The Power of the Powerless

‘The first step in liquidating a people is to erase its memory. Destroy its books, its culture, its history. Then write new books, manufacture a new culture, invent a new history. Before long the nation will begin to forget what it is and what it was. The world around it will forget even faster.’ – Milan Kundera

‘I personally think that a no less effective, exceptionally painful, and in the short term practically irreparable way of eliminating the human race or individual nations would be a decline into barbarism, the abandonment of reason and learning, the loss of traditions and memory. The ruling regime – partly intentionally, partly thanks to its essentially nihilistic nature – has done everything it can to achieve that goal. The aim of independent citizens’ movements that try to create a parallel polis must be precisely the opposite: We must not be discouraged by previous failures, and we must consider the area of schooling and education as one of our main priorities.’ – Václav Benda

In ‘The Remnant’ (I, II, and III) I attempted to channel the anger and despair that we are all feeling as we witness the wanton destruction of our history – what has been aptly termed ‘an American Kristallnacht – into a statement that was both cathartic and constructive.

We cannot conceivably win in the short run, but we can deny our enemies victory in the short run and set ourselves up for victory in the long run. Yet we must first accept that we do not have the physical power,[1] much less political power,[2] to protect our monuments and other historical symbols from destruction and accept that virtually all of them will be destroyed. A few years ago such a dire prediction would have been alarmist, even given the changing demographics of the nü-South, but the moral panic which has convulsed the country – mainstreaming/normalising neo-Marxist and post-modernist ideas which were heretofore quarantined on the far-left – has left no safe spaces for Confederate monuments anywhere. The American South, in a secularised recreation of the ancient religious ritual of the scapegoat,[3] will be scoured of all symbols of our history.

How sweeping will the scouring be? The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, in what will be the largest project in its history, has announced that it is going to spend a quarter-billion dollars to ‘reimagine’ and ‘recontextualise’ American monuments. What this means is funding the removal of monuments, of course, as well as funding the work of artists who will be replacing those old monuments with new ones. One example of what ‘reimagining’ and ‘recontextualising’ monuments will look like is what is currently happening to Robert E. Lee, the last Confederate standing Aslan-like in the nü-Southern city of Richmond, Virginia – the projection of blown-up colour pictures of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd, or the ‘Pride’ rainbow flag, onto the statue.

How sweeping will the scouring be? In Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser’s working group on ‘Facilities and Commemorative Expressions’ (DCFACES) published a report calling for the figurative and literal deconstruction of public spaces in the nation’s capital. According to DCFACES, any place named after someone whom they judged guilty of ‘participation in slavery,’ ‘involvement in systemic racism,’ ‘support for oppression,’ ‘involvement in supremacist agenda,’ and ‘violation of the D.C. Human Rights Act’ (passed in 1977) is to be renamed if possible and removed if necessary. Who are these enemies of humanity whose names will be erased from every school, street, structure, or other public space in Washington, D.C.? ‘Alexander Graham Bell’ (a Scottish immigrant who invented the telephone), ‘James Monroe’ (the last of the Founders to be President), ‘Thomas Jefferson’ (who, among countless other contributions as one of the greatest Founders, abolished the slave trade as U.S. President), ‘Francis Scott Key’ (the composer of the national anthem ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’), ‘Zachary Taylor’ (a hero of the Mexican War and U.S. President), ‘John Tyler’ (a U.S. President who later served in the Confederate Congress when his state seceded), ‘Woodrow Wilson’ (the progressive professor who became U.S. President and won the Nobel Peace Prize for his diplomacy after World War I), ‘William Henry Harrison’ (a hero of the Mexican War and U.S. President), ‘Francis Preston Blair Jr.’ (a Republican partisan of Abraham Lincoln and a Union soldier who forcibly prevented Missouri from seceding), ‘Benjamin Franklin’ (who, among countless other contributions as one of the greatest Founders, co-founded the ‘Pennsylvania Society for Promoting the Abolition of Slavery’), ‘Andrew Jackson’ (a hero of the War of 1812, the founder of the Democratic Party, and the first populist/nationalist President), ‘Abel P. Upshur’ (a diplomat who brought the independent Texas into the Union and a jurist who authored an authoritative commentary on the Constitution), and many more. Furthermore, DCFACES calls for the physical removal of the Columbus Fountains, the Benjamin Franklin Statue, the Andrew Jackson Statue, the Jefferson Memorial, the George Mason Memorial (after the ‘Father of the Bill of Rights’), the Newlands Memorial Fountain, the Albert Pike Statue (which had already been lynched by a ‘Black Lives Matter’ and ‘Antifa’ mob), the Washington Monument, and the George Washington Statue. None of these men are worth honouring in any way, no matter how great they were, because they do not meet the ‘woke’ standard of what is good. Even someone like Francis Blair, who was decisive in winning the Civil War for the Union, is not to be spared. Yet there is also a surprising degree of inconsistency and ignorance from DCFACES (and not just because the city itself, named after two enemies of humanity, ‘Washington, District of Columbia,’ is left unchanged). Nothing about Abraham Lincoln, including his Jupiterian-esque memorial, is to be renamed or removed, even though he was – unlike, say, Benjamin Franklin – an avowed white supremacist who was against slavery but did not believe that black people were equal to or should integrate with white people. William T. Sherman (the Union commander who violently hated the black people whom he encountered in the American South and even more violently exterminated the American Indians in the Great Plains) gets to keep his monument and plaza. The same goes for Philip H. Sheridan (the Union commander who served underneath Sherman in the genocide of the Plains Tribes), who gets to keep his monument and circle. Apparently, killing enough Southerners between 1861 and 1865 gets you a pass with DCFACES.

