America’s Sparta: The South’s Contribution to America’s Military Might and Why

About three weeks ago, at the League of the South’s Annual Conference, I met a couple who were grappling with the idea of their son joining the United States military.  Other’s joined in the conversation at a buffet restaurant in Montgomery.  As we discussed military service and the reasons Southern boys join the US armed forces it dawned on me as to why Southern boys join the military in such high numbers: the South raises young boys to be soldiers.

The South has become the American Government’s Sparta.  To understand what that means, one must first understand what Sparta was and was not [1] and then understand the South’s military culture.

Sparta was a unique section in Southern Greece in which the people of Sparta were uniquely bred and raised to be warriors.  In fact, the Spartans are known to be the first known society that chose to weed out genetic abnormalities.  They enjoyed a defined social hierarchy.  The warrior culture was not a subset of society, but a way of life.  Music and culture were deeply intertwined with martial purpose.  Spartan Men and women did not mix their pursuits; gender norms were not only codified, unlike their Northern counterparts,[2] women in Spartan society looked down on men who attempted to be like them.  The definition of manliness involved pursuits of strength.  Simplicity in life and possessions was a virtue… a noble characteristic.  Unlike their more genteel Greek Northern neighbors, the Spartans lived a life that bred warriors and reared them from inception.  Sparta was a DNA unto itself.

The South is, too.

Yet, it is baffling.  The one region of the United States, the former Confederate States of America (CSA), that shares the least in common with that which the United States has become provides the bulk of its troops.  If you look at the Heritage Foundation’s report on troop origins, slightly more than 51% of the US Armed Forces come from the states previously considered the CSA.[3] Why would a region that was decimated in a war for its independence from Washington, DC, become a bastion of Washington, DC’s most loyal servants?  I think I know the answer.

The DNA of the South is one uniquely designed to build warriors – both genetically and culturally.

The Southerner is inclined to enjoy martial pursuits.  This can be attributed to the Irish and Scottish roots of his genetic and cultural DNA coupled with the Anglo-Celtic culture within which he is daily surrounded.

The Genetics of the American Southron: the Warrior Gene vs the Soldier Gene

Recent studies in genetics have begun exploring “the warrior gene.”  There seems to be some confusion as to what the “warrior gene” may be.  What is emerging as indisputable is that a unique “warrior” genetic prototype exists among certain European ethno-types that allows higher levels of testosterone to mix well with other biological triggers that are conducive to warrior behavior.

Studies have shown that a blend of testosterone, serum androgen levels, and estrogen blocking genetic traits led to males having both a genetic tendency toward physical size (i.e., bigger men) and a propensity toward fighting, but not necessarily criminal behavior.  This is called the SRY gene in the Y chromosome.  Unlike those with Monoamine oxidase A (MAOA) abnormalities, aka, “the warrior gene,” (e.g., MaoriAfricans/African Americans), which leads to risky and/or unhinged violent behavior, those with higher levels of testosterone but other key control mechanisms, such as Cortisol and Serotonin release, enable a man to turn “on” and “off” his warrior behavior as needed.  This is something that, according to the studies previously referenced, Africans and other races seem to lack.  Europeans do not lack those switches.

As such, the SRY gene, lacking the MAOA abnormality, may best be described as the ‘Soldier Gene.”

The most balanced racial group exhibiting this soldier profile were Europeans.[4] The purest form of European “originated” DNA is found in Ireland and Scotland.  This is largely the result of centuries of exclusion from Asian and African attempts at European conquest.  Simply put, the Irish (especially Western/Southwestern Irish) and the Scots (especially Highlanders) were excluded from incidences of genetic dilution by virtue of their geography.  Regardless, unlike genetically defective darker races which are prone to undisciplined violent behavior, the European is genetically designed to assemble into an effective tactical unit and harnessing aggression as needed better than other races.

The American South is essentially a Scots-Irish colony unto itself.

