October 26th, 2013
in Op Ed
by Thomas DiLorenzo
This article appeared originally in LewRockWell.com 25 October 2013
A CNN travel editor named Chuck Thompson has established himself as a one-man hate group in writing a short book entitled Better Off Without ‘Em: A Northern Manifesto for Southern Secession.” He advertised his book in an October 20 article in Salon entitled “Just Secede Already.” Oh, if only we could.
Hatred of and bigotry toward Southerners is of course nothing new. The New England “Yankees” of the early nineteenth century thought of themselves as God’s chosen people and deplored the immigration into the country of lesser humans from parts of Europe other than their own little section of the British Isles – especially the loathsome Catholic immigrants from Germany, Ireland, and Italy (See Albion’s Seed by David Hackett Fisher).
The early nineteenth-century New England descendants of the Puritans so hated Jefferson’s Louisiana Purchase, and its prospects for accommodating masses of God’s un-chosen people, that they spent a decade plotting secession. This plot culminated in the 1814 Hartford Secession Convention at which the New England Federalists issued severe criticisms of government, but decided that their political and economic fortunes would be best served by undermining the government of the founders from within rather than seceding. Their political descendants (The Whig and Republican parties of that century) succeeded beyond their wildest dreams in creating a centralized, bureaucratic empire that would rival the British and Spanish empires.
Thompson falsifies history when he writes in his Salon article that the idea of secession originated with “traitorous Southerners” and is “part of the soiled fabric that stretches from John C. Calhoun” and the South Carolina Nullification Ordinance of 1832 (which nullified the “Tariff of Abominations”). As a matter of fact, New Englanders were the first to discuss and plot secession, and there was a secession movement in the Middle-Atlantic states in the 1850s (See William C Wright, The Secession Movement in the Middle States). Some Northern abolitionists advocated Northern secession prior to the War to Prevent Southern Independence, and of course America was created by seceding from the British Empire. In that sense, nothing is more American than the idea of a voluntary union and freedom of association through the right of secession. Earlier generations of Americans thought so.
Thompson also falsely associates the origins of nullification with John C. Calhoun. The reality is that the colonists employed the concept as a means of attempting to escape some of the tyrannical clutches of the British empire, but nullification is mostly associated with the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions of 1798. Written by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, respectively, these resolutions announced that the states of Kentucky and Virginia would not enforce the Adams administration’s Sedition Act, which criminalized criticism of Adams and his government, since it was a clear violation of the First Amendment.
The idea of nullification was subsequently used by Northerners who opposed the Bank of the United States (a precursor of the Fed) and the Fugitive Slave Act. It was not a trick used to “defend slavery,” as generations of totalitarian-minded statists like Chuck Thompson have said in their never-ending crusade to mis-educate and misinform the American public about its own history.
Thompson is obviously unaware of the constitutional definition of treason when he refers to “traitorous Southerners” of the nineteenth century. Article 3, Section 3 of the U.S. Constitution defines treason as “only” levying war upon the United States, or giving aid and comfort to their enemies. The “United States” is in the plural, signifying free and independent states that are united in a cause. The word “their” is most important because it also signifies that treason is defined only as levying war upon “them” – the free and independent states, not something called “the United States government.” This of course is precisely what Lincoln did when he levied war upon the Southern states.
The whole purpose of the Constitution, James Madison wrote accounting unlimited democracy in Federalist #10, was to -
“restrain the violence of faction.”
Thompson defines any and all efforts to restrain the violence of faction as “anti-Americanism” and “redneck poison.” His position is the un-American one. He is so filled with hatred of everything Southern that he even attacks the Waffle House restaurant chain, a popular, cheap, breakfast place that exists all throughout the South, as serving “redneck poison” to its customers. He thinks this is humorous, as does the New York Times, which gave his “book” a glowing review.
Thompson makes the case that Southerners are generally knuckle-dragging Neanderthals who stubbornly participate in national politics in a way that keeps “real” Americans like him from realizing their dream of a totally, one-hundred-percent unlimited government. He complains bitterly that property taxes tend to be lower in the Southern states than in the Northern states. Horrors!! He calls this “dysfunctional” government, the latest left-wing buzz word that’s being used to described any hiccup in the steady march toward totalitarian socialism in America.
Thompson also stupidly equates “America” with the federal government in Washington by declaring that the “current attack on the federal government” is “part of the hidebound Confederate agenda” that displays an “antipathy toward America.” No, Chuck, to the extent that there is a peaceful political “attack” on Big Government (Praise the Lord!), it is because of antipathy towards unlimited looting and plundering of the population by the 536 egomaniacal psychopaths who lord over us. We are NOT the government, Chuck. Those of us in the productive, taxpaying class are its victims.
Unlike the refined, polite, prosperous, and gleaming cities of the North, such as Detroit (slum capital of America) and Chicago (murder capital of America), Thompson portrays Southern cities and their inhabitants as uniformly ignorant, violent, racist, and generally uncivilized. His book spews hatred on every page. The real source of his obsessive hatred of all things Southern seems to be his acknowledgment that Southerners have sometimes not been very hospitable to the labor unions that have destroyed Northern industry, nor to big, unlimited government that has destroyed American prosperity. This must end, he says.
Despite the massive explosion of government spending, taxing, debt, and money creation that has occurred during the Bush and Obama administrations, Thompson surrealistically claims in his Salon article that
“Our government is under attack from a band of domestic anarchists . . . everyone sees that.”
Well thanks, Chuck, but surely you give me and my fellow anarcho-capitalists way too much credit. (Thompson apparently arrived at this conclusion by reading about Senator Ted Cruz’s short and inconsequential filibuster over “Obamacare” when he was out of the country).
If that is all it takes to cause such hysteria in the minds of left-wing journalist like this one travel writer, he may just keel over dead upon discovering LewRockwell.com. His rantings do serve one good purpose, however; they bring out into the open the two-century-old attitude of Northern “Yankees” (but not all Northerners by any means) that they are superior to all others and should separate themselves from all those lesser humans (See Clyde Wilson’s “The Yankee Problem in America”). If they want to try to create a socialist “paradise” in the Northern states, I say Let ‘Em Go. Secede. Maybe they WILL be better at socialism than the Soviets, the Chinese, the North Koreans, Cubans, etc. Just keep the rest of us out of it.