Tuesday, October 10, 2017

HBO’s Confederate Part II

In the previous essay, I speculated on what would happen if the South Won The Civil War.
This was my version of HBO’s upcoming series Confederate. I maintained that :
Kurman’s Ironclad Rule of Time Travel  #4:  If the South Wins the Civil War, the Soviet Union becomes the No.1 global superpower.  
I failed to entirely explicate that law, and will fail to do so now. Mainly because, being so easily distracted, I’ve come across something much more fun. I’ll get to that in a minute. Let’s set up a few ground rules first.
It’s always assumed in counterfactual narrative, that things will regress to the mean, moderation will win out, people, being people, will act in a decent and long term honorable fashion. This is, of course, a foolish assumption. Any casual student of the history of civilization must acknowledge that the praxis of depravity extends all the way back to ancient Sumeria.
Call this the Tao of Depravity. Civilization, like water, seeks its lowest point.
So, when people assume that if the South wins, or draws, the Civil War, moderation shall be the rule. The divergence will converge to our standards, and we end up with the world as we see it. Slavery will be disposed of. The South will reunify with the North.
Sure, and unicorns poop delicious donuts with sprinkles. That's why they have horns. To hold the donuts.
If one were to pick important dates in the history of the Republic, one might choose July 4, 1776; or September  17, 1787. I choose a much more important date:  December 14, 1662.
On December  14, 1662, the Virginia House of Burgesses codified the civil law rule of partus sequitur ventrem. The offspring follow the condition of the mother. Slave status, caste status, is matrilineal. In other words: mommy’s baby, daddy’s maybe.
This salient rule later became incorporated into state laws once the colonies achieved independence from Great Britain. The Virginia Slave Codex is the foundation stone of the United State of America, Don’t let anyone bullshit you otherwise.
Okay, basic rules out of the way, on with the masturbations!
In the previous essay, I derided the notion that the South could win through a military victory.
Quote: “In the Confederacy, by Gettysburg, you have a worthless Confederate paper dollar, Yankee gold coins good anywhere, armed housewives rioting for food, a labor force bled white by conscription, government impressments of private properties”.
I rejected that hot mess of that basket case of a victorious South, and that was foolish of me. It’s the perfect fucked-up starting point for an engaging Southern gothic horror show. Silly me. So let’s get to it.
Black Friday:  January 1st 1926. In the Confederacy, New Year’s Day is Hiring Day. Once a traditional day for the settling of debts, it was now for the annual buying and selling, or renting, of slaves. It was an occasion for white people to party hard, for drink to flow freely, for feasting and whoring and good times.It was a day for some white men to feel almost equal to other white men. It was a day for legal nonpeoples to fear, a day of uncertainty. Of course, the entire state machinery of the Confederacy had been devoted to erasing this fear, of molding and shaping the minds and bodies of slaves not only to market utility*, but to brute acceptance and docility as would any other kind of livestock.   The breeding factories and laboratories of the Old Dominion of Virginia and the Aristocracy of South Carolina had done their level best to breed for docility of the Negro, but a mere six generations is not enough time to shape people as one would horse or hound.

True, the astounding specialized variations produced, with exquisite control of germ lines from the promise of the new science of genetics, had been impressive. But drugs** and operant conditioning of behavioral psychology had been the go-to method of control since the 1880s.

Imagine, then the apoplectic rage and visceral astonishment of the Confederacy when a simultaneous and nationwide slave revolt occurred late that afternoon.Not just the craftsmen of the artisan caste, field hands and domestics of the labor caste revolted. The Stock, the Bulls and bucks, ran amok in the feedlots and slaughter houses. Overseers and wranglers torn to pieces, or fed to the machines on the disassembly lines.  

Why, even the Mothers resisted. White-suited and silk top-hatted Handlers crushed under the enormous bulk of these mammoth superbreeders and milk producers. How was this possible from creatures of such limited intelligence? Astounding. The international milk brand of Mothers was almost ruined.

Fancy Girls*** violently turned upon suitors. Even the Marys and Nancys, those Negresses of the blonde-haired blue-eyed phenotype, participated. Those sex slave lines were discontinued. New germ lines cultivated.On a positive note, only one Little ShadowTM (toys, personal  slave companions) had harmed a master’s child. It was deemed unrelated to the general distress, mentally disturbed, unhinged by a revelation it had been lost in a gambling bet****. It was flayed alive.

The rebellion was quickly quashed by that very evening, but the damage was done.  The New York Stock Exchange was in turmoil the next day, overleveraged upon the collateralized debt of human capital. News roiled financial institutions throughout the globe.  It took a month for the markets to calm themselves, and only on the promise from the Confederacy of the strictest scrutinizes and harshest of measures (should fault be found) to be visited upon the stock-raisers of the slave breeding industry.
Slave rebellions, and fears of such, were old hat in the South. Slavery is, after all, perpetual war, and vigilance is called for, to the point of accepting the losses of capital from false positives. But the astounding nationwide coordination of this revolt put the Confederacy into a high gear of suppression.
If the slave caste was subject to selective breeding, the master caste was certainly bred for sadism and cruelty of the highest order, and one would expect the most extreme response to this rebellion. Extreme being every form of cruel and unusual punishment you can imagine. I also suspect that the US of A’s response to this rebellion was a shrugging of the shoulders as they have their own messes to deal with. Plus, they really wanted to burn Texas oil.
The Confederacy, already authoritarian and using decades-old methods similar to gulags and concentration camps, doubled down on becoming a police state. This would prove problematic  in the early 21st century, when the lower  white castes became restive.
I’ve run out of time to continue. The source material for this essay - with only a third of the dog-eared pages exploited - is The American Slave Coast – A History of the American Slave Breeding Industry, by Ned and Constance Sublette. Highly readable and thoroughly recommended.

Also The Dragon Masters, by Jack Vance.