Episode 183 – American Psycho (1:17:02)

Before we return a few videotapes, we discuss “American Psycho” a critique on consumerism and “capitalism” set on Wall Street back in the Reagan-era late 80’s.

Patrick MacFarlane of Liberty Weekly returns to the show to talk about the cult-classic satirical horror that launched the career of one Christian Bale.

We’re also proud to announce that our YouTube video for this episode now features actual video footage of the show, check it out here and be sure to hit that subscribe button!

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Kristallnacht for legacy America

The past four nights of racial violence across the country have proven one thing: the egalitarian experiment of America is dead. Liberalism of all shades is a scam. Diversity is not our strength and utopian “reconciliation” is not possible. As my friend Boyd Cathey wrote, “No nation can continue this way for long, no nation can avoid the essential questions and the ironclad laws of Nature itself.”

What started out as a protest against the use of excessive police force against a black man has ended in the burning, looting, and lynching of “legacy” Americans, their property, history, and symbols. Make no mistake: these were race riots, not the “white supremacist” variety the enemy-class media is trying to sell you, but the black-against-white kind with Bolshevik subversives helping to orchestrate the chaos and foment the rage.

“Legacy” Americans are those who have and/or appreciate an ethnic, cultural, or political connection to the Founding stock of these United States. Many of us are white descendants of Western Europeans and are Christian, and have a respect for individual liberty and a favorable view of our ancestors. Those of us who are Southern without apology know this campaign against our values has been a long war of conquest and reconstruction, over 150 years, to be exact. This is why “neo-Confederate” is the new ad hominem attack.

And who are the post-modern Bolsheviks? The cultural Marxists who run our institutions: academia, media, government, and banking. Hell, they’re dog catcher, president of your HOA and PTA and everything in between. Who are their Brown Shirts, their new NKDV: Antifa. And who are their foot soldiers: the racist black vanguard of BLM and their mindless supporters.

The “protests” quickly evolved into looting and burning, with blacks taking out their aggression on their own communities, with Leninist Antifa allies slowly but surely participating in the chaos. But by the time we get to Saturday, May 30, we see something new.

We have both: the destruction of tradition and history brought on by the long leftist march through the institutions AND now full-on violence, which is supported by the very institutions who perpetuated it in the first place.

We witnessed the destruction targeted specifically against what the Leninists see as “whiteness.” Historical monuments and buildings like the United Daughters of the Confederacy headquarters and the Virginia Museum of History and Culture in Richmond, whose burning was celebrated by the nonwhite iconoclast “historians” who revel in smashing Southern roots. The Market House in Fayetteville, which was the site of North Carolina’s Constitutional Convention in 1787 and the state capital from 1789 to 1793. The Nashville Courthouse and City Hall. The George Washington statue in Philadelphia. The King Louis XVI statue in Louisville. St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City. And tonight, St. John’s Church in Washington, D.C. The mobsters are even so ignorant of history that they vandalized the historic Woolworth’s in Greensboro, which is considered the “birthplace” of the 1960s Civil Rights Movement.

Remember the way Ice-T explained the Rodney King riots of ’92 when black folks destroyed their own neighborhoods in LA? He said it was like a child who’s angry and feels he cannot express himself or be heard so he breaks his own toys in order to communicate his frustration. But this paradigm has changed.

They’re coming to your neighborhood, they’re “coming to the suburbs next.” They’re coming to destroy your home and steal your property and punch you in the face. And if you fight back through legal means, you will be the one to get in trouble with “the law.”

It has a become an organized guerrilla war against anything the Leninists deem as theirs. You stole their land, cracker. You subjugated their people, whitey. It’s justice, yo. It’s about equity. Inclusion. Intersectionality. Social justice. But the kicker is you are never considered within those critical-theory equations. White people got work to do, don’t ya know?! Be a good “ally,” but shut your damn mouth.

From the blue checks to the random haters on Twitter, the unmistakable message is the same: you are dispensable, white man.

Meanwhile, we’re supposed to simultaneously believe that the riots are led by “white supremacists” and that putting “black-owned business” signs on your store front will help save it from leftist annihilation. Even a child can see the inconsistency in this delusional narrative, which then, of course, begs the next obvious question: why should it be okay to loot and vandalize white-owned businesses? Better not go down that red-pilled rabbit hole or you might be called a hegemonic colonizer.

When “Grant” producer Leo DiCaprio’s house in Beverly Hills is visited upon by some angry social-justice warriors, I wonder if he will he defend himself (or have his paid armed security do it) or if he will cleanse his “ancestral sins” by handing over his life and property. Will the mob give him a pass because of his stereotyping of white Southerners in “Django Unchained,” or will they cut his throat because he’s white and embodies systemic racism? Not sure, but I can’t wait to find out.

Now I know I’m intertwining my Nazi and Soviet historical references. I understand full well that it was stamping out the spread of Communism that the Nazis gave as their reason for Kristallnacht. And I get that the Nazis and the Soviets were mortal enemies in WWII. I understand that the Germans blamed the Jews partly because of their disproportionate involvement in Marxist ideologies. I get that the Soviets waged a genocide of their own against the German people after WWII and with British and US complicity no less.

But to me, it’s all the same. Two sides of the same damn totalitarian coin. One was nation-statist and the other universalist, but both were built upon centralization. Both are godless. Both are aimed at destroying the Church and replacing it with worship of man-made utopian ideals. Both hate Christ.

I’ve been saying for a while that we are in a state of cold-Civil War. Well, folks, it just got hot. Violence against Southerners, whites, and Christians is now being justified as a legitimate course of action. And guess what? The laws and institutions that are supposed to protect us “legacy” Americans are incapable of countering the Communist pogroms. So much for “white privilege.”

Trump today just designated Antifa as a terrorist organization, but that’s too little too late. His “I’m monitoring the situation” attitude is what got us to this point in the first place. In order to resist this onslaught, one would have to be honest with the racial component of the hatred directed against us. We’re castigated as “white supremacists” while never reaping the supposed benefits of this media-manufactured mythos.

Someone, somewhere, besides us “neo-Confederates,” must speak up for white people and their businesses and property and history when it’s targeted simply because it’s been deemed by leftists as a symbol of “whiteness” and “black oppression.” Unfortunately, far too many Americans, including our president, politicians, pastors, and fellow parishioners are petrified of being labeled as “racists” to ever address this truth.

What do we do? First, we proceed in as Christ-like a manner as is possible. We little-o orthodox Christians define ourselves by what we love. We pray for the repentance and salvation of our enemies, but we don’t abdicate our responsibilities to cherish and protect those closest to us.

As my priest told me on August 13, 2017, Christianity is not a suicide pact. Unlike the cultural Marxists who’ve cobbled together a cabal of disparate identities which are allied only in their unbridled hatred of the “evil white Christian Southerner,” we need to organize around our love for Christ and His people. We love Christ above all.

Our families and our communities come next. They are a manifestation of our adoration of His forgiveness, grace, and care for us. Don’t be afraid to openly defend and advocate for your people. Do it in Church. Do it in your homeschool co-ops. Do it on social media. Do it without apology. It is the most reconciling and healing thing you could do.

Start talking with your friends and families about how best to go about protecting each other in a time of emergency. We need to face the reality that the politicians and police cannot be relied upon to be there when we need them. This is the “new normal,” so let’s rip off our masks, both literal and figurative, and start being authentic Christians, authentic neighbors, authentic humans. It’s time to get real.

