As a Southerner, I have always enjoyed the simple joy of driving down the backroads of Alabama. The black top two lanes that cut through the state are beautiful, flanked by old pecan orchards and cattle farms, where rustic tractors sit half visible behind tall grass, like monuments to our agrarian roots. Amongst the hand-painted signs and well-worn service stations that line these roads lies the heart of Alabama.

Yet, the heart of Alabama is changing, and I cannot help but feel a tinge of sorrow as I witness the transformation unfolding before my eyes. The small farms that dotted the landscape have been gradually replaced by sprawling subdivisions, where rows of characterless houses emerge almost overnight. The charming service stations, where old men used to pass the time with stories of old, now yield to the yellow-black glow of Dollar General, emblematic of the creeping homogenization brought about by modernity.

Indeed, the South has seen an industrial renaissance in the past two decades. Lured by the promise of low taxes and a union-free workforce, industries have flocked to our region. Yet, we have always been an agrarian people, our roots deeply intertwined with the land. This seismic shift from agriculture to industry marks a profound change, one that leaves me with mixed feelings.

As the tech, film, aerospace, and automotive sectors make their way to our warmer climate, the landscape continues to shift. My home state of Alabama has quietly emerged as the automotive capital of the United States, hosting five major manufacturers and one hundred and fifty suppliers, employing thousands of Alabamians. It is the same story across the South. The tech industry in North Carolina now employs close to half a million people, while Texas boasts the title of the largest technology exporter since 2012.

There is no denying that this influx of jobs and tax revenue has brought increased prosperity to the South. Yet, it is bittersweet for me, growing up, the South was often seen as poor, uneducated, and archaic, a land that progress forgot. This perception, in a way, shielded us from external influences. When I graduated high school in 2007 my school still celebrated Robert E. Lee Day and the DMV was closed for Confederate Memorial Day. For the most part, we were left to grow and practice our culture in relative seclusion, hidden away in our hollers and farms. Our poverty and perceived cultural stagnation became a protective cloak, preserving our unique identity.

But, the rapid industrialization and urbanization of the South is a Faustian bargain, threatening the very essence of what makes us who we are. We are already seeing our rich customs, traditions, and values being overshadowed or discarded in the relentless pursuit of profit and conformity. How many statues and headstones now lie in ruins or hidden away in storage lockers because transplants brought forth by the lure of money and employment sought to turn the South into little New England?

The consequences of large corporations dictating our cultural landscape weigh heavily on my mind. In a world driven by mass consumption and fleeting trends, I can’t help but worry that the vibrancy and authenticity of our Southern traditions may be reduced to mere commodities, stripped of their true essence and significance. The introduction of conflicting values from diverse backgrounds further compounds these concerns, as it threatens to dilute the very core of our heritage and erode our collective identity.

Moreover, the rapid expansion of urban centers raises valid concerns about the displacement of longstanding communities. Iconic cities like Atlanta and North Carolina’s Research Triangle now wield significant influence, overshadowing rural areas and threatening the very fabric that has nurtured our customs and shaped our collective memory for generations.

Reflecting on this situation, I find myself drawn to Christ’s words in Mark 8:36, “For what shall it profit a man if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” Are we willing our identity for GDP and manicured lawns? Is increased tax revenue worth forced cultural amnesia? I for one do not want a South that is indistinguishable from Ohio or Illinois.

In the face of “Americanization”, it is incumbent upon us, as Southerners, to band together and safeguard what is dear to us. We must become active stewards of our culture, tenaciously protecting the traditions that define us. It is crucial to preserve our heritage through grassroots efforts, community involvement, and the passing down of knowledge from one generation to the next. We must teach our sons and daughters to sing “Dixie Land,” to hold names like Lee, Jackson, and Davis in reverence because, when money dries up, it will be our children who remain.

Let us celebrate the shared heritage that binds us, cherishing our customs and traditions as treasures to be nurtured and safeguarded. As proud keepers of our cultural richness, we must strive to instill a sense of pride in the next generation. By fostering a collective commitment to our Southern identity, we can create a legacy that stands the test of time and weathers the storms of modernization.

