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[The Civil War], HOOH! What was it good for?

QinguQingu Registered User regular
edited March 2010 in Debate and/or Discourse
The American Civil War, (1861-1865) killed 600,000 soldiers and probably killed as many civilians. Much of the South was utterly destroyed, and arguably our economy was drained in the process of both the war and reconstruction.

John_Brown%2C_The_Martyr.jpg

Discuss: was it worth it?

I say: No. Maybe. (I am open to being convinced otherwise, anyway.)

The main argument for "yes," I think, is that slavery was a crime against humanity and the war freed about 4,000,000 slaves. However, they would remain an economic, political, and despised social underclass for more than a century and enjoyed few rights in practice until very recently. Also, I am not convinced that slavery could have survived for much more than a generation or so. At the time of the Civil War, it was already an antiquated economic and social system, barely able to compete with the industrialized north. I'm also convinced—maybe naively—that Southerners would eventually progress, and slavery would disappear ... without having to kill 1,000,000 people. I think this is the most basic area of disagreement, and it's the area I'm the least certain about, but what it boils down to, for me, is basic math: If someone offered you the choice of killing one person to free four slaves, would you do it? I don't think I could.

Another argument is that the war preserved the Union. I say, this was obviously not worth fighting a war over. The South remains a drain on both our economy and our political system. To this day, we are probably among the most divided first-world countries. If Texas of whoever wanted, or tried to, secede now, I sure as hell wouldn't stop them using force.

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    enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    The real problem as far as blacks remaining social underclass is with the Compromise of 1876, not the Civil War. Also Booth being an asshole, but mostly the Compromise of 1876.

    So, theoretically let's say the South secedes successfully without the Republican Congress and President giving a damn. This makes no sense, but whatever. The two new nations would obviously be economic rivals, and Americans being all Manifest Destiny-y, the Confederacy would seek a Pacific port. Two ways to get that: invade the US for New Mexico/Arizona/California or Mexico (potentially buy it from them when the US bought the Gasden Purchase). Similarly, Cuba was nearly purchased by the US before the Civil War, only to be rejected out of the fear of it being made into several slave states to take control of the Senate. So now we've got almost certainly expansionist rivals in North America and eventually the South would industrialize...

    This is not a good situation for when Europe inevitably explodes in the wars of German unification, the first World War, or the Second World War. Basically, a war between the Union and the Confederacy was inevitable. When it happened was probably one of the best possible historical accidents. Thirty years earlier when South Carolina almost started it the first time the Union didn't have a massive industrial advantage and twenty years later there may well have been approaching industrial parity.

    enlightenedbum on
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    AtomikaAtomika Live fast and get fucked or whatever Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Qingu wrote: »
    If Texas of whoever wanted, or tried to, secede now, I sure as hell wouldn't stop them using force.

    The secessionist movement in Texas gets brought up a lot because it's a thing, but in this particular context it's kind of dumb. Texas is responsible for much of the US's economic stability. It has the second highest GDP, the third highest population, the second highest land mass, far exceeds the fuel production of any of the contiguous 48, is one of the top national suppliers of natural resources, and has a State economy that would rank 13th among all global nations.

    However, in regards to the rest of the South? Yeah, let it go.

    Atomika on
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    enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Qingu wrote: »
    If Texas of whoever wanted, or tried to, secede now, I sure as hell wouldn't stop them using force.

    The secessionist movement in Texas gets brought up a lot because it's a thing, but in this particular context it's kind of dumb. Texas is responsible for much of the US's economic stability. It has the second highest GDP, the third highest population, the second highest land mass, far exceeds the fuel production of any of the contiguous 48, is one of the top national suppliers of natural resources, and has a State economy that would rank 13th among all global nations.

    However, in regards to the rest of the South? Yeah, let it go.

    They'd also be fucked without the institutional support of the federal government.

    enlightenedbum on
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    AtomikaAtomika Live fast and get fucked or whatever Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Qingu wrote: »
    If Texas of whoever wanted, or tried to, secede now, I sure as hell wouldn't stop them using force.

