Saturday, June 10, 2006

Nick Griffen's Long March

Macrobius Commentary on the interview with Nick Griffen,
Nick Griffen's Long March at Chronicles Magazine

First, let me congratulate Mr. Griffin on his electoral victories. To have run, as a non-traitor, and gotten actual Britons to vote for him is indeed an accomplishment.

However, I must ask, as practical politics, is being better than the Conservative Party and Labor really setting the bar very high? What has Mr. Griffen to offer us in the way of substantive politics? He is successful, I suppose, because unlike his predecessors in similar organizations he offers more in the way of Democracy, so as to appeal to the popular electorate. Oddly, this has resulted in more votes. Well that proves his superiority in politics then.

I see a visible sigh of relief on the American Right -- see, here is how Pat Buchanan should have fought his campaign. He might have 5 or 10% of the populist right, then. We *can* win in a Liberal Democracy after all.

What Mr. Griffen offers us, for his votes and popularity, is essentially the 2nd Klan. Now if he were to offer us the first, I would prick up my ears -- but of course I know that would never happen south of the Scottish border.

Like the second Klan, we have a nationalist and scaled back version of Wilsonian propaganda -- Birth of a Nation, with its less than subtle pro- Lincoln propaganda, woven into a bit of fear mongering. Potent stuff, and good for marches, but where, really, does it leave Western Culture? Is this our Cultural Revolution, vaunted on these pages?

The second Klan appealed to the Anglo-German rural population, notably in Indiana. Like the Middle American Radicals, they got a bit hot under the sheet where immigrants were concerned, and barked a bit about conservative social values. But did they really stop White Liberals? It wouldn't do, you know.

I suggest that Mr. Griffen's successes do teach us a lesson: they teach us that converting Socialism to Nationalism is a small step, and remains a permanent possibility among Saxon Peasantry, even urban fellaheen. It is bred into the Anglo-Saxon race, as also its continental cousins.

Mr. Griffen has told us that he hates Muslims and Britain is Christian and Christians have cheered. What he has not told us is what sect of Christianity will rule the roost when he has his revolution. You cannot re-found a nation on a coalition of sects that hate each others guts and only unite in the face of a common enemy. Until you show a solution to the National Religion issue, any talk of One Nation is smoke and puffery.

And we have heard Mr. Griffen on Muslims. Where does he stand on the Jews? Even as the second Klan he streches the limits of our credulity -- and I am criticizing him from the Right here, not carping on Political Correctness. Must our relief at seeing someone slapped down for PC and get up again rather than suffer the dreary Parliamentary attainder, whether from the European Parliament or its model the British -- must that relief and even good will towards the victim go so far as to endorse his absurdities?

Britain's problem is that they need a War of Independence to free them from Parliament. What Mr. Griffen suggests is that Americans, rather than dumping tea in the bay, try petitioning King Anthony to let them have a few seats of representation. Is Britain, after 400 years of Parliamentary rule, culminating in Empire and Democracy, better off than in Elizabeth R's time? In 50 years, the verdict will be in. Mr. Griffen knows that and we know that. We made our choice 200 years ago -- and we got our own problems for it.

As for Mr. Griffen's substantive proposal, that traitors should cease to be elected and non-traitors inherit their despotic rule, it is no better than proposing the MARs inherit the Managerial State? What elsc can Demagoguery do besides recapitulate Larceny?

Cantrell on Ruffin and Perfidious Yankees

Here are extracts from Mr Cantrell's post (read the original here) on Ruffin, with my comments:
Ruffin, acting like the typical Roman-imitating Tidewater/Charleston/Delta Southern gentleman that Walker Percy sees as something of a bane on the culture (because of being largely Stoic rather than orthodox Christian), takes his life after the Yankee victory, which he rightly labeled would be slavery for the Southern states to the Yankee political masters. His final writings should be memorized not merely by all Southerners but everyone who realizes that American culture, which is Yankee culture writ large, is but one form of Jocobinism (which means that the Neocons are perfectly good and true American after all).
Mr Cantrell and I are saying the same thing here. What he calls the Anglo-Norman Tidewater culture is exactly, in its Southern American incarnation, what we at Macrobius call the Anglo-Latin culture---the culture that it is not permitted to name or remember, which culture must be obliterated by all good Puritans, Whigs, Covenanteers, Calvinist Presybterians, and their successors in more secularised beliefs, and which ethnic opposition defines and delimits the entire political spectrum today. Anglo-Latins (or Roman-imitating Tidewater Virginians to name one sub-branch of the culture) have no say in today's politics. The opposition of Calvinist ``Puritanism'' to the ``Orthodox'' party (as State-supporting Anglicans invariably called themselves down to the time of the Oxford Movement) is, of course, the proximate cause of the English Civil War, the fundamental ethnic divide in the white community, and the source of factions, fractures, and bloodshed in that community for two centuries, until Lincoln's armies put an effective end to the political existence of the ``other side.'' The central problem of Conservatism since has been how or whether the Lost Cause can be re-instaurated.

