Sunday, May 29, 2022

                                                   May 29, 2022



MY CORNER by Boyd Cathey


What I Would Tell a College Student: Recommended Books about the South and Its History


A friend recently asked me for a list of good books about the South and “the Late Unpleasantness” which he could share with his two sons, one of whom will be entering college this fall, and the other who will be a high school senior. I began naming some volumes, at random. But my friend stopped me in mid-sentence and asked if I could compile and write down a list of about ten books which would essentially touch the main points of Southern history and culture: that is, offering a non-politically correct view of the War Between the States, placing the institution of slavery in its proper context (as not the determining factor for the War), and taking a sympathetic view of the richness of our Southern heritage…and, perhaps most importantly, suggesting some works that a bright college freshman and high school senior could understand and refer to as they navigated the corrupted hallways of our American educational system.

That was more difficult than it seemed, as there are a number of excellent volumes in print which address those issues—but would they connect with a college freshman and his high school senior brother, even if they were exceptionally intelligent?

After some thought I was able to come up with a list, but in any such endeavor what is left out or omitted can be just as significant as what is included. I recognize this, and thus my list is just an impressionistic selection, a beginning, fully understanding that there are dozens of other excellent and solid volumes that could well be listed.

One volume stands out as fundamental to any survey, any overview of the South, its history and culture, and the War for Southern Independence. It is The South Was Right! (2020) by the indefatigable brothers, W. Donald Kennedy and J. Ronald Kennedy. If anything would serve as a superb and comprehensive introduction it would be this volume, now in its updated third edition. It is quite accessible and well-documented, an excellent primer for those interested in a comprehensive understanding of why the South is unique, why it is hated by the progressivists and globalists who dominate the world, and why its history and culture must be defended at all costs.  Of course, the Kennedy brothers have authored other excellent studies treating various topics of real influence on Southerners, including Yankee Empire: Aggressive Abroad and Despotic at Home (2018) and Punished with Poverty (2020). These and other excellent volumes by the brothers are available from Shotwell Publishing, Columbia, South Carolina.

The second volume on my list would have to be the late Richard Weaver’s The Southern Tradition at Bay: A History of Post-Bellum Thought. The original hard back edition was published by Arlington House in 1968; a new inexpensive paperback appeared in 2021. Weaver’s book is a tour-de-force and should be required reading for any Southerner (or non-Southerner, for that matter)—it is a full-throated exploration of the heritage of the Southland, tracing that rich heritage and those traditions in the context of the South as one of last remnants of Western Christian civilization. Weaver examines the ideals and ideas of the Southern tradition as expressed in the military histories, autobiographies, diaries, and novels, especially those authored after the defeat in 1865. In that sense, he opens wide the door to a luminous wealth that each Southerner may lay claim to. Additionally, there is an extensive bibliography for those wishing to pursue the alleyways of our inheritance.

A third volume dates from 1930, but has been reprinted several times since then and retains much of its relevance today. It is I’ll Take My Stand: The South and the Agrarian Tradition. Twelve noted Southern writers contributed to the it, including poet, essayist and historian Donald Davidson; poet, novelist and essayist Andrew Lytle; historian Frank L. Owsley; poet and essayist John Crowe Ransom; poet and biographer Allen Tate; and Robert Penn Warren, poet, novelist, essayist, and the first Poet Laureate of the United States. Centered at Vanderbilt University in Tennessee, these men were known collectively and informally as the “Southern Agrarians,” and their incisive and elegantly written works defended a discernable “Southern way of life against what may be called the American or prevailing way….” But I’ll Take My Stand is more than a simple defense of Southern agrarianism against the advancing industrial and materialist age; it offers a broad vision of the South as a developed civilization, deeply rooted in the land but also faithful to natural law and Divine Positive Law, something very unique in the context of the ongoing decline of Western civilization. A fairly recent paperback edition was issued in 2006.

In 1981 an illustrious group of Southern scholars contributed to the volume Why the South Will Survive: Fifteen Southerners Look at Their Region a Half Century after ‘I’ll Take My Stand’, which offers a fascinating re-appraisal of the topics discussed by the Southern Agrarians in 1930. A 2011 paperback edition exists.

