Manifesto part 7
But Will It Work?
We can’t solve our problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them, according to Albert Einstein, demonstrating that his genius extended to more than just quantum physics. We have two enemies; those who say there is no problem, and those who say there is no hope. The counsel of despair will undermine Southern liberty more surely than all the lies and blandishments of the Regime. It’s true we are few and they are many. At the moment we are weak; they have the full power of the state and schools and money and the media behind them. But we still hold the trump card, the one thing without which no regime can exist, even a tyrannical one -- we still have our consent. Peaceful non-cooperation, withholding our consent, and creating our own alternative legitimate structures will work. In fact, exercising our sovereignty, however limited its sphere, is the only thing that will work for us, because it’s something Those People can’t control. It’s what they fear most, and it’s why they keep us diverted and embroiled in peripheral battles over the Flag and Confederate symbols.
You doubt it? Well, practical use of this principle undergirds some of the most extraordinary success stories of the 20th Century. Just ask the heirs of Mohandas Ghandi, the Irish Republicans, Scots nationalists, Bishop Tutu and Nelson Mandela, or people in the scores of countries that have freed themselves from European colonial empires. Closer to home is the example of Martin Luther King, whose tactics of refusal and peaceful (more or less) non-compliance were the engine of the civil rights revolution. We may not like the outcomes of all these revolutions, and we can argue that the U.S. civil rights revolution has not solved the problems plaguing of the black community. But we can’t deny these efforts were successful. We should learn to apply those techniques, as appropriate, to our own cause.
The Few Always Decide.
Mass numbers are not the key to success, for revolutionary change almost always comes from the vision and actions of the committed few, exercising leverage at the strategic margin -- a vanguard, in other words.
Now, understand we are not talking about armed resistance in the SNC, but America’s struggle for independence from Great Britain does dramatize the power of the committed few acting at the strategic margin. From 1776-1781, it’s estimated that roughly one-third of American colonists were indifferent, sitting out the conflict and taking neither side. Another one-third remained loyal to the Crown, and many of them fought in the Loyalists regiments or as Tory militia. And roughly one-third supported independence. Of this Patriot one-third, only about half or fewer were actively engaged in the struggle at any given time, either by giving their resources or bearing arms. Washington could seldom count on more than five or six thousand effectives under arms. Francis Marion, the great “Swamp Fox” of the Revolution, had at most 400 men in his “brigade” at any one time, yet managed to tie up a British force ten times his number in South Carolina and inflict one defeat after another on the enemy. In other words – and this is the astonishing conclusion – our forefathers managed to wrest our liberty from the mightiest military and commercial power on the globe with only about 12-15 % of the people actively engaged. We must understand that numbers alone are not decisive. The discerning, dedicated few are preferable to the many who lack clarity of vision, commitment, and courage.
We emphasize that the SNC is committed to peaceful and honourable means. In the words of Sir Thomas More in A Man for All Seasons, we think none harm, we say none harm, we do none harm. But because we are peaceable doesn’t mean we are servile and cowardly, or that we’ll stand by and allow our culture and our liberty to be destroyed without resisting. As Edmund Burke reminds us, “There is a limit at which forbearance ceases to be a virtue.” The SNC doesn’t violate any laws and we do not advocate violating any laws. For the time being at least, it’s no crime for us to seek recognition as a people who have values, interests, and goals that diverge widely from those of our indifferent and hostile rulers. Moreover, to fight corruption, to oppose tyranny, to protest injustice, are not crimes. They are a duty. “It is in truth not for glory, nor riches, nor honours that we are fighting, but for freedom -- for that alone, which no honest man gives up but with life itself.” These ringing words come from the Declaration of Arbroath of April 1320, in which the Scots, from whom so many of us Southerners are descended, declared their commitment to the integrity of their own nation.
