Sunday, October 31, 2021

                                              October 31, 2021

 

 

MY CORNER by Boyd Cathey

 

Why Do They Hate the South?


                                             


 Friends,


The following speech (below transcribed) was given by Dr. Paul Gottfried at the annual Confederate Flag Day commemoration in the historic 1840 North Carolina State Capitol House of Representatives chamber on March 3, 2007. It was subsequently published by The Unz Review and then by The Abbeville Institute, on August 4, 2014.

 

I offer it once again because, despite the fact that Dr. Gottfried gave this address more than fourteen years ago, what he says and highlights is remarkably prescient and topical for us today.

 

Much history has passed since then, much of it very damaging and destructive of those Southern and Confederate traditions and inheritance we once cherished and considered normative and part of our lives as Southern folk. We have witnessed in recent years the virtual stripping away of our heritage handed down to us faithfully by our fathers and their fathers, the banning of our revered flags and symbols, the vicious destruction of our monuments, the expulsion of our literature and the rewriting of our history, and the attempt to extinguish our very memory, both publicly and privately in our schools and in the environment in which we live.

 

It is no exaggeration to say that these efforts by crazed fanatics, enabled and often supported by weak-willed and, even more, weak-minded “conservatives” and many Republicans is a form of cultural genocide. No, not in the literal sense where physical violence is used (although increasingly violence—unrestrained and mostly unpunished by the authorities—is employed). But in a progressive sense, using largely our educational system, our schools and colleges, our entertainment industry, and the media. Mostly we have sat by while this has happened, this gradual infection with a fatal venom which will, if not thwarted, finally destroy its intended target.

 

How many of us have children or grandchildren…how many of us know friends with children or grandchildren…where those offspring, our progeny, thanks to the imposed environment around us, have no true knowledge of their heritage, or consider it “racist” and bigoted. When history is even taught these days, or viewed on the television screen, the message drilled into them and us is that we must disavow our past. Such noble heroes as Lee, Jackson and Jefferson Davis, once revered by every school boy, not just in the South but throughout the nation, are now labeled “racists” and evil champions of slavery and white supremacy. Their monuments come down in many cases in the most ignominious manner. In Congress the so-called “conservative” political party, the GOP, joins with the rabidly radical Democrats to vote overwhelmingly to re-name all the US Army military forts named for Confederate generals; the memory of those once highly-respected and honorable soldiers is now consigned to the dust bin of history.

 

And across the South prominent Republicans—think here, for example, of South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley and Senator Lindsey Graham—call for and get the take-down of Confederate symbols. These are our defenders?  Give me a break. They are, rather, cowardly enablers.

 

This rot…this fatal infection…did not happen all it once. No, it was not just Dylann Roof’s senseless and criminal act back in 2015, it was not the mass media effort to turn the Charlottesville incident into “racist violence,” nor was it the media-driven attempt to convert the death of convicted felon and drug abuser George Floyd into some sort of modern saint. Of course, they served as opportunities for the lunatic post-Marxists to tighten the screws and control they have over our defecated society. But the contagion must be traced back to our own ignorance and our own incapacity or unwillingness to see and understand what was happening more than fifty years ago.

 

When I was in graduate school at the University of Virginia in the early 1970s, I met and knew other grad students there who carried with them the kernel of revolution and anti-Southern hatred. At first it seemed just an academic affair we would debate in some of our graduate courses. Indeed, their views would be considered fairly conservative today.

 

But many of my former classmates became professors and teachers, some at prestigious universities, and they carried with them that bacillus which continues to metastasize and expand its tentacles. And now their students also teach a new generation, a generation almost completely unhinged and “woke,” of deranged post-Marxists whose fanaticism knows no limits, whose hatred knows no boundaries.

 

Not to mention Hollywood and the anti-Confederate control of the “conservative movement,” as exemplified by the staunch anti-Confederate animus consistently displayed at Fox News. (Was anyone able to watch Bret Baier’s recent puff piece on President Ulysses Grant? He was, according to Baier, our nation’s greatest “civil rights” president who stared down those evil Southern racists and, of course, a Republican whom we all should admire.)

 

Noted author Dr. Anthony Esolen, in a feature article in the November issue of Chronicles magazine [“Hope for America”], distinguishes between hope and optimism, and rightly writes that he is not optimistic for the future of the country, but he continues to have the God-given Virtue of Hope…and that, in the end, will trump all else.

 

Likewise, as we view our situation and circumstances in the historic South, it is very difficult to be optimistic. Yet, Hope is something else, something vouchsafed to us by our Creator, something that no one can take from us. Only we can despoil or renounce it.

 

Reading again Dr. Gottfried’s clarion call, his vision, let us then recall our solemn obligations and our duty. Let us recall the words of President Davis in 1873 that “truth crushed to earth is truth still and like a seed will rise again.”  But only if we do our part, only if we assume our solemn duty and obligations, in whatever station of life in which we find ourselves.  –Boyd D. Cathey

 

                                                                *****

 

Why Do They Hate the South?

 

Dr. Paul E. Gottfried, March 3, 2007

North Carolina State Capitol 

 

Those Southern secessionists whose national flag we are now celebrating have become identified not only with a lost cause but with a now publicly condemned one. Confederate flags have been removed from government and educational buildings throughout the South, while Confederate dignitaries whose names and statues once adorned monuments and boulevards are no longer deemed as fit for public mention.

 

The ostensible reason for this obliteration or dishonoring of Southern history, save for those civil rights victories that came in the second half of the twentieth century, has been the announced rejection of a racist society, a development we are persistently urged to welcome. During the past two generations or so, the South, we have been taught, was a viciously insensitive region, and the Southern cause in 1861 was nothing so much as the attempt to perpetuate the degradation of blacks through a system based on racial slavery. We are being told that we should therefore rejoice at the reconstructing of Southern society and culture in a way that excludes, and indeed extirpates from our minds, except as an incentive to further white atonement, the pre-civil rights past, also known as “the burden of Southern history.” This last, frequently encountered phrase is from the title of a famous study of the South by C. Vann Woodward, who in his time was a liberal-minded Southern historian.

