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The Virtue That Has No Name

There has in recent years been a revolution in American politics, one so at variance with how we think of ourselves that it is remarkable how little it is noticed. We are used to imagining America as the land of the free, yet we have dropped to 12th place in the rankings of economic freedom produced by the conservative Heritage Foundation. The libertarian Cato Institute is even more doubtful about us, and in their Human Freedom Index we come in only at number 20. In both rankings, we trail countries that uniformly have single-payer government healthcare systems. We used to be number two or three, behind Hong Kong and Singapore, but now we’re embarrassed to find we’re far behind ostensibly socialist Denmark.

For this we have a number of people to thank. With George W. Bush we took a hit, but with Obama we’ve been in free fall. The rise of an all-powerful executive branch has put paid to an imagined Madisonian constitution of a separation of powers and has permitted Obama to rule as what the never-too-much-to-be-praised George Mason called an “elected monarch.” The very point of the Constitution was to prevent the plenitude of political power vesting in a single person, yet that’s where we find ourselves.

All-powerful presidents haven’t been terribly friendly to liberty in places like Borat’s Kazakhstan, but that’s not the only explanation for our fall. Other things drag us down, such as our failure to adhere to the rule of law. Until fairly recently, that wasn’t on our radar screen. Most economists explained why some countries were wealthy and some not by reference to natural endowments, such as valuable minerals or oil. Others pointed to the country’s infrastructure or to human-capital investments such as those provided by a country’s public educational system. Still others pointed to differences in culture or religion. Over the last 40 years, however, economists have increasingly pointed to the role of institutions, such as a legal regime that protects property rights and enforces contracts.

Natural assets such as farmland, oil, and minerals and capital assets such as plants and machinery aren’t the most important sources of wealth. The World Bank estimates that they amount to only 23 percent of a country’s riches. The rest is intangible assets, the difference in institutions, of which the most important element is adherence to the rule of law: equality before the law, an efficient and honest judicial system, and the absence of corruption. Remarkably, that accounts for 44 percent of a country’s total wealth, according to the World Bank.


The World Justice Project, co-founded by a former head of the American Bar Association, ranks countries according to their adherence to the rule of law. Russia comes in at 75 in a list of 102 countries, just a little ahead of Madagascar (82) and Iran (88). And what about America? It’s not Russia, not by a long shot, but it still doesn’t rank all that highly on the Rule of Law Index, coming in at 19 out of 102 countries, and 12th amongst 31 “high income” nations. That might seem surprising, until one recalls that there are places like Illinois in America.

Run a regression, as we like to do at George Mason Law School, and one finds that were America’s ranking to rise to that of Canada, our household per capita GDP would increase by nearly $2,500, from $53,143 to $55,628. Were, per impossibile, our ranking to rise to that of Denmark, our per capita GDP would rise to $61,178. For America as a whole, that would come to $1.9 trillion dollars, a 10 percent increase in the country’s wealth.


How did it come to this? No country can boast of a stronger set of individual rights, guaranteed in the Bill of Rights and the Reconstruction Amendments, and that’s how we’re apt to conceive of the rule of law. Indeed, we see every debate about justice through the prism of rights. Yet the other countries that beat us on the Cato and Heritage rankings don’t have bills of rights, or else, like Canada, adopted them only recently.

If Cato and Heritage are to be believed, such countries have few lessons to take from us on the subject of liberty. Come to think of it, just how has the Bill of Rights served the cause of American liberty? Don’t get me wrong. I think that the free speech rights in the First Amendment are extraordinarily important, and there aren’t any other ones I’d want to trade away. But really, just how much protection have they offered, as a matter of history?

When I think of our experience with the Bill of Rights, I am reminded of Samuel Johnson’s letter to Lord Chesterfield. When he wrote his Dictionary of the English Language [1], Johnson lacked a friend at Court, an academic sinecure, a living, and therefore sought the support of literary patrons. But when he visited Chesterfield, one of the most famous patrons, Johnson was forced to cool his heels in an outer office, amongst other supplicants, and after the briefest of visits was given only £10. Yet when the book at last appeared Chesterfield deigned to commend it. Too late, said Johnson. You have withheld your notice  “till I am indifferent and cannot enjoy it … till I am known and do not want it.”

Seven years, my lord, have now past since I waited in your outward rooms or was repulsed from your door, during which time I have been pushing on my work through difficulties of which it is useless to complain, and have brought it at last to the verge of publication without one act of assistance, one word of encouragement, or one smile of favour. Such treatment I did not expect, for I never had a patron before. … Is not a patron, my lord, one who looks with unconcern on a man struggling for life in the water, and when he has reached ground, encumbers him with help?