How sweeping will the scouring be? When Pres. Trump gave a conventionally patriotic speech on the Fourth of July at Mount Rushmore, MSNBC (which, as Matt Taibbi argues in his new book Hate Inc., has rebranded itself into a left-wing mirror-image of FOX News) reacted by denouncing the holiday and the monument. Yamiche Alcindor claimed that ‘this idea that America treated people well, they treated men and women equally, that we founded this country just by our own wit’ was ‘a myth’ and ‘just a lie.’ Ari Melber claimed that Americans ‘erase, ignore, lie, about the ugly parts of our history’ through ‘political propaganda’ (yet as far as I can tell, all of the ‘propaganda’ coming out of the entertainment and news media, the education system, Corporate America, etc., seems to be to the contrary). ‘Mount Rushmore isn’t exactly the innocent ode to our Founding Fathers as described in our textbooks, and it’s high time we disrupt that false narrative that far too many people believe,’ proclaimed Tiffany Cross. ‘Here we are, celebrating the birth of a nation – independence for white men at a sight described by one Native-American activist as “a symbol of white supremacy.”’ Gyasi Ross complained that Mount Rushmore has been ‘polluted’ and ‘desecrated’ by ‘putting these slave-owning, racist, horrible-horrible white men in 60-foot statues on this wall.’ Cal Perry warned that by choosing to give a speech at Mount Rushmore, the President has chosen a place with a ‘dark’ history. Trymaine Lee explained that ‘it’s not just the land that has been stolen in a place like Mount Rushmore and the Black Hills, it’s the theft of history, the theft of the narrative.’ According to one MSNBC reporter, ‘It’s worth reminding folks that the man who carved the monument behind me had deep ties to the KKK.’[4] CNN was no less radically anti-patriotic. Leyla Santiago described Mount Rushmore as ‘a monument of two slave-owners on land wrestled away from Native Americans’ (don’t you mean ‘owners of enslaved persons,’ Ms. Santiago?). Chris Cuomo referred to Mount Rushmore as ‘the mother of all photo-ops’ and added ‘we know why this President just can’t resist going there.’ The reason that they attack Mount Rushmore as an evil symbol which should not exist is because it is a symbol of the nation which they believe is evil and should not exist, period. As we warned our fellow Americans again and again – to no avail – Confederate monuments are just their starting point, not their stopping point.

The Democrats will continue to make a show of iconoclastic acts of ressentiment against our historical symbols so that they can pander to dead-end identity politics instead of changing policies that would actually make black peoples’ lives better (like charter schools) but would also threaten other constituents and donors who are whiter and richer (like teachers’ unions). Joe Biden may have once been an old-fashioned Democrat who boasted that ‘we Delawareans were on the South’s side in the Civil War’ and joked that Delaware stayed in the Union ‘only because we couldn’t figure out how to get to the South,’ but to be President he has sold his soul to ‘The Evil Party’ and will use what little of his mind he has left to say whatever that party tells him to say. His vice-presidential nominee, Kamala Harris (a Jamaican-Indian immigrant from Canada who, like Barack Obama, has appropriated the African-American identity), is far more representative of the party’s future than Mr. Biden, and unlike her running-mate who waxes nostalgic that ‘America is an idea,’ she defines her family’s adopted country as ‘the scene of a crime.’ Ms. Harris, who could quite possibly replace Mr. Biden as President in office, wants to change ‘Columbus Day’ to ‘Indigenous Peoples Day’ (as has been done in California) and supports reparations for slavery and other forms of discrimination like ‘redlining’ (as is being done in California). Of course, Sen. Harris (who is married to Douglas Emhoff, a Jewish man) has no qualms with the American-backed colonialist suppression of the indigenous population in Palestine and is one of the staunchest Democratic shomers for ‘The Israel Lobby.’[5]

The ‘Stupid Party’ is, as usual, as faithless as it is feckless: On the platform of their national convention the Republicans compared ‘Black Lives Matter’ and ‘Antifa’ to the Southern Confederacy, arguing that Pres. Trump must quell these insurrectionists and seditionists just like ‘the first Republican President’ Pres. Lincoln did. Dan Crenshaw, a U.S. Congressman from Texas who is supposed to be a next-generation/post-Trump party leader, voted with the Democrats to purge statues of Confederates and other Southerners from Capitol Hill, dismissing them as ‘Democrat statues’ (because of that party’s outdated Jeffersonian/Jacksonian history in the American South). Without ever acknowledging his mistake – let alone apologising for it – Rep. Crenshaw later complained when monuments of Washington and Jefferson in Portland, Abraham Lincoln in D.C., Ulysses S. Grant in San Francisco, and Theodore Roosevelt in New York City were vandalised and in some cases demolished.

