MS Senate Candidate Speaks to White Nationalist Groups

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before (about Ron Paul, David Barton and many others). A far right Republican candidate for public office associates himself with white nationalist groups and speaks to their conferences. This time it’s Chris McDaniel, a Tea Party type challenging Sen. Thad Cochran of Mississippi.

After announcing his run last week, McDaniel quickly picked up endorsements from the Club for Growth and the Senate Conservatives Fund, a political action committee founded by former Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), a prominent backer of the tea party. Both groups are key players in the internal GOP battle between establishment-minded Republicans and tea party insurgents and are backing right-wing challenges to incumbent Republicans whom they deem insufficiently conservative…

With their endorsements of McDaniel, the Senate Conservatives Fund and the Club for Growth have shown just how far they are willing to go in terms of embracing the far right to prosecute their war for the soul of the party. In August, McDaniel addressed a neo-Confederate conference in Laurel, Miss., near his hometown of Ellisville. A local chapter of the Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV), the Jones County Rosin Heels, hosted the two-day event, which the group described in invitations as a “Southern Heritage Conference” for “politically incorrect folks.” Attendees were advised to dress in “Confederate uniforms and antebellum ball gowns or wee kilties.” McDaniel’s appearance at the Rosin Heels heritage conference was not a one-off occurrence; weeks earlier he was the keynote speaker at a separate event in Jackson…

McDaniel is “just proud of his heritage and grateful for it, and that’s the reason we wanted him to come in and speak a couple of times,” says George Jaynes, a member of the Rosin Heels and the newsletter’s editor, who confirmed that McDaniel had attended the events. “We’re mainly here to remember the Confederate soldier, our Confederates beliefs, our culture, our civilization. We’re here to remember their good names upheld them to tell the truth and to give the facts of the war whether it falls on our side or the other. We’re here to tell the truth—that’s what the SCV’s about and that’s the kind of speaker we bring in.”

The group also purchases billboards, with messages such as “Happy birthday, President Jefferson Davis,” and “Fort Sumter was fired on when Lincoln tried to reinforce his customs house for tax collection.”

McDaniel was joined at the Southern Heritage Conference by Al Benson, a historian from Louisiana, who talked about his book Red Republicans & Lincoln Marxists, which speculates that Lincoln’s actions during the Civil War were influenced by the writings of Karl Marx. (“Was Abraham Lincoln influenced by communism when the Union condemned the rights of Southern states to express their independence? It’s shocking to think so.”) Benson’s Amazon biodescribes him as “a true Copperhead,” a reference to Northern Democrats who supported the Confederate cause. In the September issue of the Rosin Heels newsletter, Benson writes that the nation’s public school system was a product of “spiritual apostasy” by Unitarians and socialists.

One of the things that the Tea Party movement has done is brought the far right fringe — conspiracy nuts, neo-Confederates, militia types, white nationalists, Christian Reconstructionists — into the Republican party in unprecedented numbers. This is going to happen more and more until the Tea Party is purged.

58 comments on this post.
  1. matty1:

    Do you think anyone remembers which party Lincoln was in?

  2. raven:

    which speculates that Lincoln’s actions during the Civil War were influenced by the writings of Karl Marx.

    Cthulhu, these people are just plain stupid. There is a stereotype that Southerners are all slack jawed, vacant eyed, drooling morons. Not all are for sure, but you can see where it came from.

    1867

    Das Kapital, Published

    The Civil War started in 1860. Lincoln was assassinated in 1865. Das Capital, Marx and Engels inpenetrable and turgid work, was published in 1867.

    If anyone can’t see the problem here, they may be suffering from Mississippi White Trash Syndrome. It is curable although cures are rare. Repeating high school, getting a library card, and finding out what Google and Wikipedia are therapeutic when applied.

  3. matty1:

    Bending over backwards to be fair (ouch my spine) The Communist Manifesto was published in 1848 and Marx had a number of other publications between that and Das Kapital, including most relevantly The Civil War In The United States (1861), which did support the Union.

    It’s still one hell of a leap to conclude the Lincoln was aware of, let alone influenced by, this but the dates don’t render it impossible.

  4. Michael Heath:

    Al Benson writes:

    . . . the Union condemned the rights of Southern states to express their independence?

    The coherent interpretation of this assertion is that’s logically true only if one also concludes that black people are not humans. This juncture in the depths of the ‘states rights’ rabbit hole is an essential ingredient in defining nearly all so-called states rights advocates. They’re effectively racists or bigots as long as they work to promote a tyrannical and privileged majority depriving other humans of their equal rights.

