“As the great idea of the eighteenth century was that of union against tyrants, so it is that of the nineteenth century, the independence of nationalities.”
– William Woods Holden, Raleigh 1862
As I thought about my plans for April, it occurred to me that there was another tradition on this blog that it might be worth reviving in the waning years of Blompf and conservatism.
Here’s an excerpt from Rhett: The Turbulent Life and Times of a Fire-Eater on the values of the Enlightenment and their perversion in the antebellum era:
“And there was another threat. At Beaufort College, Barnwell Smith (Rhett) absorbed from Petigru a detestation of “pernicious dogmas” of what Smith (Rhett) called “the whole batch of French atheists and philosophers, who, by denying the weakness of our fallen nature, would set man against his fellow man, in vain efforts for abstract justice and equality, and vainer efforts for human perfectibility.” He rejected almost the whole of the Age of Reason out of hand. “Reason is a faculty of the mind – not a principle,” he would conclude. Noble as that faculty was, however, it was the most easily perverted. Men could twist reason to support the most flagrant sophistries, and the French in 1792 made it the basis of their postrevolutionary government as he saw it. Passion was natural and thus reasonable, and therefore not to be suppressed. If reason could dictate moral rectitude, then anything could be justified, no matter how unjust or perverse.”
Robert Barnwell Rhett would have hated SJWs:
“It is only the strong man – strong in conscious rectitude, strong in convictions of truth, strong in the never-failing and eternal vindications of time – who can put aside the temptations of present power, and patiently submit to official inferiority,” he would say of Petigru. “Superficial observers may not understand,” he said, “the greatness of such a man.” It was a kind of greatness he would emulate if he could.”
Robert Barnwell Rhett stood against public opinion on disunion in South Carolina for over thirty years until he finally triumphed in December 1860.
“Here is a subject in which passion, and feeling, and religion are all involved,” he added perceptively. “All the inexperienced emotions of the heart are against us; all the abstractions concerning human rights; all the theories of political dreamers, atheistic utilitarians, self-exalting and self-righteous religionists, who would reform or expunge the bible, – in short, enthusiasts and fanatics of all sorts, are against us.” Only those who really understood the nature of the black race and had seen the practice of slavery firsthand in the South could understand them, he maintained …
Rhett felt that emancipation was part and parcel of the evil that emerged in France in the previous century, for the Enlightenment was not the only evil it helped to visit upon the world. The misguided push for universal rights and against slavery was “born in atheism, and baptized in the blood of revolutionary France,” and it accomplished its purpose. “It has never failed,” he said, “and never will fail, in accomplishing its purpose, where the slaveholder does not control his destinies.” …
Worse, “universal suffrage, will give to those who have no property, the absolute control of the property and legislation of the country.” Then the Yankees would learn the truth, “in all its horrors, that the despotism of numbers may be the most terrible that can scourge a fallen people.”
We’ve been through all that.
Rhett was right that even Yankees would live to see the day when the beast which they have nurtured at their breasts would turn on them one day and devour them.
“Aristocrat, conservative, populist, revolutionary – he would have been a familiar figure in Paris in 1789, or Petrograd in October 1917, or most especially perhaps Germany in 1933, not because he was evil or bloodthirsty – which he certainly was not – but because he had a genius for stirring the passions and the prejudices that could compel millions to uprising. He was a man familiar in all times and all nations, the perfect revolutionary.”
We’ve always loved Rhett on this blog.
While we don’t agree with him on everything, he is by far one of the most interesting, important and neglected figures in Southern history and worthy a new hearing.
It has been 154 years since the abolition of slavery. I will be 39-years-old this year. It is clear to me that Rhett was absolutely right about the vain quest for racial equality. I have sat here and watched a generation pass and have grown into a middle aged man and a father. I have been demonized as a “racist” for looking at the data and refusing to believe in racial equality.
The data shows nothing but intractable racial differences. It has been that way for literally a century now of testing. Trillions of dollars have been invested in eliminating racial gaps to no avail. We have demonized White identity to accomplish this social goal and have stirred up an enormous amount of hatred and resentment against White people … and for what?
Are we to believe that racial differences will go away when Jared Taylor is no longer allowed to travel to Europe? We’re living a Clown World that is being steered by fools.
Note: Even if they will never admit it publicly, educated people know that Southern paternalism, honesty and candor is the only way we will ever move forward out of the mid-20th century ditch. There is nothing that can forever hold back the tide of scientific truth.