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Debunking the 4th of July

charleslb
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7/4/2013 1:36:11 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Anyone up for a frankly veridical version of the American Revolution, one not thoroughly coated with patriotic fairy dust? Okay, for those accustomed to the fairy-tale version let me ease you into a critical perspective on this nation's bloody beginnings with the traditional line: "Once upon a time", in not so quaint colonial America, members of the American gentry, men such as Madison, Jefferson, the Adams brothers, et al., who were not content to remain subaltern guppies in the global fish bowl of the British Empire, who yearned to instead be autonomous big fry in their own sovereign fish bowl, envisioned a new state set up for them to rule with all of the grandiose trappings and little of the meaningful substance of democratic legitimacy.

And so fueled by their personal and egoistic ambition, and with the 18th-century zeitgeist of Enlightenment values and democracy readily serviceable to cloak and ennoble their true self-seeking motives, America's glorified OGs of mock representative government proceeded to foment and launch an insurgency that hardly satisfies the criteria of just war theorists in a clear-cut fashion. Well, the plight of the white residents of Great Britain's North American colonies was hardly sufficiently grievous (despite some over-hyped bit of "taxation without representation", which in fact helped finance the military defense of the colonies) as to make an armed uprising necessary. Indeed, the white residents of the Thirteen Colonies were arguably the freest human beings on the planet, the notion that they needed to go to war to obtain their liberty is utter nonsense, what might be called mainstream historical revisionism that has so supplanted the truth that the truth now sounds like revisionism.

Well, but if the War of Independence that we commemorate today wasn't a just war then what was it? To state a truism, the majority of history's wars have been either naked or veiled acts of greed for land or loot (the Mexican-American War, the recent invasion/occupation of Iraq, etc.), or "politics by other means"; in short, an elite's pursuit of its self-interest by force of arms. The war that secured this country's political independence is no exception. The colonial elite, comprised of ambitious-for-self individuals such as the gold digger George Washington (yes, his marriage to Martha had an economic ulterior motive, she was loaded, not the love of his life - at the time that they entered into holy matrimony Washington was in point of fact in love with another woman), wished to liberate and elevate itself from subordination to the British Crown and elite. Mm-hmm, the vaunted idealism of the Founding Fathers notwithstanding, personal gain very much factored into their motivation.

Okay, but isn't this all just cynical speculation, unsubstantiated character assassination? How can we ever actually know that their motives weren't pure? Shouldn't we just remain good conventional-thinking boys and girls and err on the side of naivete, of giving the heroic characters of our nation"s creation myth the benefit of any doubt? Well, let's see, firstly, willful conventionality, credulity, and naivete are hardly intellectual or moral virtues. Secondly, the preponderance of the burden of proof should rightfully be on the myth-makers and perpetuators, not entirely on the exponents of commonsense skepticism.

And thirdly, the proof of the inauthenticity of the Founding Fathers vis-a-vis their pretensions of being champions of liberty is most certainly present in the pudding of the political system they eventually devised. A form of bourgeois representative "democracy" geared to (and that has functioned very effectively and tellingly to) empower and to perpetuate the empowerment of a certain economic strata of society, i.e. white men of monetary substance, is pretty darn good prima facie evidence of a lack of genuine, deep, and enlightened commitment to democratic principles and of the distinct possibility of alternative, ulterior motives of a self and class-serving kind. Well, it would be if we weren't all so thoroughly inculcated to discount or pooh-pooh it, and to view the Framers of the Constitution as veritable and irreproachable saints of our "civil religion".

Also, in addition to knowing the moneyed merchants, land and securities speculators, lawyers, and plantation owners who signed the Declaration and Constitution by their fruits (knowing by their fruits that they were elitists not democratic egalitarians - heck, by their lights voting was the privilege of propertied men, not a universal franchise that every human being has an equal right to participate in), we also know their true hierarchist colors by their own self-convicting statements. Yes, they in fact left little room for speculation about their lack of enlightened belief in democracy. In many an explicit quotation we find ample and damning evidence that they didn't ever conceive of America's fight for independence as a bid for an opportunity to undertake a beautiful experiment in government of the people, by the people, for the people. Of course their justification for opposing granting power to the people was fear of mob rule, but in truth they simply didn't share the values of democracy and held a negative elitist view of the common people.

Interestingly, many modern right-wingers who also don't believe in democracy, whose vulgar and perverted idea of freedom is a laissez-faire capitalist society stripped of any and all legal protections for the rights of workers, consumers, and minorities (yes, they indeed have a quite limited understanding of what it means to be "libertarian", one in which one can somehow be a libertarian without being a proponent of the modern concept of civil liberties!), acknowledge that the Founding Fathers were not the democratic idealists that they're popularly and propagandistically portrayed to be. Some conservatives are indeed quite keen on stressing that the Founding Fathers meant our society to be a "republic not a democracy". One hears this line quite a lot from Red Staters, and yes, alas, they're right, our body politic wasn't built to be a genuine democracy, that's why it never functions effectively as such!