As the Anglo-Latin Identity movement is in its infancy, but Mr Cantrell is one of the most important writers on this subject, though mostly he expands on the Celtic half of the Anglo-Celtic, or Southern-Celtic thesis.
The Anglo- half is called by him Anglo-Norman (he eschews the term Anglo-Saxon and uses it exclusively to refer to northern Puritans), and called by us, in conformity with the English Revisionist school of historians, Anglo-Latin. (This is review at the Other IHR.) This thesis provides important context for us because it helps us ``read'' Southern culture today, and what we read is indeed notably more Celtic than what was destroyed in 1865, 1776, 1745, 1715, 1688, or 1652 (When Virginia surrendered to Cromwell, though guerilla warfare and resistance continued in the Old Dominion).

In any event, the survival of a pro-continental, orthodox Christian, Catholic-leaning, Latin-educated and to some extent lingual, and, in all its ideals, Roman culture, has been a dicey proposition for 150 years. Nevertheless, cultures are resilient, and Mr. Cantrell is right to expect that ``Conservatism'' (that is, survival) is both possible and requires self-identification as a pre-requisite to cultural cohension and recovery. The Classical re-nascence in the homeschooling and cottage school movement gives great hope that Southerners in particular will stumble upon their Anglo-Latin heritage, as described in these columns. They may, then, form their own evaluation of its worth and relevance to Southern identity today.

After quoting Ruffin to give a taste of that gentleman's rhetoric, Mr Cantrell further identifies Yankee culture and Puritanism in general as the source of militant opposition to Southern Culture:
Yankee culture, which is but the American variant of the Anglo-Saxon Puritan culture, knew by at least the War of 1812 that Southern culture was its enemy to exterminated as surely as its forefathers in the British Isles had warred to destroy both the House of Stuart and all Celtic cultures (of course, once Irish Catholics came in large numbers, the same Yankees saw Catholic 'ethnics' as an equal threat to its utter liberalism alongside Southern culture, and so America got anti-Catholic the Know-Nothings [seen today in mild form in Peter Brimelow and his VDARE team, who routinely defend the Know-Nothings] who were indispensable to the fouding and successes of the Republican Party: American's original Jacobins with power over more than parts of New England.
This is straightforward, if summarised and compressed to fall within the compass of a short post. The opposition of the ethnic and racial subcultures of whites in America has been written about at length, notably in Hackett-Fischer, Albion's Seed and Phillips, Cousins' Wars, and presumably in Mr Cantrell's books (which I have not had the pleasure of reading yet, though I have read all his more accessible online writing). It all turns on the remarkable persistence of the ethnic divide between Saxon and Royalist South and West of England, and the Anglian Danelaw region, which was Puritan. Hackett-Fischer adds a midland culture (Mercian) which doesn't fit the dualism we are discussing today, but to which we and Mr Cantrell might both profitably return. Mr Cantrell's discussion (elsewhere) of Philadelphia is apposite to this topic, and I think spot on.

The most controversial aspect of Mr Cantrell's writing (for his would-be allies that is), is his attacks on ``Anglo-Saxons.'' Predictably, he gets exactly the sort of prejudiced response, often humorous and easily lampooned, from supporters of the Anglo-Saxon Imperium, whether spherical or otherwise. That is the knee jerk reaction he'll get from any Yankee, and it will just substantiate his thesis. However his use of the term defeats his own cause on the Southern side, and limits the effectiveness of what should be the most powerful political dynamite on the conservative end of the spectrum--and manifestly is not. Simple cultural coherence, i.e., the rallying of Southerners specifically around cultural conservatism, is undeniably the most ``real'' political aspect, Mr Cantrell and my rumblings are well down in its noise. Reality always trumps theory. The most radical and effective act of cultural conservatism is to learn the truth about One's Own culture, and to teach the ways of that culture to one's children. This will happen regardless of what Mr Cantrell or I say.

