…And History: What is the meaning of ‘Revolutionary‘?
Marx -on revolution
“…a social transformation in which the power of the obsolescent class is overthrown, and that of the progressive, revolutionary class is established in its place.”
Does Marx’s definition imply that true revolution necessarily brings about meaningful change?
Lincoln as the Pragmatic Revolutionary
“I claim not to have controlled events, but confess plainly that events have controlled me.” -Lincoln
“Abolitionist and Republicans like Garfield had urged the confiscation of land owned by wealthy Confederates and the allocation of part of this land to freed slaves.” – James M. McPherson
In his book: Abraham Lincoln and the Second American Revolution, McPherson makes the case that just after the Civil War there was less wealth to go around in the agricultural society of the South. And, for that reason, the economic conditions of the newly freed slaves did not improve as dramatically as a true revolution may have promised.
Collected as so much clutter, compromise littered the landscape: The Dred Scott Decision in Dred Scott v. Sanford, the Missouri Compromise. Then again there were the voices such that of the Reverend Heman Humphrey, D.D – an American author, clergyman. (See his The Missouri Compromise: an Address Delivered Before the Citizens of Pittsfield, etc.)
With respect to Lincoln, the fluid nature of the situation on the ground necessitated a constant adjustment of the means to suit the desired end. In other words, adopting a cause that happens to be noble may be the expedient decision, given that it destroys your enemy, in this case, the South, that much quicker.
Although the 13th Amendment abolished slavery and involuntary servitude except as punishment for a crime, given our nations high rate of incarceration and the profiteering as the result of what amounts to slavery in our prisons in the U.S., even today we have yet to abolish slavery. It has simply taken on another form.
Columbus: sailing west in order to get to the Far East…and the violence that ensued.