Re: Who Is Drowning In That Bathtub?

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To "dictated to" or "constrained by", add "supportive of". For "tribe", mostly read "race". Welfare politics!


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 08-21-07 11:45 AM
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I'd still argue that it's anti-democratic in the sense that all corners of the present Republican coalition are invested in the perpetuation of aristocracy, in one way or another. The rich ones are primarily concerned with their ability to keep their wealth within their own tribe, and being rich, undervalue all goverment functions except keeping the rabble under control and keeping the foreign hordes at the borders. The poor ones, having nothing else going for them, are disproportionately invested in whatever inherited means to status they've got: belonging to the right race, having a "natural" sexual orientation, and even looks: the white-trashier members of my family constantly fill their conversations with criticisms of the weight and attractiveness of others.


Posted by: cerebrocrat | Link to this comment | 08-21-07 11:56 AM
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Now why is this happening more in America than any other country? The Civil War link would explain it, but the causation there is pretty sketchy.


Posted by: destroyer | Link to this comment | 08-21-07 11:56 AM
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it seems right and just that slavery should be the original sin from which the country can never recover.

This strikes me as both true, and heartbreaking.


Posted by: cerebrocrat | Link to this comment | 08-21-07 11:58 AM
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Destroyer asks a good question. Virtually every other western country grew fat on slavery, and most of them recovered to some extent. I suppose the difference is that there was actually a war, whereas elsewhere the anti-slavery majority was able to buy off the slave owners.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 08-21-07 12:03 PM
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3: I did a post on a book by Eric Rauchway which touches on these issues -- part of it is that immigration to the US was so heterogeneous that it destroyed the sort of class loyalty that was easier to build in Europe. (Vast, vast oversimplification.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-21-07 12:04 PM
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Virtually every other western country grew fat on slavery, and most of them recovered to some extent.

There's the abroad/at home distinction. Other European countries could distance themselves from slavery and its legacies by distancing themselves from their colonies. We brought a population of slaves to the US. How exactly that difference has determined the differing histories from that point forward, I'm not completely sure, but I'm sure it has something to do with it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-21-07 12:12 PM
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3, 6: Part of it is also the stupid fucking structure of our stupid fucking government. Between federalism, the Senate and the electoral college, this system has taken the most reactionary areas of the country and given them an outsized voting power. Combine that with a ludicrous number of veto points and two-party, first-past-the-post elections and it's no wonder we never progress past the right-wing troglodytes who founded this country two and a half centuries ago - the system's set up so that nothing can change.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 08-21-07 12:16 PM
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We brought a population of slaves to the US.

True. So did the Brazilians, for example. But AFAIK, while the legacy of slavery in Brazil is certainly strong in the form of racism, there's no equivalent to the peculiar post-bellum poison in American politics.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 08-21-07 12:19 PM
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I believe it's of a piece with the sentiment that allows parishoners at the parish where I grew up to rail against abortion except when it came to their own daughter. Their daughter was a responsible girl in an unlucky situation. Those other girls were whores.

So an authoritarian ruling class made up of people like you is okay. You know they're good people. You shook their hand at the parish barbeque and you all had a beer.

Yesterday I was having a bizarre conversation with someone concerned about illegal immigration and crime who thought that being Hispanic was probable cause for being arrested by local police (who apparently now are allowed to deport people....?), but who then turned around and said he had illegal friends who were law-abiding unlke those Hispanics. Guess his friends were white. But it was striking how attached 'illegal-Hispanic-lawbreaker; cracking down on illegals didn't mean cracking down on his friends, just the Mexicans.

I really fucking hate other people sometimes.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 08-21-07 12:20 PM
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I think the post is exactly right. I'm currently reading this book, which argues pretty much the same thing about the antebellum South (and may address some of the questions about how this situation arose that have come up in the thread so far).


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-21-07 12:21 PM
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Not just slavery, but the American treatment of the First Nations, the original inhabitants. Obviously, America was not unique in this practice, but it was incredibly brutal & efficient. And not the "Wild West" years against the doomed buffalo hunters, but 1750-1850, when the ideals and values were being formed, and our farming and trading neighburs, with legal ownership of their lands, were ethnic-cleansed into oblivion. That is what we are.

Hail Caesar ...anybody link to this Digby post yet? Remarkable. Move the Iraqis out of Iraq, make it an American state, and make Bush President-for-Life.

Racism is a weak subset of American Imperialism. The kid from Southern Mexico or the Jew from Eastern Europe or the Vietnamese comes here and becomes a citizen of the Empire, ready and eager for new worlds to conquer. We ARE Rome.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08-21-07 12:23 PM
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I was trying to think of how to fit Latin America generally into that pattern, and am hampered by ignorance. But could one argue that while European countries could distance themselves from slavery by shedding their colonies, Latin American countries had a different pattern with a much smaller 'eligible for slaveholding' class -- rather than a mostly white population importing a large minority of slaves of African origin, with a very small Native American population, Latin American countries tended to have a small slaveowning population, that intermingled much more freely into the much larger Native American and African populations?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-21-07 12:24 PM
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Remarkable insight, ogged.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 08-21-07 12:25 PM
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this part is a joke, right?

"they're not so much inclined to reject democracy (they'd be happy to have a real political give and take with members of their own tribe)"

so the Julio-Claudians were not anti-democratic? The Tudors? The House of Saud?
I mean, you have accurately characterized Hitler as anti-democratic, since he didn't like give-and-take even within the top Nazi hierarchy. So you got that one right.

But this is surely far too strict as a criterion for what makes someone 'anti-democratic'. It's more like a criterion for monomania--everyone else, including the fascists, the royalists, and the other subspecies of anti-democrats, are all happy to listen to members of their own tribe.

Democracy starts with listening to the other tribes.


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 08-21-07 12:30 PM
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These are all good explanations, but I'm still a little skeptical that the Civil War could still be having such a strong effect. September 11th and plain xenophobia seem like a more direct cause.

I believe this mostly out of the hope that we aren't doomed by an "original sin."


