Southern Communism ain't libertarian!

While I haven't seen any polls or curves or graphs to prove it, I have noticed that as the country grows more libertarian (that's the great silent majority, small "l" common-sense variety), the two major political parties grow less libertarian. I think this means that the activists who dominate the two parties are seriously out of touch with the mainstream. The question becomes, which party will do a better job of moving away from activist ideology, and towards political reality.

Howard Dean gets it, but I am not sure the activists within his party will allow him to get away with appealing to common sense libertarianism. Hence, his wacky "Southern Communism" approach: Confederate flags, the "God, guns, gays," remark, etc.

Besides, I want the world to know that Southern Communism was invented by me and a good friend many years ago. We hold the patent on the idea.

(So far, no royalties from Dean.)


UPDATE: When I mentioned Southern Communism a few days ago I gave only the most superficial definition of it in reply to Dean Esmay's comment. (My apologies for the delay, but I had to contact the expert!)

Here's more, straight from the source:

Southern Communism was a theory propounded by a little known ne'er-do-well cousin of Jefferson Davis, a Courtney Carrington Davis. As was the custom of the aristocracy, he spent much of his days drinking whiskey and reading European writers, and had happened upon Marx and Engels after the War. The idea of total egalitarianism repulsed him, but such was his rage against the domination of the North and the federal government that he imagined a class rebellion which would install a "dictatorship of the common man," which excluded "coloreds, white trash, papists, Jews, and others of heathen religions." Like many of his class, he was insulated from social realities, and saw the downfall of the South as the result of trying to imitate the democratic system of the North. But he also realized that there could be no rebellion if only the aristocracy were to benefit, hence the compromise with, and the transparent appeal to, the "common man." Deluded as he was, he believed that the aristocracy would control this new form of government (the specifics of which appear nowhere in his writings), and that it would "wither away, leaving every man in his proper station." It is evident that,
in addition to being the black sheep of the family, he was also not very imaginative and his theory basically consisted of "cutting and pasting" his own delusions into the writings of Marx and Engels.
I don't have a URL, as this was sent to me in an email from my friend who first used the term many years ago -- and startled me when he referred to me as a "Southern Communist."

I will have my readers know that:

  • a) I am not from the South, but I might be called an occasional "fellow traveler" because I have traveled there extensively; and
  • b) I am not now, but have in the past been a Communist.
  • The more I think about this, the more I wonder whether "Southern Communism" might have been borrowed by Huey P. Long.

    posted by Eric on 11.07.03 at 09:35 AM







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    Comments

    What's Southern Communism?

    Dean Esmay   ·  November 7, 2003 9:47 AM

    The party of Jefferson Davis and Karl Marx! Of Nathan Bedford Forrest and Vladimir Ilich Lenin! The cruel "civil war" was actually fought against the little guy -- the Southern working man -- long exploited and swindled by an evil capitalist cabal of Northern slave dealers, industrialists, and usurers.

    More later. (Although I am not sure Southern Communism is a good idea to encourage.) We even designed a flag during drunken discussions in the 1980s.

    Eric Scheie   ·  November 7, 2003 10:06 AM

    Southern Marxism? May I introduce you to Eugene Genovese, who's the foremost Marxian scholar of the South. Even for anti-Marxists like me, Roll, Jordan, Roll is required reading if you want a full picture of slavery in the antebellum South.

    Dave   ·  November 7, 2003 10:23 AM

    I can't wait. Shoot me a note whenever you post it!

    Dean Esmay   ·  November 7, 2003 1:15 PM

    I'll start feeling some admiration for the Johnny Rebs on the day they start praising Nat Turner's revolt. Until then, I'm an unreconstructed Reconstructionist. Damn Yankee me.

    Steven Malcolm Anderson   ·  November 7, 2003 4:46 PM

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