Of course the conservative's use of this disappointing little factoid (i.e., that the Founding Fathers weren't exactly progressives) to justify his-her own benighted ideological positions on civil liberty issues is transparent and lame and requires no further commentary. But the factoid remains, the leaders of the American independence movement were individuals of the "gentlemen" class who held it to be self-evident that the common man was inadequate to the responsibility of governing himself and needed to be subjected to the rule of his betters. They only wished to build enough democracy into our system to prevent the rise of a strongman who would arrogate all authority and power and reduce them to his vassals.

Well then, securing the blessings of liberty, the objective that the Revolutionary War was putatively waged for most certainly didn't include the creation of anything resembling an authentic people's republic. Rather, the objective was the creation of precisely the kind of bourgeois republic that has inexorably evolved into our modern capitalist plutocracy. It's merely one of the fables of American history that the war kicked off on the 4th of July was a fight for democratic freedom and that the Founding Fathers possessed beautiful minds capable of envisioning a future in which average Joes would govern themselves.
Yo, all of my subliterate conservative criticasters who find perusing and processing the sesquipedalian verbiage of my posts to be such a bothersome brain-taxing chore, I have a new nickname for you. Henceforth you shall be known as Pooh Bears. No, not for the obvious apt reasons, i.e., not because you're full of pooh, and not because of your ursine irritability. Rather, you put me in mind of an A.A. Milne quote, "I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and long words bother me". Love ya, Pooh Bears.
charleslb
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7/4/2013 1:37:29 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Conclusion

To sum up, realizing that the Revolution was neither a necessary nor a noble undertaking, a sizeable percentage of colonists remained loyalists and opposed it, or at least withheld their support. Their position of course gets short shrift (and the unjust persecution they were subjected to is all but forgotten), what with history being written by the winners, but by practicing the hermeneutics of suspicion one arrives at the same recognition of the moral wrongness, to put it in simple terms, of this country"s first war, one which inaugurated a long tradition of morally wrong wars. Perhaps converting the 4th of July into a day for dispensing with the parroting of patriotic mythology in favor of a bit more scrutiny of the facts of history along lines of skeptical, critical, and honest reflection will eventually make a significant contribution to ending this tragic warlike tradition inherited from our country's founders.
Yo, all of my subliterate conservative criticasters who find perusing and processing the sesquipedalian verbiage of my posts to be such a bothersome brain-taxing chore, I have a new nickname for you. Henceforth you shall be known as Pooh Bears. No, not for the obvious apt reasons, i.e., not because you're full of pooh, and not because of your ursine irritability. Rather, you put me in mind of an A.A. Milne quote, "I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and long words bother me". Love ya, Pooh Bears.
charleslb
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7/4/2013 1:45:11 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Thanks. Hope you have a happy holiday.
Yo, all of my subliterate conservative criticasters who find perusing and processing the sesquipedalian verbiage of my posts to be such a bothersome brain-taxing chore, I have a new nickname for you. Henceforth you shall be known as Pooh Bears. No, not for the obvious apt reasons, i.e., not because you're full of pooh, and not because of your ursine irritability. Rather, you put me in mind of an A.A. Milne quote, "I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and long words bother me". Love ya, Pooh Bears.
000ike
Posts: 11,196
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7/4/2013 2:04:06 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Ah, I miss those well-written walls of text, welcome back :)
"A stupid despot may constrain his slaves with iron chains; but a true politician binds them even more strongly with the chain of their own ideas" - Michel Foucault
Khaos_Mage
Posts: 23,214
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7/4/2013 2:41:05 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
I always thought the Declaration of Independence was little more than a morale boost, since the war lasted a whole year afterwards.
My work here is, finally, done.
Eitan_Zohar
Posts: 2,697
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7/4/2013 2:45:17 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/4/2013 1:36:11 PM, charleslb wrote:
Anyone up for a frankly veridical version of the American Revolution, one not thoroughly coated with patriotic fairy dust? Okay, for those accustomed to the fairy-tale version let me ease you into a critical perspective on this nation's bloody beginnings with the traditional line: "Once upon a time", in not so quaint colonial America, members of the American gentry, men such as Madison, Jefferson, the Adams brothers, et al., who were not content to remain subaltern guppies in the global fish bowl of the British Empire, who yearned to instead be autonomous big fry in their own sovereign fish bowl, envisioned a new state set up for them to rule with all of the grandiose trappings and little of the meaningful substance of democratic legitimacy.

And so fueled by their personal and egoistic ambition, and with the 18th-century zeitgeist of Enlightenment values and democracy readily serviceable to cloak and ennoble their true self-seeking motives, America's glorified OGs of mock representative government proceeded to foment and launch an insurgency that hardly satisfies the criteria of just war theorists in a clear-cut fashion. Well, the plight of the white residents of Great Britain's North American colonies was hardly sufficiently grievous (despite some over-hyped bit of "taxation without representation", which in fact helped finance the military defense of the colonies) as to make an armed uprising necessary. Indeed, the white residents of the Thirteen Colonies were arguably the freest human beings on the planet, the notion that they needed to go to war to obtain their liberty is utter nonsense, what might be called mainstream historical revisionism that has so supplanted the truth that the truth now sounds like revisionism.