 

Arguments can be raised to refute or modify the received account of Southern history now taught in our public schools and spread by leftist and neoconservative journalists. One can point to the fact that a crushing federal tariff falling disproportionately on Southern states contributed to the sectional hostilities that led to the Southern bid for independence. One can also bring up the willingness of Southern leaders to free blacks and even to put them in grey uniforms, as the price of the freedom that Southerners were seeking from Northern control. And even if one deplores slavery, this commendable attitude, which was also shared by some Confederate leaders, does not justify the federal invasion of the South, with all of its attendant killing and depredation. That invasion took place, moreover, in violation of a right to secede, with which several states, including Virginia, had entered the Union.

 

A comparison is drawn nowadays between two supposedly equivalent evils, the Old South and Nazi Germany. This comparison has entered the oratory of the NAACP and the Black Caucus; it has also has appeared with increasing frequency in social histories that have come from the American historical profession since the Second World War. A bizarre variation on this comparison, and one frequently heard from the American political Left, is between the Holocaust and Southern slavery. First brought up by the historian Stanley Elkins (when I was still an undergraduate), this seemingly unstoppable obscenity is resurrected whenever black politicians demand reparations. Not surprisingly, those who claim that the Holocaust was unique and that comparing it to any other mass murders, particularly those committed by the Communists, is an impermissible outrage have never to my knowledge protested the likening of American slavery or segregation to the ghastliness of Auschwitz.

 

The benign acceptance of this comparison by would-be Holocaust-custodians has more to do with leftist political alliances than it does with any genuine reaction to Nazi atrocities. At the very least, reason would require us to acknowledge that Southern slave-owners were vitally concerned about preserving their human chattel, even if they sometimes failed to show them due Christian charity and concern. Unlike the Nazis, these slave-owners were not out to exterminate a race of people; nor did Southern theologians and political leaders deny the humanity of those who served them, a point that historians Eugene Genovese and Elizabeth Fox-Genovese have demonstrated at some length.

 

But all of this has been by way of introduction to the gist of my remarks. What interests me as a sympathetic outsider looking at your culturally rich region, goes back to an agonized utterance made by someone at the end of William Faulkner’s magnificent literary achievement, The Sound and the Fury. The character, Quentin, who has journeyed from Mississippi to Cambridge, Massachusetts, to study at Harvard, and who will eventually take his life, tries to convince himself that “No, I don’t hate the South.” This question is no longer a source of tortured embarrassment, but part of a multicultural catechism that requires an immediate affirmative answer. That is to say, every sound-thinking (bien-pensant) respondent is supposed to hate the “real” South, as opposed to warm-weather resorts that cater to retirees and in contrast to places commemorating Jimmy Carter and Martin Luther King. The South, as the location of the Lost Cause and of Confederate war monuments, is one that we are taught to put out of our minds. It is something that a sensitive society should endeavor to get beyond—and to suppress.

 

Looking at this anti-Southernness, in whose filter displaying a Confederate battle flag, particularly in the South, has been turned into a hate crime, one may wish to consider the oddness of such an attitude. Why should those associated with a defeated cause, and one whose combatants were long admired as heroic even by the victorious side, become moral pariahs for their descendants? Is there anything startlingly new about our knowledge of Southern history since the early 1950s, when my public school teachers in Connecticut spoke with respect about Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson, which would account for the present condemnation of the same figures? A few years ago, following my viewing of “Gods and Generals,” a movie that deals with the personality and military career of Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson, I was struck by the widespread attacks on the movie director, Ron Maxwell. Apparently this celebrated director had failed to use his art to expose “Southern racism.”

 

In fact there was nothing in the movie that suggests any sympathy for human bondage. In one memorable scene, for example, Jackson’s black manservant raises a question in the presence of his master, about whether it is proper to hold a fellow-Christian as a slave. The devout Presbyterian Jackson, who ponders this question, has no answer for his manservant, with whom he has just been praying. How any of this constitutes a defense of slavery is for me incomprehensible, but it does confirm my impression that there is something peculiarly twisted about the current repugnance for the Old South– and indeed for any South except for the one reconstructed by federal bureaucrats in the last fifty years. On visits to Montgomery, Alabama, I have noticed two local histories, which, like straight lines, never intercept, but nonetheless confront each other on public plaques. One is associated with the birthplace of the Confederacy; and the other with the political activities of Martin Luther King and the distinctly leftist Southern Poverty Law Center. The headquarters of the SPLC, this watchdog of Political Correctness, stands obliquely down the street below the state capitol.

 

It may have been a pipe dream that the two historical narratives, divided by culture as well as race, could be either bridged or allowed to function simultaneously. What has happened is entirely different. One of the two competing narratives, the one about the South as a bigoted backwater until the triumph of revolutionary forces aided by the federal government changed it, has not only triumphed but has been used to drive out its rival narrative. It might have been a happier outcome if Southern whites and Southern blacks could have agreed on a single narrative that would not demean either race. The second best outcome would have been if both had retained their accounts of the Southern past, as separate non-intersecting ones that nonetheless remained equally appropriate for different groups. The worst outcome, however, is the one that we now have. It is one in which the descendants of the defeated are taught to vilify or treat dismissively their ancestors, so that they can demonstrate their broadmindedness and remorse about past racism. As a result of this inflicted attitude one is no longer allowed to speak about the South as an historical region without focusing on its real or alleged sins.

 

But this has not always been the official situation. Certainly this was not the case, even in the North, from the years after Reconstruction up until the second half of the twentieth century, when even veterans of the Union army praised their former foes. It was also not always the case even afterwards, as Shelby Foote’s treatment of the losing side in his work on the Civil War, a classic that has gone through multiple printings, would indicate. The venting of hate and contempt on the South, as found in such predictably unfriendly authors as Eric Foner and James McPherson, is a relatively recent phenomenon. It underscores the fact that the Old South has been defeated twice—and the second time at the level of historical memory even more disastrously than in a shooting war that it lost in the 1860s.

