Pat Buchanan Prevents the Holocaust

There is much to disagree with in Pat Buchanan’s latest book Churchill, Hitler, and the Unnecessary War and his subsequent defense of its controversial premise. But there is one issue I must take issue with; a claim made in both the book and repeated in his latest syndicated column. According to Buchanan, had there been no American or English involvement in the Second World War, there would have been no Holocaust. This isn’t, in fact, an original line of argumentation—his is a thinly sourced, weakly reasoned, and extreme adaptation of the “functionalist” position. That is, unlike the “intentionalist” historians, who believe that Hitler always intended to wipeout European Jewry, the “functionalists” argue that while persecution of the Jews was integral to Nazi ideology, it was a function of the war that led to the large-scale, industrialized killing of Jews. (I spent my last two years of university looking at this debate, and ultimately writing my undergraduate thesis on Daniel Goldhagen's embarrassingly reductionist book, Hitler's Willing Executioners and came out the other side believing a mild version of the functionalist critique.)

So for Buchanan, because the Nazi regime commenced with the meticulous and industrialized killing of Jews after America entered the war and because there had been no genocide during the prewar years, it correlates that without a war, there would have been no Holocaust. And because England, in Buchanan’s view, provoked the war, then he presumably holds Churchill responsible, to some unknown degree, for the fate of European Jewry. Again, it should be reiterated that this should be categorized as an extreme functionalist position.  

Here is Buchanan, writing in his latest syndicated column, on the Holocaust: “[F]or two years after the war began, there was no Holocaust. Not until midwinter 1942 was the Wannsee Conference held, where the Final Solution was on the table. That conference was not convened until Hitler had been halted in Russia, was at war with America and sensed doom was inevitable. Then the trains began to roll.”

Beyond the absurdity of implicitly blaming Churchill for the Holocaust—because that is what he is really saying when he writes “no war, no Holocaust”—Buchanan ignores an enormous amount of evidence that contradicts his position. What he is really arguing is an issue of scale, for the attempted destruction of European and Soviet Jewry via the concentration camp system began in 1942. But none of this was surprising; none of it a simple reaction to America’s entry into the European war in December 1941 (recall too that it was Germany that declared war on America).

Immediately after invading Poland in September 1939, the invading Germans commenced with the elimination of racial enemies. The murderous Einsatzgruppen, Wehrmacht General Walther von Brauchitsch informed his fellow commanders two weeks after the invasion, were to engage in “certain ethnic tasks” that were not under the purview of the army. According to German historian Wolfram Wette, “It was in Poland that the Germans initiated their policy of enslavement and extermination…and not in the Soviet Union as is often assumed.” Wette is correct that the murderous groundwork was laid in 1939 and 1940. Under the direction of Reinhard Heydrich, the SS began “testing three different gassing technologies” during the months of September and October 1941, according to historian Christopher Browning. At Babi Yar, outside of Kiev, on September 29 and 30, 1941, Einsatzgruppe C shot, according to their own figures, 33,771 Jews. All of this was before Wannsee and before America entered the war.   

And what about Hitler’s famous January 30, 1939 “prophecy” of extermination; a speech delivered before England had guaranteed Poland, before the commencement of hostilities, before American entry into the war (Buchanan mentions, though doesn’t analyze, the speech in his book; he also misdates the address). Speaking to the Reichstag on the sixth anniversary of the party’s machtergreifung, he bellowed: "Today I will be once more a prophet: if the international Jewish financiers in and outside Europe should succeed in plunging the nations once more into a world war, then the result will not be the Bolshevizing of the earth, and thus the victory of Jewry, but the annihilation of the Jewish race in Europe!" Some historians—like Hans Mommsen—have argued unconvincingly that this statement must be seen in "context," and should not be seen as an acknowledgement of an early plan to massacre Jews. But Hitler publically returned to his Reichstag “prophecy” dozens of times, repeatedly castigating European and Russian Jews for not heeding his warning. (See Jeffrey Herf’s book The Jewish Enemy for the countless of the instances in which Hitler and Goebbels returned to the “prophecy.”)

But what is really mystifying is Buchanan’s contention that if Hitler had been left alone in the East to gobble up Poland and fight an annihilation war against Stalin, the Holocaust never would have come to pass. In a March 1942 diary entry, Goebbels described “A rather barbaric procedure, which I won’t describe in more detail,” noting that “the prophecy [of] the Fuehrer…is now being realized in a more frightful manner. One cannot allow any sentimentality in these matters.” He then explained that it was only under the cover of war against Russia that Germany could achieve its genocidal goals: “Thank God that now, during wartime, we have a whole series of opportunities that would be closed off to us in peacetime. Hence we need to use them.” Buchanan quotes this passage in his book (though in slightly different translation), but doesn’t explain how this supports his case. Indeed, it greatly undercuts it. How further appeasement by England and a Roosevelt non-response to Hitler’s December 11, 1941 declaration of war on America could have prevented the destruction of Jews in the East is left unexplained.

Also Pat, it’s the Westwall—or Siegfried Line—not the “Western Wall,” which is in Jerusalem.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • ||

    Nazis. I hate these guys.

    Also Pat, it's the Westwall-or Siegfried Line

    I'm sure someone far cleverer than I can come up with a Siegfried and Roy joke. Don't let me down, guys!

  • xkcd fanatic||

  • ||

    Aryan tigers.

  • No Name Guy||

    If the west had been neutral, Hitler would have defeated Stalin (they came damn close even with the participation of the west) and we would have REALLY been screwed.

  • ||

    Pat Buchanan is not worth paying attention to. He has no, zero, zip, nada, nein credibility as a thinker of policy or history.

    If I thought that he'd ever be relevent again, I'd pay attention.
    I don't, I won't.

  • Naga Sadow||

    I know I'm supposed to be outraged but the man is so outrageous that I just can't help but not take him seriously.

  • TallDave||

    Immediately after invading Poland in September 1939, the invading Germans commenced with the elimination of racial enemies.

    I was surprised to learn a few years ago that by some estimates more Slavs than Jews had died under German rule. I suppose this is less emphasized because it was a much smaller proportion of the ethnicity as a whole than what the Jews suffered.

    Pat Buchanan is not worth paying attention to. He has no, zero, zip, nada, nein credibility as a thinker of policy or history.

    Precisely. This is yet another sin against empiricism.

  • ||

    "(I spent my last two years of university looking at this debate, and ultimately writing my undergraduate thesis on Daniel Goldhagen's embarrassingly reductionist book, Hitler's Willing Executioners and came out the other side believing a mild version of the fuctionalist critique.)"

    WTH is fuction? Is that like fucking with suction? Vacuum sex?

  • ||

    I swear... If Firefox would ever appropriately remember username information I would be ecstatic.

  • Icl||

    "If the west had been neutral, Hitler would have defeated Stalin (they came damn close even with the participation of the west) and we would have REALLY been screwed."

    That's bullshit. It's the other way around. The West had nothing to do with the battle for Stalingrad. If Hitler was allowed to cross Volga and gain access to Baku oil fields, the whole world would have been screwed.

    The biggest reason for America's involvement in the war was not the fear of Hitler's victory, but the fear of complete Soviet domination of Europe.

    That being said, Pat Buchanan is a major league douchebag.

  • No Name Guy||

    "That's bullshit. It's the other way around. The West had nothing to do with the battle for Stalingrad."

    I believe lend-lease played a big role in Russian military successes.

  • Icl||

    "I believe lend-lease played a big role in Russian military successes."

    That's true, but it wasn't the deciding factor.

  • Ilsa||

    I vill prove that a voman can endure more pain than any man!

  • Naga Sadow||

    His book was to big to read so I just read a few snippets from his website. Oh why didn't we give him absolute power to run this country? With his brilliant geopolitical insights he would have brought utopia upon the world!

  • Paul||

    According to Buchanan, had there been no American or English involvement in the Second World War, there would have been no Holocaust.



    It was a first-run misprint. He meant if there had been no Germany, there would have been no Holocaust.

  • Paul||

    But in all seriousness, I do not abide by the functionalist premise, not even a mild functionalist argument.

