Author Topic: Destruction and theft of cultural heritage  (Read 9448 times)

Seriati

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Re: Destruction and theft of cultural heritage
« Reply #100 on: September 05, 2017, 02:29:35 PM »
Grant that's a fair point about comfirmation bias in historical writing.  I think it's one that is especially of merit in how we view history as produced by US institutions.  PhD candidates generally have to produce a new contribution to the field to receive their degree.  Recompliing history to support current popular social theories is often both "groundbreaking" (as in new and novel) and preaching to the choir (as its confirming the bias of the professors). 

Dry history (just facts) and books in support of old conclusions are less likely to get published, and even less likely to be promoted.  The big money in history is from feeding a bias, whether it be to absolve a group (as it was in the past, where countries were ruled by autocrats), or to implicate a group (as it is now where identity politics is a dominant theme), it's still the same thing.  Historians pandering to someone by presenting a favorable narrative.

NobleHunter

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Re: Destruction and theft of cultural heritage
« Reply #101 on: September 05, 2017, 02:58:18 PM »
Big money? History? Does not compute.

Grant

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Re: Destruction and theft of cultural heritage
« Reply #102 on: September 05, 2017, 03:01:50 PM »
Seriati,

I agree.  I think it's become easier for a lazy History PhD candidate to take old facts and re-arrange them to fit a new narrative rather than go out and find new facts and simply present them.  Historians probably see this as the job of journalism now. 

I don't want to poo on taking second looks at old facts, because it can sometimes lead to some good history.  But the idea having to constantly fit the current model is producing some cheap PhDs and bad history. 

Like you say, it's where the money is.  Same thing with punditry and journalism.  The big money is in telling the customer what to think about the facts, rather than just constantly giving facts.  I hate to poo on punditry as well, because sometimes it's good to have some educated interpretations.  But I feel there is a point where it becomes too much. 

Seriati

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Re: Destruction and theft of cultural heritage
« Reply #103 on: September 05, 2017, 03:02:57 PM »
It's more like any money.  But I tend to think of money as a proxy for other things.  It also applies to credibility and stature in the field, and overall view of whether someone is a leading figure.

Grant

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Re: Destruction and theft of cultural heritage
« Reply #104 on: September 05, 2017, 03:06:05 PM »
Big money? History? Does not compute.
Meh.  The big money in history books seems to be in military history that really doesn't deal with socio-political narrative, so maybe that's incorrect. 

A better point would be big prestige.  A good look at the nominees and winners of the Pulitzer Prize for History would probaby be a better place to look than the best seller's list.  A second point would be that the best sellers in History are often not by PhDs in History. 

NobleHunter

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Re: Destruction and theft of cultural heritage
« Reply #105 on: September 05, 2017, 03:09:04 PM »
It's more like any money.  But I tend to think of money as a proxy for other things.  It also applies to credibility and stature in the field, and overall view of whether someone is a leading figure.

Any money. Ha! I've heard it said that academic politics are so vicious because the stakes are so small.

Fenring

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Re: Destruction and theft of cultural heritage
« Reply #106 on: September 05, 2017, 03:48:33 PM »
This is not to say that many of the facts that Cultural Studies relies on are in themselves wrong, or that there is not some truth to their conclusions.  But the very concept of victim-hood is still rather new in the wide scheme of things, and very popular today.

Victimhood is a cultural outgrowth (I think) of a few things, one of which is cultural Marxism, and another of which is relativism. I don't think it's all that new - Nietzsche spoke of it at length as having been in development for a long time - but it's new that it's being accepted as a popular religion.

But what I was referring to, which you touched upon, was Marxist theory in terms of classifying social relationships as being drawn on an axis of power dynamics, and moreover, as calling for and/or predicting the oppressed class along that axis will rise up and overthrow the oppressor. This last point is critical, because there are many movements that have had as their mission statement to help the oppressed throw off their yoke, but Marxist theory in particular involves doing so by force, with the implicit proviso that there is justification for aggression when an oppressive force is being overthrown. If life was a comic book that theory might not sound so bad, but in practice it has all kinds of implications, which as we see, include even language being overthrown by force in some instances.

Grant

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Re: Destruction and theft of cultural heritage
« Reply #107 on: September 05, 2017, 04:32:30 PM »

But what I was referring to, which you touched upon, was Marxist theory in terms of classifying social relationships as being drawn on an axis of power dynamics, and moreover, as calling for and/or predicting the oppressed class along that axis will rise up and overthrow the oppressor.