Posted by: destroyer | Link to this comment | 08-21-07 12:30 PM
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I think LB is on to something with the comment on heterogeneity. And it may be sheer *size* is a factor as well. If the model is "I don't want those guys telling me what to do" then it would make sense that ethnic homogeneity and geographical proximity help to make "those guys" into "our guys"


Posted by: baa | Link to this comment | 08-21-07 12:31 PM
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So long as we come to praise Rauchway...


Posted by: SEK | Link to this comment | 08-21-07 12:32 PM
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I was trying to think of how to fit Latin America generally into that pattern, and am hampered by ignorance.

According to the book I linked in 11, the difference is democratic ideology. There was a constant tension in the South between the democratic rhetoric and ideals of the US and the despotic reality of slavery, and this led to a lot of weird ideas and actions on the part of the slaveowners.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-21-07 12:34 PM
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oh--and about the other parts, i heartily agree, and applaud the insight, as scmt did.

i also think it is important to make this point loud and clear, because there's some hope that our gang will get back into power some day, and then we will instantly hear the glibertarians and government-haters starting up their pre-Bush chorus.

that's when it will be important to be able to say:
this noise about you guys being against big government, against taxes, against increased spending,against authoritarian intrusion? it's crap. pure crap.
and we can demonstrate that, because when your boy held the reins, you ran up huge budgets, you created huge future tax increases, you increased the size of the government, and you massively expanded its intrusiveness.
and you loved it, because it was your boy in power.

so don't pretend now to have some principled opposition to government. you just don't like it when other people control the budget.

which is to say--i agree with you, and think it's an important point.


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 08-21-07 12:34 PM
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And why did we import our ag labour from Africa, instead of exploiting & developing the native populations as much of the Spanish empire did.

The native population wasn't so small.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08-21-07 12:35 PM
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In contrast, the Latin American political tradition was straight-up despotism, which didn't conflict nearly as much with slavery.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-21-07 12:37 PM
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21: According to Jefferson, it was because the native populations were proud races and could not be ordered around the way African slaves could. That is, the native races were deemed fit only for systematic annihilation that Jefferson referred to as something like a mysterious disappearance.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 08-21-07 12:38 PM
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These are all good explanations, but I'm still a little skeptical that the Civil War could still be having such a strong effect. September 11th and plain xenophobia seem like a more direct cause.

No way. This stuff goes back long before 9/11.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-21-07 12:38 PM
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Pulling up the ladder behind you while preaching about self-sufficiency is the American Way and goes back to the earliest European-colonial period.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 08-21-07 12:41 PM
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I don't think this is a particularly US problem. I believe that Red attitudes are remarkably similar to those of immigrants who grew up in rural areas. I'd bet it's the same elsewhere, but that the US is the only First World country that has not been long dominated by the urban elites. Per baa, I think that's partly because of size.

I mean, not for nothing, but as I understand it, Pakistan recently made a deal in which it effectively ceded control of a section of its country to the rural, religiously fervent local people, in exchange, it hopes for some peace. Sound familiar?


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 08-21-07 12:41 PM
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23

for tj to have termed it a 'mysterious disappearance' makes sound almost like an episode out of monte python.
'i say, where *have* all of those fascinating native persons gone? the ones we infected with small-pox?'
'well i really couldn't say. they seem to have mysteriously disappeared. perhaps they were pining for the fjords.'


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 08-21-07 12:41 PM
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In response to bob's 21 (even though I think he's mostly trolling):

1. The romantic ideology AWB mentions in 23, along with more practical considerations like increased likelihood of running away (because of greater familiarity with the local landscape etc.), lower tolerance for introduced diseases, political considerations because many tribes were too powerful in the early years for colonists to just kidnap their members at will, and so forth.

2. Despite all that, it's not true at all that North American colonists didn't enslave Indians. They totally did.

3. On a related note, the Spanish initially tried to enslave the natives of the Caribbean, but they kept dying and people like Las Casas kept complaining about how cruelly they were treated, so they started importing slaves from Africa instead. Las Casas was in favor of this. That is, the situations in Latin America and British North America weren't as dissimilar as you might think, at least in the early years.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-21-07 12:47 PM
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oh--and about the other parts, i heartily agree, and applaud the insight, as scmt did.

SCMT was joking.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 08-21-07 12:47 PM
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29
okay, so joke if you like.
even use capital letters if you like.
i think it's a good post.


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 08-21-07 12:50 PM
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27: The myth of the "disappearing Indian" is one that was actively created and perpetuated throughout the late 18th and into the 19th century. Last of the Mohicans, anyone? The white man has to learn how to replace the Indian because he's disappearing?

Toqueville very wisely rebuts this myth. He makes it very clear that "disappearance" in the 19th was mostly the active poisoning of Indians by selling huge amounts of rotgut liquor for next to nothing, and then exploiting their weaknesses.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 08-21-07 12:50 PM
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19. That is, I'm sure, a significant factor. A particularly dark argument I've seen but can't source on the fly noted the fact that the two settler nations which engaged most egregiously in genocide against their indigenous peoples, the US and Australia, were also the two which led the rest of the world in the practice of democracy.

The argument being that Australian and American democrats looked exclusively to their own people and regarded the claims of outsiders as counterposed to their own freedom, therefore as something that could be dismissed as anti-democratic. I don't know how well this stands up, but it would explain later resentment against the claims of other outsiders, like ex-slaves.

I suspect the other case that ought to be compared is the Boer republics, but I know FA about them.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 08-21-07 12:50 PM
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Your threat on breakfast was better.


Posted by: Dan | Link to this comment | 08-21-07 12:51 PM
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Gimme your breakfast or I'll cut you, Dan.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 08-21-07 12:52 PM
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I must confess that I haven't quite followed the original post and the comment thread.