    The industrialized killing of Jews was a huge logistical undertaking. And to borrow a phrase, the Nazi's didn't take a dump without a plan, son.

    Had Hitler not been challenged on any front of his Empire making, I think it's fair to say that some sort of industrialized kill operation would have taken place, albeit at a slower, less pressured pace.

  • ||

    Pat Buchanan is not worth paying attention to. He has no, zero, zip, nada, nein credibility as a thinker of policy or history.

    That is bitchen wrong.

    Sans comment on this volume cuz I haven't read it yet, except to say that I'd have to have quite a paradigm shift to come to believe that if had there been no American or English involvement in the Second World War, there would have been no Nazi Holocaust but...Buchanan's knowledge of history, and often its lessons for us, easily exceeds most current political commentators.

    Also, remember Buchanan to his great credit, opposed the Iraq war. And note his wise admonition prior to 9/11...

    "If this Prodigal Nation does not cease its mindless interventions in quarrels and wars that are not America's concerns, our lot will be endless acts of terror until, one day, a weapon of mass destruction is detonated on American soil. What is it about global empire that is worth taking this risk?"

  • ||

    If the west had been neutral, Hitler would have defeated Stalin (they came damn close even with the participation of the west) and we would have REALLY been screwed.

    Yeah, could you imagine if Europe in the 1950's had been dominated by a maniacal dictator who killed millions of his own people and had The Bomb? I am sure glad that didn't happen!

  • No Name Guy||

    Gimme Back My Dog, I will go out on a limb here and say Communists are more rational than Nazis, and easier to deal with.

  • No Name Guy||

    In foreign policy, Buchannan is pretty solid in comparison to the crew running Washington.

    In history, his Confederate and America First sympathies annoy me.

    However, Churchill does need to be knocked of his pedestal for several good reasons.

  • ||

    Tall Dave-

    "I suppose this is less emphasized because it was a much smaller proportion of the ethnicity as a whole than what the Jews suffered."

    Not according to Professor Finklestein.

  • Paul||

    Rick Barton, speaking to his post 9/11 "admonition". I'm not sure how much insight that took. Buchanan in my opinion has become staunchly isolationist, in a kind of nationalistic way.

  • ||

    This is just a ridiculous statement: That conference was not convened until Hitler had been halted in Russia, was at war with America and sensed doom was inevitable.

    Sensed doom was inevitable? In 1942?

    This makes me think Mr. Buchanan has never actually read a book about Adolph Hitler.

  • ||

    I think he's pretty much right. Without the war, the Jews' fate probably would have been expulsion, not extermination. WWII was launched by the West to free Eastern Europe. In that it has to be considered an abject failure. That it also indirectly led to the slaughter of 6 million Jews and millions of Western Soldiers is just icing on the cake. Pat Buchanan's enduring legacy will be his steadfast opposition to the House of Bush, long before it was popular. His protectionism and social views may grate, but I'd take him over any of the current crop of candidates in a minute.

  • ||

    Lend lease is overrated as to the assistance it gave Stalin. The Russians survived the German invasion for the same reasons they also survived invasions--they burned everything edible so the Nazis could not live off the land, and let the winter do its work on the lightly clothed German army.

    Then they harassed Hitler's supply lines, guarded by inferior Romanion troops. When the Japanese refused to help Hitler by invading Siberia, the Russions brought divisions of winter ready reinforcements from Siberia to the Eastern Front. The resurrounded Staningrad and trapped the beseiging Nazis.

    The rest was relatively easy. Even with a conscript half drunken army they managed to roll the Nazis back to Berlin.

  • ||

    I have always thought that his true beef with allies confronting Nazis is precisely because it had not allowed them to complete their primary objective - carrying out holocaust. I can not prove it beyond the reasonable doubt but the way he defends Nazi criminals each time one of then goes on trial makes me think. He defends them not because he thinks that they are innocent but because they are old men - as I see it statute of limitation does not apply to some crimes such as mass murder or genocide. He himself would not apply a statute of limitation if the crime was committed against a white European who is not Jewish.
    In addition he is not a conservative in classical American sense - if by conservative values you mean free enterprise, free trade, equality before the law. He favors industrial policy, severe restriction on international trade, extreme sensitivity for ethnic content of the population.
    He can not say all those things directly because this would end his career as a mainstream political commentator so he does it indirectly by attacking Churchill, maintaining that the course of action would be just to give to Germany Poland and Czechoslovakia and Germany would be completely satisfied, and etc.. I do not believe that he himself believes in this.

  • No Name Guy||

    Seeing as Hitler wasn't satisfied after taking Austria, and then Czechoslovakia ("my last territorial demand in Europe") I don't know why Buchanan thinks he would have kept his word about not invading the West. He violated two pledges within a year, for God's sake.

    The funny thing is had Hitler stopped with Munich Chamberlain would probably be regarded as a hero today.

  • ||

    There is much to disagree with in Pat Buchanan's latest book Churchill, Hitler, and the Unnecessary War and his subsequent defense of its controversial premise.

    Like what?

  • ||

    From "The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich," p 874-875, discussing the invasion of Poland in 1939:

    The next day, September 21, Heydricch forwarded to the Army High Command a copy of his initial "housecleaning" plans. AS a first step the Jews were to be herded into the cities (where it would be easy to round them up for liquidation). "The final solution," he declared, would take some time to achieve and must be kept "strictly secret," but no general who read the confidential memorandum could have doubted that the "final solution" was extermination.

    September 1939, Reihardt Heyrich is already talking about a "final solution" that involves herding the Jews into the cities in Poland as an initial step.

    Pat, you don't know what you're talking about.

  • Colin||

    I think in many ways Buchanan is brilliant. I read his column regularly and think he has a pretty sharp intellect. But he has a blind spot when it comes to anything Jewish. He's just consumed with hatred, which probably comes from listening to too much Father Coughlin as a kid.

    Best Buchanan joke I ever heard came from Imus: Did you hear Pat Buchanan had an uncle who died in a concentration camp? . . . He fell out of a guard tower.

    By the way, you can make a strong case that the Holocaust began in earnest with Kristalnacht in 1938.

  • ||

    Sensed doom was inevitable? In 1942?
    Joe

    By 1942 the Russians had already defeated the Nazis at Moscow, as the Russian counterattack commenced in Dec 1941. The seige of Leningrad was inconclusive. The attack on Stalingrad began in August of 1942 but lasted until the Germans surrended in Feb of 1943.

    Since Moscow was considered the most important objective, and Leningrad and Stalingrad were not going well for an offensive based on blitzkreig, a would think a "sense" of doom in 1942 was likely the case.

  • ||

    Joe-

    William Shirer?

  • No Name Guy||

    I still say everyone is underestimating the impact of lend lease. For God's sake, one of the Russians best tanks (I forget the model, someone help me out here) was based on a Chrysler or GM chasis (again, I don't recall which).

    I think the tank was a T-38, or T-41.

    American financial and material aid was HUGE.

  • ||

    There are a lot of good, valid criticism of lot of the actions the Western Allies took before and during the war, so if nothing else I'm glad that Pat is bringing a critical look to the typically revered FDR and Churchill. And what he said in the one interview I've seen of him talking about this is correct- Churchill might have been a good wartime leader, but he was a horrible statesman and not much better of a military strategist.

    I find it somewhat ridiculous to say that Pat's really "blaming Churchill for the Holocaust". That's an intellectually dishonest thing to say, on the same level as the "non-interventionism = blaming America for 9/11" crap we saw during the Republican primary campaign.

  • ||

    libertree,

    But the statement was "sensed," Hitler sensed that doom was inevitable.

    Hitler still thought he was going to win as the Russians pushed west in 1945.

    I KNOW and YOU KNOW that the Germans were in the soup by late 1942/early 1943, but Hitler had an almost TallDavish certainty that success was just around the corner. It was one of the more remarked-upon aspects of his character.

  • ||

    Yup, William Shirer. After TRAFOTTR, everything else is a series of appendices, as far as I'm concerned.

