Donald Thoresen has written an article at Counter-Currents called “Rally ‘Round The Flag” about how we should embrace the American flag and American nationalism.
In my defense, I was a Southern Nationalist two months ago before this debate broke out, two years ago when Trump announced he was running for president and five years ago when I joined the League of the South. Obviously, the fact that I am a Southern Nationalist prevents me from identifying as an American Nationalist and rushing to embrace the American flag because of “optics.”
I have my reasons for being a Southern Nationalist. I am not, however, one of these people who always argues with non-Southerners about it, who blames the damnyankee for everything wrong in the South or even someone who romanticizes Southern identity. My view is that Southern identity is also in an extremely degraded state. We have also lost touch with our heritage and forgotten our history. Just look at all of our Rainbow Confederate “Heritage, Not Hate” goobers!
If you want to embrace the American flag and identify as an American nationalist, I truly couldn’t care less. When we were in Charlottesville, I didn’t object to anyone who brought the American flag. The people who brought the American flag were there to stand with us and support the Robert E. Lee monument. I have more respect for those people than the Southerners who are either too sorry or cowardly to fight for their birthright. I think we are wasting our time arguing about flags.
Personally, I’m not going to become an American nationalist or adopt the American flag. For starters, I just don’t feel it and I am incapable of faking it. More importantly, there is the question of where all of this is going given the fact that Americans have virtually nothing in common anymore. We don’t share a common race, ethnicity, culture, religion, language, a common history and memory or even an ideology. It has gotten to the point where we are arguing about the flag and national anthem.
Whereas some people see an opportunity to be seized, I see the NFL protests as the latest proof of my long held belief that deracinated Americanism is losing cohesion, polarization is intensifying and our culture is unraveling. It looks to me like a case of Stage 4 cancer. This is something that is clearly dying and the driving cause of it is the ideology of liberal democracy which takes “liberty” and “equality” to greater and greater extremes and ultimately unwinds and ends up destroying its host culture in the process.
I see this and agree with George Fitzhugh and Thomas Carlyle:
“Further study, too, of Western European Society, which has been engaged in continual revolution for twenty years, has satisfied us that Free Society every where begets isms, and that isms soon beget bloody revolutions. Until our trip to the North, we did not justly appreciate the passage which we are about to quote from Mr. Carlyle’s “Latter-Day Pamphlets.” Now it seems to us as if Boston, New Haven, or Western New York, had set for the picture:
“To rectify the relation that exists between two men, is there no method, then, but that of ending it? The old relation has become unsuitable, obsolete, perhaps unjust; and the remedy is, abolish it; let there henceforth be no relation at all. From the ‘sacrament of marriage’ downwards, human beings used to be manifoldly related one to another, and each to all; and there was no relation among human beings, just or unjust, that had not its grievances and its difficulties, its necessities on both sides to bear and forbear. But henceforth, be it known, we have changed all that by favor of Heaven; the ‘voluntary principle’ has come up, which will itself do the business for us; and now let a new sacrament, that of Divorce, which we call emancipation, and spout of on our platforms, be universally the order of the day! Have men considered whither all this is tending, and what it certainly enough betokens? Cut every human relation that has any where grown uneasy sheer asunder; reduce whatsoever was compulsory to voluntary, whatsoever was permanent among us to the condition of the nomadic; in other words, LOOSEN BY ASSIDUOUS WEDGES, in every joint, the whole fabrice of social existence, stone from stone, till at last, all lie now quite loose enough, it can, as we already see in most countries, be overset by sudden outburst of revolutionary rage; and lying as mere mountains of anarchic rubbish, solicit you to sing Fraternity, &c. over it, and rejoice in the now remarkable era of human progress we have arrived at.”
Now we plant ourselves on this passage from Carlyle. We say that, as far as it goes, ’tis a faithful picture of the isms of the North. But the restraints of Law and Public Opinion are less at the North than in Europe. The isms on each side the Atlantic are equally busy with “assiduous wedges,” in “loosening in every joint the whole fabric of social existence;” but whilst they dare invoke Anarchy in Europe, they dare not inaugurate New York Free Love, and Oneida Incest, and Mormon Polygamy. The moral, religious, and social heresies of the North, are more monstrous than those of Europe. The pupil has surpassed the master, unaided by the stimulants of poverty, hunger and nakedness, which urge the master forward.”
