Most Academic Historians Are Not Biased

(September 27, 2021) Most academic Civil War historians are not biased, they are corrupted. Unfortunately, corrupted is the right word. They became corrupted when they turned into social activists instead of truth-seeking historians. It left them invested in a social movement that demands a fixed interpretation of the War. One that demonizes Confederates and demands the removal, destruction and vandalization of their statues.  Such historians cannot change that opinion without betraying their political movement.

Consequently, they put their academic effort into buttressing their fixed opinions to the Nth degree. They give us character assassinations of honorable men like Robert E. Lee whom they accuse of whipping slaves, resisting reunification, and being an overrated commander.    They will no longer publish books and papers that question their viewpoint. To do so might reveal that they made an irrevocable mistake when they failed to defend Confederate monuments.  Their own self-interest serves to keep their opinions unmovable and to censor anything to the contrary. The academic press will only publish books and papers that support their corrupted conclusions. 

According to a 2016 article about the political affiliations of college faculty members for the “Econ Journal Watch,” Democrats outnumbered Republicans by a 12-to-1 margin. The situation in the history departments was even worse because the Democrat-to-Republican ratio was 34-to-1, which made it the most lopsided distribution of the seven academic disciplines surveyed. Given the maxim: “Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely,” it should not be surprising that academic bias has evolved into corruption.

One reason corruption is bad is that it undermines the authority of the institution. Corrupted professors at the Ivy Leagues and other venerable schools steal that authority. They exploit the institutional reputations that have been built up over 100 years or more with outrages such as Critical Race Theory, which divides the country racially into two factions: victims and oppressors. Regardless of their behavior, whites are assumed to be the oppressors and blacks the victims. America’s obsession over so-called systemic racism threatens to destroy our country. Any disagreement with the significance of systemic racism results in attempts to silence the critic by labeling him a racist.

Here’s a recent example: 

The NAACP and other agenda-driven organizations are compiling lynch statistics. Of course, lynchings are evil, but I have been curious to know how many of them during Reconstruction were politically motivated as compared to those that had other motivations. I sought the answer at an online Reconstruction Era chat room. Merely for asking the question I was accused of seeking to “mitigate” the evil of lynching. 

I just wanted to know how many of the Reconstruction Era lynchings were designed to keep blacks from voting and defeat carpetbaggers at the polls as compared to the others. Nearly everyone seems to assume that all era-specific lynchings were politically motivated. When everybody believes something without providing evidence, it is appropriate to question it.  

Presently the only evidence I have is tenuous and comes from the online “Encyclopedia of Arkansas,” which is shown on the accompanying video. It excludes an alleged Mass Lynching of 24 blacks that the “Equal Justice Initiative” includes. The Arkansas encyclopedia states that the only evidence that it ever happened is a single letter to Pennsylvania Congressman Thaddeus Stevens. 

To Be a Nation

(September 24, 2021) America is not a place it is an idea. Really two ideas. First, it is the American Dream that has brought immigrants to our country down to the present day seeking a better life. Undeniably, many made that dream come true based upon capitalist foresight and industry. Second, is the sense of nationhood provided by our motto, “E Pluribus Unum”—out of many one. During most of our history the second factor enabled us to defeat our foes. Perhaps unity was easier when America was predominantly composed of European immigrants and their descendants. But they certainly had their differences as evidenced by the War Between the States.  Nonetheless, even the descendants of Union and Confederate veterans were able to unify as Americans when our country was threatened by external foes.

Presently, however, Americas European immigrants and their progenies compose only 60% of our population. That fraction is certain to continue dropping, particularly as Democrats promote illegal immigration across our Southern border. Increasingly, therefore, it will be up to the Democrats to unify us. 