Well, but if the War of Independence that we commemorate today wasn't a just war then what was it? To state a truism, the majority of history's wars have been either naked or veiled acts of greed for land or loot (the Mexican-American War, the recent invasion/occupation of Iraq, etc.), or "politics by other means"; in short, an elite's pursuit of its self-interest by force of arms. The war that secured this country's political independence is no exception. The colonial elite, comprised of ambitious-for-self individuals such as the gold digger George Washington (yes, his marriage to Martha had an economic ulterior motive, she was loaded, not the love of his life - at the time that they entered into holy matrimony Washington was in point of fact in love with another woman), wished to liberate and elevate itself from subordination to the British Crown and elite. Mm-hmm, the vaunted idealism of the Founding Fathers notwithstanding, personal gain very much factored into their motivation.

Okay, but isn't this all just cynical speculation, unsubstantiated character assassination? How can we ever actually know that their motives weren't pure? Shouldn't we just remain good conventional-thinking boys and girls and err on the side of naivete, of giving the heroic characters of our nation"s creation myth the benefit of any doubt? Well, let's see, firstly, willful conventionality, credulity, and naivete are hardly intellectual or moral virtues. Secondly, the preponderance of the burden of proof should rightfully be on the myth-makers and perpetuators, not entirely on the exponents of commonsense skepticism.

And thirdly, the proof of the inauthenticity of the Founding Fathers vis-a-vis their pretensions of being champions of liberty is most certainly present in the pudding of the political system they eventually devised. A form of bourgeois representative "democracy" geared to (and that has functioned very effectively and tellingly to) empower and to perpetuate the empowerment of a certain economic strata of society, i.e. white men of monetary substance, is pretty darn good prima facie evidence of a lack of genuine, deep, and enlightened commitment to democratic principles and of the distinct possibility of alternative, ulterior motives of a self and class-serving kind. Well, it would be if we weren't all so thoroughly inculcated to discount or pooh-pooh it, and to view the Framers of the Constitution as veritable and irreproachable saints of our "civil religion".

Also, in addition to knowing the moneyed merchants, land and securities speculators, lawyers, and plantation owners who signed the Declaration and Constitution by their fruits (knowing by their fruits that they were elitists not democratic egalitarians - heck, by their lights voting was the privilege of propertied men, not a universal franchise that every human being has an equal right to participate in), we also know their true hierarchist colors by their own self-convicting statements. Yes, they in fact left little room for speculation about their lack of enlightened belief in democracy. In many an explicit quotation we find ample and damning evidence that they didn't ever conceive of America's fight for independence as a bid for an opportunity to undertake a beautiful experiment in government of the people, by the people, for the people. Of course their justification for opposing granting power to the people was fear of mob rule, but in truth they simply didn't share the values of democracy and held a negative elitist view of the common people.

Interestingly, many modern right-wingers who also don't believe in democracy, whose vulgar and perverted idea of freedom is a laissez-faire capitalist society stripped of any and all legal protections for the rights of workers, consumers, and minorities (yes, they indeed have a quite limited understanding of what it means to be "libertarian", one in which one can somehow be a libertarian without being a proponent of the modern concept of civil liberties!), acknowledge that the Founding Fathers were not the democratic idealists that they're popularly and propagandistically portrayed to be. Some conservatives are indeed quite keen on stressing that the Founding Fathers meant our society to be a "republic not a democracy". One hears this line quite a lot from Red Staters, and yes, alas, they're right, our body politic wasn't built to be a genuine democracy, that's why it never functions effectively as such!

Of course the conservative's use of this disappointing little factoid (i.e., that the Founding Fathers weren't exactly progressives) to justify his-her own benighted ideological positions on civil liberty issues is transparent and lame and requires no further commentary. But the factoid remains, the leaders of the American independence movement were individuals of the "gentlemen" class who held it to be self-evident that the common man was inadequate to the responsibility of governing himself and needed to be subjected to the rule of his betters. They only wished to build enough democracy into our system to prevent the rise of a strongman who would arrogate all authority and power and reduce them to his vassals.

Well then, securing the blessings of liberty, the objective that the Revolutionary War was putatively waged for most certainly didn't include the creation of anything resembling an authentic people's republic. Rather, the objective was the creation of precisely the kind of bourgeois republic that has inexorably evolved into our modern capitalist plutocracy. It's merely one of the fables of American history that the war kicked off on the 4th of July was a fight for democratic freedom and that the Founding Fathers possessed beautiful minds capable of envisioning a future in which average Joes would govern themselves.

Which side would you have supported? I mean, I can agree that America's founding myth is just that- a myth. But would you say that British rule was preferable or more ethical than the regime that followed it?
"It is my ambition to say in ten sentences what others say in a whole book."
charleslb
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7/4/2013 2:55:04 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/4/2013 2:02:27 PM, Eitan_Zohar wrote:
We love you, Charles!

Thank you. I enjoy my exchanges with you too.