Lastly, I know many of us have an affinity for the police and military. But to my friends and family who are in law enforcement under elites who would rather have you bend the knee to Antifa and BLM for their own personal political expediency than uphold civil order, I say this: walk away. Encourage your colleagues to do likewise.

You know the game is rigged. If you enforce the law, you’ll be called a racist, even if you’re not white. And if your city burns despite your best efforts doing your job under inconsistent directives and in untenable times, your bosses will throw you under the bus in a heart beat. You are expendable to the commissars. These politicians and this corrupt society don’t deserve you.

Let the dirty tyrants defend themselves from the godless monsters they themselves helped create and continue to coddle. Let them meet their fate just like Trotsky.

Go home to your families. Go home to your Churches. Rally around your people because that is what really matters. Let’s smash the Bolshevik narrative and tell the Brown Shirts they can stick Kristallnacht where the sun don’t shine.

Post Script: Historian Philip Leigh writes, “No doubt many of you are as angry as me about the outrages to the United Daughters of the Confederacy building in Richmond over the weekend. As a result, I am pledging to donate half ($10) of the $20 purchase price for my book “Ulysses Grant’s Failed Presidency.” To learn how postbellum Reconstruction failed and left much of the South struggling economically for a century afterward, it is important to understand how Grant failed in the White House despite the many favorable biographies about him in recent years.”

To take advantage of this charitable offer, email Leigh at [email protected] and let him know if you want your copy of the book signed or not. You may pay by check, PayPal, or credit card, and domestic shipping is free.

The fiery ladies of the UDC are our allies, compatriots in the cause for the preservation of heritage, tradition, and Southern history. They are some of the few keepers of the flame for legacy America. Let’s please let these warrior Southern belles feel the love that few others are willing to offer them.

Source: Dissident Mama – Kristallnacht for legacy America

Dissident Mama, episode 6 – Dr. Donald Livingston

Episode 6 features Dr. Donald Livingston, founder of the Abbeville Institute and Professor Retired of Philosophy at Emory University. Livingston received his doctorate at Washington University in 1965, and has been a fellow for the National Endowment Independent Studies and the Institute of Advanced Studies in the humanities at the University of Edinborough. He has served on the editorial board of Hume Studies and Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture.

Livingston’s books include “Hume’s Philosophy of Common Life” and “Philosophical Melancholy and Delirium.” He contributed to and edited “Rethinking the American Union for the 21st Century” and is currently finishing up the book “Why Some Americans Need To Believe the War Was About Slavery and Why America is Again Coming Apart Today.”

It was a tremendous honor to interview Dr. Livingston, who is both a humble gentleman and a brilliant stalwart for truth. In our talk, he discusses Southern tradition, secession, the myth of equality, how the War wasn’t about slavery, faith, and much more. I pray you all will learn from Livingston, just as I always do.

Other books mentioned in the podcast include “North Over South: Northern Nationalism and American Identity in the Antebellum Era,” “Nullification and Secession In Modern Constitutional Thought,” and “Who Owns America?: A New Declaration of Independence.”

Check out this episode!

Source: Dissident Mama – Dissident Mama, episode 6 – Dr. Donald Livingston

Clyde Wilson, part 4: My hero

I began this series joking about how Dr. Clyde Wilson doesn’t like having his picture taken. Well, as it turns out, there are apparently only three high-resolution photos of the esteemed historian on all of planet earth, and I already used them for Parts 1, 2, and 3. Seriously.

As a former newspaper designer, I was a little stressed about it. How could I possibly conclude my interview with this intellectual giant without an amazing feature image?

Then it dawned on me that I actually had something that would encapsulate perfectly what I think the 4-part series conveys. That Dr. Wilson is a hero to anyone who cares to listen. That even though he doesn’t adore the spotlight (as do so many other “academics” and “experts”), he will humbly acknowledge that it shines upon him, even if he has to strike a pose with a spunky North Carolina blogger. That the above shot marks the beginning of fruitful tutelage and mentorship and, dare I say, friendship with the “Grumpy Old Man,” who is all lion but only bites if you’re a meddling Yankee.

For the rest of us, Wilson’s pointed words call to us from a vantage of ancient truths. In a rotting culture steeped in frivolity, identity-less-ness, immediacy, materialism, and self, he purrs humble but hardened authenticity. Let’s get one thing straight, though: he sure ain’t no kitten.

There’s something else fitting that I noticed in the photo. I happen to be wearing Robert E. Lee earrings and and a Byzantine-cross necklace. They’re whispering reminders of the importance of valuing and honoring memories of those who came before. That we should reflect upon and learn from their experiences and struggles, their triumphs and tears, and open our hearts and minds to a rich history not as “black and white” as the puritanical-progressives want us believe.

On this Memorial Day – a holiday whose origins are Confederate – let’s not turn our backs on our imperfect ancestors, both spiritual and blood. Let’s refuse to hate them, our children, and ourselves. And let’s cherish our living heroes, who have long been fighting a perilous uphill battle simply because they seek to preserve and tell a story. Our story.

So, may God bless Dixie, her heritage, and her native son, Dr. Clyde Wilson. Ole times there are not forgotten.

“There is no question that taking a Southern position in public is dangerous.”

DM: You advised me once to “calculate the marginal benefit” in possibly opening myself up to “Leninist attacks.” You advised me to practice caution so I could “fight another day.”

CW: My reference to Leninism is serious. Lenin taught that you do not debate opponents or allow them to be heard. You label and slander them until they no longer seem human and can be eliminated. Neo-Confederate is a good example of this. It is a meaningless term that arouses negative emotions, hinting at neo-Nazi. Our enemies are Leninists, even if they are not aware of it. The media and politicians have been giving President Trump this treatment from day one. Too bad, he takes it personally rather than understanding and fighting the evil ideology.

There is no question that taking a Southern position in public is dangerous. I know a number of people who have lost their livelihoods. I know of one man who was literally driven to a fatal heart attack by a carpetbagger Communist reporter from a Southern paper. You have to remember that American institutions, public and private, including the South, are manned by weak time-servers who bend with the slightest wind. This will remain the case until we get some really good Southern legal talent to volunteer to defend us.

Meanwhile, speak accurately and mildly, without hostility. Take a questioning rather than a militant posture. Do it with a sense of humour. You provide a beautiful example of this.

Ignore attacks and present your own positive message. Being Southern is a good thing.

DM: It seems you have fought the good fight longer than most, all the while enduring Leninist attacks, so let’s talk about some of those attacks.

CW: I have been lucky. Sadly, most of the failures of “the Southern cause” have been due to self-inflicted wounds. We have never had real leadership of a Southern movement. The Kennedy brothers have done all that is possible in that direction but they have never had enough organised support.

“Being Southern is a good thing.”

DM: What was your involvement with the now-defunct “Southern Partisan” print magazine, and do you think its online e-zine is still relevant to the fight for preserving Southern history and tradition?

CW: Tom Fleming and I founded “The Southern Partisan.” Our plan was for an intellectual quarterly that spoke for the South on a high plane. We put out a few issues but had no money. We put ourselves under a foundation. It turned out that the foundation was controlled by Republican political operatives who had ideas of their own.

It became a monthly popular magazine. Everyone understood the need for such a Southern reportorial and editorial voice. The magazine was essentially a failure in the final analysis for its purpose of being a Southern voice and never quite got free of the Republican poison. A lot of good stuff was published under the editorships of Oran P. Smith and Chris Sullivan. Established writers and good new writers were brought in. But the management was always marginal for the controllers. Mail was not answered, subscriptions were not handled properly, writers were not paid.

