Polemics & Exchanges

A Memorable Secession

I haven’t read The Land We Love: The South and Its Heritage, and judging by Donald Livingston’s review (May 2019 issue) I probably won’t. Why? Because it sounds like yet another attempt to defend “Lost Cause” ideology. According to the book’s author, Boyd Cathey, the real reason the South seceded had little to do with slavery and everything to do with resisting the revolutionary, sectional Republicans whose “goal was to consolidate the states into a centralized regime of crony capitalism ruled by the emerging New York-Chicago industrial axis.” The Secessionists were the true Americans who “took the Founders’ Constitution with them, word for word, except for a few reforms…” Reforms such as this gem in Article IV: “…the institution of negro slavery as it now exists in the Confederate States, shall be recognized and protected by Congress…” 

The reason many Southerners have stopped defending Confederate monuments is not because they’ve lost their traditional virtues as Livingston suggests, but because with the benefit of 150 years of hindsight they realize their ancestors were morally obtuse and on the wrong side of history.  One doesn’t have to be a Cultural Marxist to believe that while the Civil War and the Jim Crow era are a part of our heritage...

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