Where have you been!

Well, contrary to popular opinion I do in fact have a wee bit of a life that doesn't always permit ample time for composing my signature prolix posts.
Yo, all of my subliterate conservative criticasters who find perusing and processing the sesquipedalian verbiage of my posts to be such a bothersome brain-taxing chore, I have a new nickname for you. Henceforth you shall be known as Pooh Bears. No, not for the obvious apt reasons, i.e., not because you're full of pooh, and not because of your ursine irritability. Rather, you put me in mind of an A.A. Milne quote, "I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and long words bother me". Love ya, Pooh Bears.
charleslb
Posts: 4,740
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7/4/2013 2:57:59 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/4/2013 2:04:06 PM, 000ike wrote:
Ah, I miss those well-written walls of text, welcome back :)

Thanks. Any feedback on the current topic?
Yo, all of my subliterate conservative criticasters who find perusing and processing the sesquipedalian verbiage of my posts to be such a bothersome brain-taxing chore, I have a new nickname for you. Henceforth you shall be known as Pooh Bears. No, not for the obvious apt reasons, i.e., not because you're full of pooh, and not because of your ursine irritability. Rather, you put me in mind of an A.A. Milne quote, "I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and long words bother me". Love ya, Pooh Bears.
charleslb
Posts: 4,740
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7/4/2013 3:01:34 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/4/2013 2:41:05 PM, Khaos_Mage wrote:
I always thought the Declaration of Independence was little more than a morale boost, since the war lasted a whole year afterwards.

A question. As a libertarian does it disturb you not at all that the Founding Fathers were decidedly not authentic votaries and champions of democracy?
Yo, all of my subliterate conservative criticasters who find perusing and processing the sesquipedalian verbiage of my posts to be such a bothersome brain-taxing chore, I have a new nickname for you. Henceforth you shall be known as Pooh Bears. No, not for the obvious apt reasons, i.e., not because you're full of pooh, and not because of your ursine irritability. Rather, you put me in mind of an A.A. Milne quote, "I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and long words bother me". Love ya, Pooh Bears.
DetectableNinja
Posts: 6,043
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7/4/2013 3:08:51 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
I stopped reading after "Adams brothers." John and Samuel were cousins, not brothers.

Okay, now let me try again.
Think'st thou heaven is such a glorious thing?
I tell thee, 'tis not half so fair as thou
Or any man that breathes on earth.

- Christopher Marlowe, Doctor Faustus
charleslb
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7/4/2013 3:16:41 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/4/2013 2:45:17 PM, Eitan_Zohar wrote:

Which side would you have supported? I mean, I can agree that America's founding myth is just that- a myth. But would you say that British rule was preferable or more ethical than the regime that followed it?

Well, I'm not going to be drawn into a false dilemma. I would certainly not have been an apologist of British rule and colonialism. However, neither would I have supported the Founding Fathers' bourgeois vision for an independent America, i.e. a vision of bogus bourgeois "democracy". In brief, if I lived back then and my basic thought patterns were in place I would have been an advocate of a more genuine and radical form of democracy. As for which side held the high ground, the British or the Founding Fathers, in my view they were pretty much on a moral level and my attitude would have been a pox on both their houses.
Yo, all of my subliterate conservative criticasters who find perusing and processing the sesquipedalian verbiage of my posts to be such a bothersome brain-taxing chore, I have a new nickname for you. Henceforth you shall be known as Pooh Bears. No, not for the obvious apt reasons, i.e., not because you're full of pooh, and not because of your ursine irritability. Rather, you put me in mind of an A.A. Milne quote, "I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and long words bother me". Love ya, Pooh Bears.
charleslb
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7/4/2013 3:23:23 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/4/2013 3:08:51 PM, DetectableNinja wrote:
I stopped reading after "Adams brothers." John and Samuel were cousins, not brothers.

Okay, now let me try again.

To make a factual blooper trivial to one's thesis is human and a venial sin, to latch on to such a blooper to justify dismissing someone's thesis is petty and facile and a much more grievous sin.
Yo, all of my subliterate conservative criticasters who find perusing and processing the sesquipedalian verbiage of my posts to be such a bothersome brain-taxing chore, I have a new nickname for you. Henceforth you shall be known as Pooh Bears. No, not for the obvious apt reasons, i.e., not because you're full of pooh, and not because of your ursine irritability. Rather, you put me in mind of an A.A. Milne quote, "I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and long words bother me". Love ya, Pooh Bears.
DetectableNinja
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7/4/2013 3:26:17 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Anyway, you set up an extremely false dichotomy here between the frilly myth of George Washington and Co. receiving word directly from God to slaughter the British and preserve liberty, and the OTHER myth of George Washington and Co. being sent from Satan himself to plunge the American countryside into war and hellfire as they fiddled on the roof of Independence Hall laughing and doing a merry jig. There CLEARLY is a middle ground in which one may air on the side of caution in assessing the founders' merits, while still realistically giving credit where credit is due.

