Thursday, May 29, 2014

History Book Stupidity

Logic is the art of going wrong with confidence ~ Joseph Wood Krutch (11/25/1893 to 5/22/1970) an American writer, critic, and naturalist.

This recent post from the blog of one Willis Hart concerning the American Civil War. See if (after reading to the end) you can identify the faulty logic.

Willis Hart: "On the American Civil War". It wasn't a civil war. A civil war is when two participants vie for the control of one government and one piece of territory. All that the American South wanted to do was leave and start a new government... (5/28/2014 AT 9:46pm).

Perhaps he has a point, but do not all the history books unequivocally state that the war between the Southern States and the Northern States was a CIVIL WAR? I'm pretty sure they do. In fact I'd bet my life on it (Note: See update below).

So, what Willis is saying is that ALL the history books are WRONG?

In other words...

Willis Hart: The history books are all wrong. There was no American "civil war" that began shortly after Abraham Lincoln assumed office. Willis Hart = Right. Every history book ever written = wrong.*

Hmm... As I recall Will said something different when I disputed his assertion that the Civil War was NOT fought over slavery...

Will Hart: [Dervish Sanders is] a total moron... Anybody who's taken as little as an introductory history course knows that slavery wasn't the predominant reason for Lincoln's actions or even the South's... (3/22/2014 AT 2:44pm).

So, what Will is saying here is that I would know he's right if only I had taken an introductory history course... which means that all the history books MUST agree with him. They ALL say the American Civil War (or "war of Northern aggression", or whatever you want to call it) was NOT fought over slavery.

So, in other words...

Willis Hart: The history books are all right, in that NONE of them say the Civil War was fought over slavery. Willis Hart = Right because every history book ever written agrees with him.*

So, I am dumb because I disagree with what the history books supposedly say (according to Mr. Hart) regarding what caused the Civil War, but Willis is smart for disagreeing with what the history books say about the war in which the South attempted to leave the union being a CIVIL war? I guess one thing can be said for certain about The Hartster's "logic", which is that he is quite confident that he is right.

Wrongly confident, in that the Civil War WAS fought over slavery, and that is what the history books say. I don't know what history books Willis is reading, but they aren't any written by the majority of historians who disagree with him, that's for sure (Civil War's Causes: Historians Largely United on Slavery, But Public Divided).

The public is divided because the "public" consists of a great many morons. The actual historians are NOT divided. An example of this tendency toward moron-like thinking is "logic" that says you can call someone a "total moron" for not agreeing with what you THINK the history books say, and then turn around and - in regards to the same fricking subject - say the history books are wrong.

I don't know about you, but this is the "logic" of a moron, in my strong opinion.

FYI, in regards to Willis' point, according to this online dictionary, a civil war is "a war between factions or regions of the same country". This definition says nothing about a civil war being when two participants vie for the control of one government and one piece of territory.

Perhaps the moron should have looked up the definition before he authored his moronic post.

*Note: Not an actual Willis Hart quote, simply my gathering of what he's saying given past commentaries and statements from his blog. Also, the first post quote is an excerpt and NOT the full commentary.

Video: the Young Turks Cenk Uygur says "Confederates were the ones who held the slaves [and it was slavery] that ripped the country apart and caused the civil war. ... On what planet, man? (was slavery NOT the primary cause)".

4/9/2016 Update: Regarding me saying above that "perhaps he has a point" concerning the Civil War not being a civil war, actually confirms that WTNPH is wrong. Because (as per the definition) a civil war is "a war between factions or regions of the same country". This definition says nothing about a civil war being when two participants vie for the control of one government and one piece of territory.

SWTD #256, wDel #62.


  1. All that the American South wanted to do was leave and start a new government... in which slavery was allowable forever.

    Confederate Vice President Alexander Stephens: Our new Government is founded upon the great truth that the Negro is not equal to the White man... Quote from his March 1861 Cornerstone Speech, which declared that African slavery was the "immediate cause" of secession.

