The South’s Stockholm Syndrome

The Stockholm Syndrome is a condition where captives or hostages develop a psychological attachment and loyalty to their captors.  Psychologists often describe this syndrome as a “survival strategy.”    This strategy is employed by captives when all hope for returning to a normal life appears to be lost.  By befriending one’s all-powerful captors, life is preserved within the new “normal” order.  This syndrome was first described in 1973 following a hostage standoff in Stockholm Sweden.  Several hostages were held for six days in a bank vault, tortured, and tormented by their captor.  Upon being released, none of the hostages would testify against their captor and even worked in the legal defense of their former captor.  For Americans the most noted case of the Stockholm Syndrome centers around the 1974 kidnapping of Patty Hearst, a member of the wealthy and prominent Hearst Family of California.  Miss Hearst was kidnapped by leftist terrorists known as the Symbionese Liberation Army (SLA).   Hearst’s subsequent cooperation with the SLA, including armed robbery of a bank, resulted in her arrest for bank robbery.

In most cases only a few people are afflicted with this syndrome. But at times and especially under stressful political conditions large segments of a society and even nations can suffer from symptoms of the Stockholm Syndrome.  In fictional literature this syndrome is demonstrated in such works as Orwell’s 1984 or Huxley’s Brave New World.  In real life it can be seen in any nation that has been conquered and occupied by an all-powerful aggressor.  For example, with the fall of France in 1940 a pro German rogue republic, the Vichy Republic, was established in what was known as the “free zone” in France.   An attitude of “go alone to get alone” was soon adopted and followed by many Frenchmen.  This attitude resulted in the citizens of the conquered nation becoming “loyal” to the Nazi invaders of France.  This quasi loyalty was displayed by the French in their cooperation with the Nazi’s efforts to arrest Jews and partisan (loyal) French patriots, assisting in Nazi war production, and allowing without protest the romantic relationship between French women and Nazi soldiers.  During the Cold War the people of nations occupied by the Soviet Union soon began “doing business” with their occupiers to the point that the defeated and occupied nations of Eastern Europe played a large part in the defense of the Soviet Union.  In 1956 the Warsaw Pact was established whereby Eastern European nations “invited” Soviet Union troops to be stationed in their country to defend them from Western aggression.  Not only did Eastern European nations “invite” foreign Soviet troops into their country but each occupied nation’s military provided support to the Soviet Union as member nations of the Warsaw Pact.  As Irish Confederate General Patrick Cleburne and other Irishmen learned in 1846, when your country is defeated and you are faced with starvation, service in the occupying nation’s military may be the only thing that prevents starvation.  This is something conquerors use to fill the ranks of the empires’ foreign military—the very military used to occupy the defeated nation.   This rationalizing of the relationship between the conquered and the conquerors to the point where it leads to the voluntary cooperation with the former enemy is nothing less than a societal form of the Stockholm Syndrome.  These examples demonstrate how and why people can and will rationalize their action vis-à-vis their onetime enemy and present-day captors.

Empires are also eager to employ false respect for their conquered masses as a means of promoting the empire’s safety.  For example, the Soviet Union’s Warsaw Pact was named for the capital of Poland.  Polish history abounds with stories of wars and struggles with Russia.  One would think that Warsaw Poland would not be the seat of power for the Soviet Union’s Eastern European defensive organization, after all, Poland and Russia fought at least fourteen wars between 1558 and 1939.  The Soviet conquerors of Eastern Europe understood how to use false flattery to insure the loyalty of their subjected people.  Also, just as the French had learned in 1939, the Irish in 1846, Poland and Eastern Europe learned in 1955; a conquered people usually will do those things necessary to rationalize the embracing of their conquering master.  This “rationalizing” of the new relationship between themselves and their oppressor tends to hide and sugarcoat past and present sufferings of their people.  What is true for the preceding nations and people is also true for the people of the conquered and occupied Confederate States of America.