Certainly there are major questions that arise for any perceptive Southern student.  First, there is the issue of secession and if the Southerners who pledged their loyalty and lives to the Southern Confederacy were traitors, if they committed “treason,” a phrase we hear far too often bandied about by the loathsome and ignorant pundits at Fox News and by their favored “conservative historians” like Allen Guelzo and Victor Davis Hanson. Far too often Southern students at our universities are unprepared for the stifling barrage of anti-Confederate rhetoric concerning just what occurred during those fateful days between November 1860 and May 1861, about the serious arguments made, and about the constitutional issues at stake during those few short months. Several significant volumes have explored those questions in some detail. In 2018 James Rutledge Roesch published From Founding Fathers to Fire-Eaters, an examination of exactly what the Founders and Framers intended when they came together to create these United States. Roesch mines the original sources, illustrating that the Southern view of the nation’s creation was the constitutional and correct interpretation.

The brilliant and much-lamented Southern scholar, Mel Bradford, explored these and related issues in detail in several volumes, including Founding Fathers: Brief Lives of the Framers of the United States Constitution (paperback, 1994) and most significantly in his volume, Original Intentions: On the Making and Ratification of the United States Constitution (hard back, 1993), a fundamental and in-depth study of the nature of American constitutionalism, what the Framers intended, and what it meant to those men—representing their individual states—who gathered in Philadelphia in 1787. Bradford’s work is sometimes dense, but always revelatory…and essential to understanding the nature of the Old Republic as delegated to our ancestors, and now in danger of collapse.

 Charles Adams’ When in the Course of Human Events: Arguing the Case for Southern Secession (originally published in 2000, with a subsequent paper edition, 2004) remains a pivotal study of the question of secession and its constitutionality. Nearly as important is Secession, State & Liberty (2017), edited by the David Gordon, and bringing together contributions by a number of noted scholars who explore the issues surrounding secession and its real and admitted constitutionality.

Several other works add to these considerations by focusing them in the context of events, the steps and missteps, largely on the part of the newly-elected administration of Abraham Lincoln in the first few months of 1861. Here I recommend strongly the works of historian William Marvel, and in particular his engrossing volume, Mr. Lincoln Goes to War (2006). As a promo for the book states: “Drawing on original sources and examining previously overlooked factors, Marvel leads the reader inexorably to the conclusion that Lincoln not only missed opportunities to avoid war but actually fanned the flames—and often acted unconstitutionally in prosecuting the war once it had begun.” Then, there is prolific historian Thomas Fleming’s A Disease in the Public Mind: A New Understanding of Why We Fought the Civil War (2013), a balanced account of events, personalities and beliefs that led up to the fateful events of 1861, not just another screed condemning the South for its egregious “sins” of slavery and racism.

Professor Thomas DiLorenzo (Loyola University Maryland), in two volumes, The Real Lincoln (2002, paperback 2003) and Lincoln Unmasked (2006, paperback 2007), examines the responsibility of Abraham Lincoln and his administration not only in bringing on the war of 1861-1865, but in various perversions of the Constitution which forever altered the nature of the American republic. As DiLorenzo indicates, the results of the “Lincolnian revolution” have been disastrous to the Framers’ vision of constitutional government and have resulted in the avaricious growth of a centralized, managerial bureaucracy, self-perpetuating and unanswerable to citizens. In a sense, despite the loud protestations of a Nancy Pelosi or Joe Biden about “our democracy,” real control over our destiny and our rights as citizens has nearly been extinguished in our day. 

The issue of slavery is addressed by several of these previously cited authors in the contexts of their volumes; digesting them will offer good information on that question. There is one very recent volume which I recommend: Dr. Samuel W. Mitcham’s It Wasn’t About Slavery: The Great Lie of the Civil War, recently published in 2021. Professor Mitcham is a highly regarded author, specializing in military history. And his volume on the issue of slavery and its effect on secession is a solid examination of that almost undebatable topic. His analysis in the face of the hysterical neo-abolitionists now dominating the historical profession is both fearless and convincing. 

