American Dumpster-Fire Culture


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Quite frankly, David Brooks’ recent column on the ways in which American culture appears to be coming apart is why I now identify exclusively as a Southerner and not as an American.

The South, despite its historical baggage, always has incorporated a sense of propriety, connectedness and reciprocity in its culture – that goes for black and white Southerners alike.

Much of what we are dealing with now is bound up in the pathologies of an increasingly deracinated American national culture, which really could be likened to a dumpster fire.

To those, such as the Biden regime and the rest of the left who would characterize such talk as sedition, I readily concede that the South has secured a measure of economic and material progress through its unity with a larger polity – certainly in the aftermath of World War II. And I am thankful for the progress black Southerners have made in the last 50 years, and I readily acknowledge that this could not have been achieved but for landmark civil rights legislation.

On the other hand, I think that many Southerners are entirely unaware of the extent to which Southern history resembles Irish history in many ways – at least, in the way that the Irish have long regarded their association with Britain and how the region long functioned as a kind of economic extraction zone. Moreover, I do resent deeply how we continue to be regarded as the national foils – how everything that is f*cked up naturally has to be Southern. Moreover, I resent the extent to which the South, derided as the problem child of the American Experiment, continues to supply a disproportionate share of the manpower to advance the regime’s foreign policy, much of which, as the debacle in Ukraine so richly illustrates, is entirely ill-conceived and inimical to the interests of rank-and-fill Southerners and other red state citizens.

Someone on a conservative forum to which I belong, apparently quoting someone else, said that the North was responsible for saving the Union in the 19th century, just as the South will be in the 21st. There are many ways to read this. I think that the brilliant classicist and commentator Victor Davis Hanson recently expressed the issue brilliantly. In a recent column he argued that the things that have historically defined America – the commitment to the rule of law, colorblindedness in the application of law and a genuine openness to debate and discourse is increasingly being expressed in the South as opposed to the purportedly more sophisticated cultural enclaves of the Northeast and West Coasts.

My argument for the past 25 or so years has been that the Union serve us only to the degree that it secures our freedoms and material prosperity while insulating us against the encroachment of an all-powerful state. As far as I am concerned the apparatus that functions in D.C. no longer is a government in any real sense but rather a regime. One prime example of this regime’s dysfunction: It insists on preserving the borders of a second world country (i.e., Ukraine) on the periphery of Eastern Europe, though it can’t even summon the will to preserve one of the most basis functions of sovereignty, which is preserving the integrity of U.S. borders.

And now, increasingly, the left and its operatives in the bureaucracy and the major institutions are working to silence any form of dissent. Call me paranoid and antigovement, but this seems as plain to me and millions of other people as the keyboard on which I am typing this response.

In many respects the pathologies of American culture are utterly inimical to to Southern culture as it historically has been understood. Yet, day by day, week by week, this dumpster-fire national culture is infecting to one degree or another the entire country, and, frankly, I don’t want to see my culture brought down by these pathologies.

A Graphic Worth a Thousand Words


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Here it is as plain as day for everyone to see. Granted, I believe like everyone else that the left used all sorts of specious means to vandalize the 2020 election, and I don’t think that Biden deserves to be regarded as the elected president of the United States.

Even so, this map underscores why, if the country ultimately breaks apart, the focus of any red-state American Republic will center around the South. Yes, parts of the Middle Atlantic states and the Midwest ultimately will align with a red state movement, but the focus of energy will remain with the South, as it essentially always has.

That is precisely why I and others have argued for years that the struggle essentially is one that has ensued since the earliest days of the Republic and has always centered around the nature of federal power – how it should be expressed.

Moreover, as I have struggled to point out time and again, if these divisions, which seem intractable at this point, lead to breakup, the South will not be re-staging Confederate States 2.0.

What emerges will be widely regarded as an American restorationist movement, not a Confederate one, despite every attempt by the Legacy (Oligarchic Lapdog) Media to depict it as such.

Indeed, this movement initially will be suspended between two stools – the left and its legions of cultural allies and the very small, very marginalized but very vocal collection of Confederate restoratonists. And to be sure, the media will exploit every act of this small faction as proof of Red State America’s “true intentions.”

That is why any broad-based movement must be begun and be led by a few seasoned, substantive political leaders who can stand above the marginalized elements.

