Southern Exit

“The difficulty of tactical maneuvering consists in turning the devious into the direct, and misfortune into gain.” – Sun Tzu

In the wake of declining trust in the federal government within just about every American demographic, talk of Exit as a viable political strategy is appearing more frequently. While such talk has historically mentioned the secession of Texas or maybe New Hampshire, there is now a serious organization dedicated to doing the same even for California. This, I believe, is a significant development for Southern identitarians for several reasons.

The Exit process can be summed up as follows: A government becomes increasingly tyrannical and ceases to represent the interests of a significant portion of society. The situation becomes untenable for this group, but it is unable to change its political reality while remaining attached to the system. As a result, the group decides to renounce its affiliation to the ruling government, taking its resources with it in the process.

This was basically the strategy of the Confederacy in 1860, when Washington began to encroach upon Southern interests. It was and still remains too dangerous for the North to allow Dixie to leave, both politically and economically. Within the modern context, however, trends in governance and technology are rapidly favoring more decentralization as our world becomes increasingly interconnected. Large, centralized states are in decline, forced to make reforms or risk losing their ability to manage vast populations and resources. Times have changed, and while it is not at all likely that the South will rise up to formally secede from the Union, there are other ways to withdraw.

If we seek to remove ourselves from the political repression of Washington and the cultural decay of modern liberalism, we should opt for a de facto exit from the Union. The political reality is that we do not control the state and local governments. The urban centers will not be rallying behind the cause of Dixie, as they are far from our cultural bastions. But we always knew that, even if it may be frustrating to admit.

The urbanite’s lifestyle of short-term consumption, loose values and social atomization cannot last. We benefit from a lower time preference and understand that our efforts are an investment in a more sovereign future. Instead of making some beautiful and glorious last stand on our enemy’s terms, we should instead withdraw to a battlefield of our own choosing. This does not mean abandoning our birthright, or putting all our eggs in one basket. Rather, it amounts to consolidating our own strength in a more effective manner, so that we are better able to preserve our way of life.

The South’s unique heritage, while battered by modernity, has survived for centuries because enough of our ancestors were willing to invest in its defense. Our forebears recognized the value of our land, our art and our traditions. They maintained all of it in order to pass it on, with the expectation that their children would continue to maintain it with the same vigor. This required tough decision-making. Even in the face of malicious adversity, they persevered.

In taking up the banner of Southern identity, we are honoring the sweat and blood of our ancestors while establishing a commitment to our descendants. In other words, we are the guardians of a rich legacy which requires both an active and passive defense. In some cases, mounting such a defense requires a tactical retreat, so that one’s force can re-enter the fold from a position of strength. For Dixie, Exit does not begin in the State capitol buildings, but in the hearts and minds of good men willing to take their capabilities and resources elsewhere.

In order to reinforce our institutions, we must consider building alternatives to the degraded urban life of the modern South. Practically, this means buying up land and rebuilding farms, moving back into our rural communities, renewing our local churches, even starting up entirely new towns. From these new positions, we can begin to take back lost ground. Furthermore, none of this maneuvering requires the permission of bureaucrats or policy wonks in Washington. If dedicated families make this transition in every Southern state, it would be a significant step toward reclaiming our homeland.

At this point, our most significant enemy is likely time itself. The clock is ticking both culturally and demographically. As such, now is the time to experiment with varied, localized ‘exit routes’ across the entire South, from the Atlantic coastal plain to the Appalachian mountains. This does not at all equate to a surrender. A strategy of Southern Exit should be viewed instead as a return to the foundations of our civilization.

-By George Willard