Southern nationalism does not aim for the South to leave the United States. Rather, it must aim for the United States to leave the South. The South is not part of “America.” The ideological United States of America of today is a foreign country in occupation. The South is, as such, a mere colony, and Southern nationalism intends on breaking the colonial hold.
Failed Strategy: Conciliation
“Conciliation” here means the reconciling of opposites. Broadly, it refers to a reconciling of Southern nationalism with the American System. Specifically, it refers to reconciling the goal of Southern independence on the one hand, with issue politics (abortion, multi-culturalism, taxation, etc.) on the other.
Specific conciliation refers in part to the Tea Party Movement in the South. At best it treats Southern independence as a final resort (a final resort never to be finally reached), and not as a necessary minimum, a sine qua non before all other things.
If this is so, then issue politics are fatal to the independence movement. Conciliation is fatal. It explains also why secession has failed to gain traction. If the South is a colony—even one with ostensible political and legal rights—the South must confront its colony status, both psychologically and practically, before a viable independence movement can grow.
Debating in a forum acknowledges the forum’s legitimacy. To participate in a process, then reject the process as illegitimate when it does not produce the desired results—the very definition of “petulance”—undermines one’s own legitimacy. The Tea Party Movement puts fixing America first, fixing the forum, and thus cannot be harnessed to Southern nationalism at present.
Furthermore, the Tea Party Movement is in reality an electioneering movement only, reinforcing the proposition that U.S. elections and politics are personal. That Southerners are the United States. But the point of Southern nationalism is not that the U.S. acts wrongly, but that it is a foreign power occupying Southern soil. Otherwise, Southern nationalism cannot be called “nationalism” at all.
There is a second problem with a policy orientation to achieve Southern independence: it puts the cart before the horse. Independence cannot be a policy of last resort. It is a foundational goal, or it is not a goal at all. No modern independence movement has ever succeeded being dragged on reluctantly to independence.
How many people in the 2008 U.S. presidential elections could have put up with the winning candidate’s race, his religion, and could even have put up with his positions on abortion, federal spending, immigration, etc.? What they could not put up with was his perceived “anti-Americanism.” This was the deal-breaker.
Yet, leaving the U.S. behind is the whole purpose of the League of the South! So this pro-U.S.A., pro-America issue must be tackled. It cannot be skirted. This is the elephant in the room.
Relevant political activism has its place in Southern nationalism, as in any nationalist movement. An independence movement must demonstrate it is concerned and competent to address the people’s real needs and concerns.
And the people are concerned about policies. But there is a difference between reconciling Southerners to U.S. politics, and direct activism. Reconciliation is protesting gun control. Direct action is arming the public.
We must soberly recognise one fact: When we speak Southern nationalism, majority of Southerners cannot understand. For them, the USA is identity. Therefore, to put the South’s independence from the United States at the forefront seems to invite failure, hostility. Southerners have been taught to put the idea of America ahead of their loyalty to their fellow Southerners. That is, Southern nationalists and their fellow Southerners are guilty of treason from their eyes.
Some try to waffle on this, asserting that the Southern-American identity is conditional. If the U.S. becomes too oppressive, Southerners will turn their backs on it, of their own volition.
Well, how oppressive does it have to get? What does it take?
Can anyone point to the Southern man’s limits?
For example, I cannot think of any other nation in the world that would have put up with the equivalent of the 1960s Civil Rights campaign as it occurred in the South. That prompted wholesale evacuation of Southern cities. That drove Southerners from their property and their store fronts. That used Southerners’ own children as pawns in a campaign to dissolve the Southern identity.
Do not be fooled, the Civil Rights campaign of the 1960’s aimed not at de-segregating blacks and giving them a better education and life, but at de-segregating the white South. To dis-integrate the Anglo-South as a “nationality,” with its own ethnic group and its own homeland. Out of respect for U.S. law and order, Southerners let it succeed.
So one must admit that independence as a foundational goal is clearly a minority position in the South.
A New Strategy: Confrontation
Southern nationalism cannot await simple U.S. overreach because, as described, this has proven not to work. The answer lies in confrontation—but only on the South’s own terms. Confrontation here must mean taking confrontation to the enemy’s weaknesses.
