Amid all the upheaval of the past few weeks, conservatives are wondering, “What next?” and “Where did we go wrong?” There are multiple answers to both questions. To the latter, there are the familiar suspects: the 1960s, the Progressive Era of the early twentieth century, the influence of the Frankfurt School of Cultural Marxism, etc.
One possible answer—one that’s been pushed aside in our historically incompetent and racially hypersensitive era—is the victory of the Union in the American Civil War. I wrote extensively about “The Cultural Consequences of the American Civil War” a few weeks ago; in that essay, I wrote that
…[T]he biggest legacy of the American Civil War was that it marked the victory of a certain Yankee political philosophy and political economy over the rest of the country. The North and the South took fundamentally different views of the world….
…[T]he larger point was that the South existed in a far more traditional version of the world than the Yankee.
The Yankee, instead, came from a Puritanical/Calvinist perspective. Weaver argued that the Southerner recognized and named evil, but rather than try to stamp it out—thereby breeding a multitude of smaller, more insidious evils—he sought to fence it off, to mark it. The Northern Puritan sought to eradicate evil–thus the radical abolitionist impulse (in the context of the Civil War), on down to the modern-day “Puritanism” of the SJWs, for whom nothing is ever good enough.
Immediately after the Civil War, the South, being out of national politics in the Reconstruction Era, could not stop the political-economic alliance of the North and West, which put into place high protective tariffs and expanded federal authority….
And so on. Essentially, the victory of the Union, which brought many material blessings, and the moral good of abolishing slavery, also brought with it the totalizing influence of Yankee imperialism and the erosion of legitimate States’ rights at the expense of expanding federal power.
Of course, the desire for cheap cotton meant that the Southern plantation economy desired more slaves. It also meant Northern textile manufacturers craved Southern slave labor to keep their operating costs low: cheap labor meant cheap cotton. As the Z Man pointed out, we’re all paying for “The Price of Cotton” today in the form of the heavy social taxes of anti-racism, white guilt, and blacks behaving badly.
All of that heavy commentary aside, the point of today’s post is to be a bit more lighthearted. Back in 1988, Hank Williams, Jr., wrote a hilarious song for his album Wild Streak entitled “If the South Woulda Won,” in which Williams details how much better off we’d all be if Dixie were free from Northern aggression. The song is cheeky fun, and would be completely taboo today:
If you listen to the lyrics (Wikipedia helpfully details all the changes Williams would institute as president of the Confederacy). Quite frankly, it sounds awesome: no-nonsense criminal justice (“we wouldn’t have no killers getting off free/if they were proven guilty/then they would swing quickly/instead of writing books and smilin’ on TV!”); cars made in the Carolinas and not China; getting cocaine out of Miami; girls learning to smile and speak with a pleasant Southern accent in Georgia; and commemorating the deaths of Skynyrd, Elvis, and Patsy Cline.
Of course, the song is humorous, but it’s also a dose of Southern pride: our food is better, our girls are prettier (and nicer), and our views on the world are far more realistic than our Northern counterparts.
Where is the lie in Hank Williams, Jr.’s, song? The South is awesome. But if you wrote this song today, you’d have to submit to multiple “struggle sessions” and still lose your job.
If America is going to survive in any recognizable form, then the South must rise again—maybe not with arms, but definitely with the greatness and wholesomeness of our culture.