 

The American white South has fallen victim to the “politics of guilt,” a dreary subject, albeit one on which I have written widely. The Yankee victors of the 1860s, who overwhelmed the Southerners by virtue of their numbers and superior industrial power, did considerable wartime damage. They also subsequently occupied the land of those whom they had vanquished militarily, but then did something that was equally important. They went home, and permitted their devastated opponents to rebuild without an occupying army. What I mean to say is that the first occupation was morally and psychologically less destructive than the ever deepening humiliation that is going on now.

 

The first victors were mostly Yankee Protestants, who in some ways were similar to those they had invaded and occupied. Once the passions of fratricidal war had cooled, these Yankees were able to view their former enemies as kindred spirits. Although they were establishing a bourgeois commercial regime, one that differed from the prevalent Southern way of life, the winning side had also recruited farmers and those whose culture did not diverge significantly from that of those who had fought on the Southern side. In a certain sense Socrates’ observation about Greeks once applied to Americans as well. While they could fight brutally with each other, they were still brothers, and so some form of “reconciliation” was eventually possible for the former enemies. And both North and South came up with a narrative about their past differences which bestowed honor to the heroes on both sides. This was possible with the Yankee Unionists, who wished to draw Southerners back into their community, even after a terrible war had been fought to keep the Southerners in a Union that they had tried to leave.

 

But the second civil war seeks the utter humiliation of those who are seen as opponents of a society that is still being imposed. The Southern traditionalists from this perspective are particularly obnoxious inasmuch as they are a full two-steps behind the project in question. Those who insist on these changes are no longer Victorian capitalists or Methodist and Congregationalist villagers from the North. They are post-bourgeois social engineers and despisers of Western civilization, a stage of development that these revolutionaries identify with discrimination and exclusion.

 

In Southern traditionalists they see those who are still celebrating a pre-bourgeois, agrarian, and communally structured world. That world appealed to hierarchy, place, and family, and its members displayed no special interest in reaching out to alien cultures. Such ideals and attitudes and the landed, manorial society out of which they came point back to a nineteenth-century conservative configuration. For our post-bourgeois leftist intelligentsia, this point of reference and model of behavior cannot be allowed to persist. It clashes with feminism and the current civil rights movement, and hinders the acceptance of a multicultural ambience.

 

The fact that people like yourselves are still around and still honoring the national flag of nineteenth-century landed warriors from the American South might have the effect, or so it is thought, of making others equally insensitive. Even worse, those who engage in these celebratory rites do not express the now fashionable “guilt” about members of their race and tribe. Those being remembered had owned slaves, and they would have denied women, whom in any case they treated as inherently different from men, equal access to jobs. Needless to say, non-Westerners are not required to dwell on similar improprieties among their ancestors or contemporaries, and so they may celebrate their collective pasts without disclaimers or reservations. The hair shirt to be worn only fits Western bodies, and in particular impenitent Southern ones.

 

It is against this background that one might try to understand the loathing that the political, journalistic, and educational establishment reserves for the unreconstructed white inhabitants of the South. You seem to bother that establishment to a degree that Louis Farrakhan and those unmistakable anti-white racists, who are often found in our elite universities, could never hope to equal. You exemplify what the late Sam Francis called the “chief victimizers” in our victimologically revamped society, an experimental society that fits well with our increasingly rootless country. But your enemies are also the enemies of historic Western civilization, or of the West that existed in centuries past. You may take pride in those whom you honor as your linear ancestors but equally in the anger of those who would begrudge you the right to honor them. What your critics find inexcusable is that you are celebrating your people’s past, which was a profoundly conservative one based on family and community, and those who created and defended it. For your conspicuous indiscretions, I salute you; and I trust that generations to come will take note of your willingness to defy the spirit of what is both a cowardly and tyrannical age.

Saturday, October 23, 2021

                                                     October 23, 2021

 

MY CORNER by Boyd Cathey

 

Putin for President? If Illegals Can Vote in

Biden’s America, Why Not?



Friends,

I chose that headline specifically as an eye-opener….

As an uncle of mine used to say delightfully about the late Senator Jesse Helms (R-NC), when the senator said something which outraged the liberal establishment in Washington DC and in Raleigh NC, “he done done it again!”

I caught myself saying the same thing—with the same delight as my late uncle—when I read the hysterical reporting of The Washington Post and The Hill on Russian President Vladimir Putin’s latest remarks to the International Valdai Forum, held in Sochi, on October 21, 2021. Not that Putin had said anything new, not that his speech in Sochi was much different from speeches he had given for the past decade in which he harshly criticized the US and Western Europe for their de facto rejection of their Christian moral and ethical traditions, and embrace of what Putin calls “a new secularist paganism.”

But here he was once again, standing his ground, now on the attack, and this time taking aim squarely at the American and Western shibboleths regarding the now-fashionable memes of “diversity, equity, and inclusion,” transgenderism, and “gender fluidity,” all of which he scornfully rejects. And at the same time staunchly defending the traditional family, championing distinct male and female roles in society, and affirming Russia’s historic Christian heritage (while rejecting outright Bolshevism and the horrible damage it inflicted not just on Russia but the rest of the world).

Reading WaPo and CNN blurbs you can just see the uncontrollably incensed and livid pundits and writers at those august organs of the authoritarian managerial administrative state who have over the years arrogated to themselves the sole right to determine our destiny and dictate how we live and what we think: “That man in the Kremlin doesn’t bow down to our globalist secularism!” they repeat. “He refuses our liberal democracy! He is outside the ‘family of civilized nations.’  He must be stopped…where is John McCain when we need him?”

Ha! When challenged, the Devil squeals.

How the (neo) pagans—our elites in America and Western Europe—rage! And how satisfying it is to see ole’ Vlad, along with Viktor Orban in Hungary, almost alone among the leaders of nations in the world turning their faces away steadfastly from the fetid, maggot-infected beliefs which now dominate and generally control us!

