PhilO

You don't really want Civil War II

102 posts in this topic

I've read a number of posts which are literal call to arms against the government, unless I misread them. If those posts are *not* such a call, I would like to see them clarified as to what they are actually advocating.

This has happened before in American history. No sane person familiar with the details of 1861-5 can want a repeat of it. I feel very strongly that such posts do not belong on this board, and I for one will permanently stop posting here if they continue.

A majority of Americans (including some who unfortunately call themselves Objectivists) actually *voted* Obama and his minions into power. Since American political power ultimately rests on voters, it is *they* who ultimately share the moral blame for this bill and everything else emitted by Washington. Next November we will see if a majority votes them *out*.

If not, then the direct logical implication is that these fascists represent what a majority of voting America now wants.

If voting cannot change America politically (and this takes into account cultural/philosophic changes that would enable both better candidates and better voters), neither will a war - other than by totally destroying it. Black powder was the most powerful weapon of the 1860s. Twenty-first century weapons ensure that Civil War II would not take 4 years to fight. The country would be a smoking ruins in short order. And I can say with certainty that that is not better than what exists right now, evil laws and all.

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I haven't yet read any direct calls like that, but if true I would have to leave to protect my career goals. I have no chance of employment in the criminal justice field or supporting the military if I associate with people advocating armed rebellion.

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I haven't yet read any direct calls like that, but if true I would have to leave to protect my career goals. I have no chance of employment in the criminal justice field or supporting the military if I associate with people advocating armed rebellion.

Then I guess you would have not gotten along well with the Founding Fathers such as Adams, Washington, Jefferson, Henry, Franklin and others as they understood that no amount of diplomacy was going to work against King George and his parliament? In fact, Benjamin Franklin spent the ten years leading up to the Revolutionary War in London attempting to persuade the King and parliament of the colonist's rights. When he sailed back across the Atlantic he knew that war was evident as there was no changing of the King's nor parliament's thoughts and the actions they were taking.

At this time, I am not for "armed rebellion," but that does not mean that things will not change, become worse and different actions have to be taken. I am for change which can only happen when a person actaully takes rational actions to stimulate the changes desired. And if you think that you will have a career worthy of having in a slave state then I ask that you check your premise.

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Then I guess you...

My statements are not solely directed at bborg, but include anyone that thinks similarly.

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Ray, for the first time since I was a teen I actually like being me, I'm comfortable in my own skin again. I went through a really rough depression a few years ago and now that I've recovered and discovered something I want to do, something that I can devote my life to, I don't intend to sacrifice it for anything or anyone. I think that despite the many problems with this country, I can actually be happy here. And that's what I'm going to do, to the best of my ability. So maybe you'll get my meaning when I say that while I really enjoy this forum, if it gets in the way of what I want out of life I won't hesitate to leave it behind. I don't think that will be necessary, but in the interests of clarity and dispelling your insinuations of cowardice, that's where I stand.

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Bryson, I understand your statements and I am not attempting to state that you are a coward. My point is that one cannot enjoy the demands and rewards of a career when one is not free to to enjoy the rewards. When you actaully start your new career and become more conscious of paying taxes on the income you make, and paying taxes on the property you own or lease, and paying taxes on the car you drive, and paying taxes on the gas you purchase, and paying taxes on the clothes you purchase, and paying taxes on the phones you use, and paying taxes on medical services you require, then let us see if you will enjoy coming home after spending a day in your career, but have no extra money to enjoy your time away from your career.

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"Taking action", if that's to mean speaking out, protesting and voting out the scumbags who are ruining this country, is not the issue here. I was agreeing with Phil that if what people on this forum are talking about is starting a second civil war, then I'm out.

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"Taking action", if that's to mean speaking out, protesting and voting out the scumbags who are ruining this country, is not the issue here. I was agreeing with Phil that if what people on this forum are talking about is starting a second civil war, then I'm out.

We're not there yet, and your objection is on record, so I wouldn't freak out about that. I do say we are not there yet, but I think we will be soon enough (10 - 20 years). I've been mentally preparing for it for some time.

I quit drinking last year (really, super function type), and now my favorite mantra is: "I quit drinking for this?"

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"Taking action", if that's to mean speaking out, protesting and voting out the scumbags who are ruining this country, is not the issue here. I was agreeing with Phil that if what people on this forum are talking about is starting a second civil war, then I'm out.

As I stated earlier, it seems you are in disagreement with the Founding Fathers. A war, civil or other wise, is a struggle between opposing forces for a particular end. The end being fought for is freedom and to gain it or retain it sometimes comes at a high cost*. The cost should not be seen as a sacrifice and instead it should be seen as a very selfish act, which last I remembered was considered a virtue in Objectivist Ethics.