Here’s an excerpt from George Fitzhugh’s Sociology for the South, or, The Failure of Free Society (1854) which describes Americanism as a state “of dissolution and thaw, of demoralization and transition” into an untried form of anarchy:
“Nothing in the signs of the times exhibits in stronger relief the fact, that free society is in a state “of dissolution and thaw, “of demoralization and transition, than the stir about woman’s rights. And yet it is time to work …
The people of our Northern States, who hold that domestic slavery is unjust and iniquitous, are consistent in their attempts to modify or abolish the marriage relation. Marriages, in many places there, are contracted with as little formality as jumping over a broom, and are dissolved with equal facility by courts and legislatures. It is proposed by many to grant divorces at all times, when the parties mutually consent. The Socialists suggest that the relation should be abolished, private family establishments broken up, and women and children converted into joint stock. The ladies are promoting these movements by womens right’s conventions. The prospects of these agitators are quite hopeful, because they have no conservative South to oppose them. It is their own affair, and we will not interfere with its regulation.
We shall deplore the day when marriage and Christianity are abolished anywhere, but will not interfere in the social and domestic matters of other people. …”
In his book Cannibals All! or, Slaves Without Masters (1857), George Fitzhugh saw abolitionism and the other -isms of his day as “the spattering drops that precede a social deluge”:
“Why have you Bloomer’s and Women’s Right’s men, and strong-minded women, and Mormons, and anti-renters, and “vote myself a farm” men, Millerites, and Spiritual Rappers, and Shakers, and Widow Wakemanites, and Agrarians, and Grahamites, and a thousand other superstitious and infidel isms at the North ? Why is there faith in nothing, speculation about everything? Why is this unsettled, half demented state of the human man mind co-extensive in time and space, with free society? …
All modern philosophy converges to a single point – the overthrow of all government, the substitution of the untrammelled “Sovereignty of the Individual,” for the Sovereignty of Society, and the inauguration of anarchy. First domestic slavery, next religious institutions, then separate property, then political government, and, finally, family government and family relations, are to be swept away. This is the distinctly avowed programme of all able abolitionists and socialists; and towards this end the doctrines and the practices of the weakest and most timid among them tend. Proudhon, and the French socialists generally, avow this purpose in France, and Stephen Pearl Andrews re-echoes it from America. The more numerous and timid class are represented by Mr. Greeley and the Tribune, who would not “at once rush,” like French revolutionists, “with the explosive force of escapement, point blank to the bull’s eye of its final destiny,” but would inaugurate social conditions, that would gradually bring about that result. Mr. Greeley does not propose to do away at once with marriage, religion, private property, political government and parental authority, but adopts the philosophy and the practices of Fourier, which promise gradually to purify human nature, and fit it, in a few generations, for that social millenium, into which the bolder and more consistent Andrews urges society at once to plunge.
The Christian socialists are beautifully and energetically co-laborating with the infidel socialists and abolitionists to bring about this millenium. They also are divided into two parties. The one would wait upon Providence – only help it a little, like Mr. Greeley – and permit our poor old effete world to pass out of existence by gentle euthanasia. The other and bolder party, feel themselves “called” as special instruments, to give at once the coup de grace to the old world, and to usher in the new golden age, of free love and free lands, of free women and free negroes, of free children and free men. …
The Socialists promise that when society is wholy disintegrated and dissolved, by inculcating good principles and “singing fraternity over it,” all men will co-operate, love, and help one another.
They place men in positions of equality, rivalry, and antagonism, which must result in extreme selfishness of conduct, and yet propose this system as a cure for selfishness. To us their reasonings seem absurd. Yet the doctrines so prevalent with Abolitionists and Socialists, of Free Love and Free Lands, Free Churches, Free Women and Free Negroes – of No-Marriage, No-Religion, No-Private Property, No-Law and No-Government, are legitimate deductions, if not obvious corollaries from the leading and distinctive axiom of political economy – Laissez Faire, or let alone. …
They hold that all men, women, and negroes, and smart children, are equals, and entitled to equal rights. The widows and free negroes begin to vote in some of those States, and they will have to let all colors and sexes and ages vote soon, or give up the glorious principles of human equality and universal emancipation.
The experiment which they will make, we fear, is absurd in theory, and the symptoms of approaching anarchy and agrarianism among them, leave no doubt that its practical operation will be no better than its theory. Anti-rentism, “vote-myself-a-farm” ism, and all the other isms, are but the spattering drops that precede a social deluge.”
