The Civil War and its Discontents

From February 2008, my criticisms of Spengler for his ignorant views and leftist assumptions regarding the causes of the Civil War, followed by an exciting discussion between Mencius Moldbug and me.

- end of initial entry -

July 8

Paul Mulshine writes:

As regards Spengler on John Brown, coincidentally I visited Harper’s Ferry just a few weeks ago with my brother who was in from California. As we walked around the charming little town, we came upon a couple of African-Americans reading a plaque. We started to read it. It told the story of the first man killed by the fanatical Brown’s henchmen. The victim was some local black man who had the task of being the first guard the raiders encountered at the arsenal. This of course got me to wondering how people who had set as their task the freeing of black people could kick off the effort by murdering a black man. I imagine those African-American tourists next to us were having similar thoughts.

The truly jarring note was that we had just left Washington where I have another brother stashed (I come, as I have noted, from a large Irish Catholic family; I also have another brother stashed in California besides the one I was with). There, the papers were full of stories about that crazed neo-Nazi who had shot a guard at the Holocaust Museum. The parallel couldn’t have been more obvious. Some poor black guy gets a good government job to support his family. He’s minding his own business when a fanatic comes out of nowhere and shoots him for reasons he surely does not even comprehend by the time he is dead.

I’m sure the nut that shot the guy at the Holocaust Museum had dreams of starting some sort of war of liberation as well. And the chances of success were probably almost equal. Even if John Brown had managed to make it out of Harper’s Ferry and found some slaves na├»ve enough to join him, they would have done about as well against that contingent of Marines led by Robert E. Lee as he did. This is a particularly American form of mental illness.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at July 07, 2009 12:31 PM | Send

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