Robert Lewis Dabney on Northern Conservatism


H/T Michael Hill

Faith and Heritage has a great post on Dabney’s take on Northern conservatism as it confronted the women’s suffrage movement in 1897:

“It may be inferred again that the present movement for women’s rights will certainly prevail from the history of its only opponent, Northern conservatism. This [Northern conservatism] is a party which never conserves anything. Its history has been that it demurs to each aggression of the progressive party, and aims to save its credit by a respectable amount of growling, but always acquiesces at last in the innovation. What was the resisted novelty of yesterday is today one of the accepted principles of conservatism; it is now conservative only in affecting to resist the next innovation, which will tomorrow be forced upon its timidity and will be succeeded by some third revolution; to be denounced and then adopted in its turn. American conservatism is merely the shadow that follows Radicalism as it moves forward towards perdition. It remains behind it, but never retards it, and always advances near its leader. This pretended salt hath utterly lost its savor: wherewith shall it be salted? Its impotency is not hard, indeed, to explain. It is worthless because it is the conservatism of expediency only, and not of sturdy principle. It intends to risk nothing serious for the sake of the truth, and has no idea of being guilty of the folly of martyrdom. It always when about to enter a protest very blandly informs the wild beast whose path it essays to stop, that its “bark is worse than its bite,” and that it only means to save its manners by enacting its decent role of resistance: The only practical purpose which it now subserves in American politics is to give enough exercise to Radicalism to keep it “in wind,” and to prevent its becoming pursy and lazy ,from having nothing to whip.”

Here is George Fitzhugh quoting Thomas Carlyle in Cannibals All!, or Slaves Without Masters:

“Further study, too, of Western European Society, which has been engaged in continual revolution for twenty years, has satisfied us that Free Society every where begets isms, and that isms soon beget bloody revolutions. …

Have men considered whither all this is tending, and what it certainly enough betokens? Cut every human relation that has any where grown uneasy sheer asunder; reduce whatsoever was compulsory to voluntary, whatsoever was permanent among us to the condition of the nomadic; in other words, LOOSEN BY ASSIDUOUS WEDGES, in every joint, the whole fabrice of social existence, stone from stone, till at last, all lie now quite loose enough, it can, as we already see in most countries, be overset by sudden outburst of revolutionary rage; and lying as mere mountains of anarchic rubbish, solicit you to sing Fraternity, &c. over it, and rejoice in the now remarkable era of human progress we have arrived at.”

Now we plant ourselves on this passage from Carlyle. We say that, as far as it goes, ’tis a faithful picture of the isms of the North. But the restraints of Law and Public Opinion are less at the North than in Europe. The isms on each side the Atlantic are equally busy with “assiduous wedges,” in “loosening in every joint the whole fabric of social existence;” but whilst they dare invoke Anarchy in Europe, they dare not inaugurate New York Free Love, and Oneida Incest, and Mormon Polygamy. The moral, religious, and social heresies of the North, are more monstrous than those of Europe. The pupil has surpassed the master, unaided by the stimulants of poverty, hunger and nakedness, which urge the master forward.”

Here is Rhett lashing out at the North’s “fondness for novelties, misnamed progress” in the final issue of the Charleston Mercury:

“The South now lived under a despotism of consolidation, the states and their sovereignty abused by Washington. With universal male suffrage it would only get worse. “Swelling the multitude of voters” would not make liberty but be its downfall, while the military Reconstruction now in place attempting “to put the half-savage negro over the civilized Caucasian, may not be forgotten or forgiven.” History would remember it as an act of abject hatred and bigotry. The South, a more tolerant and congenial region, did not like change and revered the past, while the North, “fond of novelties, misnamed “progress,” was the slave of its own dogmatism.”

Note: This was obvious to Rhett and Fitzhugh in the 1840s and 1850s, Dabney in the 1880s and 1890s, Bilbo and others in the 1940s and 1950s, and it is still obvious to us in the 2000s and 2010s. As long as the Union exists, the dystopian slide into BRA will continue.

I don’t even have to watch television to know that Republicans/Conservatism Inc. either have already or soon will surrender on the fiscal cliff, amnesty for illegal aliens, gun rights, climate change, gay marriage, the “Violence Against Women Act,” the “Sequester.” I don’t even have to be told over the phone that their mouthpieces like Sean Hannity are slobbering over the likes of “Dr. Ben Carson” or that idiotic conservatives are behind the “What Would Django Do” campaign.