Yet the Party’s Identity Politics is doing just the opposite. It falsely portrays America as composed of two factions: oppressors and victims. They deny that Americans have personal agency and therefore identify victims collectively as persons composed of immutable group characteristics such as black skin or the female sex. That’s why their Party is mostly composed of non-whites and women. Since Identity Politics also places the white male at the bottom of the totem pole as the evilest oppressor, Democrats also imagine that domestic white supremacists represent America’s biggest terrorist threat.  Nonetheless, the Anti-Defamation League estimates total KKK membership at only 3,000 across the entire country.

Confederate statue removal and defacement results from appeasement to Identity Politics. Contrary to anti-statue rhetoric, the removals and defacements are not actions of national “inclusion” for blacks. That could have been accomplished by erecting new statues to black leaders. In truth, the statue removals and defacements are deliberate acts to exclude any honor for the Confederate soldier. Notwithstanding that his sons more readily answered the call to duty than residents from other parts of the country during our postbellum wars, they also are demonized for carrying souvenir Confederate Battle flags with them for inspiration. Some of the tanks that freed German concentration camps flew that flag. 

A British traveler’s long American tour twenty years ago suggests that the “wokeness” resulting from Identity Politics creates a national hatred of contemporary Southerners as well as the Confederate soldier. At the turn of the century, Tom Fremantle entered the United States at Brownsville, Texas and walked to Washington, D. C. in the company of a mule. Tom was a descendant of British Lieutenant Colonel Arthur J. L. Fremantle who also entered at Brownsville in 1863 and journeyed to Gettysburg in three months where he observed the battle from the Confederate side. The Colonel summarized his trip in a book titled “Three Months in the Southern States.” His descendant, Tom, summarized his walk in a book titled “The Moonshine Mule.”

 By the time Tom reached northern Virginia he noticed certain people were:

“. . . dismissive of the South. [Some were on a lark while others] were . . . stuffy types whose opinions had nothing to do with political morality and everything to do with smugness. ‘My dear, you walked through Alabama—I wouldn’t even drive through there! The South’s an embarrassment, it’s worse than the Third World.’ When I asked these people if they had ever been to Mississippi or South Carolina, they usually replied, ‘Lord, no! Never!’ . . . To my surprise I often became passionate in my defense of the South.”

In short, Democrats don’t promote American unity by relieving themselves on Southern boots and calling it rain. 

Confederate Memory and the Grand Inquisitor

(September 23, 2021) “The Grand Inquisitor” is a story within a story of Fyodor Dostoevsky’s novel, “The Brothers Karamazov.” It concerns The Inquisition when the Church prosecuted heretics accused of beliefs contradictory to official doctrine. Galileo was among those investigated. His heretical belief was that the Earth revolved around the Sun. Rather than risk punishment he retracted it. 

“The Grand Inquisitor” is an important part of Dostoevsky’s novel and one of the best-known passages in modern literature because it illuminates mankind’s conflicting desires for security and freedom. Attempts to trade freedom for security ultimately lead to authoritarianism in which the authorities no longer care about the truth but only about propagating the doctrines they adopted to make their subjects feel secure and keep themselves in power.   

The tale is told by one Karamazov brother to a younger one. In the parable, Christ’s second coming happens in Seville during The Spanish Inquisition. After he performs several miracles the people recognize and adore him, but the Church leaders condemn him to death the next day. The ninety-year-old Grand Inquisitor visits him in his cell to say that the Church no longer needs him. The old man tells Jesus that he was mistaken to reject the Devil’s three temptations in favor of freedom. He misjudged human nature. Since most people cannot manage freedom, they will fall out of the Church and lose out on redemption. 

Instead, the Inquisitor says that Christ should have given people no choice. He should have instead taken the powers the Devil offered and used them to give the people security, not freedom. Since Jesus rejected the temptations, however, the multitude must now be guided through the Church by the few leaders, like the Inquisitor, strong enough to assume the burden of freedom. He adds that “anyone who can appease a man’s conscious can take his freedom away.” (Consider the cultural elite’s attempts to take away our freedoms by appeasing our white guilt with frauds like Black Lives Matter).  Christ listens silently until the Inquisitor completes his explanation and silently kisses the old man. The Inquisitor deigns to open the cell door and allow Christ to vanish into the night, but he tells him that he must never return. 

