This post is a response to Mr. Ted Colt’s tweet, displayed below:
Mr. Colt is, of course, correct about finding and fixing flaws, though I’d rephrase his statement a bit. Southern civilization (the Old South) was destroyed from the outside, when emancipation removed the aristocracy’s foundation and source of power – property. It wasn’t a failing of Southern culture that resulted in the destruction of the Old South, but rather outside circumstances that the South had no control over. That said, the Old South wasn’t, of course, perfect. There existed strains of Leftism, primarily introduced via Revolutionary figures like Jefferson, but by 1860 the so-called “Reactionary Enlightenment” was driving the South ever Rightward towards a more-or-less total repudiation of the original Enlightenment. Had the South achieved independence, I assess that it would have continued on this path. There is little reason to believe Southern culture would have succumbed to the self-destructive tendencies which characterize the modern West (some caveats here, which I will discuss in some future post).
As it happened, Southern society (no longer a distinct civilization) was forcibly tethered to American society, for better or worse, via which Leftism began to be administered intravenously. For us, this muddies the waters in that it’s difficult to discern whether Leftist tendencies which exist in the South today are organic developments which would survive severance from USG, or if their source is extraneous and shallow. I think it safe to say that while the source of most of the modern manifestations of Southern Leftism is foreign, some of these tendencies now have a strong hold on Southern culture which will prove problematic in a post-USG scenario.
Jeffersonianism is the most prominent example of home-cooked Leftism. Jefferson’s influence on the South has waxed and waned over time, but it’s always been present in some form or another. With the recent growth of libertarianism in the South, Jefferson has regained his status as a primary figure for Southerners looking for alternatives to the modern state. One reason is practical: despite recent rumblings, Jefferson clings to his status as a “mainstream figure” and thus provides a measure of legitimacy to disgruntled Southerners. Another is theoretical: Jefferson’s philosophy of individualism, republicanism, and government decentralization serves to provide an alternative vision to the ever-increasing totalitarianism of USG.
Jeffersonianism is mostly Leftist at heart and lies somewhere on a spectrum from inefficient to totally impractical for use in a post-USG independent South. The “Reactionary Enlightenment” figures realized the anti-civilizational character of Jeffersonianism prior to the Civil War, and were in the process of expunging the more Leftist elements of it from the Southern worldview. Jeffersonianism is simply not conducive, on the whole, for protecting or maintaining a traditionalist aristocratic society, and for our purposes, even less so for building one. The prominence of Jefferson’s philosophy on the modern Southern psyche poses a strong obstacle to reconstituting a distinct Southern civilization.
Baser modernist facets of Leftism, such as materialism, atheism, feminism, and progressivism, are almost wholly recently acquired and have much less of a hold on today’s Southern culture (being almost totally endemic to white urban areas). Still, in my view it would be a mistake to write this problem off as a non-factor. Depending on the geographical and cultural makeup of a post-USG Southern state, it is theoretically possible that urban mores will take precedence in establishing the philosophical foundation of said state. This, of course, would be an unmitigated disaster.
The question becomes: how in the world can these infectious philosophies be cleansed, or even mitigated? It seems quite clear to me that nothing significant can be done while the Leftist zeitgeist remains in control of the South’s destiny. Indeed, even if the South gained independence tomorrow, this Southern Leftism would assuredly dictate the formation of the government, and we would almost certainly be quite as bad off as we are now. Rightism is simply too marginal, leverage-wise, to affect any significant social change in the current milieu. The only way to gain the power to affect said change is to use corrupting Leftist tactics, such as demotic “activism.”
The only way Rightist elements can return to a guiding role for the South is through some kind of cleansing or transitional period. Unfortunately, any way you slice it, this period will be difficult and ugly, though not necessarily absolutely so. It will require a total reformation into a society and government which will seem completely alien to the modern layman. This will happen, though the timeframe and manner are anyone’s guess.
Likely the easiest way to accomplish this cleansing would be through some form of a Rightist dictatorship, ala maybe Pinochet or Sulla. This hypothetical dictator would have absolute authority, or nearly so, to reform government and social influences at will, and thus could take the requisite steps to eliminate or at minimum marginalize the anti-civilizational disease of Leftism. How exactly this could be done is outside of my purview, though it seems self-evident that it is theoretically possible. Of course, this option carries with it a certain amount of risk – how do we know the dictator won’t be another Caligula or Lincoln (ha)? In short, we don’t – but risk must be assumed at some point to get civilization back on track. A dictatorship could accomplish our aims with a minimum of blood and tears. The optimal endstate would be a transition from dictatorship to government via an organic state, such as a traditionalist aristocracy. The reader may form his own opinion on how likely or attractive of an option this is for our necessary cleansing period.
In my view it is much the better option than our alternative – a cleansing period characterized by some kind of fiery cataclysm brought on by the drunk-at-the-wheel guidance of Leftism. It is almost useless to pontificate on the exact nature of this cataclysm, simply due to the huge number of variables involved. What seems sure is that it will happen in some form and at some time. Ethnic turbulence? Economic crash? Political splintering? Terrorist attack? Mass revolt? Simple prolonged power outage? The potential embers which may fall on this powder keg we inhabit appear legion. Once it happens, it will be big, it will be ugly, in all likelihood it will be bloody. In a word, it will be cataclysmic. What will emerge is anyone’s guess, but I believe this forcible reversion of civilization will naturally demonstrate the utter fallibility of most or all facets of Leftism.
This might happen next year or next century. At any rate, the most a Southern Reactionary might do in the meantime is try to increase our sphere of influence and promote blood and heritage ties among our thede. Leftism is pernicious and, for now, all-powerful. We should endeavor to outlast it and plan for its eventual fall from grace.