  5. Pen:

    @2 raven – I’ve no doubt you’re right about the stupidity of the association between Marxism and Lincoln, but the Communist Manifesto was published in 1848 and subsequently blamed for revolutionary movements throughout Europe, possibly unfairly. It gained significant international publicity as a result. Marx was expelled from several European countries and found refuge in London where there had been a Communist League for some years.

    Marx did not invent his ideas single-handedly and was related (partly by opposition) to a movement which includes utopian socialists such as Robert Owen and Charles Fourier in the USA in the first half of the 19th. Lincoln would certainly have heard of this trend which was in the air before the mid-century.

  6. raven:

    Salon. com:

    The heads and public faces are….Minnesota’s Michele Bachmann and Joe Walsh of Illinois. But while there may be Tea Party sympathizers throughout the country, in the House of Representatives the Tea Party faction that has used the debt ceiling issue to plunge the nation into crisis is overwhelmingly Southern in its origins:

    Tea Party Caucus

    South 39 (63%

    Northeast 1 (2%)

    Midwest 12 (19%)

    West 10 (16%)

    The ugly open secret is that the Tea Party is mostly the old Confederacy with a new sheet over it. 63% are from the South with the rest scattered, mostly in rural areas of the midwest and west.

    The Civil War ended 148 years ago. They haven’t been able to move on though.

  7. abb3w:

    @3, matty1

    It’s still one hell of a leap to conclude the Lincoln was aware of, let alone influenced by, this but the dates don’t render it impossible.

    It’s also possible the influence was the other way around; or that there was some sort of feedback loop, with influence going both directions. That said, there’s some passages where “guess the author” is difficult for those who aren’t comprehensively familiar with all the work of at least one of the two.

    Labor is prior to and independent of capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration. Capital has its rights, which are as worthy of protection as any other rights. Nor is it denied that there is, and probably always will be, a relation between labor and capital producing mutual benefits. The error is in assuming that the whole labor of community exists within that relation.

  8. matty1:

    Oooh, there is this. It seems Marx actually wrote to Lincoln on behalf on the International Working Men’s Association to congratulate him on re-election. He got a rather tepid reply from the US Ambassador in London, which amounted to “thank you for your support but we will not be getting involved in other nations politics”.

  9. Modusoperandi:

    MS Senate Candidate Speaks to White Nationalist Groups

    The word you’re looking for is “Patriots”.

  10. blf:

    Several others have beat me to it, but I will also point out that Karl Marx (the person who was mentioned in the OP) published Communist Manifesto prior to the USA War About Slavery.

    There is no (known to me) reason to think President Lincoln, et al., knew about or agreed with it, but it’s not completely impossible.

  11. D. C. Sessions:

    Fort Sumter was fired on when Lincoln tried to reinforce his customs house for tax collection.

    Never mind comments on Marx — this is a 100% home-grown doozy:
    December 26, 1860: South Carolina declares secession.
    January 9, 1861: Cadets from The Citadel fire on the steamer Star of the West when it attempted to resupply Sumter
    March 4, 1861: Lincoln inaugurated.
    April 12, 1861: Fort Sumter fired upon.

  12. Al Dente:

    Modusoperandi @9

    I believe the phrase is “Confederate Patriots”.

  13. raven:

    Acts 4:32–35, “All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had [...] there were no needy persons among them [...] the money [...] was distributed to anyone as he had need.”

    As well as Acts 2:42–47, “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching [...] to the breaking of bread [...] everyone was filled with awe [...] all the believers were together and had everything in common [...]

    they gave to anyone as he had need. Every day they [...] ate together with glad and sincere hearts [...] “

    If anyone wants to look at the roots of Communism, it is from the bible, NT.

    Democracy isn’t mentioned in the bible at all, despite being well known at the time. Communism however, is mentioned with approval all through it.

    Don’t tell the Tea Party christofascists though. Exploding heads can be a hazard.

  14. Rip Steakface:

    We’re mainly here to remember the Confederate soldier, our Confederates beliefs, our culture, our civilization [emphasis mine]

    Our Confederate beliefs? Do they listen to themselves? I’m pretty sure the #1 Confederate belief was “black people should be enslaved.”

  15. matty1:

    If hypothetically someone wanted to celebrate the culture of the southern States they would surely focus on things like music, food and folklore, not on the fact their ancestors fought a war to defend slavery. It’s as if promoters of French culture poured all their energy into explaining how Robespierre was at getting rid of enemies of the republic, all the while insisting that of course they aren’t apologists for the reign of terror, just for everything associated with it.

