A Conversation on Race — Paul Craig Roberts
PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
We often hear that we need a conversation on race. Considering that Americans are a brainwashed people living in a false history, such a conversation would resemble the one the Russians were expected to have with the British in regard to the Skripal poisoning: “Yes, we are guilty. We will pay reparations. Where would you like us to send Putin for trial?” In other words, the only acceptable race conversation in the US is one in which white people accept the accusation that they are racist and offer to make amends.
Considering that the only slavery experienced by any living black or white person is income tax slavery, race is an issue only because it has been orchestrated as an issue along with gender and sexual preference. These divisive issues are the products of Identity Politics spawned by cultural Marxism.
In real Marxism, conflict is class conflict. Workers and capitalists have different interests, and history is a struggle between material interests. The capitalist is the villain and the workers are the victims.
In the pseudo Marxism of Identity Politics, the white race is the villain, especially the white heterosexual male, and racial minorities, women, and homosexuals are the victims.
There is, of course, no such thing as a white or black race. There are many different nationalities of whites, and they have done a good job throughout history of killing each other. Similarly, there are many different black tribes and Asian ethnicities who also have fought more among themselves than with others. But all of this goes by the wayside, along with the fact that in the world the “racial minorities” are actually majorities and the “white majority” is actually a minority. There are more Chinese or Indians alone than there are white people.
But orchestrated histories are not fact-based.
The working class, designated by Hillary Clinton as “the Trump deplorables,” is now the victimizer, not the victim. Marxism has been stood on its head.
The American ruling class loves Identity Politics because Identity Politics divides the people into hostile groups and prevents any resistance to the ruling elite. With blacks screaming at whites, women screaming at men, and homosexuals screaming at heterosexuals, there is no one left to scream at the rulers.
The ruling elite favors a “conversation on race” because the ruling elite know it can only result in accusations that will further divide society. Consequently, the ruling elite have funded “black history,” “women’s studies,” and “transgender dialogues” in universities as a way to institutionalize the divisiveness that protects them. These “studies” have replaced real history with fake history.
For example, it was once universally known that black slavery originated in slave wars between black African tribes. Slaves were a status symbol, but they accumulated beyond the capacity of tribes to sustain. The surplus was exported first to Arabs and then to English, Spanish, and French who founded colonies in the new world that had resources but no work force. The socialist scholar Karl Polanyi, brother of my Oxford professor Michael Polanyi, told the story of the origin of the African slave trade in his famous book, Dahomey and the Slave Trade.
The first slaves in the new world were white. When real history was taught, this was widely understood. Movies were even made that showed that in King George III’s England, the alternative to criminal punishment was to be sold as a slave in the colonies. See, for example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oAgfWhlc3gQ
Among the first New World lands to be exploited by the Europeans were the Carribean Islands, which were suitable for sugar and rice production. The problem was that the white slaves died like flies from malaria and yellow fever. The Spanish lack of success with a work force of natives of the lands they conquered led those in search of a work force to the slave export business of the black Kingdom of Dahomey. The demand for black workers rose considerably when it was discovered that many had immunity to malaria and resistance to yellow fever. This meant that a plantation’s investment in a work force was not wiped out by disease.
The resistance of blacks to malaria is due to the protective feature of the sickle cell trait that, apparently, only blacks have. See: https://www.cdc.gov/malaria/about/biology/sickle_cell.html
Slavery existed in the New World long before the United States came into existence. George Washington and Thomas Jefferson are today written off by Identity Politics as racists simply because they were born when slavery was a pre-existing institution.
Slavery had existed for many centuries prior to the Confederacy. Yet, in some accounts today one comes away with the impression that the South invented slavery. As the tale sometimes goes, Southern racists so hated blacks that they went to Africa, captured blacks at great expense, only to return them to the South where they whipped and abused their investments to the point of death and demoralized their work force by breaking up black families, selling children in one direction and wives and husbands in the other. This tale is not told as an occasional abuse but as the general practice. Economically, of course, it makes no sense whatsoever. But facts are no longer part of American history.