‘Conservatism, Inc.’ or ‘Big Con,’ which preens that it is more principled than the Republican Party, is actually worse due to the influence of Jaffaite ideology among that ‘movement.’ Republicans, as politicians, can theoretically be pressured into defending our history even if they do not truly believe in what they are doing (though they almost always cave in to the mob), but many conservatives really are true believers in the autocratic and militaristic doctrine that secession was treason and that traitors to ‘the greatest government on God’s footstool’ deserve no mercy. For example, in Imprimis, the newsletter of the neo-conservative Hillsdale College, sports-journalist Jason Whitlock compared ‘Black Lives Matter’ celebrities LeBron James and Colin Kaepernick to Confederate generals Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson for having both fought to ‘divide the country.’ (Stick to sportsball, Mr. Whitlock.) ‘The Lincoln Project’ (a PAC of ‘Never Trump’ neo-conservatives who cannot admit to themselves that Trump was a reaction to their failed leadership) released a commercial condemning the Confederate flag as ‘a flag of hate, division, and losers’ (with the word ‘TREASON’ in block letters over the face of Confederates like Lee), condemning the President for not supporting tearing down the flag and other Confederate symbols, and condemning the President’s supporters for still bearing the Confederate flag.

Suffice it to say that the language that I have for Republicans and conservatives who dare to make such asinine arguments and insolent comparisons is not fit to print.[6]

What the Southern Remnant has to expect from the Democrats and the Republicans is encapsulated in the most recent ‘National Defense Authorisation Act’ (the annual patchwork funding bill that the Congress passes to fund the Pentagon because it is too ineffective of a legislative body to pass a proper budget). The Democratic U.S. Senator from Massachusetts, Elizabeth Warren (that dopey and mousy ‘Karen’ pretending to be a proletarian hero and Cherokee princess) introduced an amendment to the NDAA which not only would rename military bases in the American South named after Confederate generals, but also would remove Confederate monuments from military cemeteries and national parks. In other words, it would undo one of the acts of magnanimity intended to reunify the American North and the American South after the War and Reconstruction. Republican Senators, who are ultimately more loyal to their party and its donors in the military-industrial complex than the people who elected them, voted for Sen. Warren’s amendment. ‘This isn’t the hill to die on,’ one Republican Senator told the reporter Ryan Girdusky – a strange thing to say about removing graves to Americans who did die on a hill for something. Pres. Trump threatened to veto the bill with that amendment, but enough Republicans in the House and the Senate voted for the bill to give it a veto-proof supermajority.[7] As Mary Anna Custis Lee (whose ‘Arlington’ home was confiscated by the Union and turned into the national cemetery which will now be further desecrated) put it to a letter to her husband, ‘Nothing occurs except the heaping up of tyranny & insult from Washington by the meanest most cowardly & unprincipled lot of men ever assembled together to curse any people.’

In sum, just as the Democrats are the fair-weather friends of black people, so the Republicans are the fair-weather friends of white people (that ‘fair weather’ being election season). Republicans who wonder why black people keep voting for the Democrats when the results have been so poor (cf. Baltimore, Chicago, Detroit, and every other black- and Democrat-run city in the U.S.A.) should shut their mouths and ask themselves why they keep voting for the Republicans for just as little or even less.[8] It may be true that black people are enslaved on a ‘Democrat plantation,’ but it is also true that Republicans exploit white voters in the American South just as badly or even worse than they exploited black voters during Reconstruction. ‘Make America Great Again’ is the modern ‘40 Acres and a Mule!’

The destruction of our monuments is more than just a material atrocity, though of course it is a material atrocity akin to the Savonarolan faló delle vanitá (‘bonfire of the vanities’) and the Calvinist Beeldenstorm (‘image storm’). Defacing monuments is a form of effacing history and vice versa. ‘The 1619 Project’ – The New York Times’ campaign to indoctrinate the public that, in its own words, ‘nearly everything that has made America exceptional grew out of slavery’ – is as much a defacement of American monuments as it is an effacement of American history. It is the ‘Kwanzaafication of America,’ a fake history derived from Afrocentric Marxism as much as Kwanzaa is a fake holiday derived from Afrocentric Marxism. ‘The 1619 Project’ is, as one foreign observer has noted, simply ‘replacing one national myth with another’[9] (the former being ‘Lincolnian America’ and the latter being ‘Cultural Marxism’) and accordingly, most criticism of this project has been confined to defending the ‘Treasury of Virtue’[10] and other Lincolnian myths.[11] For example, Pres. Donald Trump’s proposed ‘Garden of American Heroes’ (more like ‘Zeroes’) is thoroughly Lincolnian in its symbolism and his ‘1776 Commission’ is filled with Jaffaite conservatives who are all Lincolnians, too. ‘Jeffersonian America,’ which was the political tradition that prevailed throughout the American federal republic up until the so-called ‘Civil War,’ is now reemerging as an alternative in the civil war between Lincolnian America and Cultural Marxism. Indeed, with its Aristotelian philosophy that governments should be local and small and that people should be united by freedom and friendship, Jeffersonian America is an obvious solution to the current problem of politically incompatible peoples forced together under and fighting for controul over a Hobbesian leviathan. Yet Lincolnians are as opposed to Jeffersonians as they are to the Cultural Marxists (and have been far more effective at opposing the former than the latter, as the enormous success of ‘The 1619 Project’ indicates).