Additionally, intrepid researcher/historian Gene Kizer Jr. at the Charleston Athenaeum Press has done significant work in publicizing the scholarship of such now-largely ignored historians as Dr. Charles W. Ramsdell. Kizer has edited a superb compendium of Ramsdell’s writings which should be owned by every patriotic Southerner: Slavery Was Not the Cause of the War Between the States: The Irrefutable Argument (2014). Like other historians of the mid- and early 20th century Ramsdell understood the underlying constitutional and economic issues—the rights of the states, and especially the debate over tariffs, in particular the Morrill Tariff that would cripple the economies of import-dependent Southern states and on which Lincoln had campaigned in 1860—which were the driving forces for separation in 1861. As historian Frank Taussig in his Tariff History of the United States (1967) details, under Lincoln’s agenda the South would be paying nearly 80 percent of the tariff, while most of the revenues would be spent in the North.

About the relationship between Southern masters and slaves, the late historian Eugene Genovese stands out through his profound examination and analysis. Beginning in the 1960s as a Marxist, Professor Genovese made the long pilgrimage to an identifiable position in which he defended the old South, its leaders, and its culture. While approaching the issue of slavery not as an apologist, he understood the dilemma of Southerners and sympathizes with their attempts to grapple with the question. Of his numerous books, The World the Slaveholders Made (paperback, 1988) and The Mind of the Master Class: History and Faith in the Southern Slaveholders’ Worldview  (paperback, 2005) are extremely valuable in giving the lie to modern “woke” historiography where Southerners are little more than “pre-Nazis,” while noting  that most Southern leaders, writers, and theologians were men of high and admirable standards.  Professor Genovese’s book of incisive essays on the old South and its eloquent defenders, The Southern Tradition; The Achievements and Limitations of an American Conservatism (1994), should be on the shelf of any self-respecting Southerner.

Back in 1974 two distinguished economists, Robert Fogel and Stanley Engerman produced a work, Time on the Cross: The Economics of American Negro Slavery (reprinted in 1995), that should have altered the narrative on “the peculiar institution.” But given the historiography since then and the triumph of a zealous anti-racist, anti-white template, that did not occur. Based on their exhaustive research they found “that slavery was an economically rational institution and that the economic exploitation of slaves was not as catastrophic as presumed, because there were financial incentives for slaveholders to maintain a basic level of material support for those they held as property.” 

There are a number of older recommendable histories and accounts of the War itself. I grew up reading Bruce Catton during the Centennial events and the various histories written by Virginian Clifford Dowdey, whose books made Robert E. Lee and our War for Southern Independence come alive in my imagination as a young student. I would mention here: The History of the Confederacy, 1832-1865 (1955, republished 1992); Death of a Nation: The Story of Lee and His Men at Gettysburg (1958, republished 1992); Lee’s Last Campaign: The Story of Lee and His Men Against Grant, 1864 (1960, republished 2011); and finally, Lee: A Biography (1965, republished 2015). Dowdey was not an academic, but he knew well how to write and attract his readers. His books have not lost their flair and appeal, and are very accessible to younger readers.

Of course, there is the three-volume set by Shelby Foote, The Civil War: A Narrative (1958-1974, paperback 1986).  Although Foote’s mammoth work may not be the kind of set that one just reads from cover to cover, its engaging and fluent style, and its sympathetic and fair treatment of the Confederacy at war, remain definite attractions to Southern readers.

Another noted historian, the late Professor Ludwell H. Johnson, who taught for years at the College of William & Mary, published the volume Division and Reunion, 1848-1877, in 1978, and it remains an excellent, one volume survey of the mid-19th century, the coming of the War, and Reconstruction. A more recent paperback version issue (North Against South, 1848-1877) is exorbitantly priced, but the original is still available as a reprint.

On Reconstruction, itself, the work of pioneer researcher William A. Dunning remains pivotal. Dunning’s Reconstruction, Political and Economic, 1865-1877, continues to be essential in understanding the difficult post-War period. A 2010 paperback re-print of the original 1907 work is available. A much more recent study, Southern Reconstruction (2017), by Philip Leigh is easily accessible and may be the best way to approach the topic in one volume.

One way to understand the War and its meaning is to become familiar with the men who led the South during that difficult period. There are some excellent biographies that allow us to look into the minds and character of those unique individuals. I would mention, first, Douglas Southall Freeman, whose four volume, R. E. Lee: A Biography (1936), has never been bettered as a thorough study of the man who incarnated the ideals and hopes of the Confederacy. A one volume, abridged version, Lee, appeared in 1997, and should be among the books of every young Southern student.