In the 1950s, Arab Mohammedans in Algeria launched an independence movement from France. The FLN (Front Libération Nationale) made a political decision from the outset. It decided not to campaign for Muslim civil rights, or a special relationship with France. It aimed at independence, and it forced everyone in Algeria to choose sides.
That is, the FLN deliberately targeted the middle ground in Algeria. They saw their enemy to be compromise, first, and the French second. The FLN chose a goal and a confrontation and stuck to it. With this, the Arabs conquered Algerie Française through sheer tenacity, and Algeria became independent in 1962.
In the late 1960s in Northern Ireland, the IRA, the Irish nationalists and Catholics sought to bring down the Unionist government in Belfast. They chose a weapon that would confront and provoke Unionists on the one hand, while being inoffensive to the rest of the world (including Great Britain) upon whose opinion the Irish would depend.
They chose to march. In Northern Ireland marching means something more than it does in other parts of the world. It meant something more to Ulster Protestants, who had always marched to show the Union’s dominance. To the Orangemen, marching stated that, “I have a right to march here because this place is mine.”
The marches provoked the exact overreaction that ultimately brought down the Unionist government in Belfast. The IRA had chosen an effective weapon of provocation.
Different Strategy: Provocation
At its heart, the American regime defines itself as a multi-ethnic state of human citizens. Discrimination is anathema to it.
Yet immigration laws are on the books. What better way to confront the regime than to act, as citizens or as communities, to enforce the laws that the regime doesn’t want enforced? This is to provoke the U.S. governing system.
At its heart, the American regime is a secular state and a pluralist community. Public pronouncements that one religion is our religion provoke the regime to the core. Yet Christianity is the heartfelt desire of the vast majority of Southerners, and freedom of religion is U.S. law. So to take a stand for religion, and against an alien religion, is to take an even more fundamental stand against the U.S. government and to provoke it.
Here in the U.S. it is an axiom that there is only one nation with one face toward the world. Southerners applying for international recognition as a separate ethnic group would be an act of extreme provocation. The Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organisation (UNPO) is an international body that includes such members as the Government of Taiwan, and the Boers of South Africa, and it is premised on the notion that certain states do not entirely represent their populace. Southerners applying for membership in the UNPO would infuriate and embarrass the U.S. government.
Ethnic groups are something only for the U.S. census form! A separate existence for Anglo-Southerners, a Southern Nation recognised abroad, would be an anathema to the regime.
Different Politics: Integral Polis and Polity
The great confrontation however, would be to speak a different politics, begin to advocate a different kind of state, and a totally different human economy. Not different policies, but different politics. Currently, the regime has the South playing the role of loyal conservative opposition. What if the South left the reservation?
For any independence movement to gain traction, it must offer a complete and holistic alternative to the status quo. Otherwise the South will remain a disaffected province, easily distracted by bread and circuses. However, thus far, Southern leadership has held out to the truly disaffected only an American vision. A Spirit of ‘76 American vision, looking only to avoid the “mistakes,” will never cause Southerners to break with the U.S. and move to that undiscovered country of Southern nationalism.
An alternative vision for the South would require reworking both the economics and the politics of the land. Not an alternative set of policies that establishment politicians could run on, but a departure only possible after the South gains her independence.
Different Economy: Production not Speculation
Co-opted Southern politics today loves to warn of advancing Socialism, but in doing so, it only shills for finance capitalism. It attacks anything that smacks of communalism—such as community solutions to health care problems – and promotes whatever keeps us atomized from each other. Yet it loves to build and modernize, creating jobs (for one generation), encouraging consumption (so the populace doesn’t accumulate wealth and cut-out the “finance,” in “finance capitalism”), and staying competitive (Why is this necessary, if a nation can feed itself well and defend itself adequately?). It ignores working men and women with families, and it ignores any question of a truly Southern economy, sustainable, independent and looking toward a long-term future.
