De Bow’s Vision

By Hunter Wallace

From the book:

“De Bow’s overall vision for economic reform relied heavily on the actions of individuals and communities. In his mind, individual planters and farmers would operate well-managed agricultural units and supply the region with needed produce and cash crops for export. Equally efficient factories would produce needed goods and supplies for southerners and reduce the region’s dependence on northern and European manufacturing. Smaller peripheral towns would then become conduits for local trade and funnel commerce to larger international ports, and a system of railroads would link the South together and, ultimately, create a unified region built equally around commerce, manufacturing, and agriculture. This plan, De Bow argued, would allow the South to become independent of northern interests and assume a larger role in national and international affairs.”

De Bow noted that Southerners were even dependent on the North for their ideas:

“The reading habits of Americans worked doubly against southern editors because northern journals dominated the reading habits of southern readers and most northern readers had little interest in southern journals.”

He anticipated private sector-state cooperation and articulated a national economic development strategy for the South:

“On the second day of the convention, De Bow presented his comprehensive plan to improve amd diversify the southern economy. Invoking memories of an Old South that had supplied many of the nation’s most prominent politicians, he reminded delegates that southern entrepreneurship had produced the first transatlantic steamship and the longest railroad in the world by the 1830s. He admitted, however, that those days had passed and that northern advances had overtaken southern political and economic dominance. He blamed southerners for this decline, specifically pointing to their overdependence on agricultural production, which limited the South’s industrial and commercial development. He proposed a specific plan that linked the interests of planters, merchants, and industrialists. Railroads would open new territory, foster innovation, and expand the commercial network of the south. Factories would stimulate the extraction of raw materials, create new urban centers, and increase the south’s global economic status. These changes, De Bow promised, would lead to greater profits for all southerners.”

About Hunter Wallace 9443 Articles
Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Occidental Dissent

45 Comments

  1. How is this a vision? It reminds one of Steve Martin’s guide to becoming a millionaire and paying no taxes. “First–get a million dollars.”

    ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zXmQW_aqBks )

    This is just more of the same self-defeating Southern pride. De Bow’s “vision” is of a South that’s like the North, except it still calls itself the South and doesn’t have to concede the slavery point.

  2. Not really.

    De Bow had no objection to slavery. He just wanted more infrastructure, more industry, and more commerce. He wanted the South to be more self sufficient and thought slavery could be used on a much broader scale.

  3. Isn’t economic nationalism just another form of a proposition nation? Instead of having a blood and soil nation, the nation, in effect, is just a corporation that exist for the purpose of economic growth.

  4. Even a blood and soil nation has an economy.

    The question is, will the economy be geared toward maintaining our independence and fostering broad based prosperity, or will it be driven instead by market forces and favor one class of citizens over others?

  5. “He wanted the South to be more self sufficient and thought slavery could be used on a much broader scale.”

    How about the part where he wanted rainwater to be beer? Is that covered in the book? He’s not saying anything. If he’s saying the South is going to have all these Northern-type things and is not only going to retain slavery but have MORE of it, then he’s being even sillier than I first suggested. It’s like the other old joke, which was once on The Monkees but might have been from A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum: “A brilliant idea! … That’s what we need: a brilliant idea.”

    (The rainwater-beer thing is from A Man for All Seasons.)

  6. De Bow’s ideas were just an extension of facts on the ground. Slaves did more than just pick cotton. There were whole classes of slaves that were skilled laborers. Brick masons, carpentry. These things already existed.

    A simple search for…Slaves skilled labor… will give you 757,000 results.

    John is poking fun at something that already existed.

  7. Even a blood and soil nation has an economy.

    That’s not the point. The Amish are a blood and soil nation. They have their economy. The Amish don’t have the corporate economy that you described and yet these people have all of their required material needs met. Therefore, the corporate economy that you propose is not a requirement for any Southern nation to sustain itself.

