Up in Arms: Why America is More Divided Than People Realize

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Colin Woodard, writer of American Nations: A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America, explains how America is more divided than most people realize and why.

via Tufts Magazine

THE BATTLE LINES OF TODAY’S DEBATES OVER GUN CONTROL, STAND-YOUR-GROUND LAWS, AND OTHER VIOLENCE-RELATED ISSUES WERE DRAWN CENTURIES AGO BY AMERICA’S EARLY SETTLERS

Last December, when Adam Lanza stormed into the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, with a rifle and killed twenty children and six adult staff members, the United States found itself immersed in debates about gun control. Another flash point occurred this July, when George Zimmerman, who saw himself as a guardian of his community, was exonerated in the killing of an unarmed black teenager, Trayvon Martin, in Florida. That time, talk turned to stand-your-ground laws and the proper use of deadly force. The gun debate was refreshed in September by the shooting deaths of twelve people at the Washington Navy Yard, apparently at the hands of an IT contractor who was mentally ill.

Such episodes remind Americans that our country as a whole is marked by staggering levels of deadly violence. Our death rate from assault is many times higher than that of highly urbanized countries like the Netherlands or Germany, sparsely populated nations with plenty of forests and game hunters like Canada, Sweden, Finland, or New Zealand, and large, populous ones like the United Kingdom, Germany, and Japan. State-sponsored violence, too—in the form of capital punishment—sets our country apart. Last year we executed more than ten times as many prisoners as other advanced industrialized nations combined—not surprising given that Japan is the only other such country that allows the practice. Our violent streak has become almost a part of our national identity.

What’s less well appreciated is how much the incidence of violence, like so many salient issues in American life, varies by region. Beyond a vague awareness that supporters of violent retaliation and easy access to guns are concentrated in the states of the former Confederacy and, to a lesser extent, the western interior, most people cannot tell you much about regional differences on such matters. Our conventional way of defining regions—dividing the country along state boundaries into a Northeast, Midwest, Southeast, Southwest, and Northwest—masks the cultural lines along which attitudes toward violence fall. These lines don’t respect state boundaries. To understand violence or practically any other divisive issue, you need to understand historical settlement patterns and the lasting cultural fissures they established.

The original North American colonies were settled by people from distinct regions of the British Isles—and from France, the Netherlands, and Spain—each with its own religious, political, and ethnographic traits. For generations, these Euro-American cultures developed in isolation from one another, consolidating their cherished religious and political principles and fundamental values, and expanding across the eastern half of the continent in nearly exclusive settlement bands. Throughout the colonial period and the Early Republic, they saw themselves as competitors—for land, capital, and other settlers—and even as enemies, taking opposing sides in the American Revolution, the War of 1812, and the Civil War.

There’s never been an America, but rather several Americas—each a distinct nation. There are eleven nations today. Each looks at violence, as well as everything else, in its own way.

CONTINUE READING

(explanations for each area are listed)

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  • Kropotkin1936

    Down with Empire! Free Cascadia!

  • Liam_McGonagle

    It’s even worse than you think: I disagreed violently with every last paragraph, sentence and word in this essay, including the semicolons.

    Especially the semicolons.

    • echar

      What if there was whole colons, would you violently disagree?

      • Liam_McGonagle

        My own colon might get a little irritable.

  • Lookinfor Buford

    “Each looks at violence, as well as everything else, in its own way.”

    To be a law abiding gun owner, is to be Anti-Violence.
    To be Anti-gun, is to accept/tolerate violence.

    Brother Elias, you do a disservice by displaying this debate in a false frame.
    To call the defense of oneself with a weapon “violent retaliation” is disingenuous.
    Pro-Gun, Pro-2nd Amendment people are willing to stand up to violence. They are unwilling to simply tolerate it. Likewise, they are unwilling to tolerate tyranny. No amount of pontification will convince them that they should just nakedly trust the world. Weapons prevent far more violence than they create. Every day across the globe, weapons silently prevent violence and tyranny.
    Anti-Gun progressives are just wimps, who think the world has evolved beyond violence, and that if we just get rid of the weapons, there would be no violence. They are willing victims who think they will be spared by violent forces and tyranny because of their beliefs. Ridiculous, to say the least.

