Notes and Reflections on Books and Media
by Hannah Leitheiser
Lies My Teacher Told Me, 2nd Edition
"Why did the South secede?
If we did history by majority vote, state's rights would be the clear winner (60-70%). In the world of evidence, however, state's rights is the clear loser." - James Loewen, Lies My Teacher Told Me, 2nd Edition (1995/2019)
This doesn't exactly relate to the book, but: we imagine slavers knew deep in their hearts slavery was wrong, but were willing to tolerate the injustice because...well, with slaves I can build a nicer house, I can be richer. Or in cases such as our poor Thomas Jefferson, slaves were bank property backing their debts.
But then the civil war asks people to die for slavery. A forced slaver would certainly refuse - tough luck for the banks. The others must be valuing their lives as no better than the economic gains of slave labor, and perhaps a good deal worse if they know deep down those gains are undeserved. I mean, people do commonly risk their lives for economic gains, at least in subtle ways. But war seems a different gamble -- it's not, "Give me a bit more profit, or give me death!" Just never really added up in my head.