    The secessionist movement in Texas gets brought up a lot because it's a thing, but in this particular context it's kind of dumb. Texas is responsible for much of the US's economic stability. It has the second highest GDP, the third highest population, the second highest land mass, far exceeds the fuel production of any of the contiguous 48, is one of the top national suppliers of natural resources, and has a State economy that would rank 13th among all global nations.

    However, in regards to the rest of the South? Yeah, let it go.

    They'd also be fucked without the institutional support of the federal government.

    Eh, maybe. But they'd have a better shot at making it than most. They wouldn't immediately devolve into a third-world country, like the South likely would.

    Atomika on
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    MadnessBAMadnessBA Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Qingu wrote: »
    If Texas of whoever wanted, or tried to, secede now, I sure as hell wouldn't stop them using force.

    The secessionist movement in Texas gets brought up a lot because it's a thing, but in this particular context it's kind of dumb. Texas is responsible for much of the US's economic stability. It has the second highest GDP, the third highest population, the second highest land mass, far exceeds the fuel production of any of the contiguous 48, is one of the top national suppliers of natural resources, and has a State economy that would rank 13th among all global nations.

    However, in regards to the rest of the South? Yeah, let it go.

    I think it would be rather hard to let go of the south just from a millitary view point. Especially if Virginia is involved. The south probably has the most military bases out of any region of this country and moving all those troops, equipments and infrastructure would be rediculous.

    MadnessBA on
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    AtomikaAtomika Live fast and get fucked or whatever Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    MadnessBA wrote: »
    Qingu wrote: »
    If Texas of whoever wanted, or tried to, secede now, I sure as hell wouldn't stop them using force.

    The secessionist movement in Texas gets brought up a lot because it's a thing, but in this particular context it's kind of dumb. Texas is responsible for much of the US's economic stability. It has the second highest GDP, the third highest population, the second highest land mass, far exceeds the fuel production of any of the contiguous 48, is one of the top national suppliers of natural resources, and has a State economy that would rank 13th among all global nations.

    However, in regards to the rest of the South? Yeah, let it go.

    I think it would be rather hard to let go of the south just from a millitary view point. Especially if Virginia is involved. The south probably has the most military bases out of any region of this country and moving all those troops, equipments and infrastructure would be rediculous.

    More ridiculous than moving them thousands of miles overseas to places like Vietnam and Afghanistan?

    Atomika on
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    Element BrianElement Brian Peanut Butter Shill Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    It's really hard to make such a huge generalization of whether or not the civil war was worth it, because we don't know exactly what would have happened if they had seceded. It's quite possible that had we let it happen, there would have been an even greater war farther down the road, and on top of that it's possible the United States would not have been able to deal with both World War 1 and 2. The South at the time could have united with Germany during either great war ( the Germans had already shown support for them during the Civil War) and we would have an even greater war on our own land to deal with.

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    Ed321Ed321 Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    I'm way too tired to respond, but I really enjoyed Dangerous Nation by Robert Kagan, which devotes a chapter or so to the potential of an alliance between the Confederacy and South American slaveholding states.

    edit: but not too tired to correct spelling mistakes, heh

    If I get the time I'll try and find my copy of it tomorrow

    Ed321 on
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    QinguQingu Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    It's really hard to make such a huge generalization of whether or not the civil war was worth it, because we don't know exactly what would have happened if they had seceded. It's quite possible that had we let it happen, there would have been an even greater war farther down the road, and on top of that it's possible the United States would not have been able to deal with both World War 1 and 2. The South at the time could have united with Germany during either great war ( the Germans had already shown support for them during the Civil War) and we would have an even greater war on our own land to deal with.
    It is true, there is no telling what would happen just from history; hindsight is not 20/20.

    I guess a better perspective, to ask the question from is: if you were Abraham Lincoln and had only his knowledge at the time, would you have declared war or allowed secession? I would have allowed it.

    Qingu on
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    Robos A Go GoRobos A Go Go Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Qingu wrote: »
    I guess a better perspective, to ask the question from is: if you were Abraham Lincoln and had only his knowledge at the time, would you have declared war or allowed secession? I would have allowed it.

    On what basis? Most of your argument utilizes information that wouldn't have been available to Lincoln, like the fate of the former slaves after the Civil War (for generations to come) and the final death toll. After removing those, you're essentially left with the question of whether or not it's permissible to kill defenders of slavery in order to free slaves at least one generation before they otherwise would have been freed. Is that it?