  • ||

    I do agree it's unlikely that Hitler made a calculated decision that "the end was inveitable". He was denying that up to the very end in Berlin in 1945. But it's also debatable whether or not the Holocaust would have happened without the war- one plan involved shipping them all to Madagascar, for example, a perverse sort of Nazi Zionism which would have been preferably to the concentration camps. So the war did no doubt influence the decision.

  • No Name Guy||

    Rise and Fall is the best one volume work, period, unless one is a fanatical and unrepentant America Firster.

    But you are probably also the kind of guy that believed Lincoln was a maniacal dictator at that point, which puts you far, FAR outside of historical consensus.

  • ||

    It's hard not to take Buchanan seriously. I mean, this guy got 3 million votes in the 1992 primaries, 3 million votes in 1996. If Alan Keyes hadn't split Buchanan's votes in Iowa in 1996 Buchanan probably would have won Iowa and New Hampshire, and from there would have been a legitimate frontrunner for the nomination.

    Yes, he's gotten more extreme with age, probably, but America came very close -- it's important we reflect on what we missed. And give thanks.

  • ||

    Colin-

    I, too, have always thought that Pat Buchanan has had some issues with the chosen. Hate? Perhaps. Good line about Father Coughlin.

  • ||

    Lincoln was a dictator in any sense of the term.

    Argue that it was justified, but that Lincoln seized and exercises dictatorial powers is undeniable.

  • ||

    This whole post, and maybe Buchanan's book too (I don't know I haven't read it) misses the point. Its not the war that forced the NAZI's into the FINAL SOLUTION. It was the fact that they couldn't get rid of their Jews. They were dying to get rid of them, they just couldn't find anyone who would take them.

    America and England could have, if not prevented the Holacaust, saved the lives of hundreds of thousands perhaps millions of Jews by repealing or temporarily overriding the racist, nativist, un-libertarian immigration quotas that had recently been enacted.

    And WW2 was Churchill and Chamberlain's decision, not Hitler's. Hitler really did not want to go to war with Britain.

  • No Name Guy||

    Yes Andy, and he assumed them at the time of a real, live national emergency that threatened the very existence of the United States.

    He was also quite willing (just as Washington was) to give them back when the war was over. Thats part of why hes rated so highly.

  • ||

    Paul,

    Thank you. My Buchanan quote at 7:20 was a post 9/11 warning of his. Here is his sage counsel pre 9/11.

    "The US has unthinkingly embarked upon a neoimperial policy that must involve us in virtually every great war of the coming century-and wars are the death of republics. If we continue on this course of reflexive interventions, enemies will one day answer our power with the weapon of the weak-terror, and eventually cataclysmic terrorism on US soil."

  • ||

    He might have assumed that, but it was absurd. The existence of the United States was in no way threatened by secession.

    And some of what he did was inexcusable, emergency or not. Such as ordering a Congressman exiled by military tribunal. Or conscription. Or suspending habeas corpus by executive order even where the civilian courts were functioning. Or brutally and violently suppressing anti-war newspapers.

  • ||

    Shirer did a good job of journalism, but he is responsible, or at least contributed to the political spectrum that runs like a straight line from communist>liberal>centrist>conservative>fascist.
    IMHO his analysis of the philosophical and economic beliefs and practises of the Nazis and Commies was typical left liberal thin gruel. I believe he worked for the NY Times, didn't he? Nuff said.

    For a real analysis, I would suggest the works of the libertarian jewish economists who fled the Nazis : von Mises and Hayek.

  • ||

    Also giving back dictatorial powers is no real excuse for accepting them in the first place.

    When did Washington have such powers? He was a military commander under the command of a civilian Congress during the war.

  • No Name Guy||

    Andy, secession by its very nature threatens the existence and integrity of the United States. If the South had been let go, make no mistake it would have been the end of the United States as we know it. We'd be like South America or Central America today--a bunch of squabbling, parochial backward republics dominated by foreign powers.

    The fact that he said he wished to treat the Southern states "as though they never left" when the radicals in his party were calling for revenge shows a remarkable capacity for far-sightedness.

    The South really doesn't know what they lost. Lincoln would have spared them the whole military occupation and humiliation that the radical congress made them go through after his death.

  • ||

    No Name Guy-

    Is it your position that unless one agrees with your assessment that TRAFOTTR is the best one volume work, on WWII I presume, one is a "fanatical and unrepentant America Firster"? Come again?

    Please note that I didn't express any opinion on the quality of Mr. Shirer's work. In fact, I have read the book, cover to cover, three times and I actually like the fact that many professional historians were jealous of Shirer.

  • No Name Guy||

    "When did Washington have such powers? He was a military commander under the command of a civilian Congress during the war."

    In paper, Congress commanded him. In practice, he was the ruler of the United States. He could have easily pulled a Napoleon, and he didn't.

  • No Name Guy||


    Is it your position that unless one agrees with your assessment that TRAFOTTR is the best one volume work, on WWII I presume, one is a "fanatical and unrepentant America Firster"? Come again?




    Not everyone that disagrees with his work is an America Firster, but all America Firsters pretty much disagree with him. Understand? Thats what I was trying to say, sorry for any confusion.

    FWIW I hate the Churchill-worship on the other extreme. Ask the Indians and Middle Easterners about how great Churchill was. He was an old guard British imperialist in the end, a kind of relic.

  • ||

    Secession was legal. That's all that matters. If Lincoln thought allowing secession was so damaging it required military suppression, he should have gone to Congress for a Declaration of War against the CSA.

    It was Lincoln's decision to invade the South militarily that provoked the Upper South's secession, including Virginia's. He also deliberately provoked the CSA into "firing the first shot".

    Washington was not "in practice, ruler of the United States" during the war. He might have been able to pull it off if he wanted to, but he would have faced strong opposition from a lot of people. As it was, he was much more busy actually fighting the war to be doing any ruling. Congress still provided all his funding and negotiated the foreign aid that he needed.

  • ||

    I do not pretend to know Pat's real beliefs about the Jewish people. I think he is a devout Catholic of the old school, the kind I grew up with before the 60's changed everything. Maybe he blames them for Jesus death.Since his economic ideas are so arcane, maybe he believes they rule the world.

    Or maybe not. Maybe, just maybe, his belief that American foreign policy should be about America First, and that it is just common sense as well as George Washington's sage advice that we not play favorites with anyone, including Israel. Beliefs like that just might cause a certain hack radio DJ who pals around with McCain to crack anti Buchanon jokes.

    Regardless, I liked "A Republic Not an Empire" a lot.

  • ||

    No Name Guy-

    Andy Craig and Professor DiLorenzo are right.

    Have you ever stopped to consider the fact that of all the so called great powers, only the United States, resorted to war upon its own people relative to ending slavery?

    The Declaration of Independence is an assertion of secession. The US was born through secession. Jefferson's language reflected the spirit of secession..."That when any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter it or abolish it..."

    The framers recognized the right of secession as a god given natural right and if they had intended to prohibit secession, they would have so written. They did not.

  • No Name Guy||

    Tell me where in the Constitution secession is permitted. Why would the Constitution contain a clause relating to "internal rebellion" were it legal? The Constitution clearly implies perpetuity.

    As to the declaration of war, you don't declare war on nations which you do not recognize as existing. That gives it legitimacy, which the CSA did not have.

    The Southerners were spoiling for a fight at least as much as the Northerners. Why else do you think Jeff Davis, as Secretary of War, illegally siphoned guns and ammunition down South in the 1850s? Secession was not some spur of the moment decision, it was a conspiracy that had been existing for years. They just were looking for an excuse.

  • No Name Guy||

    Have you ever stopped to consider the fact that of all the so called great powers, only the United States, resorted to war upon its own people relative to ending slavery?



    Yes, and you can blame the secession conspirators for that sad fact. Don't give me states rights bull--read the actual secession resolutions and speeches. Its all about preserving slavery and white supremacy, theres no mention of tarriffs or "rights".

    The Southern conspirators (note: very different from the Southern people) explicitly rejected the principles the United States was founded on. Alexander Stephens, the CSA Vice President, said Jefferson made a mistake when he didn't say "all WHITE men are created equal". Google this stuff, it will take you about five minutes to find the original sources.