Professor Hudson Strode authored a monumental biography of the Confederacy’s first and only president, Jefferson Davis. In three volumes he covered Jefferson Davis: American Patriot, 1806-1861 (1955); Jefferson Davis: Confederate President (1959); and Jefferson Davis: Tragic Hero, 1864-1889 The Last Twenty-Five Years (1964). Strode’s study remains the touchstone for understanding the life and history of a great man who is reviled by far too many contemporary historians.

James “Bud” Robertson’s Stonewall Jackson: The Man, The Soldier, The Legend, was published in 1997, and is certainly one of the finest biographies of any War commander. It’s a true page-turner and an excellent portrait of one of the world’s great military leaders, but also a study of the man, his ideals, and how he lived out his beliefs on and off the battlefield.

For an older, even more eloquent account, Southern Agrarian Allen Tate penned a short biography of Jackson in 1928: Stonewall Jackson: The Good Soldier. Tate’s volume is a classic and was reprinted in 1991 with a preface by Southern writer Thomas Landess.  Tate also authored a biography of Davis in 1929: Jefferson Davis: His Rise and Fall (1929); a paperback edition appeared in 1998.

Of the various biographies of other Confederate leaders, I should mention Andrew Lytle’s superbly written Bedford Forrest and His Critter Company (1931). This riveting classic has also been reprinted in a paperback edition, in 1993. And more recently, Samuel Mitcham has given us Bust Hell Wide Open: The Life of Nathan Bedford Forrest (2016), an excellent modern study of General Forrest which is also in paperback.

One more biography I should include—there are literally hundreds that could be added—and that is Dr. Clyde Wilson’s magnificent volume, Carolina Cavalier: The Life and Mind of James Johnston Pettigrew (hard back, 1990). A paperback edition exists from 2002. Elegantly and superbly written by the dean of Southern historians, Dr. Wilson’s work offers a remarkable portrait of one of the South’s most fascinating and brilliant essayists and chroniclers, as well as a Confederate general of note, who tragically perished as a result of the battle of Gettysburg. Dr. Wilson is the editor of the John C. Calhoun papers (University of South Carolina) and dozens of other books and studies, many of which are available from Shotwell Publishing.

I know—what I have compiled here is far more than just ten books! But I cannot apologize, for each of the volumes cited is valuable and would be extremely helpful for a Southern collegian (or for a Southern adult, for that matter) navigating his way through the “woke” morass that purports to be our educational system these days. Some of the volumes I cite are more involved, perhaps a challenge for a college freshman, even a very bright one. But they still should find their way to his shelves, even if only as reference copies.

Finally, I will add one final volume—and assert personal privilege in doing so: my little book of essays, The Land We Love: The South and Its Heritage (Scuppernong Press, hard back, 2018). In its chapters I discuss a number of the subjects covered by this present essay, with the hope that some of my words will inspire readers to follow up and delve into our rich Southern history and heritage.

It is the only inheritance we have, and we are fast losing it.

Monday, May 16, 2022

                                                  May 16, 2022


MY CORNER by Boyd Cathey


National Unity is A Mirage—We Must Understand That or Perish


Now, after what may have been a racially-motivated mass shooting in Buffalo (May 14) by a deranged young man, new insistent calls go out for the government to fight “white nationalism” and “right wing domestic terrorism.” Attorney General Merrick Garland has already signaled more than once that this is the nation’s major challenge—not the illegal drugs epidemic, not the rampant criminality tearing our cities apart, not the huge spike in gang violence, not the literally millions of illegals coming across our borders; no, not any of these, but homegrown “extremism” coming from disaffected, white segments of the American population.

In addition to new surveillance and potential censorship measures, such as the Disinformation Governance Board, and additional government intrusion into the lives of American citizens, also come the now-accustomed demands from various anguished personalities, political and otherwise, with pained expressions on their faces, pleading for national unity. “Can’t we all get along,” they mumble, echoing words uttered decades ago by Rodney King. (Remember him from the violence in the streets of Los Angeles?).

But such desired “unity” is always one-sided, meaning that we must discard our beliefs, our principles, and accept the latest agenda item, the latest conquest advanced by the post-Marxist Left. Far too many so-called “conservatives” in positions of leadership in America have embraced this elastic strategy, of first opposing something (e.g. same sex marriage), then almost abruptly reversing course, even showcasing their about-face, while defending it as completely consistent with “conservative principles.”