    If so, maybe you should just ask when, if ever, it's permissible to kill.

    Robos A Go Go on
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    RobmanRobman Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Wasn't this a Harry Turtledove book or something? I can't quite remember any details from his books, because old men with big beards writing graphic sex scenes creep me the fuck out.

    Robman on
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    Ed321Ed321 Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Robman wrote: »
    Wasn't this a Harry Turtledove book or something? I can't quite remember any details from his books, because old men with big beards writing graphic sex scenes creep me the fuck out.

    Not an Alan Moore fan then. :P

    Ed321 on
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    Kipling217Kipling217 Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    God, please let not this thread be derailed by the works of Harry Turtledove! The man is a complete hack of dubious scholarship and pox upon the genre Alternate history.

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    RobmanRobman Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Why bother with alternate histories when the real history is so fascinating and opaque as it is?

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    Ed321Ed321 Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    I dunno, I quite like alternative history stories.

    Ed321 on
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    OptimusZedOptimusZed Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Morally it was worth it to end a slave economy that would have stayed that way for decades if not centuries out of pure inertia.

    Is my life specifically better due to the North having fought the Civil War? I highly doubt it is. But then, I have a hard time weighing my own situation against the human rights of millions of African Americans who might still be slaves if it hadn't been done and really caring about my own wellbeing in the face of that.

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    Kipling217Kipling217 Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Ed321 wrote: »
    I dunno, I quite like alternative history stories.

    Nothing wrong with that, I do so meself on occasion.

    Liking that Harry Turtledove fella? Thems fighting words for which somebody's got to bleed! And I ain't gonna be me!

    /pathetic southern accent off

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    enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Robman wrote: »
    Wasn't this a Harry Turtledove book or something? I can't quite remember any details from his books, because old men with big beards writing graphic sex scenes creep me the fuck out.

    His alt history was the South won, after which he decided to fight the exact same wars Europe fought but only in North America because that's fascinating! He even named the sneak attack Blackbeard or something instead of Barbarossa. Ugh.

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    Solomaxwell6Solomaxwell6 Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    It's really hard to make such a huge generalization of whether or not the civil war was worth it, because we don't know exactly what would have happened if they had seceded. It's quite possible that had we let it happen, there would have been an even greater war farther down the road, and on top of that it's possible the United States would not have been able to deal with both World War 1 and 2. The South at the time could have united with Germany during either great war ( the Germans had already shown support for them during the Civil War) and we would have an even greater war on our own land to deal with.

    Eh. I think, given time, a US/CS war would've actually become even easier. The CS lacked a strong economic system to attract investors. This means their already shitty industrial capabilities. The US was just about to move into the Industrial Revolution. The South's main hope was foreign investment; France and Britain were both kind of friendly to the South (as a counter balance to growing US power), but slavery kept them from really doing much. The CS would absolutely need to remove slavery if it wants to advance. But, of course, if it does that, you're going to see states like South Carolina and Alabama (if not more) get royally pissed and drift away, leading to an even weaker base for economic gain. A WWI with a Central Powers South would lead to Northern armor and well equipped infantry hordes crushing the poorly equipped and less numerous southern army. Or even an Entente South (which would be marginally better prepared). They might even be allies in WWI. Difficult to say how the chips would fall, since both sides' biggest allies were Entente members (Russia for the US, France and Britain for the CS).

    Honestly, I think that a separate south would lead into it becoming a banana republic over the 70s and 80s.

    Solomaxwell6 on
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    Kipling217Kipling217 Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Robman wrote: »
    Wasn't this a Harry Turtledove book or something? I can't quite remember any details from his books, because old men with big beards writing graphic sex scenes creep me the fuck out.

    His alt history was the South won, after which he decided to fight the exact same wars Europe fought but only in North America because that's fascinating! He even named the sneak attack Blackbeard or something instead of Barbarossa. Ugh.

    Or how about the alt history where the Nazis won and 50 years later they enact the fall of the Soviet Union? Complete with Yeltsin and Gorbachev analogs?

    No, No, No. I am sorry, I will not mention him again. Its not alt history when you just change the names.

