The Union Creek Journal

A Chronicle of Survival

Destined to Repeat?

Recently, I posted a line from the movie Cool Hand Luke on my Facebook page.  The line, spoken by the Captain after knocking Luke down a hill for speaking disrespectfully to him, is, “What we’ve got here is failure to communicate. Some men you just can’t reach.”

Some men you just can't reach.

Some men you just can’t reach.

 

This classic movie quotation came to mind after reading a variety of news stories and Facebook posts. It seems that there are a number of people who simply cannot be reached by the lessons of history. They appear to move blindly forward in oddly illogical directions ignoring factual data and historical perspective. My assumption is that they either refuse to consider the lessons to be learned, are following some alternative agenda or that they have been brainwashed into believing in something not supported by facts and history. Regardless of the reason, these individuals seem to be beyond the reach of a logical argument.  Hence, the line, “Some men you just can’t reach.”

A friend of mine reminded me that the band Guns N Roses incorporated the same quotation from Cool Hand Luke into one of their songs – a song titled Civil War.

The connection between the Cool Hand Luke quotation and the Guns N Roses song title snuck up on me. When it hit me, though, it hit me like a ton of bricks. Are we headed for another “Civil War”?

That question motivated me to go back and look into the reasons for the War Between the States. The causes for the U.S. Civil War, from 1861 – 1865, are commonly oversimplified. (Not unlike many other history lessons.) My guess is that most adults living in the U.S., when questioned about the cause(s) of the Civil War, would say, “slavery”. Certainly, slavery was one of the issues. However, as with many things, the totality of the situation was much more complex than that.

In reality, the Civil War was not fought to free slaves. As a matter of fact, Lincoln, in his inaugural address, said, “I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the States where it exists. I believe I have no lawful right to do so, and I have no inclination to do so.” Slavery was merely a symptom of a larger, economic, issue. The issue closer to the root of the reason for the Civil War was the economic difference between the North and the South. The southern economy, at the time, was still largely based on cotton production while the economy of the north had rapidly become more industrialized. As industrialization encroached upon traditional farming practices, cheap labor (slaves) became more crucial to the continued economic well-being of the South. While the South struggled to compete, the North prospered. This economic disparity was the foundation for a significant difference in social and economic attitudes.

Economics alone, however, were not enough to ignite the flames that burned hot into war. In addition to the economic gap between the North and the South an argument over States’ rights had grown more and more vehement. The federal government had denied the States the ability to nullify any federal acts they felt to be unconstitutional. When the States in support of nullification found themselves stymied they moved toward secession. Lincoln’s administration rejected the legality of secession, but Lincoln, in his inaugural address, insisted that he would not initiate a civil war. This placated the eight remaining “slave states” for a time. Unfortunately, the Peace Conference of 1861 failed to find a compromise. Both sides began to prepare for war.

In addition to the factors of harsh economic conditions and eroding States’ rights, Lincoln’s election was also a catalyst for war. Although Lincoln said many of the “right things” to assuage the concerns of the South, a considerable number of southerners were suspicious of the true intent of Lincoln’s administration – particularly after the ruling on the legality of succession.

A wedge was driven between the States. As blow after blow rang down, iron upon iron, the sparks ignited a war that ultimately led to the death of 750,000 soldiers and an undetermined number of civilians.

Are the conditions right for a second Civil War? Let’s compare what led to the war’s beginning in 1861 to our current economic, political and social situation.

Harsh economic conditions and a growing divide between the Have’s (those working for a living) and the Have Not’s (those living off of those working for a living). Check.

With the Fiscal Cliff behind (above?) us, and legislation passed to supposedly cushion our landing, are we any better off?  The Social Security tax rate went up by two percentage points – increasing the tax burden on virtually every middle class worker in the U.S. (those for whom the current administration pretends to be fighting).  Virtually nothing was done to eradicate debt or reduce the ever-growing deficit.

Encroachment on States’ (and individuals’) rights? Check.

Any number of politicians are frothing at the mouth to limit Constitutional rights in the name of knee-jerk, feel-good legislation. Never mind that criminals don’t obey laws. Never mind that the so-called “assault weapons” these bureaucrats want to ban are used in less than 1% of gun crimes. Never mind that similar legislation had no appreciable effect on gun crime reduction in the past. Never mind that the Bill of Rights guarantees that this particular right “shall not be infringed”. The absolute lack of logic associated with this ban, when proposed by otherwise intelligent individuals, suggests an ulterior motive. A motive demonstrated time and again throughout history. A disarmed populous is much easier to control. As conditions worsen, control is in the best interest of a far-reaching federal government … and in the worst interest of a free people.

(Re)Election of a deeply divisive president? Check.

Just look at the recent election results. A little over half of the country will follow our current president as blindly as if he was the Pied Piper. A little less than half of the country wouldn’t agree with the man if he said the sky was blue. Love him or hate him, very few people are on the fence.