If the first two paragraphs are about the tendency for people who were previously anti-government to find the massive deficit spending and military overreach acceptable under Bush, how does that necessarily tie in with slavery as original sin? The commonly-acknowledged center of the self-sufficiency cult is the former Wild West states from Colorado up through Montana. These weren't slave states, nor do they have much shared cultural history with the American south. Is there an unspoken assumption that all the people who used to be fiscally- and policy-conservative but hypocritically supported Bush's abuses of executive power must all be Southern bigots, which must in turn be equivalent to the Christian right? I mean, it doesn't seem like it'd be totally off (they are probably a fairly overlapping demographic, though nothing close to complete overlap, and they probably compose a non-negligable part of the support for Bush's executive power grab), but it does seem to be greatly exaggerating the effect of this one demographic group that is relatively tiny compared to the rest of the country and the sum of Bush's support.

There are probably just people who are dicks, and don't think through the ramifications of their previously-held beliefs if there's gains to be had. That seems way more likely than the history of slavery still producing profound nation-wide effects on a country where 15% (or was it a little higher?) of the population were immigrants circa 1900 who would not even have family history of slavery.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 08-21-07 12:53 PM
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re: the US/Latin America split: The antebellum south in many ways resembled Latin American caudillismo, both politically and economically. You have the big plantations, the subjugated class, and the mestizo/PWT middle ground. The industrialized north much more closely mirrored urban european societies.

it seems right and just that slavery should be the original sin from which the country can never recover.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 08-21-07 12:55 PM
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The antebellum south in many ways resembled Latin American caudillismo, both politically and economically. You have the big plantations, the subjugated class, and the mestizo/PWT middle ground.

Yes, but you also had a lot of political institutions and rhetoric revolving around the idea of republican government, which was a more difficult framework in which to justify slavery as a socioeconomic system.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-21-07 12:57 PM
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And why did we import our ag labour from Africa, instead of exploiting & developing the native populations as much of the Spanish empire did? The native population wasn't so small.

When the Spanish began exploiting the native Andean population as a captive labor force, it was generally in the realm of mining (silver and gold, for the most part). The aboriginal population of South America was decimated by abuse and disease before plantation agriculture really took off.

Also, the major loci of plantation agriculture in Latin America -- the Caribean "Sugar Islands" and Brazil -- were voracious consumers of African slaves. Conditions for slaves there were, though such a thing seems hardly possible, even more horrific than in the antebellum South, as a great deal of documentary evidence attests.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 08-21-07 1:00 PM
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That seems way more likely than the history of slavery still producing profound nation-wide effects on a country where 15% (or was it a little higher?) of the population were immigrants circa 1900 who would not even have family history of slavery.

I believe the idea is that the history of slavery establishes the culture into which new immigrants get assimilated. As I recall, there was a a bogospheric reference to a paper that suggested '04 voting patterns were best predicted not by local slavery but by extent of immigrant influx in the early twentieth century.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 08-21-07 1:02 PM
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The myth of the "disappearing Indian" is one that was actively created and perpetuated throughout the late 18th and into the 19th century.

Not entirely a myth though. The Aztecs lost what, half their population to smallpox? The western tribes were more scattered, not as susceptible to epidemic. The Southeast U.S. like the Mississippi Valley had densely populated native towns that were decimated by disease. Hell, De Soto was already seeing native towns deserted by the mid 1500's. A lot of the Mississippi Valley was a ghost town by the time the French got there.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 08-21-07 1:02 PM
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The bogosphere is like, sooo underground.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 08-21-07 1:02 PM
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Bob in 12 is right, that if you want to go for something like an 'original sin' for this country, it would have to go back to the systematic decimation of native inhabitants.

That's not to say that slavery doesn't register more with most Americans as something the country might harbor shame over.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-21-07 1:04 PM
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I'm sure this is common knowledge, but I don't feel like Googling... small pox is pretty deadly, but why wasn't there a small pox equivalent that wiped out all of the European immigrants? You'd think the new immigrants would be just as susceptible to new germs as the native populations would be susceptible to their germs.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 08-21-07 1:06 PM
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43: Syphilis kills you more slowly.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 08-21-07 1:08 PM
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Well, Jared Diamond has something to say on this, but the quick answer is syphilis.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 08-21-07 1:09 PM
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Ok, and to expand on the last sentence of my 35 so that people can't jump all over "OMG, but the Civil Rights movement was only a generation ago! Of course the history of slavery is relevant today!"...

What I left out is that the particular issues brought up in the first two paragraphs of the post, executive power grabs and fiscal profligacy, are ones that do not seem to have much to do with race, at least as far as any major political issue can avoid having much to do with race. As naive support for this theory, I'd reckon that the vast majority of people who fall on either side of these two issues are white, and are mostly separated by their awareness of the issues and their ideologies. Apart from the issue of supporting Bush's policies (which admittedly few if any blacks do due to the varying amounts of racism in all Republican rhetoric and policy since the Southern Strategy began), I do not see any direct relevance of these issues to slavery's legacy in America.

I'm sure that if blacks had the choice of between a leader who would rule fairly and one who would abuse his or her power, but to their benefit, would be split between the temptation of political goodies and the sheer hypocrisy of it all. Just like all the conservative honkies who voted for Bush are today.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 08-21-07 1:09 PM
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I do agree with PoMoP that the post is a little oversimplified, in that the political descendants of Jim Crow supporters are allied with, not the same as, Western government-haters. And I think the alliance comes together on dislike of urban elites -- to the Southerners, we're Yankee carpetbaggers, while to the Westerners, we used to be Snidely Whiplash, the banker foreclosing on the ranch, but the hostility's spread to urban, coastal elites generally. (All political attitudes grossly caricatured.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-21-07 1:09 PM
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43: We had denser populations, and more domestic animals to catch stuff from, giving us better, more virulent diseases.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-21-07 1:10 PM
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Ogged's post can be considered, I think, a special case of a more general argument made by the awesome
Paul Pierson


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 08-21-07 1:11 PM
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small pox is pretty deadly, but why wasn't there a small pox equivalent that wiped out all of the European immigrants?