Am I implying that this necessarily must begin as something akin to a vanguard movement? Yes, I am indeed. We simply can’t risk the possibility of this movement being hijacked by Confederate restorationists who would be indirectly aided and abetted by the Establishment media and the federal national security complex with the desire to doom it from the start.

In time, the South has the potential to regain its footing as well as a renewed identity, but it will have to be undertaken long after the initial changes of a national divorce are worked out. And it most assuredly must occur far beyond the noise of Confederate restorationism. Most important of all, a new Southern identity must factor in and come to terms with all of the changes that have occurred in the last 150 years, including the Civil Rights movement.

A Masterful Observer of the Post-Soviet Russian Legacy and American Future.


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Within the past couple of years I have become an avid Quora follower of the former Moscow State University-educated Soviet propaganda apparatchik Dima Vorobiev.

Granted, Vorobiev is no red-state conservative populist – far from it – but he does serve up candid views of the late Soviet Union, his part in it, and, even more fascinating, how this legacy continues to play out in post-Soviet Russia and throughout the world.

I found this Quora response especially interesting: How Russia and American views of freedom played out within their respective historical and cultural contexts – and despite both civilizations being essentially blessed with a large, relatively unsettled frontiers into which oppressed individuals could flee exploitation or outright tyranny. As things turned out in Russia, tyranny acquired the means of extending its reach deep into its vast eastern frontier, and, consequently, advancement in Russia historically been defined as the success one has in building literal walls to fend off predators.

Yet, it seems that we in the United States increasingly are cultivating similar practices – but why is that all that surprising given that our elites are now in the practice of staying in power by sowing discord among all the other classes, including even assigning a kind of Kulak classification to the beleaguered white American working class?

They do all of this with the assurance that they can retreat to walled enclaves high in the hills and mountaintops of major U.S. cities and with the full assurance that these walls will be augmented by a formidable array of cutting-edge technologies of robots, drones, sensors and other sophisticated gadgets.

This leads many of us to wonder: How much longer before class aspirations in this country come to resemble those in Russia – when a functional civic society no longer is associated with American success and destiny, when unscalable walls become the chief measure of high status?



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From my Facebook vault from 2016 – true, though, sadly. I ended a very long friendship with someone because he invariably resorted to cursing, finger pointing and charges of racism whenever I stressed that the social and political cleavages in this country were dragging us closer and closer to an impasse that ultimately could lead to a national breakup.

Five years since this post the possibility strikes me as even more likely and even prominent intellectuals on both sides of the great divide are now weighing in on this troubling trend.

Somethings I fall into the temptation of regarding myself as a bit of an amateur political prophet, though I make it a point to dispel any sort of grandiose thinking and self-regard as a matter of principle.

A Ruling Class of Ciphers, Flim-Flam Artists and Pinheads


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This time of year I am invariably reminded of The Wizard of Oz.

You see, during my childhood, we – at least, before the advent of cable, Betamax and VHS – were afforded only a handful of TV stations: CBS-, NBC- and ABC-affiliated local TV stations. Consequently, we were assured of viewing favorite programs – “The Charley Brown Christmas Special,” “Frosty, the Snowman,” and, most significant of all, “The Wizard of Oz” – only once a year.

My parents invariably recalled, far into my adulthood, how I would cry at the end of the “Wizard of Oz,” knowing that a full year would pass before I could view it again. And I can still remember the glee I would feel whenever I spotted one of the early November issues of “TV Guide,” the cover of which typically carried a screen shot from the movie as a teaser for the upcoming broadcast, which invariably occurred on the Sunday evening following Thanksgiving.

Still, despite my sheer fascination with this 1939 classic, I invariably found the last few minutes of the film, when Dorothy and her fellow travelers discover the real nature of Oz, well, rather disappointing and even a bit jarring.

We are exposed all through the film to an entity who seems magical, omnipotent, even godlike, in some respects, only to discover that he was a flim-flam artist from the American Midwest who had employed his wiles and verbal acuity to deceive an entire kingdom.

I was reminded of this childhood reaction reading Victor Davis Hanson’s latest piece on what amounts to the unmasking of the leftist elite class, which once struck millions of ordinary Americans not too long ago as standing at the cusp history – a talented vanguard of this nation’s elite-educated best and brightest who would finally consummate St. Barack’s call for a fundamental transformation of what they regard as a flawed American Experiment.