    The question is, will the economy be geared toward maintaining our independence and fostering broad based prosperity, or will it be driven instead by market forces and favor one class of citizens over others?

    The only aspect of an economy that’s required for independence is agriculture. The most basic need for any nation/country/society to survive is food production. The South has fertile soil and long growing seasons. In addition, it has access to ports and internal waterways. I would argue that despite its low industrialization, the South is far more capable of being independent without the Union than the Union was capable of being independent without the South. That’s probably why they forced her back into the union.

    You don’t realize that there is a contradiction in your goals. You expect for there to be cooperation between government and corporations while at the same time expect for the economy to not favor one class of citizens over another. The corporate economy will invariably result in centralization of political and economic power into the hands of oligarch class . Government will not cooperate with hundreds of thousands of small businesses. It prefers to cooperate a few of the largest of corporations, trade unions, banks and financial institutions, etc. You have a naive expectation that these powerful interests will act on behalf of the little guy instead of themselves. Have you noticed that there is a revolving door between government, lobbyist, corporations and trade unions? We already have everything that you propose. You naively believe that it can work with the right people are in charge. That’s analogous to the claim that communism could work if it were properly run. None of these systems can ever be run to anyone’s satisfaction. Centralization of power itself will result in various economic classes. And those class disparities are typically more pronounced than what could occur under a free market system. Your planned economy will never achieve its goals. You are in search of a utopia. You might as well start chasing unicorns and fairies. Unicorns, fairies, nor does your ideal economy will ever exist.

    • 1.) I haven’t met anyone who has proposed an Amish level of development for an independent South. The Amish are also quietists. They are not an independent nation.

      2.) How did that theory work out for us in practice when it was tried last time around and 1 out of 4 Southern White men died as a result?

      3.) It makes even less sense today because technology and economies of scale have wiped out agricultural employment. Few people work in agriculture these days.

      4.) After the war, the planters themselves realized that railroad executives and industrialists were no threat to their interests and that an industrial economy could coexist alongside an agricultural one. For decades, the Birmingham district in Alabama was closely aligned with the Black Belt in state politics.

      5.) In China, Japan, South Korea, Germany and other countries, that’s exactly what they do. As we have seen, there are important differences in the way American corporations are chartered which makes them less accountable to US citizens. Because they have more freedom here, they are free to see themselves as multinationals and shed their American workforce.

      6.) No, we have a genuine free-market, free-trade economy, albeit with massive distortions because a weak central government – unlike Japan, China, South Korea, Russia – is always the plaything of private interests and powerful lobbyists.

      7.) Just the opposite is true: a weak decentralized government like the one we have in the US will be captured by private interests. That’s why domestic and foreign corporations have massive leverage over Washington – they can always buy a congressman or sue in court – which they don’t have in authoritarian countries.

      8.) Please note that the disparities between the rich and the poor, the CEO and the average worker is greater in the US than in any other advanced industrialized nation in the world.

      9.) How am I in search of a utopia? A utopian idea would be the notion that the Amish model could work in an independent South or that agriculture could be anything other than a minor source of employment in the 21st century.

      There is nothing utopian about a national economic development strategy, an industrial policy, or a protectionist trade policy. It wasn’t even utopian in the past when men like De Bow advocated it.

  8. As much as the works of the Southern Agrarians have a spiritual appeal, I cannot help but recognize the truth of what you are saying. A sound industrial policy, economic development plan, and protectionist trade policy is exactly what a free Dixie requires. Capital should serve the interests of society, not the other way around as it is now. However, this in itself in not sufficient. Dixie will also need a central bank that cannot be captured by outsiders but must be run as a tool of government policy. That central bank should issue notes that are instruments of value, not of debt.