The problem with jobs—and with health care—with everything here involving money, lies in the basic economics of the land. Today wealth in America is generated not by production, but by speculation. Instead of engendering wealth by what men produce, wealth is generated by increasing, temporarily, the paper value of a property, and then selling it off. While production engenders wealth to be used or saved, speculation on property engenders wealth only in relation to other property. Thus, speculation requires continual “growth” (however defined) and encourages a Ponzi Scheme economy.
The U.S. Federal Reserve and American economy are based upon speculation. Through this speculation, the people dispossess themselves over time, and great alien financial syndicates have come to control the South’s productive property.
These financial syndicates operate to redistribute property, wealth, and ultimately, sovereignty to themselves. Property and sovereignty are related concepts. How can a people be called sovereign if they do not own their own ground? If the Bank of America owns all the property and all the production of Georgia, then it is Georgia’s sovereign. If New York coal companies own all the coal in Kentucky, and use this coal to produce cheap energy for anywhere except for Kentucky, then Kentucky is no sovereign.
The problem is not too much capitalism, but too little. In other words, there is too little personal ownership and no system with a stable medium of exchange. An independent South would end a system that seeks to redistribute economic power from small owners to vast financial cartels. End the strip-mining of profits from a place, then leaving for greener pastures while the job-holders are left behind. End the redistribution of farmland to agri-business that undersells the farmer who won’t deed his fathers’ fields over to it. End the redistribution of small storefronts to giant retail chains that undersell the shop owner who won’t consign his posterity to perpetual wage slavery. Southern independence means property and sovereignty, not a mere pay cheque until the jobs move to Mexico or until Mexicans move to the jobs.
Only an independent South can offer this. Politicians call for more jobs. Well, when the settlers arrived at Jamestown, or streamed over the mountains for Tennessee and Mississippi, they didn’t find jobs waiting for them! They found property. This is the alternative vision that the South offers: property and production, not syndicates and speculation.
Different Community: Organic State
An alternative vision for the South requires a different community.
One studies the politics of other countries and notices something interesting. To be fair, the politicians of other countries are no less corrupt than they are here—in fact, often they are more so—and they are no more intelligent. But foreign politicians seem to be more representative.
Politicians here seem simply alien. The people choose representatives from a system, rather than to a system.
In Europe it is possible for Reverend Iain Paisley to be a member of the Northern Ireland Assembly, the British House of Commons, and a member of the EU parliament all at the same time. Paisley represents his people to government, to multiple governments. This would be impossible here. Politics here is seen as a job, not a representation.
Consider this. The British Labour Party has its roots in the unions. The Democratic Party has its roots in the government. The British Conservatives have roots in the aristocracy. The Republican Party has its roots in the government.
The U.S. regime’s parties have an identity with the republic, and the republic stands apart from the people. Otherwise, why would it be okay for Mexicans to populate America, but still call it America? Politics here is a completely separate existence, and the two parties are merely agencies providing services, with a monopoly shared between them.
Additionally, interests are allowed to hide in the American System to take the profits, but not the responsibility, for their role in politics. However, the problem with this politics is not too much interest, but too little. Some interests make decisions in back rooms, for which they publicly take no responsibility, while other interests are simply excluded. But everyone has an interest. Persons. Communities. Professions.
I have heard America called a corporate state. Not true. A corporate state refers to a communal body of diverse members, not an abstraction separated from–and greater than–its people. If this is a corporate state, then there is only one corporation, the money corporation. A true corporate state implies distinct interests, distinct industries, professions, regions, economies, and most importantly, distinct communities coming together, finding consensus.
America is not a corporate state. It is a plutocracy disguised as a democracy. The only question for a corporate state is whether it can be top down, as European revolutionary syndicalism advances, or bottom up in consensus, as John C. Calhoun counselled and Medievalism lived.
Only an independent and revolutionary South can offer this, to break the power of the abstract republic and its alien politicians.
Different Foundation: Away with Old Myths
Revolutions begin with self-perception. Any secession movement that grounds itself first in the U.S. Constitution and the so-called American Founding is simply a counter-interpretation of the same ideals shared by the enemy. These regime ideals include the proposition nation, consent of the governed, and individual sovereignty, and they cannot be the basis of a nationalist movement.
