Sunday, December 20, 2015

The Trenchant R.L. Dabney predicts the future from 1871

IN our day, innovations march with so rapid a stride that they 
quite take away one's breath. The fantastical project of 
yesterday, which was mentioned only to be ridiculed, is to-day the 
audacious reform, and will be to-morrow the accomplished fact. Such 
has been the history of the agitation for " women's rights," as they are 
sophistically called in this country. A few years ago this movement 
was the especial hobby of a very few old women of both sexes, who 
made themselves the laughing-stock of all sane people by the annual 
ventilation of their crotchet. Their only recruits were a few of the 
unfortunates whom nature or fortune had debarred from those 
triumphs and enjoyments which are the natural ambition of the sex, 
and who adopted this agitation as the most feasible mode of expressing 
their spitefulness against the successful competitors. To-day 
the movement has assumed such dimensions that it challenges the 
attention of every thoughtful mind. 

If we understand the claims of the Women's Rights women, they 
are in substance two: that the legislation, at least, of society shall 
disregard all the natural distinctions of the sexes, and award the same 
specific rights and franchises to both in every respect; and that 
woman while in the married state shall be released from every species 
of conjugal subordination. The assimilation of the garments of the 
two sexes, their competition in the same industries and professions, 
and their common access to the same amusements and recreations, 
are social changes which the "strong-minded" expect to work, each 

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one for herself, when once the obstructions of law are removed from 
the other points. 

One result of the reflection which we have been able to give this 
movement, is the conviction that it will prevail in the so-called 
" United States." This is foreshadowed by the frantic lust for innovation 
which has seized the body of the people like an epidemic. It is 
enough with them to condemn any institution, that it was bequeathed 
us by our forefathers ; because it is not the invention of this age, it is 
wrong, of course. In their eyes no experience proves anything, save 
the experience which they have had themselves. They do not suppose 
that our fathers were wise enough to interpret and record the lessons 
of former experiences. That certain things did not succeed in our 
forefathers' hands is no proof that they will not succeed in our hands  
for we are "cute," we live in an enlightened age, and understand how 
to manage things successfully. The philosophy of the Yankee mind 
is precisely that of the Yankee girl who, when she asked for leave to 
marry at seventeen, was dissuaded by her mother with the statement 
that she " had married very early and had seen the folly of it." " Yes, 
but, Mamma," replied the daughter, " I want to see the folly of it for 
myself" Your Yankee philosopher is too self-sufficient to be cautioned 
from the past. He does not know history; he would not believe its 
conclusions if he did; he has no use for its lights, having enough 
"subjective" light of his own. To such a people the fact that a given 
experiment is too absurd to have been ever tried before, is an irresistible 
fascination: it is a chance not to be neglected. 

The symptoms of approaching success which already exist are such 
as may well cheer the advocates of the new revolution. They who a 
few years ago counted their adherents by scores, now have tens of 
thousands. They are represented by their own press. They have 
received the support of at least one religious journal, which presumes 
to call itself Christian and is the organ of a numerous denomination — 
the New York Independent. They receive the obsequious homage of 
the demagogues of the day. They have already engrafted a part of 
their ideas upon some State constitutions. Their apostles are invited 
to lecture before "Christian Associations" ( of that peculiar kind 
which enumerate billiard and card-tables among the means of grace ), 
and before the United States Congress. And last, a kindred cause, 
that of indiscriminate divorces, is making such progress in many of 
the States that it will soon be able to lend a strong helping-hand to 
its sister. Now it is by just such steps that Radicalism grew from its 
despised infancy in this country. It was just thus that Abolitionism 
grew. It is thus that all things grow on the American soil which 
ripen their harvests of evil. 

The advocates of these "women's rights" may be expected to win 
the day, because the premisses from which they argue their revolution 
have been irrevocably admitted by the bulk of the people. Now this 
popular mind may not be consciously or intentionally consistent and 
logical. It may jump to many conclusions without much analysis of 
the steps by which they are reached. It may deliberately harbor the 
most express purpose to be guilty of any logical inconsistency, however 
outrageous, in pursuing its supposed interests; and may have its 

324 Women s Rights Women. 

mind ever so clearly made up to eat its own words and principles 
whenever its convenience prompts that measure. But still the Creator 
has made man, in spite of himself, a logical animal; and consequences 
will work themselves out, whether he designs it or not, to those results 
which the premisses dictate. History will write out the corollaries of 
the theorems whether the projectors wish to stop for them or not. 
Now, false principles are already firmly planted from which the whole 
"Women's Rights" claim must follow. If we look at the coarser, 
more concrete, and popular form in which the consequence is drawn, 
we find the argument for the popular, Radical mind perfectly unanswerable. 
"It has been decided that all negro men have a right to vote: 
is not a Yankee white woman with her 'smartness' and education as 
good as a stupid, ignorant. Southern black?" We should like to see 
the answer to that logic from that premiss which a Northern Radical 
mind could be made to appreciate. An unanswerable point thus 
perpetually made upon the mind of the public, will impinge at last. 