Even so, the Bill of Rights looked on with unconcern at all the cruelties under which American slaves labored or the indignities heaped upon blacks for more than a hundred years after Emancipation. It was indifferent to the savage removal of peaceful Native Americans, when settlers and politicians saw a profit to be made in taking their land. And when, finally, we arrived at our present, enlightened and liberal era, what did the Bill of Rights produce? Abortion rights and same-sex marriage.

Would we have been so much worse off without a Bill of Rights, then? That’s a counterfactual. It asks us to construct an imaginary world in out minds, one where things turned out differently. But then every attempt to evaluate the importance of an historical event necessarily involves just such a counterfactual. And posing the question that way, one is permitted to wonder whether the Bill of Rights was really so important.

For Native Americans it mattered not at all. For African-Americans it mattered little before Brown v. Board in 1954, and even thereafter it was legislation that mattered more, especially the 1965 Voting Rights Act. Interestingly, it didn’t matter for women either. They gained the right to vote in Canadian federal elections in 1918 and in American federal elections in 1920. In Britain, most women gained the right to vote in 1918. What mattered more than abstract legal rights, it seemed, was a common understanding about political questions in countries that shared very similar traditions about liberty. Or about restrictions on liberty, for that matter. Without a Bill of Rights, Canada interned its Japanese-Canadians after the attack on Pearl Harbor. With a Bill of Rights, the United States interned its Japanese-Americans after the attack, at the request of noted civil libertarian Earl Warren, then California’s attorney general.


At high-level meetings in Washington, where some legal reform is discussed, the first question is always “should we adopt a litigation or a legislative strategy?” Whatever the issue, you see, there’s always an available litigation strategy. You didn’t like Obamacare? Then take it to the courts, again and again and again. The cases are losers but can be sold as quick fixes to donors and keep the conservative litigation industry well-funded.

The magic of a litigation strategy is that it’s so much cheaper, even after the lawyers are paid. There’s no need for lobbyists or hearings, notices and comments, or for the massive publicity campaign upon which legislative efforts rest, apart from a few well-targeted op-eds and helpful editorials. More importantly, there are no logrolling costs, like the special favors that Harry Reid handed out to get the votes to pass Obamacare in the Senate. Friends in the litigation shops, and perhaps some legal academics with time on their hands, can be relied upon to provide amicus briefs. Thereafter it’s simply a matter of making the arguments, and awaiting the result from the crazy roulette table that inhabits Anthony Kennedy’s brain.

Scholars such as Mary Ann Glendon and Jeremy Waldron have argued that legal issues are often better left to legislatures than to the courts. Unlike Justice Kennedy’s decisions, legislative changes have the legitimacy conferred by democratic institutions and are easier to mend when, with the benefit of hindsight, they’re found to be misguided. As the product of democratic deliberation, they’re also easier to accept, less likely to result in protracted, bitter debates. If one has lost a political battle, there’s always the chance of fixing it down the road, and there’s no great shame about being on the losing side. Not so with a Supreme Court decision such as Obergefell, where Justice Kennedy announced that he sought to “teach the Nation that [rights to same-sex marriage] are in accord with our society’s most basic compact.” The message to losers is not merely are you churlish but you’re also non-American, since the Bill of Rights is constitutive of our identity as Americans.

If one has problems with a judicial un-American Activities Committee, this argues for a thinner conception of legally enforceable rights, for a slimmer Bill of Rights. That’s not to say that I think the legislature should take up the slack, however, as Waldron might want. Instead, we should ask ourselves whether we could do with less law all around, whether indeed we might improve our rule of law ranking in doing so.

We have more law, more regulation, more litigation than any other country, and somehow we’re faulted for failing to adhere to the rule of law. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that the answer isn’t more law, and anything that contributes to our litigation culture should be viewed with suspicion. And one of the chief offenders is our fascination with legally enforceable rights, which were greatly expanded by Justice Kennedy’s decision in Obergefell. It wasn’t simply the right to same-sex marriage, which affects only a percent of a small percent of the population, but the basis upon which the right was grounded. The plaintiffs asked for equal dignity in the eyes of the law and Kennedy held that the Constitution grants them that right.

