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 1930 manifesto on Southern identity entitled I’ll Take My Stand remains the most important, forward looking affirmation of national exceptionalism. Writing in preface to the 1977 edition, Louis Rubin Jr observes:
I remember riding down the road when I was little, orange groves on either side as far as the eye could see, the smell of orange blossoms thick in the air. There was never much traffic on this two lane road and that’s how we liked it. It’s a road I still drive every day, but it isn’t the same and never will be.
One of the peculiarities of Americans is our tendency to latch onto “memes” about our own ethnic origins. The best example of this would be the Irish-American phenomenon, where millions of people who likely have no significant Irish ancestry proclaim that their blood runs green, when they can’t name one county in or historical figure from Ireland. These obnoxious people are understandably hated both by native Irishmen and their actual ethnic kinsmen in America.
It is often said that Diversity is Our Greatest Strength™. It is also often said that White people have no culture. So it follows—by the logic of the left—that White people are not diverse, since diversity is largely used as a synonym for multiculturalism. We know of course that when people speak of diversity, however, it just means less White people. While it is debatable for the critical thinker to what degree diversity is useful and what kinds of diversity are in fact beneficial, there is no doubt on the alt-right that ethnic or racial pluralism is a source of tension and conflict in society and undermines cohesion and trust. We also reject the idea that the English-speaking European people of North America have no culture as rank bigotry. I cannot think of a single way one could reasonably define culture while excluding two hundred million people and the majority population of one of the world’s largest and most influential countries. To do so requires a radical re-interpretation of culture that is likely riddled with contradictions.