Or if we examine the argument in its more exact and logical form, 
we shall find it, after the established (false) premisses are granted, 
equally conclusive for the educated. The very axioms of American 
politics now are, that "all men are by nature equal," that all are 
inalienably "entitled to liberty and the pursuit of happiness," and 
that "the only just foundation of government is in the consent of the 
governed." There was a sense in which our fathers propounded these 
statements; but it is not the one in which they are now held by 
Americans. Our recent doctors of political science have retained 
these formularies of words as convenient masks under which to circulate 
a set of totally different, and indeed antagonistic notions; and 
they have succeeded perfectly. The new meanings of which the 
"Whigs" of 1776 never dreamed are now the current ones. Those 
wise statesmen meant to teach that all men are morally equal in the 
sense of the Golden Rule: that while individual traits, rights, and 
duties vary widely in the different orders of political society, these 
different rights all have some moral basis; that the inferior has the 
same moral title (that of a common humanity and common relation 
to a benignant Heavenly Father) to have his rights — the rights of an 
inferior — duly respected, which the superior has to claim that his very 
different rights shall be respected. The modern version is that there 
are no superiors or inferiors in society; that there is a mechanical 
equality; that all have specifically all the same rights; and that any 
other constitution is against natural justice. Next: when our wise 
fathers said that liberty is an inalienable, natural right, they meant by 
each one's liberty the privilege to do such things as he, with his 
particular relations, ought to have a moral title to do; the particular 
things having righteous, natural limitations in every case, and much 
narrower limits in some cases than in others. Radical America now 
means by natural liberty each one's privilege to do what he chooses 
to do. By the consent of the governed our forefathers meant each 
Sovereign Commonwealth's consenting to the constitution under 
which it should be governed: they meant that it was unjust for 
Britain to govern America without America's consent. Which part of 
the human beings living in a given American State should constitute 

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the State potentially, the populus whose franchise it was to express the 
will of the commonwealth for all — that was in their eyes wholly an- 
other question, to be wisely decided in different States according to 
the structure which Providence had given them. By "the consent of 
the governed" it would appear that Radicalism means it is entirely 
just for Yankeedom to govern Virginia against Virginia's consent, and 
that it is not just to govern any individual human being without letting 
him vote for his governors. The utter inconsistency of the two parts 
of this creed is not ours to reconcile. It is certain that both parts 
(consistent or not) are firmly held as the American creed. The version 
given to the maxim as to individual rights is universally this: 
that natural justice requires that suffrage shall be coextensive with 
allegiance, except where the right has been forfeited by some crime 
( such as that which the men of 1861 committed in presuming to act 
on the principles of the men of 1776 ). To these errors the American 
people are too deeply committed to evade any of their logical applications. 
For the sake of these dogmas they have destroyed one 
Federal and eleven other State constitutions, have committed a half 
million of murders, and ( dearest of all ) have spent some seven thousand 
millions of dollars. Repudiate these maxims now? Never! 
This would be to dishonor the ghosts of all the slaughtered Union- 
Savers, to shame the sacrifices of all the "Trooly Lo'il" during the 
glorious four years, to dim the very crown of martyrdom upon the 
brow of the "late lamented," and worst of all, to outrage the manes 
of all those departed dollars. 

Now then, when Mistress Amazona Narragansett steps forward, 
and having vindicated her claim to have belonged always to the true 
Israel of the "Unconditional Unionists," demands a simple and obvious 
application of these honored maxims to her own case, how can she 
be gainsaid.  Hitherto the State has governed her without asking 
her consent at the ballot-box. This is self-evidently against the 
immortal truth that "all just government is founded on the consent 
of the governed." The State has restrained her natural liberty of 
doing as she chose, compelling her to pay a great many dollars in 
taxes which she would rather have chosen to expend in crinoline, and 
forbidding her to do a great many other little acts, such as bigamy, 
etc., which might have been her preference ( and therefore her natural 
right ); and all this without even saving the State's credit and manners 
by asking her consent at the polls to the laws made for her. And 
last: the State has committed the crowning outrage and inconsistency 
of not letting her be a man because God made her a woman! What 
an outrage this to be committed on so frivolous a pretext! Be 
consoled. Mistress Amazona; it is simply impossible that such abuses 
can stand much longer in the full light of this reforming age. "The 
school-mistress is abroad." That mighty tide of progress which has 
already swept away the Constitution, and slavery, and States' rights, 
and the force of contracts public and private, with all such rubbish, 
will soon dissolve your grievance also. Has not the Radical version 
of the political gospel said, "All men are by nature mechanically 
equal"? And "man," Mistress Amazona (as you will know when you 
acquire the virile right of learning Latin) here means, not vir, but 

326 Women s Rights Women. 

homo; the species irrespective of sex. It means that a woman has a 
natural right to do all the particular things that a man does ( if she 
can ), to sit on juries and shave her beard, to serve in the army and 
ride astraddle, to preach sermons and sing bass. 

But seriously: a woman is a human being, and a grown woman is 
an adult. She is treated, and must be treated, by all governments as 
a citizen owing allegiance and subject to law. On those principles, 
which are the first principles of Radicalism, it is impossible to deny 
her right to vote and to participate in all the franchises of men. Her 
exclusion is a glaring instance of "class legislation" — that odious 
thing which Radicalism so strongly condemns as contrary to equality. 
To subject women to these disabilities is even a more glaring injustice 
than was the exclusion of the negro from American citizenship because 
he was "guilty of a skin"; for here the exclusion from natural rights 
is grounded on the sole fact that woman is "guilty of a sex." And 
especially are all those laws unnatural and inexcusable iniquities which 
subject the person or property of the wife to any marital authority. 
What is such marriage but a species of ( white ) domestic slavery? 
Nor is it any excuse to say that in America no woman enters the 
married state save at her own option; for to that state the most 
commanding instincts of woman's being impel her; and it is but a 
mocking tyranny to impose this slavery on the married state of woman, 
and tell her then that she need not submit to the yoke if she chooses 
to avoid it by sacrificing the chief instincts of her being. Why, 
it may be even said to the galley-slave that he need not be a slave, 
provided he is willing to disregard that other primal instinct, the love 
of life: suicide will set him free! 