We must be aware, however, that even though we are powerless to preserve our precious monuments, we do have the personal power to preserve what it is those historic monuments symbolise even as the monuments themselves are destroyed. Ultimately, this is more important than the monuments themselves; indeed, it is why the monuments were originally built. To save our people from the same fate as our symbols – the destruction of which is itself an ominously symbolic act – we must secede internally if not externally, so to speak, conserving our culture and civilisation within ourselves so that somehow, sometime, somewhere, the American South can rise again.

In the meantime, however, we can take some bittersweet solace in the fact that despite the sadistic iconoclasm against the symbols of the American South, the polarisation/radicalisation of American politics, the dysfunction of the American system of government, the corruption of the American party system, the degeneracy of American culture, and the disintegration of American society represents the ultimate vindication of the Southern critique of American millenarianism (i.e. ‘The City Upon A Hill’ and ‘The Last, Best Hope for Mankind’), American gnosticism (i.e. ‘The More Perfect Union’ and ‘The Indissoluble Union’), American teleocracy (i.e. ‘The Proposition Nation’ and ‘The Redeemer Nation’), American hubris (i.e. ‘The Exceptional Nation’ and ‘The Indispensable Nation’), and other Hebraic-Puritan ‘isms’ and ‘ologies’ from the Left and the Right to which our compatriots up north have proven so susceptible throughout our country’s very young life.

Indeed, the more we become ‘not friends, but enemies’ – the more that passion breaks our ‘bonds of affection’ – the more that ‘the mystic chords of memory stretching to every living heart and hearthstone’ are replaced with identity politics instilling entitlement and resentment – the more that ‘every battlefield and patriot grave’ is vandalised with revolutionary graffiti/propaganda – and the more that demons prevail over ‘the better angels of our nature’ – then the more that we, the Southern Remnant, can boast ‘Rawlins Lowndes Predicted This,’ ‘John C. Calhoun Was Right,’ and ‘Robert B. Rhett Did Nothing Wrong.’ Yet even now there are still Jaffaite ‘conservatives’ like Andrew Busch fretting about ‘Sleepwalking into Secession’ – as if the technocratic tyranny of the Covid regime and the revolutionary anarchy of the 1619 riots alone have not exemplified the necessity and urgency of a civil and peaceful separation! If the Democrats do ‘blow up’ or ‘burn down’ our federal system of government, as they are threatening to do whether they win or lose, in effect creating a de facto one-party state – by abolishing the Electoral College and equal representation in the Senate, adding the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico as states, and ‘packing’ the Supreme Court as needed – would the Lincolnians finally tolerate the Jeffersonians and consider rethinking that the Union is ‘too big to fail’?

My primary model for ‘The Remnant’ was the Jewish people, of course, from whom the term itself is derived. They prophesied that their people would be all but destroyed as punishment for their sins but that a few of them would remain faithful – ‘a faithful remnant’ – thereby preserving their people and preparing them for their ultimate restoration in Zion. For over two millennia afterward in host countries across the Old World and the New World the Jewish people have, by remaining faithful to their traditions (while also developing a sense of when to bend so as not to break), resisted passive assimilation and active persecution which have claimed many other stateless peoples and have even outlasted many of the states under which they lived. While we Southerners have different characteristics from the Jewish Diaspora (we are ‘Apollonian’ while they were ‘Mercurian,’ though the ancient Israelites were Apollonian and so are the modern Israelis), the story of Jewish survival and revival should be inspiring to any people trying to conserve their unique identity and inheritance amid the inhuman solvent that is mass-culture and multi-culturalism.

The Armenian Diaspora is another excellent example of a ‘faithful remnant’ which is especially close to my heart. My wife is from Armenia, which is one of the oldest cultures and civilisations in the world. Armenia’s capital city of Yerevan, for example, is one of the world’s oldest continuously inhabited cities, dating back nearly 3,000 years to the Bronze Age. Between 1894 and 1924, the ‘Young Turks’ in cahoots with the Kurds nearly killed Armenia forever in what Pope Francis I has called ‘the first genocide of the twentieth century.’ 75% of the Armenian population was exterminated in this genocide, with the remnant concentrated in what became a Soviet state or dispersed throughout the world. Although Armenians now have a homeland of their own again, they are still fighting for their lives against the American- and Israeli-armed Islamist states of Azerbaijan and Turkey. Through my wife’s family and friends in California and our church community here in Florida, I have met all different sorts of Armenians, but regardless of the manifold individual differences between them, each and every one of them have been walking/talking Armenian encyclopedias – capable of performing folk song and dance, cooking folk cuisine, quoting folk and high literature the way that Americans quote sitcoms and stand-up comedy, recalling ancient history as if it were current events, and speaking in their mother tongue. If Southerners were a fraction as passionate about being Southern as Armenians are about being Armenian, then we could be confident that our heritage would never die even after all of the symbols of that heritage are destroyed.