Then, whether from pundits at Fox News or from the Rich Lowry and Kevin Williamson types at National Review, we are instructed to follow suit, to unite around a refashioned definition of conservatism which always seems to tag along just a few steps behind the worst outrages of the radical Left.

The great Southern author, Robert Lewis Dabney, writing a decade after the end of the War Between the States (1875), expressed presciently this tendency of dominant, post-war Northern conservatism:

“This is a party which never conserves anything. Its history has been that it demurs to each aggression of the progressive party, and aims to save its credit by a respectable amount of growling, but always acquiesces at last in the innovation. What was the resisted novelty of yesterday is to-day one of the accepted principles of conservatism; it is now conservative only in affecting to resist the next innovation, which will to-morrow be forced upon its timidity, and will be succeeded by some third revolution, to be denounced and then adopted in its turn.”

Thus, a Robert E. Lee and a “Stonewall” Jackson were only a few years ago honored not just by conservatives but nationally, but now lightweight Neoconservative historians like Allen Guelzo dictate for us positions scarcely distinguishable from views current on the extreme Left. And Fox News personalities like Bret Baier and Brian Kilmeade do their damnedest in unserious, ghostwritten potboilers to publicize the greatness and sublime conservative vision of figures such as Ulysses S. Grant, Frederick Douglass, and Abe Lincoln.

We are told that we must discard what once we believed were fundamental principles, that we must unite around the evolving definition of conservatism.

But what are those beliefs around which we should unify? If what was once posited as fundamental truth can simply be discarded, tossed on the ash heap, or ignored, where does that leave us in the immense culture war that we have been losing now for more than half a century?

The strategy of the present-day “conservative movement” almost exactly parallels the observation made by Dabney nearly 150 years ago. It has failed abysmally, and, in fact, its most significant achievement is to lead well-meaning citizens away from genuine and effective opposition to the rot which threatens to engulf us.

On the contrary, my mentor the late Dr. Russell Kirk, who in many ways was the father of an older conservatism (back in the 1950s), stated what should and must be our essential credo: We hold a series of immutable beliefs as fundamental, and those principles and that vision are necessary for a just society. Those beliefs and principles come to us as a precious legacy from our ancestors and from our Western Christian traditions.

And as a necessary corollary: there can be no real agreement, no real unity with those who openly and forcefully reject that foundation and those essential principles as poisoned by racism, sexism, homophobia, and “white privilege,” not to mention hints of “fascism” and other not-so-pleasant “isms.”

Let’s consider some history.

The old American republic was formed through a kind of understood compromise between the colonies; the Authors of our constitutional system fully comprehended that there were diverse elements and interests that must be balanced to make the new nation at all workable. But in 1787 there was essential agreement on fundamentals that a seemingly miraculous result was possible. Yet, those far-sighted men also feared what might happen should that which they created be perverted or turned from its original propositions.

The central Federal government was counter-balanced and limited by newly and fiercely independent states which jealously guarded a large portion of their own sovereignty. Voting was universally restricted to those considered most qualified to exercise the franchise. Universal suffrage was considered by the near totality of the Fathers of our Constitution to be a sure means of destroying the young republic: absolute democracy and across-the-board egalitarian views were considered fatal for the future of the country. Such views were sidelined to the periphery, without practical voice in the running of the commonwealth.

Above all the American republic was, in all but name, a “Christian” republic. Certainly, the basic documents of our founding did not formally state as much. There was no formal national “religious establishment,” as existed in almost all European countries. Yet, despite that lack of national confessionality, the new nation, while demanding freedom for religious expression, professed de facto the Christian faith as a kind of understood basis of the new nation. As is often pointed out, almost immediately after adopting the Bill of Rights in 1791 (authored, ironically, by slaveholder James Madison), including the “freedom of religion” First Amendment, Congress provided for paid Christian chaplains in the new Northwest Territories. Even more confirming is the fact that nearly every one of the original thirteen colonies/new states had a “religious establishment” or religious test of some sort on the state level, and those establishments were left completely untouched by the First Amendment, which was understood to mean only the formal establishment of a national supported state church.