Honestly, your assessment clearly is painted with a strong bias against the founders. You brush off any sort of responsibility to prove ANY of your points by just saying those who look at the founders as heroes have the burden of proof. However, YOUR position is not merely skepticism. At the end of the day your positions are merely myths too, and this is clear because you are trying to set up a simplistic, dualistic, black-and-white, and frankly juvenile interpretation of an extraordinarily complex set of events.

In short, you provide essentially no substantial proof for your character attacks against the founders, making your whole argument fall apart.

And, again, you have created a false dichotomy. Of course what you're arguing against is false, but so is what you're arguing for.
Think'st thou heaven is such a glorious thing?
I tell thee, 'tis not half so fair as thou
Or any man that breathes on earth.

- Christopher Marlowe, Doctor Faustus
DetectableNinja
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7/4/2013 3:27:39 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/4/2013 3:23:23 PM, charleslb wrote:
At 7/4/2013 3:08:51 PM, DetectableNinja wrote:
I stopped reading after "Adams brothers." John and Samuel were cousins, not brothers.

Okay, now let me try again.

To make a factual blooper trivial to one's thesis is human and a venial sin, to latch on to such a blooper to justify dismissing someone's thesis is petty and facile and a much more grievous sin.

If you actually read the post, I was saying I was going to go back and reread. It's just that, as someone who has extensively studied John Adams, it's a bit frustrating is all.

And I DID just post an authentic response.
Think'st thou heaven is such a glorious thing?
I tell thee, 'tis not half so fair as thou
Or any man that breathes on earth.

- Christopher Marlowe, Doctor Faustus
charleslb
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7/4/2013 4:15:29 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/4/2013 3:26:17 PM, DetectableNinja wrote:
Anyway, you set up an extremely false dichotomy here between the frilly myth of George Washington and Co. receiving word directly from God to slaughter the British and preserve liberty, and the OTHER myth of George Washington and Co. being sent from Satan himself to plunge the American countryside into war and hellfire as they fiddled on the roof of Independence Hall laughing and doing a merry jig. There CLEARLY is a middle ground in which one may air on the side of caution in assessing the founders' merits, while still realistically giving credit where credit is due.

Honestly, your assessment clearly is painted with a strong bias against the founders. You brush off any sort of responsibility to prove ANY of your points by just saying those who look at the founders as heroes have the burden of proof. However, YOUR position is not merely skepticism. At the end of the day your positions are merely myths too, and this is clear because you are trying to set up a simplistic, dualistic, black-and-white, and frankly juvenile interpretation of an extraordinarily complex set of events.

In short, you provide essentially no substantial proof for your character attacks against the founders, making your whole argument fall apart.

And, again, you have created a false dichotomy. Of course what you're arguing against is false, but so is what you're arguing for.

Firstly, thank you for a substantive reply. Secondly, I do in fact recognize the complexity of history and of human beings, my critique of "George Washington & Co." is hardly the simplistic bit of demonization that you somewhat hyperbolically and reductionistically make it out to be. Rather, it's perhaps your interpretation that betrays somewhat of a two-valued orientation. Also, as for the "juvenility" of my thesis, it's your history-and-historical-figures-are-too-complex-to-say-anything-decisively-critical argument that constitutes an unsophisticated cop-out of a fallacy.

And then there's your claim that I provide speculation but no substantiation. This would seem to indicate that you merely and inefficiently skimmed my OP, as I do in fact cite the system that the Founding Fathers created, and their penchant for making statements explicitly derogatory of democracy, as evidence that they don't deserve to be revered as avatars of the spirit of democracy, and of the fact that the Revolutionary War whose declaration we commemorate today was a fraud in terms of being a struggle for democratic freedom.

Mm-hmm, it would indeed seem that you're the one who has framed the argument with a false and lame dichotomy that reduces it to a choice between an even-keeled, complexity-respecting position vs. a Satanizing and groundlessly speculative position. I'll give you an A for effort and a FAIL for effectiveness. But thanks again for at least putting some effort and intelligence into your response.
Yo, all of my subliterate conservative criticasters who find perusing and processing the sesquipedalian verbiage of my posts to be such a bothersome brain-taxing chore, I have a new nickname for you. Henceforth you shall be known as Pooh Bears. No, not for the obvious apt reasons, i.e., not because you're full of pooh, and not because of your ursine irritability. Rather, you put me in mind of an A.A. Milne quote, "I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and long words bother me". Love ya, Pooh Bears.
charleslb
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7/4/2013 4:18:39 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/4/2013 3:40:08 PM, Cody_Franklin wrote:
Good to see you back, old friend.