Northern states held slaves as well. However, the predominance of slaves were in the South. This was not because Southerners hated blacks. It was because the land in the South supported large agricultural cultivation, and there was no other work force. The South, like the United States, inherited slavery from the work force that European colonists purchased from the black Kingdom of Dahomey.
Why wasn’t there an alternative work force to slaves? The reason is that new immigrants by moving West could take land from the native Americans and be independent as opposed to being wage earners working on someone else’s land. The Western frontier did not close until about 1900. At the time of the War of Northern Aggression, the Plains Indians still ruled west of the Mississippi River. It was Lincoln’s Northern war criminals, Sherman and Sheridan, who were sent to exterminate the Plains Indians. Ask the American natives, or what is left of them, who the racists are: the Northerners or the Southerners.
Black studies has even corrupted other aspects of history. Consider the so-called “civil war.” The name itself is an orchestration. There was no civil war. There was a War of Northern Aggression. A civil war is when two sides fight for control of the government. The South had left the union and had no interest whatsoever in controlling the government in Washington. The only reason the South fought was that the South was invaded by the North.
Why did the North invade the South? As was once understood by every historian and every student, Abraham Lincoln invaded the South in order, in Lincoln’s own words, expressed time and time again, “to preserve the Union.”
Why did the South leave the Union? Because it was being economically exploited by the North, which, once the North gained the ability to outvote the Southern states, imposed tariffs that benefited the North at the expense of the South. The North needed protection from British manufactures in order for the economic rise of the North. In contrast, the South’s economy was based on cotton exports to England and on cheap manufactures imported from England. Tariffs would bring the South higher cost of manufactured goods and retaliation against their cotton exports. The economic interests of the North and South did not coincide.
Slavery had nothing whatsoever to do with the war. Lincoln himself said so over and over. Prior to his invasion of the South, Lincoln and the Northern Congress promised the South Constitutional protection of slavery for all time if the Southern states would stay in the Union. Historians who have read and recorded the war correspondence of both Union and Confederacy soldiers to relatives and friends at home can find no one fighting for or against slavery. The Northern troops are fighting to preserve the union. The Southern ones are fighting because they are invaded.
Nothing could be clearer. Yet, the myth has been established that Abraham Lincoln went to war in order to free the slaves. In fact, Lincoln said that blacks were not capable of living with whites, who he said were superior, and that his intention was to send the blacks back to Africa. If America ever had a “white supremacist,” it was Abraham Lincoln.
What about the Emancipation Proclamation? Didn’t this order by Lincoln free the blacks? No. It was a war measure on which hopes were placed that, as almost every able-bodied Southern male was in the front lines, the slaves would revolt and rape the Southern soldiers’ wives and daughters, forcing the soldiers to desert the army and return home to protect their families. As Lincoln’s own Secretary of State said, the president has freed the slaves in the territories that the Union does not control and left them in slavery in the territory that the Union does control.
Why did Lincoln resort to such a dishonorable strategy? The reason is that Lincoln had run through all the Union generals and could not find one that could defeat Robert E. Lee’s vastly outnumbered Army of Northern Virginia.
The character and generalship of Robert E. Lee, who is dismissed by Identity Politics as a white racist, is so highly admired by the United States Army that the Barracks at West Point are named in Lee’s honor. Not even “America’s first black president” was able to change that. Black history also covers up the fact that Robert E. Lee was offered command of the Union Army. In those days Americans still saw themselves as citizens of their state, not as citizens of the US. Lee refused the offer on the grounds that he could not go to war against his native country of Virginia and resigned his US Army commission.
If Lee had been in command of the Confederacy at the First Battle of Bull Run when the Union Army broke and ran all the way back to Washington, Lee would have followed and the war would have ended with the South’s victory.
But Lee wasn’t there. Instead, the Southern generals concluded, watching the fleeing Union Army, that the Northerns could neither fight, retreat in order, or ride horses, and were no threat whatsoever. This conclusion overlooked the superior manpower of the North, the constant inflow of Irish immigrants who became the Union’s cannon fodder, the Northern manufacturing capability, and the navy that could block Southern ports and starve the South of resources.