Over the years I have been making the point that both the American “conservative neoconservative” establishment and the Left share essentially the same perspective on post-Communist Russia. They consider its rejection of “liberal humanist” and “secular democratic” values (including same sex marriage and transgenderism) to be an unpardonable sin, a violation of lese-majeste’ against the New World Order. Whether such notable Neoconservative pundits as the late (and unlamented) Charles Krauthammer at Fox News and the frenetic scribbler Jamie Kirchick, or the entire editorial board at The New York Times, the Left and what my friend Dr. Paul Gottfried has called “Con Inc” share the same loathing for our historic Christian heritage and beliefs.

Yes, the Brian Kilmeades, Ben Shapiros and Jonah Goldbergs might insist that they are just advancing the values and ideas of the great 18th century Enlightenment about freedom and equality. Indeed, that’s the problem, for those ideas have matured into an ideological whirlwind that threatens twenty centuries of Christian belief and culture.

Let me quote a few lines from Putin’s most recent defiance of the globalists. See what you think, whether you think he is a “dangerous Nazi, bigot, and racist” or just maybe a defender of beliefs our country once held sacred:

“We look in amazement at the processes underway in the countries which have been traditionally looked at as the standard-bearers of progress. Of course, the social and cultural shocks that are taking place in the United States and Western Europe are none of our business; we are keeping out of this. Some people in the West believe that an aggressive elimination of entire pages from their own history, ‘reverse discrimination’ against the majority in the interests of a minority, and the demand to give up the traditional notions of mother, father, family and even gender, they believe that all of these are the mileposts on the path towards social renewal.

“Listen, I would like to point out once again that they have a right to do this, we are keeping out of this. But we would like to ask them to keep out of our business as well. We have a different viewpoint, at least the overwhelming majority of Russian society – it would be more correct to put it this way – has a different opinion on this matter. We believe that we must rely on our own spiritual values, our historical tradition and the culture of our multiethnic nation.

“The advocates of so-called ‘social progress’ believe they are introducing humanity to some kind of a new and better consciousness…. The only thing that I want to say now is that their prescriptions are not new at all. It may come as a surprise to some people, but Russia has been there already. After the 1917 revolution, the Bolsheviks, relying on the dogmas of Marx and Engels, also said that they would change existing ways and customs and not just political and economic ones, but the very notion of human morality and the foundations of a healthy society. The destruction of age-old values, religion and relations between people, up to and including the total rejection of family (we had that, too), encouragement to inform on loved ones – all this was proclaimed progress and, by the way, was widely supported around the world back then and was quite fashionable, same as today. By the way, the Bolsheviks were absolutely intolerant of opinions other than theirs.

“This, I believe, should call to mind some of what we are witnessing now. Looking at what is happening in a number of Western countries, we are amazed to see the domestic practices, which we, fortunately, have left, I hope, in the distant past. The fight for equality and against discrimination has turned into aggressive dogmatism bordering on absurdity, when the works of the great authors of the past – such as Shakespeare – are no longer taught at schools or universities, because their ideas are believed to be backward. The classics are declared backward and ignorant of the importance of gender or race. In Hollywood memos are distributed about proper storytelling and how many characters of what colour or gender should be in a movie. This is even worse than the agitprop department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.

“Countering acts of racism is a necessary and noble cause, but the new ‘cancel culture’ has turned it into ‘reverse discrimination’ that is, reverse racism… [….]

“In a number of Western countries, the debate over men’s and women’s rights has turned into a perfect phantasmagoria. Look, beware of going where the Bolsheviks once planned to go – not only communising chickens, but also communising women. One more step and you will be there.

“Zealots of these new approaches even go so far as to want to abolish these concepts altogether. Anyone who dares mention that men and women actually exist, which is a biological fact, risk being ostracised. ‘Parent number one’ and ‘parent number two,’ ‘birthing parent’ instead of ‘mother,’ and ‘human milk’ replacing ‘breastmilk’ because it might upset the people who are unsure about their own gender. I repeat, this is nothing new; in the 1920s, the so-called Soviet Kulturtraegers also invented some newspeak believing they were creating a new consciousness and changing values that way. And, as I have already said, they made such a mess it still makes one shudder at times.

“Not to mention some truly monstrous things when children are taught from an early age that a boy can easily become a girl and vice versa. That is, the teachers actually impose on them a choice we all supposedly have. They do so while shutting the parents out of the process and forcing the child to make decisions that can upend their entire life. They do not even bother to consult with child psychologists – is a child at this age even capable of making a decision of this kind? Calling a spade a spade, this verges on a crime against humanity, and it is being done in the name and under the banner of progress.

“Well, if someone likes this, let them do it. I have already mentioned that, in shaping our approaches, we will be guided by a healthy and strong conservatism.”

Can anyone imagine a major American politician making such comments, much less a president making them?

There is much more that I could cite, Putin’s eloquent speeches from 2013, 2014, 2017, 2018 and later, all very consistently making the same points. But not only that, there have been substantial and concrete legislative pro-family and pro-Christian actions taken by the Russian Duma (parliament), just as in Hungary, which are a veritable “sign of contradiction” to the globalists in Brussels, in Whitehall, and in New York and Washington.

Both Putin and Viktor Orban remind us of who we have been, our inheritance, our Christian traditions and belief, and just maybe who we could become once again if we keep the faith and attack our enemies with strategic intelligence and a passion like a Nathan Bedford Forrest.  

Both the Left and the “kept” conservative pseudo-opposition to it, either frontally or implicitly oppose and attack our heritage…two heads of the same coin. They both must be rejected.   

So, if Donald Trump doesn’t run for president in 2024, since essential American citizenship is being abolished by Biden, I’m voting for Vladimir Putin. I’d like to see how the Cossacks handle the BLM and Antifa terrorists!

