AW: Iraq Constitution
mgraber at gvpt.umd.edu
Tue Aug 30 03:37:21 PDT 2005
See,for example, the incredible contributions made to democracy and
humanity by the decision of the Russian and French Revolutionaries to
conduct mass executions. Does this provide a whiff of a suggestion that
the sort of people willing to conduct such executions cannot be trusted
with democratic constitutions, which at the end of the day rely on
>>> Ilya Somin <isomin at fas.harvard.edu> 08/29/05 10:04 PM >>>
I certainly agree that racist values enjoyed broad support in the South
1868, and to an extent in the North too. Indeed, that explains - in part
the reasons why there was little support for executing Lee or Davis.
However, executing top Confederate leaders guilty of treason surely is
the same thing as executing all white southerners who supported the
Confederacy (much less all Northern Copperheads). And strong measures
against Confederate leaders (many of whom were also the leaders of
resistance to Reconstruction) might well have undercut that resistance,
even though many white southerners would still have sympathized with it.
I also agree that Reconstruction failed in large part because of
unwillingness to push it very far. But obviously, a counterfactual
Northern majority willing to execute top confederates would probably
be more willing to push hard on Reconstruction more generally.
On Mon, 29 Aug 2005, Mark Graber wrote:
> Professor Somin writes: "I come late to this debate, but let me answer
> Sandy's question by say
> that, yes, it WOULD have been desirable to to execute Davis and Lee
> thoroughly crush the slavocracy. By doing so, we might have saved
> ourselves decades of racial oppression in the South (and perhaps to a
> certain extent in the North as well), and the resistance to
> in the South - some of which took the form of armed quasi-guerrilla
> - might have been significantly weakened."
> I think we may need a fews more executions/murders. Probably 40% of
> white men in the south, and a high percentage of northern copperheads.
> And, of course, mass executions might have increased quasi-guerrilla
> activity. On this, I suspect everyone on the list is probably talking
> through our heads, given lack of knowledge. At the end of the day,
> we know is this: Racist values enjoyed extraordinarily wide support
> the United States in 1868, even low as Klinker and Smith point out,
> racial equality values were at an all time high. Reconstruction ended
> not because it was defeated by southern resistance, though that played
> role, but because too few people in the north had much interest in
> racial equality.
> Mark A. Graber (who wonders whether if the left took power, they would
> be justified in executing people they think are racists)
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