Every single bit of it has always flowed from the same source: the original mistake made by the Founders, which is the existence of the Union with the Northeast, and the dominance of liberalism over conservatism across that broad swath of Yankeedom in the Northern state.

About Hunter Wallace 12381 Articles
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  1. Well said, Hunter. As I’ve said repeatedly, Congress will cave on the CR and Sequestration, they will cave on amnesty, the Surpremes will give us sodo-marriage all within the year. Over the next 5 look for social justice to replace equality as the rallying cry, the gutting of the second amendment, and large advancements towards hate speech legislation (it is already being pushed into the Amurricans lexicon).
    Sadly, things will have to get much much worse before anyone will care.
    The leftists treat Republicans like vile bitter enemies, the Republitards return the favor by reaching across the aisle, compromise (aka surrender) and blathering on about some middle class taxes.

  2. A Republitard lamestream conservative colleague of mine mentioned the article on Drudge about women trying out for an NFL position. I told him unequivocally that I fully support it, that women are 50% of the population and should make up 50% of NFL teams, that women were just as capable as men and the only reason they are not playing now is due to male privilege. Moreover, I reminded him that the current rules of the game are having a disparate impact on women and must be changed–your entertainment should not compromise the opportunity for all our citizens.

  3. Wayne – brilliant reply on the Football thing. I HATE Niggerball. More than that – a haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaate the vile cowardly White men that worship Niggerball. Maybe just maybe the legions of of eunichs, that cheer and sloober over thier 8′ tall Mandingo NiggerBall playas will pay attention when females invade and completely ruin their belved False Religion. I doubt it, though….

  4. Denise: I hate it too, along with most ball-related sports. The amusement of the masses, bread and circus.

  5. It’s funny when Northern liberals fret over how they failed Haitians and other uncivilised peoples around the world. It’s not funny though that these people have any say in the sort of government we here in Dixie live under. I don’t want such people in our land or with any influence over our society.

    Note: This article was written a Leftist from Maine who works for NPR.

  6. Dabney wrote: “It is worthless because it is the conservatism of expediency only, and not of sturdy principle. It intends to risk nothing serious for the sake of the truth.”

    I understand Dabney’s view, but he sounds “wordist,” doesn’t he? And aren’t “Yankees” are supposed to be followers of “principle,” “truth” and “words,” rather than practical conservative expediency?

  7. Moral conservatism, and traditional, conservative Christianity throve at the north then as well as the south, and the centre of the “Bible Belt” was NORTH of the Line until recently.

  8. “The South…did not like change and revered the past, while the North,
    fond of novelties, misnamed progress….”

    Some of the most resistant of all to progress continue to live at the north, but southerners seem especially open to progress now.

  9. Great piece.

    Southerners have no voice in this government. Conservatism Inc. is controlled for the most part by the Northern alliance of Yanks/Jews and they hate their Southern/rural base with a passion. That is why they insult them on a daily basis.

    Ben Carson is the latest example of Conservatism Inc. finding their pet black to stroke. They just can’t get enouph of him because he is the symbol of what they wish to portray blacks as. Ten years from now, he will be denouncing Republicans as White racists and be voting for the latest minority. All of their pets always turn around and bite the hand that feeds them. But that’s what Conservatism inc. is all about: losing.

  10. ” . . . the centre of the “Bible Belt” was NORTH of the Line until recently.”

    Where was that?

  11. “Where was that?…”

    In Mosin’s imagination. NET’s and Northerners are deep in the project of radical revisionism (as usual).

  12. PP posted this on his site:

    “Increasing numbers of New Yorkers are moving south to Texas, as reported by Erin Mulvaney for the Houston Chronicle. The Center for an Urban Future, a New York-based think tank, analyzed IRS Migration data and found a 34 percent increase in the number of New York City residents moving to the major cities in Texas,…”

    Having used up Detroit, Atlanta, all South Florida, Raleigh, it’s on to Texas.

    Unless they wake up and realize that –although they THINK they are “conservatives”—they have nothing anyone wants to conserve. Their Paycheck Conservatives (often military, or the big crony socialists they work for, who make their money off taxes) are just the Reactionary part of the overall machine.

    They can be as “conservative,” as they want—- and because they are really Public Employees, they really do have public employee attitudes.

    Can you really tell the difference between the attitudes of a “Welfare mother” and a military public career employee?

    State Dependency and SDF (state dependent families) HAVE MORE IN COMMON with each other than the Creative Class.

    Public Employees are on Welfare, essentially. It’s the same thing.