We have a right to be who we are and not to be coerced into something a hostile Regime has decided we must be -- for its benefit, not ours. Sure, we have our faults, and to say we want to be true to ourselves doesn’t mean we shouldn’t strive to be better. But it’s up to us to decide how, not the self-righteous and oh-so-high-minded people of the North or the Left Coast. And anyway, who are they to tell us anything? Just look at the awful mess their stewardship has made of their own communities and the whole United States.
Jeers and Scoffing -- and Worse
As the SNC gets organized and begins to make our collective voices heard, no doubt we’ll encounter jeers and scoffing from America’s self-anointed elites, their Fellow Travellers, and their Useful Idiots among our own fellow Southerners. This is one of the Regime’s best methods of keeping dissent in check -- to send forth its minions, including all too many in our own Southern media, sorry to say, to ridicule anyone who departs from Politically Correct opinion. When that doesn’t work, then we’re condemned as racists and slavers and unreconstructed rebels. Odd, isn’t it, that we Southerners are the ones always accused of dredging up the past! In any case, we shouldn’t delude ourselves that we really enjoy true freedom of speech in this country. The ancient Greek dramatist Euripides said, “A slave is one who may not speak his thoughts.” Is this what we Southerners have become in the era of Political Correctness: slaves who may not speak our thoughts? Or the truth? Ironic, isn’t it? Say the wrong thing today in the so-called Land of the Free and the P.C. Gestapo will surely come after you; if not in a formal, legal sense, certainly in other ways. If they aren’t content merely to jeer and scoff, they’ll attempt to destroy your livelihood, as too many Southern patriots today can sadly attest.
Nevertheless, we remain partially free to speak out. We’d better use what remains of our freedom before it’s finally, totally, and irretrievably lost, for that’s where we’re headed unless we do speak out. And when tyranny at last runs free of all restraint, our silence will not save us.
If you love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude
better than the animating contest of freedom, go home form us in peace.
We ask not your counsels or your arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you.
May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen.
– Samuel Adams, 1776
A Great Adventure
Our liberty comes from God, it is not something granted at the whim of the state. As the Declaration of Independence (written by a Southerner) affirms so profoundly, the right to life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness are inalienable. However, enjoying these rights in practical, day-to-day terms requires us to defend them from the abuses and usurpations of a despotic Regime. Knowing that God is the author of our liberty, that He is the author of life and the universal moral order, also makes us humble. We are all too aware of our own weaknesses. In humility and faith, all we can do is study and think and seek wise counsel and pray for wisdom. Then, in faith, we have to go forward along the path we believe is right.
We’ve chosen a path that even to us appears neither easy nor possibly even safe. There are risks in asserting our sovereignty amid the overwhelming pressure to bend the knee to the Leviathan state. But we feel by God’s grace we’ve made the right choice, the only choice possible in the circumstances. Only the unfolding of events will tell whether we were foolish or right; and moreover, that we had foresight and courage. In that sense then, the SNC is a great human adventure. If you’re bored with the stultifying tedium and the meaninglessness of modern life, come join us in the great adventure.
No matter what challenges and setbacks we may face, we Southerners must remember that the only future we own, the only destiny we control, and the only change we can truly accomplish, is ours, and in ourselves. If we Southern patriots seem weak compared the pampered toadies of the Regime, with all their perquisites, privileges, and powers, remember that we have the spirit of Lee and Jackson, of Forrest and Cleburne living in us. And we have the spirit of an earlier generation, of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, of Patrick Henry and Francis Marion. We are the heirs of their courage and devotion. Their spirit cries out within us against corruption, injustice, folly, and oppression. It is this spirit that will enable us to rise to the occasion as history demands.
The past is set, but the future is ours. Join us in building a Southern National Congress and in claiming the future that is our birthright.
Ye have got the theory; now for the practice.
-- Leader of Scottish Covenanters,
upon the approach of British troops to arrest an illegal conventicle.
previous section, Part 6
Exercising Our Sovereignty
A Positive Vision
The Power of Symbolic Speech
Changing the Paradigm
No Foreordained Outcome
Let the Past Be Past
If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.
What is liberty without wisdom and without virtue?