Above all, there existed amongst the new Americans the ability to converse and communicate with each other, using the same language, and employing the same symbols and imagery that had brought them together originally as a country. Appeals to traditional English law and the historic “rights of Englishmen,” the belief in a God of the Old and New Testaments whose prescriptions found in Holy Writ informed both the laws of the state and the understanding of justice and virtue, and an implicit, if not explicit, agreement that there were certain limits of thought and action beyond which one could not go without endangering the republican experiment, formed a kind of accepted public orthodoxy.

That modus vivendi—that ability to get along and agree on most essentials—continued, sometimes fitfully, until 1861. The bloody War Between the States that erupted that year might have been avoided if the warnings of the Authors of the Constitution had been heeded, if the Federal executive in 1861 had understood the original intentions of 1787 and the precarious structural balance that the Philadelphia Convention had erected. But that was not the case, and four years of brutal war followed, with over half a million dead and thousands more maimed, and, most tragically, that essential “via media” between an increasingly powerful central government and the rights of the states and of communities, and eventually, of persons, distorted and perverted.

The resulting trajectory towards centralization, the growth of a powerful Federal government, has continued nearly unabated for 150 years. With it and with the gradual destruction of not just the rights of the states, but also of communities and persons, came the institutionalization of a large and mostly unseen permanent bureaucracy, a managerial and political class, that took upon itself the role of actually ruling and running the nation. James Burnham and the late Samuel Francis have written profoundly on this creation of a managerial state within the state.  Indeed, in more recent days we have come to label this establishment the “Deep State.”

Concurrent with this transformation governmentally and politically, our society and our culture have equally been transformed. It is certainly arguable that the defeat of the Confederate states in 1865, that is, the removal of what was essentially a conservative and countervailing element in American polity, enabled the nearly inevitable advance of a more “liberal” vision of the nation. At base, it was above all the acceptance by post-war Americans of nearly all persuasions of the Idea of Progress, the vision that “things”—events, developments in thought and in the sciences and in culture, as well in governing—were inevitably moving towards a bright new future. It was not so much to the past we would now look, but to the “new” which always lay ahead of us.  And that future was based squarely on the idea of an “enlightenment” that always seemed to move to the political and cultural Left.

While loudly professing and pushing for more “openness” and more “freedom,” liberation from the “straight jacket” of traditional religion and religious taboos, and propounding equality in practically every field of public and private endeavor, ironically, the underlying effect and result of this “progress” has brought with it, in reality, a severe curtailment of not just many of our personal liberties, but of the guaranteed rights once considered sacrosanct under our old Constitution.

This long term, concerted movement, and eventual triumph of nineteenth liberalism and twentieth century progressivism, politically, culturally, and in our churches, not only placed into doubt those essential and agreed-upon foundations that permitted the country to exist in some form of “unity,” but also enabled the growth of ideologies and belief systems that, at base, rejected those very foundations, the fragile creed, of that origination.

In one of the amazing turnarounds in history, the fall of Soviet Communism in 1991—hollowed out and decaying after years of boasting that it would “bury” the West—witnessed almost concurrently the exponential growth and flourishing of an even more insidious and seductive version of post-Marxism in the old Christian West, in Europe and the United States. A century of the ravages and termite-like devastation by liberalism and progressivist ideology had debilitated the foundations—and the required will—to resist the attractions of a cultural Marxism that eventually pervaded our culture, our education, our entertainment industry, and our religious thought. Older and gravely weakened inherited standards and once-revered benchmarks of right and wrong, of justice, of rights and duties, were replaced by what the Germans call a “gestalt,” or a kind of settled overarching Marxist view of society and culture which had no room for opposing views. Dr. Paul Gottfried has written extensively on this phenomenon.

That dogmatic vision now pervades our colleges and public education; it almost totally dominates Hollywood; it controls the Democratic Party and huge swathes of the Republican Party; it speaks with ecclesiastical authority through the heresiarchs who govern most of our churches; and, most critically, it provides a linguistic template—an approved language—that must be accepted and employed, lest the offender be charged with “hate speech” or “hate thought.” Its goals—the imposition of a phony democracy not just in the United States but across the face of the globe—the legislation of an across-the-board equality which is reminiscent of the kind of “equality” the pigs in Orwell’s Animal Farm “legislated”—the perpetuation of a largely unseen, unanswerable, unstoppable managerial and political class, secure in its power and omnipotence—the proclamation of the United States (and Europe) as an “open nation with no physical borders”—have been and are being realized.