As Hanson argues so brilliantly, we now have seen the left for what it is: a relatively small legion of weak, immoral, self-serving, sniveling ciphers – not talented or principled people at all, merely mediocre, grasping people not that much different than the mythical Oscar Zoroaster Phadrig Isaac Norman Henkle Emmannuel Ambroise Diggs, who shortened his name to OZ after it occurred to him that the first letters of his names spelled out “O.Z.P.I.N.H.E.A.D.”

Pinhead, after all, is a self-defeating term for a flim-flam artist with lofty aspirations.

But it’s a term that fits our benighted ruling class pretty well.

That “S” Word Again


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The “s” word increasingly is becoming more bandied about in public discourse – and why shouldn’t it? Yes, we really do have to consider several geopolitical threats, notably China, but it is becoming increasingly apparent to growing numbers of American that one size simply doesn’t fit all.

The best alternative would be what some have proposed in Britain to stave off Scottish and conceivably even Welsh secession: the transformation of Britain into a rather loose federation sovereign states, with the central government in Westminster assigned a few all-union responsibilities. It may be that we will undergo a similar debate in this country as the national fabric becomes more frayed.

Our Duplicitous Supreme Court


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I’ll not mince words: The Supreme Court, having arrogated to itself a responsibility constitutionally reserved to the states, deserves a lot of blame for the ravaging effects that the abortion issue has had on public discourse. This issue arguably would be a lot less psychologically charged if it had been left to state legislatures to resolve.

I will carry the argument a step further: I contend that the court, by insinuating itself into every facet of American life, has undermined the deliberative capacity of states and localities in many ways. One could argue that this is a symptom of just how impossibly large and unwieldy the federal union has become. 

The abortion issue not only has morphed into one of most contentious issues in America but has but also, certainly over the last 50 years, has sparked a considerable divergence of opinion over what exactly defines life. 

Moreover, one could make the case that  the wide divergence on the issue, which arguably was exacerbated unnecessarily by the Court’s 1973 ruling, also serves to underscore that the Framers were right from the start about country simply being too culturally diverse to be governed centrally.

Within the last century, the court ostensibly has expanded its purview at least partly based on the argument that Congress and state legislatures simply aren’t equipped to resolve such contentious, multifaceted issues. Yet, why should we assume that a court of nine legal specialists is any better equipped to resolve such a complex issue?

Fifty state legislators, comprised of thousands of people who arguably have far more knowledge of local concerns and aspirations of ordinary Americans, strike me as far better equipped to deal with such a damnably and emotional charged issue as abortion.

The Rise of the Blue-State Confederacy –  and the South as the American Lifeboat


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To re-affirm what I have stated time and again on this forum, I am a Southern nationalist. And if that doesn’t strike the average reader as strange enough, I’ll add that I am the rarest of Southern nationalists: I am one who wants to dispense with the perennial fixation with the Lost Cause and “saving Confederate money” (on the basis that “the South will rise again”).  I choose instead to concentrate on the South as it exists today, more specifically, how it has changed during the last 150-plus years.

I have held to this view for the last quarter century, ever since sitting down with 40 distinguished Southerners to organize the rather ill-fated League of the South. Though I was small and marginalized voice among this august group of scholars and writers, I was certain of one thing: that the South would not rise again on the foundation of the Lost Cause, the old Confederacy. I argued instead that whatever merged from meeting should function as both a think tank and clearing house for secessionist and radical decentrist ideals. In fact, I even argued that it was not necessarily in the South’s interests to secede ahead of the other regions or, at the very least, to demand radical autonomy from the rest of the country.

Yes, the South is different enough from the rest of the nation. Yet, even then, such deep cleavages were forming between what is now known as blue and red America that a new constitutional arrangement sooner or later would have to be worked out, not only to resolve this impasse but even to avoid another civil war. And emerging reality essentially would work to free up the South to pursue its own destiny.

I essentially argued that all we had to do was to work assiduously to popularize concepts of neo-secessionism and radical decentralization. The deep cultural and political fissures forming within the country – recall the League organized shortly after the 1994 GOP congressional sweep – essentially would complete the work for us.

It wasn’t to be. There was a handful of diehard Confederate restorationists on hand who would carry the day for the Lost Cause narrative. They believed that the anger welling up over the growing assault on Confederate symbolism and heritage would supply a sufficient center of gravity for a new Southern nationalist movement.

They were proven wrong within the next 5 years.