Thank you, glad to see that you're still a habitue of our beloved DDO.
Yo, all of my subliterate conservative criticasters who find perusing and processing the sesquipedalian verbiage of my posts to be such a bothersome brain-taxing chore, I have a new nickname for you. Henceforth you shall be known as Pooh Bears. No, not for the obvious apt reasons, i.e., not because you're full of pooh, and not because of your ursine irritability. Rather, you put me in mind of an A.A. Milne quote, "I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and long words bother me". Love ya, Pooh Bears.
charleslb
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7/4/2013 4:20:16 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/4/2013 3:40:22 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
Welcome back, Charles! I missed your in-depth contributions and opinions:)

Thank you kindly.
Yo, all of my subliterate conservative criticasters who find perusing and processing the sesquipedalian verbiage of my posts to be such a bothersome brain-taxing chore, I have a new nickname for you. Henceforth you shall be known as Pooh Bears. No, not for the obvious apt reasons, i.e., not because you're full of pooh, and not because of your ursine irritability. Rather, you put me in mind of an A.A. Milne quote, "I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and long words bother me". Love ya, Pooh Bears.
Citrakayah
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7/4/2013 5:45:44 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Pretty sure that what most of us think about are the pretty colors of fireworks on 4th of July. I actually thought this was going to be about that.
charleslb
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7/4/2013 7:51:34 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/4/2013 5:45:44 PM, Citrakayah wrote:
Pretty sure that what most of us think about are the pretty colors of fireworks on 4th of July.

Fireworks are fun, but don't sell your fellow man and woman short, some of them have a brain that believe it or not is wont to occasionally ruminate and ratiocinate about history, politics, and existential questions.

I actually thought this was going to be about that.

Any thoughts about the topic?
Yo, all of my subliterate conservative criticasters who find perusing and processing the sesquipedalian verbiage of my posts to be such a bothersome brain-taxing chore, I have a new nickname for you. Henceforth you shall be known as Pooh Bears. No, not for the obvious apt reasons, i.e., not because you're full of pooh, and not because of your ursine irritability. Rather, you put me in mind of an A.A. Milne quote, "I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and long words bother me". Love ya, Pooh Bears.
charleslb
Posts: 4,740
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7/4/2013 8:54:16 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
I suppose that this post has rubbed the nationalistic sensibilities of some of you the wrong way. Oh well.
Yo, all of my subliterate conservative criticasters who find perusing and processing the sesquipedalian verbiage of my posts to be such a bothersome brain-taxing chore, I have a new nickname for you. Henceforth you shall be known as Pooh Bears. No, not for the obvious apt reasons, i.e., not because you're full of pooh, and not because of your ursine irritability. Rather, you put me in mind of an A.A. Milne quote, "I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and long words bother me". Love ya, Pooh Bears.
DanT
Posts: 5,693
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7/4/2013 9:06:58 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/4/2013 1:36:11 PM, charleslb wrote:
Anyone up for a frankly veridical version of the American Revolution, one not thoroughly coated with patriotic fairy dust?

So long as it is not coated in unpatriotic fairy dust. A heterodox opinion is not bad, so long as it is not an appeal to novelty. You need to be able to support your claims.

Okay, for those accustomed to the fairy-tale version let me ease you into a critical perspective on this nation's bloody beginnings with the traditional line: "Once upon a time", in not so quaint colonial America, members of the American gentry, men such as Madison, Jefferson, the Adams brothers, et al., who were not content to remain subaltern guppies in the global fish bowl of the British Empire, who yearned to instead be autonomous big fry in their own sovereign fish bowl, envisioned a new state set up for them to rule with all of the grandiose trappings and little of the meaningful substance of democratic legitimacy.

And so fueled by their personal and egoistic ambition, and with the 18th-century zeitgeist of Enlightenment values and democracy readily serviceable to cloak and ennoble their true self-seeking motives, America's glorified OGs of mock representative government proceeded to foment and launch an insurgency that hardly satisfies the criteria of just war theorists in a clear-cut fashion. Well, the plight of the white residents of Great Britain's North American colonies was hardly sufficiently grievous (despite some over-hyped bit of "taxation without representation", which in fact helped finance the military defense of the colonies) as to make an armed uprising necessary. Indeed, the white residents of the Thirteen Colonies were arguably the freest human beings on the planet, the notion that they needed to go to war to obtain their liberty is utter nonsense, what might be called mainstream historical revisionism that has so supplanted the truth that the truth now sounds like revisionism.

Yay an alternative Public school history lesson. Like the patriotic fairy tale version, this unpatriotic fairy tale version is already historically inaccurate.

The founding fathers were representatives of their community. Furthermore, the revolution did not start as a war for independence. When the revolution started in 1775 the goal of the colonists was "Liberty and Union". They wanted to remain British subjects, but they wanted to be Free from arbitrary rule.

The ideals of the revolution actually date back further. Namely the English Civil War. The English civil war was fought between the Parliamentarians and the King. Presbyterians supported Parliament while the church of England supported the King.
Virginia supported the King while New England supported Parliament. During the Civil War New England formed the New England Confederation.Eventually the king was dethroned and a Republic was established.

Later the monarchy was reestablished, and the New Monarchy replaced the New England Confederation with the dominion of New England. The dominion of New England was ruled by officials appointed directly by the king, and those officials religiously oppressed the Presbyterians of New England.

When the glorious revolution took place in England, the colonial militia revolted against the New England puppet state, arresting its governors, along with some Anglican clergymen. It was the glorious revolution that inspired the works of John Locke; namely Locke's trinity of life, liberty, and property.