Such is the logic of the Women's Rights party, from Radical 
premisses. Its prospect of triumph is greatly increased by this, that 
its Northern opponents (the only ones who have any power to oppose) 
have disabled themselves from meeting it by their furious Abolitionism. 
The premisses of that doctrine, to which they are so irrevocably 
committed, now shut their mouths. It is vain for the rabid negrophilist, 
Dr. Horace Bushnell, to write a book at this date against Women's 
Rights as the "Reform against Nature." He cannot consistently 
oppose it; he has himself naturalised the false principles from which 
that "reform" will flow. The true principles from which its folly might 
have been evinced, the principles held by us "Rebels," he has trampled 
down with the armed heel, and drowned in blood and buried under 
mountains of obloquy and odium and slander. He cannot resort to 
those sound premisses. To meet the argument of these aspiring 
Amazons fairly, one must teach, with Moses, the Apostle Paul, John 
Hampden, Washington, George Mason, John C. Calhoun, and all that 
contemptible rabble of "old fogies," that political society is composed 
of "superiors, inferiors, and equals"; that while all these bear an 
equitable moral relation to each other, they have very different natural 
rights and duties; that just government is not founded on the consent 
of the individuals governed, but on the ordinance of God, and hence 
a share in the ruling franchise is not a natural right at all but a 
privilege to be bestowed according to a wise discretion on a limited 
class having qualification to use it for the good of the whole; that the 

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integers out of which the State is constituted are not individuals, but 
families represented in their parental heads; that every human being 
is born under authority (parental and civic) instead of being born 
"free" in the licentious sense that liberty is each one's privilege of 
doing what he chooses ; that subordination, and not that license, is the 
natural state of all men ; and that without such equitable distribution 
of different duties and rights among the classes naturally differing in 
condition, and subordination of some to others, and of all to the law, 
society is as impossible as is the existence of a house without distinction 
between the foundation-stone and the cap-stones. No words are 
needed to show hence that should either the voice of God or of sound 
experience require woman to be placed for the good of the whole 
society in a subordinate sphere, there can be no natural injustice in 
doing so. But these old truths, with their sound and beneficent 
applications, have been scornfully repudiated by Abolitionism and 
Radicalism. The North cannot, will not, avow and appeal to them, 
because that would be to confess that the injured South was all the 
time right in its opposition to Abolition; and the conquerors will 
rather let all perish than thus humble their pride to the poor conquered 

It may be inferred again that the present movement for women's 
rights will certainly prevail from the history of its only opponent. 
Northern conservatism. This is a party which never conserves any- 
thing. Its history has been that it demurs to each aggression of the 
progressive party, and aims to save its credit by a respectable amount 
of growling, but always acquiesces at last in the innovation. What 
was the resisted novelty of yesterday is to-day one of the accepted 
principles of conservatism; it is now conservative only in affecting to 
resist the next innovation, which will to-morrow be forced upon its 
timidity, and will be succeeded by some third revolution, to be 
denounced and then adopted in its turn. American conservatism is 
merely the shadow that follows Radicalism as it moves forward towards 
perdition. It remains behind it, but never retards it, and always 
advances near its leader. This pretended salt hath utterly lost its 
savor: wherewith shall it be salted? Its impotency is not hard, in- 
deed, to explain. It is worthless because it is the conservatism of 
expediency only, and not of sturdy principle. It intends to risk 
nothing serious for the sake of the truth, and has no idea of being 
guilty of the folly of martyrdom. It always — when about to enter a 
protest — very blandly informs the wild beast whose path it essays to 
stop, that its "bark is worse than its bite," and that it only means 
to save its manners by enacting its decent role of resistance. The 
only practical purpose which it now subserves in American politics is 
to give enough exercise to Radicalism to keep it "in wind," and to 
prevent its becoming pursy and lazy from having nothing to whip. No 
doubt, after a few years, when women's suffrage shall have become 
an accomplished fact, conservatism will tacitly admit it into its 
creed, and thenceforward plume itself upon its wise firmness in opposing 
with similar weapons the extreme of baby suffrage; and when that too 
shall have been won, it will be heard declaring that the integrity of 
the American Constitution requires at least the refusal of suffrage to 
asses. There it will assume, with great dignity, its final position. 

328 Women s Rights Women. 

Indeed, as De Tocqueville predicted, innovations in the direction 
of extensions of suffrage will always be successful in America, because 
of the selfish timidity of her public men. It is the nature of ultra 
democracy to make all its politicians time-servers; its natural spawn 
is the brood of narrow, truckling, cowardly worshipers of the vox 
populi and of present expediency. Their polar star is always found 
in the answer to the question, "Which will be the more popular?" 
As soon as any agitation of this kind goes far enough to indicate a 
possibility of success, their resistance ends. Each of them begins to 
argue thus in his private mind: "The proposed revolution is of 
course preposterous, but it will be best for me to leave opposition to 
it to others. For if it succeeds, the newly enfranchised will not fail 
to remember the opponents of their claim at future elections, and to 
reward those who were their friends in the hour of need." Again: 
it has now become a regular trick of American demagogues in power 
to manufacture new classes of voters to sustain them in office. It is 
presumed that the gratitude of the newly enfranchised will be sufficient 
to make them vote the ticket of their benefactors. But as gratitude 
is a very flimsy sort of fabric among Radicals, and soon worn thread- 
bare, such a reliance only lasts a short time, and requires to be speedily 
replaced. The marvelous invention of negro suffrage ( excogitated 
for this sole purpose ) sufficed to give Radicalism a new four years' 
lease of life; but the grateful allegiance of the freedmen to their 
pretended liberators is waxing very thin; and hence the same 
expedient must be repeated, in the form of creating a few millions of 
female votes. The designing have an active, selfish motive for 
pushing the measure; but its opponents will without fail be paralysed 
in their resistance by their wonted cowardice; so that success is 

