As discussed in past articles on SNN, one of the fundamental differences between the Southern worldview and that of the United States is with regards to how we understand time and history. To summarise, the US way to understand these things is linear while the Southern understanding is classical and cyclical. Very simply, Progressive-minded Americans view the past as bad, the present as better and future as good. In the name of ‘progress,’ (according to the different ways that this has been understood at different points in US history) one social crusade after another has been launched. Some of these venture into the realm of the bizarre and all are in opposition to traditional society. In the Antebellum South this crusading nature of Northerners (in particular New Englanders and their descendants spread out across the Upper North) was viewed as radicalism and fanaticism; it was associated with the Enlightenment, the French Revolution and the strange social movements which grew out of the ideology of ‘progress.’ The ‘new man’ concept, central to the Modernist ideologies of liberalism, fascism, National Socialism and communism, has its American form. Man is a thing to be perfected, according this view. Conversely, the Southern perspective was that man is an imperfect being; he cannot be perfected. As the early Southern nationalist leader Robert Barnwell Rhett said, ‘We have to deal with erring man.’ The US view, like all Modernist perspectives, looked forward to an ‘end of history,’ which could be reached through reform, social activism and government intervention. After the US conquest of the independent South, the Northern perspective became the default US perspective and through public education and the mass media was spread across the continent and later around the world.
This brings us to today. As Russian geo-political theorist and author Professor Alexander Dugin has explained, the competing Modernist ideologies of Communism, fascism and National Socialism have been defeated. All that is left is liberalism. But without competitors, liberalism has developed into a hegemonic attitude and lifestyle andis no longer an ideology as it once was. Real politics, then, is dead since all major parties and candidates are liberal. A ‘global liberal hegemony‘ prevails today, which traditionalists of all stripes struggle against. An Atlanticist order supports this hegemonic reality.
In his recently released first English-language book, The Fourth Political Theory, Dugin describes well this view of history as it supports US global dominance today and tears down tradition and collective identities. This is an excellent summary of what Southern nationalists oppose and fight against:
The USA considers itself to be the logical conclusion and peak of Western civilisation. At one time, this was presented in terms of the ‘Manifest Destiny’ of America, and then in terms of the Monroe Doctrine. Now they speak in terms of enforcement of ‘universal’ human rights norms, promotion of democracy, technology, free market institutions and so on. But in essence, we are simply dealing with an updated version and continuation of a Western universalism that has been passed down from the Roman Empire, Medieval Christianity, modernity in terms of the Enlightenment and colonisation, up to the present-day phenomena of postmodernism and ultra-individualism. History is considered to be a univocal and monotone process of technological and social progress, the path of growing liberation of individuals from all kinds of collective identities. Tradition and conservatism are thus regarded as obstacles to freedom and should be rejected. The USA is in the vanguard of this historical progress, and has the right, obligation, and historical mission to move history further and further along this path. The historical existence of the US coincides with the course of human history. So, ‘American’ means ‘universal’. The other cultures either have an American future or no future at all.