“Ignorance is strength.”
- George Orwell, 1984
Today’s Big Government Progressives are giving perennial voice to vitriolic Confederaphobia, the latest manifestation being the crusade to tear down Confederate monuments. Let us drop the toxic demagoguery of Progressive Identity Politics and review the facts:
After the Revolutionary War, the thirteen former Colonies formed themselves into a voluntarily confederated Union of sovereign States. But with the election of Lincoln came the triumph of a strictly Northern political party of Big Government that would destroy the federative nature of the Union, consolidate power into the hands of the central government, put it under Northern control with its sectional majorities, and turn the agrarian South into its “cash cow,” just as England had done with her Colonies. Seven Southern States, then, attempted to withdraw peacefully from a Union with people who had been plundering them with tariffs while despising and slandering them at every turn.
But with the “Cotton Kingdom” out of the Union the North’s “Mercantile Kingdom” would collapse, so Lincoln – under the pious guise of “saving the Union” (now no longer voluntary) - launched an armada against Charleston Harbour to provoke South Carolina into firing the first shot, and to get the war he wanted for conquering the “Cotton Kingdom.” South Carolina responded just as Massachusetts, the self-anointed “Patriot State,” had responded at Lexington and Concord.
Virginia had stood for the Union until Lincoln called for her troops to subjugate the Confederacy, at which point she immediately refused, immediately seceded, and indicted Lincoln for “choosing to inaugurate civil war.” Four other States followed her out and joined the Southern States in their defense against invasion, conquest, and coerced political allegiance – just as in 1776, when the thirteen slaveholding Colonies seceded from the British Empire. The rest is history, although it has been twisted out of shape to conform to the toxic demagoguery of Progressive Identity Politics and “The Myth of American History” – or what Voltaire would call “The propaganda of the victorious.”
So what of the Confederate monuments? As Edmund Burke said, “You are gibbeting the carcass while your house is the haunt of robbers.” These monuments were raised to honor our fathers, just as were those in the North - and those after any other war - but to those increasing multitudes today who don’t know who their fathers are, this is an alien concept. Thus as atomized dependents of a collectivist State that throws to them sops and promises in return for their votes, they are continually being flattered by the toxic demagoguery of Progressive Identity Politics that glorifies their victim status. Vilifying Confederate monuments is merely the latest manifestation of this demagoguery. To the Big Government Progressives who are orchestrating this, however, these monuments stand as a rebuke and an indictment, so they must be speciously branded as monuments to “Jim Crow” by hired “Court Historians” and media commentators, and torn down by Progressive social justice warriors, rent-a-thugs, “wokescolds” and other assorted useful idiots in order to hide the Brave New Empire from its benighted minions.
A native of Lynchburg, Virginia, the author graduated from the Virginia Military Institute in 1967 with a degree in Civil Engineering and a Regular Commission in the US Army. His service included qualification as an Airborne Ranger, and command of an Engineer company in Vietnam, where he received the Bronze Star. After his return, he resigned his Commission and ended by making a career as a tugboat captain. During this time he was able to earn a Master of Liberal Arts from the University of Richmond, with an international focus on war and cultural revolution. He is a member of the Jamestowne Society, the Society of the Cincinnati in the State of Virginia, the Sons of Confederate Veterans, and the Society of Independent Southern Historians. He currently lives in Richmond, where he writes, studies history, literature and cultural revolution, and occasionally commutes to Norfolk to serve as a tugboat pilot