    There’s only one way to get there too. First, we must discard unworkable notions of a weak confederation. We tried that before and 1 out of 4 Southern men died as a result. A strong nation must have strong government. Weak nations get trampled. So, secondly, we must discard notions of Jeffersonian democracy. Even limited suffrage will inevitably creep into the masses who will then vote for more bread and circuses. We must not allow judicial review of our laws, for that way also leads us to the den of vipers we currently suffer under. Judges should read law and enforce it, not broadly interpret it. The South has almost always been run by one party, and that’s how it should stay.

  9. A free-market, free-trade economy will have us growing peanuts in Alabama and raising chickens. Wal-Mart will be one of our biggest employers.

    There might be some Japanese and South Korean automobile plants here – they are forward bases, which are used to conquer our market – but you won’t find South Korea or Japan practicing this nonsense in their own countries. They will play along with the free-trade game, but will find other methods aside from tariffs to protect their own markets.

  10. This is a good one:

    “A Review contributor questioned why more Southern shipbuilders had failed to materialize, despite the South’s abundance of lumber, naval stores, and cotton to transport. A disenchanted reader noted that the delegates to the 1858 Vicksburg Commerical Convention had traveled on northern-built railroad cars and rode on iron rails produced in northern factories. Once they arrived at the convention, delegates used chairs and desks that had been assembled by northern workers and after a long day retired to “lie down to dream of southern independence in a Yankee bed.”

  11. 1.) I haven’t met anyone who has proposed an Amish level of development for an independent South. The Amish are also quietists. They are not an independent nation.

    The Amish are not politically independent but they are a blood and soil nation. And they rely on government for very little. They are not employed by government, they don’t receive government benefits, farm subsidies, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, welfare, school (and yet they are very literate). Although they are not an independent political entity, they are in effect an independent nation of people who can sustain themselves. And my point regarding the Amish is that the corporate state is not necessary for anyone survival. This corporate state proposal demonstrates that your worldview (like the communist and capitalist) is entirely materialistic. You cannot demonstrate that your proposed corporate state is a necessity for the survival of a people.

    2.) How did that theory work out for us in practice when it was last time around and 1 out of 4 Southern White men died as a result?

    That the FedGov was militarily superior is a separate and nonissue related to the sustainability of the Southern economy. But by your standard, the economic models for countries such as Canada and Mexico should not be considered truly independent because they both could be conquered by the FedGov if the FedGov were as belligerent to these countries as it was to the South. The same can be said of 1940s Germany, Italy and Japan. The same can be said of the the Philippines, Iraq, Libya, and almost every other country in the world. Might doesn’t make right.

    3.) It makes even less sense today because technology and economies of scale have wiped out agricultural employment. Few people work in agriculture in these days.

    Why is Big Agribusiness importing people from Mexico to the US to perform farm work?

    4.) After the war, the planters themselves realized that railroad executives and industrialists were no threat to their interests and that an industrial economy could coexist alongside an agricultural one. For decades, the Birmingham district in Alabama was closely aligned with the Black Belt in state politics.

    I never argued that point. What I have argued against any industrialization. I have argued that the agrarian economy of the South is a self-sufficient economic model and that the corporate state is not necessary.

    5.) In China, Japan, South Korea, Germany and other countries, that’s exactly what they do. As we have seen, there are important differences in the way American corporations are chartered which makes them less accountable to US citizens. Because they have more freedom here, they are free to see themselves as multinationals and shed their American workforce.

    You are only parroting what you read in a book. I don’t think you performed any analyses as to how having the FedGov charter corporations is a benefit. Prestowitz wrote a book that confirmed everything you wanted to believe and you swallowed it hook, line, and sinker. Explain in detail how will ensure that corporations will be run the “right” way? There are 7.4 million S corporations and 1.7 million C corporations. Did Prestowitz mention this in his book? How will the FedGov administer intrusive controls that you desire for 9.1 million corporations? And based on today’s society, the FedGov will mostly concern itself with ensuring each corporation has the “right” amount of diversity in its workforce and corporate board room.

