Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Civil War, Massachusetts, New York, and "Ancient Hatreds"

We are about to be inundated with coverage of our Civil War, which took up a mere four years in the history of a country then not even a century old. As recently noted, the origins and consequences of that war still divide us. And yet, there is hope for change.

By contrast, as journalists are constantly reminding us, the world is filled with and vexed by "ancient hatreds" that cannot be so easily cured:

1 comment:

AvaTrimble said...

It's even more bizarre when these "ancient hatreds" get played out by reenactors who don't even come from the South, or the North for that matter. Reenacting back in California, it was really strange to see how often there would be animosity and judgment across the sides - when most of the people involved were born-and-raised Californians, and didn't even necessarily have (or have an investment in) a particular family heritage of Northernness or Southernness. Even people who'd picked "a side" arbitrarily. Almost invariably, a soldier (or closely associated civilian type) from either side could be counted on to declare that the other guys refused to lose when they were supposed to, didn't take hits when they ought, and often, that they were "less authentic" on the whole. In-grouping. Yikes. A little more widespread critical thinking would be good there...