Mail Bag / Grab Bag

It’s Friday, I ain’t got no job, etc.

From Pickle Rick:

[sorry, I seem to have lost the original email, but it concerned the Confederacy’s relations with the USA had the Civil War ended other than it did].

An interesting counterfactual, one that once spawned a whole bunch of “alternate history” literature. Those all seem to assume that the CSA would become what the USA eventually did — a globe-spanning superpower — but I think that’s mostly dramatic license; it’s hard to tell a fun story in a setting where the Confederate revolution ended the way almost all revolutions do: in a bloody dictatorship, with your economy destroyed, banana republic style. Rick, being a real historian, knows this, so his question (again, sorry I lost it) was something like “how could you ever maintain a stable border with a whole nation of Yankee fanatics?”

In my view, you can’t. Especially when there’s all kinds of stuff to fight over out West, just as the technology to get there and fully exploit it is coming online. Moreover, as we both agree, slavery as an economic system was toast. Oversimplifying a bit for clarity (but not all that much), the CSA staked their survival on Great Britain’s dependence on Southern cotton. In a short war — which all but the most farsighted assumed — that strategy makes sense, but in the long run it’s fatal.

It’s fatal even if the Confederacy won, because cotton isn’t like The Spice, found only in one location in all the universe. Go wander through the “housewares” aisles at Target — be prepared to feel your nuts shriveling — and you’ll see towels, bedsheets, and all kinds of stuff made from 100% Egyptian cotton. That’s a big selling point, Egyptian cotton. And the stuff grows lots of other places, too, including — you guessed it — China. I recommend Stephen Platt’s Autumn in the Heavenly Kingdom for a lot of reasons — the Chinese are still epically butthurt about the Taiping Rebellion; they’re so hostile to Christianity, in part, because they think all Christians are potential Hong Xiuquans — but not least because it shows how quickly the British adopted to the cotton problem. Unless the war really did end at First Manassas (and, honestly, probably not even then), the CSA would soon have found itself priced out of the cotton market.

Which then raises the fascinating question of what the Confederacy would have done with its Diversity when the cotton market cratered.* Too bad alt-history novelists don’t do comedy, because the thought of some sneaky bastard like Judah Benjamin organizing something like the Mariel Boatlift on the Yankees — “there’s 40 acres and a mule waiting for you in Massachusetts, boys!” — is hilarious. Wiki tries hard to sanitize this part, obviously, but Castro dumped a whole bunch of his criminals, lunatics, and criminal lunatics via Mariel, in the kind of beautiful low blow you can’t help but admire the sick bastard for. Hell, maybe that’s what they did, in those wonderful alt-history worlds, and that’s why the Confederacy became a superpower while the Union languished in third world obscurity.

In the real world, though, I imagine you’d get something like Bleeding Kansas, but stretched across a continent, with a dose of Northern Ireland near the more settled areas back east. Had they ever figured it out, and had the Confederacy somehow solved the Diversity problem — say, by conquering Mexico, as the hotter Rebel heads always yearned to do — whoever emerged from that shitstorm would’ve been the hardest, baddest White men of all time… I need to stop now; my eyes are getting misty.

One more quick thought: Cotton slavery, as an economic system, really only lasted a few decades. Even if we make slavery absolutely central to the national economy from the Founding, that’s less than a century — a mere blip in historical time. One wonders, given its now-obvious blighted nature, if the Internet might not be something like slavery was back then — a blip on the radar, an economic system that supported massive profits and an entire way of life… but only temporarily, before its obvious contradictions destroyed it in an orgy of violence. Perhaps the #woketards of 2121 will be pulling down statues of Bill Gates and using “Facebook-ist” as the worst imaginable insult. A man can dream, right?


From Curious in Japan:

A question related to your previous work experience: How much of the Arrogance and/or Dysfunction you describe is made worse/unapproachable by prescription meds? And how has the increased uptake in such meds made things worse in the last, say, 10 years?