  16. dogmeat:

    The coherent interpretation of this assertion is that’s logically true only if one also concludes that black people are not humans. This juncture in the depths of the ‘states rights’ rabbit hole is an essential ingredient in defining nearly all so-called states rights advocates

    Michael, I agree in principle, but you also have to add the fact that one has to ignore the actions of pro-slavery members of Congress and administrations in shredding the “state’s rights” of northern states for more than a decade prior to the war. They weren’t state’s rights advocates prior to the war, the don’t give state’s rights as an argument in favor of the war, the “Confederacy” suppressed their own state’s rights during the war. It’s only in the years since the war that this has been listed as a major source of the conflict.

    ———-

    Never mind comments on Marx — this is a 100% home-grown doozy:

    DC, in addition to those you list, there are another half dozen incidents where southern states fired on or seized federal installations in the south prior to Ft. Sumter. The arguments made by these neo-confederates are quite easy to refute if you know … actual history.

  17. blf:

    Democracy isn’t mentioned in the bible at all, despite being well known at the time.

    Democracy (also, trial-by-impartial-jury) is not mentioned. However, “being known at the time” seems misleading: At the time the text was written down, the idea was indeed known to some, and arguably practiced in some sense. However, keep in mind that, like a lot of ancient texts, it circulated in oral form for a considerable period of time beforehand. And was perhaps “written down” more than once and then edited into the various versions (plural) we have today quite sometime later…

  18. matty1:

    @16 Could this be projecting backwards? The opponents of civil rights in the 20th Century did, as I recall, argue that states had the right to impose segregation and that this trumped any rights of actual people, and since they were the intellectual (ha!) heirs of the confederates they may have assumed the same motives applied.

  19. blf:

    Gah! The first line in my@17 was supposed to be a <blockquote> from @13.

  20. raven:

    Democracy isn’t mentioned in the bible at all, despite being well known at the time.

    I wasn’t too clear here.

    While the OT was written down around 500 BCE, the New Testament was written in the first century CE.

    The NT was written in Greek, the language of the educated at the time and Hellenic culture was widespread and influential all through this part of the ancient world.

    The writers of the NT had to be familiar with the concept of democracy, one of the notable achievements of the then not so ancient Greeks.

  21. matty1:

    @17 That might work for the old testament but the new pretty much needs the Roman Empire to fit together at all, which means even the oral traditions must (for the most part) date from well after the Athenian democracy. Also given that the earliest text is Greek it seems unlikely none of the NT writers would have been aware of the relevant history.

  22. shripathikamath:

    This is going to happen more and more until the Tea Party is purged.

    Or, as seems more likely, they’ll replace the wishy-washy ones.

  23. matty1:

    Hmmm, I now find myself wondering about the history. Greek culture came to the Middle East via Alexander and his successors, would they have encouraged learning about Athens as an example of Greeks defeating Persians or kept information about the city’s government off the curriculum to avoid awkward questions about their own absolute monarchy?

  24. blf:

    It works for the NT as well (the writing in Greek is not-relevant). Known to some ≠ known to NT writers. Information dispersal was not-so-great at the time. And that area of the world was under the control of a non-democratic Roman Empire at about its peak.

  25. raven:

    Wikipedia history of Democracy:

    Within the Athenian democratic environment many philosophers from all over the Greek world gathered to develop their theories. Socrates was the first to raise the question, and further expanded by his pupil Plato, about what is the relation/position of an individual within a community. Aristotle continued the work of his teacher, Plato, and laid the foundations of political philosophy. The political philosophy created in Athens was in words of Peter Hall, “in a form so complete that hardly added anyone of moment to it for over a millennium”.[54] Aristotle systematically analyzed the different systems of rule that the numerous Greek city-states had and categorized them into three categories based on how many ruled; the many (democracy/polity), the few (oligarchy/aristocracy), a single person (tyranny or today autocracy/monarchy). For Aristotle, the underlying principles of democracy are reflected in his work Politics:

    1. We aren’t going to know for sure what sort of education the writers of the NT had. We don’t even know who they were. Except they wrote in Greek in 1st century CE, and were educated.

    2. Most likely they got a classical Greek education including Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle, something that we still study today. They would certainly mention democracy, if not always positively.

    3. The Roman Republic had elements of democracy. It was gone by the time of jesus but not for long, Octavian defeating Antony in 31 BCE (yeah, I’m copying wikipedia as we go.).

    4. The idea of democracy is simple. People vote and majority rules. Everything else is elaboration, not that this isn’t important. It isn’t hard to discover or remember.

