Civil war thoughts

By Nathan Barton

I would like to thank a reader, and elaborate on his remarks and my thoughts on the issues he raises.

“Beau” has made some remarks worth sharing, writing:

as an aside, all the talk of ‘civil war’ (as if any war is ‘civil’) is absolute lunacy, but, then, the historically challenged (virtually all ‘citizens’) have no concept of what such a cataclysm will usher in. it would be infinitely better to simply acknowledge the truth – our divisions cannot be remedied – and divorce/separation be undertaken, than the lunacy put forth by those exhorting such a course.

further, those advocating a civil war have obviously failed to ask themselves the one question they should: who will we get to fight a civil war in our stead, as we have done before, always? THEY will be on the front lines, rather than other people’s children, as has always been the case. in the end, this fact, ie, those fomenting the civil war being on the front lines and actually having to participate in what they have started, will be the only ‘positive’ to such an event.

The name “civil war” whether applied to the American War Between the States, or the English War of King versus Parliament, or any of the hundred or so internal conflicts that come to mind… It is both a misnomer and oxymoron.  And a term of art and legal understanding.

Internal war – rebellion, war of secession, uprising; whatever term we use – is often the ultimate expression of “Live Free or Die,” “Sic semper Tyrannus,” “Freedom = I Won’t” and other sentiments of lovers of liberty.

Seldom are such conflicts actually initiated by an act of aggression on the part of those who so want (and need) to secede, liberate themselves from tyranny, and regain the freedom that is God’s gift to all humans.  It is almost always the penultimate response to a long series of abuses, of initiation of violence (and the threat of violence) by the powers-that-be.  The rulers, the elite, the state, government.

However foolish it may be to resort to weapons, and to violent self-defense and defense of others. However slim the chances of a successful outcome.  However high the chances of death for you, for those with you, for those you are seeking to help.

And no matter how likely you are to betray the ideals, abandon the objectives, and behave dishonorably and immorally in fighting the war.

But advocating a civil war (or rebellion) is far different from fighting one. Or even accepting the inevitability of one.  Heinlein wrote of “small-mouthed pacifists” which is what I see most self-governors and lovers of liberty as being.  Jesus said that “blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.” But even He made it clear that the Father gave us the right of self-defense.

But He also taught that we must count the cost, as Beau speaks of.  And that cost can be very high.  As has been proved time after time, not least in the bloody hills of Judea just a few decades later, and in the scattered fields and forests of Virginia, Tennessee and elsewhere 1800 years later.

Beau makes other important points – repeating what others have said. Who will fight? (and die?) There may be no “others” to do that for us.

He suggests a “peaceful” separation and divorce.  Which is both a wise thing and something that has been done, even in the recent past. The division of the Czech Republic and Slovakia immediately comes to mind, as does the gaining of independence by many parts of Asia and Africa. It is being attempted in Scotland and Catalonia, even now.

But I fear that those are rare.  Even those divorces which seemed to be peaceful have often been surrounded by bloody fighting.  The breakup of the Soviet Union, for example. The division of Ireland into Free State and Northern Ireland. And many many others.

The fighting of a war or rebellion, and its aftermath, are also (as Beau terms it), a cataclysm. Often, the original reasons, the first causes, are completely forgotten. Whether the war is “won” by the “right side” or not. Bad as Reconstruction was in the South, the annals of history recall far, far worse.  And as with revolutions, the outcome is usually not what was being fought for.  Yes, important matters were decided, for which blood was paid.  But the end results are… less than optimal.

So, a civil war, a war between the states, a war of secession, a rebellion against the most hideous of tyrants – these are all things to be avoided.  We must clearly define what is intolerable, and search our brains for other ways to overturn those intolerable matters before resorting to arms, even in self-defense.

Please pray we me that we do so in the Fifty States.

 

 

About TPOL Nathan

Follower of Christ Jesus (christian), Pahasapan, Westerner, Lover of Liberty, Free-Market Anarchist, Engineer, Army Officer, Husband, Father, Historian, Writer.
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5 Responses to Civil war thoughts

  1. Rocketman says:

    While I don’t know if we will have a “civil” war or not, but there are clearly factions both in the government and without that are trying to achieve it. Rather than fight a war between the left and right which would likely kill millions, I have advocated for some time having the 50 state governors meet outside the U.S. and draw up plans, if it becomes necessary, to divide the country up. States like New York, Connecticut and others in the North East or the states of Texas and Oklahoma or the states of California and Oregon have much in common and could work well together. Putting some kind of a rough plan by the governors in place for when the national debt becomes so large that the country can no longer afford the interest payments seems to be the logical way to handle this. If your in a bad marriage then the thing to do is to get a divorce not stay together and fight continuously. Perhaps then the libertarians can finally get a homeland like Montana and Wyoming and live in peace without doing what we must constantly deal with in regards to the federal government.

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  2. beau says:

    thank you for you assessment, Nathan.

    i want it to be absolutely clear that i know the definition of a ‘civil war’, ie, forces opposing each other for control of the central govt. from this, it follows that the ‘american civil war’ was no such thing.

    the south did not want control of the central govt in washington, d.c. the south wanted out of the (up to then, anyway) ‘voluntary’ union, not take control of washington, d. c. better names for that particular cataclysm would be the ‘war to prevent secession’, ‘war between the states’, or the ‘war of northern aggression’, but certainly not the ‘american civil war’.

    as has been, is now and will always be true, the victors write the history.

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    • TPOL Nathan says:

      Absolutely. Too many people do NOT know the difference. For example, historian McKinley Kantor, who wrote one of the earlier alternate-history novels, “If the South had won the Civil War” – in which DC naturally goes to the victor. Actually, he probably DID know, but let the desire for popular accliam go to this writing fingers.

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  3. Darkwing says:

    “The tree of Liberty must be refreshed, from time to time, with the blood of tyrants and Patriots”: one of our founders, It is long over due.But if some of us due step up to the plate, will others follow???

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    • TPOL Nathan says:

      If others (more than the 3% or so) do not, as you intimate, they will get their due. Will it take having the dew only fall on the sheepskin and not on the ground to convince more people that such a time is upon us?
      Sorry for the puns – one of those days.

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