I'm unsure if Marx was the first one to focus on class struggle and political violence within polities.  The histories of ancient Greece and Rome were full of such focus on class struggle.  The history of Athens up to the Macedonian Conquest was 50% the story of internal struggle between the classes of Attica.  The dirt poor vs the landed aristocracy.  Plato and Aristotle's theory of political decay and rebirth were all about revolution and class struggle and political violence. 

The history of Republican Rome up to the Empire was one long story of class struggle between the Plebs and the Patricians.  The political violence was startling.  When the Romans were not killing everyone around them they were rioting in the city. 

It was the rise of the Monarchies and the alliance with the clergy that put a halt to the social struggle during the Medieval period.  The American Revolution was not couched in terms of social class struggle, but there were glimmers of it.  The French Revolution played it more heavily and it devolved into The Terror. 

It wasn't so much that social class struggle was new in history, but that Marx was the first to call it the goal, and the natural evolution, and the good, that the proles defeat the capitalists.  He simply took Western European revolutionary theory and applied it to social class in a way that also undercut the foundations of revolutionary theory. 

TheDeamon

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Re: Destruction and theft of cultural heritage
« Reply #108 on: September 05, 2017, 07:53:37 PM »
I would note, the idea that history is written by the victors is questionable these days.  As a historical matter war tended to be much more brutal and final, and the aftermath ignored niceties like rights for any conquered peoples.  Today however, with our protections for civilians and desire to reintegrate the losers it's not true that the losing side isn't still around and free to write about it.  Heck, they are often encouraged to do so.

Pretty much this. The maxim works "well enough" for more distant historical references, but for more modern applications, the story is wildly different.

Absent a literate populace and thus the ability to create an abundant written record of sufficient quantity(or quality) that "a significant portion" survives centuries later is a major contributor. Nearly all of the "lost history" is pretty much the result of it failing to find its way into the written record, and that applies for conquerors and conquered alike. It also can be demonstrated to lesser degrees in respect to our own society going from century to century. Where certain things simply seem to disappear/"get lost" over time because the writers of those eras considered those matters to be so inconsequential, trivial, or just so basic that they didn't think it warranted direct mention. 

So in that regard, the more modern iteration would probably be more along the lines of:

1) If is doesn't leave behind physical(or virtual on a physical medium) evidence which can be examined later its "historical merits" are dubious at best.
2) If nobody bothers to write about it, and/or no written record can be found or it, "it" will likely "disappear into the mists of time" if the chance presents itself.

Which gets back to that older maxim about the victors writing the history. It's true enough, when the victor tears down the monuments of the conquered, bans or otherwise goes about destroying the culture/language/history of the conquered peoples, doubly so if they only have oral traditions to start with. (That doesn't mean they'll get everything, but they'll likely destroy enough of it that "significant holes" will exist for the rest of time when it comes to that particular society.)

But otherwise, it pretty much isn't that "the victors" write the histories, but rather, that writers write the history books, and at many points throughout history, the victors either were very particular about what the writers wrote... Or the writers in question were among the victors. (And that the literate among their opposites were likely killed, as they were likely senior/important persons in "the old order")

TheDeamon

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Re: Destruction and theft of cultural heritage
« Reply #109 on: September 05, 2017, 08:09:13 PM »
To be fair, it seems that history is written by...people who write history. That can be anyone, from a rigorous professor to a hack trying to sell textbooks.


snipping there
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In terms of the conversion about cultural heritage I think it's a different issue than the study of history itself.

Generally speaking, historians aren't just studying history in general, they're looking for certain things in relation to that history. It also cycles back to my previous post where I basically said "History is written by writers" rather than by Historians. If you look at the modern practice of historical research, it's amazing what they're often looking at. Their first resource of choice, when available isn't the historian alive in that era(although they're a good reference point, although Newpapers are generally better, although editorial bias is a concern there as well), but diaries/journals/memoirs, or even better, contemporary art and literature, as bizarre as that can get. Mark Twain and Charles Dickens are decent examples to some degree with regards to the 19th Century.

They didn't set out to write a history of the 19th century history, in fact, much of what they wrote is rather ahistorical(seeing as it is mostly fiction). But you still cycle around to the matter that fiction has to be grounded in reality, so for a book to do well in the 19th Century, even if it was a work of fiction, it had to be "Grounded in the reality" of the 19th Century, so those works help provide insights into things happening in the time period you may not necessarily pick up on from checking news reports of the era, or various other "more reliable primary sources."