The theme of the story is that the Church had outgrown Christ. His value was only that of a symbol whose name and likeness the clergy could invoke to make people obey. Similarly, “Diversity” has presently become a symbol that is more powerful than the valued thought diversity it is supposed to represent. The present age sacrifices the true value of diversity-of-thought by replacing it with skin-deep diversity symbols such as race and gender. Just as in the parable, any appearance of thought diversity must be destroyed because it is a threat to the Church of Diversity. This new Church did not merely make us forget the true god of thought diversity, it even sentenced it to death. That is why there is no diversity-of-thought on campus, only a superficial diversity of skin color and gender.  

Without a diversity-of-thought our colleges cannot permit a Southern viewpoint of the Civil War and Reconstruction. It is mockingly rejected before it is even heard as so-called Lost Cause Mythology. Even if diversity-of-thought returns like the parables second-coming, academic historians will kill it because they choose to perpetuate their power instead of teaching the truth.

Who Should Shut-Up and Listen?

(September 22, 2021) So-called antiracists contend that Critical Race Theory reveals crucial faults in our traditional understanding of racism. For at least a century or so Americans have erroneously thought it possible to be either racist or nonracist. Not so, argues Ibram X. Kendi. People can only be racist or antiracist. To be antiracist is to support policies that reduce racial inequities, meaning outcomes. Therefore, if blacks collectively have lower academic achievements the antiracist argues that affirmative action programs must be expanded until the academic performance between blacks and whites is evened.  Kendi concludes, “The only remedy to past [anti-black] discrimination is present [anti-white] discrimination.” 

According to Critical Race Theory, racial classes are either victims or oppressors. If you are black, you are a victim. If you are white, you are an oppressor. Until the racial outcomes are evened-up CRT contends there is no other explanation for disparate outcomes. Differing behaviors have nothing to do with it. Any white who denies it is impossible to be “not racist” must be reeducated. According to Kendi, “To be an antiracist. . . [requires] a radical reorientation of our consciousness.” So, sit down and shut-up while Kendi and other antiracists lecture you about their perspective which has previously been unheard.

Ironically, however, few people realize that the Southern viewpoint of the Civil War has also long been censored because of the adage that winners write the history. While Kendi supports “no middle ground” on slavery reparations, he is unaware—as are nearly all academics—that the South has already paid reparations, for losing the war if not for slavery.  

The table in the video summarizes federal tax revenues and spending for a quarter century following the Civil War. More than half of federal tax revenues were applied to three items: (1) interest on the federal debt, (2) budget surpluses, and (3) Union veteran’s benefits. Although compelled to pay their share of taxes to fund them, former Confederates derived no benefit from the allocations.

First, Federal debt jumped forty-fold from $65 million to $2.7 billion during the Civil War. Postbellum Southerners had to pay their share of the interest on that debt although former Confederates did not hold the Federal bonds upon which the interest was paid. 

Second, budget surpluses (used to pay down Federal war debt) were enabled by protective tariffs that generated more income than necessary to operate the Federal government. The restrictive tariffs chiefly benefitted manufacturers (and their ecosystems) North of the Mason-Dixon Line and the Ohio River. Although such tariffs helped Northern manufacturers, they were harmful to the South’s export economy. Southerners wanted low tariffs that would enable European imports to generate the exchange credits the Europeans would need to pay for American cotton. Tariffs on dutiable items were 19% before the war but averaged 45% for fifty years thereafter. The record, therefore, shows that it was the North that went to war over tariffs, not the South. 

Third, former Confederates derived no benefit from Union veteran’s pensions even though they had to pay their share of taxes to cover them. By 1950 the pensions had totaled $8 billion, almost three times the cost of the four-year war. The last pension was paid in May 2020.