    Kipling217 on
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    Jealous DevaJealous Deva Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Robman wrote: »
    Wasn't this a Harry Turtledove book or something? I can't quite remember any details from his books, because old men with big beards writing graphic sex scenes creep me the fuck out.

    This was a whole series of Harry Turtledove books, and though I've only read the first one (due to a massive case of TLDR), his timeline doesn't really seem implausible.

    Basically being that the US and South have a war in 1880 or so over northern mexico (won in a minor victory by the south with the assistance of the UK), the US and CSA fight in WWI (with the US on the German side, which won), and from there it pretty much becomes ersatz WW2 with the US being the UK, Germany being the US and CSA being Germany.

    Edit: But yeah, it did pretty much just make the history of Europe into the history of North America with the settings changed.

    Jealous Deva on
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    Solomaxwell6Solomaxwell6 Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Robman wrote: »
    Wasn't this a Harry Turtledove book or something? I can't quite remember any details from his books, because old men with big beards writing graphic sex scenes creep me the fuck out.

    His alt history was the South won, after which he decided to fight the exact same wars Europe fought but only in North America because that's fascinating! He even named the sneak attack Blackbeard or something instead of Barbarossa. Ugh.

    Yeah. And it was launched on the very same day as Barbarossa. They kind of fuse the Eastern and Western fronts in the beginning (blitzkrieg on the Midwest = France, but the Battle of Pittsburgh = Stalingrad (or Leningrad? can't remember). Later on, it turns into the later stages of the Civil War (the March on Atlanta -> March to the Sea).

    Solomaxwell6 on
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    Jealous DevaJealous Deva Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    The thing I always wondered about Turtledove was that if you want to write a fictionalized account of WWII or the second Russian revolution, why not just write a fictionalized account of WWII or the second Russian revolution?

    Jealous Deva on
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    jedijzjedijz Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    It's really hard to make such a huge generalization of whether or not the civil war was worth it, because we don't know exactly what would have happened if they had seceded. It's quite possible that had we let it happen, there would have been an even greater war farther down the road, and on top of that it's possible the United States would not have been able to deal with both World War 1 and 2. The South at the time could have united with Germany during either great war ( the Germans had already shown support for them during the Civil War) and we would have an even greater war on our own land to deal with.

    Eh. I think, given time, a US/CS war would've actually become even easier. The CS lacked a strong economic system to attract investors. This means their already shitty industrial capabilities. The US was just about to move into the Industrial Revolution. The South's main hope was foreign investment; France and Britain were both kind of friendly to the South (as a counter balance to growing US power), but slavery kept them from really doing much. The CS would absolutely need to remove slavery if it wants to advance. But, of course, if it does that, you're going to see states like South Carolina and Alabama (if not more) get royally pissed and drift away, leading to an even weaker base for economic gain. A WWI with a Central Powers South would lead to Northern armor and well equipped infantry hordes crushing the poorly equipped and less numerous southern army. Or even an Entente South (which would be marginally better prepared). They might even be allies in WWI. Difficult to say how the chips would fall, since both sides' biggest allies were Entente members (Russia for the US, France and Britain for the CS).

    Honestly, I think that a separate south would lead into it becoming a banana republic over the 70s and 80s.

    Fascism would have probably risen in the South since it shared similar conditions as other fascist states. A weak lower class, a practically nonexistent middle class, and a strong, landed aristocratic upper class. If you want to learn more about the rise of democratic, fascist, and communist states read up on this guy's work: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barrington_Moore,_Jr.

    jedijz on
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    HachfaceHachface Not the Minister Farrakhan you're thinking of Dammit, Shepard!Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Without the Fourteenth Amendment or similar act, a slavery-free Confederacy would look a lot like apartheid-era South Africa.

    Hachface on
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    enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    The thing I always wondered about Turtledove was that if you want to write a fictionalized account of WWII or the second Russian revolution, why not just write a fictionalized account of WWII or the second Russian revolution?

    He did that too. And aliens invaded in 1942. And ginger was cocaine to them.

    Or something.

    enlightenedbum on
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    Solomaxwell6Solomaxwell6 Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    jedijz wrote: »
    It's really hard to make such a huge generalization of whether or not the civil war was worth it, because we don't know exactly what would have happened if they had seceded. It's quite possible that had we let it happen, there would have been an even greater war farther down the road, and on top of that it's possible the United States would not have been able to deal with both World War 1 and 2. The South at the time could have united with Germany during either great war ( the Germans had already shown support for them during the Civil War) and we would have an even greater war on our own land to deal with.