The pills, the pills…. oh dear lord, the pills. I’ve often joked that you can’t beat Trigglypuff, for purely logistical reasons if no other: You need to sleep sometime, and by definition she doesn’t, thanks to her limitless access to powerful prescription psychotropics. I was joking, but I wasn’t kidding. Since kids these days have no filter, I’ve had several students simply tell me, to my face, all the psych problems they’ve been diagnosed with, and what they’ve been prescribed for them. What happens is this: At the start of every semester, you get a flood of students coming up after the first class meeting, clutching “accommodation forms” from Student Services. These obviously don’t list the kid’s specific syndromes — thanks, HIPAA!! — but again, being filterless, the students will often straight out tell you: “If I don’t come to class for a few weeks, it’s because the depressive phase of my bipolar disorder has started.”

I’m exaggerating a little for effect…but only a very, very little. I did, swear to God, have one student tell me xzhey don’t do well in history class because xzhey “don’t do well with linear time.” And since being “on the spectrum” is somehow now a badge of honor for Twitter addicts, I’ve had more than a few kids tell me all about their Assburgers Sydrome (its main symptom is “inability to turn classwork in on time”), their ADHD, and so on. I’ve been presented with every “learning disability” under the sun, and while there’s no prof so #woke and naive not to suspect that lots of this is just a raging case of Idonwannagotoclassitis, they’re all on sixteen kinds of happy pill for it….

…and who knows what that shit is doing to their biochemistry? But more importantly, being on the happy pills is, as Curious notes, an all-purpose Asshole License. Much like going vegan or taking up Crossfit somehow gives you license to be an intolerable dickhead every waking moment, so does a “disability accommodation” form from Student Services free students from all constraint on their behavior. I’d really like to see the lab work on the “learning disability” that keeps you from concentrating long enough to take a 45 minute exam, yet allows you to focus exclusively on Twitter and Xbox for up to seven straight hours, but… there it is.


From Prodigal Son:

Is there anything you want to share about fanaticism?

Stuff like Prohibition and Revolution, Child Crusades and CRT, tells us it’s not especially religious or secular in nature, though it requires faith of a kind. A berserker warrior or Dionysian orgy is not fanatic, because their passion is mindless sublimation; whereas a fanatic ‘won’t change their mind and can’t change the subject:’ it’s ‘mindful’ while yoking all thoughts to a horse of zeal.

I have read: ‘whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad [insane]’ and ‘fanaticism is redoubling your effort when you have forgotten your aim.’ Is fanaticism when a movement/enterprise loses its competent leadership and becomes a cargo cult? Under what conditions does fanaticism not appear? Are there historical eras where it is absent from culture?

That’s a huge topic that I’ll have to address in separate posts, but for now let’s start by saying, Marxist-style, the fanaticism requires both a base and a superstructure. A lone fanatic is just a weirdo. See, for example, this guy.

Menocchio said: “I have said that, in my opinion, all was chaos, that is, earth, air, water, and fire were mixed together; and out of that bulk a mass formed – just as cheese is made out of milk – and worms appeared in it, and these were the angels. The most holy majesty decreed that these should be God and the angels, and among that number of angels there was also God, he too having been created out of that mass at the same time, and he was named lord with four captains, Lucifer, Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael. That Lucifer sought to make himself lord equal to the king, who was the majesty of God, and for this arrogance God ordered him driven out of heaven with all his host and his company; and this God later created Adam and Eve and people in great number to take the places of the angels who had been expelled. And as this multitude did not follow God’s commandments, he sent his Son, whom the Jews seized, and he was crucified.”

In other words, he’s just crazy. Evangelical atheists aren’t wrong when they point out how comically easy it is to become a “minister” (I know one who actually had himself “ordained” as some kind of joke), and how goofy so many of these “ministers” are. Were he with us today, Menocchio would have himself a YouTube channel with about 500 subscribers, and that would be that.

That’s the “base.” This guy came to believe what he did because he had access to a little learning, and from what was available to him, he produced his views. But the “base” also encompasses YouTube, or the Roman Inquisition in Menocchio’s case — the only reason we know about the guy is that he came to the attention of the authorities, which presupposes that there are authorities, and that they have sufficient reach to hear about him, sufficient force to arrest and prosecute him, etc. There were no doubt zillions of communities with very weird beliefs that we’ll never know about, precisely because they didn’t come to the attention of a sufficiently strong authority. How many Montaillous must there have been? Again, same deal — these guys came to the attention of a sufficiently energetic inquisitor, who used it as a springboard to the Papacy. The Cathars of Montaillou were “fanatics,” I guess, but only in the sense that they resisted the inquisition.

