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The Privilege of Freedom

Wednesday, February 15, 2017 1:31
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Dr. Drew Gilpin Faust, President of Harvard University, described the organic and conservative world-view of Southern leaders prior to secession and invasion in her book A Sacred Circle: The Dilemma of the Intellectual in the Old South, 1840-1860. It was an outlook on life which rejected both the social compact theory (which arose during the Enlightenment) and “the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family” (as set forth in the Declaration of Independence and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights).

Faust noted that Fire-Eater Nathaniel Beverley Tucker “conceived of the social world as an intricate structure. Sweeping theories about natural law and natural rights appeared meaningless in [the] face of the complex customs and interrelationships that had evolved over centuries to constitute contemporary society.” To Southerners, “Society appeared a natural phenomenon, an organism, in the sense that its course of development was determined by a set of constituent elements with which it initially was endowed.” The intellectual reformers in Dixie who she focused on in her book:

found in their historical explorations no record of men establishing social compacts, as Locke had suggested. Human beings, they concluded, never had existed independent of societies; they were born into a social state and from the first were linked with those around them by ties of custom and tradition. Men did not possess natural rights, but instincts like “ambition, avarice, lust” which they had an inescapable duty to control. Because they viewed men as inherently evil and morally frail, the five Southerners could not imagine them independent of social restraints. Freedom was not a right but a privilege man earned by demonstrating himself able to suppress the “profound corruption” that was the essence of human nature.

Imagine if this standard for freedom were applied today – if people had to earn it rather than be granted “space to destroy.” And imagine if society were viewed as an organic and historic body rather than a sociology experiment in de-constructing Western Civilization. As the Alt-Right moves into the real world and the Alt-South emerges to lead the way we can collectively red-pill ourselves by questioning the liberal falsehoods which underpin the crumbling social order around us.


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