  26. markmckee:

    “They weren’t state’s rights advocates prior to the war, the don’t give state’s rights as an argument in favor of the war, the “Confederacy” suppressed their own state’s rights during the war. It’s only in the years since the war that this has been listed as a major source of the conflict.”

    Thank you dogmeat. Your post gives the Dred Scott decision and whole different meaning. It was indeed a profound interference in states rights.

    There was a ton of revisionist history written in the 1870′s and 1880′s that was penned by southern gentlemen to re-write the reason for their war. And I would even suggest that they re-wrote that history even inside their own heads.

    Lets look at history… In 1860, although many Americans thought the black man should not be enslaved, very few thought the black man was equal and should even be a citizen. Even Lincoln thought any freed slaves needed to be dealt with but not as citizens. The notion that the black man was an inferior breed was pervasive. Yet just 10 years later they were not only given freedom but they were given full citizenship. This was a profound change for the entire nation. I would contend that the reason for this was touched on in the movie Glory but even that movie fails to show the profound successes of black men and women throughout those intervening years. So returning soldiers – on both sides – brought home stories about the black men they met on the battlefield, and stories of how when the white Union officers got killed by sharpshooters how the the next in line black soldiers not only took over, but took over markedly well. (Blacks could not be officers)

    Thus by 1865-68, nearly all Americans, north and south, could not escape the irreconcilable fact that the black man was clearly an equal in every sense of the word. Even in the south this conclusion was being drawn.

    So what do you do if your are a southern gentlemen or ex confederate officer and you are presented with the fact that you just fought a war over a lie? Now I have to assume that some of these men were basically decent folk so for them to admit that they were wrong would hurt them to the core. So they do the next best thing. The rewrote the reason for that war. Not only in their books but in their hearts.

    And for the evil southern gentlemen that were out there, they created the KKK and they started the task of trying to reverse what had been learned about the black man and went about convincing the populace that the black man was indeed inferior. And since northern historians tended to not have a vested interest in this fight for the reasons for that war, the southern version started to stick.

    This is the most logical reason for why so many southerners today still believe the war was fought for something other than slavery.

  27. matty1:

    Wait, Paul is reported to have actually been in Athens? Also he quoted (or is claimed to have quoted) from three poets associated with that city. Including Meander who is reported to have written at least one play dealing with Athenian politics.

    Still not definitive but I think this moves the balance of probability towards Paul having heard of democracy.

  28. democommie:

    “So what do you do if your are a southern gentlemen or ex confederate officer and you are presented with the fact that you just fought a war over a lie? Now I have to assume that some of these men were basically decent folk so for them to admit that they were wrong would hurt them to the core. So they do the next best thing. The rewrote the reason for that war. Not only in their books but in their hearts.”

    Too fucking bad. For an example of what that sort of thinking leads to see, Japan, post 1945.

    For an example of what doing the right thing leads to, see Germany, post 1945.

    If I am, basically, a good and decent person who was duped into being a useful idiot by someone who wrapped themselves in the flag and carried a cross I admit to my errors, apologize and redress grievances when able. I do not change the narrative to salve my conscience.

    “And for the evil southern gentlemen that were out there, they created the KKK and they started the task of trying to reverse what had been learned about the black man and went about convincing the populace that the black man was indeed inferior.”

    They had done aught else, prior to the war; why would they change anything except their clothes (and for a lot, not even that). They were fucking scum.

  29. blf:

    Yes, the concept of democracy was known at the time. Maybe even to those those who wrote and/or edited the various texts which became the NT, albeit we do not know (as far as I know).

    But two points: 1st, Did what was written-down originate with the writers?
    Even restricting to the NT (thus avoiding the very probably ancient oral history of the OT), this is not-so-clear. The “recording” of oral transmissions from (less-educated) elders cannot be ruled out.

    And 2nd, Even assuming the scribes were familiar with democracy and also played a significant part in the creation of the NT myths that were written down, it doesn’t follow they would connect the two.
    Willful blindness, believing Magic Faeries affairs are not subject to the ideas of mere people, and so on, could all easily play a role.

    Arguably, we see that second point in modern fundies: No sensible connect at all between human political issues and ideas, and myths. The (interpretations of) myths are absolute and correct, everything else is pointless, wrong, or whatever…

    (Also, it occurs to me that some of the NT myths are interpretations of the older (and presumably pre-democratic-idea) OT myths.)

  30. Al Dente:

    markmckee @26

    “They weren’t state’s rights advocates prior to the war, the don’t give state’s rights as an argument in favor of the war, the “Confederacy” suppressed their own state’s rights during the war. It’s only in the years since the war that this has been listed as a major source of the conflict.”