    6.) No, we have a genuine free-market, free-trade economy, albeit with massive distortions because a weak central government – unlike Japan, China, South Korea, Russia – is always the plaything of private interests and powerful lobbyists.

    No we are not a free trade country. The Federal Register consist of around 25,000 pages. These regulations affect what goods and services can be offered within the economy. For example, an auto manufacturer cannot legally sell a car that doesn’t meet Federal requirements for “safety,” emissions, fuel economy, and other regulations. For example, you cannot purchase a vehicle without airbags, tire pressure monitors, or a backup camera. These are all Federal dictates that were not demanded by the consumer.

    The FDA restricts numerous products from reaching markets. For example, it’s illegal for a drug company to sell a drug that has not been approved by the FDA. A person may want the drug and may be willing to assume all risks with taking it but isn’t allowed access to it because the FedGov says no. That’s not a free market. Insurance companies cannot sell health insurance policies that don’t meet Obamacare. Many if not most products for sale must meet a myriad of Federal regulations before they can be offered to consumers.

    7.) Just the opposite is true: a weak decentralized government like the one we have in the US will be captured by private interests. That’s why domestic and foreign corporations have massive leverage over Washington – they can always buy a congressman or sue in court – which they don’t have in authoritarian countries.

    A “weak” Federal government would not have been captured by the private sector. The private sector would have no use in capturing a weak government. The Federal government is the most powerful government in the world. It can leverage a worldwide banking system, worldwide taxation, and has a military at its disposal to enforce its edicts. That’s why it’s been captured by private interests.

    8.) Please note that the disparities between the rich and the poor, the CEO and the average worker is greater in the US than in any other advanced industrialized nation in the world.

    Note that the disparities between the rich and poor have grown as Federal power has grown. Also note that the Federal government’s authority isn’t just domestic, it’s power is worldwide.

    9.) How am I in search of a utopia? A utopian idea would be the notion that the Amish model could work in an independent South of that agriculture could be anything other than a minor source of employment in the 21st century.

    Straw Man. There are to Utopias, period. I do believe that many aspects of the Amish model could work well for the Southern people.

    • Prestowitz’s book explains a great mystery: why are American corporations so much more likely to see themselves as multinationals and lay off their American workers in order to outsource so much more of their production to foreign countries?

      Germany has the highest labor costs of any country in the world. Why haven’t German corporations followed the example of their American counterparts? Why hasn’t Japan’s corporations? Don’t they seem much more committed and loyal to Germany and Japan?

      The reason is that corporations in those countries work much more closely with the government and labor unions. They are kept on a much shorter leash and have greater obligations to stakeholders. In contrast, American corporations have greater freedom, which they used to ship their production to foreign countries like Mexico and China that have lower labor costs.

    • Since 1945, the United States has the been the world leader in pushing for more free-trade and lowering trade barriers, which is a 180 degree turn from the protectionist trade policy it had from the War of 1812 down to the end of the Second World War.

      We have free-trade agreements with Canada and Mexico (NAFTA), Chile, Peru, Panama and Colombia, South Korea, Israel, Australia, and much of Central America and the Caribbean. Tariffs are generally low on countries with which we don’t have free-trade agreements like China and Japan and the EU.

      Aside from that, the US was the guiding light behind GATT and the creation of the WTO, which is now the umpire of world trade. We’ve been steadily building a world based on free-market economics and free-trade for over sixty years now. That’s the gospel taught in our universities and which is uncritically accepted by our elites.

    • If you are saying that Americans don’t want clean water, safe food, fuel efficient vehicles, crash resistant cars and trucks, safe prescription drugs and so on, then I disagree. I will grant though that the government does regulate the economy in order to tame the market to achieve public goods. To my knowledge, the government also does this in other foreign countries like Canada which has a government controlled healthcare system.

    • There’s a reason why American corporations and wealthy individuals make enormous campaign contributions and field armies of lobbyists in Washington. That’s how private actors successfully achieve leverage over American government officials.