Kind of leaves you to wonder what "fun" a historian could have with some of OSC's stuff in about 100 years. While Ender's Game probably doesn't yield particularly well to historical lensing, the Shadow subset probably does, as do a number of OSC's newer works in particular, although a few of his older works reflect their respective (general--given time lags in writing/editing/publication) year of publican as well.

TheDeamon

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Re: Destruction and theft of cultural heritage
« Reply #110 on: September 05, 2017, 08:14:16 PM »
Big money? History? Does not compute.

Alt-History seems to do decently for a number of people.

Harry Turtledove anyone?

(For that matter OSC's Seventh Son technically qualifies in that niche, it just also slightly predates it as a recognized genre IIRC.)

TheDeamon

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Re: Destruction and theft of cultural heritage
« Reply #111 on: September 05, 2017, 08:23:29 PM »
Seriati,

I agree.  I think it's become easier for a lazy History PhD candidate to take old facts and re-arrange them to fit a new narrative rather than go out and find new facts and simply present them.  Historians probably see this as the job of journalism now. 

I don't want to poo on taking second looks at old facts, because it can sometimes lead to some good history.  But the idea having to constantly fit the current model is producing some cheap PhDs and bad history.

Uh, Victorian England wasn't exactly a pinnacle of "good history" production either, and England wasn't particularly unique in its abuses, although it probably was one of the larger abusers(alongside France). As a LOT of the historical research going on in various corners relies on a "patronage system" of sorts, a lot of people in that field will tend to "follow the money" (Much as is the alleged claim regarding Climate Scientists, the money is "in finding further proof" of Climate Change because you're just asking to sink your career prospects and blacklisting if you actually manage to get funded and produce research that contradicts the party line) and pursue lines of research that were considered "Fashionable" among the types of people who were willing to shell out money to fund such undertakings.

Which basically in that era meant churning out stuff that demonstrated the moral failings of whatever society you were investigating, and providing further basis to bolster the "Historical standing" of your own nation/patrons in relation to it. Although if you were clever, you could walk the line on being controversial, as that could let you hit it big on the social circuit as well, you just have to be careful about what your "controversial topic" is or risk being blacklisted rather than hotlisted.

TheDeamon

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Re: Destruction and theft of cultural heritage
« Reply #112 on: September 05, 2017, 08:31:45 PM »
It was the rise of the Monarchies and the alliance with the clergy that put a halt to the social struggle during the Medieval period.  The American Revolution was not couched in terms of social class struggle, but there were glimmers of it.  The French Revolution played it more heavily and it devolved into The Terror.

The American Revolution had very faint glimmers of Class Struggle going on (mostly in regards to the bickering over slavery), considering that a number of very prominent men at the time on the revolutionary side of things were in the "Self-made man" category. They didn't come from old money, in some cases, they didn't even come from their parents money. They made themselves what they were. In that kind of environment, Class-Struggle is pretty much a non-factor, as Class-Struggle only becomes "a problem" when the members of the lower class determine(by whatever means) that whatever their lot in life is, that's probably the best they're ever going to get. For the US, it's only really been in this past century where we've really run into that "(social) mobility wall" where Class Struggle can really try to set some solid roots down. "Black America" in particular being fertile soil due a large number of factors, including their comparative "late start" into social integration due to Slavery followed by Jim Crow laws shortly thereafter.

NobleHunter

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Re: Destruction and theft of cultural heritage
« Reply #113 on: September 06, 2017, 09:52:39 AM »
Pretty much this. The maxim works "well enough" for more distant historical references, but for more modern applications, the story is wildly different.

Absent a literate populace and thus the ability to create an abundant written record of sufficient quantity(or quality) that "a significant portion" survives centuries later is a major contributor. Nearly all of the "lost history" is pretty much the result of it failing to find its way into the written record, and that applies for conquerors and conquered alike. It also can be demonstrated to lesser degrees in respect to our own society going from century to century. Where certain things simply seem to disappear/"get lost" over time because the writers of those eras considered those matters to be so inconsequential, trivial, or just so basic that they didn't think it warranted direct mention. 

So in that regard, the more modern iteration would probably be more along the lines of:

1) If is doesn't leave behind physical(or virtual on a physical medium) evidence which can be examined later its "historical merits" are dubious at best.
2) If nobody bothers to write about it, and/or no written record can be found or it, "it" will likely "disappear into the mists of time" if the chance presents itself.

