by Frank Conner
Michael Hill, editor; contributors: William L. Cawthon, Jack Cowart, Thomas Fleming, Sara Hill, Jack Kershaw, Tom Moore, Franklin Sanders, Mark Thomey, R. Gordon Thornton, Mike Tuggle, John Vinson, Connie Ward, Clyde Wilson. Traveller Press; softcover, 170 pp; The League of the South, P.O. Box 760, Killen, AL 35645 or www.dixienet.org , $20 postpaid.
This short, well-written, deceptively-simple book can be read quickly; and it will be invaluable to anyone who is concerned about the future of the South, because it is the only readily-available source which provides a coordinated vision of how the South would be governed if it were being run by true Southerners for true Southerners. The League of the South's vision provides a jolting contrast with the South of today--which is being run by Scalawags, to force upon us the amoral multicultural socialist society created by the Northern liberals. This new vision of a Southern South gives us the two things which until now the Southern movement has shockingly lacked: a concrete goal to work toward; and an across-the-board overview of the stifling conditions under which the Southerners of today are forced to live.
For those who might fear that this book is the League's enticement to Southerners to take up arms against the US government and force the secession of the South, fear not! Herein the League at last explains clearly what it is about, as follows. The powerful trend toward centralization of small countries into large nations during the 19th and 20th centuries has come to an abrupt halt. Startling new opportunities for dissimilar ethnic-groups to secede from empires and form their own countries have been arising unexpectedly for those ethnic groups which had already prepared themselves mentally to make that move. The mission of the League is to prepare the South to take advantage of any such unexpected lawful opportunity in the future, by persuading the Southerners to secede now from the alien CULTURE that has been forced upon us by the federal, state, and local governments, and by academia and the media; and instead, to create and live by our own appropriate Southern culture. This culture will consist of the traditional Southern Christian belief system and values and way of life, attuned to the needs of the 21st century.
More specifically, the League rejects the existing culture which is based upon individual self-centeredness, greed, consumerism, and license as the personal rewards for lockstep conformity to the egalitarian demands of an increasingly-socialist society which enforces its demands via literally millions of laws, regulations, and social taboos, and via the world's most powerful propaganda-system--with which it now bludgeons the South nonstop. Instead, the League proposes a culture for the South which will venerate religion, personal honor, family, and community--in that order, under limited and decentralized national, state, and local governments which will provide for maximum individual freedom-of-action within an orderly society. The overall goal of this culture will be a balanced life which values friendships above riches.
Thus, although the League's distant goal is secession at such time as secession ever becomes feasible, the League's immediate concrete goal is to persuade the Southern public to adopt a culture which will enable the Southerners to live like Southerners once again--regardless of how the Northern liberals might be trying to force us to live. That will require a massive educational-process, including the development of regional and local leaders.
"The Grey Book" starts out by making the case that the Southern states signed up for a constitutional republic--as was spelled out in the US Constitution, which all of the states ratified. But in the 19th century, the US government departed sharply from its constitutional mandate; and now it has become an empire, run by an amalgamation of big business with a gigantic government-bureaucracy. This amalgam is actively hostile toward the needs and interests of the South; and because of the nature of the two-party US political-system, and for other reasons, the amalgam is out of control and cannot be reformed. Tellingly, a series of tables on pp 18 - 21 hammers home the point that on the social, economic, governmental, and foreign-policy issues, the US Congress as a whole regularly votes directly against the wishes of both the Southerners in Congress and the Southern voters. The South is a separate and distinct region, with its own clearly-identifiable outlook. Accordingly, as a part of the US, it is a poor fit; but as a separate nation, it would be viable, with a coherent outlook and the fourth-largest GDP in the world. Therefore the League believes that when circumstances permit, the Southern states should secede lawfully and form a new country, the Confederation of Southern States.
