Friday, June 19, 2020

Offsite Post: ‘The Deep Identity of the South’

The Russian philosopher Alexander Dugin lists three kinds of identity in his book Eurasian Mission – diffused, extreme, and deep.  The diffused identity is vague and unconscious so it contributes little to a person’s or a society’s way of viewing himself or itself or the world (Eurasian Mission: An Introduction to Neo-Eurasianism, Arktos, U.K., 2014, p. 116).  It resembles the mindset of Andrew Lytle’s ‘momentary man’, who is aware only of the concerns and pleasures of the present hour. 

The extreme identity ‘is an arbitrary and artificial creation of some rational formula that pretends to express and manifest the diffused identity in the intellectual realm.  Here the identity becomes an ideology, a conceptual framework, or a theory’ (Ibid.).  This should sound disturbingly familiar to Southerners, as it describes precisely the Yankee ideology of ‘Americanism’, of America as a proposition nation.  Accordingly, it equates ideological speculations with the essence of a people, which can only lead to the obscuring and/or disfiguring of the real identity of that people (Ibid.).

The deep identity, however, is different.  It is the true self:

‘Deep identity is an organic, existential, basic identity that lies below diffused identity, giving it its content, meaning and structure.  . . .  It is not a superstructure that is constructed above diffused identity (as extreme identity) but an infrastructure that is beneath diffused identity, giving it reality, sense, and inner harmony.  Deep identity is what causes a people to be what it is.  It is the essence of the people, something that transcends the collectivity in its actual state.  . . .  The people is not what exists at the present time.  Its language, culture, tradition, gestures, and psychological features don’t appear in the present, they come from the past and move toward the future through the present moment.  An actually existing people is not a people as such but only a particular moment of it, and only a segment of it.  The people includes those who are dead and those of its children who have yet to be born.  It is a kind of music that can be perceived as such only if we remember the previous note and anticipate the next one.  The deep identity is the whole that plays out in both time and space.  Deep identity is people as existence’ (p. 117).

Now we have reached something the South can recognize, an identity that embraces past, present, and future all at once.  But has the South truly uncovered and developed her deep identity to the fullest extent?  To that we would have to say No, for the deep identity of the South is intimately tied to the past of her English, African, Celtic, and Spanish and French forebears, and to their good and healthy traditions--both Christian and pre-Christian.  But the extreme identity of Yankee Americanism forced upon her (along with her own misguided pursuit at times of oversized profits from cash crops, mineral extraction, etc.) has bled those memories and customs from the veins of Southrons, leaving them with only the faintest notions of what it means to be a Christian people with quick and lively traditions that go back through untold generations.

But there are still records of how Dixie’s ancestors lived.  One of those great monuments of folklore that the South can draw from was compiled by the Scotsman Alexander Carmichael (1832-1912):  the Carmina Gadelica, a collection of poems, stories, songs, practices, and so on from across Scotland in which one may experience the true depth and power and grandeur that comes from standing face to face with the soul of a people.

In so standing before her forefathers and mothers of Scotland, the South will see more clearly how she must live in order to attain a more complete formation of her own deep identity.

It is quite clear throughout the Carmina that being a Christian folk means that every act is consecrated by prayer to God.  . . .

The rest is at .


Holy Ælfred the Great, King of England, South Patron, pray for us sinners at the Souð, unworthy though we are!

Anathema to the Union!

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