American Transcendentalism: An Indigenous Culture of Critique

Counter-Currents

Kevin MacDonald has an excellent essay on Counter-Currents about the Yankee Question. This is too good to pass up.

Note: MacDonald has never been a Single Jewish Causer. He could easily write an entire book on the radical utopian movements of the nineteenth century (abolitionism, civil rights, pacifism, “strongminded womanism,” Unitarianism, Free Loveism, Shakerism, Fourierism, Transcendentalism, etc.) that plunged America into racial and cultural decline and laid the foundation for their destructive successors in the twentieth century.

Actually, there is already a book on this subject which comes highly recommended from Thomas DiLorenzo: David Goldfield’s America Aflame: How The Civil War Created a Nation.

“This sweeping, provocative history of America from the 1830s through Reconstruction has two grand themes. One is the importance of evangelical Protestantism, particularly in the North and within the Republican Party, in changing slavery from a political problem to an intractable moral issue that could only be settled by bloodshed. The second is the Civil War’s transformation of America into a modern industrial nation with a powerful government and a commercial, scientific outlook, even as the postwar South stagnated in racism and backward-looking religiosity. UNC-Charlotte historian Goldfield (Still Fighting the Civil War) courts controversy by shifting more responsibility for the conflict to an activist North and away from intransigent slaveholders, whom he likens to Indians, Mexicans, and other targets viewed by white evangelical Northerners as “polluting” the spreading western frontier. Still, he presents a superb, stylishly written historical synthesis that insightfully foregrounds ideology, faith, and public mood The book is, the author writes, “neither pro-southern nor pro-northern,” but rather “antiwar.”

The anti-racist movement in America is synonymous with the anti-slavery movement. It grew out of abolitionism. The first federal civil rights bill in American history was the Civil Rights Act of 1866 which overthrew the White Republic and made blacks into American citizens.

About Hunter Wallace 9709 Articles
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1 Comment

  1. HW,

    “(1) First, I suppose you could say that I have developed an unshakeable belief that the South would be infinitely better off as an independent country.”

    I have no problem with this. But how much closer to being an independent country has complaining about Yankees gotten the South over the past 140 years? “Blaming Yankees” is eminently safe and politically correct. People like Thomas DiLorenzo are not on your side.

    “(2) Second, I believe that KMac would agree that Yankee utopianism was the primary cause of America’s racial decline in the nineteenth century and that it set the stage for the Jewish problem that would become more severe in the twentieth century.”

    I disagree. Nor are DiLorenzo or the author of the book whose blurb you reproduce on board with your contention that “The anti-racist movement in America is synonymous with the anti-slavery movement”:

    UNC-Charlotte historian Goldfield (Still Fighting the Civil War) courts controversy by shifting more responsibility for the conflict to an activist North and away from intransigent slaveholders, whom he likens to Indians, Mexicans, and other targets viewed by white evangelical Northerners as “polluting” the spreading western frontier.

    DiLorenzo’s book: DiLorenzo readily resolves the paradox. Lincoln opposed extension of slavery because this would interfere with the prospects of white workers. Lincoln, following his mentor Henry Clay, favored a nationalist economic program of which high tariffs, a national bank, and governmentally financed “internal improvements” were key elements. This program, he thought, would promote not only the interests of the wealthy industrial and financial powers he always faithfully served but would benefit white labor as well. Blacks, in his opinion, would be better off outside the United States; and, throughout his life, Lincoln supported schemes for repatriation of blacks to Africa and elsewhere. If blacks left the country, they could not compete with whites, the primary objects of Lincoln’s concern. (Lincoln, by the way, did not see this program as in any way in contradiction to his professed belief that all men are created equal. Blacks, he thought, have human rights but not political rights.)

    And of course Lincoln himself was no Yankee. Regional conflict in 19th century America was driven primarily by economics, not race (much less by some sort of deep ethnic divide between founding-stock New Englanders and founding-stock Southerners). From where I’m standing today, neither side was blameless on issues of race.

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