Tuesday, September 20, 2016

The False Choice of Trump or Hillary

Most traditionalist-minded Southerners are dead-set against voting for Hillary Clinton for President of the [u]nited States, understanding well enough that she would let loose more globalist, technocratic, anti-Christian forces within Dixie and abroad.

Donald Trump seems to sing a better song to them, one that agrees more with the ideas they learned from their (Yankeefied) history books and that they hear on so-called conservative talk radio.  Some of the positions he puts forward do strike a good note, but in the long run his presidency would probably not be so helpful for the South.  Let’s look at some of his talking points to see why.

One thing he has begun to say often is that with him as President, America will be ‘one people, under one God, saluting one American flag’. 

First, America is not ‘one people’.  This is the beguiling myth of Hamilton, Story, Lincoln, and so on.  The true myth is that America is a union of many distinct regional cultures:  Pacific Northwest, desert Southwest, Rocky Mountains, Great Plains, Old Midwest/Rustbelt, New England, the South, Alaska, Hawai’i.  These were all settled by particular ethnic groups:  Scandinavians in the upper Midwest (Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Iowa), Germans in the Old Midwest, Quakers in Pennsylvania, etc.  And among these are major subcultures like the Cajuns, Mormons, and Mennonites.

To the extent that Americans are one people is the result of all these regional cultures being thrown onto the Procrustean bed of Puritan Yankee workaholic industrialism and having their arms and legs hacked off, and being taught in every grade level of school that this ‘American dream’ is the best ideal that man has ever and will ever devise for his life in this world.

Donald Trump’s vision is nothing but a continuation of this stifling of the true life of the different regions in the [u.] S. by pressing them further into the mold of New England:  One of the main planks in his platform is to make America wealthy again by increasing manufacturing here in the States.  Factories will perforce go up hither and yonder, where men (and presumably women, too) will earn their daily bread. 

So, Americans will have jobs and money and stuff, as much as they could want.  But this is not a healthy way for most people to live (physically, mentally, or spiritually); it does not create conditions for the flourishing of authentic culture; and it is certainly not in line with the Southern tradition, where life on or near the soil and the idea of ‘enough’ (to use Wendell Berry’s word) is highly valued.

These large corporate factories, stores, etc. also bring with them beliefs that are at odds with the traditional Christian moorings of the South.  Is she ready to trade the teachings of the Holy Scriptures for atheistic Darwinian evolution, abortion, transgender bathrooms, gay rights, and all the rest of the aggressively humanistic culture that the Fortune 500 CEOs are busily spreading?  But that is what she will get if Trump’s agenda is implemented.

Which leads us to the second point in his slogan, ‘under one God’.  Whose God is he referring to here?  Owing to his talk of inclusiveness with regard to the ‘LGBTQ’ community, and his obsession with worldly riches, one must assume that it is akin to the sentimental Jesus, the Transcendental God, of heretics like Emerson, Oprah Winfrey, and Joel Osteen. 

Is this kind of talk really enough to win over Southern evangelicals?  These are the same folks who, before the War, used to tie into one another fairly heatedly over doctrinal questions about child baptism and closed communion.  But now they will lay down arms and embrace Trump because of this vague little phrase?  From what a great height has Southern religion fallen!

An Orthodox writer on God-lore (theology), Vladimir Lossky, has written,

According to a modern Russian theologian, Father Florensky, there is no other way in which human thought may find perfect stability save that of accepting the trinitarian antinomy.  If we reject the Trinity as the sole ground of all reality and of all thought, we are committed to a road that leads nowhere; we end in an aporia, in folly, in the disintegration of our being, in spiritual death.  Between the Trinity and hell there lies no other choice (The Mystical Theology of the Eastern Church, Crestwood, Ny.: SVS Press, pgs. 65-6).

The South, then, had better get this one right.  Her people need to have a long talk amongst themselves about which way they should walk in together, about which way is the true way:  Pentecostal, Baptist, Presbyterian, Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Anglican?  Creeds are not just pointless abstractions but have very real effects when put into practice in the world.  So she needs to choose, and choose rightly, for as Mr Lossky has said, the wrong choice will lead to undoing. 

But this much is certain:  Mr Trump’s god is not the true God, and no Southerner should bow the knee to it.

As for one flag, however, we quite agree.  Only, for the South, that it should not be the flag of America, bereft of Christian symbols, but something like the flag flown by our forefathers, which bears St Andrew the Apostle’s Cross (though the Masonic five-pointed stars really need to be changed).

(Source:  http://www.usflag.org/confederate.stars.and.bars.html, accessed 20 Sept. 2016)

So then, the choice of Trump or Hillary is a false choice.  Both will mean decay and death for the Southern way of life.  The better choice for the South is independence, peaceful secession.  She would be better off spiritually without Supreme Court rulings and executive orders banning prayers and Bible classes and mandating gay marriages.  She could move closer to the ideal of symphony between Church and goverment that has existed in Christendom since the days of St Constantine the Great.

Economically, she could follow a ‘customs union’ model:

But what is the way out for such non-liberal countries [e.g., traditionalist, agrarian folk like the South--W.G.] which, due to objective circumstances, are confronted with effective and aggressive liberal competitors [e.g., progressive, industrial people like New England--W.G.]? This problem was especially acute for Germany in the 19th century, that very country which Friedrich List was called to aid. His answer was the theory of the “autarchy of large spaces” . . . .

The concept of the “autarchy of large spaces” implies that non-market states left in the conditions of harsh competition with market ones should work out a model of autonomous development which partly reproduces the technological developments of liberal systems in the severely restrictive framework of a large-scale “customs union.” In this case, “freedom of trade” is limited to the framework of a strategic bloc of states integrating their political and economic-administrative efforts in order to rapidly increase economic dynamics. In relation to the more developed liberal countries, by contrast, a protective customs barrier is raised based on the principles of strict protectionism. Thus, the scope for expanding the newest economic technologies is maximally widened while, on the other hand, this is supported by consistent political and economic sovereignty.

Undoubtedly, such an approach extremely discomforts the liberals of developed market states as it exposes their strategy, reveals their aggressive undertones, and effectively counteracts their geopolitical interference and, ultimately, their external control over those states which the liberals seek to transform into economic and political colonies. 

Source:  Alexander Dugin, http://4pt.su/en/content/modernization-without-westernization, accessed 1 Sept. 2016

In this type of economic system, the South could develop economically without destroying her underlying agrarian culture, but, rather, by keeping in step with it.  Southern norms would again shape her economic life, rather than New England norms.

There are a number of contemporary models that could be studied:

The Commonwealth of Independent States http://www.cisstat.com/eng/cis.htm

The BRICS Bank

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization

Germany used it in the 19th hundredyear:

The American constitutional ‘experiment’ of government was an artificial imposition on the States from the start.  It is time to return to something more natural, to a healthy decentralization and regionalism that will allow the different cultures present in the American Union to flourish.  Southerners, then, ought not to encourage their neighbors to ‘Vote Trump’, etc., but instead to leave the Union altogether.

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