If you look back through the old issues, you will find superb articles by new writers who deserved encouragement but who have never been heard of since. Much of the good content was written by the great Tom Landess without credit. I recently learned that the archives that contained letters from Russell Kirk, M.E. Bradford, Andrew Lytle, and other significant people have not been preserved. As to the new online version, I have never seen it but would not be optimistic.

DM: You were a founding member of the League of the South. Can you tell me the original goals of the organisation, how have they changed (as did the leadership) and where things stand now? 

CW: The abysmal failure of the League is the saddest episode of my life. I expended a lot of time, money, effort, and reputation toward its original goals which have been completely lost. We founded it in the ’80s when the times seemed to be going our way. Jimmy Carter had made it possible to look at Southern culture in a way more positive than usual. A current for devolution of centralised power to natural regions was underway in Canada, Northern Italy, and other places.

“Our enemies have what seems like a million full-time activists paid by the government and rich people. The Southern cause has none.”

The purpose was to protect and preserve Southern culture and to encourage the idea of devolution of power to break up the enforced unity of Americans, to give Southerners a strong united voice and an encouragement for renewed self-government. The founders were people of quality with already established reputations and complete dedication. I wrote the founding statement of purpose which made it the League’s mission to work for the well-being of the Southern people by all honourable means.

It was overly optimistic perhaps, but we were open to our black Southern countrymen with whom we share so much. They are not going anywhere and must have a positive relation to a Southern movement.

The League could only have succeeded if it had raised money, if it had kept a positive persona that could attract people beyond the usual activists, if it had developed a strong base of local chapters (as was done in the Lombard League movement), and if it had developed strong local and state leaders. None of this happened.

There was no real tactical or strategic vision or constructive management. No positive efforts were undertaken. There were a lot of loudmouths who did no real work. In some States a meeting was never even held. Rather than a celebratory positive view of the South, there was a negative bunker mentality that took over and discouraged new people. Along with too much preoccupation with current political issues and a bit of nasty exclusionist Yankee Calvinism. The good people were discouraged and gradually went away. I held on for a long time and hoped to encourage a better direction.

Eventually new people took over who had never had any participation before. Some third-string “intellectual” changed my original statement of purpose and substituted a black cross for our noble Confederate banner. Most people know the sad, marginal, negative, useless state of the current League.

The Abbeville Institute does the necessary work on the educational level. For activism, the Southern National Congress was promising but is now just a presence kept alive by a few good people. In volunteer organisations many will talk but only a handful will do real work. Our enemies have what seems like a million full-time activists paid by the government and rich people. The Southern cause has none.

DM: Tell me about starting Shotwell and Reckonin‘.

CW: We saw Reckonin.com as a place for Southern writers and subjects that did not have a place elsewhere. We have turned up several good younger writers. Shotwell Publishing was founded to publish “unapologetic” Southern books. Working with a shoe-string of time and money, we have now published over 50 books in five years. These are mostly new books, not reprints. We have found good new writers and a number of outstanding established writers now consider us their publisher of choice. It is a miracle accomplished largely by Paul Graham’s effort, expertise, and dedication. We will continue and I predict a great future.

“We Southerners have 400 years of admirable existence.”

DM: What’s your take on the coronavirus hysteria? Do you see it as a watershed for decentralisation and for getting back to basics and getting in touch with our roots? Might this chaos open a door for a more localist, more family-oriented, more land-focused revival, helping the South survive as a distinct culture?

CW: One of the things you learn from History is that nobody can really predict the future. Surprising things happen. A lot of people have learned about the value of the basic. A lot of minds have at last been opened to the incompetence and arrogance of the government and media. We have also seen that there are millions of rootless Americans ready to obey orders, without enough sense of liberty to be considered genuine citizens of a free country.

DM: You have been writing a great deal about movies lately. Do you think you could ever write a screenplay about admirable Southerners?

CW: You refer to the long series on the South in cinema that I have published on the Abbeville website. Movies are a major cultural aspect of 20th century life. I wanted to get on record what had been done with the South in this important area, and also provide a guide to viewing for decent Southern families. I am now doing the same with Southern poets. There is an amazing treasure of good poets who have penned their love for the South, mostly forgotten. We need to bring our past merits to wider attention.

I don’t have the talent to write a screenplay, although there are Southerners around who do. Imagine if we were a free people what a magnificent cinema we could have, in contrast to the tawdry Hollywood products of today. There is plenty of talent on both sides of the camera, but no money. Southern history is full of great topics. Any incident from Forrest’s campaigns would make great film. Or how about a biopic of Varina Davis, a magnificent person? The battle of Kings Mountain? The possibilities are limitless.

One of the things you learn from History is that nobody can really predict the future.

DM: Do you have any other advice for what Southerners and their allies can do in the fight for the South?

CW: Yes, three things, all extremely difficult and likely to fail. First, found a good Christian Classical academy in your area. The students of such a school will be the aristocracy of the future – the only people with a connection to Western civilization.

Secondly, run for Congress. Imagine if we had an articulate, attractive candidate in each of, say, 50 U.S. House districts, who takes a strong Southern position. Probably best in Republican primaries but working in either party where appropriate. It would make a revolution in public discourse, force attention on our goals, and help to break up the collusion of the two parties.

Third, start a farm to serve your local region with products free from stuff patented by Yankee corporations.

One thing we can all do is work for the South of today and tomorrow and not concentrate all out attention on The War. The War is a great point in our story and an epic in world history. But we Southerners have 400 years of admirable existence.

Thank you very much, Dissident Mama, for this opportunity to say my piece. I fear I have blathered on and taken up too much of your readers’ valuable time.

Source: Dissident Mama – Clyde Wilson, part 4: My hero

Episode 182 – Apocalypse Now (1:27:58)

We are going to review this movie with extreme prejudice. When this came up as an idea back in February, I didn’t mean Apocalypse Right Now. Also, as some of the best centrally-planned plans almost always fall through, so do the occasional individual plans. But fear not, we have a solid Plan B for a guest who has been on with us multiple times and will be sure to delight.

Jon Reed returns to the show to talk about the pains taken during the production of this masterpiece and we get into how that helps make it an even better film. We also discuss the ridiculous approach to the war and how Kurtz and Willard both saw the nature of the problem.

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Clyde Wilson, part 3: Answers to the remnant

In Part 1 and Part 2, Dr. Clyde Wilson has already covered a lot of unReconstructed ground. In this third installment, the Southern stalwart answers some great questions submitted from the rebel remnant, to whom Part 3 is dedicated. Stay tough out there, y’all.

“Southerners who still value their heritage but don’t know what to do about it in such a hostile environment. They are our audience.”

DM: What is your best short answer to people who say the War for Southern Independence was all about slavery and nothing but slavery? Should we come at this from an offensive posture, rather than being defensive, which cedes the moral high ground to the tyrants?

CW: What is conjured up in most minds these days by the word “slavery” has nothing to do with the system of labour in the antebellum South. The people who use the term do not know or care about any history and are impervious to argument. They use the term because it is rewarding to them. Being a victim is lucrative in the present American regime, even as a victim of something that ended more than a century and a half ago. Perhaps more importantly, the word is the guard dog of Yankee self-righteousness. Without “slavery,” it would be obvious that the brutal invasion and conquest of the Southern States was a great crime.