  • ||

    No Name Guy-

    I agree with your view of Churchill. I am no expert on Sir Winston, but I do think it is fair to conclude that he was a statist who thirsted for power and who was no friend of liberty.

  • ||

    No Name Guy, wanting to secede from the Union is not the same thing as spoiling for a fight.

    Also, since none of the Confederates had actually signed the Constitution they were in no way bound by it. Read Spooner's Constitution of No Authority.

  • No Name Guy||

    Kevin, the federal government was not created by people. It was created by state governments, which are by definition immortal. So while Jefferson Davis may not have been bound by it, the government of Mississippi sure as hell was.

  • ||

    libertree, give up the Jonah Goldberg fetish.

    Mussolini, Hitler, and Franco all identified their movements with the Right.

  • ||

    NNG-

    Defending the legality of secession and opposing Lincoln is not the same as defending slavery or the reasons the South chose to secede. Stop being disingenuous.

  • No Name Guy||

    BTW, New England had a secession conspiracy within living memory of the founding generation. It was widely regarded as illegal and criminal even then.

  • ||

    I like NNG's "Southern Conspirators" formulation.

    It was not "North vs. South." It was not "the War Between the States."

    It was a war to suppress a rebellion instigated by a particular political movement. The geographic fallout was secondary.

  • ||

    Hitler had an almost TallDavish certainty that success was just around the corner.

    Don't think I've ever seen a reverse Godwin before...

  • No Name Guy||

    Thats fine Andy, if you want to defend the practice of secession. That doesn't make you a defender of slavery, I agree.

    But positing that the Confederacy seceded for some other reason besides slavery ("states rights" or tariffs) is being equally disingenuous.

  • ||

    No Name Guy-

    I agree that the ante-bellum south was no bastion of liberty. I have never rested my position on the morality of the slaveholders.

    However, the fact is that Lincoln was bloody awful. The income tax. The incarceration of thousands of NORTHERNERS who had the audacity to criticize him and his war. How about the arrest and deportation of congressman Clement Vallindigham of Indiana, ordered by Lincoln?

    What about the war crimes? The Holocaust of southern civilians? Lincoln knew about, approved and expected the union army to murder rape, rob and pillage. Look at what happened in the Shenendoah Valley.

    Our civil war was the first war where total warfare, i.e., the deliberate terrorizing and mass killing of civilians, was employed on such a large scale by the state.

  • GILMORE||

    I will now retell an incredibly tasteless-but-hilarious joke from the repertoire of the inimitable Sara Silverman =

    "You know, if more germans had been black, there like totally wouldn't have ever been a holocaust..."

    (pause)

    "...I mean, like, to Jews."

  • ||

    I don't really argue that the Confederacy seceded for some other reason, nor do I deny that the South shouldn't have seceded. I'm saying it was legal for them to do so if they choose. The constituent assemblies that passed secession are the same ones which gave legal force to the Constitution in the first place.

  • No Name Guy||

    The conspirators were spoiling for a fight, mostly because the southern people were lukewarm at best in the deep south to the idea of secession, while the upper south didn't even consider it. Given time, the conspiracy would have fallen apart as the New England one did in the 1810s.

    Fort Sumter was a kind of Reichstag Fire for Jeff Davis. After that, every southerner rallied and the upper South left. Thats EXACTLY what they wanted, read their writings.

  • ||

    From the Southern perspective, the secession and the war to enforce that secession was about preserving slavery. No doubt about it.

    From the Northern perspective? That's a tad more complicated, especially considering there were four slave states fighting on the Union side, a fact forgotten by every wag who repeats the received wisdom that the Civil War was fought to end slavery.

  • ||

    Is that really all that different, setting aside the less admirable motives, than what the Sons of Liberty and the Mass. militia did by provoking hostilities with the British in the 1770s?

  • ||

    Lincoln "preserved the Union" the same way a wife-beater "saves his marriage".

  • ||

    Look at the character of the military during the 1860s and afterwards. Not only the slaughter of civilians during the war, but the treatment of the indians out west.

    1. Colonel Chivington and sand Creek. Chivington was a fanatical abolitionist. That did not stop him from butchering a couple of hundred southern cheyenne that november night in 1864.

    2. Geoge Armstrong Custer. The masacre of Black Kettle's village on the Washita in November of 1868.

  • No Name Guy||

    "Is that really all that different, setting aside the less admirable motives, than what the Sons of Liberty and the Mass. militia did by provoking hostilities with the British in the 1770s?"

    Its totally different. The British government did things like disband colonial assemblies and ban colonial constitutions.

    If the North had done that to the South in the 1860 (disband state governments and institute military occupation) you might have a point.

  • ||

    Andy,

    It's not their military and political tactics that people criticize them for.

    It was their motives.

    And, once again, "they" is best understood as "a group of Americans."

    Every single death in the Civil War was an American death. We fought ourselves over our slavery issue.

  • ||

    The better historical question I think is whether we should have gotten into WWI.

  • ||

    Churchill criticized Chamberlain for guaranteeing
    the territorial integrity of Poland.

  • ||

    liberty mike,

    War is dehumanizing like that.

    When you choose to go to war, you are choosing to turn your young men into that.

    Even if you don't care about the other guys, you are choosing to have thousands of your blue-eyed boys come home like that.

    And the Confederates chose that for themselves just as plainly as the Unionists.

  • No Name Guy||

    "The better historical question I think is whether we should have gotten into WWI."

    Agreed. I'm a total unrepentant non-interventionist when it comes to that unholy war.

  • ||

    Speaking of Custer-

    The day after tomorrow is one of my favorite days of the year.

  • ||

    NNG- That is exactly what the US did during the war. And even before the war, Lincoln was suppressing state legislatures and assemblies in Maryland.

    Secession was legally justified on the basis that it was being done by the same assemblies that had given legal authority to the Constitution in the first place.

  • ||

    Joe-

    No they did not. The confederate army did not engage in the systematic rape and murder of Northern civilians as did the union army with the south. Period.

  • ||

    If the west had been neutral, Hitler would have defeated Stalin (they came damn close even with the participation of the west) and we would have REALLY been screwed.

    Oh I think Pat would've really liked a late 20th century run by Nazis. It would be so homey for him.

    In foreign policy, Buchannan is pretty solid in comparison to the crew running Washington.

    In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king?

    It's hard not to take Buchanan seriously.

    Really? I've met ex-IRA'ers who had less contempt for the English then Pissant Pat.

    Hitler really did not want to go to war with Britain.

    I read it on the Internet so it must be true.

    I am no expert on Sir Winston, but I do think it is fair to conclude that he was a statist who thirsted for power and who was no friend of liberty.

    Or, in less words, you're ignorant and opinionated.

  • ||

    You're not really posting coherent counter-arguments, juris.

  • No Name Guy||

    Andy, remind me when the federal government (before secession, not after) declared the Constitution of South Carolina null and void and marched troops into Charleston Harbor to declare martial law.

    Thats what the British did in Boston and Mass--years before war broke out.

    The actions you are talking about in Maryland occoured AFTER the secession crisis. There would have been none of that had the southern fire-eaters accepted the (entirely fair and constitutional) results of the 1860 election.

    For God's sake, man, SC left before Lincoln was even sworn in!

  • ||

    Mussolini, Hitler, and Franco all identified their movements with the Right.
    Joe

    They identified their position as opposed to the old classical liberal order--i.e. for statism, against individualism.

    That they were to the "right" of the other totalitarian statism, INTERNATIONAL SOCIALISM, is less important than that they were "below" the line of liberty, in the authoritarian quadrant.

    This is why protectionists like Nader and Buchanon agree on the need for trade barriers, but for somewhat different reasons. If the right and left were on a single straight line you would expect them to disagree on the issue.

    Same as the FemiNazis and the fundamentalist Christians who agree on the war on porn. Same issue, for different reasons.

    The Nazis considered those of different races to be subhuman. the Communists, those of different classes. Same general opinion of human inequality, different targets of hate.

  • No Name Guy||

    "No they did not. The confederate army did not engage in the systematic rape and murder of Northern civilians as did the union army with the south."

