E Pluribus Unum

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Consonant with the inability of so many people to think in terms of principles in this day and age is the expressed befuddlement of a college professor quoted at the end of this news story.

Lunatics from the far left and the far right, it seems, want to secede from the union!

Harry Watson, director of the Center For the Study of the American South and a history professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, said it was a surprise to see The Middlebury Institute conferring with the League of the South, "an organization that's associated with a cause that many of us associate with the preservation of slavery."

He said the unlikely partnering "represents the far left and far right of American politics coming together."
But is this really a surprise? The Middlebury Institute sees the United States as an evil empire "imposing its military might on 153 countries around the world" while the League of the South regards (and seeks to preserve) Christianity and Anglo-Celtic culture -- not individualism -- as essential to the character of some great Southern collective whose goal it is to protect above all else.

In more concrete terms, the Middlebury Institute would disarm its own citizens (after causing them to live in a small country by seceding from the world's only military power) whilst Southerners would encode Christianity and xenophobia into law:
If allowed to go their own way, New Englanders "probably would allow abortion and have gun control," Hill said, while Southerners "would probably crack down on illegal immigration harder than it is being now."
Secession appeals to each group for two reasons: (1) They can't make a convincing case for their particular flavors of tyranny, so they wish to wall themselves off with those they see as like-minded; and (2) to the extent that the federal government still protects individual rights by thwarting their tyrannical impulses, it is Enemy One.

Note that in each case, enmity to America as she is (and could be through reform) trumps the obvious advantages to the individual of living in a large, powerful country with a long tradition of respect for individual rights and rule by law. Nobody here wishes to win minds and thereby fix America. All want to impose their will on others through whatever tyranny they can get.

It is only when one refuses to be fooled by the many different species of tyranny and looks at their common denominator, a tendency to regard the purpose of government as other than to protect individual rights, that one finally realizes that these secessionists are natural allies, and wonders why they didn't get together much sooner.

And so we have one movement against America, the beacon of freedom to the world, out of many kinds of collectivist mentality.

-- CAV


Jim May said...

Wha'ts funny is how these sort of left-right convergences actually happen quite a lot -- "Is God Green?" by Bill Moyers is a good example -- but each time, commentators treat it like it's an aberration.

They'll even get to the point of saying that the so-called "political spectrum" is actually a circle that bends back onto itself with the "extremes" meeting up.

But they never, ever take that last step to realize what Admiral Ackbar did, a long time ago in that galaxy so far, far away (but not unlike our own):

"It's a trap!"

The entire field of "political science" is an anti-conceptual, epistemological trap designed, as John Lewis once said in an email to me, to ensnare men into the same disastrous ideas that killed their grandfathers.

Gus Van Horn said...

Well put.

Another "great" thing about politics is that it often causes some to think they are trapping other people when in fact they are merely distracting themselves from the self-inflicted damage they are about to do.