In the midst of rapid change, we must remain steadfast in our dedication to preserving the soul of the American South. Our culture is a tapestry woven from the threads of our ancestors’ resilience, our communities’ strength, and our vibrant traditions. Our children deserve to experience the backroads, the pecan orchards, cattle farms, and rustic tractors, for they are more than mere scenic beauty – they are symbols of our identity, our roots, and the very essence of who we are as Southerners. With reverence for our past and determination for our future, we can ensure that the heart of Dixie continues to thrive, ever vibrant and deeply cherished, and if all else fails we should remind economic guests, “A Southen man don’t need them around anyhow”.

John Slaughter

John Slaughter is a native Alabamaian. He is a graduate of Troy University, a Marine Corps Veteran, and an aspiring novelist.


  • Paul H. Yarbrough says:

    Mr. Slaughter
    Well said, sadly. This article is the simple theme in a short story I wrote about 5 years ago. The Abbeville Institute was kind enough to post it. I HEARD A VOICE.
    Yours is a good description of what is evolving in the South.

  • William Quinton Platt III says:

    First, you must have children, and then you must teach them well.

    Battles cannot be won without soldiers. Convert the yankees to truth. It is possible. I have done so. Show them UP FROM SLAVERY…just the first chapter will do. Ask them to read the Corwin Amendment. They’re thick-headed, but you will find attached to their arms a gonkulator…it binds them to the internet, where truth can be found.

  • Barbara says:

    Southerners are different from people in the north and there is no amount of commercialism that will ever change us. It is bred in the bone.

    I read The Honorable Cause, A Free South, a book of essays by different writers, about the south once more seceding. The problem is that the south is not southern any more with all the diversity that has been forced upon this country. We are a unique people, that’s for certain. Something needs to be done.

    The problem is that there is a group of elites who have total control of every government in the world and they dictate everything. They want to “blend” the races or at least that has been the plan for at least a century but with the new technology that is being developed, AI, robots, neuro links etc their plans have been slightly altered.

    They now plan for humans to become bio-mechanical so that AI will not become smarter than us. They want to merge with machines and create virtual reality like that in dystopian movies. And they are killing a large percentage of the world’s population with vaccines and continual wars. They are creating 15 minute cities where we will be unable to escape. They are introducing digital currency and a Chinese style Social Credit system. If we even talk about any subject they don’t like we will have no money because they will freeze our accounts. They will know everything about what we do as a result of the tech they are even now using to spy on us so that there is no privacy or freedom.

    Southerners must have leaders who are smart enough to stop these evil elites. If we could do that we could then secure a southern homeland but otherwise it is pointless to talk about it. The current situation would never have resulted with southern people but has been brought by the north, we just need to find a way to op out. We should never comply with anything the federal government tries to force on us but our governors and legislators always toe their line. We need to organize as a people opposed to the one world government and the Great Reset. This opposition would set us apart and reveal our uniqueness as a people better than trying to go back in history which is never possible for any people.

    To set ourselves apart from the north which has brought us to this point of utter destruction by technocrats, would better reveal our true and superior better natures than anything else we could ever do.

    Also, it is painful to watch this interview that William F. Buckley did with Eudora Welty and Walker Percy but it is very revealing as Buckley attempts to get to the difference between the north and the south. We don’t know what it is, it just is.

  • Good thoughts, well written.
    “Culture Commands.” The South is a distinct Culture and branch of American Civilization. The seven institutions which shape culture and civilization are government – includes the family, business, education, media, arts and entertainment, religion, and family. Nationally, five of these institutions are in the hands of the Human Secularist Totalitarians – the Left. In the South they control or have serious inroads as well.

    Every culture changes over time. It’s up to Southerners to evolve our institutions as we see fit. That starts with family and religion.

    I’ve given presentations on the Origins of the Culture War and How the American Left Went Commie. I’m writing out those presentations in prose in monthly installments for a regional Virginia paper. A key take away is our culture of “Family (Family, Family), Freedom, and Faith” is powerful and still ascendent.