The concentration of individuals with Scottish and Irish genetic heritage in the American South is far beyond anything in the United States.  Even ‘Irish” Massachusetts is ethnically more diverse than the region that comprises the borders of the Confederate States of America as it pertains to Celtic ancestry.  And before someone tries to differentiate between Scots-Irish and the Irish or the Scots, stop right there.  The Scots-Irish are largely a political-religious construct, not a genetic construct.  They do not differ genetically from their defined peers.

Like their Spartan predecessors, the Gaelic settlers of the South seemed to have bred soldiers to effect.

But if genetics are not enough to determine a Southerner’s propensity to seek out military action, perhaps culture is.

Raising Young Celtic Warriors  

Colin Woodard, a journalist who wrote a recent study on ethnic migration and its cultural influences, identifies eleven distinct“nations” within the United States.  Among those nations are Greater Appalachia and the Deep South.  These two distinct “Nations” share similarities.  The key similarity is their genetic heritage… the descendants of Scots-Irish settlers.

So what of this culture? The predominantly Scottish and Irish cultures that eventually settled the South, especially at the time of America’s colonial founding, were uniquely militant.  The founder and President of the League of the South, Dr. James Michael Hill’s Celtic Warfare: 1595 – 1763,[5]explores the mannerisms of Gaelic battle at about the same time as the Americas were being colonized.  A constant theme of aggressive military prowess emerges during the nearly 150 years he covers in his book.  But Dr. Hill touches upon another facet of Celtic culture:  the Celtic warrior is not only bred to fight genetically, he is also raised to fight culturally.  Dr. Hill depicts a warrior unique in his mobility and unbridled aggressiveness.

This cultural construct followed the early Scots-Irish settlers to their eventual Southern residences.

The herdsmen (i.e., Hibernian cattle ranchers) of the late-16th and early-17th centuries did not bring with them a need for the highborn, fixed asset his Southern Anglo-Saxon cousins required to wage war.  The Celtic warrior fought with almost no true logistics train.  Rather, he brought with him a culture of movement and a capacity to engage in conflict “on the go.”  The Celtic colonizers not only lived simply, they actually seem to have enjoyed it.  This ability to live within their realistic means – feeding off the land with rapid adaptability – is a trait of the Celtic warrior which Southern warriors would show throughout a broader American history.

Whether it be the early Indian wars, Colonel Francis Marion’s “swamp” troops, or Nathan Bedford Forrest’s cavalry exploits, the ability of the Southerner to move with minimal material support is legendary.  Few Northerners or enemies (often one in the same) could ever truly comprehend the unique Southern Celtic capacity to fight on the move.  Nathanael Greene used Southern mobility to eventually lead Cornwallis into a trap at Yorktown.  Andrew Jackson used Southern speed to not only repel the English at the Battle of New Orleans, he also used it to suppress militant Seminoles and Spaniards in Florida.  Both Nathan Bedford Forrest and Robert E. Lee used Southern mobility to different effect.  By contrast, Grant seems to have been the only Yankee General to truly appreciate the capacity of the Southerner to move rapidly, and used his numerical advantage to box Lee into a manner of warfare that deprived the South of its mobility.

Those skills are not lost on the modern Southern male.

To be fair, not all Northern boys are sitting cross-legged at Starbucks, sipping on cappuccinos, and considering their bisexuality.  There are a good number of hardy men in the North who train their young men how to hunt, shoot, and “live off the land.”  I have a great deal of respect for those outside of the cities and especially those in the agricultural Midwest, the Northern Plains, and the Rocky Mountains.  But their sparse numbers do not equal those of the totality depicted by the Southern population.  Take hunting, for example.

The Southerner is trained to kill (for a legitimate purpose) at an early age in overwhelming numbers when compared to his Northern counterparts.

