Prof Richard Weaver’s description of the modern social order has earned him a lot of well-deserved praise. In small part he writes,
‘The old idea of rewards was vanishing, and instead of receiving a station dictated by a theory of the whole of society, men were winning their stations through a competition in which human considerations were ruled out. It was the age of Carlyle’s “cash-nexus.” Everything betokened the breaking-up of the old synthesis in a general movement toward abstraction in human relationships. Man was becoming a unit in the formless democratic mass; economics was usurping the right to dictate both political and moral policies; and standards supposed to be unchangeable were being mocked by the new theories of relativism. Topping it all was the growing spirit of skepticism which was destroying the religious sanctions of conduct and leaving only the criterion of utility’ (The Confederate South, 1865-1910; A Study in the Survival of a Mind and a Culture, 1943 Doctoral Dissertation for LSU Dept of English, pgs. 257-8. Later published as The Southern Tradition at Bay: A History of Postbellum Thought.).
Much of what we are seeing today is simply the worsening of the decay Prof Weaver saw at work 77 (and more) years ago. Klaus Schwab, for instance, the founder and chairman of the globalist World Economic Forum, writes in his book The Fourth Industrial Revolution,
‘The emergence of a world where the dominant work paradigm is a series of transactions between a worker and a company more than an enduring relationship was described by Daniel Pink 15 years ago in his book Free Agent Nation. This trend has been greatly accelerated by technological innovation.
‘Today, the on-demand economy is fundamentally altering our relationship with work and the social fabric in which it is embedded. More employers are using the “human cloud” to get things done. Professional activities are dissected into precise assignments and discrete projects and then thrown into a virtual cloud of aspiring workers located anywhere in the world. This is the new on-demand economy, where providers of labour are no longer employees in the traditional sense but rather independent workers who perform specific tasks. As Arun Sundararajan, professor at the Stern School of Business at New York University (NYU), put it in a New York Times column by journalist Farhad Manjoo: “We may end up with a future in which a fraction of the workforce will do a portfolio of things to generate an income – you could be an Uber driver, an Instacart shopper, an Airbnb host and a Taskrabbit” ’ (Geneva, Switzerland, World Economic Forum, 2016, pgs. 47-8).
Already in the middle of the 19th century Southerners like Rev Robert L. Dabney were declaring with Sir Edward Coke ‘corporations have no souls’. But now we find in Mr Schwab’s vision of the future an even more dehumanized economic system where men and women will be reduced to some sort of virtual haze, a ‘human cloud’, and who are expected to have a mad-dog fight with those belonging to it in order to collect enough tiny pieces of the fragmented economy to scrape together a living.
And now with news that the Federal Reserve is getting ready to replace paper money with a digital currency as part of a universal basic income scheme, the dehumanization is very nearly complete. Whenever the bureaucrats in Washington City or their bankster bosses deem a person to be expendable (because his buying habits don’t meet with their approval), they could simply delete his virtual fed coins and leave him destitute.
The Southern soul recoils at such execrable systems and abstract planning. They are all aimed at greater efficiency but at the price of destroying true personhood. Modern Yankee/globalist economics we may say, therefore, is efficient (to a degree; more on that below) but impersonal. Southern economics, on the other hand, is efficient as well, but it is also personalizing, i.e., it strengthens personhood rather than weakening it.
Since we have just spoken of money, George Fitzhugh’s thoughts on this subject in his book Cannibals All! are an apt place to begin:
‘From the days of Plato and Lycurgus to the present times, Social Reformers have sought to restrict or banish the use of money. We do not doubt that its moderate use is essential to civilization and promotive of human happiness and well-being—and we entertain as little doubt, that its excessive use is the most potent of all causes of human inequality of condition, of excessive wealth and luxury with the few, and of great destitution and suffering with the many, and of general effeminacy and corruption of morals. Money is the great weapon in free, equal, and competitive society, which skill and capital employ in the war of the wits, to exploitate and oppress the poor, the improvident, and weak-minded. Its evil effects are greatly aggravated by the credit and banking systems, and by the facilities of intercommunication and locomotion which the world now possesses. Every bargain or exchange is more or less a hostile encounter of wits. Money vastly increases the number of bargains and exchanges, and thus keep society involved, if not in war, at least in unfriendly collision. Within the family, money is not employed between its members. Where the family includes slaves, the aggregate use of money is greatly restricted. This furnishes us with another argument to prove that Christian morality is practicable, to a great extent, in slave society—impracticable in free society’ (Cannibals All! Or, Slaves without Masters, Richmond, Va., A. Morris, 1857, pgs. 303-4).
Mr Fitzhugh touches on the key to the Southern approach to economics: the centrality of the Christian family. This is what preserves and uplifts the personal identity in the Southern economic order. He says, . . .
Holy Ælfred the Great, King of England, South Patron, pray for us sinners at the Souð, unworthy though we are!
Anathema to the Union!