Saturday, October 16, 2021

October 16, 2021

 

MY CORNER by Boyd Cathey

 

        When Big Brother Reigns Supreme:  

          The California Example

 


Friends,

I had just written my essay, “New Study Finds White Rice to be Racist,” when I spotted a news article out of California. While my piece on white rice was only satire, that article from the Far Left Coast reported on something that actually has occurred, a new law passed by the lunatics in the California legislature and signed by that equally lunatic Governor Gavin Newsom. The “White Rice is Racist” piece was picked up by the Abbeville Institute (October 5, 2021), and, sure enough, even though I indicated with a note at the end that it was satire, which I thought obvious from the text, several friends wrote me thinking that what I recounted was, in fact, really happening. But the California news, on the other hand, is true.

It seems the aberrations and excesses of “wokeness” and “anti-racism” have become so extreme that almost any account, including the most insanely ridiculous, is now not only imaginable, but entirely possible in our fatally sick society. Indeed, the land of “nuts, flakes, and fruits” (AKA California) had done it once again.

Woke Governor Newsome inked new legislation which will ban all off-road gas-powered engines by January 1, 2024.

Let me repeat that and let it sink in: Governor Newsome inked a new law which will ban all off-road gas-powered engines by January 1, 2024.

Newsome added in a press release (October 9): “In a time when the state and country are more divided than ever, this legislative session reminds us what we can accomplish together. I am thankful for our partners in the state Legislature who furthered our efforts to tackle the state’s most persistent challenges – together, we took action to address those challenges head-on, implementing historic legislation and the California Comeback Plan to hit fast forward on our state’s recovery. What we’re doing here in California is unprecedented in both nature and scale. We will come back from this pandemic stronger than ever before.”

Think of the consequences for small business, specifically for landscape operations and for merchandisers of gas-powered equipment. All of them will have to either purchase (or sell) new, expensive battery-run equipment or have present machinery completely retrofitted if they hope to survive. And many simply will not make the transition.

The vice-president of the National Association of Landscape Professionals, Andrew Bray, responded, declaring “companies are going to have to completely retrofit their entire workshops to be able to handle this massive change in voltage so they’re going to be charged every day,” according to a Los Angeles Times report. The expense will be exorbitant.

In addition to increased costs,  “a three-person landscaping crew will need to carry 30 to 40 fully charged batteries to power its equipment during a full day’s work,” according to Bray.

The new law is expected to affect nearly 50,000 small businesses, according to The Washington Examiner. It noted that California’s budget includes $30 million for professional landscapers and gardeners to quit using gas-powered equipment, but that it would not be enough to cover the full costs.

But there will be additional consequences for millions of other Californians who purchase gas-powered lawn tractors and mowers, and gas trimmers. They will be effectively banned, forcing users to purchase in most cases far less effective battery-operated devices.  Welcome to California!

And what about other gas-powered vehicles, the ATVs and off-road motorcycles? Will we now see new, special “off-road enforcement” agents of government snooping around to make certain that we don’t violate Newsome’s new law? Will we go to jail for running our lawn mowers?

Of course, the Nancy Pelosis and Adam Schiffs who live in those enclosed mega-mansions in high-rent districts of the state and, in fact, couldn’t give a damn about the rapidly shrinking middle class in the state, won’t suffer. They won’t feel the pain or see the changes, since they hire dirt poor Mexican immigrants, recipients of California’s over-extended and welcoming “safety net.”

And they won’t notice that thousands of middle class Californians, some of whom whose families have been there since the 1848 Gold Rush, are now packing up their depleted bags and moving to Arizona, Texas, or maybe Idaho. In fact, California is fast becoming a state with essentially just two classes: a super-rich leftist elite and millions of poor Hispanics who flock to the state for its generous, immigrant-oriented benefits.

I have a good friend who went to California in 1987; he began a catering business and built it into a going concern. Yet, he is not wealthy by California standards. His very modest home—about the size of mine—is now on the market for a couple of million inflated dollars. He is moving his entire operation to Phoenix, and inviting his employees and their families to go with him. He’s had enough of “the greening of the Golden State” with its insanely high taxes and insurance rates, rampant crime even in the once-quiet neighborhood where he lives, the multitude of regulations that suppress and destroy small business and individual enterprise, extremist environmental legislation which has had horrendous effects, and “woke” and failing schools. California’s leaders are turning the state into a virtual authoritarian oligarchy…. In other words, an emerging “animal farm” which makes George Orwell’s dystopian novels seem tame, where the horrid face of “Big Brother” now appears in the person of Gavin Newsom, Nancy Pelosi, and Adam Schiff, and brags: “What we’re doing here in California is unprecedented in both nature and scale.

Indeed. Last December I authored a column, “Triumph of the Pod People,” which was then picked up by LewRockwell.com and widely-diffused. The leftist elites and governing and managerial class in California are effectively “possessed,” in some ways far worse than Linda Blair was in that classic 1973 film, “The Exorcist.” Such folks are, as I wrote back on December 2, 2020, our present-day version of “pod people,” a “race of nomadic extraterrestrial parasites from a dying planet” (who show up in 1956’s cult movie, “Invasion of the Body Snatchers”).  They appear as humans in nearly every way, but in fact they are possessed, warped and intellectually disfigured. They are an alien population, intent on destroying our culture and civilization, and replacing it with something far worse than that old form of decrepit Communism, which at least, even with its barbarities, had some roots in human history.

Our modern pod people—not just in California, but now spread out across the nation, in Congress, in the schools, in entertainment, perhaps now occupying the house of a neighbor—cannot be dealt with like traditional opponents. Collaboration with them, uniting with them becomes practically impossible, for they have but one motive and goal: our extinction. And they will accomplish that by any means available. And they are ceaseless and boundless in their efforts.

In the end, we must either separate ourselves from them, cordon them off (or ourselves off), or there will be an internecine bloodbath which will make the Indonesian purge of the country’s Communist Party (1965-1966), in which over one million Reds were executed by the army, seem like child’s play.