As a percentage of population per state, hunters have their greatest concentration in the Northern Rockies and Alaska, with the exception of West Virginia (12%).[6]  This is in large part due to their relatively small populations.  However, the combined number of Southern Hunters is astounding.  FORTY-ONE percent (41%) of all hunters in the United States come from the thirteen states that comprised the Confederate States of America (plus West Virginia).[7]

To put this in perspective, the number of hunters in the American Southeast today would make it a larger army than the Active Duty militaries of China, the United States, and India COMBINED![8]

In other words, almost half of the children trained to shoot and kill in the United States come from an area that is less than 20% of the American population.

Furthermore, these numbers do not include all gun enthusiasts who reside in the South and may choose other pursuits on weekends beyond hunting, whether it be religious obligations, work, college football, fishing, or woodworking.

It should also be pointed out that the Southron’s Spartan training does not begin and end with the father-and-son hunt.  Like Sparta, the totality of the warrior’s cultivation was a complete family endeavor.  Honor and pride are honed from the teat.

The Southern Mother’s Role in Rearing Soldiers

Plutarch, the Ancient Greek author, describes an Ionian (Northeastern Greek [9]) mother taking pride in the tapestries she had just made.  While bragging of her refined works, a Spartan mother stops her.  The Spartan points to her four warrior sons and says, “The only thing for which a truly noble woman should be proud are the number of warriors her womb has produced.”[10]

Such a story is familiar to the proud Southern mama.

My Irish grandma in Ocala, Florida had a wall of heroes – men in the family who had served in the military.  It was her most prominently displayed wall, with her husband, my grandfather, featured above all others.  As a Marine, I was a part of that wall.  Such a wall, meticulously maintained by the matriarch of a given family, would be most familiar to just about any Southern family.

Although it is a shockingly unexplored area of social research, the Southern mother is not like her Northern counterparts.  Yes, both mothers want their child to succeed, but definitions of success differ.  Whereas I am sure there are plenty of Northern mothers who take pride in their children’s military service, the culture is one that emphasizes higher education more than military pursuits.  For many a Northern mother, service is often a means to a future (e.g., GI Bill) and hopefully one that involves college (perhaps both).  Southern mothers, by contrast, seem to approach military service as an honorable pursuit independent of any particular goal.

There is also an absolutism to the Southern mother that differs from her Northern counterpart’s form of acceptable discipline to childrearing.

Statistically, the acceptability of physical punishment of an unruly child is higher in the South.  More than 62% of Southerners spank their children compared with only 41% of Northerners.  Hell hath no fury like a Southern mama armed with a wooden spoon!  Additionally, the imposition of faith (“you will go to church…”) differs.  As such, according to Pew Research, the South dominates the top fifteen slots of religious identity by state, with the exception of Utah (11th) and Florida (22nd).  Church attendance by Southern mothers is nearly three times that of their Northern counterparts on a week to week basis.

Cumulatively, a Southern mother teaches her children both consequences in an “unfair world” and an absolute belief in religious morality from a Southerner’s earliest age.  This is a product of her Anglo-Saxon cultural cohesion and praxis.  The Southern mother’s traditional role as a cultural reinforcer cannot be overstated.  She teaches the child how to be a Southerner much like her Celtic ancestors taught their babies how to be Irish or Scottish.

In the division of labor within the Southern family, the father provides and teaches key skills to his sons; the mother makes their home an inviting nest, teaches skills to her daughters (yes, the perpetuation of gender norms is still important in the South), and reinforces realistic lessons on life to her children of either gender.

Adding external cultural glue toward a binding American Sparta

All of this stated – the genetics, the family unit, and the traditions – do not stand alone in the creation of a Spartan region.  The Southerner is surrounded by a holistic warrior culture from an early age.  He is uniquely introduced to a constant drumbeat of militancy that extends beyond the family.

The future Southern Warrior is inundated with militarism in a way that does not exist in the more genteel North.

Go to a store in the South and you cannot escape the plethora of camouflage everything.  Visit a toy store in the North and you find gender-neutral toys abound on the shelves.  In the South, boys play with toy guns.  Pride in military service is taught by grandfathers, fathers, uncles, cousins, etc, telling stories of their military exploits to their young sons at campfires and Church fellowships.