Covered in detail by Jared Diamond in Guns, Germs, and Steel. He also does a good rundown in this article.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 08-21-07 1:12 PM
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46/47: It's not as simple as "My ancestors owned slaves, so I don't mind the occasional deficit." It's more like that the urban/rural divide was exacerbated by a Civil War prompted in part by slavery. The legacy of Reconstruction is such that there is a very strong ideological tradition of anti-urban sentiment, and this tradition extends beyond the south. I mean, watch a truck commercial some time: the idealized American is constantly tossing hay, or pulling something out of mud. The modern Republican party has capitalized on this ideology to the extent that its supporters will tolerate most anything, which it would not be able to do if there wasn't such a fissure between the "tribes."


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 08-21-07 1:18 PM
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43-4-5: I read a fairly persuasive case once (was it Diamond? I dunno) that syphillis didn't really come from the New World - that there is a long human tradition of attributing venereal diseases to despised foreigners.

Cala, as f-mortal says, Diamond is your source. Guns Germs and Steel explains absolutely everything about human history. The short answer: Europeans' more extensive contact with domesticated animals ensured that they had contact with all the really good diseases first, and so the European survivors tended to have better immunity.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 08-21-07 1:19 PM
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(While I gave the same answer, as the only person who didn't credit GG&S, I should say that that's where I got it from as well.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-21-07 1:21 PM
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I think that the small pox and disease hereditary-immunity explanation of the decline of Native American populations got a lot of its prominence from antipathy to the 60s-style "Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee" thinking. I wonder how solidly evidenced and argued it is. Record-keeping on Native American vital statistics was non-existent in most of the Americas before about 1900.

Displaced and starving peoples have a much higher disease rate than intact peoples living in their homelands. I don''t doubt that a lot of Cherokee died of infectious disease starting in 1830, but up until that time they'd been flourishing.

In the case of the Dakota (Sioux), they had been hit with smallpox around 1850, but their population had replenished itself by 1876 (Little Big Horn). The Sioux were vanquished by superior numbers, superior logistics, superior weapons, the destruction of the buffalo herds, and a deliberate government policy -- not by disease.

I've also seen it claimed that the Sioux had superior weapons to the US Cavalry at LBH, but as far as I know that's bogus. according to Mary Sandoz, they had a few good rifles but almost no cartridges.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-21-07 1:23 PM
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"Our position on states' rights is the same as your own."


Posted by: Sven | Link to this comment | 08-21-07 1:24 PM
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I'm sure that if blacks had the choice of between a leader who would rule fairly and one who would abuse his or her power, but to their benefit, would be split between the temptation of political goodies and the sheer hypocrisy of it all. Just like all the conservative honkies who voted for Bush are today.

Of course, they'll never have that opportunity. Which is why recent Dem politics tend to be organized around somewhat skittish coalitions, and Republicans can be majoritarians that need not fear authoritarianism.

That said (and taken from Apo's comments), there's a long "leave us alone" tradition in the South. I think that it extends through Reconstruction to at least the 3/5 compromise and some argue beyond.

I do agree with PoMoP that the post is a little oversimplified, in that the political descendants of Jim Crow supporters are allied with, not the same as, Western government-haters.

More than you think.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 08-21-07 1:25 PM
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54: Sure, there wasn't a census count, but there are archeological methods of getting at the size of ancient populations. I think there's a pretty wide consensus that the decimation of the Native population began when the Europeans stepped ashore, and not when they began active large-scale genocide - the two events were separated by some years.

Of course, none of that is to deny the fact of large-scale genocide.

The stuff that happened in the 1800s was genocide. The stuff that happened in the 1600s was (mostly) not.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 08-21-07 1:30 PM
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I'd read part of GG&S, but not the whole thing. The connection between diseases and domestication makes sense.
---
The anti-urban sentiment pre-dates Reconstruction. Don't the writings of Jefferson envision the U.S. as an agrarian paradise, where every man owns his own land, and people only work as hired labor for a few years until they have enough capital to get married and buy their own land?

Telling the government to go bunny up a stump, as my grandfather would say, seem to be a very old American sentiment. It's that combined with the authoritarian sentiment that seems comparatively recent and bizarre, but that's probably just mythology talking.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 08-21-07 1:31 PM
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Po-Mo and LB in 46, 47 and some previous: Thank you both for picking apart what was odd about the original post.

The fact of the matter, though, is that political spin-meisters (the now-famed 30 years long Republican opinion making machine) actively worked to keep just this line of thought active among the electorate: coastal/northeastern elites vs. the protectors of family values. These somehow aligned with top-down government vs. the self-made man. We know the story.

I may want to try on for size the notion that insofar as slavery may be conceived as the nation's original sin, we've become entranced with our own debauchery. Why else would this narrative be spun again and again?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-21-07 1:32 PM
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Telling the government to go bunny up a stump, as my grandfather would say, seem to be a very old American sentiment. It's that combined with the authoritarian sentiment that seems comparatively recent and bizarre, but that's probably just mythology talking.

I would say (oversimplifying, but that's the kind of coversation this is) that it's the alliance of the authoritarian South with the 'anti-government' West through their dislike of the NorthEast.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-21-07 1:33 PM
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Someone's probably already said this, but it's pretty much impossible to reject dialogue with anything other than one's own political faction while accepting "democracy" in any modern sense. Right?


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 08-21-07 1:39 PM
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60: It's not clear to me when the West became "anti-government," and how that relates to (a) immigration from specific areas of the country, or (b) ag industry. That is, I think it may be true that you're seeing two distinct groups rather than two slightly different flavors of one group.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 08-21-07 1:39 PM
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It's not as simple as "My ancestors owned slaves, so I don't mind the occasional deficit.