Which gets back to that older maxim about the victors writing the history. It's true enough, when the victor tears down the monuments of the conquered, bans or otherwise goes about destroying the culture/language/history of the conquered peoples, doubly so if they only have oral traditions to start with. (That doesn't mean they'll get everything, but they'll likely destroy enough of it that "significant holes" will exist for the rest of time when it comes to that particular society.)

But otherwise, it pretty much isn't that "the victors" write the histories, but rather, that writers write the history books, and at many points throughout history, the victors either were very particular about what the writers wrote... Or the writers in question were among the victors. (And that the literate among their opposites were likely killed, as they were likely senior/important persons in "the old order")

The reason Athens features so prominently in Classical history is because they wrote a lot. History as a subject essentially requires writing. The more recent past can be accessed through oral history but that introduces a whole different set of issues.

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Uh, Victorian England wasn't exactly a pinnacle of "good history" production either, and England wasn't particularly unique in its abuses, although it probably was one of the larger abusers(alongside France). As a LOT of the historical research going on in various corners relies on a "patronage system" of sorts, a lot of people in that field will tend to "follow the money" (Much as is the alleged claim regarding Climate Scientists, the money is "in finding further proof" of Climate Change because you're just asking to sink your career prospects and blacklisting if you actually manage to get funded and produce research that contradicts the party line) and pursue lines of research that were considered "Fashionable" among the types of people who were willing to shell out money to fund such undertakings.

Which basically in that era meant churning out stuff that demonstrated the moral failings of whatever society you were investigating, and providing further basis to bolster the "Historical standing" of your own nation/patrons in relation to it. Although if you were clever, you could walk the line on being controversial, as that could let you hit it big on the social circuit as well, you just have to be careful about what your "controversial topic" is or risk being blacklisted rather than hotlisted.

My approach to secondary sources was to assume that anything written before the 60s or 70s was good only for basic facts. They're just so bad at separating out what they think should be true from what the evidence supports. It might also be that I'm lazy and it's easier to chuck out anything over a certain age.

Grant

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Re: Destruction and theft of cultural heritage
« Reply #114 on: September 06, 2017, 10:46:27 AM »
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The reason Athens features so prominently in Classical history is because they wrote a lot.

I think the translation problem features as well.  Everything the Greeks wrote was translated into Latin.  Knowing Greek was actually a sign of an educated Roman.  Everything the Romans wrote in Latin was available to the clergy and educated Europeans during the Medieval period and Renaissance because of the Church and later the Universities, which still spoke and taught Latin. 

Seriati

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Re: Destruction and theft of cultural heritage
« Reply #115 on: September 07, 2017, 12:20:29 AM »
The American Revolution had very faint glimmers of Class Struggle going on (mostly in regards to the bickering over slavery), considering that a number of very prominent men at the time on the revolutionary side of things were in the "Self-made man" category.

You're going to have to walk me through this one.  I don't see anything faint about the class struggle here.  You have a country of people fleeing the oppression of a landed aristocracy later rising up in revolt against a king and a class of overlords entitled by birth, with the majority of those rising up having built their influence through merit.  When they do create a country they expressly forbid the establishment of an aristocracy or nobility.  Seems pretty literally a class struggle, money isn't the only way to divide classes.

TheDeamon

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Re: Destruction and theft of cultural heritage
« Reply #116 on: September 07, 2017, 12:32:07 AM »
The American Revolution had very faint glimmers of Class Struggle going on (mostly in regards to the bickering over slavery), considering that a number of very prominent men at the time on the revolutionary side of things were in the "Self-made man" category.

You're going to have to walk me through this one.  I don't see anything faint about the class struggle here.  You have a country of people fleeing the oppression of a landed aristocracy later rising up in revolt against a king and a class of overlords entitled by birth, with the majority of those rising up having built their influence through merit.  When they do create a country they expressly forbid the establishment of an aristocracy or nobility.  Seems pretty literally a class struggle, money isn't the only way to divide classes.

I didn't define that as "a class struggle" because by and large, the aristocracy they fought against was "over there" (in Britain) and largely a non-factor on what became American soil, with very few exceptions. The colonials only had to deal with the agents, not the aristocracy itself. (Yes, I realize the Senior Officers in the British Army were mostly aristocrats themselves, but they were not operating under their own respective authority. They worked on behalf of the Crown itself.)