    Eh. I think, given time, a US/CS war would've actually become even easier. The CS lacked a strong economic system to attract investors. This means their already shitty industrial capabilities. The US was just about to move into the Industrial Revolution. The South's main hope was foreign investment; France and Britain were both kind of friendly to the South (as a counter balance to growing US power), but slavery kept them from really doing much. The CS would absolutely need to remove slavery if it wants to advance. But, of course, if it does that, you're going to see states like South Carolina and Alabama (if not more) get royally pissed and drift away, leading to an even weaker base for economic gain. A WWI with a Central Powers South would lead to Northern armor and well equipped infantry hordes crushing the poorly equipped and less numerous southern army. Or even an Entente South (which would be marginally better prepared). They might even be allies in WWI. Difficult to say how the chips would fall, since both sides' biggest allies were Entente members (Russia for the US, France and Britain for the CS).

    Honestly, I think that a separate south would lead into it becoming a banana republic over the 70s and 80s.

    Fascism would have probably risen in the South since it shared similar conditions as other fascist states. A weak lower class, a practically nonexistent middle class, and a strong, landed aristocratic upper class. If you want to learn more about the rise of democratic, fascist, and communist states read up on this guy's work: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barrington_Moore,_Jr.

    I don't know about that. The South had a natural distrust of a strong centralized government. It also doesn't have the same revanchism as Germany (which wanted revenge for WWI), or the cultural tendency towards authority as Japan. A fascist leader would only really have fear of the US to exploit, which may or may not be possible, depending on historical circumstances. Since we're assuming no Civil War here, it'd pretty difficult to say "Look at that evil country to the north which, ya know, freely let us go about our business when we decided to leave. They're a massive threat to our independence!"

    Solomaxwell6 on
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    Solomaxwell6Solomaxwell6 Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    The thing I always wondered about Turtledove was that if you want to write a fictionalized account of WWII or the second Russian revolution, why not just write a fictionalized account of WWII or the second Russian revolution?

    He did that too. And aliens invaded in 1942. And ginger was cocaine to them.

    Or something.

    I actually really liked this series. >_>

    Kind of annoying how he portrays humans as being ridiculously innovative when compared to alien races. They take tens of thousands of years to adapt new technology, rather than only a few years like humans.

    Solomaxwell6 on
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    Ed321Ed321 Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    The thing I always wondered about Turtledove was that if you want to write a fictionalized account of WWII or the second Russian revolution, why not just write a fictionalized account of WWII or the second Russian revolution?

    He did that too. And aliens invaded in 1942. And ginger was cocaine to them.

    Or something.

    I actually really liked this series. >_>

    Kind of annoying how he portrays humans as being ridiculously innovative when compared to alien races. They take tens of thousands of years to adapt new technology, rather than only a few years like humans.

    Sci-fi/fantasy authors love the "humans have short lifespans but are stubborn and quick to adapt to blah blah blah" trope.

    Ed321 on
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    Kipling217Kipling217 Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Ed321 wrote: »
    The thing I always wondered about Turtledove was that if you want to write a fictionalized account of WWII or the second Russian revolution, why not just write a fictionalized account of WWII or the second Russian revolution?

    He did that too. And aliens invaded in 1942. And ginger was cocaine to them.

    Or something.

    I actually really liked this series. >_>

    Kind of annoying how he portrays humans as being ridiculously innovative when compared to alien races. They take tens of thousands of years to adapt new technology, rather than only a few years like humans.

    Sci-fi/fantasy authors love the "humans have short lifespans but are stubborn and quick to adapt to blah blah blah" trope.

    Its not like they can play the "humans are smarter and wiser" angle without getting laughed out of the room.

    Can you imagine a race dumber and more jerkass the humans?

    Kipling217 on
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    Robos A Go GoRobos A Go Go Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    The thing I always wondered about Turtledove was that if you want to write a fictionalized account of WWII or the second Russian revolution, why not just write a fictionalized account of WWII or the second Russian revolution?

