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View Diary: 100 years ago TODAY in Gettysburg (67 comments)

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  •  Recommended TWICE! (4+ / 0-)

    Because I read it twice.

    This comment is worth knowing, repeating and saying as much as we can stand to say it. "The past is never dead. In fact, its not even past." This is Faulkner's line which is hard to remember and easy to get the gist of, and your diary reminds me that after 200 years, 150 years, 100 years, we are living in the past simply because the past is always with us. The bigger the event, the more the past inhabits our minds.

    I am also reminded that the War was about slavery, yes, and about a view of the world which was dying; that profit could be had by any means whatsoever, including mass murder, as long as it promoted the well being of a class of people who declared themselves superior. That royalist idea was the heart of the Southern embrace of slaveowning, and so they are not entirely wrong when they say the War was not ONLY about slavery. It was about that view that any form of ownership, of people, of land, of gold, of the earth's bounty, was for the claiming of the  most aggressively organized clique. For that moment, the Southern Slaveholders were the most agressively organized and wealthiest clique, and were not going to give up their well being and the well being of their princes and princesses easily.

    The echoes of that attitude are plain to see, ironically enough, in the Republican Party today, which fought 150 years ago to extiguish that idea, with the blood of millions as its marker. The parody that they have become of their former ideals is the greatest turnaround in American politics.

    As Lincoln observed in a story he liked to tell, "One time these two men got themselves into a tussle at the local tavern, and the fight worked its way outside. Those two went at it like widcats, swinging, biting, ripping off their coats and struggling in the mud. After a few hours of mortal struggle it transpired that the erstwhile enemies had fought themselves into each others coats!"

    You fight long enough, and you are liable to have fought yourself into the coat of your adversary.

    Figures don't lie, but liars do figure-Mark Twain

    by OregonOak on Sat Jun 29, 2013 at 06:39:12 PM PDT

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