What undermines Mr Cantrell's use of ``Anglo-Saxon'' is the fact that that term's historical trajectory and current meaning (not least its location in the realm of veneration-words) makes it useless for polemical purposes. The original use of the term does not mean an amalgamation or race mixing of Angles, Saxons, and Jutes, still less is it a linguistic term, similar to Serbo-Croatian (does anyone remember when Serbia and Croatia were hyphenated, especially by Liberals like Mises?) ``Anglo-Saxon'' meant, on its original coinage, ``those Saxons who live in England rather than the Continent.'' The primary example of Anglo-Saxons are the actual Saxons, who settled in the West of England, and are part of the anscestry of the plantation owners. The existence of Anglians and their cultural distinction from Saxons was not in view in the early days of Saxon Philology. All the tribes were called ``Saxons'' (as opposed to Normans, of course).

Given that Mr. Cantrell's Anglo-Saxon Yankee vs. Anglo-Celtic Southerner divide mostly lies along the Anglian vs. Saxon axis, which later became the Danelaw boundary, it is ironic that he slams the Anglo-Saxons. They are, after all, the racial substrate of his Anglo-Normans, in opposition to the evil Anglians, who have a later infusion of Viking and Danish blood. Whether the Anglians were evil before that admixture is not spelled out. Mr Cantrell would do better to slam the Anglians (as in East Anglian Puritans), as against the West Saxons, whether of Dorsetshire, Lichfield, or Virginia. He would then leave those Southerners with a Saxon heritage to be proud of, while easily identifying the characteristics of Anglians that are most objectionable. They could read Albion's Seed or Cousins' Wars and find support for Mr Cantrell's thesis, rather than a contradiction of it.

It is, of course, possible that Mr Cantrell despises West Saxons as well as Anglians (he is, uncharacteristically, silent on the subject of Jutes). He may support the Norman overlord class as against the Saxon basal culture. But in that case there were Norman, French-speaking overlords in Anglia and Northumbria as well. Is it merely the French-leaning, Romanizing gentry who are good, and their subjects evil (that is, Elitism, not Celtism)? I do not believe Mr Cantrell means this, and so I do not think his use of the term ``Anglo-Saxon'' is well advised or even correct. The Anglo-Saxons are his people. What he means is he is a Norman-Saxon hybrid who hates Anglians and all their ways, especially the Puritan Yankee sort. If we are going to hate, let's at least get the story straight.

A second problem with making the Saxons (wherever they live) the bad guys, and the Normans (wherever they rule) the good guys, is that the Normans, as North-men, have precisely the same infusion of blood that the Anglians of the Danelaw have. Why a Viking who invades from France should be good while one coming from Denmark or Norway or East Anglia bad I cannot exactly say.

In summary, Mr Cantrell would do well to adopt a less confusing terminology, clarify his views, and rely less on ethnic and racial theories (which are as tenuous a foundation on his side as theories of multiculturalism and race fusion are on the PC side)--and use cultural identity to determine who is Celtic, Southern, Saxon, Puritan and so forth. Perhaps he is being a bit Anglo-Saxon himself, with this residual reliance on Blood and Soil? Of course, tagging cultural artifacts with terms like Celtic and Anglo-Latin leave him open to the academic criticism he has recieved---that the dualism is overdrawn and Celtic has become a word of approbation and Yankee a slam. The price paid, however, in gaining supporters would more than pay the cost of more academic criticism, however. Populists love sides, factions, and fighting, and Academics will never be allies. What's to choose?

If Mr Cantrell does not like my suggestion of using ``Anglian'' as against ``Saxon'' then perhaps he will consider this: he needs to elaborate more on the Anglo-Normans, or as I call them, the Anglo-Latins. This is the key to his view. If all he has to show is that Celts are good and Old Stock Americans bad, then he will foment a schism in the South---a Celtic revolt as much against their Old Stock past, against Colonial Virginia, the Washingtons and Lees, the half-Celt Jefferson---and I do not think he will succeed; nor do I think it his aim. Setting Forrest against Lee will do even more mischief, not save Western Civilization, unless he is advocating Celtic Successionism as the only hope for survival, as a sort of sequel to How the Irish Saved Civilization, this time for the American South. Unless that is what he means, he needs to speak more to the point about the Tidewater culture.