The glorious revolution was fought between the Whigs and the Tories. The colonies leaned towards the ideals of the Whigs, and often read the works of classic liberals like Locke. The Whig colors of blue and buff inspired the uniform of the continental soldiers. It was these earlier ideals that were adopted by the colonists.

After the French and Indian war the stamp act taxed the colonies directly for the first time. Prior to the stamp act the colonists were only taxed indirectly. The stamp act congress was formed to petition the king and to organize protests. The 9 states who attended the stamp act congress were DE, PA, NJ, CT, MA, MD, SC, NY, and RI. The other colonies decided not to send representatives.

The colonies would have gladly paid this new taxation if not for the economic recession and rapid deflation which were caused by the currency act of 1764.

The British than implemented the tea act, which put legitimate merchants out of business in an attempt to prevent the colonies from smuggling Dutch tea by eliminating the middleman. The tea act also switched the economic burden of the tea trade from the British Isles to the colonies.

The colonies protested by dumping the tea into Boston harbor. The British responded to the Boston tea party by closing Boston harbor with a military blockade. Boston harbor was the largest colonial trading port, and the colonial economy depended on trade. The repeated attacks on the colonial economy lead to the American revolution.
"Chemical weapons are no different than any other types of weapons."~Lordknukle
DanT
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7/4/2013 9:39:48 PM
Posted: 3 years ago

Well, but if the War of Independence that we commemorate today wasn't a just war then what was it? To state a truism, the majority of history's wars have been either naked or veiled acts of greed for land or loot (the Mexican-American War, the recent invasion/occupation of Iraq, etc.), or "politics by other means"; in short, an elite's pursuit of its self-interest by force of arms. The war that secured this country's political independence is no exception. The colonial elite, comprised of ambitious-for-self individuals such as the gold digger George Washington (yes, his marriage to Martha had an economic ulterior motive, she was loaded, not the love of his life - at the time that they entered into holy matrimony Washington was in point of fact in love with another woman), wished to liberate and elevate itself from subordination to the British Crown and elite. Mm-hmm, the vaunted idealism of the Founding Fathers notwithstanding, personal gain very much factored into their motivation.

Not true. Many of the merchants who funded the war became broke as a result of their patriotic investments. Robert Morris and James Wilson both spent time in debtors prison. The continental navy was comprised mostly of privateers. Merchant would dedicate their ships (which were their livelihood) to combat. Robert Morris,who served as a privateer, paid for 80% of all bullets fired, and 75% of all other expenses. Morris never asked for reimbursement, and he was one of the biggest financiers of the war.

Okay, but isn't this all just cynical speculation, unsubstantiated character assassination? How can we ever actually know that their motives weren't pure? Shouldn't we just remain good conventional-thinking boys and girls and err on the side of naivete, of giving the heroic characters of our nation"s creation myth the benefit of any doubt? Well, let's see, firstly, willful conventionality, credulity, and naivete are hardly intellectual or moral virtues. Secondly, the preponderance of the burden of proof should rightfully be on the myth-makers and perpetuators, not entirely on the exponents of commonsense skepticism.

The BOP is met by historical fact. You are now proposing that what we know is wrong, and therefore you have the BOP to show that.

And thirdly, the proof of the inauthenticity of the Founding Fathers vis-a-vis their pretensions of being champions of liberty is most certainly present in the pudding of the political system they eventually devised. A form of bourgeois representative "democracy" geared to (and that has functioned very effectively and tellingly to) empower and to perpetuate the empowerment of a certain economic strata of society, i.e. white men of monetary substance, is pretty darn good prima facie evidence of a lack of genuine, deep, and enlightened commitment to democratic principles and of the distinct possibility of alternative, ulterior motives of a self and class-serving kind. Well, it would be if we weren't all so thoroughly inculcated to discount or pooh-pooh it, and to view the Framers of the Constitution as veritable and irreproachable saints of our "civil religion".

Nice rant. How about something of substance? The "founders" were not the only ones fighting the revolution. They are best known because they were the most respected within the community. They wouldn't be well respected if they were poor and uneducated. They were educated and well read. They are not evil simply because they were white and had money; that is not only racist but it is an appeal to poverty.
Also, in addition to knowing the moneyed merchants, land and securities speculators, lawyers, and plantation owners who signed the Declaration and Constitution by their fruits (knowing by their fruits that they were elitists not democratic egalitarians - heck, by their lights voting was the privilege of propertied men, not a universal franchise that every human being has an equal right to participate in),
They were egalitarian, but they were not democrats. They believed the government should serve the entire community not just the majority or minority. They implemented certain checks and balances to protect against majority and minority rule.
we also know their true hierarchist colors by their own self-convicting statements. Yes, they in fact left little room for speculation about their lack of enlightened belief in democracy. In many an explicit quotation we find ample and damning evidence that they didn't ever conceive of America's fight for independence as a bid for an opportunity to undertake a beautiful experiment in government of the people, by the people, for the people. Of course their justification for opposing granting power to the people was fear of mob rule, but in truth they simply didn't share the values of democracy and held a negative elitist view of the common people.

