The latest Alternet diatribe on evil White Southerners thwarting the progress of the Yankee Empire:
“It’s been said that the rich are different than you and me. What most Americans don’t know is that they’re also quite different from each other, and that which faction is currently running the show ultimately makes a vast difference in the kind of country we are.”
Well, I suppose this is true.
Dixie was a “White Man’s Country” for almost three centuries. The existence of race was acknowledged here. Public policy was based on the assumption of racial inequality rather than its denial. It made quite a difference that a native Southern elite was running the show who understood the reality of the negro.
We saw what happened during Reconstruction when the Yankee was temporarily ascendant in the South. It meant the passage of the 14th Amendment by Congress, which consolidated all power in Washington, the start of the Gilded Age in the North, and all the horrors of the carpetbagger and black supremacy in South Carolina, Mississsippi, and Louisiana.
“Right now, a lot of our problems stem directly from the fact that the wrong sort has finally gotten the upper hand; a particularly brutal and anti-democratic strain of American aristocrat that the other elites have mostly managed to keep away from the levers of power since the Revolution.”
The wrong sort has definitely got the upper hand: every Northern state and the West Coast voted for Barack Hussein Obama in 2008, who is now the first black president (you know, that was hardly our idea), who appointed Eric “My People” Holder as Attorney General.
Democrats control the Senate. They controlled the House until the 2010 midterm elections. Ever since 2006, the Democrats have had the upper hand in Congress, and since 2008 they have controlled the White House.
“Worse: this bunch has set a very ugly tone that’s corrupted how people with power and money behave in every corner of our culture. Here’s what happened, and how it happened, and what it means for America now.”
In 2008, Barack Hussein Obama’s biggest campaign contributor was Goldman Sachs, which got a $10 billion dollar federal bailout from the Democratic-controlled Congress. That happened on Nancy Pelosi’s watch.
“Michael Lind first called out the existence of this conflict in his 2006 book, Made In Texas: George W. Bush and the Southern Takeover of American Politics. He argued that much of American history has been characterized by a struggle between two historical factions among the American elite — and that the election of George W. Bush was a definitive sign that the wrong side was winning.”
The key phrase there is “for much of American history.” Neither the Southern planter class or the Northeastern Yankee WASP elite has controlled either Dixie or New England since the mid-twentieth century. George W. Bush’s ranch in Crawford, TX is hardly a plantation.
“For most of our history, American economics, culture and politics have been dominated by a New England-based Yankee aristocracy that was rooted in Puritan communitarian values, educated at the Ivies and marinated in an ethic of noblesse oblige (the conviction that those who possess wealth and power are morally bound to use it for the betterment of society).”
The Yankee was overthrown by the Jew in the Northeast decades ago. WASPs no longer control New York City or the Ivy League.
“While they’ve done their share of damage to the notion of democracy in the name of profit (as all financial elites inevitably do), this group has, for the most part, tempered its predatory instincts with a code that valued mass education and human rights; held up public service as both a duty and an honor; and imbued them with the belief that once you made your nut, you had a moral duty to do something positive with it for the betterment of mankind. Your own legacy depended on this.”
There are strong remnants of the Yankee culture in the Northeast. In much the same way, Southern culture is still dominated by the legacy of the past. It would be foolish to assume though that the Southern planter class or the Yankee WASP elite is still literally running the show.
“Among the presidents, this strain gave us both Roosevelts, Woodrow Wilson, John F. Kennedy, and Poppy Bush — nerdy, wonky intellectuals who, for all their faults, at least took the business of good government seriously.”
The Roosevelts and JFK actually symbolized the long term decline of Yankee WASP elite in the Northeast. Surely, many a Yankee is rolling in his grave at the thought of an Irish Roman Catholic becoming president of the United States.
In the mid-twentieth century, the Yankee WASP elite was overthrown. It was replaced by a multiethnic elite that took over the Ivy League. Many books have been written about how the Jew and other non-WASPs took over Harvard and other Northeastern universities.
“Among financial elites, Bill Gates and Warren Buffet still both partake strongly of this traditional view of wealth as power to be used for good. Even if we don’t like their specific choices, the core impulse to improve the world is a good one — and one that’s been conspicuously absent in other aristocratic cultures.”
The philanthropy of Bill Gates and Warren Buffett is nothing more than a cost of doing business and a cynical attempt to protect their own vast fortunes from confiscation.
“Which brings us to that other great historical American nobility — the plantation aristocracy of the lowland South, which has been notable throughout its 400-year history for its utter lack of civic interest, its hostility to the very ideas of democracy and human rights, its love of hierarchy, its fear of technology and progress, its reliance on brutality and violence to maintain “order,” and its outright celebration of inequality as an order divinely ordained by God.”
I would dispute the idea that the South was opposed to “technology and progress” though. See the cotton gin, the telegraph, the railroad, the steamboat, the tractor, the mechanical cotton picker, refrigeration, and especially the air conditioner. We have too much techno-triumphalism in the South today.
“As described by Colin Woodard in American Nations: The Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America, the elites of the Deep South are descended mainly from the owners of sugar, rum and cotton plantations from Barbados — the younger sons of the British nobility who’d farmed up the Caribbean islands, and then came ashore to the southern coasts seeking more land. Woodward described the culture they created in the crescent stretching from Charleston, SC around to New Orleans this way.”
This is a half truth.
South Carolina embarked on its historical existence as an offshoot of the British West Indies. Early colonial South Carolina was dominated by settlers from Barbados. It was the Barbadians who left their cultural imprint on the South Carolina lowcountry which spawned the dominant culture of the Lower South. The same thing happened in Jamaica.
In the 21st century though, the elite of the Deep South has nothing to do with the old Southern planter class, which was devastated by War Between the States and lost power to “New South” elites in the decades that followed.