Turkey, as part of its century-old policy of denying the Armenian Genocide, erases the evidence by destroying archaeological remains of Armenian life or by lying that those remains are actually Turkish. For example, last year The Guardian reported that Azerbaijan’s erasure of Armenian heritage in the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh was ‘the worst cultural genocide of the 21st century’ – and that was before Azerbaijan’s ongoing Turkish-backed ethnic cleansing of the Armenians who live there. As much as this ‘double killing’ (killing the people and then killing the memory of their killing) humiliates and infuriates Armenians, it does not make them any less Armenian; if anything, it makes them even stronger. Similarly, punks and thugs spray-painting ‘1619,’ an anarchist ‘A,’ or a Soviet ‘hammer and sickle’ on statues of Robert E. Lee or Stonewall Jackson before tying ropes around their necks, dragging them down to the ground, and dancing on their ruins does not make Lee or Jackson any less heroic and does not have to make us any less Southern.

I also mentioned Rod Dreher’s ‘The Benedict Option,’ which is a version of ‘The Remnant’ inspired by the eponymous saint whose monastic orders were essential to the preservation of Christian and Classical civilisation during the Roman Empire’s decline and fall. In his book, The Benedict Option: A Strategy for Christians in a Post-Christian Nation, Mr. Dreher specifically praises the Czechoslovakian anti-Communist resistance for its concept of ‘anti-political politics’ as examples of an applied Benedict Option. According to Mr. Dreher, ‘The essays that Czech playwright and political prisoner Václav Havel and his circle produced under oppression and persecution far surpassing any that American Christians are likely to experience in the near future offer a powerful vision for authentic Christian politics in a world in which we are a powerless, despised minority.’

Havel’s famous parable of the greengrocer from his seminal essay, ‘The Power of the Powerless,’ explains why so many Americans who mean well but should know better have so submissively succumbed to ‘Black Lives Matter’ and ‘Antifa’ agitprop:

The manager of a fruit-and-vegetable shop places in his window, among the onions and carrots, the slogan: ‘Workers of the world, unite!’ Why does he do it? What is he trying to communicate to the world? Is he genuinely enthusiastic about the idea of unity among the workers of the world? Is his enthusiasm so great that he feels an irrepressible impulse to acquaint the public with his ideals? Has he really given more than a moment’s thought to how such a unification might occur and what it would mean?

I think it can be safely assumed that the overwhelming majority of shopkeepers never think about the slogans they put in their windows, nor do they use them to express their real opinions. That poster was delivered to our greengrocer from the enterprise headquarters along with the onions and carrots. He put them all in the window simply because it has been done that way for years, because everyone does it, and because that is the way it has to be. If he were to refuse, there could be trouble. He could be reproached for not having the proper decoration in his window; someone might even accuse him of disloyalty. He does it because these things must be done if one is to get along in life. It is one of the thousands of details that guarantee him a relatively tranquil life ‘in harmony with society,’ as they say.

Obviously the greengrocer is indifferent to the semantic content of the slogan on exhibit; he does not put the slogan in his window from any personal desire to acquaint the public with the ideal it expresses. This, of course, does not mean that his action has no motive or significance at all, or that the slogan communicates nothing to anyone. The slogan is really a sign, and as such it contains a subliminal but very definite message. Verbally, it might be expressed this way: ‘I, the greengrocer, live here and I know what I must do. I behave in the manner expected of me. I can be depended upon and am beyond reproach. I am obedient and therefore I have the right to be left in peace.’ This message, of course, has an addressee: It is directed above, to the greengrocer’s superior, and at the same time it is a shield that protects the greengrocer from potential informers. The slogan’s real meaning, therefore, is rooted firmly in the greengrocer’s existence. It reflects his vital interests. But what are those vital interests?

Let us take note: If the greengrocer had been instructed to display the slogan, ‘I am afraid and therefore unquestioningly obedient,’ he would not be nearly as indifferent to its semantics, even though the statement would reflect the truth. The greengrocer would be embarrassed and ashamed to put such an equivocal statement of his own degradation in the shop window, and quite naturally so, for he is a human being and thus a sense of his own dignity. To overcome this complication, his expression of loyalty must take the form of a sign which, at least on its textual surface, indicates a level of disinterested conviction. It must allow the greengrocer to say, ‘What’s wrong with the workers of the world uniting?’ Thus the sign helps the greengrocer to conceal from himself the low foundations of his obedience, at the same time concealing the low foundations of power. It hides them behind the façade of something high. And that something is ideology.