Efforts to parlay and collaborate are futile and always end by our side losing. In the end, there is no unity between good and evil, between light and darkness.

And the sooner we learn that, the better.

Sunday, October 10, 2021

                                            October 10, 2021

 

 

MY CORNER by Boyd Cathey

 

Our Solemn Task as Southerners

The Introduction to The Land We Love: The South and Its Heritage


                                                                         


 

Friends,

[Back in late 2018 Scuppernong Press published a volume of my essays on the South and Southern history titled The Land We Love: The South and Its Heritage (available via Amazon and most other booksellers). I have been gratified by the reception given to this volume and by the many positive reviews. Below I share my Introduction to the book which I believe can stand on its own as a statement of my principles and of my commitment to my history, my region, and, as the poet Robert Lee Frost once said, “To the truths we keep coming back to.”]

Over the past several years I have been writing essays for several publications and media outlets regarding Southern and Confederate history and heritage, and, in particular, about the growing assault on the symbols of that history and heritage. None of what I wrote—nothing I put into print—should have seemed that unusual or radical. My thoughts and observations could have been put down on paper fifty years ago—even thirty years ago—and I don’t think they would have caused much of a stir or raised an eyebrow for most readers. Of course, much has changed in fifty years, and what was admired, revered, and considered normal then, is, in large part, considered controversial, even hateful, or subject to censorship and banning, now.

The Southland that I grew up in has, indeed, changed in many ways. There are millions of new residents, mostly transplants from the more northerly climes who find our climate, our low taxes, our more relaxed way of life, and our generally more friendly and accommodating people, to their liking. No doubt these newcomers, along with thousands of immigrants, legal and illegal, from south of the border, have effected changes in the South. Yet, I believe that there is still what the late Southern historian, Francis Butler Simkins, once called “the everlasting South,” a South—a land and a people—that subsists and continues to exist, even if at times occulted or not easy to grasp or experience, and even if under severe stress and assault from those who would purge it of its past and exile or extinguish its traditions handed down as a legacy from our ancestors.

The symbols of any society, of any culture—its flags and banners, its monuments to veterans and historical figures, its markers, its street and city names, the names of its schools, even its holidays, and so much more—are public manifestations not just of the history of that society, but represent visibly the beliefs and principles that culture has held—and holds—most dear.  In a real sense as well, they offer an aspirational guide to what the future will be, what will give it structure and sustenance, and what the offspring of this generation will bequeath to the next.

It is that way with any culture which remembers its history. As Mel Bradford once wrote, it is through “remembering who we are” that we come to comprehend how the fullness of that history, that heritage, that legacy have shaped us and given us a richness and distinctiveness of character that make us a people.

When I was doing doctoral work in Spain at the University of Navarra in Pamplona, I came across an observation by the subject of my research, the Spanish traditionalist writer and philosopher, Juan Vazquez de Mella (1862-1928), that I think is universal in its application:

Who has ever seen ‘the individual,’ if not defined by his family, his region, his profession, his language, his inheritance, his faith? Removed from these defining characteristics the individual is an abstraction, and a political system based on an abstraction must either end in despotism or revolution.

Show me a rootless society, point to a society where the sense of community has disappeared, a society deprived of its heritage and the inherited legacy of its customs, its literature, its heroes, its shared beliefs, all that lore passed down not just officially by the state, but from father and mother to son and to daughter—and you have a social anthill, a mass of humans as faceless cogs, reduced to the status of the aimless and amorphous mass of grunting pigs inhabiting George Orwell’s dystopian fantasy novel, Animal Farm -- and susceptible to the beckoning calls and tempting of the first demagogue who appears on the scene, or to the lunacy of an ideology that promises utopia here on earth, but ends in enslaving the inhabitants.

Southerners, among all Americans, have been the most resistant to such Siren calls. As in no other region of the country they have been aware of and suffered the hardships and cruelties of defeat in war, a war between the states which they understood philosophically as a war to preserve the original Constitutional system left to them by the Framers, many of whom were Southerners.

That Southern character and sense of community, if you will, was already in formation long before the bloody conflict of 1861-1865, as I have discussed …in examining the work of Professors Mel Bradford and Richard Beale Davis…. It manifested itself in the early colonial settlements and the creation of colonial communities of likeminded peoples. It derived much of its integrity and nourishment from the Old World, from Europe, in particular, the British Isles, from settlers who brought with them their customs, their mores and religion, their songs and ballads, their legends, and their beliefs, to these shores. As David Hackett Fisher has intimated in his volume, Albion’s Seed (1989), tracing transatlantic migrations from the British Isles, the early inhabitants of the South country came mostly from southern England, colonists who were more apt to have been Cavalier and Royalist supporters in the seventeenth century (and thus favorable to plantation culture), or from the borderlands, from Scotland and the far north of England or Ulster, fiercely independent, but also dedicated to agriculture and a rural way of life.

These cultures gave rise to a uniquely Southern society, a culture that while it would differ over the years about such political issues as representation (e.g., the Virginia Constitutional Convention of 1829, and the North Carolina Constitutional Convention of 1835) or internal improvements, still found much more in common than not. Southern Whiggery may have supported Henry Clay’s “American (or national) system,” but regional and, especially, communal and state identification were never far from the surface.

As Professor Bradford illustrates in his illuminating study, Original Intentions: On the Making and Ratification of the United States Constitution (1993), …at the debates over the framing of the Constitution the Framers basically created a document and a resulting new nation that reflected Southern states’ rights views, a national executive that was in no way like the increasingly centralizing power that emerged in 1865 after four years of war.  And, in fact, that regionalist view was generally held by many national political and intellectual leaders, not just by those from below the Mason-Dixon Line.

