Saturday, November 13, 2010

The most vile societies in human history...

Adam Goodheart is blogging the Civil War ...

A Senator Secedes – Reluctantly -

... The imperious, aristocratic senator was no bleeding heart, to say the least. Master of more than 300 slaves, he did not hesitate to flog them when they transgressed, wielding the whip with his own hand. Nor did he hesitate to take sexual advantage of the women under his power, fathering several children with them. (In one instance, he did so with a household servant, and then with her teenage daughter.) In politics, he had popularized the phrase ‘cotton is king,’ and gave a notorious speech in 1858 arguing that every society, even a republic, needed an inferior ‘mud-sill’ class to ‘do the menial duties, to perform the drudgery of life...

White South Carolina was "wild for secession" after the election of Lincoln. However we may see the early Lincoln now, white Southerners believed he would end the slavery they seemed to love.

How much, I wonder, was their passion driven by shame and guilt? The greatest anger I see comes from men and women (and children!) accused of crimes they deny to themselves. Crimes they deny to themselves, even as they know they are guilty.

The white southern United States of 1860 was a vile society, among the most vile of the past three hundred years.

Which others belong in that hall of shame?

Nazi Germany, of course. But who else? The obvious other examples, such as Pol Pot's Cambodia, Mao's China, and Stalin's Russia were all essentially medieval tyrannies in modern times. They were as much evil regimes as evil societies.

Are the only contenders 1930s Germany and 1860s American South?

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