    • kcorb

      “To be a law abiding gun owner, is to be Anti-Violence”

      Like so many other gun owners, you shoot yourself in the foot as soon as you pull your gun out of the holster.

      • Lookinfor Buford

        If true, then then anti-gun wimps like you have nothing to worry about.

        • kcorb

          I’m not anti-gun, I own quite a few guns, I was just making fun of the stupidity of your comment and your general brainwashed mindset. Guns don’t stop violence any more that they create violence, they are simply tools used to do violence. As far as self protection goes, guns are for cowards. Cowardice is a perfectly reasonable response though when your life is in danger. The problem arises when gun nut cowards like you think you’re in danger and blow the head off some girl scout trying to sell cookies.

          • Lookinfor Buford

            You obviously have a hard time measuring people, and discerning truth from fallacy. Guns most certainly do prevent violence and tyranny. No one taught me that, it is a self-evident truth. You don’t know the first thing about my skills with a weapon. It is you who’s been brainwashed to think that anyone who supports gun rights is somehow incompetent by default.
            Personally, I don’t own any handguns, only shotguns, because I was brought up bird hunting. So, I suppose you deduced your assumption that gun owners are cowards from your own reasons for owning guns. Personally, I would rather resolve any physical confrontation with a chokehold. But my point is that the mere presence of a weapon can preemptively end a violent situation. Go ahead and argue that black is really white though.

          • kcorb

            How have guns helped in any way to liberate us from the plutocracy we all live under? This notion that guns insure liberty is an antiquated holdover from the days when nations would quarter soldiers in peoples homes.
            You sound like a fairly reasonable gun owner so sorry for any slights I may have made with regard to your weapon skills. Most of my guns are from my bird hunting days as well. There are a lot of people out there that don’t appreciate the gravity of a situation involving a loaded weapon. It’s those people that motivate me to support tougher gun control laws, particularly in regard to handguns.

          • Lookinfor Buford

            Well, maybe you shouldn’t be so quick to buy into the hype. The press has you convinced that there’s a scourge of unqualified idiots who possess firearms. In reality, ~50% of all people I know actually own a firearm. 100% of them are capable and reasonable people. How about you? What does your own experience tell you? Too many people rely on Bob Costas to paint the picture, and not enough on what they see around them.
            On the topic of liberation, I would argue that the armed populace is a big reason the ‘plutocracy’ has not gained more ground than it has. And now, it’s coming to a head and this pesky issue is cast into the limelight, because, dammit, they just can’t go all the way until they disarm that idiotic everyman. Is it not evident to you that the U.N. and other countries of the world are pushing hard for this? They can easily manipulate our political class, but it would be for naught if the populace retains the ability to defend itself. The founders weren’t just being stubborn. They were being diligent because of their awareness that all governments naturally and endlessly encroach upon the power of the people.
            I also want to point out that violence, in general, is not on the rise, nor has it been for a long time. You simply hear about it faster and more readily in the information age. As you also seem like a reasonable person, how can you reconcile that restricted gun rights will somehow result in reduced violence? If James Holmes hadn’t been able to acquire the AR, he’d have come up with another cruel way to kill. Probably a bomb, or he just would have carried 10 pistols, or how about 50 gallons of hydrochloric acid? Sometimes I think it’s important to realize that there just *is* no solution to certain problems.
            Finally, why do I think it is important to retain the right to possess an AR? Well let me just be human here. IF our sovereignty is ever threatened, IF our government overrun with depots, IF revolution is ever necessary, will an AR save me? Hell no. But knowing we have them will sure make the other side think twice won’t it? It is that knowledge that keeps despots from blatantly showing their colors. Point to the other countries in the world where gun ownership is disallowed, and you will be pointing at a country where the people have already lost control of their government.

          • kcorb

            If the government ever decided you’re just a tick on it’s ass you’re going to die from a smart bomb delivered via a drone in the dead of night. If you’re a responsible gun owner then your family will recover your AR-15 from your gun safe and be able to sell it to help pay for your funeral services.