The very fact that most Southerners do not accept nor remotely understand the depth of their second-class status in the United States demonstrates the effectiveness of 150 years of Yankee propaganda.  Since the defeat and occupation of the Confederate States of America the Yankee Empire has used “education” to brainwash each generation of Southerners primarily by teaching four false narratives  (1) we are all better off since the South lost the war; (2) All Americans have equal access to a high standard of living; (3) equality before the law is foundational to “our way of life”; and, (4) the “Civil War” is over and only extremists would view the fight for Southern freedom as worthy of a contemporary endeavor. The embracing of these false narratives by the people of the South is clearly driven home in a recently released book dealing with a distinguished Louisiana Confederate unit.  The author, a noted professor, did an excellent job chronicling the heroic and tenacious military élan of some of the Confederacy’s most outstanding warriors in the cause of Southern independence.  Nevertheless, on the last page of his otherwise outstanding book, he proceeds to inform his readers that “The Civil War is Really Over.”  To support his contention that the “Civil War” is over, the author details how the Louisiana National Guard (the descendants of the Louisiana Tigers) and the New York National Guard (which traces its history back to the Irish Brigade—both units being “Civil War” units) were combined and fought side by side in Iraq. The last time these two units were “together” was during the Battle of Malvern Hill when the Louisianans and their fellow Confederates were trying to expel an invader from their country.   Yes, the military actions of the War for Southern Independence are over but does that mean that the young men from Louisiana and the young men from New York live in a land of freedom and equal opportunity?  If indeed the so-called war is over then these “brothers-in-arms” should have a lifestyle that is equal and free—freedom as given to us by our colonial ancestors.  Remember that the foundation of American freedom is announced in the Declaration of Independence.  In that document our ancestors boldly proclaim that legitimate government only existed by the consent of the governed.  When coercion replaces consent, freedom is nullified and an illegitimate government replaces the once legitimate government.   It is upon these points that the author’s fantasy of “one nation united, equal and free” begins to disintegrate.

One cannot compare but must contrast the pathetic emotional appeal of this Louisiana author/professor’s statement to the words of Louisiana’s Governor, Sam H. Jones who in 1943 stated, “But here in America, for more than a hundred years, we have witnessed and lived through…a process that has for its purpose the reduction of the fairest portion of our country to the permanent status of a conquered province.  For more than a hundred years the Southern part of the United States has been the victim of a studied plan to overcome its [the South] superior economic advantages and reduce it [the South] to a state of economic vassalage.”[i] [Emphasis added] Men who are citizens of a “conquered province” who have been reduced to “economic vassalage” are the inferiors not the equals of their conquerors.  Conquerors who, flushed with ill-gotten gain (filthy lucre), have become wealthy at the expense of the conquered.

Speaking in 1943, during the middle of WWII, Governor Jones condemns the plundering of the South not just during the War for Southern Independence but every year since the defeat and occupation of the once free and prosperous South.  This plundering has reduced the South from the most prosperous region of the nation to the nation’s poorest region.  As Governor Jones noted,  “So in spite of the fact that we have today the same land, the same climate, the same natural resources, the same geographical position—and the same strains of blood in our citizenship, 97.8 percent of which is native born—we have the lowest income, the least wealth, the poorest educational facilities, the least number of books in circulation, the smallest bank deposits, the smallest percentage of insurance assets, the most limited advantages in health and hygiene, the most eroded soils, the poorest agriculture and the most ineffective representation in the affairs of the nation; not because of the quality of that leadership but because of the existing political system.”[ii]  So, professor, where is the “one nation with liberty and justice for all” where the children of the South have an equal chance for education, professional advancement, and equal pay?  That nation does not exist!  What does exist is a commercial empire controlled by Wall Street in New York and K Street in Washington.  This empire is more than willing to use Southern children as cannon fodder for their no-win wars to protect their commercial empire.  As General Smedley Butler, USMC, the most decorated Marine during his lifetime, noted in his book War is a Racket, the American commercial empire has turned the American military into Wall Street hit men.[iii]

As pointed out in Punished with Poverty: The Suffering South, the reduction of the South from the wealthiest section of the United States to the most poverty laden section is no accident.  In 1943, Gov. Jones noted that at one time the South was wealthy well beyond the imagination of modern-day Southerners.  More recently a study from the University of California—Davis and Harvard University also “discovered” that indeed from the colonial era to 1860 the South was the wealthiest section of the United States.[iv]  This wealth did not just reside on the large plantations but extended to free labors of the South whose earnings were higher than Northern labors.  As Gov. Jones noted, “In the year 1850 the total wealth of the nation was approximately seven billion dollars of which 50 percent was located in the South.  Today the total wealth is approximately 300 billion dollars of which the South has only 10 percent.  In 1850 the South had better than 80 percent of the nation’s exports; today it has only about 21 percent.”[v] How can any reasonable person, let alone a “professor,” believe that the citizens of the defeated, conquered and occupied Confederate States of America live in a nation where, “The Civil War is Really Over.”   Those suffering the symptoms of the Stockholm Syndrome could hold and express such feelings but that does not change the dreadful fact of the ongoing poverty and social stigmatization associated with being a member of the defeated and occupied section of the empire.  Not only was this impoverishment true in 1943, when Governor Jones was speaking but today Southerners are still second-class Americans, subjects of the Yankee Empire, and citizens of the defeated and occupied captive nation, the Confederate States of America.