And as I stated earlier, I am not promoting a physical war, but make no mistake we are already at war, albeit an intellectual one.

* From a letter written by George Washington to a friend shortly after the war was over.

"We now have a National Character to establish, and it is of the utmost importance to stamp favorable impressions upon it; let justice then be one of its characteristics and gratitude another....The Army is of near eight years' standing, six of which they have spent in the field without any other shelter from the inclemency of the seasons than tents or such houses as they could build for themselves without expense to the public. They have encountered hunger, cold and nakedness. They have fought many battles and bled freely. They have lived without pay....Many of them to do better and to dress as officers have contracted heavy debts or spent their patrimonies. Is there no discrimination then, no extra exertion to be made in favor of these men in these peculiar circumstances, in the event of their military dissolution? Are they to be turned adrift soured and discontented, complaining of the ingratitude of their country?...For permit me to add, tho every man in the army feels his distress--it is not every one that will reason to the cause of it."

Most here probably already know that Washington went without pay for the whole of his duration of military service. What might not be known is that a lot of his soldiers went without pay for large periods of time also. They also went without food, clothing, shoes (during the crossing of the Delaware blood from shoeless feet could be seen as tracks in the snow) and much more, all for the idea of liberty. Make no mistake, freedom comes at a cost.

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Most here probably already know that Washington went without pay for the whole of his duration of military service. What might not be known is that a lot of his soldiers went without pay for large periods of time also. They also went without food, clothing, shoes (during the crossing of the Delaware blood from shoeless feet could be seen as tracks in the snow) and much more, all for the idea of liberty. Make no mistake, freedom comes at a cost.

Congress agreed to compensate General Washington on the basis of an expense account that he submitted:

" Revolutionary War Expense Account, 1775 - 1783

George Washington refused to accept a salary as commander in chief, instead offering to claim only his expenses. Congress readily accepted this offer in 1775. At the end of the war, Washington compiled his own general accounts from the record books in this Revolutionary War section of Series 5. He calculated that £ was equivalent to $26, which was generous on his part because at times the dollar depreciated to hundreds of dollars to a single British pound sterling. Washington's total expenses of $160,074 included not only his personal accounts but expenses for his headquarters (which he referred to as his "military family"), secret intelligence (spy services), and traveling expenses for his headquarters and guards, commanded by Captain Caleb Gibbs. After a careful examination of these accounts and their supporting documentation, James Milligan, Comptroller General of the United States Treasury, found that Washington was due an additional eighty-nine nintieths of one dollar.

This account book is accompanied online by explanatory notes from George Washington's Account of Expenses While Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army 1775-1783 reproduced in facsimile with annotations by John C. Fitzpatrick, Assistant Chief, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress (Boston; New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1917). "

Details at: http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/gwhtml/gwseries5.html

this has pointers to his ledgers.

General Washington did not render his services for free.

George Washington kept extremely detailed records of his expenses and activities. He knew where every penny went. He was very much the opposite of Thomas Jefferson who was a spendthrift and very careless with his money, which is why Jefferson was constantly in debt.

Bob Kolker

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As I stated earlier, it seems you are in disagreement with the Founding Fathers. [...]

I would say that the Revolutionary War was possible for the following reasons: 1) A significant majority of the colonists supported the cause of freedom from Britain; 2) the British did not have a sufficient number of troops garrisoned in the colonies to quell a rebellion nor was that ever going to be practical; 3) there was a clear idea that Britain *was* taking advantage of the colonists and that a break with the old world was needed; 4) Britain was an ocean away at a time when ocean travel was slow, risky, and expensive.

None of these conditions apply today. The closest analogy is the Civil War and that also had major differences, not least of which was the physical separation of the geographic regions at war, but also there was a clear moral understanding of the nature of the fight in the North.

Kant had not yet infiltrated the world in 1776. In 2010, only a relative handful of men explicitly grasp the nature of rights and the requirements of life, amidst a far larger sea of men with either no ability or no interest in such ideas, beyond a vague feeling (at times) that they'd like to be left alone and keep more of their money. Millions whose cognitive faculties either never developed or have been eaten away into swiss cheese by Kant and his descendents, who cannot hear and cannot think straight.

Here's a question to ponder: would it be possible to find 10 million people in the world who would pay $1,000 to emigrate to a new free country? Or: would it be possible to find the same number who would pay $10,000? If you were rationally convinced that this was possible, would you do either and would you consider it superior to spending the rest of your life trying to convince religious and secular mystics of the superiority of full political freedom? Consider this to be simply a "thought experiment", an abstract hypothetical - though whoever reading this might find it interesting to contemplate which pieces of land in the world that could, for between $10-100 billion, be purchased with an agreement to the current controlling government to give up its sovereignty over that land. I personally find that a more satisfying exercise than contemplating trying to induce rational thinking in at least 150 million Americans who went through modern public schools and taking into account that the clear evidence of # of copies of Atlas sold to those who understand the ideas to be about 0.1% in the past 53 years.

