Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Why the Southern Cause? Here's why ...

This is from the comments section from Sunday's "Quote of the day":

I think you would be hard-pressed to find someone who believes empire and imperialism aren't problematic. It is the conclusion that secession/rebellion, for all its violence and bloodletting, is somehow a sufficient and even desirable way to deal with centralized government that is bothersome.

See, this is why I prefer thoughtful dissent to "mega-ditto" type comments. It's good to be challenged -- it forces you to re-think and re-state your reasons for blogging and for advocating a particular point of view.

So here goes. Only the dead-ender Neocons and their blood-brother communists still believe in the promises of big, consolidated government. And the above-cited commenter apparently agrees with us what the problem is, and that is the trajectory of all over-centralized governments. They all become dictatorial -- just as the Stephens quote stated.

So what's the answer? While folks see (and laugh at!) DC as it flubs every test, unable to solve any problems, they still subconsciously look to it as the ultimate authority and as the object of loyalty. Thanks to the rigorous indoctrination of the government schools, folks think Lincoln's counter-revolution, which substituted the sovereignty of the central government for the sovereignty of the people, is somehow sacred. So they are unable to conceive of human-scaled government -- all the important decisions must be made by the Wise Ones in DC, no matter how often they screw up. We're stuck playing musical chairs, switching names and positions in DC, in the illogical belief the system is good and noble, and only needs different people to make the system work.

Meanwhile, things mysteriously get only worse.

The point is, the only solution is to downsize DC. Either it is forced to return the power it usurped from us in full defiance of the Constitution, or it should be fired. Put another way, sovereignty must be returned to the local level. And that means secession. While total withdrawal from the Union may not be necessary, the recovery of the rights of the States depends on properly understanding the real meaning of the Declaration of Independence, and that means the right of secession; that is, the reserved right to withdraw from the Union.

Which brings us to the commenter's next objection:

It becomes an 'insult' or, rather, irritating when that conclusion, which almost inevitably takes on undertones of 'cultural preservation,' leads to romanticized and misguided ideas about what southern culture is and who is a southerner.

No political unit can be born or survive without the affection and loyalty of its people. No voluntary political unit can be established without a cultural foundation uniting the people. As professor Ghia Nodia of the University of Tbilisi, Republic of Georgia, has observed:

"Democracy has always emerged in distinct communities; there is no record anywhere of free, unconnected, and calculating individuals coming together spontaneously to form a democratic social contract ex nihilo. Whether we like it or not, nationalism is the historical force that has provided the political units for democratic government. 'Nation' is another name for 'we the people'."

For local sovereignty to return as a counterweight to the present centralized system, local loyalty must be nourished. And the creatures who feed off the cancerous growth of Big Government know that, which is why both leftists and Neocons smear Southern heritage.

So that's the bottom line: without "cultural preservation," which includes the values of our political heritage, there can be no resistance to the abuses of Big Government.


Michael said...

Well said, Mike.

Mark Thomey said...

The person commenting against secession as a remedy to empire and centralisation is jumping to an erroneous conclusion that secession necessarily means violence and bloodshed.

The South was at peace for about four months before lincoln initiated war on Her. Had a more Christian, civilised man been in lincoln's place, war could have been averted then, and we wouldn't even be having this debate right now.

Additionally, there are many contemporary examples of secessions in the Baltics and other parts of Eastern Europe (normally hot-beds of independence squelching violence by the communist regimes there) which show that it can be done peacefully.

Lastly, the Georgian is correct. Free governments don't just spring from the mind of Zeus amongst 'diverse' peoples in a given place. They grow organically out of a dominant, homogenous culture and society.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again without stuttering - the South's culture springs from the ideals and principles of white, western Christendom. Have, and can, others contribute to and/or benefit from it? Yes. Absolutely. But the foundation stone has to be there, and its principles must remain dominant, or else you'll find yourself adrift in the artificial, multi-cultural, marxist boat we're in now.

Before the mindless robots of modern america go ballistic over what I've said above, remember that it does not imply any malice or hatred towards anyone. Others are welcome to adopt, adapt, and participate. If, however, they want to simply re-enact or foist their own version of the 3rd world cesspools from which they came on us, then they need to stay where they are.

Michael Tuggle said...


Many thanks. Stop by more often!

Michael Tuggle said...

Mark Thomey,

Good points on eastern Europe. The "intellectuals" would prefer we forget about that little bit of history.

Mike Foster said...

local loyalty must be nourished

More and more I see how this is a huge part of the answer. I've had these thoughts for a long time but recently, with help from excellent Mises and LoS articles, I'm beginning to see how we can actually make it happen - and we don't have to secede to begin seeing results. I'm worried that we aren't ready for secession - so we need to start getting ready, and this is one of the major techniques we need to utilize: local loyalty must be nourished.

