From my good friend, Obi, who was reading Mill’s Autobiography:
John Stuart Mill remarked that the American Civil War “was destined to be a turning point, for good or evil, of the course of human affairs for an indefinite duration.” He said that a Southern victory would “give courage to the enemies of progress”, while a Northern victory would help the whole country live up to it’s constitutional ideals. While living in England at the time, he reflected:
Foreseeing from the first this double set of consequences from the success or failure of the rebellion, it may be imagined with what feelings I contemplated the rush of nearly the whole upper and middle classes of my own country even those who passed for Liberals, into a furious pro-Southern partisanship: the working classes, and some of the literary and scientific men, being almost the sole exceptions to the general frenzy. I never before felt so keenly how little permanent improvement had reached the minds of our influential classes, and of what small value were the liberal opinions they had got into the habit of professing.
The above reminded me of the people on MSNBC, the New York Times, the Elizabeth Warrens, and the Identity Politics abusers who profess “progress” but fought hard against Bernie Sanders during the Democratic primaries.