  2. Will Hart is just recycling / repurposing the Southern rewrite of their stated Cause, which was Slavery.

  3. This is from South Carolina's Declaration of the Immediate Causes Which Induce and Justify the Secession of South Carolina from the Federal Union

    "The ends for which the Constitution was framed are declared by itself to be "to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity."

    These ends it endeavored to accomplish by a Federal Government, in which each State was recognized as an equal, and had separate control over its own institutions. The right of property in slaves was recognized by giving to free persons distinct political rights, by giving them the right to represent, and burthening them with direct taxes for three-fifths of their slaves; by authorizing the importation of slaves for twenty years; and by stipulating for the rendition of fugitives from labor.

    We affirm that these ends for which this Government was instituted have been defeated, and the Government itself has been made destructive of them by the action of the non-slaveholding States. Those States have assume the right of deciding upon the propriety of our domestic institutions; and have denied the rights of property established in fifteen of the States and recognized by the Constitution; they have denounced as sinful the institution of slavery; they have permitted open establishment among them of societies, whose avowed object is to disturb the peace and to eloign the property of the citizens of other States. They have encouraged and assisted thousands of our slaves to leave their homes; and those who remain, have been incited by emissaries, books and pictures to servile insurrection.

    For twenty-five years this agitation has been steadily increasing, until it has now secured to its aid the power of the common Government. Observing the forms of the Constitution, a sectional party has found within that Article establishing the Executive Department, the means of subverting the Constitution itself. A geographical line has been drawn across the Union, and all the States north of that line have united in the election of a man to the high office of President of the United States, whose opinions and purposes are hostile to slavery. He is to be entrusted with the administration of the common Government, because he has declared that that "Government cannot endure permanently half slave, half free," and that the public mind must rest in the belief that slavery is in the course of ultimate extinction."

  4. And S.Car. wasn't the only state to declare that interference with slavery was its main cause for secession.

    Here's Mississippi's opening to its Declaration of Secession:

    "A Declaration of the Immediate Causes which Induce and Justify the Secession of the State of Mississippi from the Federal Union.

    In the momentous step which our State has taken of dissolving its connection with the government of which we so long formed a part, it is but just that we should declare the prominent reasons which have induced our course.

    Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery-- the greatest material interest of the world. Its labor supplies the product which constitutes by far the largest and most important portions of commerce of the earth. These products are peculiar to the climate verging on the tropical regions, and by an imperious law of nature, none but the black race can bear exposure to the tropical sun.These products have become necessities of the world, and a blow at slavery is a blow at commerce and civilization. That blow has been long aimed at the institution, and was at the point of reaching its consummation. There was no choice left us but submission to the mandates of abolition, or a dissolution of the Union, whose principles had been subverted to work out our ruin.

    That we do not overstate the dangers to our institution, a reference to a few facts will sufficiently prove.

    The hostility to this institution commenced before the adoption of the Constitution, and was manifested in the well-known Ordinance of 1787, in regard to the Northwestern Territory."

    Can Will Hart come here and deny this history?

  5. From the Washington Post's 5 myths about the Civil War:

    1. The South seceded over states’ rights.

    Confederate states did claim the right to secede, but no state claimed to be seceding for that right. In fact, Confederates opposed states’ rights — that is, the right of Northern states not to support slavery.

    On Dec. 24, 1860, delegates at South Carolina’s secession convention adopted a “Declaration of the Immediate Causes Which Induce and Justify the Secession of South Carolina from the Federal Union.” It noted “an increasing hostility on the part of the non-slaveholding States to the institution of slavery” and protested that Northern states had failed to “fulfill their constitutional obligations” by interfering with the return of fugitive slaves to bondage. Slavery, not states’ rights, birthed the Civil War.

    The other 4 myths that Will Hart is pushing HERE.


Comment moderation has temporarily been suspended. Although I may be forced to reinstate it if the trolls take advantage.