This expectation is greatly confirmed by a review of the history of 
past innovations. They have all been carried against the better 
judgment of the class in the country to whom the Constitution committed 
the power of deciding for or against them. In 1829-1830, 
the State of Virginia took her first departure from the old principle 
of freeholders' suffrage. In 1851 she completed that revolution (as 
well as introduced sundry other Radical features) by extending the 
right to vote indiscriminately to all white males. In both instances 
it was hard to find a freeholder, not a demagogue, who could avow a 
hearty preference for the changes. They were carried against the 
convictions of the voters by the influences which have been above 
described. It is most probable that the same thing was true in every 
State which adopted universal suffrage. The coercive measures of 
the Federal Government were undoubtedly precipitated against the 
convictions of the majority of the Northern people. So the war was 
transmuted into an Abolition measure under the same circumstances. 
And last: negro suffrage was undoubtedly introduced against the 
better judgment of nearly all by the selfish arts of the demagogues; 
and as there was neither party nor statesman that had the nerve to 
head the almost universal opposition, the decision went by default. 
Nor will there be, under any future circumstances, either leader or 
party that will risk the odium of a movement to take away suffrage 

Women's Rights Women. 329 

from the incompetent hands of the blacks, however clearly it may 
appear that they are using it for the ruin of themselves and the 
country. Thus it is the destiny of the Yankee people to commit a 
species of political Hari-kari with its own unwilling hands. The 
crowning element of despair is in the enforced consolidation of the 
Government. There are no reserved rights of States. The mad 
innovation which is adopted by a majority of them is enforced upon 
all; so that no place of refuge is left in the whole land where the 
right principles and usages might find sanctuary, and abide as a 
wholesome example and recuperative power for reform. 

What then, in the next place, will be the effect of this fundamental 
change when it shall be established? The obvious answer is, that 
it will destroy Christianity and civilisation in America. Some who 
see the mischievousness of the movement express the hope that it 
will, even if nominally successful, be kept within narrow limits by 
the very force of its own absurdity. They "reckon without their 
host." There is a Satanic ingenuity in these Radical measures which 
secures the infection of the reluctant dissentients as surely as of the 
hot advocates. The women now sensible and modest who heartily 
deprecate the whole folly, will be dragged into the vortex, with the 
assent of their now indignant husbands. The instruments of this 
deplorable result will be the ( so-called ) conservative candidates for 
office. They will effect it by this plea, that ignorant, impudent, 
Radical women will vote, and vote wrong; whence it becomes a 
necessity for the modest and virtuous women, for their country's sake, 
to sacrifice their repugnance and counterpoise these mischievous 
votes in the spirit of disinterested self-sacrifice. Now a woman can 
never resist an appeal to the principle of generous devotion; her 
glory is to crucify herself in the cause of duty and of zeal. This 
plea will be successful. But when the virtuous have once tasted the 
dangerous intoxication of political excitement and of power, even 
they will be absorbed; they will learn to do con amore what was first 
done as a painful duty, and all the baleful influences of political life 
will be diffused throughout the sex. 

What those influences will be may be learned by every one who 
reverences the Christian Scriptures, from this fact, that the theory of 
"Women's Rights" is sheer infidelity. It directly impugns the 
authority and the justice of these Scriptures. They speak in no 
uncertain tones. "The husband is the head of the wife" (Eph. v : 23). 
"Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands, as to the Lord" 
{v. 22). "The man is not for the woman, but the woman for the 
man" (i Cor. ii : 9). "Let the woman learn in silence, with all sub- 
jection: but I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority 
over the man, but to be in silence: for Adam was first formed, then 
Eve: and Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was 
in the transgression" (i Tim. ii : 11-14). They are to be "discreet, 
chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands," etc. 
(Titus ii : 5). How utterly opposed is all this to the levelling doctrine 
of your Radical. Women are here consigned to a social subordination,
 and expressly excluded from ruling offices, on grounds of their 
sex, and a divine ordination based by God upon a transaction which 

330 Women s Rights Women. 

happened nearly six thousand years ago! The woman's sphere is 
expressly assigned her within her home, and she is taught that the 
assumption of publicity is an outrage against that nature with which 
she is endowed. Now the politics which denounce all this as a 
natural injustice and self-evident folly cannot be expected to reverence 
these Scriptures; they must and will flout their whole authority. We 
must then make up our minds in accepting Women's Rights to surrender 
our Bibles, and have an atheistic Government. And especially 
must we expect to have, presiding over every home and rearing every 
group of future citizens, that most abhorrent of all phenomena, an 
infidel woman; for of course that sex, having received the precious 
boon of their enfranchisement only by means of the overthrow of 
the Bible, must be foremost in trampling upon this their old oppressor 
and enemy. Its restoration to authority is necessarily their "re- 
enslavement," to speak the language of their party. 