For my part, I went along with it, albeit rather grudgingly, until 1999. Shortly thereafter, I broke with the League and developed a web presence known as “Home Rule for Dixie!” that made the strong case for the wholesale abandonment of the Confederate restorationist narrative, calling instead for an entirely new approach to Southern self-determination that factored in all the changes that had transpired since the collapse of the Confederacy in 1865.

I argued that there were legions of contemporary Southerners who never would be won over to be Lost Cause narrative but who could be persuaded that the 15 historically cultural Southern states, which included historically Unionist West Virginia, ultimately could be won over to the argument that the South represented the best of what remained of fraying American Republic. It would, over the course of time, constitute the declining Republic’s moral and cultural lifeboat.

The “Home Rule for Dixie!” concept sparked a lot of acrimonious debate in the Southern movement before its effective collapse a few years later. After concluding that my message likely was premature, I abandoned the effort in 2003.

Since the 2016 presidential election, I am now more convinced than ever that such a movement not only is viable but likely foreshadows how events will play out in the future.

One of the nation’s premiere conservative intellectuals, Victor Davis Hanson, apparently shares a similar view. Hanson, a Straussian conservative, believes that the South and the rest of Red America, far from representing the region of the country where Lost Cause rhetoric and animosities still are being nursed, now comprises the well-spring of American values and virtue and possibly even the foundation on which these values will be re-affirmed and renewed. Hanson even goes so far to argue that the “New North” has become the Old South, and the New South the Old North.

It many ways, his argument comes very close to the one I made a generation ago through the “Home Rule for Dixie!” effort.

As Hanson contends, the New North in many ways embodies the racial exclusivity, single-party hegemony and single-crop economies ascribed to the South a half century ago.  And amidst all of this, a remarkable sorting-out effect is ensuing in which the South and other red states have begun to bear the hallmarks of a functional America.

As Hanson argues:

…there is a growing red state/blue state divide—encompassing an economic, cultural, social, and political totality. The public seems to sense that the blue-state model is the more hysterically neo-Confederate, and the red state the calmer and more Union-like. The former appears more unsustainable and intolerant, the latter is increasingly more livable and welcoming.

It seems that Hanson essentially has arrived at the same conclusion I did a quarter century ago: that the South, despite all its historical blemishes and setbacks, really does represent the most redeemable part of America – truly the most viable part, the moral and political lifeboat.

The South is going to rise again, albeit in a distinctly America form, though embodying those traits that, generally speaking, have set the region apart from the rest of the country: civility and unwavering devotion to faith, family and personal liberty.

A Primer for a New Southern Awakening


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I urge every one of the visitors to this site to read Ryan Grimm’s excellent article in The Intercept assessing the recent GOP victories in heretofore blue Virginia.

While you are at it, commit this term to memory: “cultural traditionalists.” This is the segment of voters very likely to comprise the hinge on which American electoral fortunes will turn over the next decade.

Bear in mind, too, that the article, albeit unconsciously on Ryan’s part,  confirms some of the points I have struggled to make over the last generation about the future of the South within the larger American cultural and political matrix.

It may come as news, maybe even a shock, to some of my readers, but the fact remains that Abraham Lincoln won – not only  the Civil bWar but also the struggle for American identity, certainly in terms of which side of the great political division that emerged during the 1788 constitutional debates would get to impose its indelible mark on this country in how it regards and governs itself and how it defines citizenship.

I have mentioned before that while I chose to label this website within the larger context of American identity, I remain a rather unrepentant Southern nationalist, though, I should stress, a maverick one.

More than a quarter century ago, I attended the founding meeting of the League of the South and was also a founding member of Southern Party as well as author of its inaugural document, the Asheville Declaration.

I don’t regret my initial association with those organizations, though I do possess regret, a deep well of regret, in fact, over the turns both organizations ultimately took. They confused low-hanging fruit for political reality and they have paid an egregiously high price for this tunnel vision.

They cast their lot with a segment of the population that is becoming increasingly more marginalized and even reviled by the national elites: for lack of a better term, Confederate memorialists.

Consequently, the League and the Southern Party effectively have been consigned to political oblivion, banned from social media and figuring prominently on left-wing watch lists, widely regarded, if they are even noticed,  by many, if not most, rank-and-file Americans as white nationalist fringe groups.