            Your right about violence being down, but it’s got nothing to do with people owning guns. The simple fact is guns kill more people than they save and you just don’t like that message. The whole spree killer thing is just sensational bs. Handguns are the big statistical killer and it’s primarily domestic violence and stupidity that’s to blame.

          • Lookinfor Buford

            No, sir that is not a fact. The fact, as I stated, is that guns in our society silently prevent far more violence as a deterrent than they will ever be used to perpetrate.

          • kcorb

            So the fact that there are fewer gun owners now and that violence is also decreasing in counties with strict gun laws are just statistical aberrations? You’re never going to venture off of the NRA script though are you?

          • Lookinfor Buford

            Once again, I state self-evident truths. I have no ties to NRA, not even a member. You on the other hand apparently state what some liberal college prof told you. How do you figure there are fewer gun owners now? Fewer than when?
            As I said before, those countries are already living under the thumb of disgusting beaurocratic rule. Never will they be able to regain their liberty. Also, what do you say of Connecticut having some of the strictest gun laws? How could Sandy Hook have happened? How bout D.C, Chicago? Highest violent crime rates in the country. Let’s here your reasoning for that. If you can reconcile that, I’ll shut up.

          • kcorb

            A simple google search is all it takes.

            http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/10/us/rate-of-gun-ownership-is-down-survey-shows.html

            A drop from 65% to 40% in the last 40 years.

            Again, spree killings get all the press but are statistically insignificant when it comes to gun deaths. D.C. & Chicago? How about the fact that it’s trivial to venture out of those geographically small locals to find a gun legally if you don’t want to just pick one up on the black market.

            With all the guns on the market there’s no real short-term fix. Laws that would make legally owning a gun as much work as legally driving a car would probably help continue the current trend of less guns and less gun violence.

          • kcorb

            Here’s a gun story from my youth.

            One afternoon, hanging out in the front yard, a muscle car comes blazing down our street and purposefully swerves at our dog who’s standing by the road. My dad throws his half full beer into the driver-side door of the car and shouts several expletives. Car drives off and no one thinks much more about it.

            That evening, the guy with the muscle car comes back with a bunch of his friends and blocks our driveway. There are three cars and half a dozen teenagers. My dad goes out to see what they want. Watching from the living room things start to look like they’re getting a bit heated and suddenly my dad throws the teenager that was the driver of the damaged car over the hood of the car and puts a .25 cal pistol to his head. The rest of the teenagers are in their cars and screeching off into the night immediately. The teenager with the soiled pants follows them shortly after.

            My dad was kind of a hard case that way, but ultimately it was a pretty stupid move. If that gun had gone off and blown that kids brains all over his hood, then I probably would have grown up without a father. I don’t remember though, the gun might not have been loaded. It was a little piece of shit auto that he brought back from Germany when he was in the service that didn’t fire half the time.

            Ultimately, the kid kept coming back, late at night, backing his car down our driveway and burning rubber all the way to the street. The local police wouldn’t do anything about it, but my dad eventually got the Sheriffs department out there and told them if they didn’t do something about it he was going to be waiting for that kid some night to put a bullet in his head and the situation finally got resolved.

          • Lookinfor Buford

            1. Replying to yourself.. seriously bad form, bro.
            2. Big deal, what’s your point? Your come from a line of hotheads? The gun ‘did not’ go off, correct? So even when your dad was super-pissed, he managed to control this complicated piece of machinery? Are you saying the punk ass didn’t deserve to crap his pants for trying to run down your dog? Just how big is your pussy?
            3. I’m going to guess now, you are still in your 20s. That would explain your world view.

          • kcorb

            Just an anecdote. A counter point to your idiot notion that pro-gun == anti violence. Fighting fire with fire can be a perfectly justifiable path to follow. Wasn’t really intended for you so don’t get your panties in a bunch about it.

          • Lookinfor Buford

            Oh really so, would you say your dad is a violent man?

          • kcorb

            When he felt the situation requires it my dad could be savagely violent. In most cases though all it takes is the apparent will to do violence. He’s a bit too old now to be busting heads though. He’s more of a live an let live gentleman these days.

