The Monday Morning Teaser

The featured article this week is something I’ve been working on quite a while: “Not a Tea Party, a Confederate Party”. For almost two years I’ve been on a reading project that has radically changed my interpretation of American history, and shone a different light on today’s politics. Along the way, I’ve been able to break out some of that work into articles like “Slavery Lasted Until Pearl Harbor“, but today I’m going to try to sum it all up.

The full thesis is that the way you were taught about Reconstruction in high school (or in the movies) is completely wrong: Reconstruction was the second phase of the Civil War, and when you put the two phases back together, you’re left with a war that looks a lot like Iraq — an initial battlefield victory, followed by a terrorist insurgency against the occupation. Ultimately, the insurgency was successful, and the Confederate social order was restored. In short, the South won.

That victory set up a Confederate pattern of no-holds-barred resistance to social change that has been with us ever since, centered in the South but not strictly Southern. That pattern repeated most obviously in the resistance to the Civil Rights movement, but also in resistance to abortion rights, and in the current Tea Party rejection of all things Obama. The essence of the Confederate worldview is that the democratic process cannot legitimately change the established social order, and so all forms of legal and illegal resistance are justified when it tries.

Along the way, we’ll see where the enthusiasm for guns comes from, as well as the bogus co-opting of the American revolutionaries and the Founders. Scratch the surface of the Tea Party, and it has much more to do with Richmond and Montgomery than with Boston or Philadelphia, and inherits more from Jefferson Davis than from Thomas Jefferson.

As you might imagine, covering all that takes a long time. The weekly summary will be shortened accordingly, and I’ll still run over my usual word limit.

I always underestimate how long it takes to put the finishing touches on a long article, so let’s guess the Tea/Confederate article comes out around 10 EDT, with the shortened weekly summary around 11.

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  • David Shair  On August 12, 2014 at 4:58 pm

    So true. The current version of slavery is the Prison-Industrial Complex. Incarcerate the black, brown and the poor whites. One effect many people have not considered. YOUR VOTE IS WORTH MORE IF YOU HAVE A PRISON in your district. Prisoners count as residents of your district, but they can’t vote. And these prisoners count as full people, not just “3/5ths of a man.” Illinois ships its prisoners to Texas, giving small communities there more votes in the US House & in the state legislature.
    People are trying to let prisoners, i.e. slave labor, compete with free labor for jobs. Is it true that ALEC is pushing this to lower wages in the US?
    Most people know other effects. We have the highest incarceration rate in the civilized world, keep people from getting jobs after they get out of jail, & many states keep felons from voting after they have served their sentences.

    • Scout  On June 27, 2015 at 10:58 am

      Something that was omitted was the TREASONOUS pledge designed by Grover Norquist to bring down the Federal Government.

      • David Shair  On June 27, 2015 at 11:15 pm

        It is not treasonous to advocate peaceful change of the U.S. government. My opinion of Grover Nordquist & his cause are better not put in writing.

  • Bill Farley  On August 25, 2014 at 9:43 am

    I like this topic. I’m just not convinced the South was fighting against social change. I’m not sure, my thoughts are still a work in progress, but I believe it was economic forces. I think conservatives wittingly or unwittingly do Wall Street’s bidding on many issues facing this Country – with no gain to themselves (unless you have a syndicated radio show). Take a look at the same time period and events from an economic perspective and see if you come to the same conclusion. I’m researching a piece of the reconstruction era (Northwest) and will soon be turning to compare it with other regions. Your piece is a great introduction. Thanks for all of the work you put into this.

  • Paul Larkin  On June 7, 2015 at 1:19 pm

    the civil war started as soon as the revoluationary war was over ,Mass .the first to fight state dragged them southers into a war they didn’t want ,because of their cotton and England ,they were unwilling partners ,then when they saw the New England army kicking ass they jumped on the band wagon as to be on the winning side ,We ran most of the bad torys out of new England ,but the south was full of torys and their supporters

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