Walk the streets of a Southern town or city and you will inevitably walk past a symbol of the Southern warrior’s pride: a Memorial to those who fought a Yankee invasion from 1861-1865.  This leads to questions by the youth… which leads to answers from his elder… which leads to an understanding of his unique cultural self.

(There is a reason that Marxists, such as Obama and the NAACP are so determined to tear down those memorials and the Battle Flag beneath which many of these memorials still stand.)

Finally, even within the lyrics of music upon which Southerners are raised, the warrior narrative is reinforced.  Country music, despite some of its more recent “urban” intrusions, still enjoys a heavy dose of American and Southern pride.  The Southern boy grows up on songs that honor military sacrifice and a commitment to God, whether it be Aaron Tippin’s “Where The Stars & Stripes & The Eagle Fly,” or Carrie Underwood’s “Jesus Take the Wheel,” there is a steady drumbeat of cultural reinforcement.

Let me put this another way: JayZ and his fans are not listening to anything like Trace Atkins’ “Arlington.”

Southern boys, and the girls who will grow to be the mothers of their future offspring, are.

What is next for America’s Sparta?  More likely than not, secession… but first, service

A culture uniquely designed to excel at war… that is the American South.  There is no other culture in the modern world quite like it.    But where does this go?  Does the South continue to fight wars for Wall Street and ‘K’ Street?

History says that is unlikely.

The history of warrior cultures is that they eventually break away and form independent states.  There is no reason to assume that will not happen in the Americas as well.  The federal government is making that easier.

The key difference between Sparta and the South is that the former was a free force, capable of defining its destiny unencumbered.  Spartans did not fight on behalf of Athenians or Thessalonians.  They fought with them when it was in their interest to do so.  The Southerner, by contrast, often fights for causes that are directly in contrast to his interests.

Soldiers and Marines returning from Iraq and Afghanistan will have to compete with refugees from Iraq and Afghanistan for few high paying jobs.   The reason: the Federal Government for which they fought is now placing these culturally unfamiliar refugees in the same towns within which they live.

Soldiers and Marines who joined out of long standing military tradition and in honor of their ancestors are now coming home to the removal of the very memorials that once honored those same ancestors.  The reason: a federally dominated Yankee culture demands their removal on behalf of offended minorities.

Soldiers and Marines who buried their best friends in Southern soil, watered by the salty tears of a heartbroken Southern mother, are being told their “White Privilege” must be dismantled.  The reason: a former president of the federal government promoted such outrageous concepts from the most powerful office in the land.

This is an unsustainable relationship.

In nearly every society throughout history in which a power imbalance of warriors exists, the side with the greater number of warriors ultimately secedes and more importantly, wins.  That imbalance did not exist in the rank and file of 1860, but it exists in 2017.  The fact that more than 50% of the troops of one country come from only 20% of a Nation within its defined borders is by definition a power imbalance.

The Persians were once a military wing of the Medians… the Mongols for China… the Janissaries within the Ottoman Empire… even the Ancient “Hebrews” may have been military conscripts not slaves of Egypt.[11]

In each case, the powerful military arm eventually secedes often due to a recognition of their collective power.  If you were a federal government worried of losing your military arm, the most effective way to do so is to remind that military arm that you are the dominant power in the relationship.  The Ancient Greek historian Herodotus (book three, The Persian Wars) recommends the removal of statues to their heroes and the raising of monuments and banners that remind them of their defeat.

Inevitably, however, such suppression is historically short lived.

Should the Southerner, therefore, not join the military of a now foreign Nation which shares nothing in common with his cultural self?  I am torn, but ultimately, I take a pragmatic approach to this: encourage them to learn the fighting skills the South will ultimately need to win its independence.  Service will reinforce his national identity. Just ensure you, the parent, have taken the steps necessary to equip him with the knowledge necessary to understand that which he will assuredly see during his military service.