          • Lookinfor Buford

            You might be surprised how much that little parenthood thing can change your views and your demeanor.

    • Mr Willow

      To be a law abiding gun owner, is to be Anti-Violence

      The willingness (or eagerness) and capability to use violence to prevent or stop violence is not anti-violence, it’s potential violence contribution.

      Likewise, they are unwilling to tolerate tyranny

      I have a feeling (and I could be wrong, so feel free to correct me or ignore the following) that you fall into the category of “Pro-Gun, Pro-2nd Amendment people” that equate the government being involved in any way with the workings of the nation, be they even theoretically beneficial or overtly destructive, with tyranny, and something I’ve been wondering lately is how you (or the people I describe, should you yourself not fall into said category) would react if us “progressive wimps” were to stick our chest out and decide to stock up.

      Specifically, I recall how during Obama’s campaign(s) and initial TParty rallies, there would be protesters assembled with fully loaded semi-automatic rifles (all legally acquired as far as I’m aware), making a big statement about how much the second amendment meant to them (nevermind the fact that Obama’s done jack in regard to gun-control for fear of upsetting the NRA), which is all well and good I suppose.

      Now imagine the gun in the other holster as-it-were. Imagine if Occupy Wall Street had shown up armed to the teeth. Would you respect and uphold their right to peacefully stand in the middle of NYC protesting Capitalism? Or what if the fine people of the Bronx (or Oakland) decided they were going to liberate themselves from the oppressive police who harass them on a daily basis? A bunch of pissed off black people who (rightly) feel oppressed and are not divided by the piddly squabbling of street gangs but organised and united against the State, Capitalism, or both? Need it be remembered that the Gun Control Act of ’68, which the NRA supported, was a reaction (in some respect) to the Black Panther Party and the Black Power movement?

      All of that to say nothing of a Left group of out-and-out Socialist, Communists, or Anarchists as radical as the TPartiers with just as much pro-gun adoration as they see it as protection (or even liberation) from Capitalism.

      Just something to think about.

      Weapons prevent far more violence than they create

      Tell that to the people who knocked on doors looking for help and were promptly shot.

      • echar

        It’s likely someone’s pet account. You only ever see this screen name when something is posted that a libertarian may have issues with.

      • Calypso_1

        By all means progressive – stock up.

      • Lookinfor Buford

        One by one, and I hope my answers convince you that I believe in the principles of liberty and indy responsibility non-hypocritically and sincerely..

        “The willingness (or eagerness) and capability to use violence to prevent or stop violence is not anti-violence, it’s potential violence contribution.”

        See.. you’ve twisted my words here. willingness and capability are key to my assertion, but eagerness is something you just threw in there. I’m asserting that the presence of firepower itself is enough to greatly counter the threat of wrongful violence and tyranny both. It’s a fact, my friend. If you are thinking of accosting me or being overly oppressive, and you know, sense or see that I am armed, you will in all likelihood make a better decision out of self preservation instinct. Comparing the only three possible outcomes: a)I’m unarmed, you attack, I am a victim of violence. b) I’m armed, you attack, we are both victims of violence. c) I’m armed, you are aware, you choose not to attack. ‘a’ is highly likely, if you *know* I’m unarmed. ‘b’ is somewhat likely if you *suspect* I’m unarmed (e.g. we live in Chicago). ‘c’ is almost guaranteed if the awareness is there.

        ” ” … the meat of your post, concerning the ‘shoe on the other foot scenario’. In all honesty, I have absolutely no problem with any American Citizen exercising *any* of their rights. No problem at all, and furthermore, I would defend them if their rights were threatened. I am very close at heart to issues along these lines. Take all your nanny state issues.. I don’t care what particular liberty is under attack, whether it’s behavior I disagree with or not, because the minute you allow one liberty to be trampled, you must accept responsibility when your loved liberties come up next.

        .. Now, you embellished this hypothetical scenario to include…

        ..decided they were going to liberate themselves from the oppressive police who harass them on a daily basis? and Leftists using guns as … protection (or even liberation) from Capitalism.