    Thank you dogmeat. Your post gives the Dred Scott decision and whole different meaning. It was indeed a profound interference in states rights.

    Violations of Northern states rights also came from the Fugitive Slave Act. A critical part of the Compromise of 1850, the act required state and local officials to aid slave chasers. A slave chaser could demand any local judge issue a search warrant to look for a runaway slave and the local sheriff had to do the search with the slave chaser present. Refusal to grant or execute a search warrant was punishable by six months imprisonment and a $1000 fine. The act also denied fugitive slaves protection of habeas corpus so they couldn’t get a trial. Which meant a slave catcher could take any black person, declare them a fugitive slave, and there was nothing the black could do to prove they weren’t a slave.

    Many Northerners regarded the act as a violation of basic rights. Most Northern states passed personal liberty laws to weaken the Fugitive Slave Act. In the decade before the Civil War fugitive slaves were seldom returned to their masters but the act’s existence deepened the rift between the North and South.

  31. Sastra:

    The Bible does deal with the concept of democracy through an obvious inference: is it a good thing for God’s people to get together and question His rule? Anything connected to His laws, commands, and desires? Ever?

    No? Well, then there goes democracy even before anyone brings it up. The ultimate ideal isn’t going to be an authority which comes from agreement among equals. The whole damn idea of the Fall sprung out of subjects getting uppity.

    I think the best you’re going to get out of using the Bible as the “basis for democracy” is to assume (based on nothing) that God the Indisputable Absolute Monarch might want human societies to set themselves up as democracies under His absolute authority. Which is still not ‘democracy.’

  32. matty1:

    I should have been clearer, by Paul I mean whoever wrote those particular passages under that pen-name not that I accept the biography generally given by the churches. I would assume that there was a certain amount of oral transmission prior to that, at least for some of it, but the person who finally put quill to parchment apparently knew enough to give recognisable quotes from pagan writers.

    As for not making the connection that is kind of the point. If there was a link between Christianity and free democracy as Christianists are fond of claiming we should expect the earliest writers to have made the link to a concept it would not have been that difficult for them to be aware of.

  33. blf:

    As for not making the connection that is kind of the point.

    I concur, assuming the scribes did know-of democracy, which is not an assumption I am accepting at my current level of knowledge.

    What I have been stumbling over is phrasing like “had to know”, “would not have been difficult”, and similar, such as text in Greek written in unknown(?) locations by unknown scribes from unknown sources proves familiarity with specific concepts. There seems to be a mixture of too much absolutism (e.g., had to know…), and presupposing modern methods (e.g., the scribes were the authors or, perhaps, stenographers…).

    I suspect it is all much more nuanced than that. The scribes were literate, obviously. The sources are not-so-obvious, but treated as “knowledgeable” in some OT subjects and/or NT incidents. The background and training / education of the scribes (other than literacy) is unknown. An idea, however simple, from c.500 years before, is not necessarily known (even to the literate), then or now.

  34. matty1:

    I may be sounding more certain than I actually am. What I’m trying to get at is – someone composed a text and included a quote from a writer who in another piece mentioned a politician in a democracy. That supports, albeit weakly the idea that the composer was familiar with Greek literature that covered the concept.

    I admit though that the evidence isn’t strong.

    Now taxes on the other hand, we know exactly what JC is supposed to have said about them and it isn’t what the right would like him to have said.

  35. haitied:

    Damn Teapublican party of doom . . . It’s like watching someone punch themselves in the face, quite violently. When you ask them to stop, for their own good, they just scream “FREEDOM!” and punch harder. You think for a moment of just walking away to leave the horrid scene behind but you are waiting in line behind them and are stuck there til they’re done.

  36. laurentweppe:

    The Civil War started in 1860. Lincoln was assassinated in 1865. Das Capital, Marx and Engels inpenetrable and turgid work, was published in 1867

    Marx admired Lincoln, therefore Lincoln was a secret bolshevik: for a wingnut who thik only in terms of tribal loyalty, for whom “Everyone who isn’t Us is an Enemy”, it makes perfect sense

    ***

    Fort Sumter was fired on when Lincoln tried to reinforce his customs house for tax collection.

    Fort Sumter was fired on because an oligarchy of 300.000 inept, inbred, lazy, parasitic big land and slave owners were afraid that the southern white plebeans would get a clue from the abolitionnist movement, ally themselves with the slaves and dismantle the system that allowed the inept, inbred, lazy, parasitic southern aristocracy to eat and drink and fuck and rape without doing any effort nor suffering any repercussion while the rest of the populace broke their backs feeding them. I think that the fact that the inept, inbred, lazy, parasitic southern aristocrats were inept, inbred, lazy and parasitic is not mentioned enough when the inept, inbred, lazy, parasitic overlords’ lackeys open their mouths.