Grant

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Re: Destruction and theft of cultural heritage
« Reply #117 on: September 07, 2017, 08:04:27 AM »

You're going to have to walk me through this one.  I don't see anything faint about the class struggle here.  You have a country of people fleeing the oppression of a landed aristocracy later rising up in revolt against a king and a class of overlords entitled by birth, with the majority of those rising up having built their influence through merit.  When they do create a country they expressly forbid the establishment of an aristocracy or nobility.  Seems pretty literally a class struggle, money isn't the only way to divide classes.

The reason I agree more with Deamon is that the Revolution was never couched, at least originally, as a class struggle.  There is not a single mention of "Monarchy" in the Declaration of Independence.  There is only a single mention of "King", singular, but the meat of the Declaration is a list of the King's crimes against the rights of Americans.  So the origins of the Revolution were couched against a singular bad King. A tyrant.  The war was not necessarily against Monarchy or the Nobility.  Some Americans figured that at the end of the tunnel, America would have a Monarchy or a nobility as well.  It was what they knew and it was a proven form of government. 

The end result of the Revolution was to create a form of government that eschewed Monarchy, and that somewhat changed the view of the Revolution as a kind of class struggle, against a particular class that monopolized political power.  You saw this more readily in the support of the Democratic Republicans for the French Revolution, which was indeed couched as a class struggle between the entire Nobility and those without political power.  The results of the French Revolution somewhat doused the flames of class struggle in America. 

So the Revolution was presented as a fight against a particular individual, the King, and his cronies.  A fight against a single individual doesn't really count as "class struggle".  Even after, the enemy was a particular form of Government, Monarchy, rather than an entire class of people, the nobility.  This is somewhat the difference between American Socialists attacking Capitalism as an economic system, and American Socialists/Communists who attack the capitalist class itself.  It's the difference between saying "Capitalism is a bad system of economics", and "capitalists are oppressors". 

The reasons it was different in America than in France are myriad.  First, the King of England really didn't have the same kind of political power that the King of France had.  Call him a tyrant, but the government and the war was run by Lord North, and the Acts that inflamed American passions were passed by Parliament. 

Second, the nobility as a whole were not couched as enemies, because in many cases there were friends to the American nation within the nobility.  The Whigs were a strong faction within the House of Lords, and one should recall names like Pitt the Elder, Earl of Chatham.  There was also the idea that the British nobility were often the best business partners for the American mercantile interests.  These mercantile interests were seen in the formation of the Federalist Party in America, which kept at arms length the obvious class struggle elements that came out during the French Revolution, in opposition to the Democratic Republicans attraction to it.  Hamilton vs Jefferson. 


Pete at Home

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Re: Destruction and theft of cultural heritage
« Reply #118 on: September 16, 2017, 09:09:30 PM »
Seriati, even in 1860, reasonable people understood that conflicts over unsettled law could only be lawfully adjudicated through SCOTUS.

Pete, there is no legitimate merit to that argument.  If the states were States the act of succession terminated the SC authority to issue such a judgement.  The SC has not authority over sovereign entities other than the US.

You just begged the question.  Your question assumes that the Confederacy was a sovereign entity, and that's a question of interpretation.  You can interpret through the courts, or through military force of arms.  I also note as a point of history that the war didn't end until Sherman took the fight to the Southern Aristocracy.

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In any event, it actually was an issue in dispute so I'm not sure why you'd claim otherwise to me, over a150 years later.


I made no such claim.  Are you claiming that there's no precedent for a sovereign entity to sue the federal government in federal courts?  The South didn't have to acknowledge the court's authority over it in order to recognize that the federal courts did still hold jurisdiction over the rest of the Union.  If they were men of honor or peace, the would have sued in federal court for enforcement of their interpretation, rather than opening fire at Fort Sumpter.


Pete at Home

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Re: Destruction and theft of cultural heritage
« Reply #119 on: September 16, 2017, 09:13:04 PM »
The American Revolution had very faint glimmers of Class Struggle going on (mostly in regards to the bickering over slavery), considering that a number of very prominent men at the time on the revolutionary side of things were in the "Self-made man" category.

You're going to have to walk me through this one.  I don't see anything faint about the class struggle here.  You have a country of people fleeing the oppression of a landed aristocracy later rising up in revolt against a king and a class of overlords entitled by birth, with the majority of those rising up having built their influence through merit.  When they do create a country they expressly forbid the establishment of an aristocracy or nobility.  Seems pretty literally a class struggle, money isn't the only way to divide classes.