It was not so much a radical transformation of Southern thinking and views that propelled the nation on a course to eventual conflict. While it is certainly true that Southerners and their perspectives on what was occurring in the Union hardened and sharpened in intensity in the years leading up to the outbreak of the War Between the States, it must be argued that that intensity was occasioned as a response to increasing assaults, both political and, finally, violent, by their brethren north of the Mason-Dixon, and in particular, from the descendants of those largely Puritan New Englanders. As such historians as Paul Conkin (Puritans and Pragmatists) and Perry Miller (The Life of the Mind in America and The New England Mind) have documented, the intellectual and eventually political influence on America, at least the northern portion of it, by the latter-day inheritors of Puritanism was immense and wide-ranging. And it ran up against a South that, for its part, would undergo what liberal historian, Louis Hartz in his classic volume, The Liberal Tradition in America (1955), called somewhat despectively, a “reactionary enlightenment,” a time of doubling down on those “original intentions” and beliefs that increasingly Southerners felt to be under attack.

It is impossible, of course, to ignore slavery and its effects in the Southern states. The coming of the African slave to American shores would become an important factor both culturally and socially, and eventually, politically in the life of the American republic. Yet, the modern concentration on race and slavery, to the exclusion of all other factors, as the all-important—and often only—determinant in Southern history, both misreads the fullness of that history and turns it, too frequently, into an ideological cudgel with which to damn all of Southern heritage and culture. As Professor Davis has detailed in his massively-documented three-volume work, Intellectual Life in the Colonial South, 1585-1763 (1978), a Southern character—a distinctive Southern personality—was already maturing before the presence of African slavery figured as a disquieting note in Southern history and long before it became an issue debated widely on the national level.

Certainly, the questions surrounding slavery and the existence of a growing mostly servile black population in a dominant white society would become more visible in the first half of the nineteenth century. The rise of abolitionist sentiment in the northern states, brought on as a kind of zealous evangelical afterbirth of the Puritan tradition, and the pressure to end the slave trade and attempts by Christian reformers either to ameliorate the condition of slaves or advocate for their emancipation, had their effects. Indeed, Southerners, themselves, grappled with the issues, as Professor Eugene Genovese has shown in his various studies, including The World the Slaveholders Made, and more significantly, The Mind of the Master Class. And none more deeply and profoundly than perhaps the greatest of the antebellum theologians of the South, James Henley Thornwell.

Slavery in the antebellum South was not an earlier version of Auschwitz or the Gulag, which is clear and evident from a close examination of the abundant historical record. As Robert Fogel and Stanley Engerman in their path-breaking study Time on the Cross (1974) have demonstrated, employing extensive research and careful statistical and economic analysis, “many slaves were encouraged to marry and maintain households, they were given garden plots, the dehumanizing practice of slave breeding was virtually non-existent, the quality of their daily diets and medical care were comparable to the white population, and many trusted slaves were given great responsibility in managing plantations.” In short, the antebellum South was much more akin to a traditional patriarchal society than to a modern totalitarian state.

White Southerners understood that slavery and the presence of a large black population were part of their culture. With that understanding and the historical reality of natural inequality and a “master class,” Southerners dealt with that fact generally honestly according to the best of their comprehension and abilities within the context of the age, as Professor Genovese explains. That the response was not of the moralizing kind of our modern age should not be a surprise to anyone.

Southerners—those who thought deeply about the question—understood that although Almighty God had created all human beings and therefore endowed them with a certain spark of divinity and a certain dignity, human equality of status and opportunity on this earth was chimerical and non-existent. Even the famous words of the Declaration of Independence that “all men are created equal” were never intended by the Founders for literal domestic consumption, but rather directed at the parliament in England. The Founders intended that document as a statement of grievances against the Mother Country, and not a charter of natural rights that could and would entail the future aims of egalitarians.

All through the eighteenth century thousands of white folks were brought to the new world as indentured servants, as well. In many cases, that servitude was entered into involuntarily, as a forced arrangement, and one can argue that in some ways its parameters, like other systems of servitude, resembled slavery.  Indeed, slavery, and not just of the African kind, existed throughout the world in colonial times. Historic Christianity, as Thornwell and others pointed out, countenanced its existence, but also with the strict admonition for humane treatment by slaveholders that mirrored the immemorial traditions and teachings of the church, and with the goal of possible future manumission.

In the more than two centuries during which slavery existed not only in what became the Confederate States of America, but in other parts of the nation, slaves were acculturated and made contributions to the country. They were absorbed by that country, as they, in turn, absorbed the European culture and traditions on which it was founded. No longer were they Africans, but Americans—and Southerners. Thousands were eventually manumitted and became “free persons of color,” sometimes landholders (according to census statistics) and even electors in some instances if they held property, as I documented in a thesis presented to the Graduate Faculty of the University of Virginia in June 1971 (“Race, Representation, and Religion: The North Carolina Constitutional Convention of 1835”; see: https://libra2.lib.virginia.edu/public_view/zs25x853s )--And all of this before the War Between the States.

In a hierarchical society, as the old South was, both black and white inhabitants lived and existed on various levels, some politically and culturally powerful, others not; some exercising the franchise, but most (blacks and whites), not. And some as slaves, and others not. Yet, even among the servile population there had developed a love and appreciation for the land they lived and worked on, and for their white masters and neighbors. And when war finally came, the overwhelming majority of blacks, freeman and slave alike, resisted the opportunity to take advantage of the situation, and engage in civil insurrection.