    ***

    If hypothetically someone wanted to celebrate the culture of the southern States

    They should remind people of the 150.000 southern blacks and 300.000 southern whites who wore the uniform of the Union and of the great many more who took part to a large movement of resistance against the planter parasites.

  37. lordshipmayhem:

    I dislike Microsoft from the get-go, thinking them to be parasitic monopolists who write incredibly buggy, unstable and utterly virus-prone operating systems that are a danger to national security, but I never heard they had their own candidate for the United States Senate.

    much less that MS’s Senate candidate was so vile…

  38. Area Man:

    “Fort Sumter was fired on when Lincoln tried to reinforce his customs house for tax collection.”

    Um, what? I’m not even sure what this is trying to say, but Fort Sumter is way out in Charleston harbor, nowhere close to the customs house. If you wanted to stop the customs house from being reinforced, you’d just capture the customs house.

    Fort Sumter was fired upon because the newly seceded state of South Carolina declared that all federal property within the state belonged to them, the federal government disagreed, so they decided to take it by force. They wanted a war, and they got one.

  39. Area Man:

    “Was Abraham Lincoln influenced by communism when the Union condemned the rights of Southern states to express their independence?”

    Yes, because before Marx, surely no one in history ever objected to a rebellious region of a country declaring its independence.

  40. Teve Tory:

    “The Civil War started in 1860. Lincoln was assassinated in 1865. Das Capital, Marx and Engels inpenetrable and turgid work, was published in 1867.
    ___
    If anyone can’t see the problem here, they may be suffering from Mississippi White Trash Syndrome. It is curable although cures are rare. Repeating high school, getting a library card, and finding out what Google and Wikipedia are therapeutic when applied.”

    Lincoln made several statements against capitalists in his career, and he and Karl Marx exchanged letters the year before he died, 1964.

  41. whheydt:

    I’ve probably got as good a connection to be a “Son of the Confederacy” as those loons, and likely better than many,

    Not, you understand, that I’d join such an organization on a bet, any more than my sister or daughter would join the DAR (which they are both eligible to do).

    I honor my great-grandfather for *surviving* serving in the Confederate Cavalry, and for having the good sense to leave the South after the war and live out the rest of his life (until he died in 1936) in the North.

    Part of his legacy are a few family stories that reveal some of the…less savory…aspects of slave-holding households. It would interesting to get hold of a neo-Confederate and relate them to him to see if he still wished to “glorify” that life.

    (And, Re: Teve Tory @ #40…. 1964, eh? Those doctors held him together pretty well after he was shot. Living to the age of 152 is quite an accomplishment.)

  42. democommie:

    “Lincoln made several statements against capitalists in his career, and he and Karl Marx exchanged letters the year before he died, 1964.”

    And you have those letters handy?

  43. democommie:

    You know what just occurred to me?

    Jon Lovitz has gone pretty much TeabaggistbatshitKKKrazzee in the last couple of years OR he’s thinking,:

    “Normal, sane people see me do my pathological liar schtick and they think it’s funny. These fucking morons in the Pissyourownpants Patriot movement think it’s fucking true. There’s gold in them thar hillbillies.”.

  44. lpetrich:

    Yet more evidence that the Republican Party has become the party of Jefferson Davis. If there is any party that could now call itself the party of Abraham Lincoln, it’s the Democratic Party.

  45. matty1:

    @42

    “Lincoln made several statements against capitalists in his career, and he and Karl Marx exchanged letters the year before he died, 1964.”

    And you have those letters handy?

    I linked at

    Could be a garbled story of the letter I linked at 8. Of course the reply was from the Ambassador not Lincoln himself and to me reads as little more than polite acceptance of the good wishes but there is something.

  46. matty1:

    I hate this mouse pad, keeps deleting things anyway my link is at 8 and is to http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/iwma/documents/1864/lincoln-letter.htm

  47. anat:

    Re: knowledge about democracy in 1st century Palestine – the idea was filtrating Jewish circles. During the lead up to the rebellion there was an attempt to replace the hereditary high-priesthood with appointment by lottery (implying all the priests were equally deserving to be high-priest). And the Jamniya sanhedrin allegedly claimed that a majority rule of the rabbis of the generation can veto a declaration made by Divine Voice (yes, they supposedly told God to STFU).

  48. jonathangray:

    Sastra:

    The Bible does deal with the concept of democracy through an obvious inference: is it a good thing for God’s people to get together and question His rule? Anything connected to His laws, commands, and desires? Ever?

