Revisionist history is always a problem. Regardless of the end you claim to want to manifest, there is the omnipresent danger that the Truth suffers injury as an innocent bystander by the contending parties during an infowar. Filling in the gaps in one’s formal education should not be taken lightly, for even the slightest misstep will incur the wrath of the guardians of the status quo. Examining the other side of the American Civil War, which I was never given the opportunity to study in the formal public fool system, might indeed indicate that The South Was Right!
The fact of the matter is that the Founders inherited the human slave trade from the British Empire, much like how we have inherited the spoils of corporatist imperialism. The primary problem laid in liberating the enslaved without totally tanking the economy (if events had transpired that way, I doubt the recently freed slaves would be thankful for it; from the frying pan of slavery into the fire of a hyperinflationary depression is, I think, the last thing they’d want). Interestingly, Robert E. Lee was an abolitionist who advocated for immediate emancipation regardless of any other consequences. This, coupled with the fact that Abraham Lincoln was a well-known racist, really starts to shed serious doubt on the claims promulgated from mainstream history textbooks concerning both the war and Reconstruction.
The Constitutional arguments for both Southerners and Yankees strike me as intriguing, since they echo the same dichotomous contest between the Anti-Federalists and Federalists of the revolutionary era, respectively. Claims about the necessity for “preserving the Union” might as well have been photocopied off of one of Alexander Hamilton’s Federalist Papers; this stands in contrast to the advocates of small, locally controlled government such as Patrick Henry. Of course, I being much too generous for implying that the Unionists even had a Constitutional argument, for they don’t have one. There is nothing at all in the federal Constitution that prohibits secession at any time by any of the current 50 state legislatures. If the Articles of Confederation proved anything, it showed that the Founders initially desired little centralized control, for they recognized the imperial temptations that an overreaching federal government can have on local areas, just as like what happened when the Mexican Constitution of 1824 was repeatedly violated by Santa Anna.
I did appreciate the examples of secession that the Kennedy brothers highlighted, which the mainstream media also promotes as good and wholesome while simultaneously demonizing the War for Southern Independence. Norway’s bloodless 1905 secession from Sweden, Ireland’s long-standing struggle for independence from Britain, the Texas Revolution of 1835, Panama’s successful United States backed secession from Colombia, and Portugal’s four civil wars with Spain (culminating in their independence as of 1139), all serve as good examples of kosher mainstream approved secessions. You’d think that as long as the secessionists weren’t Americans, then secession was always a good thing.
Richard Weaver’s book, The Southern Tradition at Bay, was referenced in regards to an intriguing observation he made about how the Reconstruction-era South made two grave mistakes. They failed to develop a basic nationalistic philosophy and they surrendered the initiative to their Northern political opponents. Had the South drew upon the classical liberal works of John Locke, John Milton, and the other great thinkers of the Enlightenment, they would have been in a position to formulate a truly comprehensive Southern political philosophy.
When the Kennedy brothers finally got down to brass tax about what people should do concerning how to fix the de facto serfdom condition of the South, they first state that people must either accept their findings as either substantially true or false. Of those who choose to think that their book is substantially accurate, then they have to make the additional choice of either apathetically doing nothing about it, or joining the ranks of what they deem “New Unreconstructed Southerners.”
So, what are these unreconstructed Southerners (or Southern Nationalists) supposed to do? The closest thing they have to a plan is that first they need to instill a sense of Southern pride by displaying the Stars & Bars at living history demonstrations, historical reenactments, and the like. Joining an organization dedicated to preserving Southern heritage is pivotal by doing such things as book reviews. Also included in this programme would be reaching out to Southern children in public schools by doing living history discussions. Other tasks would be to march in local parades carrying the Battle Flag of the Army of Northern Virginia.
The next phase would be active counter-revolutionary political struggle. Obviously, it couldn’t come too soon because it would fall apart due to lack of popular support. What I thought was good of them to mention was that placing all your faith in a singular Messianic figure (such as Ron Paul or Charles Dyer) is a recipe for disaster before you even play the game, since one man cannot free a nation and it is a lot easier for the enemy to pop the balloon of such fragile political support rather than having such support being much more decentralized and dispersed by having belief in a cause, which does not rest on the shoulders of one man who is easily eliminated from the field of play.
All in all, I was fascinated by this book. My only real problems with it was that it had the tendency of being overly redundant, and had those redundancies been weeded out, this book would be pleasantly shorter and easier to finish reading. I also thought the space dedicated to slavery was unnecessary, as well as the fact that they neglected to mention the situation the Founders had (which I mentioned earlier in this review). Also, while it was good in their last chapter to finally getting around the problem solving stuff, I was disappointed that there was no plan, only suggestions on how to get started. After reading 300+ pages, an actual plan of action would have been nice, so noticing that “this summary is not intended to give full details of how to go about conducting a Southern political revolution” was really quite of a letdown. If you don’t mind reading some difficult material on Yankee atrocities as well as lots of redundancies with no real plan for how “the South will rise again,” then this might be the book for you. Otherwise, the best utility of this work is really nothing more than a basic “news & analysis” primer on the War for Southern Independence.