I have always urged Southerners not to get in a defensive posture. I get requests almost daily to reply to some atrocity that has caught some sympathiser’s attention, more than time and energy could possibly allow me to do. Do not reply to provocations. Ignore them, or if that is not possible, reply with a question for them as my colleague Paul Graham does. Let us spend our limited energies and resources on positive communication to those who will listen and not fight every skirmish with the enemy on his own ground.

“I have always urged Southerners not to get in a defensive posture.”

I wish our spokesmen would get right with slavery. My SCV [Sons of Confederate Veterans] compatriots like to say that only one in 10 Confederate soldiers owned slaves and therefore the war was not “about slavery.” But that is not true and proves nothing. Families were large in those days and, if you count by families, about ¼ of white Southerners were involved in slave-holding. Most Confederate soldiers were not slave owners, but the armies were full of the sons and nephews of slave owners. The truth about slavery is that the big plantation was a rarity, confined to certain areas, and that most slaveholdings were small: 5-10 people. The lived with the white family every day, joined them in wresting a living from the soil, and shared much the same fate when the invaders came.

You can bet that when Confederate soldiers went into battle they were not thinking of keeping their slaves, they were thinking of protecting their homesteads and loved ones. It is not clear what Yankee soldiers were thinking of, other than the substantial cash bounties they had received and vague notions about “the glorious Union,” but certainly none of them were thinking of the welfare of African Americans who they generally despised and treated worse than the white people of the South.

Lincoln declared explicitly that he was NOT fighting to end slavery. You might ask the “slavery” advocate what that means. Or why did slavery have to be ended in such a destructive way that it left the black people terribly impoverished and demoralised.

“You can bet that when Confederate soldiers went into battle … they were thinking of protecting their homesteads and loved ones.”

DM: How can we stop Southerners from using the Yankee term “Civil War” and instead call it what it was: a War for Southern independence?

CW: The best we can do, I think, is always use the right term ourselves.

DM: I’d like to hear his thoughts on the pass that non-Southerners get for calling all Southerners racist, ignorant, backwoods idiots.

CW: They keep saying this, although I suspect they don’t believe it any more. Why are all those Yankees moving South? Remember, until recent times, we were very poor and seemed backward to urban types who had only materialistic standards of measure.

Deep down they know better, but will be very slow to admit it because it questions their self-esteem. Ask why they are moving South? Racism? Massachusetts, New York, and California are the most segregated States these days. In recent years, more African Americans have been moving back to the South than are leaving for the North. And many say they like it better in the South. I had some European visitors recently who marveled at the kindness and courtesy with which black and white South Carolinians treated each other. In the Northern cities, the racial hatred is so thick you can cut it with a knife. But, of course they will never give up blaming us for everything.

“In the Northern cities, the racial hatred is so thick you can cut it with a knife.”

DM: How do we win back Southerners who have turned their back on their heritage?

CW: We probably should not waste time trying. Reach the young people who come from different experiences and are looking for something of value. And I have learned from my activities that there are thousands, perhaps millions, of Southerners who still value their heritage but don’t know what to do about it in such a hostile environment. They are our audience.

DM: If you could make every Southerner read one book what would it be? Does Dr. Wilson have three or four books that he thinks every Southerner should read?

CW: I will surprise you. What I have called the Southern soul is best reflected in our Southern literature. It is the greatest cultural product of the United States and will be treasured when the United States is only history. The most important book for me is Donald Davidson’s Lee in the Mountains and Other Poems, which displays the South in its epic sweep and intimate thought. In the same vein, I will mention William Faulkner’s novel The Unvanquished, which portrays Southern people with both tough realism and love.

“If enough Southerners would read and take to heart Punished with Poverty, it would bring about a revolution in American politics.”

The Kennedy brothers works are indispensable miracles. The South Was Right! and their recent Southern history Punished with Poverty, which we at Shotwell had the honour to publish. If enough Southerners would read and take to heart Punished with Poverty, it would bring about a revolution in American politics.

At a more sophisticated level, the works of M.E. Bradford, especially A Better Guide than Reason.

DM: Why did so many Southerners, such as Woodrow Wilson, get into the Progressive movement in the early 20th century?

CW: Let’s remember that the South was immersed in poverty. People wanted improvement, real progress, and given that the U.S. government had caused the poverty, it might be used for reparations. Southern progressives wanted free trade, farm-to-market roads, regulation of corporations, especially banks and railroads that had been created by federal subsidy, rural mail delivery, and other things that were not out of keeping with Southern tradition.

There was not enough money in the South to cover the region for good schools for white and black children, even though the South was spending a greater percentage of its wealth for education than the North. Public schools were the only answer, and for a long time they did good work. They were centers of community cohesion for both white and black until they were destroyed by the feds. Now public schools at best are a waste of time and money.

“Public schools … were centers of community cohesion for both white and black until they were destroyed by the feds.”

Most Southerners did not make Progressivism an ideology and did not follow Northern Progressives into becoming just one more arm of the corporations. Some of the best of them eloquently opposed Wilson’s entering the World War, and on Jeffersonian grounds.

DM: I would like to know what your thoughts are on the American South as it compares to the rest of Western civilisation? What aspects of our culture carried forth and possibly improved on the virtues of Western civilization?

CW: Southern culture is a product of the high point of Western civilization in the 17th and 18th centuries as it developed in the experience of settling a huge continental wilderness and creating self-governing communities. I don’t know that we have improved it, but history has allowed us to hold on to aspects of it longer than other peoples. As I said earlier, it has been a purpose of God and nothing we can take credit for or brag about.

DM: What Southern figures, historical or fictional, can inspire us to emulate the best of our heritage?

CW: We have the best example of the most admirable figure in history: General Lee. Something all the world has recognised. For ladies, I suggest a look at the outstanding lives of Varina Davis and Louisa McCord.

“Southern culture is a product of the high point of Western civilization.”

DM: Are there any Southern universities where a sizeable portion of the faculty are committed to the truth of Southern history?

CW: No. As discussed earlier, the culture of American higher education is a total loss to Western civilisation. Look for a little modest bright spot here and there.

DM: Have those associated with the Abbeville Institute ever considered starting an accredited online/brick and mortar school to be able to ensure that those taught in truth can gain the academic standing needed to oppose those teaching falsehoods in classrooms across the nation?

CW: Nobody has enough money to start a brick and mortar college. Even if were done, it would be under constant attack from every quarter and would not be able to defend itself without political power which we do not have. A lot can be and is being done online. It is entirely possible that the plague lockdown will alert people to how useless the present institutions are and give a boost to online learning in which good people can offer wisdom, even if unaccredited.

For more Dr. Wilson book suggestions, you might consider picking up his three “Southern Reader’s Guide” works: The Old South: 50 Essential Books, The War Between The States: 60 Essential Books and Reconstruction and the New South, 1865-1913: 50 Essential Books. Also, be sure to check out his 7-part series for Abbeville Institute on Southern Poets and Poems.

Stay tune for Part 4, the final installment of the series.

Source: Dissident Mama – Clyde Wilson, part 3: Answers to the remnant

Dissident Mama, episode 5 – Musonius Rufus

Episode 5 features Musonius Rufus, co-host of the Rebel Yell podcast. The Identity Dixie front man is used to asking the questions, but today, it’s my turn! And as always, Rufus has lots of fascinating insights and enlightening experiences to share. Please join us for this intriguing discussion with a man whose motto is “Secede in your mind.”