    No? Well, then there goes democracy even before anyone brings it up. The ultimate ideal isn’t going to be an authority which comes from agreement among equals. The whole damn idea of the Fall sprung out of subjects getting uppity.

    The Bible says all we need to know about democracy:

    [Caiphas said to them:] It is expedient … that one man should die for the people

    And so Pilate being willing to satisfy the people …

    + + +

    Area Man:

    “Was Abraham Lincoln influenced by communism when the Union condemned the rights of Southern states to express their independence?”

    Yes, because before Marx, surely no one in history ever objected to a rebellious region of a country declaring its independence.

    I’m sure George III had his views on the matter.

    Curiously enough, during the war between the states Charlie Marx served as a foreign correspondent and political analyst for the New York Tribune, recruiting Engels to help write his columns. Naturally the pair wanted to see the Confederacy crushed, although their correspondence reveal their contempt for the Union. Marx: “The long and short of the business seems to me to be that a war of this kind must be conducted along revolutionary lines, while the Yankees so far have been trying to conduct it constitutionally.” Engels: “The manner in which the North wages war is only to be expected from a bourgeois republic, where fraud has so long reigned supreme.”

  49. raven:

    As it turns out, the idea of democracy in the ancient world was not only well known but common and commonly practiced in limited forms.

    The ancient ruling body of the Jews was a subset of the hereditary High Priests, the Sanhedrin. The same body that allegedly convicted jesus. And how did they make their decisions? They voted on them!!!

    If you think about it, how else could they do it. Flip a coin? (In times and places, things like that were done and worse).

    wikipedia Sanhedrin:

    The Sanhedrin, from an 1883 encyclopedia
    The Sanhedrin (Hebrew: סַנְהֶדְרִין sanhedrîn, Greek: συνέδριον,[1] synedrion, “sitting together,” hence “assembly” or “council”) was an assembly of twenty to twenty-three men appointed in every city in the biblical Land of Israel. The Mishnah[2] arrives at the number twenty-three based on an exegetical derivation:

    It must be possible for a “community” to vote for both conviction and exoneration (Numbers 35:24-5). The minimum size of a “community” is 10 men (Numbers 14:27; i.e. the 10 spies). One more is required to achieve a majority (11–10), but a simple majority cannot convict (Exodus 23:2), and so an additional judge is required (12–10). Finally, a court should not have an even number of judges to prevent deadlocks; thus 23.

  50. raven:

    Exodus 23:

    2 “Do not follow the crowd in doing wrong. When you give testimony in a lawsuit, do not pervert justice by siding with the crowd, 3 and do not show favoritism to a poor person in a lawsuit.

    FWIW, I looked up the bible verses quoted in 49. They are vague and don’t really have much to do with court operations.

    This is an exegesis by the ancient Jews. You just make something up, claim it came from the bible, and hope no one actually reads the magic book. Fundies do it constantly. The bible has been one giant Rorschach inkblot for as long as it has existed.

  51. Nick Gotts:

    The Bible says all we need to know about democracy:

    [Caiphas said to them:] It is expedient … that one man should die for the people

    And so Pilate being willing to satisfy the people … – jonathangray

    Trust Piltdown Man to chime in with his trademark stupidity. Tell us, Pilty, when was Pilate elected governor by the people of Judea? Did he put the question of Jesus’s death to a plebiscite, or even consult opinion polls or focus groups? Oh, and while you’re at it, why are you complaining about Jesus dying for the people? That he did so, and had to do so if we were to be saved, is central to Christian doctrine, so presumably both Caiphas and Pilate should be thanked profusely for making it possible.

    On ancient democracy, it’s worth noting that it excluded women and, er, slaves. Perry Anderson, in Passages from Antiquity to Feudalism, argues that it was the “slavery mode of production”* that made ancient democracy possible: it freed landowners to congregate in cities and spend their time arguing about public policy.

    Moral: it’s really not straightforward to draw illuminating parallels between the ancient world and the 19th century.

    *Warning: Anderson is a Marxist. But well worth reading, and not afraid to say Marx and Engels were talking through their hats when he thinks so.

  52. Nick Gotts:

    “slavery mode of production” should be “slave mode of production” @51.

  53. democommie:

    @52:

    Nick Gotts, you are attempting to educate someone whose brain were it pureed and mixed with a suitable epoxy could be used as a coating for the nose of the Space Shuttle. Yes his indignorance is of such a durable and adamantine hardness that it could have SAVED Columbia and it’s from the fiery death of their doomed re-entry. Selfish fuck that he is Johnnyboy wants to keep that otherwise useless brain of his inside his head. What does Johnny have against NASA and murKKKa?

