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The Calamity of Appomattox (dagens sitat)
«New Orleans, today, would still be a highly charming and civilized (if perhaps somewhat zymotic) city, with a touch of Paris and another of Port Said. Charleston, which even now sprouts lady authors, would also sprout political philosophers. The University of Virginia would be what Jefferson intended it to be, and no shouting Methodist would haunt its campus. Richmond would be, not the dull suburb of nothing that it is now, but a beautiful and consoling second-rate capital, comparable to Budapest, Brussels, Stockholm or The Hague. And all of us, with the Middle West pumping its revolting silo juices into the East and West alike, would be making frequent leaps over the Potomac, to drink the sound red wine there and breathe the free air.

[...]

No doubt the Confederates, victorious, would have abolished slavery by the middle 80s. They were headed that way before the war, and the more sagacious of them were all in favor of it. But they were in favor of it on sound economic grounds, and not the brummagem moral grounds which persuaded the North. The difference here is immense. In human history a moral victory is always a disaster, for it debauches and degrades both the victor and the vanquished. The triumph of sin in 1865 would have stimulated and helped to civilize both sides.»

Et lite utdrag fra kontrafaktiske spekulasjoner skrevet av H.L. Mencken (1880-1956). «The Calamity of Appomattox» stod på trykk i The American Mercury, septembernummeret 1930. Vel, drøft, som det het i stiloppgavene på skolen. Å lese Mencken kan være utrolig morsomt, og hans penn var sylskarp, men samtidig er det mye i Menckens elitisme som er vanskelig å svelge for en moderne nordmann. På den annen side skal det sies at han som god nietzscheaner aldri lot seg verve av makthaverne, og skrev protestartikler mot såvel raseskille på offentlig sted som bruk av unntakslover og særforordninger mot tyskvennlige, fredsforkjempere og kommunister – også når andre og «snillere» holdt munn. Han hadde særlig mye imot det han så som en vanhellig allianse mellom forretningsinteresser og moralens voktere. Man kan bare tenke seg hva han ville ha skrevet om dagens Religious Right...
2007-09-15 10:22:43 GMT
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