Check out this episode!

Source: Dissident Mama – Dissident Mama, episode 5 – Musonius Rufus

Clyde Wilson, part 2: Southern statesman

I hope you all enjoyed Part 1 of my interview with Dr. Clyde Wilson. In this installment, the Carolina lion talks about his years in Chapel Hill, decimates modern higher “education,” explains his journalistic background, discusses his seminal academic work, gives Calhoun his due, and even offers some advice to today’s students.

DM: Was your bachelor’s degree in journalism? And what about your M.A., was that in history or journalism?

CW: My first two degrees were in journalism, or as they call it now, “Media Arts,” or some such thing. I wanted a career in writing. I spent two years as a frontline reporter in Charlotte and Richmond. My ambition to be an editorial writer did not come about, but it was really good experience. They were afternoon papers with very short deadlines, which required sharp thinking and quick clear writing.

Most important for a future historian was the chance to see public affairs up close at the local and state level. I found out that mayors, judges, police chiefs, bureaucrats, and visiting celebrities were simply people like the rest of us and often not even very good or smart people. And that what they said and did was usually not disinterested and benevolent.

“I found out that mayors, judges, police chiefs, bureaucrats, and visiting celebrities were simply people like the rest of us and often not even very good or smart people.”

DM: Do you think there are any daily newspapers of value, or are they all leftist echo chambers? What do you see as the future of journalism? Where should people go to find truth?

CW: The old-fashioned reporters I worked with in the early ’60s, some of whom had not even been to college, were realists and told it like it was as far as they were allowed. They were real people and good writers. They would laugh out of court the “reporters” of today. Later, during the ’80s and ’90s, when I was somewhat notorious as a secessionist, I met many reporters. It is hard to imagine a more ignorant lot. They already have preconceived labels and are unable to see what is in front of them. They all want to be TV anchors.

Interestingly, after I had left the field, I was offered an editorial writing post at two significant papers, including the Washington Times when it was first starting up. By then, I did not want to make the move. I recommended to The Times my classmate Sam Francis. He took the job and became the best writer they had, winning several prizes. But then the neocons took over and fired him at the top of his game. He was too independent-minded and showed up their mediocrity.

I am glad that I resisted the temptation to go back to the newspapers. They are now dying institutions, worse than useless. They would not even exist except for department store ads. Believe it or not, there was a time when local papers were real forces. They had editorial writers who could really think. Has there been an article or editorial in your local paper in the last 20 years worth reading? Of course, electronic media have done them a lot of damage, but the big problem is that they are all chain-owned, have no real connection to their communities, and publish potboiler rubbish.

Where should people go for truth? Amazingly, the internet has given us a new universe of information and opinion. That is much of the reason that the government and the “mainstream” media are now justifiably held in contempt by many people. The trouble is, there is too much of it. Nobody can keep up with it and no unity of opinion can be achieved.

Newspapers are “all chain-owned, have no real connection to their communities, and publish potboiler rubbish.”

DM: Would you advise young journalists and historians to attend university today, or would you suggest they take some other alternative route?

CW: For years good people have been asking me to recommend where they should send their children to college. It is a troubling question for which there is no ready answer. At most larger schools you can, if you know what you are doing, navigate through by carefully choosing professors and courses, preferably with a major that does not involve much political correctness. There are still good professors here and there, but the humanities are thoroughly corrupt almost everywhere.

Liberty University has an excellent old-fashioned history program at every level, the only bright spot I can think of. Degree credentials are necessary these days, although their actual worth steadily declines. Good students can get their real humanities education outside the formal classes by individual study and reading in pre-PC history, literature, religion, philosophy. The Abbeville website would be a good place to start.

The best students will be those who have been homeschooled or been to good non-public schools. They will already be educated when they get to college and will be able to navigate successfully. It is sad, but the good intelligent students today know that their education is a fraud. They simply give the answers that are demanded by the system in order to get through and meanwhile do their own thinking. They are amazed and happy to encounter some real learning, as at an Abbeville Summer School. I recommend that before being admitted to graduate school, students should be required to have a year of farm labour to make them familiar with real people and real circumstances.

“It is sad, but the good intelligent students today know that their education is a fraud.”

The best history being written today is by people who are not and never have been professors. History is too important to leave to “academic experts.” Before the 20th century, history was never a professorial thing. 

DM: You earned all your degrees (including a doctorate in history) at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and then taught at the University of South Carolina for a long time. How different was the university setting back then as compared to now? Was it that some dissident thought was allowed and real truth-seeking and education were taking place, but you had to be careful? Or were places like Chapel Hill still places of intellectual inquiry?

CW: A good question. The old-fashioned Southern liberals were genuine scholars and gentlemen. Dissident views were discouraged but not punished. There was considerable room for ideas. That was true even through most of the ’60s. From 1970, the schools were flooded with money and began to hire carpetbaggers – celebrities and graduates of prestige schools, who are often no good for anything except agitation.

The general public does not know how far the colleges have sunk now. There is a reign of ignorant fanatics among the faculty but that is not the worst of it. Academic standards could not go any lower, professors and students conspire to do as little work as possible, and they are pits of debauchery. Universities are full of useless, overpaid, careerist “administrators” who consume immense funds. The problem is not so much leftists as lack of a real vocation for scholarship and teaching and general mediocrity among the faculty. Most are not dedicated social-justice warriors, but lacking any real purpose, they merely go along with the predominant message.

“Before the 20th century, history was never a professorial thing.”

Southern universities quadrupled in funds between 1970 and the present. What a miracle we could have had if there had been any leadership to direct institutions into supporting and enhancing Southern culture. And I include African Americans who have suffered as much as everybody else from the decline of academics. But the only vision the rulers of the South –petty politicians and Chamber of Commerce people – had was to use the money to create second-string Purdues. What a boon for Southern education we could have had. Instead, we became a carpetbagger enrichment source.

DM: In academic circles, you are best known for your work as editor of The Papers of John C. Calhoun from 1977 to 2003. Can you explain what that immense project entailed?

CW: What we did was collect every letter, paper, and speech by Calhoun that could be found in the world and publish the results. Also, all the letters to him. It is a beautiful 28-volume set of books. More important, it is a rich resource for genuine history. Working with documents used to be the basic training for budding historians. You don’t know anything until you have studied the original sources without too many preconceptions. It requires real effort and discipline. That kind of training becomes less and less evident, and now we have essentially ignorant PhDs as supposed “experts.”

DM: Why should we know about Calhoun, why is he important? How did your opinion of him change as a result of your research?

CW: Simply put, Calhoun was the only American statesman after the Founding Fathers who was as good as the best of them in his understanding and dedication to the American good. Given the way Calhoun has generally been treated in American history, you have to either hate him or love him. My respect increased steadily along with my knowledge. A statesman is one who takes a long-range view of the good of his country even if it is unpopular.

“Calhoun was the only American statesman after the Founding Fathers who was as good as the best of them.”

DM: Where is the best place to start reading Calhoun? Is there a primer you could suggest or a biography to tackle before diving into his Disquisition On Government and other papers?

CW: That is an easy answer. I have been guilty of foisting 40 or so books on the suffering reading public. The best of those 40, the one I would like to see last the longest, is The Essential Calhoun. It lays out the man in his own words. For a biography John C. Calhoun: American Portrait by Margaret Coit. That actually won the Pulitzer Prize in 1950, which shows how much the world has changed. Most of the biographies can be ignored, but The Life of John C. Calhoun by Gustavus M. Pinckney, published in 1903, is good, if you can get it.