In 1943 Governor Jones of Louisiana was merely exposing for all to see the consequences and reality of defeat for the South.  During the War for Southern Independence a leading Northern newspaper clearly stated its desire to extract a terrible retribution from the South: “We mean to conquer them, Subjugate them” and never permit Southerners to “return to peaceful and contented homes…they must find poverty at their firesides, and see privation in the anxious eyes of mothers and the rags of children.”[vi] This poverty lasted well beyond the War and Reconstruction—it continues to this day.  This punishment of poverty is clearly demonstrated when looking at the U.S. median household income by state.  Looking at household median income it is obvious that every Southern State falls below the national median for household income—the War is Not over!

Today a child born in the South has a 30% lower lifetime income earning expectation than a child born in the North—the War is NOT over!  The major institutions of learning, those institutions which fill the highest ranks of business, industry, and national political leadership are all located in the North and filled with Northern students—the War is NOT over!  There are key cultural differences between Northern society and Southern society for example:  Southerners have the highest church attendance rate in the nation while the North has the lowest church attendance rate; the South has the highest per capita charitable giving rate while the North has the lowest per capita charitable giving rate; the lowest per capita income is in Southern States, while the highest per capita income is in Northern States; all Southern States have the highest conservative voting record in the nation while its Northern counterpart has the highest liberal voting record (this is a disaster for the South because in the U. S. Congress, liberals out vote Southern conservatives).  NO, THE WAR IS NOT OVER!

Today it is the South and its cultural heritage that is under attack by the politically correct establishment.  Everything from displaying the Ten Commandments to maintaining Confederate monuments is attacked, thus depriving a conquered people the right to display pride in their history, their spiritual values, their region, and their people.  Despite all of this, we are assured that “The War is Really Over!”  Here is the harsh truth that too many Southerners including Southern authors, professors, and political leaders do not want to hear:  The false narrative that “The War is Really Over” is merely code-words for the sad reality of Vae Victis, Woe to the Vanquished!  For much too long the condition of social, economic and political poverty has been tolerated by the Southern people.  This tolerance has been used by our conqueror to teach Southerners to accept their role as second-class Americans.   This tolerance assures that Southerners will continue living under a government by coercion rather than demanding the American Right to live under a government by the free and unfettered consent of the governed.  America’s Founding Fathers understood that living under a government by coercion nullifies freedom—yet pacified Southerners pretend they can’t see this reality.  By ignoring this reality, we only assure that the next generation of Southerners, like the present one, will not be free.  As citizens of the vanquished nation, the Confederate States of America, we can only ask, “How many years can some people exist before they are allowed to be free?  How many times can a man turn his head and pretend he just does not see?  The answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind.”

The answer is blowing in the wind.

[i] Sam H. Jones, ‘The Plundered South,’ as cited in The Abbeville Blog, https://www.abbevilleinstitute.org/blog/the-plundered-south/  pulled 2/6/18

[ii] Ibid

[iii] Smedley D. Butler, War is a Racket, (Feral House, Port Townsend, WA: 1936) 10.  Charmers Johnson, Sorrows of Empire, (Henry Holt and Co., NY: 2004), 169.

[iv] Kennedy and Kennedy, Punished with Poverty: The Suffering South, (Shotwell Publishing, Columbia, SC: 2017) 15-32.

[v] Jones, ‘The Plundered South.’

[vi] Simkins, Francis Butler, A History of the South, (Alfred A. Knopf, NY: 1959), 219.

About Walter D. (Donnie) Kennedy

Walter D. (Donnie) Kennedy was born and reared in Mississippi. Donnie moved to Louisiana at the age of 19. He received his bachelor’s degree form the University of Louisiana, Monroe, La. and graduated Charlotte Memorial Medical Center School of Anesthesia, Charlotte, NC. Donnie and his twin brother, Ron, are best known for their bestselling book, The South Was Right! having sold more than 130,000 copies as of 2014. The Kennedy Twins have written eight other books since the release of The South Was Right! as well as editing, annotating and republishing an 1825 textbook on the Constitution by William Rawle. Donnie is the author of Myths of American Slavery and Rekilling Lincoln, (release date, Spring 2015). Both Donnie and his twin brother have served as commander of the Louisiana Division, Sons of Confederate Veterans. They have received awards and special recognition from numerous conservative and Southern organizations. The Kennedy Twins have been interviewed by numerous media outlets such as British Broadcasting Corporation, French National T.V., Al Jazeera, and numerous American radio and T.V. hosts. More from Walter D. (Donnie) Kennedy

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