Reparations: The Holy Grail of Identity Politics (Part III) – Bookworm Room

If we are to look to history for the wrong, let us look to history for the culprits as well.  As Deroy Murdock writes in the National Review today, slavery and its associated ills are identifiable with a particular group — Democrats:

. . .  As Black History Month draws to a close, it is vital to remember that slavery spread agony across the South under the watchful eyes of Democrats, such as President Andrew Jackson, from the party’s 1828 launch. It was not until 1860’s election of Republican Abraham Lincoln that the final, decisive push toward abolition began. The GOP-led Union Army crushed the Democrat-led Confederacy in 1865. That’s when Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation came into full force, as Republicans freed the slaves.

The Republicans’ Radical Reconstruction empowered newly liberated blacks. Overriding the presidential vetoes of Democrat Andrew Johnson, congressional Republicans pressured southern states to ratify the 14th Amendment, guaranteeing blacks equal protection under law. . . .

After detailing the many sins of Democrats as regards blacks, Murdock concludes:

. . . if Democrats want reparations to atone for their nearly 200 years of anti-black sins, they should finance them. From Barbra Streisand to George Clooney to Tom Steyer to George Soros, the Democratic 1 percenters should shove their billions into a huge pile and then show us the money.

Source: Reparations: The Holy Grail of Identity Politics (Part III) – Bookworm Room

Reparations: The Holy Grail Of Identity Politics (Part II) – Bookworm Room

Part 2 is a short history of slavery.

It requires incredible historic ignorance to condemn our Founding Fathers for owning slaves in the 18th century.  To the contrary, while by today’s standards we see their ownership of slaves as an atrocity, those are today’s standards and not applicable to other historical periods — unless you are a neomarxist proggie who wants to claim faux victimhood status.  The truth is that it was the colonists alive at our Founding who, for the first time in all of human history, began to battle successfully against the institution of slavery as immoral and incompatible with the Jewish and Christian religions.

“Incredible historic ignorance” is exactly what the Democrat Party and the National Education Association are all about. They’ve been incredibly successful at it too.

Source: Reparations: The Holy Grail Of Identity Politics (Part II) – Bookworm Room

Reparations: The Holy Grail Of Identity Politics (Part I) – Bookworm Room

Bookworm is doing a multi-part series on reparations.

Let us begin with the underlying moral and legal principle that each individual is responsible for his or her actions, and the sins of the father are not visited upon the son. This is a principle that first appears in the Bible…

Quote from Ezekiel 18:20 follows.

Before the Enlightenment, British monarchs often violated this moral and legal principle. These monarchs used Bills of Attainder to extort property and impose “corruption of blood.”…

Our Founders thought these acts so repugnant and immoral that they outlawed them — including imposing penalties for infractions only declared criminal by subsequent law (ex post facto laws) in the body of the Constitution itself, both at federal and state law, and for any crime, including treason.

See Article One, Sections 9 and 10, and Article Three, Section 3 of the U.S. Constitution.

Read the whole article.

Source: Reparations: The Holy Grail Of Identity Politics (Part I) – Bookworm Room

Wreck of WWII aircraft carrier USS Hornet discovered in South Pacific

The research vessel Petrel, owned by the estate of late Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, discovered the Hornet three miles under the ocean surface off the Solomon Islands.

Richard Nowatzki, now 95, was an 18-year-old gunner on the Hornet, and watched via remote camera link as the remote sub discovered his old station at a gun turret.

‘If you go down to my locker, there’s 40 bucks in it, you can have it!’ he told CBS News.

Source: Wreck of WWII aircraft carrier USS Hornet discovered in South Pacific

H/T: Antz-in-Pantz

On This Day: My Favorite Mormon is Born.

John Moses Browning.  Born, January 23, 1855. Best known as a prolific inventor and firearms designer. Born in Ogden Utah, from the age of seven, John followed in his father’s footsteps worki…

In 1887, at the age of 32 he took a two year hiatus from his gun work to go on a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormon) in Georgia.

Interesting.

Source: On This Day: My Favorite Mormon is Born.

Progressives are engaged in a “de-civilizing process” that will end badly – Bookworm Room

Everything Progressives do is part of a de-civilizing process that will plunge us back into the cruelty and murder that make up humankind’s natural state…

I’m going to interject here something that neither Pinker nor Elias address. Or at least, Pinker, who summarizes Elias (and I haven’t read Elias myself) doesn’t mention raise two issues I think also affected violence in pre-modern times. There were two constants in the pre-modern era: youthfulness and drunkenness. People were young because they didn’t live to see old age. Few people lived past their 40s. Moreover, because urban water was not potable, people in tight medieval quarters drank only beer or wine. In other words, the medieval world was a time in which most people were young and drunk. It was like perpetually living among 18-to-25-year-old junkies.

The world started “civilizing” in earnest when coffee and tea entered Western civilization, because those drinks required boiled water. Nobody understood germ theory, but they did quickly figure out that, if you drank tea or coffee, you were imbibing a non-alcoholic beverage that did not kill. Interestingly, the coffee and tea culture took off with a bang in England which — perhaps coincidentally, perhaps not — was Ground Zero for the “civilizing process.”

Now, back to Pinker’s discussion…

I find the coffee and tea theory interesting. Read the whole post.

Source: Progressives are engaged in a “de-civilizing process” that will end badly – Bookworm Room

Gramscian damage

I identified some of the most important of the Soviet Union’s memetic weapons. Here is that list again:

  • There is no truth, only competing agendas.

  • All Western (and especially American) claims to moral superiority over Communism/Fascism/Islam are vitiated by the West’s history of racism and colonialism.

  • There are no objective standards by which we may judge one culture to be better than another. Anyone who claims that there are such standards is an evil oppressor.

  • The prosperity of the West is built on ruthless exploitation of the Third World; therefore Westerners actually deserve to be impoverished and miserable.

  • Crime is the fault of society, not the individual criminal. Poor criminals are entitled to what they take. Submitting to criminal predation is more virtuous than resisting it.

  • The poor are victims. Criminals are victims. And only victims are virtuous. Therefore only the poor and criminals are virtuous. (Rich people can borrow some virtue by identifying with poor people and criminals.)

  • For a virtuous person, violence and war are never justified. It is always better to be a victim than to fight, or even to defend oneself. But ‘oppressed’ people are allowed to use violence anyway; they are merely reflecting the evil of their oppressors.

  • When confronted with terror, the only moral course for a Westerner is to apologize for past sins, understand the terrorist’s point of view, and make concessions.

Sounds ominously familiar…

Source: Gramscian damage