The point is, that “cheese and worms” stuff “worked” for Menocchio, just as Catharism “worked” for the people of Montaillou. They were “fanatics” in the sense that they wouldn’t give the beliefs up, but they weren’t out there proselytizing. Had there been no Inquisition, no energetic enforcers of the larger social structure, nobody would’ve much cared.

The “superstructure,” then, is the means motive and opportunity to proselytize — that is, to use the authorities’ own structures against them. See e.g. the Inquisition itself, which went from a minor bureaucracy to a massive socio-political force, thanks to its seizure by talented, ruthless, ambitious men like Jacques Fournier and Torquemada. I realize that probably seems grossly artificial — an SJW is just a weirdo until she gets elected to the school board, then she’s a fanatic, though nothing else about her has changed — but I’m trying to look at it functionally.

“Fanaticism,” as I’m describing it here, is exactly the kind of thing the Inquisition was designed to prevent. Those cats in Montaillou would’ve been perfectly fine doing what they did under a less ambitious monarch, or if Fournier had been assigned one diocese over, or under a million other conditions. So long as they don’t get obnoxious about it — thus forcing the authorities to take notice — they’ll probably be fine, unless they have the grave misfortune to fall under the purview of exceptionally ambitious and talented men.

I hope that makes some kind of sense, because somehow we’ve got to get from there to “the authorities being concerned not just with outward show, but the actual state of your soul.” But that’s going to have to be at another time, because right now I’ve got no clue.

As always, thanks to everyone for writing, and reading. Have a good weekend!

 


At this point, if we were having this discussion in the classroom — holy jeebus, can you imagine? — one of the few kids who didn’t need fainting couches and grief counselors would raise his hand and ask why the slaveholders wouldn’t just put the slaves to work in factories. Questions like that always killed me back in my teaching days. The answer, of course, is “spend a little time around Diversity, and you’ll bust a gut laughing at the thought of what it would take to get them Taylorized”…. but how do you say that to a college kid without ruining her world (and, far more importantly, not getting fired)?

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21 thoughts on “Mail Bag / Grab Bag

  1. AvatarVizzini

    And since being “on the spectrum” is somehow now a badge of honor for Twitter addicts, I’ve had more than a few kids tell me all about their Assburgers Sydrome (its main symptom is “inability to turn classwork in on time”), their ADHD, and so on.

    I have one close family member with Asperger’s Syndrome (I regret that it has been officially removed as a diagnosis and wrapped up with Autism, because I think there are significant differences) and one of his defining traits is that he doesn’t get that he has Asperger’s Syndrome. To this day he insists he was misdiagnosed and he actually prides himself on his ability to read people.

    Meanwhile, being outside, looking in, this guy has absolutely zero ability to read people. He constantly lectures everyone about *everything* and never notices when they’re starting to get irritated with it, even when family members come right out and tell him, “Please stop lecturing me! I’m 65 years old. I already know more than you about (topic X).” I’ve seen extremely polite, patient people driven to distraction by this. His range of creepy and off-putting social behaviors is extensive. No need to go into all of them.

    I watched him lecture an experienced tractor mechanic about the level of difficulty of overhauling the transmission on a large farm tractor, going so far as to disagree with the mechanic when the mechanic tried to diplomatically suggest the job was more complicated than he thought, despite the fact that this kid (teenager at the time) had never worked on a tractor in any capacity in his entire life. He’s offended a ton of people in his life because of this and other similar behaviors.

    He’s unable to recognize that he doesn’t have the capacity to read people, because he doesn’t even understand what reading people is.

    So, whenever I hear someone going on about how they have Asperger’s, Autism or are “on the spectrum” my assumption barring personal confirmation is that they don’t actually have any of the related disorders, they’re just eager to medicalize themselves and give themselves a convenient intersectional victim disorder they can use to their advantage.

    1. AvatarSeverian

      I once dated a therapist (yeah yeah, I know, but a man has needs, y’all feel me?) with whom I used to vent my spleen about all the “autism” diagnoses my students kept bringing to class. She insisted that autism, Assburgers, etc. were all very real; I insisted they were all bullshit.

      As it turns out, we were both right: She showed me some videos of people who really have those conditions, and not long after, I came across a kid who really did. I get it now. On the other hand, I described the behavior of 99.9% of my “autistic” students, and she came around to my perspective on them — spending 12 hours a day on Twitter and World of Warcraft is not what you’d call psychologically healthy, but the very ability to do it rules out a lot of the most common “learning disabilities.”