DM: I have read that you call Calhoun your hero. Who are some of your other heroes and why?

CW: My heroes are those who nurtured the Southern tradition. Thomas Jefferson, who created the Southern tradition in government that was followed by Calhoun and the Confederacy. Donald Davidson and M.E. Bradford, who kept the tradition alive in very forbidding circumstances. One can’t neglect [Nathan] Bedford Forrest, one of the most remarkable men in history.

Stay tuned for part 3.

Source: Dissident Mama – Clyde Wilson, part 2: Southern statesman

LNC Chair Abandons Core Principles, Abuses Authority

h/t Matthew Hicks

I started writing this piece twice now and couldn’t get past the first few paragraphs. The whole thing felt wrong to me. I walked away from putting in any work and took a little time to think about what I was doing and why. It finally occurred to me that I was trying to write it in a professional manner, using a voice that you might expect from a professional journalist. The problem is that isn’t me. This version, the final version, will be completely in my own voice. I’m writing it the same way I speak. I ask you, friends and fellow Libertarians, to indulge the F-bombs and profanity laced screed from time to time. It’s what I do.

I want, by way of this writing, to issue an apology to the members of the LNC upon whom I have recently shat in a few online posts and a video. I called out several of you by name and I want acknowledge you by name here. Mrs. Harlos, Ms. Adams, Mrs. Mattson, Mr. Smith, and Mr. Hewitt, I’m sorry. I retract everything I said and will remove the posts once this is live.

For explanation of my motivation for writing this, I offer this: I was angry after watching the LNC meetings during which the LNC was debating and discussing convention options. As I watched the meetings, I couldn’t help but think, “What the actual fuck is going on with these people? It’s like they are all trying to achieve their own agenda and goals with no regard for the delegates or worse, they want to make sure that their fellow members of the LNC don’t get what they want, at all costs.”

I made that assessment because I have avoided the den of venomous snakes and bullshittery that is internal party politics for the entire time I’ve been in the LP. After I made my posts on social media, people began coming out of the woodwork to fill in the blanks for me. My criticism of LNC member’s behaviors was based on incomplete knowledge. I didn’t know all the behind-the-scenes and cloakroom shenanigans that have been going on. Well, the toothpaste is out of the tube now and I would be negligent in my moral responsibility if I didn’t address it. You see, we Libertarians profess to be the party of principle. If I see some fuckery going on within the party that runs counter to that and I don’t call it out, not only am I assenting to that behavior by my silence, I’m also assenting to compromising our principles through my inaction. I won’t be that guy. Because I’m not.

This is the part where half of you will quit reading: Our chair, Nick Sarwark, is in large part responsible for the dumpster fire in a diarrhea factory that our LNC meetings have become, as it pertains to the national convention. He has created an environment in which factionalism for the sake of agenda is the norm. He has nurtured personal agenda at the expense of the party. He has attempted to exercise strong-arm style dictatorial rule.

Now a brief explanation of how I decided what went into this writing! Nothing that you will read here is second-hand information. Every single allegation comes directly from the primary source. I verified and, to the extent possible, fact-checked everything. There is no, “so-and-so told me that…” I pledged to give anonymity to everyone who agreed to talk to me, and I will honor that at all costs. Anything that is a direct quote is attributed to the source, with their permission. You can pester me and message/comment all you want, I’ll not go into any more detail than what I have done here. I won’t divulge a single source. This is what you get, take it or leave it. Those of you who continue to support Nick in his behavior and his agenda—whatever that may be—can no longer do it in a vacuum. You are now a willing participant in his misdeeds.

To be fair, I used to be a supporter of his. I thought that the LNC was just a bunch of faction members fighting against each other to further their own ends. I believed that Nick was just trying to maintain some semblance of order and look out for the interests of the delegates and the party. Well, color me mad as a murder hornet when I learned what was actually going on. To quote John Phillips Jr, “I will no longer support Nick for any position at all in the Libertarian party, including as a candidate.”

One of the first things that was brought to my attention from more than one LNC member is that Nick has a private agenda for the Libertarian party. Mises folks, Prags, and Radicals, listen closely to this. He has expressed to LNC members more than once that he wants to steer the party left as much as possible. On the surface, there’s nothing wrong with this. A chair serves, in part, to guide an organization towards its goals. Someone, fucking anyone, please tell me when the LNC or delegates decided that our goal was to shift to the left. Last I checked, it never happened. On top of that, steering our party either left or right goes directly counter to our narrative that we are neither right nor left, but libertarian. Bad enough, but let’s just overlook that for a while.

What we should never overlook are the methods by which he has attempted to bring about this and, presumably, other goals. Has anyone here ever whipped against Nick in any meaningful vote? Have any of you ran against him? What about rallied support in opposition to one of his preferred projects? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Well, I talked to some people who have. These people told me the results of their activities. Each of them said the same thing. Nick spoke with them, on the phone or in person, and explained to them that they are going to have to pay a price for going against him. They told me that he said their political career was over, that he would crush them, that their future in the party depended on them supporting him, and that there would be a price to pay for going against him.

Good one, Nick. I especially like how you made sure that there was no email or other written record of you subtly threatening your political opponents—a theme that we will see repeat itself over and over again. I also appreciate the care you took in selecting your words. Consummate politician/car salesman/lawyer stuff there. You say these things in such a way that you can always claim that you meant it in a different way and then gaslight the shit out of those who call you out on it. You could always later say that you just meant political gamesmanship, rather than a smear campaign or something worse. Slick move!

The threats aren’t limited to LNC members. I have spoken with several State affiliate chairs who told me the same thing. One of the sayings that Nick uses to issue threats is to tell people that they need to get on the train or in front of it. Wow, that’s clever! I mean, it implies that there’s a movement building behind you and your agenda (there isn’t) and that there is an air of inevitability to it (there isn’t). It also provides him the cover to later say that it wasn’t a threat. Everyone I talked to about this said that they took it as a threat because the tenor of it clearly indicated that it was.

Nick, threatening people (politically or otherwise) is behavior horribly unbecoming of the leader of a political party. Except the bad ones. They seem to condone that sort of stuff. WE FUCKING DON’T. This shit right here is enough of a reason to demand your resignation. I didn’t think it would get much worse than this. Much to my chagrin, you proved me wrong, sir.

Threats are one thing. Actively working to sabotage another member of the LNC doing work for the party is another ball of wax entirely. Sometime after being elected to the LNC, Joshua Smith was placed on the affiliate support committee. I’ll give you three guesses who put him on that committee! No? Ok, it was Nick. In a stunning and brave display of masterful leadership skills, Nick told several members of the LNC that he placed Joshua Smith on that committee because he wanted him to fail. Further, He expressed his anger at some of the LNC members who helped Mr. Smith so that the committee—the committee that is specifically responsible for helping our State affiliates—would be successful.

What sort of leader places someone in a position with the expectation that they will fail? Worse, what sort of leader places someone in a position with the intent that they fail? I’ll try an even more specific one- what sort of leader places someone in a position with the intent that they fail and that failure will have significant negative downstream effects for their organization? Nick does. So, here’s where a disclaimer has to come into play. I’m not in the Mises caucus. I’m not in any serious caucus that actually does political work. I’m in the Waffle House caucus, the It’s Never Too Early For Scotch caucus, shit like that. I’m friendly enough with Joshua Smith but I wouldn’t call us friends. We’ve spoken maybe twice. I didn’t even talk to him about this piece because the second I did, some of you would throw the taint of some personal bias over this whole thing. I know that you “true believers” will never accept that as fact, but I can only present truth to you. What you do with it is your responsibility, not mine.

