Searching for Lincoln

Searching for Lincoln is a unique, well-researched, thought-provoking documentary examining the life—and the legacy—of the man considered one of, if not the 'greatest American President' all across the nation’s political spectrum.

Do Motives Matter?

Do Motives Matter?

A friend of mine is translating a book on Lincoln written by Karl Marx. Her first installment was a refutation by Marx of the European press’s contention that the assault by the North on the South was not about slavery, but about economic and political power. Of course, one cannot divorce the issue of slavery from either consideration but Marx is either wrong or less than honest when he states that the conflict was “all about slavery,” a matter that he saw in the context of the “Workers’ Struggle.”

 

I will not dispute Marx who, as noted, sees things from a particular viewpoint, but I have seen a great deal of opinion on this issue, opinion based solely upon motive. In other words, the validity of the act depended upon the cause that inspired it. In a debate in my local Roundtable about the constitutionality of secession, one of those who believed it was unconstitutional declared that he had searched diligently for a “smoking gun”—a cause that would have justified the secession of South Carolina and the Cotton States—but could not find one. Now, I disagreed! The ill-treatment of the States and People of the South not to mention the ongoing theft of their wealth by the rest of the nation, was “smoking gun” enough for me! But then, I realized that the entire argument was irrelevant! There was nothing in the Constitution about secession and that is why it cannot be considered un-constitutional! Since the document could not possibly list or make mention of all of those acts legitimate to its signatories—for to do so would have made it a library and not a document—the Framers determined only to define such acts as were not permitted! On the other hand, what does appear referable to secession is found in the ratification documents of three States—Virginia, New York and Rhode Island. In the case of the latter two, all that was required as a necessary motive was “the happiness” of the citizens of New York and Rhode Island! Had my opponent used that criteria, he would have found more than a sufficient number of “smoking guns” for validation purposes!

 

But the biggest problem is that the gentleman believed not only that a “sufficient motive” was required to validate secession but furthermore, that motive had to be morally and intellectually acceptable by all the States! But this is nonsense! Such a criteria would have nullified the option in the first place! The reason the Lincoln government and the rest of the States of the Union went to war against the South had nothing to do with their motive for secession. Lincoln declared “civil war” on South Carolina and the Cotton States because secession would not be permitted in the new American Nation. That which motivated those eleven states was inconsequential. Secession was the recourse of an earlier time—the time of the Republic of the Founders. An “indissoluble union”—a concept found in the defunct Articles of Confederation but not in the Constitution—was a necessity for the “nation” that Lincoln had defined in the Gettysburg address—a nation that had not heretofore existed! It was this “nation” that Lincoln and his “centrists” required to enable the United States to enter the Age of Empire as an important player on the world stage. The old-fashioned Jeffersonian relics found in the South—liberty, individualism, Christian values and self-government—had to be replaced by total submission to the New England vision of a City on a Hill, a “city” in which there was no place for “regional diversity” or the Constitution.

Lady Val's Corner

Welcome to Lady Val’s corner. No, this is not that type of corner into which naughty children are banished or into which one may retreat to escape the vicissitudes of life, but that corner identifying which side one takes, as, in the sport of boxing, that corner into which opponents retire between rounds.

 

“Lady Val’s Corner” is the site from which I enter today’s struggles—that of fact against fiction, of truth against myth, of honesty against agenda and of reality against desire. George Orwell, in his seminal work 1984 had his protagonist Winston Smith employed in a government agency which “rewrites” the past, removing the images, actions and words of those fallen out of favor with the Party so that, for all intents and purposes, they no longer exist—indeed, they have never existed! Winston remakes both the past and the present—and inevitably, the future. Orwell reveals the necessity of not permitting a false version of “history” to remain unchallenged and uncorrected. Indeed, he sums up the importance of the matter in the motto of his tyrannous State:

 

He who controls the past, controls the future;

He who controls the present—controls the past!

 

To make sure that his readers understand the nature of the world he was creating—or more precisely, predicting—Orwell defines the magnitude of Winston’s occupation:

 

“Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street building has been renamed, every date has been altered. And the process is continuing day by day and minute by minute. History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right.”

 

In other words, it isn’t that history is being changed, but that it is quite literally being destroyed! According to Orwell, “History has stopped.” Everything and anything presented as “history” in this world is nothing but the opinion of the present leaders of the State which may well change tomorrow! It is this alteration of history—something that, technologically, we are close to being able to achieve!—that must be prevented at all costs! This is not a matter of those variations arising out of the “normal” differences of viewpoint and opinion natural to mankind. Such are the result of our human condition and are recognized as such. Indeed, it is universally understood that “winners write history” until sufficient time has passed to permit a more objective view. These dissimilarities of viewpoint are a given, but it is believed that in time, historians and scholars will be able to view more objectively, what “everybody knows.”

 

However, today it seems that instead of becoming more objective—especially given our current ability to access information unavailable even a decade ago!—we are becoming less so, embracing viewpoints and agendas that demand not truth or fact, but “the appropriate conclusion”—especially when it comes to history. Naturally, such a mindset means that when actual history presents a conclusion deemed inappropriate, it—like Orwell’s persons who have fallen out of favor—must be removed from the historical record! Because such determinations “upset the apple cart” of establishment history, they must be eliminated. This current methodology—aptly defined as “political correctness”—attempts to prevent at all costs the exposition of any “history” not in keeping with the “establishment” narrative, while those who fail to accept that narrative run the risk of being banished into “outer darkness” and considered not only a “revisonist,” but a fool or a liar.

 

I hope in my “corner” to bring forth many facts and viewpoints—and, yes, the occasional well-considered personal opinion—unwelcome among the Orwellian purveyors of knowledge these days and to foster the desire to seek the facts and, ergo, the truth. Even more important, I wish to inspire people to care about what is true and what is myth! There is an old adage that becomes more and more relevant with the passage of time. It is what may be considered the motto of the intellectual slave:

 

The question:                        “Which is worse, ignorance or apathy?”

The answer:               “I don’t know—and I don’t care.”

 

It is my hope that you will join me—and by that I don’t mean always agree with me, but at least open your mind to the possibility of a very “different” version of history that may reduce “what everyone knows” to the nonsense that it often is.

Lady Va‡

© Copyright 2015 Darlin Productions, LLC.