      The US does not have the most powerful government in the world. Russia and China, for example, have far more authoritarian systems. Wealthy donors and corporate interests have far more control over the US political system than they do anywhere in Europe.

      The Founding Fathers created a relatively weak and decentralized federal government. Power is divided between a bicameral legislature, the courts, and the executive. It is also divided between the states and the federal government.

      In the US, American corporations and wealthy individuals are political players. They do not have the same relationship with China or Russia’s government. If the American government does something that a faction doesn’t like, it has numerous options to get its way like going to court or funding presidential and congressional campaigns.

    • The disparities between rich and poor were much lower from the 1950s to the 1970s when taxes were higher, trade was less free, immigration was restricted, labor unions were stronger, the rich had less leverage over politicians, and the financial sector and other industries were more regulated. Isn’t it amazing how our growing libertarianism managed to unwind all of that?

    • If you think over 55 million White Southerners are going to reject modern technology and intentionally deindustrialize our economy in order to seek out agricultural employment in an Amish-style economy, I would just say that is a romantic, utopian notion.

  12. A free-market, free-trade economy will have us growing peanuts in Alabama and raising chickens. Wal-Mart will be one of our biggest employers.

    Can you explain why private investors will invest in a Southern farm but not in Southern industry?

  13. I think there is a consensus here that the FedGov has been a boon for the Southern people. I don’t have a problem with that worldview but what I question is why do people here like LARPing as Southern secessionist? Why doesn’t everyone just forget about secession and just go on ahead and live their lives?

  14. The Amish are a tiny quietest religious sect which is tolerated by the US federal government because they not a threat to anyone. They are not an independent nation. They have no control over their own destiny. No more than the rest of the population including Southern Nationalists. Are we satisfied with what we have now? The Amish have the same thing.

    There are about 119 million people in the South. Probably about 65 percent are non-Hispanic Whites. There are about 300,000 Amish to well over 55 million White Southerners. How many of those White Southerners would be open to even considering an Amish model economy that rejects technology?

    My view is that Southern independence necessarily requires a strong material foundation. We have learned from experience with the Confederacy that romantic delusions are the surest path to a devastating defeat and a tragic loss of our independence.

  15. Hunter,

    There is not going to be any Southern independence. Period. It’s never going to happen. You yourself has made the best case against it. Independence requires agency and you have made the case Southerners have no agency. Northerners created industry through private investment. Northerners have agency. According to you, the FedGov has agency. Southerners don’t have agency. Without Northern, Federal, or foreign investment, all Southerners would be are peanut and hog farmers. We have a consolidated government and we would obviously be better off with more of it. The well-being of the Southern people is better met by staying in the union. Secession will devastate the Southern economy. There will be immense financial pain that comes with secession. That car has already been made. Instead of LARPing as a secessionist, why not work with Trump to make America great again?

  16. The fact that the Confederacy was crushed by the federal government and 1 out of 4 Southern White men died as a result must be and always will be the starting point for any discussion of Southern Nationalism.

    And why was the Confederacy defeated? Above all else, it was because the Confederacy was inferior in agriculture, inferior in industry, inferior in shipping, inferior in infrastructure, inferior in organization, and inferior in population to the Union. The only aspect of the economy in which the Confederacy was superior to the Union was in exports which is because our economy was still stuck at a relative colonial stage of development and was overly dependent on international trade with Europe.

    And why was that? It is because the free-market, free-trade doctrine had retarded the industrial and commercial development of the antebellum South and left us devoid of the means to win our independence..

    – It was cheaper to buy manufactured goods from Europe and the North.

    – It was more profitable and less risky to grow cotton than to invest in manufacturing.

    – Even though the vast majority of the Gulf and Atlantic Coasts were bordered by excellent timberland, which we cut down after we were defeated in the war, it was cheaper to rely on Yankee ships.