As I have argued before on this forum, it didn’t have to be this way. The League of the South started out with good intentions. It aspired to function as a reservoir of intellectual talent – a think tank, of sorts – as well as a rallying point for contemporary Southerners interested in articulating a regionalist/nationalist vision for the 21st century.

It was not preordained to travel down the neo-Confederate track, and with twenty-plus years of hindsight, I am more convinced than ever that avoiding this option would have placed both efforts onto a solid political trajectory toward significant success.

The handful of academics who conceived the initial League of the South effort were spot on in one assessment. They perceived even then that the country already was in a parlous state, rife with political and cultural divisions that have since mutated into the intractable impasse that many pundits on both ends of the spectrum now characterize as Civil War II.

They should have capitalized on that; in fact, they should have focused entirely on that. It is now the pink elephant in American life that no one can ignore any longer, not even the so-called Legacy Media. Indeed, the  full embrace of this hard reality a generation ago would, certainly by now, have  ingratiated the movement with a much wider demographic. They would have occupied moral high ground not all that far removed from Churchill, who had expended so much political capital in the 1930’s warning about the Nazi threat.

Yet, both expended most of their precious political capital for a mess of political pottage –  Confederate heritage and  restorationism – fretting about heritage violations and dredging up elements of the Lost Cause canon when they should have been concentrating on the here and now, crafting a political vision for the present-day South, one fully cognizant of the changes that have swept over the region over the last 150.

All Southern partisans of whatever ideological stripe must face up to the fact that Lincoln left an indelible imprint on both American and Southern identity and culture – period. There is no getting around that and this forlorn hope of restoring the Confederacy within the defeated 11 Southern states is entirely that – a forlorn hope.

This is why if the South rises again it will occur within a distinctly American context rather than a Confederate one. To express it another way, the South will rise only when enough cultural traditionalists of whatever ideological stripe conclude that the South constitutes the only solid ground on which the American Experiment in self-government and individual liberty can be sustained.

That is why I have advocated for the last 20 years to put Confederate Lost Cause ideology aside and to build a self-determinist movement constructed from the things that define the 21st century South. The success of any future Southern regionalist movement will hinge on his well it articulates and expresses growing concerns about the fissures forming on the country’s cultural and political landscape.

Indeed, success will rest in large measure on how well such a movement assesses and acknowledges the cultural and political change that has swept across the South over the last century and a half. Such a movement will take root and thrive only when millions conclude, however painfully and reluctantly, that the South represents the American Experiment’s only viable cultural lifeboat.

Only on this foundation can we begin to build the elements of a new Southern indentity drawing both from facets of its past as well as the unavoidable realities of its present and future.

Incidentally, Ryan’s article in The Intercept constitutes a very good basis – a primer – for articulating that vision.

Ever-Vibrant Revolutionary Energy


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I have always been one of those really odd misfits: a partisan Southerner who has always harbored a profound admiration for the firebrands of what is now known as “the Old Right,” those almost exclusively Midwestern and Western political leaders, many of whom identified with Progressivism, who hewed closely to the principles outlined in George Washington’s Farewell Address.

They regarded the United States as an undertaking not only conceived in liberty grounded in the principles of the 18th century Enlightenment but also one sworn to oppose intervention and imperialism at every turn.

America, after all, was the outgrowth of a coalition of sovereign States, former colonies, that had broken free of the most powerful and extended empire in history. It was emerging even in Washington’s presidency as one of the most singular nations in history, one that soon would be regarded as history’s most successful post-colonial enterprise.

Why would these former colonials want to squander it all by building an empire of their own? That essentially was Washington’s reasoning as well as that the Old Right tradition that was most prominent in the years between the two world wars.

I was discussing a similar topic earlier this week with a relative. Eisenhower’s 1961 Farewell Address not only is significant for what it warned about but also how it characterized the United States and how Americans historically have regarded themselves: as a people for whom the task of empire-building not only was an entirely new and alien concept but also inimical to Ameican experience and identity.

That is why I read with great interest this article about the protests that spontaneously broke out among American troops in every theater of operation in the months following World War II.

If there is one thing that I have learned through my long reading of history it’s that old habits really do die hard. A burst of revolutionary idealism was released in 1776 and it has never dissipated. And even the Old Right, which many people had assumed had exited the American political arena after the Pearl Harbor attack, has staged a remarkable comeback, certainly within the last 30 years since the Pat Buchanan presidential insurgency.