From the Book: The South under Siege, 1830-2000, Chapter 24, By Frank Conner
This book has described the ideological war that the Northern secular humanists have been waging against the conservative Christian South from the 1830s until now (June 2000); and we have catalogued many of the social, political, and economic losses suffered by the South as the result of losing that war. But in discussing the wrenching changes that have been forced upon the Southern society – especially during the last half century, we have not yet talked about the consequent loss of the traditional Christian values which shaped the society of the Old South and made it unique in the world.
Let us talk about that now. If we could resurrect the best values of the Old South, modified only slightly for today’s conditions, what type of society would we likely end up with? Would it be worth all the effort?
In The Southern Tradition at Bay, Richard Weaver points out that the Christian-based values of the Old South produced a society with strong (though not obtrusive) leadership, a society which featured unparalleled decency, mutual trust, friendliness, and stability. Those qualities are notoriously absent from today’s society-which has been shaped by the secular humanists; and now that the earlier qualities are gone, many people are searching desperately to find them again. But secular humanism-for all its promises-produces only a cold amorality. That is the main reason for the current worldwide fascination with the Confederate States of America, and it is also the reason why the liberals are now at such pains to pour salt upon every square inch of the moral landscape of the traditional South, to ensure that no vestige of it will survive to blossom again.
Most of today’s (liberal) historians and social critics screech shrilly that the society of the antebellum South could not possibly have been kind and decent, because it harbored the institution of slavery. Therefore we should pause for a moment to exorcise that demon yet once again, so we can take seriously the Southern society that was (uniquely) devoted to decency.
Slavery was considered an acceptable social institution by most people in most countries down through the 17th and 18th centuries and into the 19th century. To judge the South of that era by the standards of today’s social institutions, and thereby condemn the Old South out of hand because it employed slave labor, is not a legitimate function of historical analysis; it is instead the crudest example of liberal propaganda aimed at attacking and destroying the integrity and honor of credibility of the society of the Old South by any means possible. The real question is this: given that slavery was then a legitimate social institution, how did the Old South-as a society-treat its slaves, and how did other slave holding countries treated their slaves during the same general era?
Additional sub-titles in this book:
From the Beginning, the Northerners Were Malcontents
From the Start, the Southerners Were Largely a Contented People
The South Lived Under a Strict Social Code and a Bare Minimum of Laws
The Southerners Knew “Who They Were as a People”
The South Served as the North’s Sheet Anchor, “To Give the Nation Stability”
In My Youth, the Small Towns of the Old South Were Probably the Finest Places Where Ordinary People Could Live
(The above is from the June 2009 Newsletter of the General
Robert A. Toombs Camp #932).