As we have seen, Rainbow Confederates like to pretend that race, slavery and white supremacy had nothing to do with the historical Confederacy. They like to imagine that their Confederate ancestors were cucks who shared the racial attitudes of the Baby Boomer generation.
This couldn’t be further from the truth. The Confederates believed that 19th century racial science had established the inferiority of the black race. They believed that 18th century Enlightenment theories of human equality and natural rights were antiquated and discredited.
In their eyes, the South was menaced by the threat of “Black Republicanism.” This was their term for Northerners who believed in “the doctrine of negro equality” and whose radical liberalism impelled them to undermine and destroy all social hierarchies. Abolitionism was only one of the many “-isms of the North” which were seen as a threat to the Southern social order. These included Bloomerism, anarchism, atheism, socialism, communism, Oneida incest and Mormon polygamy.
Abolitionism undermined the master-slave relationship. Bloomerism undermined patriarchy. Anarchism undermined state sovereignty. Atheism undermined our subordination to God. Socialism and communism undermined property rights. Incest and polygamy undermined Christian morality. The Confederates saw themselves as standing for hierarchy against the excesses of democracy.
In their more candid moments, the intellectual vanguard of the Confederacy declared that their objective was the defeat of American democracy. They wanted to abandon liberal republicanism in favor of classical republicanism. They admired the Greeks, Romans and the Normans of Medieval Britain. They wanted to secede from the United States to create a new conservative nation based on “the political thought of the Norman” which they believed was opposed to liberal democracy.
The Confederate view on race, slavery and white supremacy is consistent with their philosophy of inequality. The same is true of their views on patriarchy, religion and politics. They were natural conservatives who believed in preserving hierarchies, order and social distinctions. In their view, it was natural for man to be subordinated to God, wives to be subordinated to their husbands, children to their fathers, slaves to their masters, the ignorant to the wise, etc.
John Brown was seen as a wild-eyed fanatic in the South. What sense does John Brown’s raid on Harper’s Ferry make if the Rainbow Confederates are anywhere close to being right?