In the War Between the States, the South lost the war but won the argument. The North’s “free society” that was condemned by Southern reactionaries like George Fitzhugh has continued along its trajectory to the present day as liberal democracy has continued to be perfected. John C. Calhoun even predicted that blacks and Whites would one day switch places in American society:
“Very different would be the circumstances under which emancipation would take place with us. If it should ever be effected, it will be through the agency of the Federal Government, controlled by the dominant power of the Northern States of the Confederacy, against the resistance and struggle of the Southern.
It can then only be effected by the prostration of the white race; and that would necessarily engender the bitterest feelings of hostility between them and the North. But the reverse would be the case between the blacks of the South and the people of the North. Owing their emancipation to them, they would regard them as friends, guardians, and patrons, and centre, accordingly, all their sympathy in them. The people of the North would not fail to reciprocate and to favor them, instead of the whites.
Under the influence of such feelings, and impelled by fanaticism and love of power, they would not stop at emancipation. Another step would be taken – to raise them to a political and social equality with their former owners, by giving them the right of voting and holding public offices under the Federal Government. We see the first step toward it in the bill already alluded to – to vest the free blacks and slaves with the right to vote on the question of emancipation in this District.
But when once raised to an equality, they would become the fast political associates of the North, and acting and voting with them on all questions, and by this political union between them, holding the white race at the south in complete subjection. The blacks, and the profligate whites that might unite with them, would become the principal recipients of federal offices and patronage, and would, in consequence, be raised above the whites of the South in the political and social scale. We would, in a word, change conditions with them – a degradation greater than has ever yet fallen to the lot of a free and enlightened people, and one from which we could not escape, should emancipation take place, (which it certainly will if not prevented), but by fleeing the homes of ourselves and our ancestors, and by abandoning our country to our former slaves, to become the permanent abode of disorder, anarchy, poverty, misery and wretchedness.
With such a prospect before us, the gravest and most solemn question that ever claimed the attention of a people is presented for your consideration: what is to be done to prevent it? It is a question belonging to you to decide.”
What is to be done to prevent it?
It was a question that some of the brightest minds in the South were dwelling on in the 1840s and 1850s who clearly saw where all of this was going. They created a body of work that is to this day relatively unknown and unmatched in its theoretical rigor by the Alt-Right.
As antebellum Southerners turned away from Americanism, they were inspired by the Anti-Federalist tradition, the Bible, the Greco-Roman heritage, Medieval Europe, Sir Walter Scott and Romanticism, 19th century racial science, European ethnonationalism, Sir Robert Filmer and Thomas Carlyle. It was out of this matrix that they forged Confederate ideology and created a new nation-state.
The South had to confront all of these questions: what is the place of the flag, the Constitution, American heroes like George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, holidays like July the 4th, etc. Ultimately, they had to create a new flag for practical reasons, and new heroes like Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson emerged on the battlefields. This all went down in flames with the defeat of the Confederacy.
I’m not naive enough to believe we can create CSA 2. We live in a different time. The South is a radically different place than it was in the antebellum era. Confederate memory has faded. The North’s social system was transplanted here generations ago and now all of our problems have been nationalized. The system isn’t just failing here in the South. It is failing everywhere it has been extended. The radical attacks on Confederate monuments foreshadowed a broader attack on American symbolism.
My view is that we should be inspired by our ancestors and pick up where Fitzhugh and others left off. There is a lot we can learn from their critique of Americanism and the solutions that they came up with to the problem of America’s ongoing cultural disintegration. At the same time, slavery is antiquated and is no longer relevant to our present circumstances. We have a rich tradition and identity to fall back on which we can revive and adapt to deal with modern challenges.
The fact that we are even talking about something as absurd as KneelGate – a country that has come to base its identity on a negro sportsball league – should call into question the present degraded state of Americanism. Is it time to dive on the Star Spangled Banner now that it has been fumbled by our tormentors? What are we even scooping up to run into the end zone?
Here’s my response to this argument:
1.) We have a duty to use the Star Spangled Banner to appeal to normies. I suppose this means in demonstrations because that is the only place the flag would be used. My response to this is that just the other day the Juggalo March in Washington, DC attracted a significantly larger crowd than the Mother Of All Rallies which banned the Confederate Battle Flag.
— Violet (@RightwingSpawn) September 16, 2017
There actually isn’t a large audience for rightwing activism with the American flag. Patriot groups and Alt-Lite groups always use the American flag at their rallies. Those rallies have also been significantly smaller than Unite the Right. The biggest Patriot rally in recent memory was one in Houston, TX and it attracted around 1,000 people. The vast majority of them were the same familiar Patriot and militia groups. Normies don’t even come to Patriot events which exclusively use the American flag and sincere civic nationalist rhetoric. They are even less likely to come to “racist” events that use the American flag.