    Pennsylvania, Kentucky, and Maryland would like a word with you. They did just that, though because their army was so much smaller and less well armed they couldn't do it on the scale of the Northerners.

    Had they been able to March on NYC or Boston, it would have been brutal. Just as brutal as when the yankees made it to Atlanta and Richmond. There was a lot of hatred to go around.

  • ||

    Darn, forgot the !

  • ||

    liberty mike,

    The confederate army did not engage in the systematic rape and murder of Northern civilians as did the union army with the south. Period. No, they just massacred black prisoners and ran Andersonville. Oh, and veterans like Jesse James were clearly so morally elevated by their experience.

    Get away from me with your freaky Confederate romantic war fetish.

  • ||

    Since the South nearly seceeded under the leadership of Calhoun when the President of the US was a Southern slaveholder, I would think that tariffs were the main reason for the war to prevent southern secession. Other reasons would be the fact that only 8% of Southerners owned slaves. Lincoln promised to leave slavery alone but insisted on raising tariffs, etc.

  • No Name Guy||

    BTW I hate the demonization of the Southern people some folks engage in when discussing the War. The vast majority of Southerners were duped by a minority of their elites into their own destruction. It wasn't their fault.

  • ||

    libertree,

    Your "liberty/authoritarian" line is not the same as the left/right line.

    No one is questioning that the Nazis were authoritarians, but some fools have argued that they were left-authoritarians.

    The left-anarchists who Franco crushed with Hitler and Mussolini's help certainly didn't see things that way. Neither did the fascists themselves.

  • ||

    Like the fascists, if you ignore what the Confederates did and said about their motives and beliefs, you can convince yourself of all sorts of convenient things.

  • No Name Guy||

    Liberty Mike, understand that the people of the South never really agreed to secession before Fort Sumter. It was a minority of slave holding elites that did. Secession was never put to a popular vote, even in the deep South, nor approved by any of the regular legislatures.

    Instead special Secession Conventions were elected in extremely questionable circumstances, ones that over-represented the fire eaters while under-representing the moderate Unionists.

  • Guy Montag||

    Wait, is this Bizarro afternoon for reason? Bordering on advocation of military intervention by parties long before their Capitol cities were obliterated?

    Say it isn't so! I like the old reason, the one I could debate with. Bring back the quagmire of Normandy please!

  • with friends like these...||

    BTW I hate the demonization of the Southern people some folks engage in when discussing the War. The vast majority of Southerners were duped by a minority of their elites into their own destruction. It wasn't their fault.

    Translation: The southern people weren't evil; they were just stupid hicks. It's not their fault they're bumpkins.

  • ||

    The Confederates could be just as evil in war under the conditions extant, as Joe has pointed out.

    Also, they had entirely the wrong strategy in several ways. New Orleans and Vicksburg were geographically more important than Richmond, but they put most of their resources into Lee's army of Northern Virginia. Like the Nazis, they hoped that brilliant generals utilizing brilliant tactics would prevail over the Northern juggernaught. Not the best strategy.

    They also pissed off their best ally, England, by hoarding their gold and refusing to pay potential blockade runners in specie, but in nearly worthless Confederate notes. Needless to say, not to many risked their lives for that payoff.

    They might have been better off letting the North have Richmond and fighting a mostly guerrilla war of attrition. But, since they wanted to be a "nation state" respected by Europe, that strategy did not prevail.

  • No Name Guy||

    "Translation: The southern people weren't evil; they were just stupid hicks. It's not their fault they're bumpkins."

    No, thats not what I'm saying, but thanks for reading into it.

    I'm saying anyone will defend their home when being confronted with an invading army, especially if the only information they can get is from propaganda.

  • No Name Guy||

    In fact, the people in the "redneck" areas of the CSA were the ones who chose the Union's side.

  • ||

    NO Name Guy-

    9:04 post-

    You are right that the issue of secession was not put to a popular vote. Neither was the revolutionary war. I have also read that there were some shenanigans with respect to the southern conventions. No argument.

    However, I think that we should look at all of the evidence and not close our minds to points of view antithetical to the prevailing propaganda or what was "taught' in the government schools.

    I have no problem in disclosing that we should not deify a guy like Lincoln. But that doesn't mean that I'm down with the slaveholders or think that they were benevolent masters and that history has been unkind to them. Hey, I am a pain in the ass, over the top libertarian-how could I ever excuse the southern states for being the first to enact gun control laws? The object of the laws? Keep black folks from acquiring guns. Many southern states enacted laws prohibiting the publication and dissemination of abolitionist panphlets and books. Many people went to jail for breaking these laws. Some paid with their lives. Not the stuff I champion.

  • ||

    So "consent of the governed" is meaningless?

  • No Name Guy||

    LM-

    The Patriot movement in the colonies--especially in New England and the South--was very popular. Less so in the Middle Colonies, but still more widely supported than southern secession in 1860. Also, the regular legislatures (meeting out of session) were the ones who formed the Continental Congress, not staged secession conventions.

    Again, I say that the British had violated--repeatedly--the compact between her and her colonies in a way the federal government in November 1860 never even came close to doing.

    Andy Craig--

    Consent of the governed is very important. That was why it was essential that the South accept the election results of 1860--elections that were 100% legal and Constitutional--, instead of throwing an illegal temper tantrum.

  • No Name Guy||

    FWIW I went to private schools, so don't try the "government propaganda" stuff.

  • ||

    Joe-

    It is not me who is ignoring the evils which men do and have done. You seem reluctant to acknowledge what awful things were done on Lincoln's oders and/or under his watch.

  • No Name Guy||

    Liberty Mike--

    Choosing a side in a war means choosing the lesser of two evils.

    The question is, were the excesses of Lincoln--which were real--more evil than 1) the destruction of the United States, and 2) the triumph of the slave holders in the South?

  • ||

    NNG-

    Secession was legal regardless of their deplorable motives. And half the South seceded because they didn't want to fight a war to enforce a government on people who didn't want it.

  • ||

    NNG-

    The secession conventions weren't based on the legal underpinnings of the original Continental Congress, they were based on the conventions that ratified the US Constitution.

  • No Name Guy||

    And I tell you that, before Fort Sumter, a very tiny, TINY minority of elites in the deep south engineered a secession crisis. They had been planning it since the early 1850s. In Buchanan's administration his own cabinet was full of them, and they were siphoning off money and arms to the deep south in preparation.

    Before Sumter, the white people of the south (to say nothing of the slaves) wanted the Union.

  • zoltan||

    The South did participate in systematic rape and torture...of slaves.

  • ||

    No Name Guy-

    No offense intended. The public school comment was not directed at you.

    Curious. In your united states history class(es), did the teacher/textbook cover the construction of the trans continental railroads? Was there any coverage given to James J. Hill's building of the Great Northern Pacific RR?

  • ||

    You're not really posting coherent counter-arguments, juris.

    Sorry, it's one of those Mondays (and topics) where all I've got is snark.

    I'd say "sue me", but some asshole surely would.

  • No Name Guy||

    LM, yes, and there were many other tensions between the North and South BESIDES slavery. That I don't deny.

    Its just that slavery was the issue that failed to be resolved through consensus and compromise (as other issues had been), largely because slavery is such a deep, moral issue its difficult to compromise on.

    All the slave holders had to do was accept that slavery could not be permanent and must be put on the road to abolition at some future date. The crisis would have been averted. But even that was too extreme for them.

  • ||

    I see. So, you're saying the Civil War was caused by a cabal of prominent Southerners.

    I bet the Freemasons were in on it, too.

  • ||

    The vast majority of Southerners were duped by a minority of their elites into their own destruction. It wasn't their fault.

    Jaysus Keerist. Dupes get duped - that's how you know they are dupes. Some of my ancestry fought for the Confederacy (and some for the Union) and they weren't slave-owners. But they sure as hell were STUPID.

  • No Name Guy||

    Uh, thats exactly what happened Andy. And they were quite open about it, and its clearly demonstrable, written about by prominent scholars and historians for decades. Its not like I'm saying the CIA assassinated Kennedy or some nutjob thing like that.

