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The Confederate Flag at War (But Not the Civil War)


#1

The Confederate Flag at War (But Not the Civil War)

Greg Grandin

The Pentagon just can’t let go. In the wake of the Charleston Massacre, Amazon and Walmart have announced that they will no longer sell Confederate flag merchandise. Ebay says it will stop offering Confederate items for electronic auction. The Republican governor of Mississippi calls his state flag, which includes the Stars and Bars in the top left corner, “a point of offense that needs to be removed.” Even Kentucky’s Mitch McConnell, the majority leader of the U.S.


#2

Mr.Grandin has written a fine article and interesting account of all that's led to martial madness, a/k/a Mars Rules in the U.S.A...by whatever flag it hides behind.

He ties the proof of manhood ideal in with the rousing call to militarism. It is chiefly this misguided perception of maleness--and along with it, rites of passage into manhood--that fuels the war machine and is used by its chief advocates. With any reflection on the raging testosterone of militarism and war presented as feminine (or sissy-like behavior), the bloodthirsty machine thrashes on.

If only "winning" matters, then to the winner goes the narrative along with no need to introspect on the rightness of what's being done. To block that out, all sorts of songs are written and slogans repeated that pretend that war serves a cause greater than the self.

Missing from the analysis is calling out patriarchy and the whole premise of the supremacy of males over females. Without this asymmetry, it would not be possible for ranking systems to have come to mean so much whether based on race, class, or ethnicity... of gender, the first component of the paradigm. The premise of hierarchy began with patriarchy establishing a higher RANKING to males than females.

So much of maleness is about defending a twisted perception of manhood. Passed from father to son, the habit for war becomes a seamless chain of mostly male baboon hierarchical dementia!

That's why it's troubling to find this significant staple to the unbalanced equation that makes war inevitable, missing:

"Yet as issues of race, militarism, and class resentment merged into a broader “cultural war,” some in the rising New Right rallied around the Stars and Bars to avenge not the South, but South Vietnam."

GENDER is central to the madness of war. And it is distressing when it's not mentioned at all. It's as if that great WE that strives for war and up until recently was almost totally composed of male bodies insists that it also speaks for women--those for whom no voice was allotted. Mostly it still is not.

The few women brought into power's circles have shown an allegiance to the existing patriarchal/pro-war system. If they acted like women by demonstrating a maternal instinct to protect life, feed, clothe, and nurture the weakest of persons... they would not get NEAR any circle of power. Yet to closet misogynists, the token females acting like Lady Macbeths soaked up to their elbows in blood is supposed to present some kind of flawless evidence that females will do the same things that men will do.

This simplistic assumption displays a total lack of understanding for the existing patriarchal paradigm and the ways that it programs whites, Blacks, men, and women to conform to behaviors that are enculturated and chiefly anti-female and anti-Black (and pro establishment "values" presented as "norms for all") in nature.


#3

Another important item is missing from this analysis.

Taking the following paragraph, and of note within it, the high statistical ratio of white Southern males who "join up," it must be tied in with today's form of martial fundamentalist Christianity. This meme triggers soul memory and recapitulates the old Crusades mentality.

"Yet the Department of Defense says it isn’t even “reviewing” the possibility of a ban on the flag, deciding instead to leave any such move to the various service branches, while military bases named after Confederate officers will remain so. One factor in this decision: the South provides more than 40% of all military recruits, many of them white; only 15% are from the Northeast."

I posted this link on another thread, but it's also relevant here. I hope that open-minded C.D. forum readers will take a look at it. When "God" is used as a basis for championing war, this atavistic misconception opens wounds that humanity should have evolved beyond by now. It's my fervent belief that the renewal of tribal divisions fueled by antipathies between the ancient Patriarchal religions is what's chiefly holding mankind back:


#4

The Confederacy lost the war

But won the battle


#6

From my perspective, the Christ worshiped my most USAn "Christians" is the anti-Christ, Satan. When it comes to matters of war, the new pope is still on the dark side.


#7

Interesting article.

But, Luther Hare did not fight the Spanish in the Philippines. He got there more than a year too late. He fought against the Filipinos.