Second: these new excitements and temptations will utterly corrupt 
the character and delicacy of American women. It is indignantly 
asked, "Why should politics corrupt the morals of women more than 
of the 'lords of creation'?" Suppose now we reply: American politics 
have corrupted the morals of the men? Suppose we argue that 
the retort is so true and just and the result has actually gone to so 
deplorable an extent, that were the female side of our social organization 
as corrupt as the male side has already become, American 
society would crumble into ruin by its own putrescence ? It is better 
to save half the fabric than to lose all. And especially is it better to 
save the purity of the mothers who are, under God, to form the 
characters of our future citizens, and of the wives who are to restrain 
and elevate them, whatever else we endanger. Is it argued that since 
women are now confessedly purer than men, their entrance into politics 
must tend to purify politics? We reply again that the women of 
the present were reared and attained this comparative purity under 
the Bible system. Adopt the infidel plan, and we shall corrupt our 
women without purifying our politics. What shall save us then? 

But there is another reply to this retort. Political excitements will 
corrupt women tenfold more than men; and this, not because women 
are naturally inferior to men, but because they are naturally adapted 
to a wholly different sphere. When we point to the fact that they are 
naturally more emotional and less calculating, more impulsive and 
less self-contained, that they have a quicker tact but less logic, that 
their social nature makes them more liable to the contagion of 
epidemic passions, and that the duties of their sex make it physically 
impossible for them to acquire the knowledge in a foreign sphere 
necessary for political duties, we do not depreciate woman; we only 
say that nature has adapted her to one thing and disqualified her for 
the other. The violet would wither in that full glare of midsummer 
in which the sunflower thrives: this does not argue that the violet is 
the meaner flower. The vine, left to stand alone, would be hurled 
prone in the mire by the first blasts of that wind which strengthens 
the grasp of the sturdy oak upon its bed: still the oak may yield no 
fruit so precious as the clusters of the vine. But the vine cannot be 
an oak; it must be itself, dependent, clinging, but more precious than 

Women s Rights Women. 331 

that on which it leans or it must perish. When anything, animate or 
inanimate, is used for a function to which it is not adapted, that 
foreign use must endamage it, and the more the farther that function 
is from its own sphere. So it will be found ( and it is no disparagement 
to woman to say it ) that the very traits which fit her to be the 
angel of a virtuous home unfit her to meet the agitations of political 
life, even as safely as does the more rugged man. The hot glare of 
publicity and passion will speedily deflower her delicacy and sweetness. 
Those temptations, which her Maker did not form her to bear, 
will debauch her heart, developing a character as much more repulsive 
than that of the debauched man as the fall has been greater. The 
politicating woman, unsexed and denaturalised, shorn of the true 
glory of her femininity, will appear to men as a feeble hybrid mannikin, 
with all the defects and none of the strength of the male. Instead 
of being the dear object of his chivalrous affection, she becomes his 
importunate rival, despised without being feared. 

This suggests a third consequence, which some of the advocates of 
the movement even already are bold enough to foreshadow. "Women's 
Rights" mean the abolition of all permanent marriage ties. We are 
told that Mrs. Cady Stanton avowed this result, proclaiming it at the 
invitation of the Young Men's Christian Association of New York. 
She holds that woman's bondage is not truly dissolved until the 
marriage bond is annulled. She is thoroughly consistent. Some 
hoodwinked advocates of her revolution may be blind to the sequence; 
but it is inevitable. It must follow by this cause, if for no 
other, that the unsexed politicating woman can never inspire in man 
that true affection on which marriage should be founded. Men will 
doubtless be still sensual; but it is simply impossible that they can 
desire them for the pure and sacred sphere of the wife. Let every 
woman ask herself: will she choose for the lord of her affections an 
unsexed effeminate man? No more can man be drawn to the masculine woman
The mutual attraction of the two complementary halves 
is gone forever. The abolition of marriage would follow again by 
another cause. The divergent interests and the rival independence 
of the two equal wills would be irreconcilable with domestic government, 
or union, or peace. Shall the children of this monstrous no- 
union be held responsible to two variant coordinate and supreme wills 
at once? Heaven pity the children! Shall the two parties to this 
perpetual co-partnership have neither the power to secure the performance 
of the mutual duties nor to dissolve it? It is a self-contradiction, an 
impossible absurdity. Such a co-partnership of equals 
with independent interests must be separable at will, as all other such 
co-partnerships are. The only relation between the sexes which will 
remain will be a cohabitation continuing so long as the convenience 
or caprice of both parties may suggest; and this, with most, will 
amount to a vagrant concubinage. 

But now, what will be the character of the children reared under such 
a domestic organisation as this? If human experience has established 
anything at all, it is the truth of that principle announced by the 
Hebrew prophet when he declared that the great aim of God in 
ordaining a permanent marriage tie between one man and one woman 

332 Womeiis Rights Women. 

was "that He might seek a godly seed." God's ordinance, the only 
effective human ordinance for checking and curbing the first tendencies 
to evil, is domestic, parental government. When the family shall 
no longer have a head, and the great foundation for the subordination 
of children in the mother's example is gone; when the mother shall 
have found another sphere than her home for her energies; when she 
shall have exchanged the sweet charities of domestic love and sympathy 
for the fierce passions of the hustings; when families shall be 
disrupted at the caprice of either party, and the children scattered 
as foundlings from their hearthstone, — it requires no wisdom to see 
that a race of sons will be reared nearer akin to devils than to men. 
In the hands of such a bastard progeny, without discipline, without 
homes, without a God, the last remains of social order will speedily 
perish, and society will be overwhelmed in savage anarchy. 

