Reconsidering Abraham Lincoln

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moda0306
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Re: Reconsidering Abraham Lincoln

Post by moda0306 » Mon Nov 19, 2012 10:33 pm

Brick,

I'm just going to have to disagree with you here.  Reconstruction ended in 1877 and de facto slavery continued for several decades.  The south carried many of the same attitudes about black inferiority and blacks were disenfranchised out of a say in government. 
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Re: Reconsidering Abraham Lincoln

Post by brick-house » Tue Nov 20, 2012 6:58 am

moda0306 wrote:
I'm just going to have to disagree with you here.  Reconstruction ended in 1877 and de facto slavery continued for several decades.  The south carried many of the same attitudes about black inferiority and blacks were disenfranchised out of a say in government. 
If the end result of the Federal Government's War and Reconstruction was de facto slavery, then why isn't Lincoln considered a huge failure.  His resume includes a long protracted war with insane death tolls (especially relative to the population) and destruction which required an expensive reconstruction for de facto slavery? 
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Re: Reconsidering Abraham Lincoln

Post by moda0306 » Tue Nov 20, 2012 8:13 am

One could absolutely look at the attempt to reform the human rights landscape of the South as a pretty large failure, at least in how long it took.  However, I think we could then say that the entire American experiment was a complete failures in that it took over a century for anything resembling political equality to manifest itself, much of the time overt slavery still existing.

However, I think it's more complex than that, and both deserve a bit of long-term perspective.  I wonder how long slavery would have continued, and what would have been done with so many people the Southern whites viewed as sub-human after slavery was no longer a viable institution.  Either forced relocation back to Africa or extermination seem like possible outcomes.  As bad as the Jim Crow South was, I wonder if that was much better than the potential alternative.

And it takes two to tango... This wasn't the "Federal Government's War" any more than it was the "Southern Traitor's War."
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Re: Reconsidering Abraham Lincoln

Post by moda0306 » Thu Nov 22, 2012 6:12 pm

Saw Lincoln the other day... As long as it was relatively historically accurate, it was a great movie, IMO, for the following reasons:

1) The acting of no less than 5 of the actors was nothing short of phenomenal, including DDL as Lincoln, but Tommy Lee Jones as Thaddeus Stevens was the moral center of the movie, and the most entertaining.

2) Certain flaws of his presidency, including the brutality and length of the war, his belief that black people aren't equal in all aspects (though it's hard to blame him for what it seems like everyone at this time felt), and his inability to truly lead so much as politic was on full display.

3) the political background behind the passing of the 13th amendment is interesting as hell.

I'm sure this is all subject to political fact checking, but I bring it on because this chasm that exists between the facts Di Lorenzo and his cohorts and other Lincoln historians is massive.  This movie shows lincoln having to convince the radicals and his cabinet to pursue the 13th amendment now vs later... If that's fundamentally false, as Di Lorenzo would have us believe, then this movie and any history backing it is a sham.

However, I can't help but question the historical perspective of someone from the Von Mises Institute :).

Happy Thanksgiving folks.
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Re: Reconsidering Abraham Lincoln

Post by notsheigetz » Sat Nov 24, 2012 6:59 pm

moda0306 wrote: 2) Certain flaws of his presidency, including the brutality and length of the war, his belief that black people aren't equal in all aspects (though it's hard to blame him for what it seems like everyone at this time felt), and his inability to truly lead so much as politic was on full display.

3) the political background behind the passing of the 13th amendment is interesting as hell.

However, I can't help but question the historical perspective of someone from the Von Mises Institute :).
I have been totally turned off by the movie on the basis of two quotes in the advertisements:  1.) "The fate of human dignity is in our hands" as spoken passionately by Lincoln (the actor) and another one by Sally Fields, playing Lincoln's mother where she says 2.) "you are the most loved person in America" (quote likely not exact but that's the best I can remember).

1.) Sounds like George W Bush - the fate of human dignity is in our hands? - give me a break. I don't know if he ever actually said this or not but since he called American democracy "The last best hope of man" maybe he did. I think the word for this is "megalomania".

2.) I don't see any evidence in the historical record that Lincoln was the most loved person in America before his death. I see a lot of evidence to the contrary both North and South of the Mason Dixon Line.

P.S. - Forgot to say - your three points  DO make it likely I will eventually watch when it's free on Amazon Prime or whatever.
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Re: Reconsidering Abraham Lincoln

Post by moda0306 » Sat Nov 24, 2012 8:01 pm

Those are pretty valid points... The previews romanticize the movie far more than they should.  I feel the same thing would be done with any "famous" president.  I have a feeling that there would be a few groan-worthy comments if a movie were to be made about Jefferson.  What's more important to me if the nature of the battle is being accurately represented.  The poetic details are secondary. 

Maybe I'm too easily fooled, but it seemed that the movie didn't shy away from nuance at all.  There was the full spectrum, from mean racists to kind racists to moderates to radical abolitionists.  Lincoln was simply the guy who I think was stuck between moderates and abolitionists and happened to be in the hot-seat when the issue came to a head and felt it was the time to push the issue forward.  He obviously had doubts about blacks voting or whether he was comfortable with them being part of society. 