The blows of the hammer ring in our ears – those of us who are listening – as it strikes the steel wedge being driven deeper and deeper into the fiber of our society. Will a spark soon ignite the tinder? Are we destined to repeat history?

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18 thoughts on “Destined to Repeat?

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  1. Pingback: Destined to Repeat? | Ad Parare

  2. A Sane Person on said:

    Interesting, but way off. You will always find people who will be willing to negotiate rather than sacrifice their property or loved ones. The government would do everything in it’s power to prevent a Civil War (if one were imminent) because it would lose is hegemony on a global scale.

    • So essentially what you are saying is that if the populous threatened civil war if there were any more gun bans, the government would cave to prevent it? I’m not so sure on that.

  3. Gordon on said:

    These so called people do have an alterior motive. They either have been brain washed or simply choose to live there lives on the dark side of humanity. I belive we are headed for something and in the end the survivors need to hold these people responsible. Including the other party that has let the evil ones get to where they are at. They did nothing over the past several decades to fight them or expose them for what they truly are.

    And a darkness fell over the land,,,,,,, a darkness of evil…..

  4. I have talked about this with a co worked a few weeks ago, and I agree we are headed down that path. Our country as a whole or at least it’s leaders are too worried what others think. Since when have we stopped caring about the principles this country was built on and started caring more about who we might offend?

    I can tell you now there is some country out there just waiting for the tinder to light before they make a move to dethrone the US. Maybe that’s what it’s going to take for these people to open their eyes?

  5. grower on said:

    I understand where Phil’s coming from. (We’re all champing at the bit!) But this is a well-reasoned and thought-provoking post. I’m sure there will be disagreement from some about some of the points you’ve made, but the country does seem to be teetering on the fence, and it won’t take much, imo, to push it over.

  6. The libs are very fond of saying “Oh, but this is different!”, as if they can wish away things proven by history to NOT work.
    They didn’t work before.
    They won’t work now.
    They won’t work in the future.
    The only explanation I have is they’re all insane….

  7. Charles on said:

    Many years ago my dad was convinced that there would be war between the have’s and the have not’s! He used to tell my brother and I it probably wouldn’t happen while he was still live ( he died 16 years ago) or during our life time, but he was sure his grand children would see it. To that end we moved out to where he thought we would be able to at least grow our own food (why he thought moving out into the desert was the right place I don’t know). From my reading every generation has felt this would be the time unfortunately I think this may be the time!

    We have political class that believes they know more of what is best for us than we do our selves, we have an entrenched bureaucracy that is intent on making regulations without any proof that the rules they produce have any need other than to cement their own power and protect their jobs. We have a school system that no longer teaches facts, only what is the latest social notions.

    The one thing that might help is the internet no longer do we get all our news from printed media or through talking heads on air waves

  8. Ha ha! Phil called the sample chapter from the sequel, “weakly sintered cxxp”, yet he wants more.

    More is coming, Phil. I wrote three “chapters” this morning and further fleshed out the timeline and outline. I hope to have the sequel completed by the end of this month.

    As for today’s entry, I felt it needed to be said. It’s my blog. No one is being forced to read it (as far as I know).

    • No matter how anyone has tried to spin it over the last 150 years, the Civil War was about slavery. States seceded before Lincoln’s inauguration for fear he was going to end slavery. People in Kansas were killing each other over whether to be a slave state or free state. For the powers that be in the Old South, it was most certainly about the money they would lose if they lost slavery. Now, the average farmer, he just wanted the Yankees off his property. You can wrap it up in a ‘state’s rights’ kinda blanket, but it’s slavery that was wrapped.

      • ^^THIS. Too many revisionists have never even read the Articles of Secession. It was about State’s Rights – the right to keep slaves. It was about economics – profiting from the free labor of another. All serious students of history know the war was not fought to free the slaves , even though that was one result. It was about UNION. Large areas of the South were pro-Union throughout the war. Without Union we would eventually end up like the Balkans or Afghanistan – forever poor and forever at war. Now, have things gone too far? Probably. But revising history does not help us get back where we need to be.

    • ” No one is being forced to read it (as far as I know).”

      I am. cause if I dont come and read your blog I just might miss the next chapter.

      O and that opinion on gun control link… thats Good stuff right there.
      as far as history repeating itself, whats coming is going to be far worse than the
      civil war. I hope nothing happens but millions of americans are not going to give up their guns. nor should they.
      History?
      hitler
      stalin
      at least a half dozen more.
      killed millions of UNARMED people.
      rant off

      any hints as to when the next chapter might appear? maybe a little hint?

      thanks for the writings Mudinyeri

  9. OngoingFreedom on said:

    Disregard Phil. An interesting read, and educational. Thanks.

  10. way off topic – this B S.
    saddle up and write – a new chapter.

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