In the summer of 2020, overwhelmed with sorrow and horror over the removal of our historical monuments, the renaming of our historical places, and the rewriting of our history, I wrote a trio, and then a duo, of essays titled ‘The Southern Remnant.’
Inspired by an anonymous writer who advised, ‘We must become living monuments,’ I exhorted others who felt as I felt that we, as ‘the remnant’ of our people, had a duty unto our ancestry and posterity to preserve within ourselves what it was which our monuments symbolised, even if we could not preserve those symbols themselves.
To paraphrase our first and last commander-in-chief, it would be unwise for us to deny this great loss, yet this loss is not without compensation, for our struggle has now entered upon a new phase wherein we are relieved from having to guard particular points, in this case Confederate statues that are easy targets in ‘blued’ Southern cities. Our enemies believe that the conquest of our symbols will be the signal for our submission to their rule, but we shall show them that the hearts of the people whose symbols they conquer are unconquered and unconquerable.
My usage of ‘the remnant’ was drawn from the Bible, specifically the Book of Isaiah. It refers to the Israelites who, during the Babylonian captivity—the beginning of the ‘diaspora’ or ‘exile’—remained faithful to their covenants with God, thereby preserving the memory and identity of their people, until the Persian emperor who conquered Babylon restored them to their homeland and rebuilt their temple in Jerusalem.
The Bible is replete with harrowing scenes of conquest—walls torn down, cities on fire, the men put to death, the women raped, the children and chattel carried off—and while we cannot yet relate to that as our ancestors could, we can relate to the following passages from Isaiah which describe how before the Israelites were destroyed from without they first destroyed themselves from within.
‘For behold, the Lord, the Lord of Hosts, doth take away from Jerusalem and from Judah the stay and the staff, the whole stay of bread, and the whole stay of water.’
‘The Lord standeth up to plead, and standeth to judge the people. The Lord will enter into judgment with the ancients of his people, and the princes thereof: for ye have eaten up the vineyard; the spoil of the poor is in your houses. What mean ye that ye beat my people to pieces, and grind the faces of the poor?
Inflation, shortages, and bailouts are taking away our ‘stay and staff.’ The economy is especially difficult for small businesses, which are capitalism’s closest analogues to the Jeffersonian freeholder, though even they are indebted to and dependent upon the banks. Our ‘princes’ took ‘the spoil of the poor’ into their houses during the pandemic economy, and the post-pandemic economy plans to make this despoilation permanent. Most shocking of all, our princes, having greedily ‘eaten up the vineyard’ in their generation, have thereby made ‘de-dollarisation’ an imminent reality for the next generation, the consequences whereof will ‘grind the faces of the poor’ worse than any tax that they may pass to pay their princely debts.
‘[the Lord of Hosts doth take away] the mighty man, and the man of war, the judge, and the prophet, and the prudent, and the ancient, the captain of fifty, and the honourable man, and the counsellor, and the cunning artificer, and the eloquent orator. And I will give children to be their princes, and babes shall rule over them.’
A kakistocracy has supplanted our Jeffersonian ‘natural aristocracy.’ I am not merely referring to gibbering gerontocrats like the 80 year-old U.S. President Joe Biden, the 83 year-old former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, or the 89 year-old U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein, supreme as they are as symbols of the decadence and senescence of our political elite. (The less said about U.S. Rep. Jarrod Nadler, the better!) Even the leaders of the next generation, like ‘AOC,’ though less infirm, are no less imbecilic and insipid.
Our ‘mighty men’ and ‘men of war’ are—if they are not actually women—bloated old bureaucrats with the airs of a martial caste but an ethos that is essentially managerial and middle-class. These men embody why the Founding Fathers preferred the Second Amendment’s militia to a ‘standing army,’ although they probably expected that potential military tyrants would resemble Alexander Hamilton—that is, ambitious men of actual ability and achievement—and could not have foreseen worthless warfare-state queens like Milley, McChrystal, Mattis, &c.
Our ‘judges,’ ‘prophets,’ and ‘counsellors,’ supposedly ‘prudent,’ ‘ancient,’ and ‘honourable,’ are petty tyrants, partisan hacks, and just plain fools. They do not moderate passions and propose compromises, as statesmen would, but instead, being demagogues, they inflame passions and pronounce ‘irrepressible conflicts’ within the body politick.
In my first draft of this essay, I wrote, ‘Our “cunning artificers” are Woke Capitalists paying lip service to liberals in their marketing whilst doing their business quite illiberally.’ Shortly thereafter, however, I had to add that they are also playing God. They, without any accountability, have invented technology with the power to revolutionise our world by replacing humanity itself.