    He did that too. And aliens invaded in 1942. And ginger was cocaine to them.

    Or something.

    I actually really liked this series. >_>

    Kind of annoying how he portrays humans as being ridiculously innovative when compared to alien races. They take tens of thousands of years to adapt new technology, rather than only a few years like humans.

    How does that work, exactly? Does it take tens of thousands of years for an innovative alien to come along or are there obstacles to progress inherent in their culture?

    Also, I'm all for killing a guy in order to free slaves, especially if he's consented to warfare in the name of keeping people enslaved. It's only a tricky question in the insane hypothetical situation where I'd have to kill someone who's unconnected with the issue. Even then, my feeling is that slavery is worse than death, so even then I'd kill the guy. I'd just be stumped as to whether or not it was moral to do so.

    Robos A Go Go on
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    Ed321Ed321 Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Kipling217 wrote: »
    Ed321 wrote: »
    The thing I always wondered about Turtledove was that if you want to write a fictionalized account of WWII or the second Russian revolution, why not just write a fictionalized account of WWII or the second Russian revolution?

    He did that too. And aliens invaded in 1942. And ginger was cocaine to them.

    Or something.

    I actually really liked this series. >_>

    Kind of annoying how he portrays humans as being ridiculously innovative when compared to alien races. They take tens of thousands of years to adapt new technology, rather than only a few years like humans.

    Sci-fi/fantasy authors love the "humans have short lifespans but are stubborn and quick to adapt to blah blah blah" trope.

    Its not like they can play the "humans are smarter and wiser" angle without getting laughed out of the room.

    Can you imagine a race dumber and more jerkass the humans?

    neanderthal1.jpg

    Ed321 on
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    jedijzjedijz Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    jedijz wrote: »
    It's really hard to make such a huge generalization of whether or not the civil war was worth it, because we don't know exactly what would have happened if they had seceded. It's quite possible that had we let it happen, there would have been an even greater war farther down the road, and on top of that it's possible the United States would not have been able to deal with both World War 1 and 2. The South at the time could have united with Germany during either great war ( the Germans had already shown support for them during the Civil War) and we would have an even greater war on our own land to deal with.

    Eh. I think, given time, a US/CS war would've actually become even easier. The CS lacked a strong economic system to attract investors. This means their already shitty industrial capabilities. The US was just about to move into the Industrial Revolution. The South's main hope was foreign investment; France and Britain were both kind of friendly to the South (as a counter balance to growing US power), but slavery kept them from really doing much. The CS would absolutely need to remove slavery if it wants to advance. But, of course, if it does that, you're going to see states like South Carolina and Alabama (if not more) get royally pissed and drift away, leading to an even weaker base for economic gain. A WWI with a Central Powers South would lead to Northern armor and well equipped infantry hordes crushing the poorly equipped and less numerous southern army. Or even an Entente South (which would be marginally better prepared). They might even be allies in WWI. Difficult to say how the chips would fall, since both sides' biggest allies were Entente members (Russia for the US, France and Britain for the CS).

    Honestly, I think that a separate south would lead into it becoming a banana republic over the 70s and 80s.

    Fascism would have probably risen in the South since it shared similar conditions as other fascist states. A weak lower class, a practically nonexistent middle class, and a strong, landed aristocratic upper class. If you want to learn more about the rise of democratic, fascist, and communist states read up on this guy's work: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barrington_Moore,_Jr.

    I don't know about that. The South had a natural distrust of a strong centralized government. It also doesn't have the same revanchism as Germany (which wanted revenge for WWI), or the cultural tendency towards authority as Japan. A fascist leader would only really have fear of the US to exploit, which may or may not be possible, depending on historical circumstances. Since we're assuming no Civil War here, it'd pretty difficult to say "Look at that evil country to the north which, ya know, freely let us go about our business when we decided to leave. They're a massive threat to our independence!"

    I agree that they would have distrusted a strong centralized government but a fascist leader could easily exploit racist fears and point to the North as abolitionists who want to upend their way of life. Fascism in the South will probably look more like Italy, with the Great Depression hitting it the hardest causing it to look for a third way between capitalism and communism.

    jedijz on
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    Solomaxwell6Solomaxwell6 Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    The thing I always wondered about Turtledove was that if you want to write a fictionalized account of WWII or the second Russian revolution, why not just write a fictionalized account of WWII or the second Russian revolution?