        Now you’ve crossed the line between capability and action. And I would have a big problem if they actually *acted*. I might even *act* myself for the other side. But them asserting their rights and *reminding* everyone that they are armed, too? No problem with that at all. None, whatsoever. It is their right to do so.

        And finally..

        “Weapons prevent far more violence than they create”

        Tell that to the people who knocked on doors looking for help and were promptly shot.

        1 in a million sir. Make sure you assign a whole bunch of weight to this incident, and completely ignore the truth, which is that the knowledge/awareness that your potential victim possesses superior firepower will stop your evil scheme dead in it’s tracks, thereby preventing violence.

        It happens every day, my man.

        Preventing tyranny? Yes, that too. Just look at the massive consciousness raising efforts on the part of the MSM, U.N. and our own Federal Govt, trying desperately to brainwash people into believing guns are bad. This pesky threat is in their way. It is in their way.
        But you are entitled to your irrationality and lack of realism. Fully entitled to your fear of weapons. I respect your rights as much as any man’s.

        • jnana

          good answer. you express some ideas that conservatives hold dear which I was prejudiced against for so long, but have come to appreciate and agree with. i have learned to agree with conservatives on many issues of late. probably more so than with liberals. it seems whoever is in the white house distorts the ideas of the group he represents. it’s a great trick, i have to admit.

        • Mr Willow

          First, I don’t fear weapons. I don’t have any problem with weapons, per-sé. I’ve lived in the rural South my entire life, where gunfire on a Friday or Saturday night was nothing to twinge at, and just about everyone I know owns a firearm, including myself.

          Second, I don’t mean to mis-characterise you, but when you start throwing around epithets painting firearm enthusiasts as the very paragon of freedom and most everyone else as praying for dictatorship, you make it extremely easy.

          The ‘eagerness’ I (perhaps falsely) gleaned from your words is that they’re similar to what people like Mark Kessler spew on a daily basis, usually ending with a “come and take it” sort of defiant cry, and it is that sort of mentality that rubs me in a way that suggests they want an actual crisis to occur, just so they can finally shoot somebody and get away with it, or so they can serve the role of a hero.

          If I misread you, I apologise.

          Preventing tyranny? Yes, that too. Just look at the massive consciousness raising efforts on the part of the MSM, U.N. and our own Federal Govt, trying desperately to brainwash people into believing guns are bad. This pesky threat is in their way. It is in their way.

          However, ^this^ train of thought is something that’s never made sense to me.

          So, the government (or UN or whatever clandestine organisation that can be inserted into this) is going to disarm the citizens so that they can presumably establish some sort of oppressive police state or some other such tyranny without fear of retaliation, right?

          But most of the pro-second amendment camp doesn’t seem to care all that much about retaliation against anything other than having their guns taken away. Economic exploitation, environmental destruction, plutocratic manipulation of our ostensible representatives, even the o-so-terrible prospect of universal healthcare, there is no real threat of armed resistance or revolution. You, in fact, fall into this, saying that should the oppressed choose to actually liberate themselves from oppression, you might fight on the side of their oppressors to quell such resistance or revolution.

          (to quote you) Now you’ve crossed the line between capability and action. And I would have a big problem if they actually *acted*. I might even *act* myself for the other side.

          So, what’s the point of having the capability, if indeed the point of owning the firearm is to be some vanguard against tyranny, if, when actual tyrannical action is carried out no action is taken aside from reminding everyone about the fact that you have a gun, but otherwise (begrudgingly or not) the oppression of either state or corporate bureaucracy is accepted to be the new norm and hope is place in the next election cycle having a candidate that will further the cause of liberty?

          It all just seems like one big empty threat.

          • Lookinfor Buford

            The use of weaponry by the citizens against the state is only an ultimate last resort. You misunderstand the ‘come and take it’ cry.. it’s not that they want an excuse to kill someone. It’s that they are fed up and disgusted with the arrogance of pontificating bureaucrats acting like they know what’s best for us. They don’t. They have an agenda. And as a group, they are incapable of getting it right. And yes, certain citizens are offended by this to the point that they’ll say “come over here and give me a reason to put you down, you dog”. It’s pure anger, but not necessarily misdirected, and not unjustified, imo.