As an initial matter, why would Southern nationalism define itself around the Constitution for the very country it is attempting to secede from? Moreover, nationalist movements are ethnic and cultural in nature by definition. They are fundamentally collective and binding in loyalty and conscience. Where is the individualism and consent in that?
In short, revolution and nationalism would mean the rejection of the cult of American exceptionalism. This regime calls itself exceptional because it professes that governance may be rationally-planned amongst consenting citizens. This regime calls itself exceptional because it says that there is no such thing as natural authority, no divine right anywhere, not even in the home. It says, with Samuel Adams and Thomas Paine, that the republic is above all, and that kinship counts for nothing. Ultimately, that it is better to love a stranger than to love your wife and children.
I do not consent to governance by consent. It is an oxymoron. I will be governed by natural authority, or not at all.
The South has neither king nor nobility, but she does have a people. One can fight against American anti-sacral individualism with loyalty to a Southern nation, and to Christendom thousands of years old. This loyalty is a felt duty. It does not exist by calculated consent. This is what the Old South represents. Simply put, it represents l’ancien regime (the old order) , without a king and without the nobles.
As such, Southern nationalism is a collective, and not a mere collection of individuals. If Mr. Jefferson wants to declare “eternal enmity against every form of tyranny over the mind of man,” then one cannot be surprised when the liberal state declares war against all races, ranks, and religions that bind Man. Nationalists see the proper role of the state in supporting and harmonizing these very things—race, rank, and religion—that make the nation what it is. Does this strike at the heart of the American Founding? Yes. But a Southern revolution would look to George Fitzhugh rather than Thomas Jefferson for a sociology of the South. As Fitzhugh said, “we want no new worlds.”
One cannot choose to live as an Anglo-Southerner in community without practicing exclusion, without practicing order, any more than a Zulu can. And when you fight for identity—when you value identity—the regime hates you. But the potential energy of freedom has no value at all unless it is exercised. Unless one says, “under God, we are.”
Nationalism understands government as foremost a defence of the nation’s existence. While due process of law requires that a man not be a judge in his own case, yet, if a thief breaks into one’s home at night, the man will defend his home and judge his own case, regardless of due process and regardless of the thief’s justifications. Loyalty to one’s home and people must precede due process offered to the stranger. And treason must be punished accordingly.
No form of government is greater than the substance it governs, and a Southern people will not be bound by a constitution that consigns the nation to irrelevance. Ceding responsibility to a piece of paper, or worse, to its interpreters, is not nationalism. People seeking to free themselves from occupation, exploitation, and injustice, must have the ability to trust in themselves. But opinions, principles, values are not leadership. Mere consensus is not leadership. The South must be led by flesh and blood if she expects to confront anyone and to survive to the end of this century.
Leadership would not accept economic colonialism where the land, resources, and labour of the South, the very people of the South, are considered fungible, controlled from vast syndicates headquartered on Wall Street, in London, in Beijing, and in Hong Kong, and in a myriad hundred other places where the rich and powerful deracinate themselves and deracinate their serfs. Leadership would not accept alien invasion, being displaced from ground their fathers tilled, rendered fungible and moveable from Tennessee to Detroit, from Texas to Mexico, from a father’s field to a banker’s vault. It would not accept agri-business for agriculture. Leadership would not accept nuclear power plants in their coal fields to meekly produce electricity for somebody else, nor for the people to be shipped to cubicles in an office park when the real jobs are shipped overseas.
And leadership would not say that all gods are created equal. And it would not care what the Constitution says about it!
Southern leadership would oppose colonialism for the South, oppose multiculturalism for the South, and oppose apostasy for the South. And it would oppose maintaining a constitutionalism that cooperates with the destruction of the Anglo-Southern Southland, all for the benefit of clever operators bowing down to the one World Government of Universal Man!
No matter which way a man turns, it takes a lifetime for him to prove to himself that he could have been more. Not confronting the enemy, staying on the reservation, will not ensure the survival of the South. By striking out on a new path we may discover that we are in fact just returning home.
And any event, conciliation is not an option.
“I have a trust committed to me by God, by old and lawful descent. I will not betray it to answer to a new unlawful authority.” [Charles I at trial, 1649]
R. E. Salyer