Was it worth it?
By David Ware
The Yankee takes delight in celebrating the War to Prevent Southern Independence as the time when the slaves were set free, yet his defense of freedom takes a dive when it comes to extending freedom to Southerners to establish their own country and to the establishment of martial law in the South during reconstruction..
In this month’s (Sept-Oct 2010) Confederate Veteran magazine, there is a wonderful article about slavery by Don Livingstone. Hopefully, all of you will read it. Also, Compatriot Bill Vallante has written a rather compelling article much about the same situation available here:
It seems to me that there is another less explored aspect of the idea that this war was all about slavery. As this time period is discussed in the coming months and years, as we commemorate the sesquicentennial, we will not be given equal time to state our case. Instead, we will be shouted over and shouted down in the style of a Fox news or CNN debate. For the ten or so seconds we might get, our response might well be: “Then, was it worth it?”
An affirmative reply to the question would imply, at least the idea that the killing, burning, looting and destruction of our region was necessary and just. That all those that died and were wounded, on both sides, had to endure this ordeal to resolve the issue of slavery. That the issuance of statehood to West Virginia, the period of Reconstruction which followed, including the unconstitutional adoption of the 14th Amendment was all necessary and “worth it.”
At a deeper level, the idea that it was “worth it” would imply that the “ends justify the means.” The is one of the most vile and corrupt principles fostered on the civilized world. If the cause can be marketed as just, then any means to achieve it, is also just. Just causes include: making the world safe for democracy, weapons of mass destruction, possession of nuclear weapons, getting rid of unfavorable rulers (others, not those of the United States unfortunately), diversity, health, education, defense, old age, retirement, the environment, energy, oil rights, human rights, civil rights, woman’s rights, general welfare, wealth redistribution , good nutrition, East Germany, the Soviet Union, Viet Nam, Korea, Iran, Iraq, Cuba, Haiti, Grenada, Philippines, war on drugs and so on.
A negative response would require that further examination be done to discern other possible remedies for what this war and all wars since, “accomplished.” It was also challenge the doctrine of the ends justify the means.
Sometimes the best questions are the shortest.