In short, if anyone needs to shut up and listen it is the academic historians who think that anyone who disagrees with them should not be heard because (they assume before listening) the dissenter is merely going to repeat so-called Lost Cause Mythology. Consider, for example, that few, if any, academic historians have come to the defense of Confederate statues. Not one book from the academic presses has provided a full-throated defense of them, as if there is no meritorious defense to make. 

Click on the book image to visit its Amazon Page.

Being Diverse is Not a Job

(September 21, 2021) Today’s America is self-absorbed with relative trivialities compared to the objective evils in some other parts of the World. During recent years while China has been putting a million or more Muslim residents in so-called re-education camps, America has been unable to look outward. Our only goal seems to be to teach our students to hate our country until it achieves so-called Diversity.

But being diverse is not a job. If you put together an organization that is diverse, it merely sits there. It doesn’t accomplish anything. Today America absurdly thinks it is turning Diversity into a job. . . And a high-paying one at that.

Meanwhile we abandon traditional values. We replace them with safe spaces, cancel culture, chaos, and cultural genocide in the South. We dismantle our academically best high schools, lowering admission standards in the name of Diversity. Schools that are supposed to challenge America’s brightest students to the highest accomplishments are being weighed down by excessive Affirmative Action enrollees. We destroy testing systems that enable the best-suited students get into college. Oregon has even abolished all academic requirements for graduating high school, thereby making the diplomas meaningless. Our corporations, government institutions, and military organizations waste 100s of millions of dollars on Diversity propaganda and so-called Anti-Racist training.

Chief among such institutions is the military. Only three months ago the Chairman of the Joints Chiefs of staff, Army General Mark Milley, testified that he wanted to learn more about so-called white rage, as if it were a significant internal threat to America. In the name of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion his Army disparages Confederate Memory and will be replacing the names of all bases that have long been namesakes for Confederate generals. While distracted by such trivial obsessions, Milley failed in Afghanistan. He and his boss, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, have dodged responsibility for the debacle. Both refuse the honorable option of resigning so that better leaders can replace them even as they denounced Lieutenant Colonel Stuart Scheller for criticizing them and thereby losing his job.

Given the wimpy performance of “woke” leaders Milley and Austin, America’s military should once again consider the potential inspiration that respect for Confederate veterans might provide. Their descendants carried Confederate symbols into battle to signify a fighting tradition to be witnessed in all of America’s major wars after 1865. Failures like Milley and Austin show us that Americans should be wary of tearing down century-old Confederate statues. Dishonoring them implicitly demeans later generations of American warriors who were inspired by the Confederate soldier.

During World War II, the first American flag to fly over the captured Japanese fortress at Okinawa was a Confederate Battle Flag.  It was put there by a group of marines to honor their company commander, a South Carolinian who had suffered a paralyzing wound during the fight. Some of the tank crews that freed prisoners from German concentration camps also flew the Confederate Battle Flag. Finally, postbellum Southerners consistently came to our nation’s defense more readily than did other Americans. Even presently, 44% of American military personnel are from the South even though the region represents just 36% of the nation’s population.

If the Afghan collapse teaches us anything it should be that a country taught to hate itself cannot succeed. It is going to put incompetents obsessed with trivialities, like Milley and Austin, in control. In contrast, when General Robert E. Lee lost at Gettysburg, he rode out to meet the soldiers returning from Pickett’s failed charge. Unlike Milley and Austin, he immediately took responsibility in the presence of soldiers of every rank. After he got his army safely back to Virginia he sent his resignation to President Jefferson Davis, but Davis declined it. Lee never thereafter blamed anyone else for defeat at Gettysburg. His leadership was the kind that might have inspired today’s army leaders to better results in Afghanistan. But they must first end their obsession with demonizing the Confederate soldier and distracting themselves with the self-hatred generated by Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion propaganda.     