In the first week of Boot Camp, everything you have taught him will be amplified tenfold… the uniqueness of his heritage, the differences in his race, and the overwhelming number of Southerners in general military service.

That is when you can turn to your boy, in uniform on his first leave, and use that moment to reinforce every lesson you taught him before he departed for Boot Camp: Southerners are a Nation unto themselves. Southerners are truly the last hope for White Christiandom in the world today.

Trust me, the first time he takes an order from a Black Sergeant who can barely spell his own name, but was promoted by the federal government on the basis of reduced standards to fill a quota, your Southern son will know the League of the South is right… and he will know skills that will come in handy to its cause.

-By Jim O’Brien and originally published at Bacon, Books & Bullets.

Footnotes:

[1] For more on Sparta, I recommend reading Herodotus’ The Persian Wars (circa 425 BC), Thucydides History of the Peloponnesian Wars (circa 425 BC), and Plutarch’s On Sparta (circa 100 AD).

[2] Thucydides describes Athens’ lasciviousness, gender immorality, and open democracy as contributors to their ultimate domination by the Spartans.

[3] This includes states that were not official members of the CSA, but contributed troops to the CSA: Missouri, Kentucky, and West Virginia.  Missouri and Kentucky each had a star on the Battle Flag.  West Virginia’s secession from Virginia was not recognized by the CSA Government.

[4] There are multiple studies that show this combinate.  I have linked the one study from the US Government that is most comprehensive in exploring race and androgen variations, since this androgen appears to be the “trigger” for the use of testosterone.  Testosterone alone does not lead to aggressiveness without a trigger mechanism.

[5] Hill, James Michael, Celtic Warfare, 1595-1763, Killen, AL: Dalriada Publishers, 2017 can be purchased here https://www.amazon.com/Celtic-Warfare-1595-1763-James-Michael/dp/097085255X/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

[6] Using data from the US Fish & Wildlife Service, “Resident Hunter Permits,” https://wsfrprograms.fws.gov/subpages/licenseinfo/Natl%20Hunting%20License%20Report%202016.pdf cross referenced against the US Census Bureau State Population figures, https://www.census.gov/data/datasets/2016/demo/popest/state-total.html

[7] Same as above

[8] The number of registered hunters (not just gun owners) in the American Southeast is 6.387 Million.  Per the World Atlas, the number of the three largest militaries in the world is 6.340 Million.  http://www.worldatlas.com/articles/29-largest-armies-in-the-world.html

[9] On today’s Western Turkish territory.

[10] Plutarch, On Sparta, 241:9

[11] The term Hebrew derives from Habiru, an Egyptian term for all individuals deriving from the land of Canaan, to include those of modern day Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and Iran – it is not specific to Jews.  The association of Hebrew with Hebrews is a relatively modern concept and it post-dates the 1st Century Jewish Historian, Josephus, who did not distinguish Hebrews as Jews. Https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Habiru

Oh, I'm a good old Rebel, now that's just what I am;
For this "Fair Land of Freedom" I do not give a damn!
I'm glad I fit against it, I only wish we'd won,
And I don't want no pardon for anything I done.

6 comments

  1. As a “copperhead” ,born and bred in the mountains of Pennsylvania, and descended from Munster Irish, I can attest to many of the observations in this fine article. I am also of the age where I was witness to the transition to “urban” values. I am glad to say that my home has many reminders of our Celtic and Confederate heritage.

  2. When I was a boy every summer my best friend and I would make a fort out of scrap lumber, sawhorses, chicken crates, barrels and other things around the farm and play war all summer. We also made guns (rifles and pistols) out of tobacco sticks. Surprisingly neither one of us ended up in the military. Looking back many times since then I have come to realize that it was a natural expression of our phenotype and secondary sex traits from an early age.

    I would challenge the reader to question whether a man who never played war, never killed an animal, never shot guns and never did agricultural, construction or mechanical work actually had a complete, holistic puberty at all. I would suggest a man like that is actually in an arrested state of incomplete puberty.