Rick Perlstein makes a very interesting point in his TNR review of Tom Schaller's "Whistling Past Dixie"

Running regressions on a massive data set of ideological opinions, Sears and Valentino demonstrate with precision that, for example, a white Southern man who calls himself a "conservative," controlling for racial attitudes, is no less likely to chance a vote for a Democratic presidential candidate than a Northerner who calls himself a conservative. Likewise, a pro-life or hawkish Southern white man is no less likely--again controlling for racial attitudes--than a pro-life or hawkish Northerner to vote for the Democrat. But, on the other hand, when the relevant identifier is anti-black answers to survey questions (such as whether one agrees "If blacks would only try harder, they could be just as well off as whites," or choosing whether blacks are "lazy" or "hardworking"), an untoward result jumps out: white Southerners are twice as likely than white Northerners to refuse to vote for the Democratic presidential candidate. Schaller's writes: "Despite the best efforts of Republican spinmeisters ... the partisan impact of racial attitudes in the South is stronger today than in the past."

The causal paths may not be straightforward (cf. Pierson), but the salience of race and the legacy of slavery for contemporary politics is almost impossible to overstate.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 08-21-07 1:40 PM
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51, 56: I think Cala in 58 has the core of my response to the idea that rural/urban strife goes back to the slavery era and the Civil War.

I mean, we were originally a bunch of colonies founded by people who wanted to get as far away from central government authority in Europe as possible. Then the great plains and wild west was colonized by the people who were pissed that civilization and government had actually made it to the east coast. It seems like "leave me be!" sentiments are part and parcel of America's foundation, independent even of slavery (though slaveowners were probably the most powerful and hypocritical holders of this sentiment for many years).

I would also argue it's very easy to see these sentiments being vastly more widespread among rural dwellers, as they are not routinely slapped in the face with how much they rely on the decency and work ethic of thousands of others just to survive and stay comfortable on a daily basis. As for the willingness of these people to take political goodies that go against their supposed core beliefs, I stand by my "people are dicks" hypothesis. It's simplistic, but a remarkably effective predictor, and that's the hallmark of any good theory.

Also, SCMT is completely right that blacks will never get the luxury of being dicks in the same way as these pseudo-libertarian closet authoritarians, as they'll never get the option to switch from "Get the government off my back! I hate taxes!" to "Oh wait, you'll spend everyone else's money on what? Ohh, that sounds good."


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 08-21-07 1:42 PM
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62: when the people who hated the government in the east (Mormons, poor white immigrants, miners) moved there.

I just know I'm pwned.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-21-07 1:44 PM
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Telling the government to go bunny up a stump, as my grandfather would say, seem to be a very old American sentiment. It's that combined with the authoritarian sentiment that seems comparatively recent and bizarre

It's not recent at all. "States' rights" and its accompanying anti-federal government sentiment the rallying cry of the South in both its slaveholding and Jim Crow years, and Western "small government" conservatives were always warm to fundamentalist restrictions on abortion, birth control and gay rights. There's never been any real principled conservatism at work here, just the protection and empowerment of a certain class of economic and religious elites.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 08-21-07 1:45 PM
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The imperialism stuff comes from my following the Drezner-Greenwald blogspat, with Quiggin joining in today. And ya know I think about it anyway.

The recent wave of authoritarian anti-government sentiment (Reaganism), according to for instance Newberry, at least at the margins may derive from deliberate policies favoring suburbanization and exurbanization, and the political strategy of pitting the suburbs against the cities. The South and Southwest are just the best equipped for the slow sprawl that followed WWII.

Mass transit vs freeways, for instance.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08-21-07 1:46 PM
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according to Mary Sandoz, they had a few good rifles but almost no cartridges

Mari.

There's all kinds of evidence for this in the now-extensive Little Big Horn battlefield archeology. Allin-Springfield carbines picked up from dead troopers can be be mapped across the battlefield by shell casing marks and grooving impressions on slugs. By the end, much of the fire was from Army Weapons just captured. And bows and arrows and simple clubbing were a big part of how most soldiers died.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 08-21-07 1:46 PM
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I think Cala in 58 has the core of my response to the idea that rural/urban strife goes back to the slavery era and the Civil War.

As I suggested ind #26, I don't think the rural/urban split is a particularly US split. I personally suspect that we're going to see China and India running into their own versions of these problems pretty soon.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 08-21-07 1:48 PM
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Anti-government sentiment (which is the ostensible link between the South and West) is less organized around hatred of the government, per se, than hatred of external influence in general. I think that's why the Western conservatives found it so easy to support Bush's authoritarianism; illegal immigration and terrorism became perceived as much greater threats than the government itself.


Posted by: destroyer | Link to this comment | 08-21-07 1:49 PM
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"Bush's authoritarianism" s/b "Republican authoritarianism," obviously, to account for the revolt of the base over immigration.


Posted by: destroyer | Link to this comment | 08-21-07 1:51 PM
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67.2 is quite interesting, and reminds me of the Harper's article about Haggard's ministry (before... you know.). There was a strong undercurrent of fear and distrust of urban areas woven into the (wack-ass) theology. And it's certainly true that the big push to subsidize single-family home-ownership came post-WWII, when the GOP was casting about desperately for lifelines.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-21-07 1:53 PM
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As I suggested ind #26, I don't think the rural/urban split is a particularly US split. I personally suspect that we're going to see China and India running into their own versions of these problems pretty soon.

Hugo Chavez is president because of the rural/urban split. I think in most countries when the rural majority takes power it is because of actual economic/socialist populism, rather than the "city folk hate Jesus and who cares who runs the government anyway, the government doesn't have any effect on our lives" populism we get in the US.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 08-21-07 1:54 PM
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I think the pearl-clutching crackers who don't mind Bush's iron fist because they think he'll never turn it against them do have their origins to some degree in slavery and in the Civil War but I think that's only one very highly visible point on a spectrum of self-imposed faux victimization on their parts.

I am talking right out my ass with this, but I imagine there were a lot of early settlers who feigned shock and dismay that native populations didn't want to learn English, attend Sunday School and give up land or game without complaint. I imagine there were a lot of people who came up the ladder of American society in the first years of the Republic who felt that anyone standing in their way was an affront to their personal right to reverse the economic or social stigma of settler forebears who were debtors or criminals, especially here in the South. I imagine there were a lot of people who took Jefferson's idealization of agriculture as a sign that their agricultural background made them "more American," especially here in the South. I imagine that the ongoing effort of increasing freedom, tolerance and equality in America has always given these people an excuse to feel put-upon, inhibited or otherwise kept down by some invisible, collective hand. For people who are on top, any change is dangerous. Given that American history is nothing but change and progress, when summed together, these are people who view the sum of American history as nothing but a direct assault on them. They believe they are kept down by anyone who tries to stop them from keeping others down. When someone takes power away from them by putting the spotlight on victimization then the only way they have to regain control is to become self-proclaimed victims. They feed these fantasies of endless harassment on an idea that in some false history there was a time when their ancestors were free and happy and that this has been taken away from them.

