, just as it often does today.

The celebrations to mark the 150th anniversary of the firing on Fort Sumter also gets its snark. The meme is that war is terrible and is not celebrated by those who are in touch with reality.

It doesn’t have to be that way, not if we all embrace some realities many of us would rather ignore.

Another ‘reduce to the absurd,’ this time with rationalization is tied in with the slavery ethos often used to castigate the U.S. while ignoring the broader context of slavery in human affairs.

Critics of Confederate sympathizers are right to complain that those sympathizers too often paint a rosy, overly romanticized version of history by claiming the South didn’t go to war to preserve slavery – even though the leaders of the Confederacy told us in speeches, official government documents and letters that was the reason they left the union.

What is striking is the idea of using an assertion of complexity to spout socialistic talking points and then ignoring the actual complexity. The differences in cultures – agrarian versus industrial, for example – would be prime territory for the socialist. The problem was that the side with the evil corporations won the war. Then there’s the problem of why ‘the poor’ volunteered and conducted the war. Using complexity as a club rather than explore the nuances of human endeavors is not a path to truth.

The commentary has a contrast also published this morning. The roots of racism describes the same sort of basic phenomena as Bailey.

It’s one thing to display a susceptibility to stereotypes, as George Allen seemed to do recently when he asked a black male newsman, “What position did you play?” It’s something else again to voice support for the legal strictures of the Black Codes and Jim Crow. One would have thought the foundation on which such laws were erected would have crumbled long ago.

Then again, maybe not. Because the mentality of anti-miscegenation relies on some intellectual habits that are still very much with us.

Beyond the boundaries of Mississippi, flagrant racism might have fallen out of favor. Its underpinnings, alas, have not.

Those underpinnings are the same as those that claim to look at the complexities of the war between the states and see only slavery and class warfare.

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