    The people who Create want to keep SOME of their own money, (at least enough to reproduce one child, but it’s worse than China’s one child policy… right?) They do not really want to pay for other people’s cheap ugly proletarian “pleasures.” Like those hideous STADIUMS where they have their Gladiator Games and cheesy Madonna Dance Routines…. Right?

  13. Until NETS realize they are part of an impoverishing SYSTEM (no matter how “cool” and “racist” they think they are, lol)— nothing will change. They MUST realize they were just the “mexicans before the mexicans.”

    They are still just the “mexicans before the mexicans.” They come (hating blacks), and then put in their “own people” (the south americans they have used as servants since colonial times). Feeling good with the mexican leaf blowers and “take out restaurant personnel” and MAIDS (because they can’t cook, clean, or garden)— they are the real beginning of the end.

    But the REASON they can’t cook, clean, garden or anything—- is b/c the “American” pop culture that raised them is NOT A REAL CULTURE, and involves NO “homemaking skills.”

    They are CONSUMERS. Even their elites call them that.

    They CONSUME.

    And they let themselves become that.

    Anywhere “city” people go—- will degenerate. It only APPEARS not to do so—- since they are going where the “Big Money” is THROWING MONEY (at the moment.)

    They are just FOLLOWING money, where it is thrown. They are not making anything new.

  14. I’m not sure, but think now that the NETS are in NC, there’s some kind of “franking” issues or something, and a lot of toxic waste stuff—- basically, industrial new jersey moved camden there, seems like.

  15. LongLive, the present situation exists only since the late nineteenth century, and from the seventeenth through mid-nineteenth, the majority of energetically evangelistic, Biblical and morally conservative Christians was in areas now north of the Line.

    Deleting “Biblical and morally conservative” then your statement is correct.

  16. LongLive, I think Biblical and morally conservative is CORRECT in my original statement.

    Hunter has noted that “Norman” colonials were often free-wheeling fortune-seeking adventurers — in contrast to northern Biblically-centred and moral literalists who considered themselves the chosen people, settling the promised land, and establishing and living out the kingdom of Christ, on earth as in heaven.

  17. Excellent post Hunter. Dabney describes respectable conservatives to a T.

    While I agree that the evils of wordism (of which liberalism is only one) flow from the North I’m not so sure the South would have remained secure from them had Dixie been founded as a separate country (or countries). Look what happened to Rhodesia and South Africa.

    By 1945 the entire Western World was infected with the disease of wordism. Would not the day have come when Dixie would be bullied and blackmailed too and not just by the North but by the entire Western world? Would She be any better off than she is now?

    I know, it’s all “what if” but have you ever considered it yourself?

  18. More of the same dreadful, confused miscoinage (“wordism”): “By 1945 the entire Western World was infected with the disease of wordism.”

  19. Mosin, “wordism” simply means loyalty to words (abstractions) instead of loyalty to your own people (real, living, flesh and blood). “Equality”, “Freedom”, “Mankind”, “Social Justice”, “Civil Rights” immediately come to mind as good examples of wordism.

    I’m sure you can think of some more yourself.

  20. Transcendentalism is what your looking for as a pivot point in American history IMO. “Moby Dick” a great novel reflects the casting off of the what passed as restraint and then look at the results man became a god all from upstate New York. The picture I’m linking to is the end point of those serious men’s ideology, turning white girls into the teddy bear people just waiting to be parceled out to the savages (and they will like it)

  21. Those poor girls.

    It’s a shame that they are this naive. What a crying shame. What can you do though? These same ladies will promptly turn around and work in some soup kitchen in a Groid area and get murdered. What can you do?

  22. I know, and I’ve seen various other definitions, in the Urban Dictionary, and elsewhere, and it is not a recognised new word in the English language — and I confess I’m tired of it.

    Loyalty to Christ (the Word) is first among ALL our other loyalties. But some would substitute, or confuse, racial and cultural loyalty and preservation with the true Western religion.

  23. Rejecting the Living Word of God is the way to defeat. Neopagan, agnostic and Talmudistic WN will not stand against the enemy.

  24. RobRoy says: “Transcendentalism is what your looking for as a pivot point in American history IMO.”

    Correct, and its development is probably worth researching, but Transcendentalism is as interesting and agreeable to me as watching basketball.