For example, for some time now I've been making a list of everything my family and I purchase every month, and listing the businesses from which we purchase those items. I've resolved to pick a few items each month and begin buying those items only from local, small businesses in our county or the neighboring county. I have to admit, it's not as easy as it sounds - but we have to begin with small things, things that are actually doable.

After we wean ourselves from WalMart we will be in a better position to convince our neighbors to do the same. Indeed, you should hear the reaction of the small business owners, when I tell them why I'm buying from them, and not WalMart. You should see their faces when I get them to imagine a county full of Freeholders! I have to thank the LoS for educating me about the word "Freeholder" - I've found it to be incredibly powerful when talking to people.

How far can I take this? I don't know. Like I said, I have to be honest, it is not as easy as I thought it would be. However, the more I do it the more empowered I feel; the more independent and self-sufficient I feel! I feel a connection with my neighbors that I've always longed for.

So what's next? I have to figure out how to rid myself of dependence on Federal Reserve Notes. I don't know how - so I'm studying all I can. I offer to trade my services with people. My friend who does mechanic work for me has taken me up on my offer - he fixes my family's cars and I provide computer-related services for his family - it's the only thing I have to offer, I'm not good at anything else. But it's working out very well!

We have to start with small things that we know how to do. Let's start now! We've been assimilated into Lincoln's mercantilist "nation". We must escape! There is more to life than a "job".

The other day I went to the cemetery where my Dad's folks are buried. I walked among five generations of my Southern Fathers and Mothers, Sisters and Brothers. I fell on my knees before the Confederate tombstones and cried like a baby! We must escape!


Recently one of my neighbors, not two miles from my house, were robbed - and suffered terrible loss and humiliation. I felt so ashamed; I felt so angry. How could this happen in our good little community? The rest of us just continued on, as if nothing had happened - our "jobs" are more important to us than our neighbors. I felt so bad, I went around and talked to the neighbors about it. I saw that they felt the same way.

We must escape from this insanity. We have to start with small things that we know how to do. Let's start now!

I.M. Ulysses said...

I think you noble gentlemen forget that even the Davis administration of the Confederate Government, there was a VERY HIGH DEAL OF CENTRALIZATION.
You might argue that that was a result of war but even in the Confederate Constitution there was the note that the states, though gathered in their 'sovereign and independent character' were gathered to form a 'permanent federal government.' How can a government be permanent if the right of secession and dissolution lies within it?
Besides, states nor the federal government is 'sovereign' but the people give sovereignty to both, through their votes and taxes. States are the creatures of the people, not the people the creatures of the states; that is our understanding in the post-feudal world. Before, soverengnty was thought to stem only from God in the organization of the state. But we now say that God grants each of us, as people, sovereignty and the right to create those institutions which govern us.
Those institutions were the agreed method by which government can be considered legitimate. But, in regards to sovereignty, that was a joint sovereignty, meaning that both the Union and the individual states can claim a soverengnty upon each other. For one party to arbitrarily renounce that claim does not automatically void the rights of the other.
Before separation can take place, before it can even be considered, the rights of both must be secured. If you read Lincoln rightly, you would understand that he was suggesting that secession was illegal because BOTH SIDES did not agree to it.
Where the South is wrong on this debate, though, is that they believe that a mere vote to leave the Union was valid. The firing on Fort Sumter, then, was not seen as the legitimate act of a now-sovereign state or government but of a rebellious and illegal organization (the Confederacy) that merely claimed authority over territory that was still in dispute. Had there been a convocation of all the states, a new Continental Congress, and separation had been agreed too, an the terms settled, the South might have gone in peace out of the Union...or it might have reconsidered it's options once the full reality of the price of breaking up the government was to be; in terms of both financial and emotional degrees too.
Fort Sumter prevented that. The decision to attack was seen as an act of rebellion, not an act of sovereignty, and so the war began. I won't go into the whole slavery/non-slavery debate as the cause of the war was secession, though it was rooted in the South's fear of losing slavery, but I will say that the problem most neoConfederates have is the failure admit that secession was made to preserve slavery. That doesn't mean that Southerners were or are evil, or that they deserve the odium of fighting for the enslavement of others, because most did not own slaves; they were fighting for their independence in a war against their own federal government. But it also means that the secession they were fighting for was legal. This makes the Civil War waged by the South as a revolution. The South lost and now, over 150 years after it, there are groups proposing PEACEFUL secession which, if your forefathers were as enlghtened about, instead of being hot-headed, they might have had anyways and saved the South and the North billions of dollars in property damage and the lives of over half-a-million men killed a almost the same amount injured or maimed.
Just a thought.
I.M. Ulysses.

Old Rebel said...