Let’s talk about ethics for a bit, shall we? Sometimes, the field of ethics is a little fuzzy and there are grey areas in which those who aren’t eternally vigilant may find themselves. Other times, it’s pretty clear where the lines between right and wrong rest. There was once a lady named Lauren Daugherty who worked on LP staff as the director of development. According to all accounts, she was great at her job and was blasting out the fundraising like no one’s business. Lauren Daugherty decided, for whatever reason, to move on to something else in life and tendered her resignation to the chair, by way of the executive director. The chair sat on it for almost three weeks before telling the LNC.

Let’s put that in perspective, shall we? An important team member, one whose work directly affects the financial health of our organization, decides to quit. The Chair decided to sit on this critically important information for half a month before telling the decision-making body of our organization. This caused a delay in even beginning the search for a new team member.

When asked about it in an LNC meeting, the chair stated that he was making every effort he could to retain Lauren Daugherty during that delay. Woopsie! Mrs. Daugherty was in the meeting and called out that lie! She stated that there was never any contact with her from anyone trying to convince her to stay on. I’m pretty impressed at the gall of a board chair who openly lies to their board, especially one who has the sand in them to try it when the ONE PERSON IN THE UNIVERSE who could call them out on it is in the meeting. Bravo, sir. Bold move. There’s the first ethical no-no. Board members have an obligation to their colleagues to be honest with each other and work with each other in good faith. Nick failed that litmus test.

It gets worse though. Nick, in the middle of this manufactured crisis, offered up his services as a fundraising consultant to the tune of seventy-five dollars an hour. That’s right, folks. Seventy-five dollars an hour. This money would, presumably, be to make the fundraising calls that Mrs. Daugherty had previously been making. Let that sink in. Our chair, a man who should be making these calls already as part of his chair duties, offered himself up in noble sacrifice to be highly compensated for actions he should be performing anyway. Stunning and brave!

Hang on to your fucking petticoats, ladies and gentlemen, here’s where the ethical waters turn from murky to completely dark. When it was decision time for the LNC to vote on Nick’s generous offer, he voted. Ethics 101: one has an obligation to recuse oneself from any vote in which one has a financial stake. Let’s forget for a moment the exorbitant amount he wanted for his time, let’s focus on the fact that he broke this primary rule of ethical behavior.

None of this required sourcing or interviews. If you give even a little bit of a shit about the truth, you can look through old meeting stuff. I did and it was terrible. I still did it. I just want to get this in before any asshats decide to question me or call me out on this part: Do YoUr ReSeArCh.

Let’s get a little more contemporary, shall we? It’s time to talk about the upcoming convention, in all its glory. Before I get into it, I want to come out in support of fucking nothing. I don’t personally give a shit one way or the other how our convention goes down, whether online, in-person, or some combination of the two. I’m a delegate-elect and will be in attendance in any case.

The problem with all the latest LNC meetings and the convention madness is that Nick told some members of the LNC that he intended to gavel in the convention over Memorial Day weekend, no matter what the LNC decided. Wrong answer, dude. You don’t get to do that. Our organization isn’t a monarchy over which you get to rule with an iron fist. The queen of England may be able to override parliament (I have no idea if she can or not, just sayin), but you do not have the authority to override the LNC.

You claim that you’re operating in good faith and that your desire is to ensure ballot access for the early deadline States and protect the health of the delegates. Should we talk about the phone call, Nick? I think we should talk about the phone call. Let’s talk about the phone call.
You got a phone call from someone, didn’t you? Someone named Poppy, right? I have it on good authority that Poppy had a conversation with you about Amash and the presidential nomination.

That conversation went a little something like this:

Nick- We’re going to have our presidential and vice-presidential nomination online over Memorial Day weekend.
Poppy- And it will have to be ratified at a later, in- person, convention?
Nick- That is correct.
Poppy- That sounds like an online presidential preference poll. We don’t do those. We’re out if the process isn’t completed in one piece.

So here we are! Our chair is actively trying to recruit people who would be willing to amend the agenda and bang out the whole convention online so as to ensure that the process would be complete all at once, instead of bifurcated. This is despite the will of the LNC and an attempt to sway the will of the delegates. Nothing wrong with that, except you won’t tell us your motives behind it. I cannot support you in this because your past behavior indicates that you have a personal agenda that you haven’t disclosed.

In light of recent events, specifically the withdrawal of Mr. Amash from the presidential race, it would seem prudent to bag the online idea because, as we’ve seen time and again, some of the delegates can and will sandbag the whole thing through motions, challenges, etc. Nick, on the other hand, seems to have doubled-down on the whole thing. Admitting you’re wrong is sometimes hard. I get it. That’s what this whole writing is about. It’s also extremely cathartic and useful. Try it, Nick.

I don’t pretend to know why you think this was in the best interest of the party and why you tried so hard to ensure the playing field was the one which the Amash campaign demanded. I’m not in your head and the only person that can answer questions about it is you, sir. I believe you will not so it isn’t worth asking the questions. What I am convinced of is your actions performed in something close to secret.

Folks, there are a hell of a lot more allegations floating around out there. I didn’t address those allegations because in many cases I could find no evidence to support them. In other cases, people asked me not to because they feared retribution. Shame on anyone who makes people feel that way for politics. Imagine being a part of a political organization in which speaking your mind could result in tangible negative consequences. Sure, freedom of association and dissociation blah blah blah. Being afraid to speak out because you fear retribution is a different thing entirely.

To wrap this all up, our chair has a history of doing immoral and unethical things to get his way in the party. He has a history of trying to manipulate people through threats to sway decision making in his favor. His M.O. seems to be that, no matter what, the end justifies the means, even if it means compromising all our principles. I would like to close by quoting John Phillips Jr. again, only this time out of context, “Fuck right off.”

P.S.—I would like to thank everyone who spoke with me about this, LNC members, State chairs, and other prominent figures in our party. I appreciate your courage in coming forward in the face of likely scorched earth style retribution. I especially want to thank John Phillips Jr., the man who blew the lid off this online. John, you didn’t scoop me. You only motivated me to finish working on this as fast as possible!

Source: Liberty LOL – LNC Chair Abandons Core Principles, Abuses Authority

Clyde Wilson, part 1: Carolina lion

I first met Dr. Clyde Wilson in February 2018 at an Abbeville Institute conference in Charleston. I had been reading his many works since I began becoming more intellectually curious about Southern tradition, the War, Reconstruction, and the New South, my own Confederate ancestry, and what it all means for the world today. Once you crack the veneer of the Lincolnian mindset, you simply can’t avoid Wilson’s voluminous writings.

So, being the shameless dork I am, I introduced myself at the Friday night meet-and-greet and asked if he’d let my husband snap a picture of the two of us. So the man who’s considered the greatest living Southern historian humbly obliged, even though I’ve now learned he’s not a fan of posing for photos. What a gentleman.

Since then, Wilson has become a mentor to me. He encourages young and late-to-the-game Southern writers. He’s quick with a compliment if he thinks it’s deserved, but won’t pull punches if need be.