  • No Name Guy||

    This multi volume book is your best friend if you don't believe me. Its the seminal work on the Civil War. Chapters and chapters of evidence for what I just said to you. Secession wasn't some spur of the moment idea, it was in the making for years.

  • SIV||

    Mussolini, Hitler, and Franco all identified their movements with the Right.


    So they were the "Right" just as much as those totalitarian Communist satellite countries were "Democratic Republics" (as they identified themselves).

  • No Name Guy||

    SIV, do you favor gun rights? How about free trade?

  • SIV||

    Where did that come from?

    Of course, I'm a "gun rights" and free trade absolutist.

  • No Name Guy||

    Cool, so am I.

    Do you know who else favored both those things? Karl Marx.

    Clearly, we're Marxists.

    (The following has been an exercise in the Jonah Goldberg "school" of intellectual thought.)

  • SIV||

    The fact that Euro-fascists were collectivists who ran anti-soviet socialist States is not dependent on Jonah Goldberg's reasoning.

  • No Name Guy||

    SIV, it pretty much is because thats the only kind of "reasoning" that can say Fascism is a lfet wing movement.

    As you can see, I can use the same reasoning and turn us into left wing Marxists.

    Its a horribly dangerous illusion to believe being on the Right wing makes ones ideology immune from falling into totalitarianism, but you're free to believe it if it makes you feel better.

  • SIV||

    Funny how those fascists didn't become Right Wing in the eyes of leftists until Hitler broke with Stalin.

    Left and right can be essentially reduced to a battle of collectivism vs individualism.
    Fascists were collectivists.

    There is a profound difference between the American and European Right. There have been totalitarian right wing States in other parts of the world, the only thing they shared with the "leftist" Euro-Fascists was anti-communism.

  • MJ||

    Is Buchanan also arguing that the only over the top evil thing the Hitler's Nazis did was the Holocuast? Everything else was...acceptable?

  • MJ||

    "If Lincoln thought allowing secession was so damaging it required military suppression, he should have gone to Congress for a Declaration of War against the CSA."

    An official declaration of war against the CSA would have been an admission that the Confederacy was a legitimate nation. That would have conceded the major issue of the Civil War from the start and been a terrible diplomatic blunder.

  • ||

    "Funny how those fascists didn't become Right Wing in the eyes of leftists until Hitler broke with Stalin."

    I'm pretty sure they became Right Wing when Mussolini defined the term.

  • ||

    "Left Wing" and "Right Wing" are false distinctions invented by statists to facilitate their own power grabs. The core philosophy of both wings rejects the primacy of the individual.

  • Nash||

    "Is Buchanan also arguing that the only over the top evil thing the Hitler's Nazis did was the Holocuast? Everything else was...acceptable?"

    Well in the (distorted) view of Hitler he was just taking back lands that otherwise already belonged to Germany and were taken away in WWI.

    That being said Buchanan is probably right: Without western intervention Germany only goes east and goes back and forth with Stalin over who rules the later bloc states.

    Murdering Jews? That happens either way but let's not kid ourselves the war had nothing to do with that.

    I realize it's really big for Reason to pile on Buchanan here to once again assure us they hate Lew Rockwell and anyone who associates with him but give it a rest already, Buchanan knows his history 90% of his book is accurate.

  • Kolohe||

    Wow, was today a holiday I missed? You generally don't get WW2/Civil War flamewars until the weekend.

  • This Statement Is 90% Accurate||

    90% of his book is accurate.

    There are all kinds of terrible things happening in the world, hunger and death and wars, untold suffering and privation and humiliation for people of many different races and nations, all Jews' fault.

  • ||

    "Today I will be once more a prophet: if the international Jewish financiers in and outside Europe should succeed in plunging the nations once more into a world war, then the result will not be the Bolshevizing of the earth, and thus the victory of Jewry, but the annihilation of the Jewish race in Europe!"

    That seems to back Buchanan's point, not yours -- if the West enters the war, Hitler will blame the Jews, and they will pay.

    As for Ilya's idea that Buchanan is just upset because the Holocaust didn't finish, that is nothing but a stupid, disgusting smear.

  • ||

    "Buchanan knows his history 90% of his book is accurate."

    I suppose that is true in that he got the dates right. But when the 10% you get wrong is anti-Semitic blame America claptrap, the 90% doesn't mean too much.

    I am embarrassed to admit that back during the Reagan era, I actually didn't mind Buchanan. His book "Right from the Beginning" is actually pretty good. It is also very much Reaganite and internationalists. At the time people accused Buchanan of being an anti-Semite. William F. Buckley flat out called him one. I always gave him the benefit of the doubt. Sad to say I was wrong. Buchanan just hates Jews. All of his books in the last 15 years have been an exercise in how those pesky Jews always get the US into trouble.

    At some level I think Buchanan saw too many war movies. He just can't bring himself to believe that the Nazis were pure evil. The Nazis present Buchanan with the same problem that the Islamist present multi-culturalists. Many western liberals just can't fully admit the evils of Islamists because the Islamists are from oppressed societies and hate many of the things liberals hate. To the hard left someone who is from a third world country and fighting for national liberation from the West just can't be all bad. For Buchanan, someone who hates Jews and communists just can't be all bad. In his twisted mind whatever excesses the Nazis went to must have been because the evil Roosevelt and Churchill drove them to it. He is just an awful human being and people need to stop paying attention to him.

  • ||

    "That seems to back Buchanan's point, not yours -- if the West enters the war, Hitler will blame the Jews, and they will pay."


    Yeah because if Hitler had won the war and dominated Europe, he would have been gracious to the Jews. Hitler said he was going to eliminate the Jews in Europe. He said so his entire political career. He was nothing if not honest and persistent in that goal. To think that the US entering the war somehow caused him to blame the Jews and dream up the holocaust is pure bunk.

  • ||

    "And WW2 was Churchill and Chamberlain's decision, not Hitler's. Hitler really did not want to go to war with Britain quite so soon."

    Fixed. Hitler intended the Third Reich to rule the entire world. He just wanted to take on his enemies one at a time, and not have to fight a two front war. The Nazis had specified which Germans would administer which parts of America once that invasion was completed, as was noted in the recent PBS documentary on WWII.

  • jkp||

    Nice post, Michael.

    But Victor Hanson, alas, already beat you to the punch. And even got a nasty response from Pat Buchanan in the meantime.

    http://www.victorhanson.com/articles/hanson061608.html

  • No Name Guy||

    Nobody makes me defend Buchanan faster--who I otherwise often disagree with--than Victor Davis "Forever War" Hanson. The guy is a tool and a wannabe soldier. Its best not to take foreign policy advice from California grape farmers-cum-hack journalists.

  • ||

    But Victor Hanson, alas, already beat you to the punch. And even got a nasty response from Pat Buchanan in the meantime.



    Hard to say who is more despicable.

  • ||

    LOL, those guys totally crack me up.

    JT
    http://www.FireMe.to/udi

  • ||

    Buchanan's thesis is simply another case of the post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy. A better argument, and maybe even a correct one, is that if the U.S. hadn't entered the First World War, all of that nasty business with the Nazis and the Soviet Union might not have happened. Who knows?

    Frankly, I blame Hitler and all of the Nazis who decided that mass murder was a good idea. Not Americans fighting a global threat (and, of course, we didn't start it).

  • ||

    Beyond the absurdity of implicitly blaming Churchill for the Holocaust-because that is what he is really saying when he writes "no war, no Holocaust"

    No, that is not what he is "really saying." A detective is not blaming the murdered when looking for motive.

  • ||

    liberty mike,

    You seem reluctant to acknowledge what awful things were done on Lincoln's oders and/or under his watch.

    I defy you to produce a single quote from me to back that up.

    SIV,

    So they were the "Right" just as much as those totalitarian Communist satellite countries were "Democratic Republics" (as they identified themselves).

    Actually, just the opposite. The window dressing of the fascists went in exactly the opposite direction. The National Socialist Germans Workers Party was the full name of the Nazis, yet they preached an extreme right ideology and denounced the left. Just as those Eastern European countries called themselves "Democratic Republics," while preaching and extreme left ideology and denouncing liberal democracy.