Where did they forbid the establishment of an aristocracy?

On the contrary, they merely forbade the federal government from establishing such.

TheDeamon

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Re: Destruction and theft of cultural heritage
« Reply #120 on: September 17, 2017, 12:10:28 AM »
Seriati, even in 1860, reasonable people understood that conflicts over unsettled law could only be lawfully adjudicated through SCOTUS.

Pete, there is no legitimate merit to that argument.  If the states were States the act of succession terminated the SC authority to issue such a judgement.  The SC has not authority over sovereign entities other than the US.

You just begged the question.  Your question assumes that the Confederacy was a sovereign entity, and that's a question of interpretation.  You can interpret through the courts, or through military force of arms.  I also note as a point of history that the war didn't end until Sherman took the fight to the Southern Aristocracy.


The same argument could be made about the Continental Congress declaring its Independence from the Crown of Great Britain. Only they won their argument on the field of battle, mostly by not getting caught and eventually getting foreign assistance(in the form of France triggering something just short of a world war for Britain).

IF the Confederacy had managed to get tacit material and military aid from the major European powers of the time(in particular Great Britain), the outcome would have likely been a formally recognized Confederacy on the part of the United States. But Lincoln skillfully ensured the Brit's wouldn't be able to view the conflict outside the prism of slavery, so that never came to pass, but it was a close thing all the same. If Gettysburg had played out a little bit differently due to Lee listening to one of his Generals rather than ignoring the advice....

Pete at Home

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Re: Destruction and theft of cultural heritage
« Reply #121 on: September 17, 2017, 09:47:01 AM »
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The same argument could be made about the Continental Congress declaring its Independence from the Crown of Great Britain.

Not reasonably made. Not by anyone acquainted with the law and facts. The FFs never made the argument that their secession was legal under the Magna Carta or any other body of English law. The South claimed that the Constitution tacitly allowed secession. 

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IF the Confederacy had managed to get tacit material and military aid from the major European powers of the time(in particular Great Britain), the outcome would have likely been a formally recognized Confederacy on the part of the United States.

That's a reasonable inference. What is not reasonable: your suggestion that force/legitimacy has anything at all to do with my argument that you were citing, let alone being "the same argument." 
« Last Edit: September 17, 2017, 09:54:10 AM by Pete at Home »

Pete at Home

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Re: Destruction and theft of cultural heritage
« Reply #122 on: September 17, 2017, 10:00:21 AM »
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If Gettysburg had played out a little bit differently due to Lee listening to one of his Generals rather than ignoring the advice

even if we suppose that reasonably likely facts could have played out differently resulting in Lee winning the Civil War, there would have been another, far more devastating war before the 1890s with Southern aristocracy grabbing for California and Nevada.

What, you think that the USA and CSA could have peacefully split up the rest of the territories when they couldn't even do so under the guise of being one country, with sumners'blood spattered over the Capitol floors, and ethnic cleansing against potential abolitionists in Missouri, Illinois, and bleeding Kansas?

TheDeamon

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Re: Destruction and theft of cultural heritage
« Reply #123 on: September 17, 2017, 10:55:00 AM »
even if we suppose that reasonably likely facts could have played out differently resulting in Lee winning the Civil War, there would have been another, far more devastating war before the 1890s with Southern aristocracy grabbing for California and Nevada.

THAT would have been suicide on the part of the South, and there are legitimate questions as to how economically viable the South was going to be once it gained its independence. Reality was, with the rise of cotton(and tobacco) plantations in many other parts of the British Empire(as well as outside of it) in particular, they probably only had a couple decades before they would have had trouble competing even with slave labor.

The other retrospective aspect on playing that particular alt-history game is the matter of trying to justify a war of Independence vs a war of aggression/expansion. Sure, the US was party to two such wars with Mexico that I can recall off hand, although Texan Independence was only a tertiary involvement item. Their "problem" would be that they had a hard enough time(ultimately failing) getting foreign support during the Civil War. The odds of their getting foreign(--European) aid in an expansionary war approaches 0 rapidly. If for no other reason than there is no real benefit for other nations to get involved(as they could get cotton/tobacco elsewhere). I guess there is a possibility of an "unholy alliance" with Mexico, with very dubious, and dangerous outcomes to be had there in regards to the Monroe Doctrine.