            ” painting firearm enthusiasts as the very paragon of freedom and most everyone else as praying for dictatorship”
            People either get it, or they don’t. They either get that an armed populace plays a role in keeping their government in check, or they don’t. Anyone willing to say, “really, there is no need for the public to have firearms”, doesn’t get it. And they *are* begging for dictatorship or some form of oppressive government through their ignorance. The founders put on paper the assertion of our right to KEEP and BEAR arms, because they would be hypocrites if they didn’t preserve the right for us to throw off the shackles the same way they did.
            Again, it’s a last resort, and talk is just talk. But make no mistake, if what happened in Cuba 60 years ago ever happens here, I and many others would feel it is wholly justified to shoot those who would unjustly take our property for the state right between the eyes. It is unpalatable, and I know I’d feel sick to my stomach. I’m no killer. But centrally planned states, communists, etc.. are VERMIN, extortionists, misanthropes, and more disgusting than cockroaches. As much as I love life, I would risk it to stop them in their tracks.

            And when I spoke of my position against leftist rebels, you ignored the context. Yes I would be against them. Not against them acting within their rights, but in the event they actually engaged in armed revolt, I would be on the side of our current government. Never would I side with communists.
            You, and others on this thread are right to say these arms don’t do anything to stop the abuses by government being perpetrated daily. That is a testament to this society’s self control and acceptance of the rule of law. We are nearly all willing to let the system work, because we believe it does work. If Obama has shown us anything, it’s that our institutions of government are strong enough to withstand even the most ambitious despot. But if things ever get bad enough that the system doesn’t work anymore, we will go to war. We’ll need our weapons to do that. So anyone who just thinks we should turn ‘em over, or even allow the government to ‘infringe’ the rights we have (e.g. ARs), is a fool naïve enough to believe it can never get to that point. History, and current events should easily convince you otherwise. But I think we can all agree that we hope with all our hearts that it doesn’t. Giving up our last resort as a gesture of good will to that end? Not a chance in hell.

    • gustave courbet

      While I would agree that the inclusion of the 2nd Amendment in the Bill of Rights was meant by the founders of the US to provide a safeguard and countervailing force against the state monopoly of violence and any potential tyranny, guns have become increasingly less effective in that regard for several reasons. Firstly, in the late 18th century and for a few decades more, local militias and individuals had technological parity in the types of weapons available to them and to the state. But a gradually widening gap has today developed into a chasm between what weapons, manpower, training, and surveillance are available to the state versus the average gun owner, making gun ownership less of a powerful obstacle against state oppression( although it is still one of concern to those that would oppress). More importantly though, is the fact that ‘tyrants’ as you might call them don’t need to take your guns. They can buy your politicians, steal your pension, sell off your local utilities to the Chinese, or devalue your currency and force legions into debt slavery, all without touching your gun safe. If anti-tyrrany gun owners cared so much about oppression, they might realize that what they fear is already surrounding them by stealth. It will take mass non-violent political and social action to overturn the system that is incrementally stripping away our rights and bleeding out our civil society.

      • Guest

        Would the powers-that-be have been as receptive to the goals of MLKs nonviolent methods if Malcolm X’s violent alternatives didn’t exist alongside them? Something to think about, at least.

        • gustave courbet

          The powers that be had MLK killed, as far as I can tell, so I’d debate their receptivity to his highly effective tactics. If a civil society has an open media to report on and garner support from the larger population, then non-violent tactics are usually more effective than violence, and more ethical.

      • Lookinfor Buford

        Very good points, as well. All correct. In the tyranny realm, it’s not the everyday that counts, as in the personal realm, it’s the end game. After they’ve carpet bagged us too much, and when liberty has been trampled too much, then the actual *use* of the guns might matter again. Until then, you are right, it doesn’t have much effect on the govt’s actions. BUT, anyone who says the point is moot because of the lopsidedness of firepower, needs to realize that historically, and logically in this country, the military is more likely to side with the people. I guarantee you there are very few military commanders in this country who would follow an order to disarm the population by force. Very few.