Last: it would not be hard to show, did space permit, that this movement 
on the part of these women is as suicidal as it is mischievous. 
Its certain result will be the re-enslavement of women, not under the 
Scriptural bonds of marriage, but under the yoke of literal corporeal 
force. The woman who will calmly review the condition of her sex 
in other ages and countries will feel that her wisdom is to "let well 
enough alone." Physically, the female is the "weaker vessel." This 
world is a hard and selfish scene where the weaker goes to the wall. 
Under all other civilisations and all other religions than ours woman 
has experienced this fate to the full; her condition has been that of a 
slave to the male — sometimes a petted slave, but yet a slave. In 
Christian and European society alone has she ever attained the place 
of man's social equal, and received the homage and honor due from 
magnanimity to her sex and her feebleness. And her enviable lot 
among us has resulted from two causes: the Christian religion and 
the legislation founded upon it by feudal chivalry. How insane then 
is it for her to spurn these her two bulwarks of defence, to defy and 
repudiate the divine authority of that Bible which has been her 
redemption, and to revolutionise the whole spirit of the English 
common law touching woman's sphere and rights? She is thus 
spurning the only protectors her sex has ever found, and provoking 
a contest in which she must inevitably be overwhelmed. Casting 
away that dependence and femininity which are her true strength, the 
"strong-minded woman" persists in thrusting herself into competition 
with man as his equal. But for contest she is not his equal; the 
male is the stronger animal. As man's helper, woman is his equal, 
his superior, his glory. As man's rival, she is a pitiful inferior, a 
sorry she-mannikin. It is when she brings her wealth of affection, 
her self-devotion, her sympathy, her tact, her grace, her subtle 
intuition, her attractions, her appealing weakness, and places them in 
the scale with man's rugged strength and plodding endurance, with 
his steady logic, his hardihood and muscle, and his exemption from 
the disabling infirmities of her sex, that he delights to admit her full 
equality and to do glad homage to her as the crown of his kind. All 
this vantage-ground the "Women's Rights women" madly throw 
away, and provoke that collision for which nature itself has disqualified 
them. They insist upon taking precisely a man's chances; well, they 

Women s Rights Women, 333 

will meet precisely the fate of a weak man among strong ones. A 
recent incident on a railroad train justly illustrates the result. A 
solitary female entered a car where every seat was occupied, and the 
conductor closed the door upon her and departed. She looked in 
vain for a seat, and at last appealed to an elderly man near her to 
know if he would not "surrender his seat to a lady." He, it seems, 
was somewhat a humorist, and answered: "I will surrender it 
cheerfully, Madam, as I always do, but will beg leave first to ask a 
civil question. Are you an advocate of the modern theory of women's 
rights?" Bridling up with intense energy, she replied, "Yes, Sir, 
emphatically; I let you know that it is my glory to be devoted to that 
noble cause." "Very well, Madam," said he, "then the case is 
altered: you may stand up like the rest of us men, until you can get a 
seat for yourself." This was exact poetic justice; and it foreshadows 
precisely the fate of their unnatural pretensions. Men will treat 
them as they treat each other; it will be "every man for himself, and 
the devil take the hindmost." There will be of course a Semiramis 
or a Queen Bess here and there who will hold her own; but the 
general rule will be that the "weaker vessels" will succumb; and the 
society which will emerge from this experiment will present woman in 
the position which she has always held among savages, that of 
domestic drudge to the stronger animal. Instead of being what the 
Bible makes her, one with her husband, queen of his home, reigning 
with the gentle sceptre of love over her modest, secluded domain, and 
in its pure and sacred retirement performing the noblest work done 
on this earth, that of moulding infant minds to honor and piety, she 
will reappear from this ill-starred competition defeated and despised, 
tolerated only to satiate the passion, to amuse the idleness, to do the 
drudgery, and to receive the curses and blows of her barbarized 

Thus will be consummated that destiny to which so many gloomy 
prognostics point as the allotment of the North American continent: 
to be the accursed field for the final illustration of the harvest of 
perdition, grown from the seeding of the dragon's teeth of infidel 
Radicalism. God gave the people of this land great and magnificent 
blessings, and opportunities and responsibilities. They might and 
should have made it the glory of all lands. But they have betrayed 
their trust: they have abused every gift: above all have they insulted 
Him by flaunting in His face an impudent, atheistic, God-defying 
theory of pretended human rights and human perfectibility which 
attempts to deny man's subordination, his dependence, his fall and 
native depravity, his need of divine grace. It invites mankind to 
adopt material civilisation and sensual advantage as their divinity. 
It assumes to be able to perfect man's condition by its political, 
literary, and mechanical skill, despising that Gospel of Christ which 
is man's only adequate remedy. It crowns its impiety by laying its 
defiling hands upon the very forms of that Christianity, while with the 
mock affection of a Judas it attempts to make it a captive to the 
sordid ends of Mammon and sense. Must not God be avenged on 
such a nation as this? His vengeance will be to give them the fruit 
of their own hands, and let them be filled with their own devices. 