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Congress agreed to compensate General Washington on the basis of an expense account that he submitted:

General Washington did not render his services for free.

George Washington kept extremely detailed records of his expenses and activities. He knew where every penny went. He was very much the opposite of Thomas Jefferson who was a spendthrift and very careless with his money, which is why Jefferson was constantly in debt.

I never stated that he did not go without reimbursement. I stated that he went without pay in which I meant pay/cash for his time, efforts and the risk of his life. So, it is incorrect to state that he was paid for his efforts by the government, he was reimbrused for his expenses and the payment for his efforts was freedom.

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Out of 31 milliion Americans in 1860, about 650,000 were killed in the Civil War. (Supposedly, 400,000 died from disease and 250,000 died in battle. If we extend that to the 300 million alive today, that would be 2.5 to 6.5 million dead. If anyone thinks this country would survive with that kind of casualty list, he's badly mistaken.

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The men in office responsible for this legislation, and for that matter every President and Congressman responsible for the curtailment of freedoms over the history of the "progressive" movement in this country, were voted into power. This is not a case of being governed by a foreign power that we can break away from. The problem is a cultural one, which cannot be solved with a war. If we can't convince Americans through reason to abandon socialism, then how is a gun supposed to do that? We had a free system, and this is what was done to it with the consent of the governed, not by some monarch. The whole idea is frankly idiotic and suicidal. Who exactly would we be going to war with?

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Phil,

I do not know how much you have studied the time period of the Revolutionary War, but I would like to offer a few observations.

A large amount of the colonist were Tories and some of those that were not sold their supplies to the British because their money was of more value than the colonies'. Washington's Army totalled only 16,770 men of which 1,598 of those were sick, 1,429 were absent which left him with just 13,743 men to start the war. For the most part Washington's Army was full of militia and not full time warriors/soldiers. The soldiers had very little understanding of war tactics nor would they gain them until the Prussian Baron Friedrich von Steuben aided Washington in making his mop into soldiers. As a matter of fact in one of the early battles General Howe had 4,000 redcoats to fight against 1,600 American militia/soldiers. For the most part the British outnumbered Washington's Army on almost every battlefield, but they also seemed to underestimate American's willingness to fight. I would also offer that not all the colonist wanted a "break" from Britain and John Adams "Novanglus" was a rebuttal to those colonist that believed it treason to stand up to the King and parliament.

What I am trying to demonstrate is that the Founding Fathers fought an immensely demanding war against the strongest country/military of it's time and came out a winner.

On your hypothetical question, I think it is more than worthy of serious thought. But it seems to be full of just as many difficult things to overcome (although different items) as fighting for one's rights here.

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Out of 31 milliion Americans in 1860, about 650,000 were killed in the Civil War. (Supposedly, 400,000 died from disease and 250,000 died in battle. If we extend that to the 300 million alive today, that would be 2.5 to 6.5 million dead. If anyone thinks this country would survive with that kind of casualty list, he's badly mistaken.

First off, I am not stating that one needs a physical war to change the direction of a culture. But, what makes you think that this country could not survive the loss of the same percentages that were already lost and still survived. We wiped out 75% of Japan's industrial cities before we dropped the two bombs and they still survived although they are somewhat different.

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The men in office responsible for this legislation, and for that matter every President and Congressman responsible for the curtailment of freedoms over the history of the "progressive" movement in this country, were voted into power. This is not a case of being governed by a foreign power that we can break away from. The problem is a cultural one, which cannot be solved with a war. If we can't convince Americans through reason to abandon socialism, then how is a gun supposed to do that? We had a free system, and this is what was done to it with the consent of the governed, not by some monarch. The whole idea is frankly idiotic and suicidal. Who exactly would we be going to war with?

You seem to be missing the point, as it is not a physical war that I am stating needs to happen to create change. Are the tea-party people coming to their functions with weapons? No. And I would offer that you actually get out and meet some of your fellow countrymen as all of them are not in support of Obama nor his ilk. A lot of them are very pissed off at what has happened since Obama's election and feel betrayed and stupid for thinking he was going to be different. Yes, some of the culture is corrupt, but not all of it and those are the people that one can lead to the beacon of reason.

And when and how did it become "idiotic" to stand up for one's right to their life?

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And when and how did it become "idiotic" to stand up for one's right to their life?

I would offer that what is "idiotic" is not standing up for one's life and letting one's ideological enemies stomp all over you while some how expecting change to come.