Now, as an academic and writer of books, dividing one's time between two cultures may not be productive, and it is clear, Anglo-Norman though he may be, that his heart is in Celtic Literature. He will also find even fewer takers for the Anglo-Norman thesis, or rather less interest. There are lots of Crackers in the South, and few Old Stock planters. Mr Jefferson already noted that demographics were overwhelming the Anglicans (this would be Mr Cantrell's Celtic infusion), early in the 18th century. Those families that were not run off in the American Revolution lost further standing, and assimilated more, after 1865. So it follows that interest in Anglo-Latinity, Mr. Cantrell's ``Roman-imitating'' culture, is far less, despite his admiration of Mr Ruffin and his potential for pro-Celtic soundbites, with a bit of necromancy to get him to talk about Celts. But like Homer's gibbering dead, even a few libations cannot get the Anglo-Latin planters to exapatiate on the topic of Celticity.

+ + +

Next, on the topic of Conservatism and its prospects, Mr Cantrell gives us his central and correct statement on prospects or more precisely the preconditions for Traditional Conservatism:
Clyde Wilson shows us yet another example why there can be nothing approximating conservatism (unles you mean to conserve the previous liberal revolutions or to conserve the consumerist religion or to conserve the wealth and power of the WASP Elites and their that of their allies) in these United States as long as Yankees are present, especially when they are prominent.
The term, ``Traditional Conservatism,'' is relative to whose culture, cujus cultura, ejus traditio. If one's culture is Tidewater Anglo-Latin (or Maryland Catholic), then Yankee WASP culture and its elites will be politically opposed to you. Yankee WASP elites do have a say in American politics today; Mr Ruffin's cultural descendants do not. There are many Southerners in politics, including not a few showing descent from the Celtic cultures Mr Cantrell has brought to our attention, but there are none who celebrate the Roman-imitating aspects of the Tidewater planter culture. They have gone the political way of the erstwhile Indian chiefs and retired, sometimes been forcably retired, from the political arena. Their descendents may be found, and cultural distinctives and curiosities trotted out from time to time, for the tourists, but the real, living force, has been beaten out of them.

Is Anglo-Latin culture, like its Roman Latin predecessor, dead beyond all hope of resuscitation? Stick around and see. In the multi-ethnic Empire, there is nothing to stop you from dropping by our booth, sampling the cuisine, pick up a phrase or two, and move on to the next novelty. Whether the Anglo-Latin booth will ever be attractive enough to engage the racial descendants of the coastal and piedmont planters, I cannot say.

Mr Cantrell concludes:
In short, Southern culture is indispensable to any movement in America that is truly conservative, just as Yankee WASP culture is indispensable to all that is liberal. And no man can serve two masters. While we certainly can live and let live in local areas, the self-righteously violent Yankee culture cannot. It is a savage reformer that cannot rest once it has decided to slaughter in order to uplift what it sees as the downtrodden and/or to correct past wrongs and/or to erase 'antiquated' traditions so that freedom can shine. It can leave nothing alone, and it is a serious threat not merely to Southern culture but to all genuinely conservative Christian and European cultures surviving in the world.
This is correct, if overdrawn.

Mr Cantrell fingers Henry VIII and his successors, the Puritan party:

And the source is, as Ruffin suggests, ethnic: it is the Yankee race . The source is the WASP culture that was formed by the government-centralizing, wealth-stealing, religion-creating, anti-traditionalism of Henry VIII, a source refined and extended by the Puritan revolution. Its telos is chaos managed by governmental despotism and addicting the masses to consumerism and the Sexual Revolution.