What Kennedy had done was to graft onto the Constitution an open-ended right to respect, derived from Hegel by way of Alexandre Kojève. We suffer a psychic wound when others fail to respect us, and for Kennedy this amounts to an unbounded cause of action. Once let out of the box, there is no principled way of denying a right to marry to any kind of union, no matter how many the husbands and wives, since this would imply a want of respect for their union.

Worse still is the way in which a right to respect gives the permanently aggrieved an incentive to seek out disrespect. Robbie Blankenship and his partner Jesse Cruz sought to marry after the Obergefell decision and might have done so in Columbus, Ohio, where they lived. When they heard that court clerk Kim Davis was refusing to issue marriage licenses to gays, however, they got in their car and drove 151 miles to Morehead, Kentucky, to see her, in order to suffer the indignity of being turned down.

What shall we call people who go out of their way for a smack in the face? Today they’re called social justice warriors. Not too long ago they were called jerks. They are also opportunists, for they seek to exploit the correlative duty that lies behind every enforceable right. If I have a right to respect, you have a duty to show it to me, and woe betide those who fail to do so. You must give it to me, good and hard, and I’ll search you out to get it.

We shape our law and then our law shapes us. At a time when the common law was less solicitous about bruised feelings, it taught us to suck it up. And that plausibly made us happier as well as tougher. When we are encouraged by the legal regime to obsess about emotional slights, we feel them more deeply and for a much longer period of time. When we can’t sue over them, we get over them more quickly.


The strategic victims are tiresome in the extreme, but what interests me more is the special virtue of those who aren’t like that, who don’t look for payback, who won’t administer the last vicious kick to a fallen opponent, who don’t look for people to sue and who in their own quiet way contribute to the rule of law. I do not have a name for their virtue.

It partakes a little of magnanimity, of the kind shown by Ulysses Grant and his army at Appomattox. The circumstances of his meeting with Robert E. Lee were so extraordinary, and Grant’s conduct so exemplary, that Americans today cannot fail to be moved when they recall it. Unless they happen to be social justice warriors. Grant observed Lee’s splendid new sword and privately decided that he would not ask Confederate officers to surrender their weapons, lest he embarrass Lee. The surrender signed, Lee left the Court House on his horse, quietly observed by a group of Union officers who were moved to tears by the pathos of the scene.

Union General Joshua Chamberlain took the surrender. Wounded twice in the days before Appomattox, he remained in command and drew up his brigade to greet the Army of Northern Virginia as it marched past for the last time. As it did so, Chamberlain ordered a “carry arms” salute for a worthy foe. The Confederates were led by General Gordon, at the head of the old Stonewall Brigade, who reared his horse and dropped his sword in a return salute, which was carried on down the line on both sides.

What Chamberlain and Gordon had done was an act of chivalry, and chivalry is also a virtue of those who do not rush to the courthouse. We saw the same kind of chivalry in the novels of Patrick O’Brian and in old Western movies where the marshal and outlaw each waited for the other to draw first. This in turn was how the British and French fought in Voltaire’s account of the Battle of Fontenoy (1745). As both sides approached each other for battle, the English officers saluted the French by taking off their hats. The French officers returned the compliment, and an English captain called out “Gentlemen of the French guards, give fire.” For the French, Count d’Androche replied, “Gentlemen, we never fire first. Do you fire,” at which the English finally obliged.

thisarticleappears janfeb16 [2]The magnanimous man is moved by the plight of a defeated foe, and seeks to restore his feelings. The chivalrous respect their opponents as worthy adversaries and would think themselves dishonored were they to glory in their enemy’s defeat. The cynic who mocks their virtues, who tells us that the Black Prince massacred 3,000 townspeople at Limoges, or that the Battle of Fontenoy wasn’t like that at all, has missed the point. It takes nothing away from a virtue to tell us that we’re not always virtuous.

For there are virtuous people, and some of them are libertarians who supported same-sex marriages, on ideological grounds that elude me. And since they are virtuous, let me name some of them: David Nott at Reason Foundation, and Roger Pilon, Walter Olson, and Ilya Shapiro at Cato. What makes them virtuous is their conviction that gay rights should stop with same-sex marriage, that they shouldn’t be used as a battering ram against the wedding photographer who refuses to participate in a gay marriage or the baker who refuses to bake a gay-wedding cake. Nothing is less magnanimous, less chivalrous than the gay-rights supporter who now wants to reenact la guerre franco-française in America by attacking every person and institution that adheres to traditional religious teachings about homosexuality.