Of course they don't object to Bush wielding imperial power. He's sold himself as one of them, faked up a biography as a by-his-own-bootstraps businessman decider who made a fortune in good ol' American oil. There are those among them who probably think this is the first time anyone has had the nerve to stand up for the white, Christian, authoritarian little guy.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 08-21-07 1:58 PM
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66: Recent as in since 1965, not as in the past four years. I've been trolling my immigration board too much, but people are seriously arguing for national ID cards on the grounds that we need to secure our borders and the government wouldn't do anything bad with that information on conservative grounds. Consistency of principles be damned if it means that there will be fewer Mexicans.*

*Which means 'illegal.'
**The brilliant thing of course is that a national ID card doesn't make it any easier to enforce immigration. Visitors already have I-94s and passports, green card holders are required to carry their cards, and illegal immigrants already don't have the documentation.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 08-21-07 1:59 PM
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64:

we were originally a bunch of colonies founded by people who wanted to get as far away from central government authority in Europe as possible

Sort of.

This country was founded by people who'd been oppressed in various ways.

The narrative surrounding the founding of the country had to do with what someone upthread noted as an agrarian paradise (AWB on Jefferson?)

Jefferson wasn't remotely original in that: it was all over the place in the rhetoric. God had given over a new Eden to a people whose task was to do His work in this Place. A land of astonishing plenty; they were agog. Totally.

But they also had a Task, to tame it.

This country started with the notion that it had been given incredible riches and it needed to subdue them.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-21-07 2:01 PM
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As I suggested in #26, I don't think the rural/urban split is a particularly US split.

I certainly agree with you there. My thoughts in 64 were more geared toward explaining why the US seems unique in the amount of political power wielded by the rural side compared to other developed countries and especially the western European countries from which much of our culture derives. And maybe an attempt to explain some of the slightly unusual manifestations of this rural power in the US, as Ned mentions in 73.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 08-21-07 2:02 PM
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I'll just link to Newberry again. I am not an acolyte, his recent think-piece on HRC lost me, but I do find him really stimulating. Look, Phoenix, Dallas & Atlanta are nothing like what they were in 1965, and I don't think Goldwater/Maddox values are really what's in play.

Except for the Sanchez/Henley types, and some really radical religious conservatives, I don't think anyone opposes gov't in theory and principle. They don't like taxes, they like some stuff gov't does, dislike other stuff, and am indifferent to most. When someone "hates the feds" he's usually hating on revenooers, but not TVA.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08-21-07 2:10 PM
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especially the western European countries from which much of our culture derives

Aren't the farm lobbies even more powerful in Europe than here?


Posted by: Jake | Link to this comment | 08-21-07 2:12 PM
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Interesting book: 1491:New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus. By Charles C. Mann.

Some fanciful stuff, but there does appear to be some good evidence that the native population of the New World was much larger than the old estimates, and that most societies in the New World had largely failed before serious expansion of the Europeans into both continents.


Posted by: TJ | Link to this comment | 08-21-07 2:13 PM
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75: Illegal immigration as a stalking horse for national ID cards is so wildly annoying. And, sadly, since anti-immigration hysteria is a bipartisan position, you get it on both the left and the right.

As to the ostensible topic, I think that Ogged's post doesn't clear a big hurdle: he explains the current behavior of one faction of society with an appeal to a particular element of their supposed past. But why should we regard that piece of society as exceptional?

I think that any political faction will have a very large percentage of its numbers who are primarily just invested in "my side," and ultimately don't have many principled positions besides "my side should be boss." Conservatives will back conservatives who are big-government (and it's not entirely clear to me how core the small government thing ever was to the conservative base). Liberals will back liberals who are pro-torture hawks (we just had this discussion about how so many ostensible progressives are unwilling to criticise Clinton, remember?). Communists will back communists who are systematically setting up an aristocracy (numerous examples). Probably orthodox Muslims are surprisingly willing to cut other orthodox Muslim leaders a bunch of slack when it comes to dealing with the Great Satan.


Posted by: Epoch | Link to this comment | 08-21-07 2:14 PM
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My congressional district is a near-perfect test of the rural-urban factor. It's one of the ten or so most rural districts in the country (I checked the South and there are 3 to 5 more-rural districts there), but it has nearly zero southern influence (it was founded by Union veterans). It trends about 56-44 Republican in Presidential elections but elects a Blue Dog Democratic Congressman. That's pretty Republican, but not for a rural area (the whole state of Texas went 61-39 for Bush IIRC, and the cities were fairly even.)

A second factor is that it was settled mostly by Germans and Scandinavians with little anti-government prejudice.

The feisty anti-government spirit has multiple sources: agrarianism, anti-federalism, the Appalachian culture, Scotch-Irish culture, the frontier experience, and Confederate sympathies. A lot of the Western fronter was settled by ex-Confederates, giving that area more Southernness than geography would indicate.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-21-07 2:19 PM
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slightly unusual manifestations of this rural power in the US

Well remember that, while suburbs as an escape from the dirty city date back to the Babylonians, postwar sprawl in the US is more or less unique in the following ways:

* Perception of limitlessness: Euro suburbs are still tied to pre-existing settlements and to greenbelts protected by politically powerful farmers (not that our farmers aren't powerful, but they didn't use their clout to protect farmland around Morristown, NJ)
* Interstates making edge cities and exurbs possible: US investment in superhighways, to the exclusion of urban infrastructure, is unique
* White flight: radically changed the dynamic of who moved and where relative to comparatively homogeneous urban populations elsewhere
* Mass media celebration of suburbanization: don't forget Lucy moving to Connecticut - I wonder what was the next popular sitcom showing a young family in an urban environment?

