The Gross National Debt

Sunday, May 21, 2017

A painful truth cures ignorance

Ignorance is a condition which can be cured. Often, it is not cured.

In the middle of a recent post here, I discovered that I am/was ignorant on a certain topic. I need to know about this topic. So, I invite you to join me on this voyage of education, learning and curing ignorance.


How much do you actually know, factual knowledge, about the Confederate States of America? Ever read the CSA Constitution?

Ah. Now we're getting somewhere.

Folks who fly the Stars & Bars (waves) like to talk about history and heritage, not hate. They say the flag is a symbol of an aborted attempt to throw off a tyrannical federal government and return state's rights. They point to a whole lot of other things they believe about the Confederacy.

Are they right?


Let's see. This time you must click a link to get needed info. I'm not reprinting the entire CSA constitution here.


If you read the CSA constitution, you saw a lot of it is ripped off from the US Constitution. The Bill of Rights are not amendments, but are stuck right in the original document. Section 9 paragraphs 12-18 are particularly important to me.

Interesting to note at least to me, No. 13 "A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."

This one has several grammatical changes from the Second Amendment. I believe the meaning is exactly the same. More particularly, both sections draw a clear distinction between a standing military force and private citizens owning guns. Both constitutions discuss a standing military.


Yeah. What about that question? Slaves.

I didn't know I was a slave until I found out I couldn't do the things I wanted. Frederick Douglass 

The CSA constitution has the word "slave" 10 times.

The US Constitution has the word "slave" twice. Slavery is referenced another place as "three fifths of all other Persons."

Important note: Slave does not mean a person of recent African descent. Or does it?

For an expanded view, as the Slate article is pretty narrow -


Jim Cullough does the yeoman's work for all of us. He compares the CSA and the US constitutions side-by-side and offers commentary. Don't take his word (commentary) for it. You have both documents side by side. You decide.

The CSA constitution makes it pretty clear that slavery was an important part of the CSA. Or was it?

Section 9, 'graphs 1 & 2 specifically address this. Importing slaves is banned. However, 'graph 4 secures the right to own slaves. Other sections strengthen slave owners' rights.


The real question, the real issue here is was the War of Northern Aggression really over state's rights? A lot of us believe that.

Lemme jab you in the eye with this red hot poker. The CSA constitution does not back this up.

A line-by-line reading, thanks to Mr. Cullough, proves it. The CSA constitution does cut some central government authority. However, it adds more power in other places. As Mr. Cullough notes in his summary:

Overall, the CSA constitution does not radically alter the federal system that was established by the United States constitution. It is therefore very debatable as to whether the CSA was a significantly more pro-"states' rights" country (as supporters claim) in any meaningful sense. At least three states rights are explicitly taken away — the freedom of states to grant voting rights to non-citizens, the freedom of states to trade freely with each other, and of course the freedom of states to outlaw slavery within their borders.

States only gain four minor rights under the Confederate system — the power to enter into treaties with other states to regulate waterways, the power to tax foreign and domestic ships that use their waterways, the power to impeach federally-appointed state officials, and the power to distribute "bills of credit." 

Yowza, Yowza, Yowza.


As much as I may not like it, the writing of the CSA Constitution makes it pretty clear that a very central reason for fighting the Civil War was to support slavery. It was not fought over state's rights. State's rights was the excuse given to support slavery.

The CSA constitution was the governing document for the hoped-for CSA and must be considered the blueprint for that failed nation. What other people did and said at that time takes second place to this document.

Whether or not I like what the CSA constitution says is irrevelant. What is relevant is the truth. Reality is under no obligation to conform itself to my expectations.

If the truth hurts, yer living wrong.

I shall henceforth try to live right so this truth cannot hurt me.

I can and will defend the ideals I wish the CSA stood for. I shall no longer defend the CSA because of what is made clear in the CSA constitution.

I am a Southerner. Proud of that. But I am no longer proud of the CSA and I will not defend that war anymore.

No doubt, some people think I owe 'em an apology. They are right. I spoke from ignorance, which is no excuse. I am extremely sorry and have much regret for my previous support of the CSA and the Civil War. I was wrong.

Some folks are gonna be all "I told you so." Yes, you gave me your opinion. Above, I give you facts. Your opinion may or may not change my mind. Facts that contradict what I believe will change my mind. Yes, I was wrong. But you never offered proof I was wrong. I found the proof.


  1. Well done, Ben! Most interesting article.

  2. Thanks CB. You are invited to share this with your cadre.