I’ve been a harsh critic of Kevin Williamson.
As a disaffected White populist and nationalist, he really rubbed me the wrong way with the whole the White working class deserves to die because it won’t get up and move thing. It struck me as one of the coldest lolbertarian takes I had ever seen on National Review.
As a resident of the Alabama Black Belt, which is one of the poorest parts of the United States, I am particularly well rooted in my area. My family has lived in Southeast Alabama since the 1830s when my paternal ancestor came here from North Carolina during the Alabama Fever. We only moved up here from the Wiregrass to the Black Belt though during Reconstruction to work on a railroad.
Cultural geography was my gateway to Southern Nationalism:
This excellent map is from Colin Woodard’s excellent book American Nations. I wish everyone who runs for president would read it to get more insight into the dysfunction of our government. It seemed to be a better key to the 2016 election than the 538 statistical model.
I’m a Southerner.
I would much rather not pick up and move to live in some miserable city like Atlanta, Houston or Los Angeles. I would much rather live out my life here in this area. My family is here. My roots are in this area which has sunk into poverty since around the time of the abolition of slavery.
“I would like you to entertain, for a moment, an idea that might sound a little eccentric, or maybe as plain and obvious as a thing can be. It is this:
The division of labor is the meaning of life.
I do not mean this metaphorically or analogically, but literally.
Life begins with the cell, and the cell is defined by a minimum of specialization: membrane, cytoplasm, and (usually) nucleus.
What makes a cell a living cell is a matter of some slight imprecision: Most living cells reproduce, but some (such as neurons) do not; most cells have nuclei and DNA, but mature red blood cells do not; etc. But the generally shared characteristics of living cells all depend upon the division of labor within the cell: order, sensitivity to stimuli, growth and reproduction, maintenance of homeostasis, and metabolism.
The cell is defined by the division of labor among the organelles and other cellular constituents. That gets us to the single-celled organism. Next comes division of labor among cells rather than within them. When cells begin to divide labor among themselves, they form tissues and organs, which in turn divide labor to produce organ systems and, ultimately, complex organisms. …
We have seen this kind of disruptive capitalism before. Historians call it “the Renaissance,” though the writers of history have reached no consensus about what that term means, when the period it describes began or ended, or what its principal qualities are.
Historians date the fall of the Roman Empire to September 4, 476 anno Domini, when Odoacer deposed the last Roman emperor, the teen-aged Romulus Augustulus. But if you had asked a Roman citizen about the fall of the empire a day or a week or a year later, he’d have been perplexed.
He wouldn’t know the empire had fallen. …”
Social arrangements, status relations, and economic relations were, under feudalism, almost entirely unified, and the relevant relationships were intensely personal. There was no nationalism, and there were no real nation-states. There were lords and vassals, lieges and feudatories, barons and serfs. And though the kings, nobility, and Church might have their differences in this or that political matter, they all made their living the same way: from the land.
What they had was a stable division of labor, meaning a largely stable mode of life.
Until it was disrupted. …”
What happens to human beings though when the working class has become obsolete?