    He did that too. And aliens invaded in 1942. And ginger was cocaine to them.

    Or something.

    I actually really liked this series. >_>

    Kind of annoying how he portrays humans as being ridiculously innovative when compared to alien races. They take tens of thousands of years to adapt new technology, rather than only a few years like humans.

    How does that work, exactly? Does it take tens of thousands of years for an innovative alien to come along or are there obstacles to progress inherent in their culture?

    Also, I'm all for killing a guy in order to free slaves, especially if he's consented to warfare in the name of keeping people enslaved. It's only a tricky question in the insane hypothetical situation where I'd have to kill someone who's unconnected with the issue. Even then, my feeling is that slavery is worse than death, so even then I'd kill the guy. I'd just be stumped as to whether or not it was moral to do so.

    It's all cultural blocks. They have a good, stable society. So why change it? The way they see it, an innovation might have unseen problems. Take automobiles, for example. On paper, they look pretty fucking sweet. But until fairly recently, they were all inefficient gas guzzling monstrosities that destroyed our atmosphere. So they go through and take a huge amount of time to make sure that any sort of innovation will work out exactly perfectly with no hidden costs. Of course, since they can't really have active testing like humans, that slows down innovation even further (we're starting to get decent cars ~100 years after they started to appear, rather than the tens of thousands of years the aliens would require).

    This results in us getting our asses kicked at first, but then rapidly gaining ground to fight the war to a relatively stand still, and then getting even better technology than them by the end of the first book, something like 50-60 years after the aliens land.

    Solomaxwell6 on
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    Robos A Go GoRobos A Go Go Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Wow, that's really dumb.

    Robos A Go Go on
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    RobmanRobman Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Robman wrote: »
    Wasn't this a Harry Turtledove book or something? I can't quite remember any details from his books, because old men with big beards writing graphic sex scenes creep me the fuck out.

    His alt history was the South won, after which he decided to fight the exact same wars Europe fought but only in North America because that's fascinating! He even named the sneak attack Blackbeard or something instead of Barbarossa. Ugh.

    Yeah. And it was launched on the very same day as Barbarossa. They kind of fuse the Eastern and Western fronts in the beginning (blitzkrieg on the Midwest = France, but the Battle of Pittsburgh = Stalingrad (or Leningrad? can't remember). Later on, it turns into the later stages of the Civil War (the March on Atlanta -> March to the Sea).

    Wasn't there also some shit where the South were given AK47s?

    Robman on
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    Solomaxwell6Solomaxwell6 Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    jedijz wrote: »
    jedijz wrote: »

    Fascism would have probably risen in the South since it shared similar conditions as other fascist states. A weak lower class, a practically nonexistent middle class, and a strong, landed aristocratic upper class. If you want to learn more about the rise of democratic, fascist, and communist states read up on this guy's work: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barrington_Moore,_Jr.

    I don't know about that. The South had a natural distrust of a strong centralized government. It also doesn't have the same revanchism as Germany (which wanted revenge for WWI), or the cultural tendency towards authority as Japan. A fascist leader would only really have fear of the US to exploit, which may or may not be possible, depending on historical circumstances. Since we're assuming no Civil War here, it'd pretty difficult to say "Look at that evil country to the north which, ya know, freely let us go about our business when we decided to leave. They're a massive threat to our independence!"

    I agree that they would have distrusted a strong centralized government but a fascist leader could easily exploit racist fears and point to the North as abolitionists who want to upend their way of life.

    Eh. You're talking about a guy coming along and trying to completely bypass a cultural fear (that of strong government) by exploiting another cultural fear (abolition). I don't really see it as working. Why would they give in to something they're very opposed to to only remove the threat of something else they're very opposed to? Doesn't really make sense to me. Only real possibility I see is if they see a massive threat of enforced abolition from the North, but I don't really think we'd see that here. The North peacefully let them go in this timeline, and plus a lot of Southerners weren't really massively pro-slavery, either. Many in the upper South (which would've been the political center of the CS) were either opposed to it or saw it as a necessary evil. The real bugbear for them was unnecessary government interference... Precisely what a fascist leader would bring about.

