Alt-South: What is Conservative Government?

In his 1852 address to the Alumni Society of the College of Charleston William Porcher Miles spoke out against the desire by one nation to impose their preferred form of government upon foreign nations. It reads today like a strong rebuke of both neo-conservatism and neo-liberalism of the kinds which George W. Bush and Hillary Clinton used to promote ill-fated interventions in the Arab world. He stated that “the Form of Government of a people ought not to be determined by foreign and extrinsic influences.” He cautioned that this was not a “broad principle” against all foreign intervention for all time but insisted that “Political Crusades are impolitic and dangerous.” Miles urged,

The true policy of a nation is to a great degree selfish. Let her chief aims be to conserve or to perfect her own Constitution; to elevate and improve the condition of her own people. The finite intellect of man is incapable of marking out for them the destinies of all Races and Peoples.

Miles presented a conservative world-view in which man is a limited and natural being, divided into races and nations. There is no one-size-fits-all solution to government for the whole planet; there is no end of history. The South Carolinian proclaimed that “there is not any One specific form of Government into which… you can force the Body Politic. It not only may differ – but must differ – with different People and different Social Organizations.” He pointed out that “Nations have grown great and powerful, and fulfilled their missions in furthering Civilization and the elevation of man’s nature under various and opposite forms of Government.” We should generally “leave other nations to work out for themselves, as we have done, the problem as to what Political Form is best adapted to their peculiar growth and development.”

Miles went on to attack the notion that “Liberty is the birth-right of Mankind.” He saw “Unlimited Equality in Social Privileges and Political Power” as a “levelling and disorganizing doctrine… which, if unchecked, will uproot and destroy all that is venerable and time-honored in politics – all that is conservative in Society – all that is pure in Morals – nay, even the very bulwarks of Religious Faith.” Miles stressed that “Political Liberty… is not an Inalienable Right, but an Acquired Privilege” and condemned Thomas Jefferson’s assertion to the contrary as a “monstrous and dangerous fallacy” that “has, even among us, by thinking men been long detected and abandoned.”

William Porcher Miles – a medical volunteer, Mayor of Charleston, US and CS congressman, university president and plantation manager – was a true Southern renaissance man. His conservative world-view and considerable intellect offers insight for those in the Alt-South today as we work to re-connect with who we are and discover the best way forward in the world of today and tomorrow.

Also see: Alt-South: The Myth of American Democracy

NOTE: As Hunter Wallace has explained, “[t]he Alt-South isn’t a membership organization. It is… a space for everyone in Dixie who isn’t some kind of leftist or mainstream conservative (i.e., nationalists, populists, reactionaries) to come together to discuss our past, present and common future. Southern Nationalists [are] at the core of the Alt-South.”

About Michael Cushman 156 Articles
South Carolinian. Southern nationalist. Anglican.
James Owen
Guest

“George W. Bush and Hillary Clinton”

These are textbook examples of the Yankee which Professor Wilson has so often spoken of. They represent the Northern Civilisation that is perpetually at odds with, and opposed to, our own.

Fr. John+
Guest
Oh please! I just was in South Carolina, and saw Charleston. So I have a gut level reaction to this column, and your (pardon the expression) bigoted hatred of the north. We are all-all of us-all Americans-guilty of this idiocy! The fallacy of the Enlightenment era, was that the older Calvinist/Augustinian conception of sin, was passé. The poison pill of Voltaire was that “we lived in the best of all possible worlds.” And then the American Revolution happened. And then the French revolution happened. And then England freaked out. And Americans, surfeited with her own pridefulness, ( and actually believing… Read more »
James Owen
Guest

More specifically, the Puritans.

Mark Saint
Guest

Very good response Fr. John, I’ll take issue with the last sentence. There is where we depart.

Fr. John+
Guest

Then you haven’t heard a word. We ALL are to blame, in various ways…

Mark Saint
Guest

Fr. John, I didn’t intend for that post to go through. I was in the process of changing it and my tablet crashed.

Mark Saint
Guest
Miles is correct in the fact that Liberty is not a birth-right of mankind. Liberty is the accuired privilege of those with the cultural fortitude to achieve it. You cannot gift Liberty to a nation or culture, it must be bought and payed for by those within said culture. Once achieved, the desire must be nurtured at all cost for future generations. Modern Americans don’t understand the concept of Liberty as a whole within their culture. Liberty has become equated to the perversion of the cultural norm. Yes, in this cultural rot of modern America the only thing left for… Read more »
Joe Putnam
Guest

Yes indeed Mr. Saint. The Minute Man versus the Tranny is a good analogy. True liberty was the Founders and the antebellum South; libertarianism never was anything but a Jewish dream.

Captain John Charity Spring MA
Guest
Captain John Charity Spring MA

Stock Market responds to fall of…

Note the heeb watching on the right.comment image

didymus46
Guest

What – the big nose? Ever check out some of the Italian honkers (e.g. Medicis)? You hurt our side with bigotry like that.

Krafty Wurker
Guest

Please. The Jew would have been Jewing no matter who won.

Krafty Wurker
Guest

Thanks for reminding me that Miles is buried in Monroe County, WV.

didymus46
Guest

Echoing that alt-right icon John Quincy Adams (“vindicator of our own”)!

john
Guest

When the West puts its nose in other nations’ conflicts, and lets terrorists and Jihadis migrate to their nations at the same time (who oppose our participation), our leaders are making us a target for these psychos, be it on a train or city street or an airport. They expose us to the risk of mass murder and should be sued.
Just deport the incompatibles and pull our troops out. Just don’t involve us- they’re no our wars. We can’t change what these people are and shouldn’t be trying to. We’ve had enough.

john
Guest

And I must add that too many are being born in the third world so when they are at war with each other, it keeps their numbers contained. Natual disasters and diseases also keep the numbers back…….so why interfere with cures, etc? Population explosion is exactly what we DON’T want!
Remember…..they are outbreeding us and are our future refugees and terrorists. They are also a good argument for CLOSED borders.

Joe Putnam
Guest
Very interesting piece. I especially loved the part where Mr. Cushman quoted Mr. miles that: He saw “Unlimited Equality in Social Privileges and Political Power” as a “levelling and disorganizing doctrine… which, if unchecked, will uproot and destroy all that is venerable and time-honored in politics – all that is conservative in Society – all that is pure in Morals – nay, even the very bulwarks of Religious Faith.” Very true. It took me awhile to come to this realization. I think that the nations should be left to govern themselves, the American emphasis to force “democracy” on them is… Read more »
Bannon Dale
Guest

Why do you always end your posts in a cliffhanger?

Joe Putnam
Guest

No, I usually do not end with a cliffhanger or do multi-part posts. I am curious as to which of my posts you read? My link in my above comment was to my Three Principles piece, which I suppose could be considered a cliffhanger. I did not think of it as such as I was making a broad statement as to future ill events in America that I would have no advanced knowledge of. Thanks for the interest,
Joe

Bannon Dale
Guest

I just find it humorous. The way you lead into your links, it’s dramatic.

Joe Putnam
Guest

I suppose it is just my writing style to be a bit dramatic. The Redcoats are coming! (just kidding)

Robert o
Guest

The writing from the 1850’s is a treasure trove. Gives an new perspective on the South as not backwards but rather a nascent archeo-futurist society.

Bannon Dale
Guest

Is there a good published collection of this sort of writing available for purchase?

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