I.M. Ulysses,

I appreciate the points you raise, and the gentlemanly manner in which you raise them. I'll take a stab at a couple:

in the Confederate Constitution there was the note that the states, though gathered in their 'sovereign and independent character' were gathered to form a 'permanent federal government.' How can a government be permanent if the right of secession and dissolution lies within it?

"Permanent" simply means the intent is to create an ongoing government, as opposed to a temporary alliance. It is not a surrender of sovereignty. When you list your permanent address, you aren't saying you've given up the right to relocate in the future.

If you read Lincoln rightly, you would understand that he was suggesting that secession was illegal because BOTH SIDES did not agree to it.

So our secession from Britain wasn't valid?

Mike Foster said...

I'm more inspired by the Founders', and our Confederate ancestors', spirit of independence and responsibility, rather than their exact implementation of the concept of government. Who wants another government just like the one that resulted in the mess we have today? Not I.

I don't need no stinkin rulers - I can govern myself, and can get along just fine with those who can govern themselves.


Val Proto said...

First: the difference between "neocons" and liberals is by which side they think the huge government should be run. Neos want "conservatives" - or what they see as conservtives - while the libs want socialist/communist/fascist types. It is probably true that the neocons would be easier to live with, but it is hardly a "fix" for the problem. As we found out with Reagan, you're only four years away from a liberal takeover. The whole structure has to be dismantled and people have to begin thinking in terms of individuals and their efforts rather than the hive-like collective.

Secondly, the first Confederate government was more centralized because they were dealing with a war of aggression being waged upon them. Doubtless, if secession had been peaceful, the Confederate government would have developed along the lines of a much looser amalgamation of its member states. But whether that would have been the best situation is problematic given the much larger, more powerful and more imperialistic neighbor to the north - and northwest and west! One must suppose that at some time, the Confederate States of America would have had to become more centralized simply for the purposes of survival.

Jared said...

This is in reply to I.M. Ulysses:

With all due respect, the argument that the South's secession was "wrong" because the North didn't agree to it is absurd. By that logic, as Mike pointed out already, the Colonies' secession from England was wrong because England didn't agree with it. You don't really believe that (at least I hope not).

Your blaming the South for firing on Fort Sumter also shows a very misguided of the events during that time. Lincoln, by design, forced the South to take action. I won't go into a history lesson here, but it was a specific goal of Lincoln's to make the South "start" the war.

As Mark said, the act of secession itself does not have to be carried out through violence. The violence occurs when the regime which the secessionists are trying to secede from wages war on the people who want to secede. While peaceful secession is certainly possible, violent secession is also common because the faction from which the others are seceding generally faces some kind of physical losses if they let the other side go.

Without question, the North would have suffered in the short run a good deal if the South was let go peacefully. However, such selfishness is not justification to invade and wage total war on a peaceful people who never asked for such a war. You can even use your old logic in this scenario. The North's invasion of the South was wrong because the South didn't agree to the invasion.

I infer by your tone that you, like so many others in the darkness of ignorance and brainwashing by the public school system and the media, hold Mr. Lincoln in a very high esteem. Again, I'm not here to give history lessons, but you have much to learn about this man. There is a lot of good literature out there which exposes the "real" Abraham Lincoln. If you look for it, it'snot that hard to find. I suggest you start reading up.

"But, in regards to sovereignty, that was a joint sovereignty, meaning that both the Union and the individual states can claim a soverengnty upon each other."

The Union was created by a volunatry agreement between sovereign States. It was to function specifically according to the powers those sovereign States had delegated it. Please read the 10th Amendment. The Federal government then, and even now (with the support of outrageous Federal court decisions) was/is exercising powers which the States never delegated to them. To assign any "sovereingty" to the Union is error. Nowhere in the original Constitution and the first 10 amendments will you find any indication that the States were creating an equal partner in the form of the Federal government. The Federal government was intended from the very beginning to be an instrument and servant of the sovereign States, and NOT the other way around.

"For one party to arbitrarily renounce that claim does not automatically void the rights of the other."

Would you care to explain exactly which "rights" of the Northern States or their citizens were voided when the South seceded from the Federal Union? I can't think of any. However, I can sure think of a whole bunch of rights that were voided when Union armies conquered the erstwhile free people of the South.

Anonymous said...

Mark Thomey, so well said. If the South was left alone, we would have been fine. Things would have worked out on its own. We need that now, without the interference of the NAACP, and other groups like that. Whether you like it or not, secession is coming again. Without Bloodshed. Without fighting. Just because we Southern Folks stick together, both black and white. People teach your children Morals and Values and love for their fellow man.

Laura McCammon said...

This comment doesn't necessarily reflect on the blog article as it does the League itself. I feel I've found myself a home after searching the internet for a saving place for my beloved Southern home and heritage. Thank you, Deo Vindici