      [not only that, and I hate to break it to y’all, but kids are very good at figuring out how to get free rides. They get together in their dorms and dope out ways to fool Student Services. But, being college kids, they’re actually pretty dumb about it, because you don’t need to fool Student Services. Student Services, being an academic bureaucracy, works on the Soviet model. They have a Gross Output Target for “students helped,” and that target must always be over-fulfilled, comrade! Hand the accommodation forms and happy pills to any student who asks, and you’ll look like a real Stakhanovite to the administration].

  2. Avatarcontrariandutchman

    As I’m excessively fond of historical counterfactuals some thoughts about an independent CSA in the aftermath of the war between the states:

    -Yankee revanchisme is a thing to behold, likely named differently as they get to name it before the French do;
    -North America settled much faster as CSA and USA race to the pacific;
    -CSA-Mexican war results in annexation of northern and possibly much of central mexico;
    -CSA industrializes much faster and further then OTL due to military requirements;
    -everybody knows a rematch is inevitable, so USA and CSA raise large standing armies and all the infrastructure to support them in a major war;
    -CSA becomes especially heavily militarized as a society to compensate for its demographic disadvantage, see France post 1870;
    -joggers stay on the farm mostly;
    -rematch happens, with European allies on both sides and both fielding huge armies;

    1. AvatarSeverian

      That would be a fun one — basically WW1, but in North America. You could make a killer movie about that.

      Or a killer comedy, if we assume, as I’m sure most of us in Our Thing do, that the Joggers would never stay on the farm. As a social and cultural acid, Joggerism is the only thing that beats Marxism… and it’s not even close. Eventually, widespread prosperity in the CSA would lead to suicidal altruism — it’s the White Man’s Disease — meaning that the South’s joggers would be given some limited freedom to jog, and…. well…. that’s that. Imagine Antebellum Rap:

      Bitch, I’m all about Manassas
      Gimme all dem White asses
      Kill a mothafucka like John Wilkes Booth
      Check out my Maserati and my gold toof

      etc. At that point they’d be begging the Kaiser’s boys to take over.

      1. Avatarcontrariandutchman

        Well, in this supposed timeline joggerism is the religion of the hated and despised Yankee enemy. Anyone trying to preach it south of Mason-Dixon gets burned at the stake.

        So, probably the only way they get off the farm is as industrial serfs, thats likely even as the fairies aren’t making arms and munitions for the 100+ divison army.

        Meanwhile the yankees can go full retard on their jogger worship as they never get to see a live one. Now -that- should be fun.

        I personally like the idea of a 1890’s rematch, before all the stuff that makes ww1 such a trenchfest is operational, also,pre-dreadnought battles all along the eastern seaboard, yay!

        1. AvatarSeverian

          That would indeed be fun.

          I guess I’m just being really cynical, in that I assume that prosperity eventually always leads to the official state religion of Dinduism, since prosperity past a certain level triggers, inevitably, the “suicidal altruism” gene in the White DNA.

          Great Britain was pivotal in the slave trade, of course, but there was no appreciable black presence in the Home Islands at all until after the World Wars… and now they in many ways are the world leaders in negrolatry. Same deal in Germany vis a vis the Mohammedean (called “Sand Joggers” in American slang, for very good reason), and so forth.

          Maybe the 1890s rematch would take place before suicidal altruism kicked in. Probably. But I’m having too much fun imagining a 1960s CSA, where, say, the University of Alabama is the Confederacy’s Berkeley and they’re all reading “Soul on Ice” or whatever and… you get the point.

          In other words, I’d like to believe that an independent CSA would hold the line… but these are, after all, the people who refused to pick their own damn cotton. They were desperate to open the Atlantic slave trade back up if they won. Given the kind of people they are (and I grew up in the South, recall, and identify as a Southerner), they probably would’ve imploded faster than the fucking Yankees.

          1. Avatarcontrariandutchman

            You seem to take a deterministic approach where joggerism is an inevitable outgrowth of prosperity. i take a contingent approach where joggerism is a peculiarly Yankee heresy and the only reason it sprad around the western world is that Yankeedom conquered America, and the American Empire conquered most of the civilized world, forcing its heresies on the satrapies.