    Funny how those fascists didn't become Right Wing in the eyes of leftists until Hitler broke with Stalin. Uh, yeah, that union of liberals, socialists, communists, and anarchists that fought against the Franco/Mussolini/Hitler alliance never thought of their enemies as the Right. Lols.

  • ||

    John, I figured Buchanan out in the 1992 election, when he kept using the line "Congress is Zionist Occupied territory."

    This was the militia-movement 90s, when the far-right was full bile about the Zionist Occupation Government (ZOG) that supposedly ran the country.

    Dog whistle politics. I'll bet we see someone reply by insisting that there is a perfectly innocent way to interpret that comment if you're willing to twist yourself into a pretzel, and oh by the way, there really are a lot of Jews in the government, "just saying."

  • No Name Guy||

    SIV if you don't think theres a totalitarian strand on the American right, again you are delusional. It happens on all sides of the political spectrum, in all countries.

  • No Name Guy||

    Er, if you don't think there can be a totalitarian strain is what I meant to say.

  • ||

    "John, I figured Buchanan out in the 1992 election, when he kept using the line "Congress is Zionist Occupied territory."

    So did I.

  • John||

    Oh, just when I thought that Pat Buchanan had become a sensible, mainstream pundit; he goes to his old bag of tricks. I guess some never learn.

  • ||

    NNG: Tell me where in the Constitution secession is permitted. Why would the Constitution contain a clause relating to "internal rebellion" were it legal?

    Southern States had to be re-admitted to the Union. It seems to me that any discussion of whether secession was permitted or not is moot.

    Rumor has it that Texas had a secession clause in its constitution when it was admitted to the Union.

  • ||

    Oh, just when I thought that Pat Buchanan had become a sensible, mainstream pundit; he goes to his old bag of tricks.

    He's a perfectly good pundit, as long as the subject doesn't involve Jews, Mexicans, or black people.

  • ||

    Joe-

    Okay. Here is your chance to denounce the rape and murder of tens of thousands of civilians perpetrated by the union army. It is also your chance to denounce the massacres of thousands of indians by our military.

    Funny that some of the same military men who conducted the campaigns to murder southern civilians did the same to the indians.

  • ||

    Joe-

    Some of us will never buy the propoganda that Dishonest Abe is a god. Some of us do not want to be part of the Lincoln cult.

    THere are some people who will continue to worship this creep no matter what evidence is presented to them. Do you have to be reminded that this guy DID NOT CARE A WHIT ABOUT FREEING THE SLAVES.

    Joe, you must know that Lincoln supported Illinois' black codes. Illinois, like other northern states, enacted legislation (do you think that judges should have respected and defered to such legislation?) aimed at keeping blacks out of their state.

    Lincoln was also a white supremacist. You must know that he was an outspoken proponent of "colonization"-shipping blacks back to Africa.

  • ||

    liberty mike,

    I am not going to single out one side for condemnation and not the other, no matter how good it would make you feel. Rape and murder are always wrong, even during wartime. Wrong when done by the United States Army, wrong when done by those waging war on the United States.

    Now stop harrassing me with your creepy Confederate fetish.

  • PC||

    History is written and interpreted by the same cut of individual that gives us our nightly news. Conventional "wisdom" is what it is supposed to be.

    While I might or might not agree with much of Buchanan's historical analysis, his ability at analyzing the future and present is much better than those who tout the conventional "wisdom" on the past, present, and future. Many of the same people who have been wrong about the future and past, whether intentionally or not intentionally, are the ones that criticize him on his past analysis, using the same conventional "wisdom".

  • No Name Guy||

    "Southern States had to be re-admitted to the Union. It seems to me that any discussion of whether secession was permitted or not is moot."

    Strangely, the confederates disagreed with this after the war. They believed they should be treated as though they never left! Something Lincoln agreed with. I take that position, too. There should have been no "readmission". The South never left, it was merely in a state of internal rebellion.

  • No Name Guy||

    Buchanan has been very prescient about foreign policy for the last decade.

    Now, his protectionism and hysteria about latinos (and Jews) is mis-placed to say the least.

  • No Name Guy||

    The Texas secession clause is an urban legend, BTW. There is no such thing.

  • economist||

    I'm inclined to assume that Buchanan is just trying to score points against Churchill, given Buchanan's own personal dislike of the Jews. I would argue that whenever Buchanan is right, it is by accident and for the wrong reasons.

  • economist||

    joe,
    The National Socialist German Workers' Party was only rightwing if you assume the racism and anti-semitism are unique ideas to the right. The nationalization of major industries, price and wage controls, and micromanagement of the economy are generally not associated with the right. In fact, IN Great Britain and the United States, they were more strongly associated with the left.

  • No Name Guy||

    Economist-

    Militarism, racism, anti-semitism, extreme nationalism, anti-modernism, and close cooperation of government and business/industry are ideas associated with the totalitarian right.

    The totalitarian left believes in internationalism, class warfare, extreme atheism and anti-religion, extreme hostility to tradition, the total takeover of business and industry by government, and the supremacy of the "working class".

    They are very different modes of thought, though both will share superficial similarities since they are both totalitarian.

  • No Name Guy||

    Economic planning is not necssarily left wing.

    If its done with the goal of enriching business and corporations through government subsidization (particularly those involving the military) , its very much right wing.

  • ||

    The Texas secession clause is an urban legend, BTW. There is no such thing.

    I checked Snopes. I thought that was good enough for blog-work.

  • ||

    economist,

    The nationalization of major industries, price and wage controls, and micromanagement of the economy are generally not associated with the right.

    The Nazis didn't nationalize major industries - they were left in private hands, and the owners made immense profits during the Nazis' rule. Italy, Germany, and Spain had corporatist economic systems under the fascists, not socialist ones.

    But, that aside, those things were associated with some varieties of the Right, at that time in history, mainly as pragmatic measures to make the trains run on time and to undercut the appeal of the socialists.

    Economics in all of the European fascist countries was never a prominent part of their program, compared to nationalim, militarism, heirarchy, biological determinism/racism, and anti-leftism. The fascists had very strong ideological principles in these areas, in a way that they just never did in the area of economics.

  • ||

    Economic planning is not necssarily left wing.

    If its done with the goal of enriching business and corporations through government subsidization (particularly those involving the military) , its very much right wing.


    And if it is done merely as a pragmatic measure to feed a war machine, it is neither left nor right.

  • No Name Guy||

    Basically, left-wing economic planning is done in the name of expropriating the wealth of the capitalists and leveling society.

    Right-wing economic planning is done with the goal of enriching the capitalists and bribing them to be on the government's side.

    I think anyone can notice that has very different results.

  • ||

    No Name Guy,

    "Leveling society." Like leveling Dresden?

    The two parties simply are not that far apart in economics. Again, the rhetoric differs, but not the practice. And both parties have moneyed interests that they support. The fact that both engage in "planning" the economy shows how screwed up we are today. When we've added enough taxation and regulatory friction to our economy, let's not complain when numerous other countries displace us as the preeminent economic power.

  • ||

    Joe-

    See my post at 9:29 pm.

    It's called balance.

  • No Name Guy||

    Pro Liberate-

    I agree 100% with the sentiment that both parties are screwed up and try to plan the economy. Economic planning, of any kind, sucks and is a huge threat to peoples liberties.

    Neither the libertarian right nor the libertarian left (yes, partisan Republicans, such a thing exists) has much influence over the federal government today. Both parties are under the influence of vaguely centrist authoritarians.

  • ||

    Very well, we're all fucked. Just so we're clear on that point ☺

  • ||

    One needn't even accept that the economic planning of the fascists and communists are different in practice to consider it important to recognize that they come from different ideological roots.

    If totalitarianism is associated in one's mind with only one end of the spectrum, and not the other, than one is going to be less able to recognize incipient totalitarianism when it comes from the assumed-innocent side.

    Hey, those guys can't be totalitarian! They're anti-communist, loudly patriotic, and defend the right of wealthy industrialists to run their businesses without having to placate the unions!

