Southern History Series: John Crowe Ransom On Progress

Editor’s Note: John Crowe Ransom was a Southern poet and founding member of the Vanderbilt Fugitives and was one of the Southern Agrarians who in 1930 criticized the Northern idea of industrial free-market capitalism. Ransom himself though eventually moved beyond Agrarianism.

It is surely one of the supreme ironies of history that the Southern idea of antique conservatism is poised to rise again precisely because it is progressive in an age of artificial intelligence. I believe we ought to reengage with the Southern tradition and revive and adapt it to our times.

“The Southerner must know, and in fact he does very well know that his antique conservatism does not exert a very great influence against the American progressivist doctrine. The Southern idea today is down, and the progressive or American idea is up. But the historian and the philosopher, who take views that are thought to be respectively longer and deeper than most, may very well reverse this order and find that the Southern idea rather than the American has in it’s favor the authority of example and the approval of theory. And some prophet may even find it possible to expect that it will rise again.”

– John Crowe Ransom

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Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Occidental Dissent

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