The last time I saw Wilson, he was wearing a “Grumpy Old Man” baseball cap, which I think so typifies him. Not because he’s crotchety, but because he doesn’t suffer fools. He motivates and educates, and advocates for anyone who he thinks is fighting the good fight. He’s just glad you’re trying to play catch-up with a master.

Simply put, Clyde Wilson is a gracious Carolina lion. I hope you all enjoy this 4-part series, which has been a long time in the making, as much as I am honored to have conducted it.

“The wicked flee when no man pursueth: but the righteous are bold as a lion.” Proverbs 28:1

DM: How would you define the Southern tradition? In other words what makes it true and valuable?

CW: Thanks for this opportunity. It is gratifying that an outstanding young person like you thinks that I have something to say. And this gives me an occasion to do some long-term and big-picture thinking that isn’t easy in the daily strife.

May I change the question slightly and ask how I define Southern? If there is a tradition then presumably there is, or at least used to be, a reality called the South. We tend to talk of Southern “tradition” as a genteel means these days of getting a hearing for the proposition that there might indeed be something true and valuable from the South. If you simply talked about what is Southern as true and valuable, you would get an automatic negative reaction. But tradition suggests something that is past and not so threatening.

There is indeed much that is true and valuable in the life and history of the Southern people that is available to all the world if they will listen. I am tempted to say that what is most true and valuable about the Southern tradition is that it is ours. The South is well over three centuries old, much older than what is now called the United States. In the beginning, America was Southern. Now we are a despised minority in our own country. There are still millions of us. We could be a great power if we were united in our consciousness as Southerners.

“I am tempted to say that what is most true and valuable about the Southern tradition is that it is ours.”

The great M.E. Bradford 40 years ago defined the South as “the expression of a vital and long-lasting bond, a corporate identity assumed by those who have contributed to it.” He was aware when he wrote that most Southerners no longer live on the land, but was suggesting that the bond, an ancient way of being, still had life. And that such a way of being was better for those who shared it than the abstract supposed principles that define the United States.

At the same time that Bradford wrote, with a youthful presumptuousness that still scares me, I attempted a definition: “the South has always been primarily a matter of values, a peculiar repository of intangible qualities in a society peculiarly preoccupied with the quantifiable.”

Like all human people, Southerners arise from a particular history and geography. But being Southern is essentially a matter of soul. I know I am Southern. You know you are Southern. We know it in other people when we see it. Being Southern is a good thing and the more intelligent young people know this. It becomes weaker, perhaps, every day, but it is still here. And we know that being Southern means we share assumptions and attitudes that many other Americans do not know and do not understand and often intensely object to.

According to Richard Weaver, Southerners still have a connection to the spiritual realm that makes up Western civilisation, when the rest of the West has abandoned that civilisation for materialism and rationalism. If so, that is a product of our history and not something we can brag about and take credit for.

“Being Southern means we share assumptions and attitudes that many other Americans do not know and do not understand and often intensely object to.”

I have written a lot about the Yankee Problem. By Yankee, I do not mean all Americans who are not Southern. I mean that breed arising from the Deep North that has usually had the most influence and power in America since 1865. I know half a dozen Italian-Americans who are simpatico with the South – like Southerners, they have souls. They are products of a genuine culture.

Good examples of Yankees are George W. Bush and Hillary Clinton. Yankees have no souls. They are creatures of material (money) and abstractions. Consider the insistence that America is “a proposition nation” and anyone who agrees with the proposition is an American. Can you think of anything more obviously absurd? Our country is not its people, its land, its way of life, its religion, its history. It is a slogan. The slogan is “All men are created equal.”

Now that is a very good idea that should govern the behaviour of Christians toward other human persons. But there cannot be any such country. What is happening here that is the slogan gives power to those who see themselves as entitled to interpret it.

Consider this. Yankee Minniesotans think they have the divine right to sit in judgment on Mississippians and force them to do what the Minniesotans want them to do. Now it would never occur to Mississippians to dictate to Minnesota. It is not in their DNA, or rather it is not in the remnants of their Western culture. They can go months or even years without even thinking of Minnesota.

America “is not its people, its land, its way of life, its religion, its history. It is a slogan.”

And the Yankee always acts with self-righteousness, ill-informed shallow knowledge, and the most stupendous hypocrisy known in history. Part of being Southern is knowing that these people actually hate you for what you are. They have hated you ever since the first settlers came ashore in Massachusetts Bay. Southerners are loyal to and do their best for the United States, which we think of as our country. However, we are linked in a Union with people who hate us. The hatred is not in what we are, but in what they are.

DM: We hear a lot about “the Southern cause.” How do you define that?

CW: We hear a lot, as you say. In my opinion, the only real Southern cause is preserving and perpetuating the Southern people in a maliciously hostile environment. That will require an increasing sense of unity as “Southerners.” It is not primarily a political thing, yet unavoidably, self-government and freedom require political power.

Consider, the South does not have a single representative in the U.S. Congress today. We have people who represent the Republican party or the Democratic party. In the 1960s when Southerners were kicked out of the Democratic party (which we created and which had always been ours), if only our leaders had formed a Southern party, rather than opportunistically joining the Republicans who had always been unrepentant enemies of the South and still are!

“Self-government and freedom require political power.”

DM: How did you meet Dr. Livingston, what prompted y’all to start the Abbeville Institute, and did you ever think Abbeville would be as influential as it is?

CW: Let me make it clear that the Abbeville Institute was entirely Professor Livingston’s concept and initiative. I got involved to give what help I could. We got acquainted, as I remember, because we were both writing seditious articles for the same publication, and so made contact. The influence of the Institute has truly been amazing. The scholarly quality is not matched any where else today. I have more than once heard graduate students say that they had more intellectual meat at the Abbeville Summer School than in a year of regular study. Don Livingston has a very great legacy.

DM: How did you become interested in Southern history? Was it part of your rearing? Or was there something else that happened or you learned that spurred you toward this passion? On one hand, I would think it might be generational, but on the other, there are so many Southerners of your generation who couldn’t care two hoots about Southern heritage. Why do you?

CW: I might mention that my grandmother, who I spent a lot of time with during World War Two when I was a toddler, was the daughter of the last Confederate veteran in North Carolina. All my Confederates on both sides were privates, except for one corporal. More importantly, my grandmother knew a lot about the history of North Carolina and other things. We followed the war news every day, then by radio and newspapers, with real interest because my father and all the numerous uncles on both sides were in peril. One did not come back alive. History was relevant to my life from an early day.

“I was not a child of the Sixties, like most folks today, but an automatic critic of its absurdities.”

I was a prewar baby, as Grandmother used to emphasise. War babies might have appeared by an element of accident. I was thus of that unnamed generation who was an adult when the Sixties hit. I was not a child of the Sixties, like most folks today, but an automatic critic of its absurdities. I had not learned that it was a noble, progressive thing to join the enemies of your own people and acknowledge their superiority. 

I had experienced the “Civil War Centennial” and learned a lot about the attractive side of Southern heritage. I had studied enough history to know that there are at least two sides to a question when the upheavals of the ’60s and ’70s hit. Television was just in the childhood of its power, and I had enough knowledge and perspective to know that the people and politicians on television lied, ridiculed us, and hated our people.

In Southern college life I also observed that all the numerous student revolutionaries who came from outside were shallow, self-centered, and had no real experience of the “poverty” they came to liberate us from. I think it was this combination of experiences that turned me into a historian and a Southern one.

Stay tuned for part 2.

Source: Dissident Mama – Clyde Wilson, part 1: Carolina lion