A child’s defiant statement of independence could well serve to sum up how most Americans think about the individual versus the collective. We are taught early on that America was made by “rugged individualism.” We are urged by the culture to establish and proclaim our unique individuality. We value our individual rights as citizens. And so on …
All of this sounds fine and dandy on the surface. How could anyone in their right mind argue against individualism or individual rights? Just like snowflakes, we’re all unique. Why, that would be un-American, communist even. Individualism good; collectivism bad!
But let’s dig a little below the surface and see what we find. Consider a newborn baby. He or she is certainly a little individual. No one denies that. But that individual is in dire need of the collective known as “the family” in order to survive and grow. And just as that little baby needs care from his father and mother, and sometimes from siblings and extended family, each family needs support from other families. These other families can be blood kin and/or non-related neighbors. Such an arrangement among families is called “community,” and historically it is based on shared culture, language, race/ethnicity, and faith. From these families and communities come our political divisions, in our case municipalities, counties, and States. From a non-political standpoint, such communities based on kith and kin, blood and soil, constitute a nation – a distinct people or Folk.
For a moment let’s examine how the modern world has encouraged individualism. When one is encouraged to be an individual by modern culture and politics, he is being told that he is no longer bound by those stultifying “traditions” that have inhibited people for untold ages. He is told he has no allegiance but to himself – “to thine own self be true.” Mr. or Miss “I Am the Captain of My Soul” is then presumably cut loose from the terrible constraints of family, community, and God himself. He can do as he wishes without social consequences, and he is praised for his courage and progressive thinking by the current makers of popular opinion. If he wishes to disown family, who cares about that old saw, “Honor they father and mother?” If she wishes to date and marry outside her own race, who’s to tell her that it’s unwise and perhaps even dangerous? To be bound to standards other than those of one’s own devising is slavery and tyranny!
Upon consideration, it should come as no shock as to why centralizers in government, society, and the economy would encourage radical individualism. When an individual is cut loose from the moorings of family, community and nation (remember: a people or Folk), he is considerably vulnerable. He is vulnerable not only to common, everyday threats such as crime but also to the larger and more insidious threat of government compulsion. Large, ambitious, tyrannical governments (which are really only “gangs” operating under color of something called “law”) would much rather face a society full of vulnerable individuals than a society dominated by families in community bound by all sorts of pledges, oaths, and bonds.
So, you see, tyranny’s worst enemy is a society that balances the idea of individuality with allegiance to a larger organic community. This is why modernism discourages the “old way” by ridiculing them as obsolete, out of fashion, barbaric, etc., etc. Really, what the centralizing tyrants mean is that the old ways of social organization are a threat to their criminal enterprise! They much prefer isolated, deracinated individuals who have no firm base of support.
We in The League of the South adhere to the old ways of social organization. While recognizing each other’s God-given originality, we also see ourselves as bound up in a long line of blood relations stretching back in time and place. We see ourselves, even those who are not close blood kin, as being bound by that fictive kinship we call “Southern.” We take oaths; we make declarations of support for one another and for our land and Folk in general. And we present to the outside world – friend and foe alike – a unified front that is determined to pursue our own survival, well-being, and independence. Then we can re-phrase that old child’s boast to one that makes sense for our particular worldview: “You’re not the boss of us.” And that we all together can enforce!
– Dr. Michael Hill, President of The League of the South