  54. jonathangray:

    Nick Gotts:

    Tell us, Pilty, when was Pilate elected governor by the people of Judea? Did he put the question of Jesus’s death to a plebiscite, or even consult opinion polls or focus groups?

    All irrelevant. Wherever the will of ‘the people’ is a determining factor, where they are effectively ‘sovereign’, there is democracy.

    Oh, and while you’re at it, why are you complaining about Jesus dying for the people? That he did so, and had to do so if we were to be saved, is central to Christian doctrine, so presumably both Caiphas and Pilate should be thanked profusely for making it possible.

    I’m amazed an educated man should resort to such imbecilic atheist boilerplate.

  55. Al Dente:

    But Pilty, since Jebus dying so his daddy could get over his snit with humanity is the raison d’être of your favorite superstition, then Caiphas and Pilate were doing Da Lawd’s Work™ by ensuring Jebus would die. So why are you whining about Nick pointing out the obvious?

    I know what it is. You realize that Jebus didn’t really die. He spent an unpleasant afternoon hanging around the cross and then a day and a half later he’s rolling back big stones, having people stick their hands in his side, and otherwise good as new. So your favorite superstition is based on something that didn’t actually happen. Jebus didn’t die but since men wearing dresses tell you that he did, being the good cultist you are, you believe them in spite of the evidence they’re full of shit. Except as an educated man you realize the men in dresses are full of shit.

  56. Ani J. Sharmin:

    These are the same people who realize that celebrations of horrors done by others are wrong. If someone speaks at a hateful Islamic fundamentalist group, they realize that it’s bad and harmful. It’s a gigantic example of “It’s only wrong if they do it, but it’s okay if we do it”. (In fact, it’s even worse than that, because even if someone were to speak at a group for racial/religious/whatever minority that was actually a positive group, these pro-Confederacy and Tea Party groups would see that as traitorous.)

    Maybe this slightly off topic, but I noticed this in the article:

    In the September issue of the Rosin Heels newsletter, Benson writes that the nation’s public school system was a product of “spiritual apostasy” by Unitarians and socialists.

    This suspicion of education in these groups is always interesting to me. First, because the leaders and politicians in these groups often have an education (though they seem to have not learned a whole lot) and are wealthy, but they are telling everyone else that education is to be considered suspicious. Second, because they are specifically against public education that is inclusive and widely available, favoring institutions that push superiority of their particular race, religion, etc. It’s yet another demonstration of bigotry: they consider it a bad thing, rather than a good thing, to have a public education system that everyone can attend. They consider greater availability of education to be a negative development.

    @matty1 (#15):

    If hypothetically someone wanted to celebrate the culture of the southern States they would surely focus on things like music, food and folklore, not on the fact their ancestors fought a war to defend slavery. It’s as if promoters of French culture poured all their energy into explaining how Robespierre was at getting rid of enemies of the republic, all the while insisting that of course they aren’t apologists for the reign of terror, just for everything associated with it.

    I was going to say something similar to this. The thing is, all places have a history of both good and bad things. Whether I look at my state, my country, country my parents are from, etc. there have been good and bad people and events in all these locations. What’s telling is which parts of that history people praise. Of course, both the good and bad has to be remembered, but we shouldn’t praise the bad.

    This has always been my issue with people who claim that Confederacy events/groups are part of celebrating Southern culture or history or heritage. There *have* to be better things about Southern culture to celebrate.

  57. laurentweppe:

    the leaders and politicians in these groups often have an education [...] and are wealthy, but they are telling everyone else that education is to be considered suspicious. [...] they are specifically against public education that is inclusive and widely available, favoring institutions that push superiority of their particular race, religion, etc. It’s yet another demonstration of bigotry

    This is not bigotry: this is cold-blooded, cynical willingness to rig the competion to their kin’s advantage: the big fear of the most corrupt fraction of the upper-class who lords over wingnutia is to see the janitors’ children becoming smarter and more knowledgeable than their own kids, and destroying Public Education is a very efficient way to divide the aristocrats and the plebs: if only the upper-class has access to education, million of working class people will end up in a position of intellectual inferiority compared to their lords and master despite being potentially way smarter than them.

  58. Ani J. Sharmin:

    @laurentweppe (#57): I agree with what you’re saying. But I think I was kind of vague with the word “they” in my comment. For my first point, I think what you’re saying definitely applies. For the second, there are people who are the supporters of these movements (who are not themselves wealthy) who are against equal education for people of certain races, genders, etc. or who want education to be run by their religion.

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