Our ‘eloquent orators’ are downright inarticulate, not to mention so susceptible to groupthink that they are the worst propagators of ‘fake news.’ Yet that is the least of it! In our corporatist/cronyist political economy, there are ‘revolving doors’ in every industry, and the press—the unfree press—is no exception. This class still insists upon its private privileges even as it practises none of those privileges’ corresponding responsibilities to the public.
‘And the people shall be oppressed, every one by another, and every one by his neighbour: the child shall behave himself proudly against the ancient, and the base against the honourable.’
In these United States we are witnessing the genesis of a ‘soft’ as opposed to a ‘hard’ totalitarianism. Whilst 21st-century America is obviously less physically oppressive than, say, the DDR or the DPRK, it is arguably more meta-physically insidious in how it indoctrinates the mass of individuals and most every institution into its indirect and extra-legal enforcement, every one by another, and every one by his neighbour.’ (I dare say that each and every one of us experienced some friend or even family member turn against with the turning of ‘public opinion,’ as if they had no opinions of their own and did not even know us.)
Nowhere is the tyranny of ‘the base against the honourable’ more apparent than in the state of Southern heritage in these U.S. of A., where children are truly ‘behaving proudly against the ancient.’ Gen. Ty Seidule, one of our aforementioned ‘mighty men of war,’ has, as an anti-Confederate commissar, finally found an enemy which he can defeat—the graves of dead soldiers and other inanimate objects! This tyranny evinces more than an ignorance of historical fact and even more than a definitional ignorance of history itself. What it evinces is an absence of the empathy, humility, and curiosity needed for human understanding. These are not only deficiencies of the head, but also of the heart.
Ultimately, Jerusalem’s corruption led to Jerusalem’s conquest.
‘Thy men shall fall by the sword, and thy mighty in the war. And her gates shall lament and mourn; and she being desolate shall sit upon the ground.’
If this does happen here, it will not be by some modern-day Babylonians, despite what our kakistocrats want us to believe about the Russians and the Chinese. We will do this to ourselves.
It is no wonder that a regime this artificial and afraid of its own people reacted as it did to a riot run amok, pronouncing it ‘the worst attack on our democracy since the Civil War,’ pursuing retribution against its participants, and using it as a pretext to bring ‘the War on Terror’ home from abroad. In the winter of 1787, Thomas Jefferson, reproving the overreaction to Shays Rebellion—an actual armed insurrection—argued that ‘a little rebellion now and then’ is a virtue, as it is a sign of public vitality as opposed to public lethargy, and advocated that under republican governments such rebellions ought to be quelled peaceably and charitably, lest this virtuous ‘spirit of resistance’ also be quelled. Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem, quoth Jefferson, meaning, ‘I prefer the tumult of liberty with danger to the quiet of servitude.’
In other words, those photos of grinning protestors propping up their feet on ‘Nancy Pelosi’s desk’ and carting off ‘Nancy Pelosi’s podium’—oh, the humanity!—and riding the U.S. Grant Memorial waving rebel flags, represent something more authentically American than all of the homilies and harangues about ‘who we are as Americans’ whereto we are now subjected.
Just as demographic change was a part of the experience of the remnant of Israel from the mass population transfers of the Assyrian and the Babylonian empires, so too we are living through a ‘soft’ version of the very same. Deracinated Americans of all demographics are transplanting to the American South and transforming the historic Southern population in historically unprecedented terms. They are not assimilating to us; we are assimilating to them.
The ‘New South,’ from the end of Reconstruction to the end of the Depression, was the replacement of the agrarian Old South with ‘Industrialism,’ which was as much an ideology—of materialism and scientism, of efficiency and uniformity, of ‘progress,’ &c.—as it was an industry itself. This industrial replacement, however, was only partial, and large parts of the New South remained as they were in agrarian times. Moreover, our people remained where they were, and adjusted their newfound Industrialist circumstances to their preexisting Agrarian ideas as much as they adjusted their preexisting Agrarian circumstances to their newfound Industrialist ideas. The ‘nü-South,’ however, is the replacement of our people altogether—to be specific, the reduction of them to minority status in their own historic homeland and the reeducation/resocialisation of that remnant minority not to identify with their history of their homeland.
Lest I be misunderstood, this is not a ‘conspiracy,’ as tempting as the SPLC makes that seem at times, but rather a byproduct of the open borders and open markets within these United States. A union such as this with those who ‘ain’t us’ is possible provided there is a small-f federalist tolerance for ‘pluriversity,’ but disunion is preferable to union with those who ‘hate us.’