Ideology is a specious way of relating to the world. It offers human beings the illusion of an identity, of dignity, and of morality while making it easier for them to part with them. As the repository of something suprapersonal and objective, it enables people to deceive their conscience and conceal their true position and their inglorious modus vivendi, both from the world and from themselves. It is a very pragmatic but, at the same time, an apparently dignified way of legitimizing what is above, below, and on either side. It is directed toward people and toward God. It is a veil behind which human beings can hide their own fallen existence, their trivialization, and their adaptation to the status quo. It is an excuse that everyone can use, from the greengrocer, who conceals his fear of losing his job behind an alleged interest in the unification of the workers of the world, to the highest functionary, whose interest in staying in power can be cloaked in phrases about service to the working class. The primary excusatory function of ideology, therefore, is to provide people, both as victims and pillars of the post-totalitarian system, with the illusion that the system is in harmony with the human order and the order of the universe.

The smaller a dictatorship and the less-stratified by modernization the society under it, the more directly the will of the dictator can be exercised. In other words, the dictator can employ more or less naked discipline, avoiding the complex processes of relating to the world and of self-justification which ideology involves. But the more complex the mechanisms of power become, the larger and more stratified the society they embrace, and the longer they have operated historically, the more individuals must be connected to them from outside, and the greater the importance attached to the ideological excuse. It acts as a kind of bridge between the regime and the people, across which the regime approaches the people and the people approach the regime. This explains why ideology plays such an important role in the post-totalitarian system: That complex machinery of units, hierarchies, transmission belts, and indirect instruments of manipulation which ensure in countless ways the integrity of the regime, leaving nothing to chance, would be quite simply unthinkable without ideology acting as its all-embracing excuse and as the excuse for each of its parts.

Substitute ‘WHITE SILENCE IS VIOLENCE!’ for ‘WORKERS OF THE WORLD, UNITE!’ and this is a practically perfect explanation of the present phenomenon.

Today’s greengrocer is a privileged white person who grew up in a suburban cul-de-sac (perhaps his/her parents moved their family there as part of ‘white flight’), was educated at a private school with other mostly white students, has a managerial/professional job with other mostly white coworkers, and assuming he/she is not a single ‘dog mom’ or ‘cat dad’ (which is more likely) is married to another white person. He/she is exactly whom ‘Stuff White People Like’ deftly satirised. If this person happens to know any black people at all, then they are just as privileged as he/she is – less the tragic victims and villains of ‘The Wire’ and more the overgrown adolescents of ‘Dear White People.’ In other words, as the great Joe Sobran put it, ‘In their mating and migratory habits, liberals are indistinguishable from members of the Ku Klux Klan.’

Today’s ideology is ‘Anti-Racism,’ which despite its friendly-sounding name is not simply ‘not being racist’ or ‘being against racism,’ but is actually a deterministic and dialectical theory of racial conflict derived from Marxism’s deterministic and dialectical theory of class conflict and combined with post-modernism. (According to this ideology, greengrocers who think that being ‘not racist’ or ‘against racism’ is good enough, as we all grew up hearing from the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King and his disciples, are actually racists themselves!) Anti-Racism is anti-individualist: Influenced by identity politics, it compulsively segregates people into tribalist blocs based on their ethnicity/race, which it assumes is the most defining aspect of their personal identity. Anti-Racism is anti-meritocratic: Influenced by critical race theory, it judges people not according to the content of their character, but according to the colour of their skin (and, in the interest of ‘intersectionality,’ according to whatever other designated victim groups they may belong, e.g. ‘I’m a transgendered and handicapped black lesbian’). Anti-Racism is anti-social: Influenced by the ‘diversity training’ racket, it reduces every interaction between individuals of different ethnic/racial backgrounds, however innocent or mundane it may seem to everyone involved, as symbolic power struggles fraught with whatever ‘bad blood’ exists between the groups to which they belong. Anti-Racism is anti-objective: Influenced by post-modernist epistemology and methodology, it rejects civil discourse, empirical evidence, and logical argument as subjective constructs which white people impose on non-white people in order to maintain their racial supremacy. Anti-racism is a ‘woke’ funhouse mirror-image of the racist alt-right; it is the ‘alt-left.’

Today’s regime is not the government, but the cultural, economic, and social forces which are upstream of politics. (‘Black Lives Matter’ is more popular than any politician or political party, though there is some dissonance between what many greengrocers believe that movement stands for and that movement’s demands for mass-decriminalisation, mass-deincarceration, ‘defunding the police,’ race-preferential discrimination, race-based redistribution of wealth, reeducation of ‘racist’ thoughts, repression of ‘racist’ speech, and more.) When celebrities ‘black out’ their social-media profiles in honour of ‘Black Lives Matter,’ when Nike airs ‘Black Lives Matter’ commercials and sponsors ‘Black Lives Matter’ figureheads, when Amazon and Walmart donate hundreds of millions of dollars to ‘Black Lives Matter,’ when the NBA and NFL paint ‘Black Lives Matter’ on their courts and fields and NBA and NFL players kneel in protest during the national anthem to show solidarity with ‘Black Lives Matter, when Netflix and Apple promote ‘Black Lives Matter’ documentaries on their streaming services, when Barnes and Noble put ‘Black Lives Matter’ books on display in their storefronts, all of that has far more of a downstream effect on the public than anything that our gerontocratic political class says or does. Indeed, those babbling, doddering septuagenarians and octogenarians are merely going with the flow. Whose mind was ever changed by something that Mitch McConnell or Nancy Pelosi said?