    – Even though Birmingham was one of the most fortuitous places in the world to make steel, it was cheaper to rely on Yankee industry to build railroads.

    – It was cheaper to buy food from the Midwest than to develop the agriculture of the Upper South.

    – In spite of all our rivers, it was cheaper to export our cotton to the North and employ Yankees to make our textiles.

    The free-market, free-trade doctrine make the South economically weak and dependent – too weak to win its independence without foreign intervention. Unfortunately, we developed many of the industries we needed during the war in the decades after the war.

    If the Old South had not been so blinded by Jeffersonian ideology, it would have realised its industrial and commercial potential much earlier, and the Confederacy would have won its independence.

  17. The fact that the Confederacy was crushed by the federal government and 1 out of 4 Southern White men died as a result must be and always will be the starting point for any discussion of Southern Nationalism.

    This is another case against secession since the FedGov now has the military might to kill 4 out of 4 man, woman, and child. No amount of Southern industrialization will overcome that.

  18. The free-market, free-trade doctrine make the South economically weak and dependent – too weak to win its independence without foreign intervention. Unfortunately, we developed many of the industries we needed during the war in the decades after the war.

    This would speak a lot about the character differences between the northern industrialist and the Southern planter. If Southerners lacked agency to develop their own industries (as they did in the north) then they didn’t deserve to be independent. The problem is free markets. The problem is the Southern people. Free markets only work with people who have agency. It apparently works well with northerners but doesn’t work at all with blacks and White Southerners.

  19. There are some agricultural crops which are still labor intensive – winter vegetables, onions, citrus, tomatoes, etc. These crops are less mechanized than corn, wheat, cotton and so forth because they are easier to damage.

    It is true that a handful of crops are more dependent on seasonal labor, but overall, it is also true that few people work in the agricultural sector as a whole. The long term trend will be further mechanization as the remaining crops go the way of cotton and tobacco.

  20. Here’s a question, why did industrialist from the North develop an auto industry but no one from the South? Why did two bike makers from the upper Midwest invent the airplane with private investment but no one from the South even bothered? Was the propl “free markets” or the lack of agency demonstrated by Southerners?

  21. In Enterprise, AL, not too far from where I grew up, there is a monument to the boll weevil.

    It is one of the strangest monuments in America. The reason that there is a boll weevil monument in Enterprise is that by the 1920s the South’s agrarian economy based on the export of cotton had become so sick, so backward, and had made the White South so poor, that when boll weevil finally destroyed the Cotton Kingdom the people there felt that they had been liberated by the pest!

    I will just note the contrast between Enterprise’s boll weevil monument, which reflected the reality of Southern agrarianism circa 1925, and the Vanderbilt Agrarians who wrote their romantic essays in Nashville.

    I guess being an destitute White sharecropper in debt peonage can look romantic from a safe distance.

  22. According to the wiki article, the idea of having a boll weevil monument was proposed by peanut farmers. I don’t know the common folks shouted Hallelujah!!! in the aftermath of the boll weevil attack. Enterprise, Al apparently depended on two crops instead of one. I don’t romanticize agricultural work. I see it as honorable work for an honorable industry.

    • In the early twentieth century, the economy of Enterprise and other cities in the Wiregrass region began to diversify into peanuts due to massive overproduction, soil erosion, and low prices in cotton. Today, peanuts are still the largest crop in the region. In fact, the annual peanut festival is going on right now.

      BTW, the economy of Enterprise is really driven by federal military spending on Fort Rucker. Getting back to the subject at hand, James D.B De Bow would have been proud of Enterprise because agricultural diversification is something he advocated for twenty years.

  23. highest labor costs of any country in the world. Why haven’t German corporations followed the example of their American counterparts? Why hasn’t Japan’s corporations? Don’t they seem much more committed and loyal to Germany and Japan?

    One factor could be the regulatory environment in each country. Manufacturing is highly capitalized. Differences in labor cost may only account for a fraction of the cost to produce.