‘When a man shall take hold of his brother of the house of his father, saying, Thou has clothing, be thou our ruler, and let this ruin be under thy hand: In that day shall he swear, saying, I will not be an healer; for in my house is neither bread nor clothing: make me not a ruler of the people. For Jerusalem is ruined, and Judah is fallen: because their tongue and their doings are against the Lord, to provoke the eyes of his glory. The shew of their countenance doth witness against them; and they declare their sin as Sodom, they hide it not. Woe unto their soul! For they have rewarded evil unto themselves. Say ye to the righteous, that it shall be well with him: for the reward of his hands shall be given him. Woe unto the wicked! It shall be ill with him: for the reward of his hands shall be given him. As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths.’
The political resistance which we, the remnant of our people, must make against the ‘children’ and ‘women’ that rule over us does not pertain to the American political dichotomy of ‘Red’ versus ‘Blue.’ Both parties have ‘caused us to err and destroyed the way of our paths,’ just like the Israelite kings who fell under foreign influence and misled their people. We ‘Jeffersonians,’ not just in the South but in all the American nations within these United States, have no representation in the party duopoly which has supplanted real small-r republican and small-d democratic government. The ‘ruin’ of these United States is not ‘under our hands.’
Neither the ‘liberal’ Blue Party nor the ‘conservative’ Red Party is on our side. Yet what ought we to have ever expected from either of them? Each is ‘Lincolnian,’ after all, the civil religion thereof is that the union of these U.S. of A. is perpetual and that it has a providential role in human history. According to the Lincolnians, if the constituents of these United States ever again exercise the right of self-determination which they used to form the governments of these United States in the first place, then, verily, ‘government of the people, by the people, and for the people shall perish from the earth.’ Secession is not just ‘the essence of anarchy,’ but an existential apocalypse!
Contrast this fragile nationalism—which compelled 2,000,000 Americans to go to war with 700,000 other Americans and resulted in the deaths of 360,000 of the former and 258,000 of the latter—with Jefferson’s sanguine attitude towards the potential division of the Union after the Louisiana Purchase.
‘Whether we remain in one confederacy, or form into Atlantic and Mississippi confederacies, I believe not very important to the happiness of either part,’ Jefferson wrote to Joseph Priestley in the winter of 1804. ‘Those of the Western confederacy will be as much our children & descendants as those of the Eastern, and I feel myself as much identified with that country, in future time, as with this, and did I now foresee a separation at some future day, yet I should feel the duty & the desire to promote the Western interests as zealously as the Eastern, doing all the good for both portions of our future family which should fall within my power.’
In a letter to John Breckinridge in the summer of 1803, Jefferson noted that in those hypothetical Atlantic and Mississippi confederacies both peoples ‘will be our sons’ and compared that hypothetical division of the Union to ‘the elder & younger son differing.’ Why, asked Jefferson, should ‘we,’ the present generation ‘take side’ in what future generations may decide ‘their happiness should depend on,’ and moreover, why should ‘we,’ in the Atlantic confederacy, ‘take side’ against the Mississippi confederacy? ‘God bless them both, & keep them in union if it be for their good, but separate them if it be better,’ Jefferson concluded sensibly. The ink that the Lincolnians have spilt to deny this self-evident truth is surpassed only by the blood that they have spilt to deny the selfsame.
Incidentally, here Jefferson is calmly considering the question of multiple American unions in a distant time and place. When facing a threat to Virginia in the present, however, his tone was less philosophic and more revolutionary. In the summer of 1799, he wrote to James Madison that whilst he had ‘warm attachment to union with our sister-states, and to the instrument & principles by which we are united,’ whilst he was ‘willing to sacrifice to this everything except those rights of self-government the securing of which was the object of that compact,’ whilst he was ‘not at all disposed to make every measure of error or wrong a cause of scission,’ and whilst he had faith that ‘the good sense of the American people and their attachment to those very rights which we are now vindicating will, before it shall be too late, rally with us round the true principles of our federal compact,’ he was nonetheless ‘determined, were we to be disappointed in this, to sever ourselves from that union we so much value, rather than give up the rights of self-government which we have reserved, and in which alone we see liberty, safety, and happiness.’
When they are forced to debate immigration in public, as they are loathe to do given the gulf of opinion between their voters and their donors, the more ideological Lincolnians will dare to claim that ‘America’ is not a nation proper, but rather a ‘proposition’ whereto anyone anywhere can assimilate anytime.