        • Guest

          Yes, and also remember the success of guerrilla warfare in these lopsided situations. The Cuban Revolution succeeded with a initial force of less than 90 men–and less than half of those actually made it to Havana.
          Anyway, war is waged to attain a policy goal, and a conventionally-defined military victory does not constitute a political victory (e.g. Vietnam, Iraq).

        • gustave courbet

          I hope you’re right.

    • Dingbert

      I’m a law-abiding gun owner and anti-violence. But I know plenty of law-abiding gun owners with anti-violence rhetoric and an itchy trigger finger. It’s easy to get a hero-complex and end up overreacting. Also, Castle Doctrine in some cases allows one to initiate violence without actually being threatened with violence. So you can be a law-abiding killer, too.

      But, yes, anti-gun progressives are just wimps. There are plenty of pro-gun progressives in the “Far West” and here in “Greater Appalachia.”

      And, remember, it wasn’t always like this on the left:
      “That rifle hanging on the wall of the working-class flat or labourer’s cottage is the symbol of democracy. It is our job to see that it stays there.” -George Orwell

      “The protection the government owes you and fails to provide, you are morally bound to provide for yourselves. You have the unquestioned right, under the law, to defend your life and to protect the sanctity of your fireside. Failing in either you are a coward and a craven and undeserving the name of man.” -Eugene V. Debs

      • Lookinfor Buford

        Good points.. You are right and I don’t like to generalize, but it *is* progressives who are pushing the gun-control agenda.

    • Andrew

      I think it’s easier to argue that violence is sometimes good than to argue that weapons aren’t instruments of violence.

  • emperorreagan

    The author is very biased towards Yankeedom – word choice and overall treatment of the North (focusing more on attributes generally considered more positive) betrays a fairly heavy bias. I also wonder where he’s actually from, as the extension of Yankeedom into Michigan and further west seems a little off as compared to other such maps I’ve seen.

    • Liam_McGonagle

      I’d be more concerned about the bias against the South if the South hadn’t been consistently at the bottom of every environmental, social and quality of life standard for the last few centuries.

      Some stereotypes are true.

      • Andrew

        Exactly. I say we don’t just let the South secede from the union, I say we kick them out.

      • emperorreagan

        I think if one is writing something towards being a model for explaining American regional differences, putting your thumb on the scale for one particular group will undermine the value that could be taken from your contributions.

        • Liam_McGonagle

          Compromise is only possible when both parties are willing to make concessions. The South has not and never will be willing to concede anything.

          For Chr*st sake, these animals were turning German Shephard dogs on 10 year old girls just for trying to go to school 40 years ago.

          Southern culture renders those people utterly incapable for participation in democracy.

          So while your theoretical point about bias undermining the possibility of reconciliation is certainly true, the ugly historical fact of the matter is that it is the South that is inherently biased.

          • emperorreagan

            You’re arguing at a straw man.

            I’m saying he has a bias towards the region he identifies as Yankeedom – not complaining about a bias against the southern regions. He has 11 regions and he’s clearly picked his favorite child. As a tool of history or a tool for analysis and debate, I’d expect more of a neutral tone than perpetuating Yankeedom mythology about Calvinism and assimilation and all the rest.

            I’d generally side with what he describes as Yankeedom in the centuries-long pissing match between the aristocrats of the Deep South & the aristocrats of Yankeedom that has dominated American politics since the stupid 3/5ths provision. I don’t particularly like either set of aristocrats, though. Rockefeller might have been an abolitionist, but he treated his employees like shit.

            I also am not saying anything at all about compromise or reconciliation. I’m not really interested in either. I like analyzing and thinking about why things are the way they are and trying to read the tea leaves for the future. And I’m far more interested in looking at signs of the fall of American empire, where the crumbs are going to land, and where I want to be if it happens during my life.

  • Guest

    So which “American Nations” are Disinfonauts from?
    I’ll start, I guess: Greater Appalachia

  • http://www.mobileappaddict.com/ John Defahl

    Wait, I don’t see Canadanavia?!?!