I can cite here, as personal examples of this, several letters from my great-great grandfather, Captain Marquis La Fayette Redd, stationed at Aquia Creek, Virginia, along the Potomac in 1861, to his wife, Emily Ann Sidbury Redd, in Onslow County, North Carolina. She was there alone with her young children, surrounded by slaves—but completely trusting and, indeed, secure. Captain Redd, in his correspondence, always finishes his missives declaring: “My love to all my family, both white and black.” [Italics added] The meaning and sincerity—and the bond he felt—are palpable and real, and they were repaid by the entirety of his household. (See, Marquis La Fayette Redd Papers, 1798-1895, PC. 1635, North Carolina State Archives, Raleigh, North Carolina)

Indeed, thousands, perhaps as many as 30,000 black men, and probably many more, enlisted in Confederate ranks during the war, and not just as auxiliaries but fully integrated into regiments, often times voted in, as …is examined in detail by such authors as Ervin Jordan, Jr. in Black Confederates and Afro-Yankees in Civil War Virginia (1995), and Charles Kelly Barrow, J. H. Segars, and R. B. Rosenburg in Black Confederates (2001), and more recently researched by North Carolina Museum of History black historian and curator, Earl Ijames (See, for example, information on his in depth investigations, “NC history museum curator to speak at Civil War Roundtable,” The Kinston Free Press, March 18, 2016, link: http://www.kinston.com/news/20160318/nc-history-museum-curator-earl-ijames-to-speak-at-civil-war-roundtable)

Without the war, would slavery have eventually disappeared, succumbing to the great economic currents and pressures of the later nineteenth century? I think so, and I believe that the former slaves, given that evolution and natural development economically and internationally, would have found their way into a welcoming Southern society, not due to the abrupt results of an incredibly disastrous war or well-intentioned but largely misguided Federal legislation, but rather because of the natural bonds of affection that were already existent and the Christian charity that characterized Southern folk.

When war finally came it not only molded Southern volunteers into an exceptionally fine fighting force—they were, after all, fighting for home and hearth--but brought together Whigs and Democrats, plantation slave owners in the Tidewater and around Natchez and Charleston with small yeoman Scotch-Irish farmers from the Piedmont, most without slaves, but all dedicated to state sovereignty—a concept that even an uneducated backwoodsman could fathom. As even historian James McPherson, not necessarily a partisan of the Confederacy, revealed in his extensive survey of war time letters and diaries of nearly a thousand Union and Confederate soldiers, What They Fought For, 1861-1865. The Walter Lynwood Fleming Lectures in Southern History (1994; and later, For Cause and Comrades: Why Men Fought the Civil War, 1997), most soldiers felt a keen sense of patriotic and ideological commitment and attachment to a cause. And for Southerners it was the cause of protecting their rights under the old Constitution, the rights of their states and of their communities and families, which they believed to be imperiled by an aggressive executive, mad with power and a desire to destroy that Constitution.

Much has been written, probably far too much, about the War Between the States. Needless to say, what has been occurring in recent years has as its antecedent that conflict and subsequent history since then. Through it all, through “Reconstruction and Reunion,” through the period during the middle of the twentieth century when it appeared that the South was finally “back in the Union” and its traditions appreciated by all Americans, and later, during the Civil Rights Revolution of the 1960s and beyond when the South became the object, again, of scorn and disapprobation, of  Federal authorities once more enacting a “new Reconstruction,” and with new immigration and social changes, and the effects of national television and such items as the automobile that increased mobility and eliminated distances and, to some degree, differences between communities—through it all there remained the South of our memory and our childhood, on the defensive but still there, still visible, yet capable of sustaining its citizens if they would only seek it and accept its legacy and its inheritance…and defend it against those who wish to extinguish it.

I am reminded of another great Spanish writer and traditionalist, Marcelino Menendez y Pelayo (1856-1912), who warned Spain at the end of the nineteenth century that it was in danger of forfeiting its very credal identity. At that time, in the midst of dissolution that seemed to be affecting his country, he wrote:

Spain, evangelizer of half the world; Spain, hammer of heretics, light of Trent, sword of Rome, cradle of St. Ignatius—this is our greatness and our unity; we have no other. The day it is lost, Spain will return to the anarchy of the tribes and barbarians or the satraps of the Caliphs. To this end we are traveling more or less rapidly, and blind is he who will not see it.  

Menendez y Pelayo’s words could apply analogously to the contemporary South. We have only one enduring body of tradition that has characterized us and sustained us, and it seems to be disappearing before our eyes, almost daily.  Yet, there remains a South to love, a South to defend. There is still an incredibly rich wellspring of history, of literature, in the arts and music and folklore, in regional cuisine, in language, in customs, in so much that binds us and that has held us together since colonial times: it is worth our best efforts and our undying commitment.

There is a wonderfully evocative passage by the novelist William Faulkner that encapsulates the vision that the contemporary son of the South must possess:

For every Southern boy fourteen years old, not once but whenever he wants it, there is the instant when it’s still not yet two o’clock on that July afternoon in 1863, the brigades are in position behind the rail fence, the guns are laid and ready in the woods and the furled flags are already loosened to break out and Pickett himself with his long oiled ringlets and his hat in one hand probably and his sword in the other looking up the hill waiting for Longstreet to give the word and it’s all in the balance, it hasn’t happened yet, it hasn’t even begun yet, it not only hasn’t begun yet but there is still time for it not to begin against that position and those circumstances which made more men than Garnett and Kemper and Armistead and Wilcox look grave -  yet it’s going to begin, we all know that, we have come too far with too much at stake and that moment doesn’t need even a fourteen-year-old boy to think This time. Maybe this time with all this much to lose than all this much to gain: Pennsylvania, Maryland, the world, the golden dome of Washington itself to crown with desperate and unbelievable victory the desperate gamble….[from Intruder in the Dust, 1948]

It is that same spirit—that same dedication—that same inextinguishable hope—that fuels our commitment, and through all the turmoil and sense of loss and anguish, allows us to smile and even relate a funny tale to a friend and still enjoy a fine plate of barbeque and fried chicken, grits and country ham, and greet our neighbors and help them cut down that low-hanging white oak that endangers their work shed.

It is the same spirit that motivated the once-reviled president of the Confederacy to declare after the end of the War to a visitor who remarked that the cause of the Southland was lost and that history had passed us by, that, despite defeat on the field of battle, “the principle for which we contended is bound to reassert itself, though it may be at another time and in another form.”

And, I trust, it is the same spirit and commitment…concerning the challenges we now face and of how some of our ancestors met them, and their legacy and beliefs, and what they mean and should mean for us.

                                                May 7, 2024     MY CORNER by Boyd Cathey   NEOCONSERVATISM: A SECULARIZED GLOBAL...