If they feel emboldened, the Lincolnians may dare claim that natural-born Americans are less authentic than naturalised Americans, as the latter chose to become Americans whereas the former were born into it. The Lincolnians, because of their un-conservative universalism, individualism, and egalitarianism, have no respect for the conservative tradition of ‘birthright’—unlike the Founding Fathers, who in the preamble to the Constitution declared that the ‘more perfect union’ therein and the ‘blessings’ thereof belonged ‘to ourselves and our posterity.’ As far as the Lincolnians are concerned, American identity is nothing more than dedicating oneself to the proposition that ‘all men are created equal,’ however that is interpreted in the current year. The only ‘birthright’ which the Lincolnians believe in is ‘birthright citizenship.’
We Southerners are loyal to our particular people in our particular place, but native allegiances such as these are alien to our Lincolnian compatriots, for whom a ‘DREAMer’ is arguably more American than, well, a descendant of Jefferson or Lincoln. Lincolnians are not ‘patriots,’ with a love of one’s own that is particular, personal, and not uncritical, but ‘nationalists,’ with an utterly uncritical love of oneself and a loathing of others that is impersonal and ideological. Nothing inspires them as much as the memory of ‘tramping out the grapes of wrath’ upon their compatriots.
Pace Aaron Lewis and ‘rednecks north of the Mason-Dixon,’ but it is the nation south of the Mason-Dixon that has been and still is defined by people and place more than any of the other American nations within these U.S. of A., and is the nation that has defied this peculiar anti-blood/anti-soil American nationalism, at terrible loss of its own blood and soil. We are the exception to the Lincolnians’ ‘exceptional nation,’ and I would add that we might as well be foreigners to them if they did not display such a perverse philia for foreigners over natives.
In any event, in the midst of an anti-American cultural revolution which does not discriminate between ‘Lincolnianism’ and ‘Jeffersonianism,’ we might have expected the Lincolnians, especially right-Lincolnians, to show some solidarity with us fellow Americans, out of a survival instinct if nothing else. Yet a friend of mine has written for the Abbeville Institute, Glenn Ellmers and Michael Anton are two fellows from the Claremont Institute who, on the one hand, are able commentators on the current American crisis, but on the other hand endorse pro-‘GOP’ counter-propaganda that is no less pseudo-historical and anti-Southern.
Perhaps the reason for this redoubled Lincolnian rancour is the increasing undeniability that their purportedly perpetual and providential ‘Proposition Nation’ is, in fact, a failed state, held together through sheer inertia, and they are desperate to prevent Americans from learning anything from their history—from anti-Federalists, Copperheads, or America-Firsters, from what Bill Kauffman calls ‘reactionary radicals and front-porch anarchists,’ ‘neighborhood patriots and backcountry rebels,’ and ‘antiwar conservatives and Middle-American anti-imperialists.’
Why, behold their rage that ‘national divorce’ has entered the mainstream! It is quite telling that their counter-argument is not to convince Americans of the pros of union and the cons of disunion, but to appeal to authority. ‘Secession is illegal,’ they say, notwithstanding that secession is not on the Constitution’s list of powers prohibited to the States in Article I, Section 10, and that according to the Tenth Amendment the States retain whatever powers the Constitution does not prohibit to them. You do not need to be a jurist on the order of St. George Tucker, Spencer Roane, or Abel P. Upshur to understand that secession is indeed a ‘State’s right,’ and that Abraham Lincoln ‘settled’ that question as much as the Young Turks ‘settled’ the ‘Armenian Question.’
History is no longer on these peoples’ side. 60% of Americans—Red- and Blue-Staters alike—are in favour of ‘national divorce,’ a higher percentage than voted for Barack Obama! Like so many other silent majorities in ‘our democracy’—77% for ‘official English,’ 75% for ‘voter ID,’ &c.—this has no representation in public life whatsoever. Sooner or later, however, these United States will dissolve, civilly if they can but uncivilly if they must. They are too big not to fail. Sorry, Lincolnians, but as Jefferson Davis said, ‘The principle for which we contend is bound to reassert itself, though it may be at another time and in another form.’
It is our duty, as I wrote in my ‘Southern Remnant’ essays years ago, to ensure that what is true and valuable in our heritage remains, each of us doing our utmost with the gifts that God has given us, so that when we are free we can become who we were meant to be.
We do not want to be free merely to be Red States. The Red Party which governs most of the Southern States (excepting the Old Dominion and Old Line ‘blued’ by the blight of Washington D.C.) is what it has been since Reconstruction, an occupation government, except that now they are promising the modern equivalent of ‘forty acres and a mule’ to the whites rather than the blacks.