  25. Mosin Nagant: Northern Puritanism was taken over by transcendentalism, and later socialism. They kept the blind, determined, religious fanaticism, but dropped the God of the Bible for the Equality God. The Equality God demands much sacrifice and self-flaggelation to inflate the adherents ego. High taxes, wealth distribution, and preferential treatment to the “other” are part of the sacrifice, but the best, and most prized, is the giving up of their daughters as Vestal virgins of the Goddess Diversity.
    Their religion is accompanied by a need for jihad against all white people (people of privilege), hence they are always “trampling out the vintage” and “dying to make men free (equal)”.
    No Mosin, Yankee fanaticism has nothing to do with Christianity, except for the universalism and masochism.

  26. Christianity, at least in the form of Protestantism and Catholicism is done as a Western influence. Stick a fork in it.

  27. Re: “Christianity is done (…) Stick a fork in it”:

    Thus speaketh, or at least thinketh, the neopagan, agnostic, and Talmudistic White Nationalists.

  28. How is it not?
    How long do you give it before sodo-marriage is accepted, just like race mixing. Ready for your black pope? Ever listen to lamestream preachers? It’s all about making the weak feel good about their no-fault divorces.
    I don’t state any of this with glee, but tell me anything the church has done and any victories it has had in the last 100 years.

  29. “Yankee fanaticism has nothing to do with Christianity, except for the universalism and masochism.”

    Christianity as such has NOTHING to do with universalism or masochism. The original, strictly moral, Biblically literalist settlers, both English and German, viewed themselves as the chosen people of God settling the Promised Land. But their apostasy, later, led to their adoption of Transcendentalism, universalism, etc. He sent them “strong delusion that they should believe a lie.”

  30. “Ready for your black pope? Ever listen to lamestream preachers?”

    The papacy has been black (completely corrupt) for more than a thousand years, and I don’t regard those “lamestream” (please write in English) preachers either. If that is what you meant by Christianity to stick a fork in, then I would agree. But I think you include Christianity as such, genuine, authentic, orthodox, Biblical Christianity in your assessment.

    The foundation of Western civilisation remains firm, unshaken.

  31. Re: “tell me anything the church has done and any victories it has had in the last 100 years”:

    The church as such has remained faithful, and is the salt that still preserves our people — while the corrupt, apostate “church” has done nothing but harm not only in the last century, but always.

  32. It is evident there is doubt or disbelief that any “true church” exists and that the claims of the New Testament are true regarding the incarnation of the Deity, His resurrection, future judgement, etc.

  33. That is not the norm of Southron or “Bible Belt” thinking. Would you say that southerners are more foolish than other white people because proportionately more of them believe in the “myth”?

  34. I’m not so sure the South would have remained secure from them had Dixie been founded as a separate country (or countries). Look what happened to Rhodesia and South Africa.

    What was the white population of Rhodesia and South Africa together? Maybe 5 million? There are at least ten times that many Southrons, plus our land has far more resources to maintain self-sufficiency than Southern Africa does.

  35. Rhodesia had maybe 200,000 whites tops.

    SA has about 5 million. They might survive the coming storm, or not.

  36. Mowing: No, I don’t. I actually respect Christianity as the religion of my ancestors and a key part of our culture. Sadly, it has become a liability, not an asset, in freeing ourselves from this Marxist nightmare. Too much universalism, too much touchy feely feel good ego stroking, too much turn the other cheek, sold on Civil Rights.

  37. Jesus example if he existed, was quite impressive. He simply went to the temple and horsewhipped the accountants. That got him killed. I can’t fault his clarity of purpose. The Temple according to Cicero was an institution that was draining the Meditteranean of gold. Jesus wasted no time in identifying the problem and sacrificing his life over the issue. Forget about the fugging blasphemy charges.

    A few decades later the Romans sacked the Temple for good measure. Lol.

  38. “I actually respect Christianity as the religion of my ancestors and a key part of our culture. Sadly, it has become a liability, not an asset, in freeing ourselves….”

    It cannot be denied it is the religion of our ancestors, but it is not merely that! It must be the religion of our descendants also, if we are to remain a free people. We CANNOT free ourselves.

  39. This is nonsense for those who believe it is a false myth. There is no middle ground of “respect.”

  40. The southerners here disparage the north and praise the south to make a case for southern independence. The yankees here disparage the south and praise the north to make a case for continuing the union.

    The yankees actually do this on purpose. Hard to figure out if they have brain parasites, or if it’s congenital.

  41. Thus speaketh, or at least thinketh, the neopagan, agnostic, and Talmudistic White Nationalists.

    If we don’t get some better reps for racially-aware Christianity here soon, I may speaketh that way too. Tired of the ones we’ve got and their absolutist fanaticism and bullshit.

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