  • No Name Guy||

    We are, until the mass of people realize it.

    Its pretty damn depressing when former Soviet Republics, who were just 17 years ago under the yoke of Communism, have a flat tax and we don't.

  • ||

    If we renamed it the Well-Endowed Tax, it would pass. Americans prefer their taxes busty, like their women.

  • ||

    The Nazis are gone and a third of European Jewry was exterminated, but the Central Bankers remain.

    I wish Pat would stop defending Hitler and say something against the Central Bankers. But then, I suppose they would cut off his book deals and wouldn't allow him on their TV shows anymore.

  • No Name Guy||

    "The Nazis are gone and a third of European Jewry was exterminated, but the Central Bankers remain. "

    Mostly because you can't have a modern economy without bankers. Sorry to inform you of that news.

  • tarran||

    No name guy,

    There's a difference between having banks and having a central bank. It's the difference between having a free market in shoes or having the government control all shoe production and distribution.

  • No Name Guy||

    Tarran, if we didn't have the Federal Reserve the private sector would invent an equivalent.

  • ||

    To economist --

    The Nazis did not nationalize basic industries. They kept them in private ownership and subjected them to directives from the war ministry. That's why they are classified as fascists rather than communists.

  • ||

    They kept them in private ownership and subjected them to directives from the war ministry.

    While also, it should be noted, giving those owners a great deal of input into the economic planning. Many of them held high level positions in the Nazi state.

  • MJ||

    "One needn't even accept that the economic planning of the fascists and communists are different in practice to consider it important to recognize that they come from different ideological roots."-joe

    Except communists and fascists do not come from different ideological roots, they come from the same root. The major difference is that those who became the fascists realized that the internationalist aspects of communism were a hard sell as were the complete state ownership of industry. The fascist type socialist deliberately marketed themselves as a moderate, pragmatic form of socialism. In that, they were to the right of the communists, but to the left of most everything else. They never disavowed socialism or the importance of the state controlling their nation's economy.

    "You hate me today because you love me still. Whatever happens, you won't lose me. Twelve years of my life in the party ought to be sufficient guarantee of my socialist faith. Socialism is in my blood. You think you can turn me out, but you will find I shall come back again. I am and shall remain a socialist and my convictions will never change! They are bred into my very bones."- Benito Mussolini

  • MJ||

    "While also, it should be noted, giving those owners a great deal of input into the economic planning. Many of them held high level positions in the Nazi state."-joe

    Many of the large health insurance providers were all in favor of the Clinton's health care plan for much the same reasons. That did not make the plan or the Clinton's of the right.

    Businessmen are not the most ideologically driven group of people. In general, they tend to be pragmatic and favor policies which assure their businesses security and profit. Hence all the rent seeking by big business.

  • economist||

    "They did not nationalize basic industries. They kept them in private ownership and subjected them to directives from the war ministry"
    Po- tay-toh
    po-tah-to

  • economist||

    joe 11:37am,
    My entire point was that being against the existence of labor unions, giving favors to businessman who play ball with the government and being loudly patriotic are not exclusively right-wing traits. Many on the American left in the two world wars believed labor unions and war protesters needed to be dealt with harshly. Woodrow Wilson (probably the president most infatuated with what would come to be known as fascist ideas) was a Progressive, and FDR was, well, FDR. Harry Truman, while being the first to propose a National Healthcare plan in the US also drafted striking union members and forced them to work in the factories. As a side note, Warren G. Harding a "right-wing" Republican, pardoned Eugene V. Debs, the socialist imprisoned by the Wilson administration for speaking out against US involvement in World War I. My point is that in its quest to attribute all things evil to the right, leftists regularly engage in cognitive dissonance over the less flattering incidents involving those who shared many of their ideas.

  • ||

    My point is that in its quest to attribute all things evil to the right, leftists regularly engage in cognitive dissonance over the less flattering incidents involving those who shared many of their ideas.

    I like to call it the "Ice Pick Syndrome"

    The best thing Stalin ever did was to kill off all the commies.

    This is all good for the libertarian minded....the statists tend to kill off their own before they ever really get to us....and a side effect is that it tends to undermine their support.

    I wonder how many bright minded commies starved to death after mao sent them all off to work on farms?

  • ||

    They did not nationalize basic industries. They kept them in private ownership and subjected them to directives from the war ministry

    Soooooo.....

    .....progressive left President FDR was a fascist?

    Sort of sucks to actually defend against the fact that Fascism is a leftist ideology....every defense ends up undermining your argument.

  • ||

    One needn't even accept that the economic planning of the fascists and communists are different in practice to consider it important to recognize that they come from different ideological roots.

    Does this mean that Paleolibertarians and Cosmolibertarians can never have children because they are completely different species?*


    *To get this joke you have to understand that the differences between Paleo and cosmo which both come from the same roots and are essentially the same ideology the only difference (which is minor and not a hard line but more of gradient) is that Cosmo's tend to be international in scope while Paleo's tend to be more nation centric.

    The irony being that the differences between the commies and the Nazi's are the exact same as the differences between the paleo's and the cosmo's and yet joe continues to hold up this lie that his ideology is not far closer to fascism then libertarianism or even conservatism is.

  • MJ||

    "If totalitarianism is associated in one's mind with only one end of the spectrum, and not the other, than one is going to be less able to recognize incipient totalitarianism when it comes from the assumed-innocent side."-joe

    In other words, fascism must be of the right so the left has something to morally bludgeon ideologues of the right with. Where fascism actually falls on the political spectrum is immaterial to that important concern.

    It also conveniently absolves leftists of thinking about how easily their idealization of the collective can be used to abuse people.

  • ||

    The fact is the left in US politics are not liberals and have nothing to do with liberalism and it is only a fluke of history that they carry its title.

    If one was intellectually honest (very unlike joe) they would have to say that conservatives in the US are far more Liberal in its ideology then the democrats and that its root are more steeped in the intellectual history of liberalism then the Democrats while the democrats share more with the commies and fascists then with liberalism.

    That being said libertarians are the only group that can honestly be called idiologicaly pure liberals.

  • ||

    While also, it should be noted, giving those owners a great deal of input into the economic planning. Many of them held high level positions in the Nazi state.

    SO a fascist will hire into the government people who are competent and experienced in their field to which they will be employed while the leftist will hire any idiot of the street....

    Wow, you know I was confused about how this whole fascism is not socialism thing but now i think i understand the huge gaping differences between the two....truly the differences are staggering now that you have made the distinction so clear.

    Socialists are incompetent brutal totalitarians with no regard for individual rights while fascists are competent brutal totalitarians with no regard for individual rights....perfectly clear now.

  • ||

    While also, it should be noted, giving those owners a great deal of input into the economic planning. Many of them held high level positions in the Nazi state.

    Oh wait i see the differnce now!!

    It is all clear...

    You see in order to gain power the Fascists had to have the boogie-man of Jews who corrupt the economy and are a distinct class of people who can be identified and punished and/or killed...

    while the left use the the boogie man of liberals who own things (again a distinct class) and therefor must be punished and/or killed.

    The fascists in joe's examples did not punish and or kill the liberals-who-one-things like a good socialist would and therefore are not socialists.

    It is all so clear now.

  • ||

    Both the colon and semicolon are dying. Michael C. Moynihan is abetting their murder. A perfect place for a plain colon, blown.

    But there is one issue I must take issue with; a claim made in both the book and repeated in his latest syndicated column.

    Damn you Moynihan

  • ||

    ---Don't buy into the 'isolationist/populist' Buchanan
    image ---it's a phoney.

    Fact is his
    views, in effect, very much fall in line with the cross our cross the boards sellout,
    fold down and suck up ---before history's --MOST-- awesomely genocidal
    regime -bar none! ----ACROSS the Pacific.

    He can't help buy lie about the facts and implications of that scene whenever he gets the chance.

    ABSOLUTELY TRUE ---check it out...

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online

  • Video Game Nation: How gaming is making America freer – and more fun.
  • Matt Welch: How the left turned against free speech.
  • Nothing Left to Cut? Congress can’t live within their means.
  • And much more.

SUBSCRIBE

advertisement