With "reality" having been that the Union eventually regrouped, and ran roughshod over the top of the Confederacy forces after recovering from having its upper echelons gutted by their top shelf generals siding with the South. All while fighting an offensive war, where the defender has the advantage. You flip that situation around, where the Union has had even just a significant portion of a decade to regroup and fortify its borders against the Confederacy, and the odds for a Confederate offensive war going anywhere positive for them plummet rapidly.

Even trying to do a "proxy war" thing much like what happened with Texas and Mexico doesn't play out particularly well for the South, as they're not rebelling against a tyrannical Santa Anna who evidently wasn't even adhering to Mexican laws in many respects, and dealing with rebellions in numerous other corners of Mexico as well. Throwing in the advent of the railroad and telegraph communications, and the Union also enjoyed a lot more mobility and better communications than Santa Anna could have dreamed of in the 1830's. 

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What, you think that the USA and CSA could have peacefully split up the rest of the territories when they couldn't even do so under the guise of being one country, with sumners'blood spattered over the Capitol floors, and ethnic cleansing against potential abolitionists in Missouri, Illinois, and bleeding Kansas?

Where did I claim the relationship would be peaceful, or anything close to resembling calm? I simply said that if the Confederacy could have obtained British support, they probably would have won their independence. That doesn't say anything about what happens after that.

Things would have been very tense(in particular as regards to escaped slaves), there would probably have been no shortage of "incidents" on and along the border. Probably even a concerted effort to try to pull a Texas-like rebellion in some of the US territories near the confederate border. But as far as direct hostilities are concerned, I still stand by saying the South would have been suicidal to launch an offensive war, even with 20-some years to build their own armaments industries and fortifications. The Union simply had too much of a population/industrial advantage at the onset to see that appreciably change.

Seriati

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Re: Destruction and theft of cultural heritage
« Reply #124 on: September 18, 2017, 01:57:54 PM »
Seriati, even in 1860, reasonable people understood that conflicts over unsettled law could only be lawfully adjudicated through SCOTUS.

Pete, there is no legitimate merit to that argument.  If the states were States the act of succession terminated the SC authority to issue such a judgement.  The SC has not authority over sovereign entities other than the US.

You just begged the question.

I didn't beg the question.  I can see how you'd think I did though.

One of the primary characteristics of a State (and even more so prior to the UN formalization so much of this), was acting like a State.  Submission of the question of whether you are a State to an outside legal authority would be de facto proof that you are not.  It's not me begging the question to point out that for the States that succeeded from the Union submission to the US Supreme Court of the question would be automatically settle the question against them, as a true State does not need or tolerate the judgement of another's court over it (ie Sovereign Immunity).

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Your question assumes that the Confederacy was a sovereign entity, and that's a question of interpretation.

I made no claim about the Confederacy.  My point was that Georgia claimed to be a soverign entity, and it's right of succession from a treaty, even one like the US Constitution, could not be subject to a higher court's than the SC of Georgia.   

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You can interpret through the courts, or through military force of arms.

When two Sovereigns deal with each other, you can only interpret through consent or force of arms.  Whether the consent is embodied in a Court or otherwise is a matter of form, but no foreign court has authority over a Sovereign other than by such Sovereign's consent, which it is free to revoke if it chooses.  Focusing on the authority of a court is misplaced.

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In any event, it actually was an issue in dispute so I'm not sure why you'd claim otherwise to me, over a150 years later.


I made no such claim.

Actually you did when you asserted that the SC would have been the agreed upon forum.  I think you completely missed the sovereignity point and how such submission would be both irrelevant and damaging with respect to a sovereign. 

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Are you claiming that there's no precedent for a sovereign entity to sue the federal government in federal courts?

Of course not, only pointing out that the only reason they can do so is because the federal government has agreed to allow them, and the only reason we can ever breach sovereignity in the other direction (without their consent) is because as the preeminient financial superpower we have recourse to their assets held here, otherwise they'd be fully immune to claims of our court.

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The South didn't have to acknowledge the court's authority over it in order to recognize that the federal courts did still hold jurisdiction over the rest of the Union.  If they were men of honor or peace, the would have sued in federal court for enforcement of their interpretation, rather than opening fire at Fort Sumpter.

I think you've actually begged the question.  I have no view on the attack of Fort Sumpter.  But the idea that men of honor would beg a foreign court to declare that their own country can do what's within it's authority to do is odd.  You seem to imply, for example, that the US would have to respond in a foreign court (rather than just ignore it's authority) if the foreign court claimed jurisdiction over the actions of the US.

