January 31, 2005
Another Confederate Smackdown
I have to say that while I understand, to a degree at least, people's fascination with the Civil War, I've never understood the romanticization of the Confederacy. It didn't last very long, it was horribly run and governed, it accomplished nothing but disaster and defeat, and it existed in the service of a horrible cause. I once angered an alumnus of Washington & Lee by suggesting that Robert E. Lee, however personally admirable he might have been in some ways, bore huge responsibility -- if he had honored his oath to the Union, the war probably would have been over in six months, leaving everyone (and especially the South) better off.
One suspects that for a certain sort of infantile mind, pro-Confederacy statements provide the same sort of thrilling sense of nonconformity that Marxism has provided. This, I guess, explains the weird strain of pro-Confederate sympathy that one finds among a certain segment of libertarians. Or, of course, there's always racism as an explanation -- an explanation you'd rather believe didn't apply, but that clearly does sometimes....
As a political force, neo-Confederate sentiment is pretty trivial at the moment, even compared to the decaying remnants of Marxism. But that's no reason not to smack it down when it appears.
(Excerpted from his discussion of a new book called The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History, which is apparently written by a Confederate sympathizer (go here for commentary on that).)
Glenn's position doesn't surprise me at all, mind you -- why would it? -- but it's a nice reminder that people can see the Confederacy as the craptacular mistake it was on either side of the Mason-Dixon line.
I haven't read the book in question, so I can't comment on it myself, although I suspect I won't be pleased with it if I read it since, among other things, the guy writing the book calls the Civil War "The War of Northern Aggression." My response to that has always been: Well, the CSA attempting to abscond with a third of the land mass of the United States strikes me as fairly damn aggressive.
Posted by john at January 31, 2005 01:31 PM
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