How does the League believe that the Confederation of Southern States (CSS) should function? Answer: as a confederation of sovereign states, with a minimal national-government, except for the defense of the country and its borders. As its foreign policy, the CSS would seek trade with all other countries on beneficial terms, but it would not interfere in the internal affairs of other countries, or form alliances with them. Ownership of private property in the CSS would be complete--not conditional at the pleasure of the government, as in the US. The CSS would gradually divest itself of public lands not actively needed by the government. Regulation of banking would be at state level, and the money supply would be backed by gold and silver. Education would become private, to be conducted as each individual town and city thinks best. The US welfare-system--which has proven almost-completely unworkable--would gradually be phased out and replaced with an approach which takes into account the workings of human nature.
My simple declaratives above re the issues of government don't begin to do justice to the League's reasoning in putting together its vision of a Southern government. But the League's explanations of its individual policies follow a common theme: minimal decentralized government which enables all of the legitimate functions of Southern society to operate satisfactorily, yet does not hamper, impede, and regulate the individual citizen into immobility, or result in an uncontrollable centralized bureaucracy. All of the individual parts coalesce into an overview of a Southern government which would make life so much simpler and more productive and more enjoyable than our present system of government affords--like the difference between night and day. Viewed in this light, the game is definitely worth the candle!
"The Grey Book" concludes with a set of short essays which reinforce the points made previously, and a Q&A section about the League, which amounts to a kind of catechism.
Until the War of Northern Aggression, the South bred superior statesmen who routinely set the pace for the US, and tied their Yankee counterparts into tiny knots. During the War, the Yankee politicians vowed "Never Again!" So ever since the War, the Yankees have waged an intensive culture-war against the South, designed to keep the Southerners politically impotent and on the edge of poverty. Their strategy is to use crippling propaganda and constant government-intervention to brainwash and harass the Southerners, so as to destroy their belief system, self confidence, and status as a distinct regional-people. The Yankees have largely succeeded in their cultural conquest of the South. Now the League proposes a method for fighting back effectively, by educating the Southerners about their true history and their true nature and their traditional belief-system and values--and in that process restoring the Southerners' self confidence.
This educational approach by "The Grey Book" takes full account of the underlying theory which has guided the actions of the Northern-liberal activists in waging their culture war successfully against us since the 19th century, but which Southern conservatives have only rarely identified. That theory: religion shapes culture and culture shapes politics. Change the religion and the popular culture, and then--and only then--you can easily change the politics (laws), because politics simply codifies the values of the existing culture. That is why the liberals have worked so hard (via the US Supreme Court and the ACLU) to replace Christianity with secular humanism as the official religion of the US, and to replace the preexisting Christian-based culture with one of selfishness, hedonism, rampant consumerism, relative values, and constantly-warring tribes of single-interest groups.
The League proclaims itself and this book to be a work in progress. I urge every Southerner who is concerned about the future of the South--thus about the future of his children and grandchildren--to read "The Grey Book" now. Probably no one will agree with every little detail of the type of Southern government which the League proposes, but that is unimportant; most of us will likely agree with the League's overall vision, and by so doing will also begin to realize just how unacceptable is the form of government under which we Southerners are forced to live today.
For myself, I would like very much to see the League write two additional books of the same general type and style as this one, in the near future. The first book would be about Southern culture. It would describe the basic cultural-elements (i..e., the belief system and values and way of life) which the League proposes to teach to the Southern public; and it would prioritize those elements, ranking them in order of importance.
The second book would deal with the League's strategy and tactics. It would move this theoretical discussion into the real world,
introducing the critical element of time. It would acknowledge that the League does not operate in a vacuum; that our liberal enemies have been waging an effective culture-war against the traditional South for a long time--and have escalated its intensity sharply over the past ten years; and that with each passing year they are discrediting and destroying more of our belief system and values in the eyes of the Southern public, thus making it ever more difficult for us to reeducate the public to our beliefs.
Frank Conner is the author of "The South Under Siege 1830 - 2000/A History of the Relations Between the North and the South." You may contact him at email@example.com, or learn about his book at its website, http://collards.phantacom.net/