Note that heretofore I have said nothing about slavery. How can this be, when, as all Americans have been taught in Social Studies and Sunday School—and now social media, the sine qua non of ‘The Great Awokening’—the South was intertwined with slavery if not itself invented by slavery? It is because our heritage is not all about slavery. There is, of course, a sense wherein it is about slavery, but politicised presentism has rendered any healthy and honest understanding of that sense futile for the time being. No, our heritage is about more than just slavery, and it is that more which we, ‘the faithful remnant,’ remember and shall continue to honour.
‘There is value in bearing witness to what is being lost,’ wrote John Shelton Reed in Gravy, the journal of the Southern Foodways Alliance, bemoaning that barbeque’s trendiness is coming at a cost to its folksiness. Mr. Reed has not merely borne witness to what is being lost, however, but is fighting to keep what is valuable from being lost. ‘A few years back…I started the aforementioned Campaign for Real Barbecue…to honor and promote old-time restaurants that cook with wood and to encourage new ones,’ he wrote. ‘And because I’ve come to believe that the preservation of traditional regional styles may be up to educated home cooks, I’ve written a cookbook which is intended to be a sort of primer on those styles and a guide to cooking them.’
Not only do I recommend Mr. Reed’s campaign and cookbook, but I also recommend that we take an analogous approach towards our heritage. That is, we ought to become the equivalent of ‘educated home cooks,’ preserving our heritage in our private lives as it is lost in public life, whilst also collaborating with fellow home cooks to honour and promote our heritage.
‘There is value in bearing witness to what is being lost.’ Much has indeed been lost, more than just statues. The loss of such material symbols merely symbolises even greater moral losses. The value in bearing witness to what is being lost, however, is that in so doing we keep it from being lost altogether, for some memory of it remains.
If our fate were to bear witness to what is being lost, then of course we would do our duty and content ourselves with the value therein, but I must admit that I have become less pessimistic than I was several years ago. If the Lincolnian regime which has destroyed so much of value to us continues to self-destruct—unfortunately continuing to destroy much else of value along with it—then rather than only bearing witness to what is being lost, we may yet bear witness to something that was once lost being found again.
 n.b. The contrast between the Jeffersonian usage of the word ‘union’ and the Lincolnian. One, ‘union’ is not a proper, but a common noun. For example, the word union is neither capitalised nor preceded with a ‘the’ (or in some cases with any article at all). Two, ‘union’ is not an end in itself, but a means to other ends. This is explicit as well as implicit, viz., ‘securing’ the ‘rights of self-government’ was ‘the object of that compact.’ Three, Jefferson professes ‘warm attachment’ to ‘union,’ as one would towards a beneficial system of government based upon consent of the governed, but not ‘loyalty, as one would a sovereign.
 Of course, we Jeffersonians hold that these United States are not a nation, but a confederation of nations—the latter is how Jefferson himself referred to the State of Virginia—but that is another matter altogether.
 I am using ‘blood and soil’ herein ironically, to contrast the ethnic nationalism wherewith that phrase is associated with the civic nationalism of the Lincolnians, which is not racist but is no less nationalist. The Lincolnians, whether ‘liberal’ Blues or ‘conservative’ Reds, are intolerant not of those who differ from them on the outside, but of those who differ from them on the inside—that is, of those who are not civic-nationalists.
 This philia is more sinister than their ‘nation of immigrants’ sentimentalism: At home, Lincolnians are politically correct ‘proposition nationalists,’ but on behalf of American state-sponsored proxies abroad, they are ‘blood and soil’ nationalists. Thus, to Lincolnians today, our Confederate ancestors—who when asked, ‘What are you fighting for anyhow?’ answered, ‘I’m fighting because you’re down here’—are evildoers and enemies, whereas Ukrainians who collaborated with the Nazis are friendly freedom-fighters.
 For Jeffersonian-Americans, one of the most tantalising turning points and missed opportunities in American history is the public debate in the North of reacting to Southern secession by further dissolving the Union into several new unions. H.A. Scott Trask, in his lecture at the Abbeville Institute’s 2005 Summer School, terms this a ‘Machiavellian Moment,’ after J.G.A. Pocock’s term for a political crisis wherein ‘anything could happen’ and ‘everything is possible.’ This democratic decentralisation and sectional subdivision would have been the more patriotic, not to mention authentically American, resolution of the conflict, than the nationalist, not to mention ersatz European, coercive centralisation which ultimately ensued.