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Dixie Dystopia

How easy it is to make people believe a lie, and how hard it is to undo that work again.
­­–Mark Twain

Just in case you have not heard, we are in the midst of a Culture War.  Death by Journalism? is a battle report from the front lines.  The Last Confederate Flag and Bedford: A World Vision are fictional near-future projections, in the spirit of Orwell, of how the war is going to end.  Coming all at the same time, these books provide a grim view of our prospects.  The war is heating up, and culture is losing.

Fortuitously, these authors tend to support my understanding of what the war is all about: a totalitarian-minded drive to impose a uniform public nonculture on the American people.  Despite optimistic statements to the contrary, America has never been culturally homogeneous.  (By culture, I mean something like widespread folk attitudes and articulated and unarticulated assumptions about private and public things.)  There is a Jamestown/Robert E. Lee/country-music America.  Let’s call it “Confederate America” for short.  Conquered, impoverished, and despised, Confederate America remarkably maintains a continuing vigor, mostly below official radar and fashionable discussion.

Then there is Plymouth Rock/Abraham Lincoln/General Motors America.  (I am talking...

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