Normies are individualists, materialists and conformists. They don’t come to rallies. It is angry, disaffected people who are motivated to become activists. We’re not going to persuade normies to attend events by using the American flag because they are so self-absorbed with their own lives.
2.) Everyone started off as a normie. While it is true that everyone comes from somewhere, I don’t think this accurately captures the conversion process. Most of us start off as normies. Then we become alienated and disaffected, our minds open up to alternatives and THEN we become nationalists. Even then, the overwhelming majority of nationalists don’t participate in demonstrations because activists skew toward the highly disaffected and the highly altruistic due to the risk.
3.) American nationalism isn’t necessarily tied to civic nationalism. This is true. If we can use the Confederate Battle Flag without being a Rainbow Confederate, American nationalists can use the American flag without being Alt-Lite Patriotards. The problem here is that American nationalism, historically speaking, has always been a symbol of civic nationalism. It just wasn’t decoupled from whiteness until the 1960s. The racial element has been expunged from Americanism.
Virtually every normie in this country now believes the American flag is about the deracinated ideology. It is a universalist symbol. It isn’t about race, religion, culture or ethnicity. That’s absolutely not what it meant historically, but it is the way it has been defined by Jews for the last two generations. I suppose its true that White Nationalists can “set the record straight about this and all other matters of importance when the normies arrive,” but this is essentially what Rainbow Confederates do at all of their events when they explain the Confederate Battle Flag isn’t racist. You’re going to spend all your time engaging with these hostile people trying to *prove* it and angering them in the process.
As Southern Nationalists, we use three flags: the Confederate Battle Flag, the Southern Nationalist Flag, and state flags and other historical Southern symbols:
1.) The Confederate Battle Flag symbolizes the South, Southern independence, Southern pride and heritage, a rebellious attitude and states’ rights in the minds of most people, especially the disaffected White working class persuadables who are our target audience. It symbolizes slavery, white supremacy and racism to our opposition. We’re not interested in the futile task of attempting to *prove* we aren’t racists to people who are unpersuadable anyway.
The Confederate Battle Flag is far more popular than Southern Nationalism. It doesn’t hurt us to be associated with the symbol. In fact, it helps our brand and we are succeeding in decoupling it from the “Heritage, Not Hate” cucks and making it more attractive to a younger generation. It is much easier to take the Confederate Battle Flag back from those people than the American flag.
2.) The Southern Nationalist flag symbolizes us. It is a blank slate to everyone outside our movement. They have no idea what the symbol means. It is an organizational flag and the response to it is far more muted than the response to the Confederate Battle Flag which has strong, established associations.
3.) The Southern state flags and other symbols like the Bonnie Blue Flag are viewed positively by almost everyone. No one in Florida, for example, ever gets unhinged by these symbols.
Obviously, it is better for Southern Nationalists to use Southern symbols because that’s our brand. If we used the American flag, it would sow division, confuse our activists and confuse the public. The costs of using the American flag for us outweigh the benefits. There is a different calculus outside the South. Non-Southerners have no reason to use Southern symbols. We don’t expect them to do so.
The American Nationalism debate is mostly for non-Southerners. We’re the minority in this country. It might not be a bad idea for White Americans in the Northeast, Midwest and West to try to reclaim the American flag. We can argue about the wisdom of doing so in the South. Do we try to reclaim that flag or fall back on our own identity, heritage and traditions as America comes unglued?
If American culture continues to lose cohesion, which seems very likely, how would this break down? It’s easy to see the West Coast going one way and Dixie going in the opposite direction. The White South is unified in a way that simply isn’t true elsewhere. There isn’t a single White Democrat who represents the Deep South in Congress. We are well on our way to becoming as tribal as African-Americans.
As these attacks on Southern identity and heritage intensify, we are well positioned for a national awakening. It is within our power to stoke the flames and the backlash and intensify the polarization. As Southern monuments come under attack, Southern men are rediscovering that we have our own history, culture and identity. We have our own heroes like Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson and Nathan Bedford Forrest whose equestrian monuments symbolize who are ancestors were and the possibility a new nation that they fought and died for so that their descendants wouldn’t have to live … in this.
For Southern Nationalists, that’s a more attractive alternative that giving the ideology of Americanism another whirl. If the USSA goes down, it might even turn out well for us.