It is this overlay, this suffocating ideological blanket, with its dogmas of multicultural political correctness, its anathematization of perceived “racism,” “sexism,” homophobia,” “white supremacy,” and other characterized forms of “bigotry” as unforgivable sins, that now has assumed near total dominance in our society. The older forms of liberalism were incapable of offering effective opposition, for cultural Marxism utilized liberalism’s arguments to essentially undo it, and eventually, absorb it.

Yet, there are still millions of Americans—and Europeans—who have been left behind, not yet swept up in that supposedly ineluctable movement to the Left. They are variously labeled the “deplorables,” or perhaps if they do not share completely the reigning presumptions of the Mainstream Media and academia, they are “bigots” or “yahoos,” uninformed “rednecks,” and, increasingly, maybe “white nationalists,” or worse. The prevailing utter condescension and contempt for them by the established Deep State would make the most severe witch-burner of the 17th century envious.

So I ask: we are asked to unify around what? Unite with whom? On what basis and on what set of fundamental principles? Can there be unity with those who wish our extinction and replacement, or with those who urge us to surrender our beliefs?

Frankly, such unity is neither possible nor desirable…unless millions have a “road to Damascus” conversion, or some major conflagration occurs to radically change hearts and minds.

Monday, May 9, 2022

                                                        May 9, 2022



MY CORNER by Boyd Cathey


The HARD TRUTH Podcast: the Global Managerial Deep State, the End of the American Century, and the Russo-Ukrainian Conflict




Back on Wednesday, May 4, I was privileged to join widely-syndicated columnist Ilana Mercer and David Vance, a UK Unionist political leader, author and well-known broadcaster, for a wide-ranging interview on the regular podcast HARD TRUTH (the episode was aired on May 5, and then syndicated to various publications and online journals, including WorldNetDaily, the New American, and The Unz Review, as well as Mercer’s own Web site,

Although the interview was titled, “Bleeding Russia Dry and Then Next Color Revolution,” the hour-long conversation ranged over a variety of interrelated topics, including the rise of powerful American (and global) managerial elites, the post-World War II American-supported suppression of traditional European political and cultural traditions, the corruption of American education in both colleges and schools, and the increasing canceling by dominant “woke” forces in our society of any real legitimate opposition and of genuine liberty and free speech.

The Russian incursion into Ukraine, beginning on February 24, and NATO’s response, were the central topics in the interview. And the subsequent discussion considered that action from several different viewpoints.  More specifically strategically and prudentially, indeed, whether the grinding and bloody conflict in that part of eastern Europe was not, ironically, something anticipated, even desired, as a means of—to restate the podcast title—“Bleeding Russia Dry.” Or, in the words of US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin in his recent trip of Kiev to meet with Volodymyr Zelensky (Monday, April 25), as quoted by The Washington Examiner: “We want to see Russia weakened to the degree that it can’t do the kinds of things that it has done in invading Ukraine. So it has already lost a lot of military capability and a lot of its troops, quite frankly. And we want to see them not have the capability to very quickly reproduce that capability.”

And, thus by such drawn out action the formal United States policy is to facilitate the long-desired Neoconservative and globalist design of regime change in Moscow, another “color revolution,” just as American-inspired and supported revolutions have overthrown governments in Ukraine (back in February 2014), in the Republic of Georgia, and elsewhere; in each case to establish a government subservient or at least dependent on American policies.

During the interview references were made to pathbreaking works by Chronicles magazine editor, Dr. Paul Gottfried (e.g., The Strange Death of Marxism, on the rise of an authoritarian post-Marxist Left in Europe), to the late author and philosopher Dr. Samuel Francis (e.g., Leviathan and Its Enemies, dissecting the growth of and control by the managerial state), and on the present Ukrainian conflict, to works by Drs. John Mearsheimer, Stephen Cohen (e.g., War With Russia?) and Richard Sakwa (e.g., Frontline Ukraine: Crisis in the Borderlands), plus the detailed interviews by Oliver Stone of President Vladimir Putin (here and here). For a fuller understanding of the conflict, its background and context, these sources are essential.