#8

It is time to remove the South from the United States. Then and only then will we be a great nation. We are and can be a great nation without the SOUTH. Once the South is removed from the United States, we can then extent and open our borders for those who seek asylum. It is the anti and inhuman Confederate, racist, woman hating policies that has ruined this nation and tarnished our reputation around the world.


#9

"Over the last few weeks, there has been near unanimous agreement among liberal and mainstream commentators that the Confederate flag represents “hate, not heritage.”

That is a scary thing, a unanimous opinion of a complicated and controversial topic.

I read on to find out that the Confederacy was responsible for massacring the Plains Indians and the Spanish American War. Orwell was right about most everything, of course.


#10

Thanks for posting the RT video. It brings up some salient points about trolls and sock puppets.
I have been monitoring the comments sections on mainstream online news articles regarding race issues. One thing that is striking is the lack of non-whites commenting in the threads. The comments downplay the damage and impact of racism, and assassinate the journalists for writing the articles and bringing the issues to light. A few claiming to be black support the general consensus, which is confounding to me in its irony!
Comments regarding the latest Paula Deen controversy call this "a non-issue" (Bobby Deen in brownface posted on Twitter). They denigrate the impact of the racist actions and minimize the harm it does. They claim people are "overly sensitive" and they should just "get a life".
What to make of their lack of compassion and inability to comprehend the suffering that minorities have had to endure at the mercy of the dominant white, patriarchal power?! They tell the reporters to shut up. And a majority of posters in these threads parrot these statements.
Should people on the left create a sock-puppet army to counter this overwhelmingly racist and obfuscating diatribe? Do I even have time for this? I've seen all sorts of racist Twitter pages too, that appeal wildly to teens in South Carolina. There is a war going on, and the internet is the battleground. What is to be done?


#11

Being a native southerner, I have to say Atlanta stands out for its progressive movements. Atlanta is the birth place of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and there are many monuments to his courage and the participants in the Civil Rights movement. The outlying suburbs of Atlanta do reflect more conservative attitudes - people from smaller towns in the south seeking work in Atlanta gravitate to the suburbs as bedroom communities for this reason.
So, I say, if the south "secedes", Atlanta should be partitioned by a wall (such as East Berlin) corresponding to the I-285 perimeter. Inside the Perimeter, or "ITP" is known for its diversity, progressive community, and overall harmony of many cultures. Atlanta is a draw for people from all over the world - a place where people from many cultures meet and find a place in society (hence its busy refugee centers).
Atlanta is not perfect. It is still the south. But let's not throw the baby out with the bathwater.
(Though I have been considering a move north to get away from the ridiculously hot summers, and yes, the backwardness.)
That said, I was scratching my chin, perplexed when I visited a mall in Pittsburgh as saw Confederate flags for sale.


#12

I appreciate your thoughtful response. However, it is those who are in Congress, of which most but not all ….who are inflicting their absurd policies on the people of this country.

A few northerners also show some brain damage in the making of policy for those to whom they are supposed to be serving.

These miscreants have chosen to oblige the elite and powerful. I do not know how they sleep at night but then I have read about the mind of a psychopath and that so many seem affected is disheartening.

America is unique but not special nor exceptional. We are a collection of many peoples from many different backgrounds and countries. If nature has taught us anything thing it is that the only way this world has ever survived was by its diversity. There are many ways or paths to the truth. In other words, we only survived by the use of many different ways and those who help others to survive do better than those who devise ways of holding back or harming others. The strategy that has harm built into it is a no win situation for all.


#13

Growing up, I was taught we were supposed to have a government for the people, by the people, etc. What we have today are lobbyists and defense contractors, and groups such as ALEC dictating or swaying policy to our elected officials. Just how much power do the constituents have anymore? Conservative groups are aggressive in influencing politicians, I see the Governor of my home state caving in to them quite often.
So, how do the little people get their voices back if they cannot pay a million-dollar spokesperson to lobby on their behalf? Protesting in the streets used to work in the sixties, but nowadays marching and protesting have more impact on the local sphere than the national.
I reckon a paradigm shift is in order. But here we have more questions, and less solutions.


#14

It seems to me the only people that know what is really going are those who post their comments to the Guardian, Common Dreams and any other progressive and social democratic site. All trolls are excused from common sense. The people know the score. You can only shake the beer bottle so long before it explodes.