Women s Rights Women, 334
He will set apart this fair land by a sort of dread consecration to the 
purpose of giving a lesson concerning this godless philosophy, so 
impressive as to instruct and warn all future generations. As the 
dull and pestilential waves of the Dead Sea have been to every 
subsequent age the memento of the sin of Sodom, so the dreary tides 
of anarchy and barbarism which will overwhelm the boastful devices 
of infidel democracy will be the caution of all future legislators. 
And thus "women's rights" will assist America "to fulfil her great 
mission," that of being the "scarecrow" of the nations. 

R. L. Dabney. 

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Are Fascist ideologies of the Right or Left?

the estimable Col. Tom Kratman makes an interesting differentiation between Marxisms and Fascisms:
"WRT Hitler being left. No he wasn't. He was of the extreme, but of the extreme right, not the extreme left. Tactically and technically the approach can be, and often is, similar for both, and the goal, perfection of man, is the same, but the underlying philosophy - nature v. nurture - are quite different, which will drive them to great operational and strategic differences."
"That core difference, rather the core articulable difference, between right and left concerns the nature of man, malleable / perfectible by breeding (with the variant of "already perfect or, at least, superior so must be defended from downbreeding), or by environment ..."

i actually agree with Tom vis-a-vis the Nature v Nurture philosophical axis being a useful dividing line between Fascisms and Marxisms.  unfortunately for Tom, this is only one philosophical axis upon which they diverge from each other.  there are at least two more ( Nationalism v Internationalism and exaltation of Emotionalism v [ purported ] Rationality ).

the problem is that *none* of these philosophical axes  are intrinsically of either the Left or the Right.

worse, the criteria he has chosen, the "perfectibility of man" CANNOT be 'of the Right'.

the Right ( especially Christians ), believe that Man CANNOT be 'perfected' while present on the material and corrupt Earth.  to assert that Man is perfectible without Christ is, within the Christological worldview, explicitly Satanic.

for a Roman Catholic to assent to the assertion that mortal Man is perfectible in the Here-and-Now is to stipulate to a philosophical position which is explicitly at odds with his professed religious principles.

the actual Right / Left divide here lies between the positions of Corrupt and Imperfect Man v.  the Perfectible Man.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Internet terms and abbreviations

411 - information on something, derived from 411 being a general information telephone number you can call in the US much like 911 is a general emergency phone number
ad hom - ad hominem attack in a discussion; against the posting guidelines but the mod is the final arbitrator on whether or not a post crosses this threshold
AIM - AOL Instant Messenger
Avatar - the picture that is displayed to the left of your message. the option for changing this is at the bottom of your Profile menu.
BBB - big bad@$$ buick; i drive this 71 electra 225 once in a while. 'ware the bow wave
BBTL - bump before the lock; how brad & i used to tweak the mods noses whilst over at ars technica. ah, good times, good times
BTW - by the way
C/P - cut and paste
CMB - Community Message Board {Forum Index Grouping}
DA - devil's advocate/district attorney;one defends slime the other puts them away
DB - Database; the IBDoF has one
DC - distributed computing; a bio/science/math program which uses the internet and participating PC's to assemble a virtual supercomputer to attack such problems as finding prime numbers, curing SARS, developing an antidote to anthrax, folding proteins or searching for LGM's
DCA - Distributed Computing Arcana; a forum on the Ars Technica boards devoted to Distributed Computing
DOD - dildo of death; used to greet post whores who have crossed the 4-digit posting barrier, much as sea-men are initiated after crossing the equator for the first time
DotD - defender of the database; an ephemeral title once granted to me, since rescinded through no fault of my own (edit: ooooh, it's back, it's back! look quick before it disappears again)
Flame Suit - metaphorically donned by someone who is about to post a subject or opinion which he knows will be controversial
Flame War - heated online catfight, often involving ad hominem arguments and unsuitable language. such a thread is prime IBTL and PC++ territory
FUBAR - f'd up beyond all repair (1 step up from TARFU)
Haxor - computer hacker or, more often, a teenager who plays computer games
HC - hard cover
IBDoF - Acronym for the Internet Book Database of Fiction; why isn't it called the IDBoF? i dunno, try calling 1-800-GET-A-CLU
IBTL - in before the lock; posted in response to a thread which is either clearly off topic, ad hominem or totally without merit and which will be locked as soon as a mod shows up. often seen in conjunction with PC++
IIRC - if i remember correctly; consider yourself warned about my alzheimer's
IM - instant message/ing;real time message system such as YIM, AIM or WM
IME - in my experience
IMHO - in my humble opinion
IMNSHO - in my not so humble opinion
IMO - in my opinion
IP - intellectual property; something that is subject to copyright/trade mark/registration law: also internet protocol; used to configure your computer or talk on a local network/to the internet
IRC - internet relay chat; live chat channels sometimes hosted by a forum (not this one though)
IRC - i remember correctly; how dare you question me you little pipsqueak
leet - haxor speak for 'elite' or 'better than you'; usually used in reference to coding programs or playing computer games
LGM - little green men; extra-terrestrials or martians
Lock - the process of rendering it impossible to reply to a thread
LOL - laugh out loud
LOS - line of sight; lines of supply
L4 or L5 - the most stable lagrange orbit points. see this thread for descriptive picture. see posts below that for in depth discussion
Lurker - someone who peruses the board without ever adding content or participating in a conversation; shown as 'Guest' on the board stats
Mod - formal usage: moderator; forum referee, usually has broad authority to edit, delete or lock threads/posts/members (hint: it's usually a Bad Idea to insult or abuse a mod, especially in his home forum)
MOD - informal usage: Master Of Digression, a forum poster reknowned for his ability to fold, spindle or mutilate a thread so far from it's intended purpose that it's original subject is no longer decipherable.
MMP - mass market paperback; whenever possible, this will be the version linked by the IBDoF
MPAI - most people are idiots
MUE - mindless user error; OE
NDP - nom de plume; alternate or pen name when an author would prefer not to use their real name
NM - never mind
NMO - not my opinion
Noob - slang spelling of newbie; a newcomer or initiate - you if you actually need to read this FAQ
NPC - not politically correct: also non-player character when used in reference to video/computer games
OADF - Official Author Discussio Forum {Forum Index Grouping}
OE - operator error; what the computer help desk is always telling you
OT - off topic; a reply which takes the thread in a direction unrelated to the original post
OTOH - on the other hand
PC - politically correct
PC++ - post count plus; stylized as if in a programming language
PEBCAK - problem exists between chair and keyboard; also known as OE
PICNIC - problem in chair, not in computer; also known as OE (when is somebody gonna make fun of these help desk people?)
PIG - people in general; specific people are okay, i just can't stand PIGs
Post Whore - someone who posts at a profligate rate, often simply to raise their post total. also Brad_H :wink:
PM - personal/private mail; messages posted through the board that can only be seen by the individual recipient. both sender and receiver must be registered on the board
RAH - Robert A. Heinlein
RAYOR - read at your own risk; a spoiler warning
RL - real life; you know, that place without a computer or internet access
ROFL - rolling on floor laughing
RTFM - read the f'ing manual
RTM - read the manual
S/N - signal to noise ratio; please take all of your noise to the soapbox
SNAFU - situation normal, all f'd up
Stats Whore - someone who just likes watching numbers go up; you might be a stats whore if you're a baseball fan but if you play Progress Quest, Diablo II or participate in a DC program your soul is lost
SWAG - Scientific (or Stupid) Wild @ssed Guess
TANSTAAFL - there ain't no such thing as a free lunch
TARFU: Things Are Really F'd Up (1 step up from SNAFU)
TCWB - Time Consuming Work Bomb, most often an off-handed suggestion about improvements to the database that needs a HUGE amount of effort to accomplish, but is definately worth it.
TIA - thanks in advance
TP - trade paperback
UADF - Unofficial Author Discussio Forum {Forum Index Grouping}
WAG - wild @ssed guess
WM - windows messenger == the spawn of satan
WTF - what the f
WTH - what the heck / hell
WTK - what the krell; a DC variant of WTH using the name of an infamous cheater in place of the more usual subjects
W/O - without
YACA - yet another car analogy
YIM - Yahoo Instant Messenger
YGM - you've got mail, subject to a pending AOL lawsuit
YMMV - your mileage may vary