Point being, all these factors led to suburbanites who identify, consciously and un-, more closely with disaffected rural types than they otherwise might.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 08-21-07 2:20 PM
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Don't forget the Mormons! They were about as anti-government as can be.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-21-07 2:22 PM
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I think that all rural people everywhere have a degree of defensive self-pity combined with self-righteousness. I'm moderately sympathetic.

In Cliff Clavin mode, the furthest NE district in Minnesota (where Bob Dylan grew up) had a Communist Congressman 1937-9, an immigrant from Corsica. But there weren't many farmers there.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-21-07 2:25 PM
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84--
right, except for the government they create, complete with "president" at the top of the heap.
all tending to confirm the lead thesis.


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 08-21-07 2:26 PM
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Point being, all these factors led to suburbanites who identify, consciously and un-, more closely with disaffected rural types than they otherwise have any right to.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 08-21-07 2:27 PM
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Sorry, I'm cranky today.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 08-21-07 2:27 PM
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I know the feeling.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-21-07 2:29 PM
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I think in most countries when the rural majority takes power it is because of actual economic/socialist populism, rather than the "city folk hate Jesus and who cares who runs the government anyway, the government doesn't have any effect on our lives" populism we get in the US.

My understanding is that this was explicitly true in the US until roughly the civil rights movement, and that many rural/Southern folk revered FDR. My understanding is that some Republicans--for ex., Douthat and Salaam--are arguing that this is, in fact, still true, and that conservatives that used to be able to rely on culture wars for elections need to have their Come to Jeebus moment on this.

Unrelated, but in my limited experience, always extant: rural communities have pretty conservative, patriarchal, formal social rules. I'm not sure that's related to anti-city resentment in any fashion. I think in cities, you end up having to be somewhat liberal just to get anything that big to work.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 08-21-07 2:31 PM
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I've a feeling we're going too far with this, piling up reasons why success and progress toward equality and fairness are well-nigh impossible, given our history and culture. How did the Progressive Era, New Deal, or Great Society ever happen, if these factors are so intractable?

I don't see those movements as anomalies, flukes of special opportunities which the right and special interests have become too sophisticated to ever permit again; I think we'll see a lot of social reconstruction in the next few years.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 08-21-07 2:35 PM
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rural communities have pretty conservative, patriarchal, formal social rules. I'm not sure that's related to anti-city resentment in any fashion.

Sure it is. Cities have liberal, cosmopolitan social rules. This cultural divergence, as well as the divergence of economic interests, is the source of anti-city resentment, not a symptom thereof.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 08-21-07 2:43 PM
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Fair point.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 08-21-07 2:48 PM
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Don't forget the Mormons! They were about as anti-government as can be.

What Bitzer said. They don't like the U.S. govt because they want a free hand to impose their own.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 08-21-07 2:52 PM
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94: True, but the same thing could have been said of the Puritans. It's interesting to think how exactly America got from a handful of people for whom Renaissance England wasn't theocratic enough, to a country which was predominantly deist, the most non-religious belief system available until Darwin and Hubble* came up with alternate explanations for the world. Well, maybe not predominantly by population, but the ruling elites we know as the Founding Fathers were. What happened betwen 1620 and 1776? Why did the country regress**? And how can we make it happen again?

* And all the other astronomers who contributed to the Big Bang theory. And it's not like they had much to do directly with the lack of adherence to literal interpretations of scripture. But it's convenient to attribute the scientific worldview to individuals, so whatever.

** Some parts of the country, in a few ways, etc.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 08-21-07 3:07 PM
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I do'nt see how the killing of indians is the 'origianl sin' which still poisons us. Most of that was doen without a second thought, and didn't necessity creating an ideology whihc is still around.

on second thought, it might be a poison to our foreign policy. manifest destiny or something, but it somehow skips a century.


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 08-21-07 3:14 PM
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I think that all rural people everywhere have a degree of defensive self-pity combined with self-righteousness.

Wouldn't you call this "resentment?" People (as well as all kinds of other social animals), once they've settled somewhere in their status hierarchy, don't like being reminded of where they stand, unless it's on top. Thanks to electronic media, America's Alpha-whoevers have tailfeathers that can be seen all the way from the other coast - any time of day or night, you can be reminded of who's richer, famouser, hotter, gettin'-laider, smarter, etc. than you, and they all seem to live in cities. For self-protection against the (quite real) psychological disadvantages of low status, a reasonable strategy is to emphasize the value of whatever resources you might have that aren't otherwise valued by the tribe.

You might be a poor and humiliated Southern dirt-farmer, but at least you're not a nigger. You might be unpopular with the girls, but at least you're not a fag. You might not sip lattes in the big city, but at least you're an authentic American. You might not have a fancy education, but at least you're right with God (and thus in alliance with the biggest Alpha-male of them all!).



Posted by: cerebrocrat | Link to this comment | 08-21-07 3:35 PM
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I've a feeling we're going too far with this, piling up reasons why success and progress toward equality and fairness are well-nigh impossible, given our history and culture. How did the Progressive Era, New Deal, or Great Society ever happen, if these factors are so intractable?

It does sound a bit like right-wing explanations of the war in Iraq: "You see, the Arab, believing as he does in a God who commands submission, is not capable of self-rule, for he believes that rules must come from without."

"The Americans, a nation of immigrants with an agrarian dream and a history of slavery, cannot find the common brotherhood necessary to achieve universal health care."

But it's not like stereotypical American ideals came out of the ether. It doesn't make them intractable, but the three moments you mention were times when the concern of the day affected a lot of people.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 08-21-07 3:39 PM
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cosmopolitan social rules. This cultural divergence, as well as the divergence of economic interests, is the source of anti-city resentment, not a symptom thereof.