    Germany also has a higher manufacturing value added per capita than the US ($7,500 versus $5,800). Japan’s is $8,500. It would be nice to have data on a per employee basis but it doesn’t exists. But from this little piece of data, Japan and Germany’s manufacturing sector produce high value goods. On the other hand China’s value added per capita is $1,439, which is less than Mexico ($1,640). Although China is exporting a lot of stuff, it’s not high value. A lot of the jobs being performed in China today would likely be performed by machine if it were brought to the US.

  24. “John is poking fun at something that already existed.”

    I’m not poking fun at anything that already existed, Sam; I’m pointing out the pointlessness of De Bow and, frankly, of Mr. W’s latest gospel.

    Has it ever occurred to any Southerner not to be a pain in the ass?

    I’m sorry to have to put it that way, but that question is long overdue–like about two centuries overdue. What is the point of all this? “De Bow’s ideas were just an extension of facts on the ground.” What facts on the ground? The facts with which De Bow himself was unhappy? The South doesn’t have the railroads, the industrialization, the thriving periodicals etc. etc. etc. What’s his proposed solution? Wave a magic wand and turn Dixie into slaveholding Disneyland. That’s all De Bow is saying. He’s not proposing anything. He has no vision. There was nothing wrong with the South except that it was making a pain in the ass of itself over slavery. Unlike Hinton Helper, who was similarly frank about the South’s having fallen behind, De Bow is unwilling–as, in effect, are you, Mr. W., and the rest of you Southern diehards–simply to say, “Well, why don’t we just get rid of slavery and get with the program?”

    Each time I think about you guys, I’m reminded of an occasion, decades ago, when I did something foolish and was not at all upset about it. “I don’t think you realize what you’ve done,” a wise elder said to me–and he was right. I think you diehard Southerners don’t realize what the South did. England was being transformed and was in the process of transforming the world; the North was participating in the change, which was one of the greatest events in the history or our civilization. The South could have been part of it. How great a portion of Southern economic activity was agricultural wouldn’t have mattered. The South would have been part of the U.S. Her people wouldn’t have found themselves in antagonism with their own English kin, up North–antagonism that persists, to this day. Except for, maybe, one-fourth Scottish ancestry on my Irish side, I’m not kin to the Nineteenth-Century Northerners whom you came to hate, whom you came to disdain as “Yankees,” a word you spit at your racial brethren; but I often feel that, as a Northerner, I’m more connected to, say, the culture of Victorian England than you are. You cut yourself off from your own people.

    What is the point? Yes, if we follow De Bow’s advice and wave the magic wand, we’ll be like the North–except that our working class will consist of black slaves–and then we won’t lose any Civil War, and then–what?

    Mr. W. goes from reason to reason, sideshow to sideshow, in his effort to explain what all of you Southern diehards are always trying to explain: No, we weren’t fools who went to war over slavery. Yes, you were. The problem wasn’t Jeffersonianism, or Yankees, or tariffs, or whatever: it was you. You wouldn’t listen–and you fucked up the whole country because of it. You’ve even fucked up Europe. Why do you think Merkel is letting non-whites into Europe? She’s making up, in her own mind, for slavery. If you had cooperated–if you’d listened–slavery could have been brought to an end, the Africans could have been removed from among whites, and the entire history of the West would have been much different.

    When Hinton Helper says the South is falling behind, Mr. W. will trot out some statistics to show that per capita income in the South was greater than that in the North or whatever. When De Bow says it, De Bow’s a prophet. The whole thing is ridiculous. Stop being ridiculous. That’s my advice.

  25. PS I think there’s a Scotsman–or Scotswoman–named Griffin, back there in my ancestry, Mr. W.; so–greetings, cousin.

  26. When I drive around south Alabama, I notice a distinct pattern:

    – The larger towns have big box stores, typically a Wal-Mart, and almost everything in the store except the food is an import from a foreign country.