Sunday, October 25, 2015

As the English hate, so do the Germans

Hymn of Hate against England
Ernst Lissauer's WW1 hate-poem  
HaƟgesang gegen England

French and Russian, they matter not,
A blow for a blow and a shot for a shot!
We love them not, we hate them not,
We hold the Weichsel and Vosges gate.
We have but one and only hate,
We love as one, we hate as one,
We have one foe and one alone.
He is known to you all, he is known to you all,
He crouches behind the dark gray flood,
Full of envy, of rage, of craft, of gall,
Cut off by waves that are thicker than blood.
Come, let us stand at the Judgment Place,
An oath to swear to, face to face,
An oath of bronze no wind can shake,
An oath for our sons and their sons to take.
Come, hear the word, repeat the word,
Throughout the Fatherland make it heard.
We will never forego our hate,
We have all but a single hate,
We love as one, we hate as one,
We have one foe and one alone —


In the Captain's Mess, in the banquet hall,
Sat feasting the officers, one and all,
Like a sabre blow, like the swing of a sail,
One seized his glass and held high to hail;
Sharp-snapped like the stroke of a rudder's play,
Spoke three words only: "To the Day!"
Whose glass this fate?
They had all but a single hate.
Who was thus known?
They had one foe and one alone--

Take you the folk of the Earth in pay,
With bars of gold your ramparts lay,
Bedeck the ocean with bow on bow,
Ye reckon well, but not well enough now.
French and Russian, they matter not,
A blow for a blow, a shot for a shot,
We fight the battle with bronze and steel,
And the time that is coming Peace will seal.
You we will hate with a lasting hate,
We will never forego our hate,
Hate by water and hate by land,
Hate of the head and hate of the hand,
Hate of the hammer and hate of the crown,
Hate of seventy millions choking down.
We love as one, we hate as one,
We have one foe and one alone--
Translation by Barbara Henderson, as it appeared in THE NEW YORK TIMES of Oct. 15th, 1914.
You might almost think that the Anglo-Saxon and German shared some family traits.  To be fair, though, Lissauer was Jewish.

The Beginnings

by Rudyard Kipling

It was not part of their blood,
     It came to them very late
   With long arrears to make good,
     When the English began to hate.

   They were not easily moved,
      They were icy-willing to wait
   Till every count should be proved,
     Ere the English began to hate.

   Their voices were even and low,
     Their eyes were level and straight.
   There was neither sign nor show,
     When the English began to hate.

   It was not preached to the crowd,
     It was not taught by the State.
   No man spoke it aloud,
     When the English began to hate.

   It was not suddenly bred,
     It will not swiftly abate,
   Through the chill years ahead,
     When Time shall count from the date
     That the English began to hate.