I don't think I can accept this, exactly, if only because the difference in economic interests is likely to be outside the awareness of many people who can still get their anti-city resentment on. Rather, I'd imagine that seeing people in cities prosper and reach high status while flouting the social rules that rural people conform to, just further devalues the status of rural observers in their own eyes. When you submit to a set of rules, it pisses you off when somebody gets away with breaking them.


Posted by: cerebrocrat | Link to this comment | 08-21-07 3:45 PM
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98: I think they effect nearly everybody now, however much people labor to insulate themselves. And the process of "othering" was much-remarked-on by social observers of those days, too.

I belief in small changes that have big results, in "miraculous" recoveries produced by unpanicked work and common sense.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 08-21-07 3:52 PM
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"...on second thought, it might be a poison to our foreign policy. manifest destiny or something, but it somehow skips a century"

I think the end of centuries really fuck people up. Thinking about the Daniel Boone era, when the Anglo-English first went thru the Cumberland and eyed Peking, umm Kentucky. 1775-1825 may have established the American Exceptionalism & bad conscience. Also ended with a Great Awakenng and the brutal repression of the Freemasons.

Don't know enough about 1675-1725 in America. Indian wars & witch trials, slaveless Southern colonialism. 1875-1925 was obviously interesting. We are all closet millenialists, and as the big double zero approaches, the strong get weird.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08-21-07 3:58 PM
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Jesus, Bob, your millenarian periods include half of history. Fine-tuning is in order.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-21-07 4:11 PM
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Don't know enough about 1675-1725 in America. Indian wars & witch trials, slaveless Southern colonialism.

Not slaveless, exactly, at least not for long. Otherwise you've more or less got it.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-21-07 4:11 PM
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Another point: it's one of the concealed bits of British history just how evil and fascist and dishonourable and violent the Restoration was. We're talking amnesties that the king signed and then dishonoured, Freisleresque show trials where the witnesses were also judges and jurors, denunciations for land, hanging, drawing and quartering, assassins sent out to do people in who fled the country.

Virginia or Massachusetts were some of the best places to run to if you'd had anything to do with the Good Old Cause (in fact, Henry Vane came back from being governor of Massachusetts to help run the republic, and I think he got snuffed in the crackdown, and Hugh Peters, Cromwell's chaplain who was hanged, drawn, and quartered, was a founder of Harvard).


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 08-21-07 4:28 PM
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95: It's interesting to think how exactly America got from a handful of people for whom Renaissance England wasn't theocratic enough, to a country which was predominantly deist. The same thing happened in England - though less noticeably because there weren't that many Puritans to start with - where a large proportion of the protestant dissenters had become Unitarians by the end of the 18th century. I think it's because of the increased emphasis on the "inner light" that you start seeing in Puritanism from the mid-17th century onwards. If you start downplaying reading the Bible in favour of unmediated encounters with God then ultimately there ceases to be any particular reason to believe in the Trinity, the divinity of Christ etc, so all you're left with is deism/Unitarianism.

So paradoxically, what starts off as a passionate religious experience devolves into the sort of thin theology than many people rejected as emotionally unsatisfying - hence the rise of Methodism and the second Great Awakening.


Posted by: Basil Valentine | Link to this comment | 08-21-07 4:29 PM
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97: While I certainly agree that there's a lot of compensation for low status around, surely that doesn't really explain the city/rural divide. I mean, necessarily, most people are not in the highest tiers of status. So there must be plenty of people in the cities who are low-status, and unless we are to believe that low-status city people have different brain wiring than low-status country people, the same factors would affect them.

That is, homophobia is a response to the psychological pressure of not being as popular with the ladies as Brad Pitt is, then surely once we'd skimmed off the top few percent of high-status folks, we'd see just as much homophobia in the cities as in the country. And we don't. So there must be another factor here besides status.


Posted by: Epoch | Link to this comment | 08-21-07 5:09 PM
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Yes, Vane was executed - the only person executed for unequivocally ideological reasons. Basically the government decided his ideas were just too dangerous for him to be allowed to live.

Could you elaborate on the assassinations Alex? I thought I knew that period pretty well, but I'd never heard of them.


Posted by: Basil Valentine | Link to this comment | 08-21-07 5:11 PM
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107. I must admit I'd like to know more about that too. Barkstead, Scot and Corbet were essentially shanghaied out of the netherlands by royalist agents and executed when they got home; Hutchinson died under extremely suspicious circumstances; but I didn't know of any flagrant assassinations.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 08-22-07 2:10 AM
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My insomnia does not appear to be bad enough to lead me to wade into this discussion.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 08-22-07 5:18 AM
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Colonel Okey was also extraordinarily rendered from Holland; John Lisle, one of several Commonwealthsmen who made it to Switzerland, was assassinated in Lausanne in 1664. (Several others, including Ludlow, the only one of them to come back at the 1688 revolution, lived to old age there, and are buried in St Martin's Church, Vevey. Ludlow returned in 1688 but was re-exiled by the "Glorious" Revolution..)


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 08-22-07 10:15 AM
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That's interesting. I wonder what Lisle had done to get singled out like that.


Posted by: Basil Valentine | Link to this comment | 08-22-07 3:51 PM
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Hard to say; according to Geoffrey Robertson's The Tyrannicide Brief, he assisted Judge Bradshawe at the King's trial, but was responsible for the acquittal of royalist agent John Mordaunt at the same parliamentarian court (he cast the vote that swung the court).

His wife was put to death at the age of 70 after the Monmouth rebellion for feeding a starving straggler, who she claimed not to know was a rebel. Jeffries sentenced her to hanging, drawing, and quartering; the king commuted the sentence to beheading.

You see what I mean?


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 08-23-07 6:19 AM
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I wonder what Lisle had done to get singled out like that.

According to the DNB, he drew up the form of sentence at the man of blood's trial, which probably didn't endear him to the restorationists. Also (same source) he was particularly active against the royalists in Ireland, and he was murdered by an Irishman, so there may be a connection there.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 08-23-07 6:33 AM
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In that case he probably shared some of the blame with John Cooke for inventing the crime of tyranny.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 08-23-07 7:08 AM
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