To claim that the Puritan party arose as a consequence of Henry VIII's policies, and that one despotism led inexorably to the other, is an oversimplification of history. Hilaire Belloc, in his Servile State, a book I suspect is no less opposed to Puritanism than Mr Cantrell's, identifies the concentration of property resulting from the Dissolution (which preceded the English Reformation by a generation), as the eventual cause of the Whig Oligarchy in the 18th century. However, it took nearly two centuries for the concentration of wealth in one line to fall into the hands of the post-Puritans. For much of the 17th century, it was in the hands of the Puritans' bitterest opposition. There is certainly a poetic sense in which Tudor and Stuart despotism ``caused'' Puritanism, or perhaps was its mirror image; and the Dissolution and break with Rome may certainly be listed among the causes of the English Reformation, without which Calivinists would not have standing in the State Church. Yet despite all this, the claim is a strech.

Finally, Mr Cantrell makes an appeal to Identity, and refers to his new book:
Each of us who adopts its identity, its history, helps that culture grow and extend its tentacles. Each of us who frees himself from that culture's identity and history becomes a threat to it. That is the reason that every leftist hates and fears the Celtic-Southern thesis, for it shows Southerners their actual cultural heritage that Yankee schoolmarms dismissed and denied in their attempts to make good little liberally-loyal Yankees out of us. Those interested should consult my book How Celtic Culture Invented Southern Literature.

Since Mr Cantrell has elsewhere intimated that his patronymic name is that of an Anglo-Norman family, we may hope that he remembers his Anglo-Latin heritage as well as his Celtic---and therein lies a paradox, for one cannot hope a New Wallace will arise and free the South, and at the same time ask for a re-instaurated Roman Empire or even a Republic, like the Southern Founding Fathers did. Each of us is allowed but one Identity, at least in the normal case. Mr Cantrell's commentary is a healthy reminder of two potential identities for the American South. I have no doubt that of the two the Cracker Culture and Celtic identity will be most readily adopted. It assimilates well, on Mr Cantrell's admission, to the dominant Anglo-Saxon culture, and allows one to be an Anglo-Saxon in every way but sport a bit of Celtic coloring to make one different, but not too different, from the Yankee Puritan.

Finding a place for Mr Ruffin's Roman-imitating Tidewater Planter culture is the heart of the problem. That culture is much more than our Southern Neo-Celts make out---a convenient source of sound bites for damning Yankees, if you drop out the parts where they talk about the Irish and Scots, that is. Anglo-Latin culture stands on its own terms, and those are far less widespread than fried chicken, and the continuing spread of r-ful (burred) and monophthongized (Celticized) speechways throughout the South. Southern culture has, today, a magnificent coherence and a healthy vitality---yet that is precisely due to the post-War spread of Celtic culture to fill the vacuum left by Anglo-Latin plantation culture. The New South culture, with linguistic and cultural ways from west of the Blue Ridge, not east, is not the salvation of the Old South but the substitution of a more vulnerable replacement of it. Remembering our Anglo-Latin heritage can mitigate the risk that the South will become, not the Imperial North's Scotland, but its Ireland.

Clyde Wilson on Immigration

At Macrobius, we mostly approach immigration from the standpoint of the post nati case. This case, in which Sir Francis Bacon and Sir Edward Coke did battle, determined the relation of the interrelationships of territory, allegiance, kinship, and birth in defining "Nation". As a late development in Anglo-Latin Law, it was naturally the inherited perspective from which the question of citizenship was approached by all the disputants in the American Revolution, at least those who practiced Law. And equally obviously, it is terra incognita for today's immigration debate. It is almost as though the current debate is being carried on by persons who have no memory or inheritance of Anglo-Latinity.

In any even, some of the few echoes of that earlier memory come from the quarter of Clyde Wilson, and in this thread his respondent Jimmy Cantrell, of Patriotist fame.

Clyde Wilson, after cataloguing the senators who voted for and against the bill, says:

``The South was the only part of the country to give a majority vote to the patriotic side, though with considerable help from the Plains and Rocky Mountains....''

His conclusion:

``Are you surprised that a number of Southerners decided several years ago that the Union was irredeemable and the best we could hope for was to save our own part?''

We will discuss Mr. Cantrell's response at length later on, but you may read it here:

The Lichfield Angel

There is an article in the Guardian on the "Lichfield Angel" discussed over at Original Dissent:

It is truely amazing to see a Christian cultural artifact for essentially the same culture, the Anglo-Latin culture, that has been in one place since the angel wss painted, through the time Dr. Johnson lived there, until now.

Actually, it reminds me of the icons of SS. Michael and Gabriel at our church.