    – I notice lots of closed factories and textile mills. In my hometown, for example, there is a Wal-Mart adjacent to a closed textile mill.

    – Plenty of crops are grown in the rural parts of south Alabama by large landowners including cotton, peanuts, timber and soybeans, but our agriculture doesn’t seem to employ that many people.

    – There are chicken processing plants here. Every single one that I have ever seen has been a magnet for illegal aliens.

    – Montgomery has a Hyundai plant.

    – Some of the towns like Ozark, Troy and Enterprise are dependent on either a military base or a public university.

    That’s just what I see. Perhaps you can take a shot at explaining that. Why has the magic of the marketplace produced this land of Wal-Marts, peanut fields, and chicken processing plants?

  27. Let us grant that the federal government does have the capacity to unleash a nuclear holocaust, but it couldn’t defeat the Viet Cong or more recently the Taliban. It is not willing to use all the weapons at its disposal.

  28. That’s not the case at all.

    Obviously, the federal government is destroying us with any number of policies – above all, our immigration policy – and that is why we support secession. I’m just not willing to follow libertarians off the cliff and conclude that “the state is evil” or “government is evil.”

    Look, I am not a secessionist because of the USDA, or because the Pentagon created the internet, or NASA or Yellowstone, or the minimum wage, etc. I’m not a secessionist because I want less regulation of hedge funds, child labor, or because predatory lenders can’t get a fair shake under this system.

    I would say that it was a great accomplishment to put a man on the moon, but if the government is trying to wipe out my kind, then I want to secede from that government. The bad outweighs the good.

  29. John Bonaccorsi,”…Has it ever occurred to any Southerner not to be a pain in the ass?…”

    That’s a laugh. John telling us not to be a pain in the ass. Northerners are some the most obnoxious pains in the ass on planet earth.

    If you people wanted to get rid of slavery so bad why didn’t you just pay the owners for their slaves? Instead you invaded. You act as if the North had no agency. Just helpless little pawns FORCED by those wicked slave owners to invade the South and crush those wicked folk. Please spare me.

    I’ve read I think all of Prestowitz’s books and several other books by the Japan watchers who studied how their economy boomed so quickly. A lot they borrowed from the US but a lot was also borrowed from the Germans. I think even better than Prestowitz’s books is Eamonn Fingleton books and articles. His writing is clear and he lays the interlocking power arrangements together very well. Here’s one of his sites which has some articles on it.

    http://www.fingleton.net/

    I liked his book,

    Blindside: Why Japan Is Still on Track to Overtake the U.S. By the Year 2000

    They didn’t quite take us over but they’re much more than they seem. The reason is Japan sells a lot of parts and equipment to China and the other Asian countries these are assembled and sent to the US under their names instead of Japan.

    One of the interlocking keys of Japan, Germany and now China are their banking relationships between the Banks, Gov. and their companies. Here’s a link explaining some of the ideas in German banking. It’s not too long and a good general overview.

    http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/3937:the-public-option-in-banking-another-look-at-the-german-model

    As for why the South didn’t industrialize like the North. I would say a big part would be that the South was much more suited to agriculture. We had a lot of land. When one section wore out we just opened a new section. The North didn’t have this luxury. Another big advantage of the North would lots of small streams that were good for damming to make power. As in England the beginnings of the industrial revolution was all about water power. There’s also the fact that this kind of industrialization feeds on itself. If people are making machinery nearby it becomes easy to make more machinery. It may have been the case that the South would have industrialized very fast without the civil war. After the civil war the North ran the whole place as a concentration camp with Negros and carpet baggers in charge. As with Detroit today nothing gets done under these sort of conditions.

    If you want to see what I mean about industry feeding on itself to make more industry you should see this BBC series,”Industrial Revelations”. If you’re interested in this sort of thing it’s just fantastic. First class stuff. Here’s the first one. I think there’s ten.

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