This regime does not have its own Cheka, Gestapo, or Stasi secret-police force – yet – though it does not need one, as greengrocers freely snitch on each other in order to signal their own virtue or ‘go viral.’ It is worth noting that even though one of the most iconic snitches of all time, ‘Pavlik,’ was praised in public by Stalin for turning in his own father, in private even Stalin expressed disbelief and disgust with that boy. ‘What a little swine, denouncing his own father!’ Stalin reportedly exclaimed. Social media makes it easy for modern-day Pavliks to dig up dirt on anyone and spread it around as widely and quickly as possible. ‘Cancel culture’ is the popular name for this vicious behaviour.

There is only one caveat: Havel has no equivalent in his greengrocer’s parable for the masochism and narcissism of liberal White Americans, who perversely love to feel good about themselves by feeling bad about being White and American. Even though the Communists attempted to convince the Czechoslovakians to hate their pre-Communist history as barbaric, dissidents like Havel proudly identified with their ethnicity and nationality.


[1] As thrilling as it sounds to take up arms and stand guard around our heroes (and there is no doubt that we would utterly rout these punks and thugs in a fair fight), those would be utterly pyrrhic victories. The fact is that mob violence against property and even people is protected as ‘peaceful protests’ while private citizens who do what the police should be doing and defend their communities are punished as if they were ‘domestic terrorists’! As the great Sam Francis put it, this peculiar form of government – ‘anarcho-tyranny’ – is the worst of both worlds.

[2] Majorities of Americans (naïvely honouring the old ‘Great Compromise’ after the War and Reconstruction) have consistently opposed the destruction of Confederate monuments whenever and wherever they are polled. These polls have never saved a single monument, however, because highly mobilised pressure groups with positive media coverage will always trump idle public opinion. Southerners who want to get mobilised should follow James Ronald Kennedy’s plan of action in Dixie Rising: Rules for Rebels (and read the Kennedy Twins’ recent Punished by Poverty and Yankee Empire, too).

[3] H.V. Traywick, Jr., has pointed out how in the Hebraic-Puritan myth of American history the South is always the scapegoat:

And when he has made an end of atoning for the Holy Place, the tabernacle of the meeting, and the altar, he shall bring the live goat. Aaron shall lay both his hands on the head of the live goat, confess over it all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions, concerning all their sins, putting them on the head of the goat, and shall send it away into the wilderness by the hand of a suitable man. The goat shall bear on itself all their iniquities to an uninhabited land; and he shall release the goat into the wilderness. (Leviticus 16:20-22)

If only the Yankees would release us into the wilderness and leave us alone!

[4] John Gutzon de la Mothe Borglum (a first-generation immigrant of Danish Mormons who grew up in the Midwest and lived in New York City) never officially joined the Ku Klux Klan but he was affiliated with it. Borglum sculpted historical monuments which can be found across the U.S.A. and around the world. He is a prime example of ‘the Death of the Artist,’ as his racism, however offensive it is here and now (and even back then and there), has nothing to do with his work.

[5] Israel’s occupation of Palestine is often compared to the ‘Jim Crow’ regime of discrimination, disenfranchisement, and outright terrorism. Former President Jimmy Carter, who was from ‘Jim Crow’ Georgia and has devoted his retirement to ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, has made such a comparison. Yet in a speech to AIPAC, Kamala Harris made the opposite comparison – that it was the legacy of the Civil-Rights Revolution which inspired her to side with the Israeli occupation.

[6] Even Tucker Carlson, whose show is the only one worth watching on the otherwise Republican- and Boomer-geared FOX News, concluded an otherwise excellent segment on his show about Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s anti-Confederate amendment to the NDAA with the following sour note:

We are not defending the Southern Confederacy; we abhor it. Few Americans would defend the Southern Confederacy – and again, we certainly wouldn’t. The Confederacy declared war on the United States [Fact-check? False! Abraham Lincoln unilaterally and unconstitutionally declared war on the C.S.A. while the latter was seeking to negotiate a peaceful resolution of the outstanding issues between the two nations/states with the U.S.A.]. We’re grateful they lost and that their cause was discredited forever by losing [Fact-check? False! The cause of Southern independence was not ‘discredited’ by losing a war any more than the cause of American independence would have been ‘discredited’ if France had not intervened and the Americans had lost the war].

Mr. Carlson should know better than this, given the sheer number of Lincolnian neo-conservatives whom he has made sport of on his show.