Some readers may have already seen the podcast, which can be accessed directly via But I provide as follows the information and podcast directly from my friend and columnist, Ilana Mercer, with her introduction. Additionally, I second her request that you subscribe not only to the HARD TRUTH podcast on, but also to Ilana’s always-interesting regular columns:


Ilana Mercer, May 5, 2022

In “The Illusion of Liberal Democracy—America’s Long Record of Destruction Continues,” Dr. Boyd Cathey deploys the term the “long march,” generally associated with the Communist Chinese Revolution of Chairman Mao, to describe decades in which successive American administrations have romped through other countries’ institutions in an unabashed quest to impose universal “freedom and equality” à la America. 

The use of force in furtherance of American “liberal democracy” was enthusiastically touted by famed neoconservative writer Alan Bloom, author of The Closing of the American Mind. Indubitably, such a contradiction in terms has become the guiding principle of the American foreign-policy establishment. The resulting recreational wars of choice prosecuted over some 70 years, and the regime-change exercises pursued, have caused great, if not permanent, damage to American institutions themselves.


Citing [Chronicles Magazine editor] Dr. Paul Gottfried, foremost scholar of the European and American Right, Dr. Cathey traces today’s illiberal Germany, where expression, public and private, is heavily circumscribed in law (in the name of “protecting our [German] democracy”), to the Marshall Plan and to the “denazification” humiliation of 1945, courtesy of the American-dominated Allied forces, during which any expression of German tradition and heritage came to be conflated with fascism.

Cathey laments the party duopoly’s enthusiasm for injecting American boys into conflicts, far and wide, most recently in Ukraine, although sympathy for members of a military that has become a fully coopted global force for misadventures is questionable. It could be argued that it is in the nature of the Anglo-American man to want to be a hero, a rescuer. It can be posited, moreover, that, in his own country, this American, military-minded protector would be maligned and molested were he to patrol his neighborhoods or his nation’s borders. So, off he goes to slay dragons abroad and leap to his death in a lemming’s lunacy. Even so, this generic American grunt does so knowingly. Listening to ex-military officiating as commentators on Fox News—one hears the self-righteous zealotry of the fully converted Global Citizen.

Vladimir Putin, argues Dr. Cathey, has rejected the West’s culturally, racially and sexually decadent ways. For this reason, the Russian president has been targeted by the United States for an excruciatingly slow demise. Led by the US, Russia is destined to be bled dry by the West, the eventual outcome being “regime change” in Moscow (another “color revolution”).

A trickier question for those of us on the Old Right is this: Putin is a Russian patriot. This in-depth interview with the Russian president amply evinces that. He adores and is deeply acquainted with the nation’s “ancient faith,” its history and traditions. But could it be that we of the Old Russell Kirk Right, nostalgic for the very same things absent in our own societies, are romanticizing the Russian people? This writer shares Dr. Cathey’s love of Tsarist Russia’s great culture before communism. (Boyd adores Rachmaninov’s second symphony; I say Tchaikovsky’s “Pathetique.” His Symphony No. 6 is a singularly intense and sublime expression of the agonies of the individual, caught between salvation, sin and love of Mother Russia.) But is this same sensibility present in younger Russians? No doubt, Putin is steeped in Russian culture. But do younger Russians share his traditionalism? True, very many hate communism, but that hatred is devoid of a civilizational dimension. I fear younger Russians are already in the market for a Western life filled with sexual titillation and consumerism.


Finally, although it is possible to justify Putin’s war with reference to the more statist scholastic Just War Theory—the libertarian axiom of non-aggression won’t permit such justification. Putin’s war in Ukraine is a war for which there are plenty reasons, all of them vindicating Russia; Russia is in the right. Reasons for war, however, are not the same as justification for war. A war of aggression is seldom justified.


ON THE HARD TRUTH PODCAST this week, David Vance and yours truly are joined by fearless and learned dissident scholar Dr. Boyd D. Cathey, for a wide-ranging discussion on the decline of America and the aforementioned US plan to bleed Russia dry. While Americans, from their Ukrainian-manned vantage points, seem willing to fight to the last Ukrainian, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has vowed that Russia “would never accept the global village under the command of the American sheriff.”


Let’s see.


Image credit

WND, May 5
Unz Review, May 5
The New American, May 6

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