            I see substantiation in the contingent approach in the outer satrapies over here. The united cuckdom is very bad indeed, and also under de strongest cultural influence, every other satrapy is much less badly cucked then the united cuckdom, although degrees vary and I have the displeasure of residing in the second worst cucked one.

            We should be able to have a live historical experiment as the American Empire collapses. I expect it to take joggerism down in its fall, if you are correct it would remain a major force in the most prosperous of the (then former) satrapies.

        2. AvatarAl from da Nort

          C.D.;
          Re industrialized serfs: That basically happened for a short time during WW II. There was suddenly a great need for factory labor to replace all the wyte guys going off to war. It’s how Detroit became black. Long story short, after the war the wyte guys wanted their jobs back, Unpleasantness ensued that continues to this day.

  3. AvatarMBlanc46

    A minor quibble: Although there were plenty of fanatics in Yankeedom, they were nonetheless a minority. Most of the guys who volunteered to put on the Federal uniform did so for one of two* reasons. Patriotism. They were loyal to the Union that their grandfathers had forged, and they weren’t going to let some hotheaded Southerners ruin it. The more materialist of them, at least in the MIdwest, marketed their produce down the Mississippi River, and they weren’t going to let foreigners control that River. Few of them fought to free the slaves. Most of them were by today’s standards “racist”. Very “racist”. In the 1820s (1824?, I’m too lazy to look it up), Illinoisans narrowly defeated a referendum to legalize slavery in the state. (And in the early 1830s, Virginia seriously discussed abolition.) As it happens, last night I was reading a bit in William C. Davis’s “An Honorable Defeat: The Last Days of the Confederate Government” (first-rate, as is all of Davis’s work). The passage that I was reading pertained to the escape of Secretary War John C, Breckinridge in May 1865. Breckinridge had a small group of cavalry with him, when they encounter a force of Federal cavalry. Because no one wants to be the last guy to die in a war that’s already decided, they negotiate a deal to allow the Southerners to leave in peace. As the Southerners ride off, the men on both sides cheer one another. My guess: In time, as slavery declines in economic importance, the two nations re-establish the Union.

    * Of course, there’s a third reason. This was the war of their lifetime, and a great many young men are eager to have the great adventure of their lives in the war of their lifetime.

    1. AvatarSeverian

      I agree with you in re: the proportion of fanatics on both sides, but… it don’t take many.

      As I’ve said, I don’t think I’ve actually ever had more than one or two real live SJWs in any of my classes. Lots of kids with nose rings and weird-colored hair, sure, but that’s like tying an onion to your belt — it’s just the style of the times. Admittedly I never taught at Berkeley, or Bard, or any of those real madhouses, but I’ve taught at some schools who were very proud of their “activist” rep, at least locally, and even there the true lunatics were maybe 20%, tops, of the student body. I’m much more inclined to see a President Ben Wade or a President Thaddeus Stevens in the USA than a restoration of the union.

    2. AvatarMajor Hoople

      It seems to be a requirement to blame the Civil War on Yankee fanaticism. One thing that doesn’t get mentioned often is that white farmers and working class whites in the North hated slave labor and saw it as a personal threat. As long as it was contained in the south, they were willing to tolerate it. That toleration disappears with slavery fanatics attempting to expand the reach of slavery.

      1. AvatarSeverian

        Depends on who you talk to. It’s de rigueur for folks in Our Thing to blame it on Yankee fanaticism, but the standard interpretation in the History Biz is as you suggest: proslavery fanatics pushing for the extension of the peculiar institution everywhere, and the rise of the Republican Party specifically to combat it.

        [Which is fun on a number of levels. The guy most responsible for this view going mainstream is Eric Foner, whose Free Soil, Free Labor, Free Men lays it all out. But… Foner is a commie. I don’t just mean he’s your typical academic Leftie; I mean he’s an honest-to-god commie — if he doesn’t actually carry a Party card, it’s only because he’s old enough that actual party membership (as opposed to de facto membership) might’ve harmed his career early on. He’s not wrong — I mostly agree with him, though obviously I put those 1850s Republicans firmly in the “Yankee fanatics” camp — but… it’s interesting. Back in his day, it was still possible to do real history despite one’s political beliefs — Christopher Hill really WAS a card-carrying Commie (remained one post-Stalin, in fact), but he did good work too].

