Originally Posted by globetrotter
It could be argued that the fact that northern culture won the war, is evidence that it was superior.
southern culture was based on a slave economy - its very root and base was on an evil. on top of that, it had several other flaws - it was more of a "caste" based system, more of an "honor" based system, less democratic, less capitalistic.
now, we may find that there are better systems than an industrial capitalistic democracy, but for the past 150 years or so that has been the model that has provided the most good for the largest number of people, which could be taken as a good indicator of the superiority of a culture.
Winning is evidence that it was superior in a military sense, but it doesn't prove that it was somehow culturally superior.
The entire United States was based upon a slave economy. Even if we assume there weren't any slaves in the North (which is untrue), the industrial North was dependent upon the raw materials provided by the agricultural South. You can't ignore the interdependence of the U.S. economy. The South grew the cotton, and the North turned it to cloth. Pretending slavery was only perpetuated by the South is like pretending people in NY don't pay less for fruit because of the cheap labor provided my migrant workers in CA. Slavery was undeniably evil, but it would be willfully ignorant to pretend that the South was the only part of the U.S. that benefited from its existence.
Also, given less than 5% of southerners owned slaves, I think it's a stretch to state that southern culture was based upon a slave culture. It was based upon agriculture, but I think it's inaccurate to assume that 95% of southerners bought into a culture of which they weren't a part. The average southerner in 1860 was a poor farmer trying to survive, not a plantation owner getting rich on the backs of his slaves.
Fukuyama would be proud of your last statement. While I am a defender of market economics and, to a lesser extent, democracy, I don't pretend it's the only legitimate system in existence. To assume the Western model is the best model for all is ethnocentric to a degree I find to be unpalatable.