Modern Secession is a Non-Starter

(September 20, 2021) A two-month-old opinion poll released by Bright Line Watch reveals that almost half of West Coast Democrats and two-thirds of Southern Republicans would like to secede from the United States. It’s unlikely to happen during the foreseeable future because too many Americans are financially tied to the central government. It could have happened when the Southern Confederacy was born in 1861 since the average citizen was more strongly connected to his state than the Federal Government. 

In 1861 the per capita Federal debt was only $2, as was the per capita Federal tax burden, chiefly obtained from customs duties. Presently the Federal per capita debt is almost $82,000 and Federal taxes per capita total almost $12,000. As a reminder, the term “per capita” encompasses all Americans including men, women, and children. Thus, today the average family of four is collectively burdened with $320,000 of Federal debt as well as $48,000 in annual taxes. If America were to split into two or more regions, it would be necessary to allocate the national debt to the component parts. The only option to allocating the debt would be to repudiate it, which would throw the entire World into economic chaos. 

Although weaker than in the post-World War II era when the United States started with three-quarters of the World’s gold supply, the American dollar is still the World’s reserve currency. One reason is that it is a haven for private land ownership. Chinese, Russian and other international billionaires eagerly buy American properties as a safeguard against possible confiscation by the authoritarian governments in the homeland. In fact, the opportunities for private land ownership have been a four-hundred-year-old driving force behind America’s growth. During much of that period the aristocracy owned the bulk of Europe’s desirable land. As a result, many of our ancestors flocked to America because they could buy good land here. Americans considered the real estate ownership right to be sacrosanct. It is one reason that postbellum Republicans decided against confiscating the lands of Southern whites and redistributing them to former slaves. 

If America were to split-up into two or more countries today, it’s unlikely that any one of them would have money strong enough to replace the U.S. Dollar as a de facto reserve currency. Although some form of crypto currency might evolve into a universally accepted money standard, the outcome is speculative at present. Moreover, economic chaos would rein until the standard emerges.     

Many, perhaps most, retirees and those near retirement would oppose secession because of the lifetime of taxes they paid to support Social Security and Medicare. If secession resulted in one or more new countries reneging on Social Security and Medicare obligations, many of her citizens would lose faith in all government. Disunion would also put the status of all Federal subsidies for businesses in limbo. 

Disunion would also weaken the strongest economic regions. California companies like Apple benefit from a large domestic market. They can introduce new products to 330 million Americans whereas nearly all innovators outside the USA have smaller domestic markets. Great Britain, for example, has only 68 million people. If America is broken apart, Apple may face tariffs and other regulations as its products move into the new nations. But if the United States remains a single country, no state can impose tariffs on the goods produced in another state. That is constitutionally prohibited.  

Finally, any break-up of the United States could leave the component parts without adequate military security. Even though the USA has today’s strongest military, China may rapidly surpass it if our country is sub-divided into new nations. 

In sum, the increasing centralization of power in the Federal government has chained those in the Democrat and Republican parties to an intact America even though they may be temperamentally disposed to secede. Notwithstanding that our culture has been taught to believe that the Confederacy was “all about” slavery, it was also “about” blocking the increasing power of the central government. In short, the Confederacy opposed tyranny but gets no credit for it in today’s culture.  

The political battle of this age is not Democrats versus Republicans: it’s authoritarianism versus freedom. Both Democrats and Republicans can be authoritarian. Authoritarian Democrats are found in Big Government whereas authoritarian Republicans are found in Corporate America. Consider the insider trading by members of the Federal Reserve banks. 

The key descriptors of the present evil are “Big” and “Power.” It was the big companies that benefitted from the Federal Pandemic Relief Money during the past two years. In contrast, many little companies went out of business. Both Parties realize that if they get big, they get power. Power always corrupts. It gets more corrupted as it gets bigger. Rather than secession, it might be better to break up big companies and shrink the central government.