  4. AvatarEric

    I don’t know if anyone’s heard of S. M. Stirling’s Draka novels (Marching Through Georgia, Under the Yoke, The Stone Dogs); they’re an alternate history where the Confederates & the Afrikaners conquer Africa, and eventually, the world.

    Fun read, if implausible.

  5. AvatarPickle Rick

    I see an independent Confederate nation going along similar lines as another emerging nation at the same time, but a surprise one- Meiji Japan. A former agrarian nation, hyper sensitive to external threats, small population, big hungry neighbor to the north, and a racially homogeneous population. Prepared to expand regionally into “lesser” nations and carve out a regional hegemony. The big difference being that a Greater Confederacy has something the Japanese never had and something that weakens materially the truncated United States- the oil resources of Texas, Mexico, possibly Southern California and maybe even Venezuela.
    Because of the Confederate helots, I’d see a sort of touchy militarism like the OG Spartans, modernized, developing, certainly if the northern border resembles the Franco-German border of the same time frame.

    The big picture going into the 20th century is, first, a probable alliance with Great Britain, but if we posit that a WWI will happen regardless of the timeline of events in America, a USA that failed in progressive political war in the 1860s wouldn’t be likely to bail out England and France in 1918 for Freedom and Making the World Safe for Democracy. Incipient Globohomo might have been robbed of the precipitating event that launched it- a cataclysmic 1918-1945.

    1. AvatarPickle Rick

      Oh, and for clarity- a Confederate/UK “special understanding” rather than a formal alliance, as any Confederate President would have been committed to a Washington/Jefferson isolationist policy as a matter of course. Since the Brits helped the Confederacy with arms, loans, blockade runners and even raiders like the CSS Alabama in the real timeline, a rapprochement with a US government bitter at British interference in the Civil War would be unlikely 54 years later to jump into the Western Front to keep Britain in the war, or have meddled in the peace, however that turns out.

      Plus we’re not touching on how the US turns out with a failed Lincoln and Republican Party up north. A Confederate victory would have made the repercussions of losing Vietnam look like child’s play. Lincoln’s legacy would be worse than Nixon’s in this Clown World timeline. The Republican Party would have been replaced by a Peace Democrat administration (President George B.McClellan was almost a real thing in the real CW)

      1. Avatarcontrariandutchman

        I agree on likely parallels between an independent CSA and Meji Japan. I disagree on the likelihood of the USA turning to the peace party. My analogue for the USA in this timeline is post 1870 France where all politics revolved around preparation for the rematch. I’ll grant the Yankees that they are fanatical enough to do a master class on revanchisme.

  6. AvatarSome Guy

    Going from memory but I believe Harry Turledove had the south initially propped up by favorable trade deals with England and France who delighted in the opportunity to sow discord amongst those upstart colonials. That series goes all the way up through WW2 and is a fun read.

    1. AvatarTypoist

      My own take on ‘Guns of the South’? The ill-chosen Boer villains are particularly egregious just now; and the last part and sequels seem nothing but thud and blunder.

      It would have made a good novelette.

  7. AvatarGanderson

    Turtledove’s Guns of the South is a stand alone. Didn’t find it credible, involving evil Boers and time travel.

    He wrote a series that follows the main characters through WW II, the notion is the South won at Antietam, and the two countries remained very hostile; northern Mexico became part of the CSA.

    More fun than Guns of the South.

  8. AvatarErisGuy

    An industrialized Confederacy might be some mix of the USSR (zeks worked—even engineering zeks) and the Nazis (who worked inferior races to death in their factories). Produces wildly divergent quality, depending on the overseer. The USSR’s MIGs worked; their cars didn’t.

    My favorite alternate Confederacy would be an “Invasion of the Humanoids.” A White plantation owner would come to think that many of his fellow “Whites” were passing. As he plunged deeper into conspiracies, he would eventually discover it’s true, whereupon the passing and slaves would rebel, and thus begins Haiti.

  9. AvatarErisGuy

    An independent Confederacy’s effect on Mexico? On the Porfiriato? Mexico joined the Second(?) International and was so hostile to Roman Catholicism as to massacre priests and nuns, sparking a rebellion (The Christero War) that was one step away from full-blown USSR genocide.

    Mexico was different country than the current disaster.

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