Not that my libertarian friends would support the photographer and baker in the name of virtue, mind you. Instead, they’d do so in the name of another right, the right to freedom of association. If I carry on business, I shouldn’t be forced to deal with people I don’t like, be they gay or straight. An abuse of one right can’t be mended by opposing it with another right, however, for freedom of association has its limits too. Because it carries on a public calling, a restaurant is required to serve African-Americans; and it is distinctly unamiable for a baker to refuse to bake a birthday cake for someone because he is gay. What is needed, instead, is a zone of behavior that is governed not by law or rights but by virtue.

But then I still don’t have a name for the mensch-like virtue that scorns to turn every slight, real or imagined, into a cause of action. The virtue resembles temperance, to the extent that those who look for a legal quarrel are intemperate and self-indulgent. They are like the glutton who stuffs himself with food, the drinker who craves his wine. What I seek can also be likened to the virtue the Greeks called praotes or gentleness, which is shown by those not moved by unjust or unworthy anger. None of these quite capture what I have in mind, however, and I have another candidate. When I think of how we have slipped in rankings or freedom, and of how our culture of adversarial legalism can bear a good part of the blame, the special virtue of those who refrain from frivolous lawsuits might be called patriotism.  

F.H. Buckley is a Foundation Professor at George Mason Law School. His The Way Back: Restoring the Promise of America in an Age of Diminishing Expectations [3] will be published by Encounter Books in April.

24 Comments (Open | Close)

24 Comments To "The Virtue That Has No Name"

#1 Comment By mle detroit On February 17, 2016 @ 7:40 am

When the law has been written by people just like you, only people just like you, of course you gentlemen of the club can come up with reasons to praise yourselves. You might consider the virtue of General Lee’s dignity.

#2 Comment By Alan Vanneman On February 17, 2016 @ 7:56 am

I can’t remember which clause of the constitution talks about “chivalry,” but if I were writing an article about the subject I wouldn’t illustrate it with a picture of Robert E. Lee. When Lee invaded Pennsylvania he captured black American citizens and sent them south to be slaves. Confederate armies executed all black American soldiers they captured, in defiance of the most basic rules of war. Let’s dispense with the “chivalrous South” myth, shall we?

#3 Comment By Kacey Now On February 17, 2016 @ 9:02 am

Well this is the first time I’ve seen a conservative blog claim we should be more like Canada and Denmark.

#4 Comment By JLF On February 17, 2016 @ 9:20 am

“If Cato and Heritage are to be believed . . . ” Aye, there’s the rub. The most common denominator in their definition of “liberty” is economic. And the most common denominator of their “economic liberty” is the protection of their property and the wealth it generates. The virtue behind the myth of Southern chivalry lay in the respect shown to wealth exhibited by Lee, Davis, and the other one-percenters of Southern society, notwithstanding the source of that wealth: slavery. Likewise today, the virtue Cato and Heritage demands of today’s one-percenters ignores the off-shoring of jobs, the manipulation of financial markets, the beggaring of the working class that produce that wealth.

But the proof of the pudding lies in the tasting. By that standard there is little wonder that America lies well below most of Western Europe, and especially below the “socialistic” countries in Scandinavia. “Free” markets mean little to those without the means to enjoy them. Likewise, the liberty championed by Cato and Heritage fails to see the sarcasm in the famously apt Anatole France rebuke: “The law in its majestic equality forbids rich and poor alike to sleep under bridges, beg in the streets and steal loaves of bread.”

#5 Comment By Daniel (not Larison ) On February 17, 2016 @ 9:40 am

Alan, I believe if you read the article again, you’ll see that it’s was Grant that was being praised for his chivalry; the chivalry (that is, being polite) of the defeated foe is pretty much a given.

#6 Comment By Johann On February 17, 2016 @ 10:36 am

The wealth of a nation is its people. Japan, for example, has virtually no natural resources and very little farm land. But they have historically been well off economically.

I believe the education of a nation’s people is the single most important factor in a nation’s wealth, even trumping its political system. If only a small fraction of the nation is highly educated, the uneducated masses drag the economy down. That is the major difference with northern Europe, for now. Their “elites” are working hard to change that.

#7 Comment By Kurt Gayle On February 17, 2016 @ 10:40 am

Marbury v. Madison (1803) was the first Supreme Court case in which the Court asserted its authority for judicial review – i.e., the authority to strike down a law as unconstitutional.

This in spite of the fact that the Constitution does not explicitly authorize judicial review.