    Solomaxwell6 on
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    Solomaxwell6Solomaxwell6 Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Robman wrote: »
    Robman wrote: »
    Wasn't this a Harry Turtledove book or something? I can't quite remember any details from his books, because old men with big beards writing graphic sex scenes creep me the fuck out.

    His alt history was the South won, after which he decided to fight the exact same wars Europe fought but only in North America because that's fascinating! He even named the sneak attack Blackbeard or something instead of Barbarossa. Ugh.

    Yeah. And it was launched on the very same day as Barbarossa. They kind of fuse the Eastern and Western fronts in the beginning (blitzkrieg on the Midwest = France, but the Battle of Pittsburgh = Stalingrad (or Leningrad? can't remember). Later on, it turns into the later stages of the Civil War (the March on Atlanta -> March to the Sea).

    Wasn't there also some shit where the South were given AK47s?

    Different book. You're thinking of Guns of the South, where time traveling South African racists decide to try to ensure an ally for Apartheid South Africa by making sure the South wins the war. Despite its premise, it was pretty good, IIRC.

    Solomaxwell6 on
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    Kipling217Kipling217 Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Ed321 wrote: »
    Kipling217 wrote: »
    Ed321 wrote: »
    The thing I always wondered about Turtledove was that if you want to write a fictionalized account of WWII or the second Russian revolution, why not just write a fictionalized account of WWII or the second Russian revolution?

    He did that too. And aliens invaded in 1942. And ginger was cocaine to them.

    Or something.

    I actually really liked this series. >_>

    Kind of annoying how he portrays humans as being ridiculously innovative when compared to alien races. They take tens of thousands of years to adapt new technology, rather than only a few years like humans.

    Sci-fi/fantasy authors love the "humans have short lifespans but are stubborn and quick to adapt to blah blah blah" trope.

    Its not like they can play the "humans are smarter and wiser" angle without getting laughed out of the room.

    Can you imagine a race dumber and more jerkass the humans?

    neanderthal1.jpg

    Actually neanderthals where quite intelligent with a rich and varied culture. They buried their dead ceremonialy and created art(cave paintings ftw). They also master the art of making Flint Knives(as someone that has taken history of technology, let me tell you thats fucking hard). They had a brain as large as homo sapiens.

    The stereotype of them as dumb comes mostly from the first neanderthal skeleton found. It has recently been discovered that this skeleton was of an elderly man suffering from arthitis.

    They died of because they where adapted for survival in an ice age environment with large mamals to hunt. When the large mamals died out, they lacked the skills to find new food sources.

    Kipling217 on
    The sky was full of stars, every star an exploding ship. One of ours.
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    Ed321Ed321 Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Kipling217 wrote: »
    Ed321 wrote: »
    Kipling217 wrote: »
    Ed321 wrote: »
    The thing I always wondered about Turtledove was that if you want to write a fictionalized account of WWII or the second Russian revolution, why not just write a fictionalized account of WWII or the second Russian revolution?

    He did that too. And aliens invaded in 1942. And ginger was cocaine to them.

    Or something.

    I actually really liked this series. >_>

    Kind of annoying how he portrays humans as being ridiculously innovative when compared to alien races. They take tens of thousands of years to adapt new technology, rather than only a few years like humans.

    Sci-fi/fantasy authors love the "humans have short lifespans but are stubborn and quick to adapt to blah blah blah" trope.

    Its not like they can play the "humans are smarter and wiser" angle without getting laughed out of the room.

    Can you imagine a race dumber and more jerkass the humans?

    snip

    Actually neanderthals where quite intelligent with a rich and varied culture. They buried their dead ceremonialy and created art(cave paintings ftw). They also master the art of making Flint Knives(as someone that has taken history of technology, let me tell you thats fucking hard). They had a brain as large as homo sapiens.

    The stereotype of them as dumb comes mostly from the first neanderthal skeleton found. It has recently been discovered that this skeleton was of an elderly man suffering from arthitis.

    They died of because they where adapted for survival in an ice age environment with large mamals to hunt. When the large mamals died out, they lacked the skills to find new food sources.

    Joke picture, kipling, joke picture. :P

    Ed321 on
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