Southern Nationalism is host to a surprising diversity of thought, much more so than our detractors will give us credit for. The lines between these schools of thought are murky, and there is significant overlap between each strain, but specific lines of thinking can be identified.
Southern Reaction – The Tories
“Tory” in the American context refers to American provincials who stood with the King during the American Revolution. In a British context, it refers to the British conservative tradition. For our purpose, Tory refers to those who reject classical liberalism, universalism, and propositional nationhood in favor of the traditional European order of Throne and Alter. Simply put, the Tories are Southern Reactionaries. They are against the American Revolution, and view Southern secession as a completely different matter, while others view the two as bound at the hip (or, in my view, Southern nationalism is fettered to the corpse of Americanism). The Tories don’t use classical liberal arguments to justify secession, instead viewing the American Republic as an abomination that Dixieland should never have involved itself with, and thus secession was righting a historical wrong.
Tories tend to cone out of High Church backgrounds, be it Anglicanism, Orthodoxy, or Catholicism. Most seem to be from the Tidewater or Deep South.
Southern Liberation – The Paleos
Paleos are the old guard libertarians. They represent classical liberalism. Free markets. Republican civic virtue. Community sovereignty over an over-arching federal government. They are ardent supporters of the American Revolution and view Southern Secession as a continuance of the Spirit of ’76. Paleos are largely comparable with non-Southern alt-libertarians. Most Southern Nationalists are, or were, some form of libertarian. Most strains of Southern Nationalist thought make appeals to the Paleos, recognizing that Dixians have a strong libertarian streak in one form or another.
Paleos by and large come out of low church Protestantism and are more likely to be from Appalachia, although they can be found anywhere Southerners are.
Southern Vanguard – The Redshirts
The Redshirts were historically those militants who retook their states during Reconstruction – most notably in South Carolina under Wade Hampton. National Socialists, Fascists, and Right-Wing authoritarians belong to this group. The Redshirts tend to be pragmatists on many matters. Included in their ranks are Christians, Pagans, and Agnostics, but they maintain cohesion by sharing the common goal of a Free Dixie. Economic thought can range from a state-controlled economy to a relatively free market. The Redshirts are above all ethnonationalists. Many Redshirts view right wing authoritarianism as a means to an end, a sort of hard reset to get to a Paleo or Tory society.
They are the most activist group in SN, skew younger, and often come from military backgrounds.
Southern Socialism – The Longists
The Longists are the political descendants of Huey Long, the radical populist from Louisiana who took on FDR and big business – and was struck down by an assassin’s bullet for his trouble. Anathema to the Paleos for their socialistic polices, the Longists are very much concerned with the plight of the Southern worker, the po’ whites. Many are Christian paternalists and seem to be influenced by Catholic workers movements of the interwar period, besides Huey Long himself. The Longists are the newest addition to Southern Nationalism, being born out of millennial and Gen Z issues and further influenced by the NazBol meme.
Longists are usually younger Southerners, usually with college degrees, trapped in unskilled, low-wage jobs with few prospects of advancement.
Southern Nationalism is here to stay. We are not a collection of disaffected suburbanites clinging to a foreign political movement from 70 years ago. We are rooted in our blood and soil, our 400-year history on this continent does not end in this century. In the words of Mencken’s Ghost, our identity still exists when we turn off our computer, and we didn’t pop into existence in 1861 nor did we disappear in 1865.
Though a wide range of thought within Southern Nationalism can be identified, the movement is strong and united because we are bound by a common inheritance and share a common goal for the future – a Free Dixie.
– By Will Galloway