True, the US Constitution does not explicitly prohibit it either, but — with the advantage of 213 years of hindsight – I would argue that the Constitution should have explicitly prohibited judicial review.

The US Constitution should have adopted the language of the Virginia Constitution of 1776: “All power of suspending laws, or the execution of laws, by any authority, without consent of the representatives of the people, is injurious to their rights, and ought not to be exercised.”

As someone who appreciates how annoying it can be to have the same point repeated – therefore with apologies: “All power of suspending laws, or the execution of laws, by any authority, without consent of the representatives of the people, is injurious to their rights, and ought not to be exercised.”

#8 Comment By Higgs Boson On February 17, 2016 @ 10:45 am

“The plaintiffs asked for equal dignity in the eyes of the law and [Justice] Kennedy held that the Constitution grants them that right.”

The Constitution does not “grant” rights to anyone. It proceeds from the Declaration of Independence axiom that “all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights …”

Liberty is a birthright of our humanity; we curtail some of those rights to secure a stable society. The Constitution defines what powers we have given to the government for that purpose.

It is not the other way around.

#9 Comment By Hmm On February 17, 2016 @ 11:12 am

It seems to me that your issue with Robbie Blankenship and Jesse Cruz is not that they’re going “out of their way for a smack in the face”, but that they’re doing it for a cause you disagree with. Kim Davis refusing to follow the law and grant marriage licenses is (in their opinion) an instance of injustice. It is a moral duty to fight injustice and asking Davis for a marriage license is a good opportunity to fight it by bringing media attention to the situation. Based on the premise that people should fight injustice when they’re able to (I think you’d agree with that), going out of the way to protest the issue is a perfectly justified course of action.

(I don’t really know your politics, but I assume you’re a conservative Christian of some variety, so I think this example will be applicable. If it’s not, I apologize.)

Countries such as Saudi Arabia and The People’s Republic of China currently place restrictions (of varying severity, depending on country) on Christianity and missionary activity. A Christian (or really any supporter of religious freedom) would consider this an instance of injustice. If a Christian were to travel to one of those countries and proselytize, I doubt you would insult them for going “out of their way for a smack in the face”.

#10 Comment By Liam On February 17, 2016 @ 11:51 am

Judicial review was not invented in Marbury. The fact is that the framers *and ratifiers* of the Constitution were opportunistically principled; equivocation on many principles and practices was baked into the cake, as it were.

#11 Comment By Evodius On February 17, 2016 @ 1:30 pm

This sounds like what Aristotle calls “gnome,” which can be translated approximately as consideration or good sense. We tend to lack this culturally because we have such simplistic and strict notions of justice (inherently inadequate because we rely so much on numerical quantification of justice via statistics, which leads us to believe that the restitution of injustice must be obviously equivalent). Gnome allows for things like mercy and forgiveness, things which a strict sense of justice might ignore or outright condemn.

#12 Comment By SteveM On February 17, 2016 @ 2:41 pm

Fully agree with Alan Vanneman above.

Elites who want young men to die for them invent illusions of honor about war. Create the Myth and they will come. When war is nothing but rancid violence and death.

Chivalry in war is a Big Lie. E.g.,


That’s it. That is as chivalrous as war gets in reality. Those men didn’t just slaughter, they enjoyed slaughtering. And then were welcomed back home as sanctified “Warrior Heroes”. “Defending our freedoms” – the Myth of American chivalry.

The biggest corruption of Christianity was when it was coöpted by the state. And its transcendental principles opportunistically warped by the state using chivalry as a rationalization for the application of raw power. That corruption continues with the sanctification of the American War Machine.

America does need an elevation of honor, but without the perversity of war as a backdrop.

#13 Comment By Charles Cosimano On February 17, 2016 @ 5:25 pm

Chivalry was nonsense, a myth of something that never existed. Grant had already decided, after a discussion with Lincoln, not to demand the surrender of the officers’ weapons. Lee’s sword had nothing to do with it.

It is also good to remember that Grant was married to Longstreet’s cousin and Longstreet had been the best man at their wedding. Lee had been been Grant’s commanding officer in the Mexican War. The combination of politics and personal relationships had more to do with things than any medieval troubadour’s imagination.

#14 Comment By Dan On February 17, 2016 @ 8:15 pm

Lee was a great honorable man. Laying down his arms instead of continuing a guerrilla war is very rare.

Alan your race baiting c#^p is pathetic. Learn a little bit about white prisoners of war in both the north and south during the Civil war.