It would actually be dishonorable in some ways to submit a question to a court where you'd only accept a favorable outcome (ie against the Union) but would reject the court's authority to reach a contrary conclusion.  This is one of the reasons that law suits against Sovereigns are fraught with peril, and really rely on a stronger Sovereign enforcing them.

Pete at Home

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Re: Destruction and theft of cultural heritage
« Reply #125 on: September 18, 2017, 04:28:20 PM »
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You seem to imply, for example, that the US would have to respond in a foreign court (rather than just ignore it's authority) if the foreign court claimed jurisdiction over the actions of the US.

Again, you are begging the question as you continue to presume that the US was foreign.  And given that some confederate agents (military) DID in fact pursue court actions in Union Courts in matters related to runaway slaves after secession, shows the absurdity of your question.

The USA often does represent its own interests in various foreign courts, and vice versa.  You counter a straw man when you assert the obvious, that  a sovereign state is not "obliged" to do such a thing.  No, it's a choice. And when the other choice is war, one would have to be a bitch of extreme Chutzpah to accuse the other side of aggression for keeping its forces in place according to the word of your last preexisting agreement with that party.

Seriati

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Re: Destruction and theft of cultural heritage
« Reply #126 on: September 18, 2017, 07:37:28 PM »
Pete, don't go all over the top on me.  Begging the question is a concept in argument, it's inapplicable here.  Though structurally it's similar it's actually irrelevant.  The State of Georgia either was or was not Sovereign, it's not a matter of an argument point, it's matter of who makes the determination.  If it was a Sovereign, then the US SC had no authority to rule on its decision to assert that Sovereignity.  If it was not a Sovereign, then Georgia had no right to act as if it was.  Submission to the SC is the act of a non-Sovereign on this issue, not the action that a Sovereign would take.

There is no world in which the US SC is the correct forum to decide that issue, anymore than the UK's Brexit could be overturned by the EU's Court of Justice.  It makes no difference what the treaties say, which is all the court could establish, as sovereign's are within their rights to repudiate a treaty.  Once Georgia determined it was a Sovereign and acted as such, it was the US government's (not it's courts) authority to argue the point that become relevant.  The same would be true today - by the way - if say CA or TX declares independence, they are not going to submit to the US SC about whether they have the authority to do so.

Pete at Home

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Re: Destruction and theft of cultural heritage
« Reply #127 on: September 18, 2017, 08:03:28 PM »
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There is no world in which the US SC is the correct forum to decide that issue, anymore than the UK's Brexit could be overturned by the EU's Court of Justice

Agreed. And that's a fantastic analogy. If you look at what I actually said, then you may find it supports my argument.

If the UK disagreed with the EU on the terms of its exit, it would more likely take the case to EU mediation or courts to plead its case rather than to shell some Interpol office.

Pete at Home

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Re: Destruction and theft of cultural heritage
« Reply #128 on: September 18, 2017, 08:19:58 PM »
even if we suppose that reasonably likely facts could have played out differently resulting in Lee winning the Civil War, there would have been another, far more devastating war before the 1890s with Southern aristocracy grabbing for California and Nevada.

THAT would have been suicide on the part of the South,

Firing on Fort Sumpter was suicide for the South, and if emboldened by an actual victory in the civil war, no bloody way they would have held back on NV and CA. Don't forget 5hat Lincoln's "Tyranny" hitched of in the Confederate declaration of Independence constituted of his campaign promise to halt expansion of slavery to future territories.  THAT is what the rich bastards were sending dumb white poor folks to die over.  You think they would have backed off that goal in the face of victory?

TheDrake

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Re: Destruction and theft of cultural heritage
« Reply #129 on: December 21, 2017, 01:02:37 PM »
Two more statues go to an undisclosed location in Memphis

They sold the plot it stood on, kind of a sneaky maneuver but who can blame them for not wanting a riot over it?

Makes me wonder - should cash strapped communities hold an auction for these statues? Can you imagine the bidding war between people who want to preserve them and peopel who want to destroy them?  :P

Pete at Home

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Re: Destruction and theft of cultural heritage
« Reply #130 on: December 25, 2017, 08:44:18 AM »
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The history of Republican Rome up to the Empire was one long story of class struggle between the Plebs and the Patricians

Yes, but until the modern age, it was a story told by Patricians. Spartacus didn't write history books.