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A majority of Americans (including some who unfortunately call themselves Objectivists) actually *voted* Obama and his minions into power.

But you share the blame in that and are not about to get off easily. You over-optimistically told them during the campaign that Obama would merely be an unmitigated disaster and that left them free to save us from imminent theocracy. Repent!

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As I stated earlier, it seems you are in disagreement with the Founding Fathers. [...]

I would say that the Revolutionary War was possible for the following reasons: 1) A significant majority of the colonists supported the cause of freedom from Britain; 2) the British did not have a sufficient number of troops garrisoned in the colonies to quell a rebellion nor was that ever going to be practical; 3) there was a clear idea that Britain *was* taking advantage of the colonists and that a break with the old world was needed; 4) Britain was an ocean away at a time when ocean travel was slow, risky, and expensive.

According to John Adams (who ought to know since he was in the thick of it), one third of the adult population favored independence, one third were loyalists to England and one third had a "wait and see" attitude. There never was a majority who favored independence. The representatives from the New York colony to the Philadelphia Congress were extremely reluctant to go with independence. It took some arm twisting to get the New York folks to go along.

Ben Franklin himself, initially wanted some kind of reasonable reconciliation with England. An arrangement such as the Canada Dominion would have satisfied him. However, when King George and his buddies became intransigent, Franklin realized independence was the only way to go. But it was not his first choice. Many of the pro independence folks came to their position reluctantly.

The fact that Canada never had a revolution indicated that some kind of reconciliation was possible. I suspect after the thirteen colonies successfully gained their independence, England took a very reasonable attitude toward Canada. I am sure the English did not wish to lose Canada as well.

The British had enough troops to win. The revolutionary forces were routinely defeated on the battle field and it was the success at Trenton that kept the revolution going. If the Yanks had lost at Trenton we would be toasting Her Britannic Majesty's health. It was French assistance that made the difference. Without the French, the revolution would have failed. If the Brits had fought at the Battle of Saratoga more intelligently the revolution would have been a short lived affair. It would have been over in 1777, that is how close it was to failing.

Bob Kolker

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I've read a number of posts which are literal call to arms against the government, unless I misread them. If those posts are *not* such a call, I would like to see them clarified as to what they are actually advocating.

I read them as metaphors and not literal. This is, after all, a board united by admiration for a philosopher who advocated fighting for the right ideas.

If voting cannot change America politically (and this takes into account cultural/philosophic changes that would enable both better candidates and better voters), neither will a war - other than by totally destroying it.

Absolutely true. You cannot have a proper society or government without the proper philosophy.

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Out of 31 milliion Americans in 1860, about 650,000 were killed in the Civil War. (Supposedly, 400,000 died from disease and 250,000 died in battle. If we extend that to the 300 million alive today, that would be 2.5 to 6.5 million dead. If anyone thinks this country would survive with that kind of casualty list, he's badly mistaken.

The total death toll was closer to 620,000. The really painful toll was the number of soldiers maimed in combat. In those days of 52 cal. Minnie balls, cannister and shrapnel if one was hit in a limb, it was often amputated. Low velocity rounds did not clip bone, it shattered bone and the only way to save the wounded person was to take off the limb. There were 1.5 million wounded in the Civil War and nearly half of those lost limbs. That kind of butchery was not again achieved until the Great War (WWI). There were something like 9 million killed in that war. I don't have the number of maimed soldiers but it was large. In the Great War, un-bright generals charged machine gun nests in frontal assault. It was dreadful.

Can you imagine what the slaughter would have been like in the Civil War, if the Gattling gun were adopted? The butchery of the American Civil War was done mostly with single shot rifled weapons. The rifles were quite accurate and could kill at 300-500 yards (unlike the smooth bore muskets of the American Revolution).

Bob Kolker

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This thread is talking about two different wars; the Civil War and Revolutionary War. Are there different general definitions for these two types of wars? I mean, is any civil war different in some fundamental way than any revolutionary war? It seems like there's a difference, but I'm hoping someone with greater knowledge than I will clarify it.

For the record, I hope neither kind of war occurs in this country. Despite a fear that there are people in this country who want to foment a civil war, I doubt it will happen. I'm not as certain about a second revolution. If current legislative trends continue, I fear a "tipping point" will someday be reached. I sincerely hope it won't come to that.

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If there is war (which would not be wise today), it may not so neatly divide the parties as the previous American wars did. There could be guerrilla warfare, which would be very ugly and difficult to contain intellectually or operationally.

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Scott,

Usually the title preceding the term war designates who the opposing forces are. For instance, America's Civil War was between opposing forces within the same country. Beyond this type of designation, war is still and always will be (unless someone changes the definition) a struggle between opposing forces for a particular end.

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