[7] The 2021 National Defense Authorisation is the most expensive ever, despite the fact that the U.S.A. is not engaged in any hot wars. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) introduced an amendment requiring the President to remove all American troops from Afghanistan and rescinding the 2001 ‘Authorisation for the Use of Military Force’ in Afghanistan, but the Republican-controulled Senate voted against that amendment. Rep. Jan Shakowsky (D-IL) introduced an amendment prohibiting the President from starting a war with Iran without the Congress’ approval, as required by the Constitution, but the Democratic-controulled House voted against that amendment. Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI) introduced an amendment to cut the Pentagon’s budget by 10%, but the Democratic-controulled House voted against that amendment. The Democratic-controulled House also voted for amendments preventing the President from withdrawing troops stationed in Afghanistan (where they continue to die for nothing) and Germany (where they continue to do nothing). The only anti-war amendments which have survived are those of Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA), who introduced two amendments on Yemen – one preventing the President from continuing to provide military aid to Saudi Arabia’s war or at least requiring the President to account for where that military aid is going and what it is doing. So in a perfect illustration of the puritanical combination of sanctimony and savagery that has defined Yankees throughout their history, the U.S. government making a big show out of the symbolic act of renaming military bases at home while still providing logistical support, sharing intelligence, and selling weapons to Saudi Arabia to aid in its war on Yemen (which the United Nations has described as ‘the world’s worst humanitarian crisis’).

[8] When the NCAA and SEC threatened the University of Mississippi and Mississippi State University that they could not host any postseason games until and unless the Confederate symbol was removed from their state flag, the Republican executive and Republican legislature scrambled to sell out their people’s pride and do themselves what repeated referenda had failed to do. (Woke-Capitalist boycotts of American states have proven extremely effective in overriding democratic governance and dispelling any pretense of local self-government, especially when Republicans are the ones in office.) If only those Republicans had to answer for their treachery to the University Grays (the student regiment from Ole Miss which suffered a 100% casualty rate at Pickett’s Charge), or to the people of Vicksburg (who survived the siege of their city and the bombardment of civilian targets), or to John F. Harris (the slave who became an attorney, the attorney who became a state legislator, and the state legislator who famously championed Confederate monuments).

In 1890, when Mississippi’s state legislature was voting on a bill to appropriate $10,000 for the construction of a Confederate monument in the capitol of Jackson, John F. Harris (a black Republican from Washington County) responded to a white colleague who was critical of the bill:

Mr. Speaker! I have risen here in my place to offer a few words on the bill. I have come from a sick bed, and was forced to struggle up here leaning on the arm of a friend. I stand here in considerable pain. Perhaps it was not prudent for me to come. But, Sir, I could not rest quietly in my room, sick though I am, and allow this discussion to pass without contributing to it a few remarks of my own. I was sorry to hear the speech of the young gentleman from Marshall County. I am sorry that any son of a soldier should go on record as opposed to the erection of a monument in honour of the dead. And, Sir, I am convinced that had he seen what I saw at Seven Pines and in the Seven Days’ fighting around Richmond, the battlefield covered with the mangled forms of those who fought for their country and for their country’s honour, he would not have made that speech. When the news came that the South had been invaded, those men went forth to fight for what they believed, and they made no requests for monuments to commemorate their brave deeds and holy sacrifices. But they died, and their virtues should be remembered. Sir, I went with them. I, too, wore the gray, the same colour that my master wore. We stayed four long years, and if that war had gone on till now I would have been there yet. I know what it all meant, and understand the meaning of my words, when I say that I would have been with my countrymen still had the war continued until this good day. I want to honour those brave men who died for their convictions. When my mother died I was a boy. Who, Sir, then acted the part of a mother to an orphaned slave boy, but my ‘old missus’? Were she living now, or could speak to me from those high realms where are gathered the sainted dead, she would tell me to vote for this bill. And, Sir, I shall vote for it. I want it known to all the world that my voice is given in favour of the bill to erect a monument in honour of the Confederate dead.

Why Republicans, it profits a man nothing to give up his soul for the whole world…but for a bowl game?

[9] In ‘The West’s Monumental Crisis,’ Aris Roussinos explains how ‘the current iconoclasm of liberal democracy is a cautionary tale of civilisational collapse.’

[10] ‘The Treasury of Virtue’ was Robert Penn Warren’s term for Northern self-righteousness from winning the Civil War. Warren was just as critical of Southern self-pity from losing the war, which he termed ‘The Great Alibi.’ According to Warren, these ‘psychological’ costs were of ‘a kind more subtle, pervasive, and continuing, a kind that conditions in a thousand ways the temper of American life today.’

[11] The conceptual framework of ‘Jeffersonian America’ and ‘Lincolnian America’ as irrepressibly conflicted American political mythos, so to speak, comes from the founding father of the Abbeville Institute, Donald W. Livingston (cf. two of his most recent lectures, ‘What is Wrong with Ideology’ from the 2017 Scholars Conference: On Being Southern in an Age of Radicalism and ‘The Disintegration of Lincolnian America’ from the 2018 Scholars Conference: Attacking Confederate Monuments and its Meaning for America).

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