  • Bert Jones says:

    Mr Slaughter, what a wonderful article with so much insight. It’s so true, we have to preserve the part of our Heritage that makes us Special. It want just happen, we must work at it. I believe our progress can embrace the Southern way of life, and make us even greater Americans.

  • Tom Wiggins says:

    My 5th great grand father, is among the oldest graves in the state of Alabama. He was described as a hero in the battle of Wilmington during the American revolution.
    In 1865, Monroe county, home of Sparta, a town with no men to defend it, was razed at least a week after Lee surrendered.
    Indeed the “heart of Dixie” was cast into the dark ages after their expulsion of the union league and carpetbaggers.
    Fictional works, such as the novel “to kill a mockingbird” and “roots”, have been portrayed as history, and used as a tool for the commies to brainwash southern youth.
    By emulating our ancestors virtues, we become the monument, with southern blood coursing through our veins.

  • I, a country “boy”, have decided a while back that I
    Am a sort of Native American Indian being pushed out of my country by the New White man. The Industrial Liberal North! The west and northwest also.

    The “damyankee”!

    Yes, I feel the drift to total organ replacement. I think that “they’ are grooming us all to live in spaceships and on airless Mars-like planets.
    No plants, no nature, no pictures on the walls nor family photos either. A sterile “intellectual” life awaits…

    Forgotten is that special “triangle”. a triangle made up where God is at the top and family is at one corner and culture is at the other corner.

    this triangle exists in older cultures like the Italians and immigrant Chinese. The South, though is so huge in size that it is a thorn in the side of those who wish to remove the entire triangle.

    Imagine where even babies will be born from artificial wombs and raised without a mother nor father. Only “mind” will count and a dry sterile mind at that.

    Even now, cities are seen where concrete and steel are the only realities seen as valuable. Nature gets in the way!

    I am a new native American seeing the wave of settlers coming towards my life.

  • Julie Paine says:

    Great article! I feel it with every corn or wheat field they plow under to build a subdivision. This piece brings to mind something I read in a Wendell Berry book:
    “It is the destruction of the world in our own lives that drives us half insane, and more than half.
    To destroy that which we were given in trust: how will we bear it?
    It is our own bodies that we give to be broken, our bodies existing before and after us in clod and cloud, worm and tree that we, driving or driven, despise in our haste to die, our country spent in shiny cars speeding to junk.
    To have lost, wantonly, the ancient forests, the vast grasslands is our madness, the presence in our very bodies of our grief.”

  • Matt C. says:

    Mr. Slaughter, a very good, interesting, poignant article. However, one ought not use and misapply scripture like the U.N. did in NYC on their building in quoting Isaiah 2:4, and how many thousands do in quoting II Chronicles 7:14 in trying to make that verse apply to the U.S. II Chron. 7:14 applies to Israel and Israel only. I don’t think any harm was meant in using Mark 8:36. I realize trying to make a point was in view. But, this has to be said, because the ignorance and indifference today about what is going on in the Bible is beyond appalling. You might already know, but the context of Mark 8 is the issue of Israel’s recognition of their messiah. The gospel of the cross was not in view yet at that point in time, but it is now. So, how one keeps his own soul today, has changed since Mark 8. As interesting and important as I have learned Southern history and the war for Southern Independence to be, unlearning and erasing that history, or living for it, is not going to make or break whether one loses his soul or not. I’m not certain how important it is to keep alive the South and Southern history. But, what I do know is certain is this: when the Lord returns, He is going to violently take back this earth, which is His, and all nations are going to submit to Israel and their King who will reign from Jerusalem. Love and keep the South alive, fine. But folks had better make time, if they haven’t already done so, to believe in and trust the Saviour (for the payment of their sins) before it’s too late so as to truly keep and save their own soul. That’s the will of God, 1 Tim. 2:4.

  • Matt C. says:

    And Mr. Slaughter, and anyone else, it might interest you to know, that among the handful of those who are the greatest Bible teachers in America in the latter 20th century and this century, one of them is from Alabama; born, raised and grew up there. That is not an opinion, it’s a fact. I grew up and was raised in the Yankee north, so me stating that should probably be very noteworthy.

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