I always liked Rhett. I think most Southerners liked him in 1939. But in 1863 in Atlanta, he would have been a scoundrel — a near traitor . . . unless he had something for sale that some Southern patriot, or his wife, wanted to buy. Then it would have been “let’s make a deal [you scoundrel].”
I wrote an article on General Grant’s expulsion of the Jews from his military district in 1862. In response, a subscriber posted this on a forum.
I was unaware of this event until reading this article even though I consider myself as having an above average appreciation of the military campaigns through the reading of the late Shelby Foote’s fine volumes “The Civil War; A Narrative”. What bothers me most is the unsettled question: “Are war profiteering and free markets ever moral?”
Is war profiteering moral? Not for a pacifist, certainly. But the subscriber is not talking about pacifists. He is talking about civilians who support the war.
War Profiteering Is Killing Us All
War Profiteering Is Killing Us All (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
To begin to answer this question, let us look at the question from …..
“Frankly, Mr. Davis, I don’t give a damn.”
These are the words that would have made Gone With the Wind far more meaningful to me.
Instead of Rhett in a Yankee jail, losing at poker to make himself too valuable for the commanding officer to execute, he would have been in a Confederate jail. After all, he was using precious cargo space to bring back trinkets to sell to civilians at high prices rather than selling guns at high prices to the War Department. I can almost hear Jeff Davis now: “You’re hurting the war effort, Butler, you scoundrel!”
I always liked Rhett. I think most Southerners liked him in 1939. But in 1863 in Atlanta, he would have been a scoundrel — a near traitor . . . unless he had something for sale that some Southern patriot, or…
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