During the first two years of the War of Northern Aggression, the Union Army never won a battle against Lee’s vastly outgunned army. The North had everything. All the South had was valor. Lincoln was desperate. Opposition to his war was rising in the North. He had to imprison 300 Northern newspaper editors, exile a US Congressman, and was faced with the North’s most famous general running against him on a peace platform in the next election. Thus, Lincoln’s vain attempt to provoke a slave rebellion in the South. Why didn’t such allegedly horribly treated and oppressed slaves revolt when there was no one to prevent it but women and children?
Everything I have written in this column was once understood by everyone. But it has all been erased and replaced with a false history that serves the ruling elite. It is not only the ruling elite that has a vested interest in the false history of “white racism,” but also the universities and history departments in which the false history is institutionalized and the foundations that have financed black history, women’s studies, and transgender dialogues.
It was Reconstruction that ruined relations between blacks and whites in the South. The North stuffed blacks down the throats of the defeated South. Blacks were placed in charge of Southern governments in order to protect the Northern carpet baggers who looted and stole from the South. The occupying Union Army encouraged the blacks to abuse the Southern people, especially the women, as did the Union soldiers. The Klu Klux Klan arose as a guerrilla force to stop the predations. Robert E. Lee himself said that if he had realized how rapacious the North would prove to be, he would have led a guerrilla resistance.
The generations of Americans who have been propagandized instead of educated need to understand that Reconstruction did not mean rebuilding southern infrastructure, cities, and towns destroyed by the Union armies. It did not mean reconstructing southern food production. It meant reconstructing southern society and governance. Blacks, who were unprepared for the task, were put in control of governments so that carpetbaggers could loot and steal. Whites lost the franchise and protection of law as their property was stolen. Some areas suffered more than others from the Reconstruction practices, which often differed from, and were worse than, the policies themselves.
Reconstruction was a contentious issue even within the Republican Party. Neither president Lincoln nor Johnson would go along with the more extreme Republican elements. The extremism of the Reconstruction policies lost support among the northern people. When the Democrats regained control of the House of Representatives in the 1870s, Reconstruction was brought to an end.
In the South, and most certainly in Atlanta, where I grew up, schools were neighborhood schools. We were segregated by economic class. I went to school with middle class kids from my middle class neighborhood. I did not go to school with rich kids or with poor kids. This segregation was not racial.
When the North again got on its high moral horse and imposed school integration on the South, it disrupted the neighborhood school system. Now kids spent hours riding in school buses to distant locations. This destroyed the parent-teacher associations that had kept parental involvement and displinine in the schools. The South, being a commonsense people, saw all of this coming. The South also saw Reconstruction all over again. That, and not hatred of blacks, is the reason for the South’s resistance to school integration.
All of America, indeed of the entire West, lives in The Matrix, a concocted reality, except for my readers and the readers of a handful of others who cannot be compromised. Western peoples are so propagandized, so brainwashed, that they have no understanding that their disunity was created in order to make them impotent in the face of a rapacious ruling class, a class whose arrogance and hubris has the world on the brink of nuclear Armageddon.
History as it actually happened is disappearing as those who tell the truth are dismissed as misogynists, racists, homophobes, Putin agents, terrorist sympathizers, anti-semites, and conspiracy theorists. Liberals who complained mightily of McCarthyism now practice it ten-fold.
The brainwashing about the Russian and Muslim threats works for a number of reasons. The superpatriots among the Trump deplorables feel that their patriotism requires them to believe the allegations against Russia, Syria, Iran, and China. Americans employed in the vast military/security complex understand that the budget that funds the complex in which they have their careers is at stake. Those who want a wall to keep out foreigners go along with the demonization of Muslims as terrorists who have to be killed “over there before they come over here.” The Democrats want an excuse for having lost the presidential election. And so on. The agendas of various societal elements come together to support the official propaganda.
The United States with its brainwashed and incompetent population—indeed, the entirety of the Western populations are incompetent—and with its absence of intelligent leadership has no chance against Russia and China, two massive countries arising from their overthrow of police states as the West descends into a gestapo state. The West is over and done with. Nothing remains of the West but the lies used to control the people. All hope is elsewhere.