#15 Comment By E. H. Looney On February 17, 2016 @ 10:33 pm

This is better. Grant was a good man but Lee was the Last Knight.


#16 Comment By Pelham On February 17, 2016 @ 11:59 pm

If you want to know what society would be like without the leavening, restraining presence of chivalrous gentlemen, well, you’re about to find out. Like a lot of things America used to make, they aren’t made here anymore.

#17 Comment By Ivy On February 18, 2016 @ 1:44 pm

Chivalry, from the very early days of medieval knights, represented a collective policy to avoid a return to the atomization of an uncivilized past. We are at greater risk of that return now with ongoing assaults by rights claimants. Prior generations would look at today’s posturing and ask if we’d just decided to fall on our swords.

#18 Comment By EliteCommInc. On February 18, 2016 @ 8:39 pm

Whn I read this yesterday, I was trouble. But after some thought and actually watching some civil war history and wrestling a ad bit more wit the non-obvious.

I think there is a good deal of value in what I think of as the rules of engagement. They are the principles that lay the foundation for the Geneva Convention. I think the observation that regardless of what fundamentalist Christians believe about the choice to engage in homosexual conduct.

There is little record in our country in which they engaged purging the public square of their right to participate. I say that with some caution because, I know there are cases. But on the whole it was not the engaged nor was it the goal.

But I will admit now, that given the current advocacy, it’s hard to consider any compassion for what they have begun.

#19 Comment By Alan Vanneman On February 18, 2016 @ 9:22 pm

Dan, well, I guess you’re not reading this, but I know something about the white POWs. I don’t know anything about the black POWs because the Confederate armies murdered them all.

#20 Comment By Daniel R. Baker On February 20, 2016 @ 12:42 am

Alan Vanneman’s claim that the South murdered all black POWs is false. [6] Jefferson Davis did once order all black POWs killed, but that order was never enforced because the North promised to execute one Confederate prisoner for every black Union POW executed by the South. Captured black soldiers were either held in prison camps, used as forced labor for the Confederate army, or sold into slavery. Assuredly, racist Confederates did murder some black prisoners, especially at Fort Pillow and the Crater, but the idea that all black POWs were killed is fanciful.

#21 Comment By Honorable Dead On February 20, 2016 @ 10:56 am

“I don’t know anything about the black POWs because the Confederate armies murdered them all.”

Don’t blame your ignorance on “the Confederate armies”. If you really don’t know anything the black POWs, try typing “black POWs Civil War” into any decent search engine. It’s not as though there aren’t dozens of academically and intellectually respectable articles on the subject.

Unless you prefer the delusion that “Confederate armies murdered them all”, of course, which would make sense, given that you don’t let your ignorance get in the way of your hatred.

#22 Comment By Dan On February 20, 2016 @ 8:39 pm

Alan, that is completely false. Talking to racists is such a waste of time, don’t you have a black lives matter rally to attend?

#23 Comment By EliteCommInc. On February 21, 2016 @ 8:06 pm

” I don’t know anything about the black POWs because the Confederate armies murdered them all.”

I am not going to defend slavery, nor the murder of prisoners. But I do understand what southerners were thinking.

Blacks were not citizens they were property

Property that were under the benign care and management of whites (doubtless few were free blacks in their minds.

For such property to lift up arms against the owners was a capital offense

Any black caught taking up arms against the south was a treasonous act and subject to capital punishment

The fact that the North was but mildly offended by the official policy explains a good deal about what blacks were up against as to their status in the country.

Loyalty was a deeply held virtue in the southern states — any black demonstrating anything else — was black uprising. Given the mindset — it makes perfect sense why blacks were summarily executed.

That is why for every black in service the fight must be to the death – their was no other way.

Based on the article below their capture could be problematic


#24 Comment By Mike Lake On February 23, 2016 @ 8:49 am

You’ve got it backwards. Chivalry, in popular conception, was a constraint on privilege: wealthy and heavily armed knights refrained from overt abuse of those beneath them. Chivalry would not drive homosexuals back into the closet; it would not pay women 65 cents on the dollar; it would not refuse a mosque in downtown Manhattan; it would not jail African-Americans at six times the rate of European-Americans. If we’ve seen an excess of legislation and lawsuit seeking to curb the privileged, perhaps it’s an act of desperation from underclasses who continue to see the privileged refuse to curb themselves.

Less recognized is the fact that chivalry was a system in which the peasants STAYED peasants. Pooh-poohing class lawsuits as frivolous betrays a sentiment neither chivalrous nor patriotic.