In the 16th century the common person was illiterate and uneducated. They believed government serves the entire community, not just one group or class of people.

"All men have certain natural, essential, and inherent rights. among which are --the enjoying and defending life and liberty --acquiring, possessing and protecting property --and in a word, of seeking and obtaining happiness.

When men enter into a state of society, they surrender up some of their natural rights to that society, in order to insure the protection of others; and, without such an equivalent, the surrender is void...

All power residing originally in, and being derived from the people, all the magistrates and officers of government, are their substitutes and agents, and at all times accountable to them.

No office or place whatsoever in government, shall be hereditary --the abilities and integrity requisite in all, not being transmissible to posterity or relations.

Government being instituted for the common benefit, protection, and security of the whole community, and not for the private interest or emolument of any one man, family or class of men; therefore, whenever the ends of government are perverted, and public liberty manifestly endangered, and all other means of redress are ineffectual, the people may, and of right ought, to reform the old, or establish a new government. The doctrine of non-resistance against arbitrary power, and oppression, is absurd, slavish, and destructive of the good and happiness of mankind. " ~ NH 1784 Bill of Rights
"Chemical weapons are no different than any other types of weapons."~Lordknukle
DanT
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7/4/2013 9:48:56 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Interestingly, many modern right-wingers who also don't believe in democracy, whose vulgar and perverted idea of freedom is a laissez-faire capitalist society
So you define freedom as a government controlled economy?
stripped of any and all legal protections for the rights of workers, consumers, and minorities
Anti-Union =/= Anti-worker
Republicans believe workers should have the liberty to choose whether or not they join a union. They believe that workers should not be forced to join a union, than be forced to pay the union fees. Democrats believe workers who don't join the unions should not be allowed to work.
(yes, they indeed have a quite limited understanding of what it means to be "libertarian", one in which one can somehow be a libertarian without being a proponent of the modern concept of civil liberties!),
Libertarians are also anti-union, and pro laissez-faire.
acknowledge that the Founding Fathers were not the democratic idealists that they're popularly and propagandistically portrayed to be. Some conservatives are indeed quite keen on stressing that the Founding Fathers meant our society to be a "republic not a democracy". One hears this line quite a lot from Red Staters, and yes, alas, they're right, our body politic wasn't built to be a genuine democracy, that's why it never functions effectively as such!

No democracy functions effectively.
Of course the conservative's use of this disappointing little factoid (i.e., that the Founding Fathers weren't exactly progressives) to justify his-her own benighted ideological positions on civil liberty issues is transparent and lame and requires no further commentary. But the factoid remains, the leaders of the American independence movement were individuals of the "gentlemen" class who held it to be self-evident that the common man was inadequate to the responsibility of governing himself and needed to be subjected to the rule of his betters. They only wished to build enough democracy into our system to prevent the rise of a strongman who would arrogate all authority and power and reduce them to his vassals.

The founders believed that the government should serve the general good, not the just the interests of the majority or minority.
Well then, securing the blessings of liberty, the objective that the Revolutionary War was putatively waged for most certainly didn't include the creation of anything resembling an authentic people's republic. Rather, the objective was the creation of precisely the kind of bourgeois republic that has inexorably evolved into our modern capitalist plutocracy. It's merely one of the fables of American history that the war kicked off on the 4th of July was a fight for democratic freedom and that the Founding Fathers possessed beautiful minds capable of envisioning a future in which average Joes would govern themselves.

So in your opinion the American revolution was evil, and the monarchy granted more freedom than the Republican states?

If you lived in 1776 would you have sided with the Country Party aka Patriot Party (who were in favor of the revolution) or the Court Party (who were against the revolution) ?
"Chemical weapons are no different than any other types of weapons."~Lordknukle
DanT
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7/4/2013 9:52:49 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/4/2013 8:54:16 PM, charleslb wrote:
I suppose that this post has rubbed the nationalistic sensibilities of some of you the wrong way. Oh well.

You just trashed the American revolution with a baseless rant. You shifted the BOP, while providing no substance other than ad hominem attacks against the founders, and appeals to poverty.

You replaced the typical fairy tale used by public schools to educate the common imbecile, with your own anti-American fairy tale.
"Chemical weapons are no different than any other types of weapons."~Lordknukle
Khaos_Mage
Posts: 23,214
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7/4/2013 11:23:45 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/4/2013 3:01:34 PM, charleslb wrote:
At 7/4/2013 2:41:05 PM, Khaos_Mage wrote:
I always thought the Declaration of Independence was little more than a morale boost, since the war lasted a whole year afterwards.

A question. As a libertarian does it disturb you not at all that the Founding Fathers were decidedly not authentic votaries and champions of democracy?

Oh, Charlesb, I have missed you and your constant words I don't understand ;)

No.
One could argue that a truer democracy got us to where we are today.
I don't see what a libertarian is required to be a votary of democracy, when as long as liberties are protected, that is all that matter, be it under a democracy, a dictator, or even no one.
My work here is, finally, done.