However, if the very nature of Lincoln's role in the abolition debate is being skewed, I'd consider the movie a failure, and will forever lose faith in Spielberg and DDL... For some reason I think DDL would rather hang himself than mis-represent one of his characters, but maybe that's my wishful thinking getting to me.
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Re: Reconsidering Abraham Lincoln

Post by notsheigetz » Sat Nov 24, 2012 8:42 pm

moda0306 wrote: Maybe I'm too easily fooled, but it seemed that the movie didn't shy away from nuance at all.
Like I said, when it comes out on Amazon Prime or whatever and I can watch it for free I'm going to remember what you said about it and put it on my watchlist.
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Re: Reconsidering Abraham Lincoln

Post by MachineGhost » Thu Dec 13, 2012 4:40 am

This is really eye opening!  All I can say is: what a goddamn disaster.

Lincoln is a magnificent movie. But as I left the theatre, to echo Paul Harvey, the late radio commentator, I wanted to know “the rest of the story”?.

http://onthecommons.org/magazine/lincol ... rest-story
Last edited by MachineGhost on Thu Dec 13, 2012 5:33 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Copperhead: the War at Home

Post by notsheigetz » Sun Feb 10, 2013 5:52 pm

Can't wait to see this when it comes out in June.

"Lincoln" will probably have won the academy award for best picture by then.
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Re: Reconsidering Abraham Lincoln

Post by vnatale » Wed Jan 15, 2020 10:56 pm

MediumTex wrote:
Sat Nov 03, 2012 7:33 pm
hpowders wrote: Given your pacifistic train of thought, we might all be speaking German right now; that is to say, those of us who would be left and deemed worthy to live after the "selections".
Without the U.S. getting involved in either world war, they would have remained regional conflicts.  Especially in WWII, Germany would have broken itself fighting the Soviet Union whether we got involved or not.   I would say that both Wilson and FDR were pretty incompetent wartime Presidents.

I don't think it's pacifist to say that I'm not willing to sacrifice the blood of my loved ones because a semi-delusional politician wants to have a military adventure (see Iraq and Afghanistan for more recent examples of this sort of thing).
Sometimes one just needs to get out there and do what needs to be done.
Remember, it was the U.S. that dropped two atomic bombs on civilian populations.  If anyone but the U.S. had done that it would be considered one of the most heinous war crimes in history.

The U.S. is not always the good guy in these things.  In fact, I would say that there is rarely a "good guy" and "bad guy" in any of these things.  Both sides normally have some strength to their positions, as well as some weaknesses.  The fact that we allied ourselves with Stalin in WWII and Hitler was Time Magazine's Man of the Year in 1938 should make it clear enough that good and bad don't play that large a role in these things.  That's what makes me want to steer clear of these kinds of affairs--it's not that I wouldn't be willing to defend myself or my country, it's that I don't think most of this stuff is really about defending myself or my country. 

Think about the last 100 years of U.S. wars, when were we actually defending our country?  It looks to me like just a string of military adventures driven by a gang of glory seeking politicians and generals.  Pearl Harbor and 9/11 were probably the two situations where we were truly justified in taking military action to defend our country, but what happened in each case?  The President used the attack as a pretense to invade another country (Germany after Pearl Harbor and Iraq after 9/11) that hadn't attacked us at all.
Some people are still active in this Forum who had great participation in many of the posts in this Topic.

While I agree with MUCH of what Medium Tex wrote above......however, after reading ALL the posts in this Topic I saw that no one subsequently corrected his misstatement of fact. Or, perhaps, making of a misleading statement.

Yes, Iraq never attacked us. No dispute and THE biggest U.S. foreign policy blunder since when? Ever? But as I believed I'd read innumerable times, shortly after Pearl Harbor, Germany declared war on the United States. And, I just did a quick search to confirm that fact.

"On 11 December 1941, four days after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and the United States declaration of war against the Japanese Empire, Nazi Germany declared war against the United States, in response to what was claimed to be a series of provocations by the United States government when the US was still officially neutral during World War II."

Has there ever been a case in history where one country has NOT gone to war against another country when the other country has declared war on it?

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Re: Reconsidering Abraham Lincoln

Post by Kbg » Thu Jan 16, 2020 2:49 pm

One of the greatest history what ifs...what if Hitler hadn't declared war on the US in WW2?

Not that FDR didn't welcome it. Welcome might not be the right word, but it fixed the politics of going to war against Germany in a nanosecond.

I'll step in on the A-bombs comment just for the fun of continuing the conversation...

The A bombs as war crimes thing is definitely a 1960s anti-nuke revisionist take on things. Any such idea at the time was about as fringe as you can get. In terms of context, firebombing attacks were certainly as deadly and more widespread. Curtis LeMay publicly said that if the US would have lost the war he fully expected to be labeled/tried as a war criminal for the firebombings. In short, at the time the A Bomb was just a bigger better bomb.

Moral or immoral, the theory at the time (and today) was that if you make the munitions (as a civilian) you are a legit target. And, the law of war has always said you just have to aim as careful as you can and try to avoid civilian casualties. The law of war also says you have to separate civilians from military stuff...so in the context of Japan it was mostly all mixed together, ergo, cities themselves were a fair target.

Let's use a modern day example...Jihadis are firing from a mosque with civilian women and children human shields...legally no problem in flattening the place. The one caveat is that the attack Is "proportional" which is pretty much a judgement call that only matters practically if you lose the war you are fighting.
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