Brion McClanahan: Do We Have Two American “Foundings”?

Brion McClanahan stirred the pot shortly before the Southern Cultural Center conference with his video on young conservatives. I brought it up again on The Political Cesspool.

As I said this weekend, we are further removed in time from the Confederacy than even most Southern Nationalists imagine. Brion McClanahan is correct that identity was muted in that conflict. The central issues at stake were the expansion of slavery, the clash between the Jeffersonian and Hamiltonian economic visions and especially rival views of the nature of the Constitution. Did the sovereign states create the Union and retain the right to secede or was the perpetual Union created by the Declaration of Independence? Is slavery consistent with the existence of universal natural rights?

The United States in 1860 was a White country, an English-speaking Anglo-Saxon country, a Protestant country and a republican country. The two sides in the War Between the States largely shared the same origins, the same culture, the same holidays, etc. It wasn’t just a Protestant country. It was an evangelical Protestant country. When the war began, the respective national flags were so similar that soldiers died of friendly fire in the earliest battles. The Confederacy continued to celebrate July the 4th. The Confederate Constitution is largely a copy of the United States Constitution. It was a war between liberal republicans and more conservative republicans. There was much more agreement than disagreement.

The period from 1789 to 1865 was a distinct historical cycle. The American Founding was the founding of that cycle. Tensions over slavery and other issues between North and South which were present at the beginning when the Constitution was ratified eventually boiled over. The Reconstruction era was a Second Founding when a new Constitution was essentially imposed on the nation by the victorious North. The liberal republican side, which won the War Between the States, was content to abolish slavery, restore the Union, extend civil rights to blacks and to focus on industrial and imperial expansion. The ambitious attempt to expand political rights to blacks in the South was sacrificed for sectional reconciliation as the thirst for material gain became the dominant mood in the postwar North. The South in this period, which lasted from 1865 to 1945, was granted a version of home rule in the Yankee Empire.

In this second cycle, tensions which were always present in the Reconstruction era vision eventually boiled over and culminated in the Great Depression and World War II. America’s booming industrial economy needed access to overseas markets. The American Empire began to expand across the Pacific and into the Caribbean and Latin America. Millions of European immigrants poured into Northern cities in the late 19th and early 20th century. Their descendants began to accumulate wealth in Lincoln’s Proposition Nation, but were thwarted by the old money WASP ruling class in achieving a comparable social status. The country was put on a collision course with other Great Powers like Britain, Germany and Japan. The Great Depression discredited the Republican Party and its ideology of classical liberalism which had dominated the country since Lincoln’s time and the outcome of World War II put victorious New Deal liberals at the helm of a global liberal empire called the “Free World” in which America replaced Britain.

The Great Depression and World War II were America’s Third Founding. The conservative liberal ideology of the Republicans was eclipsed by the progressive liberal ideology of the ascendant New Deal Democrats. America became a global empire like Britain instead of an isolationist republic. The American ruling class became modernist, cosmopolitan and antiracist in the years between 1929 and 1945. New Deal liberals reimagined America as a global melting pot like the United Nations. We became a “Nation of Immigrants” defined by something called the “American Creed.” Starting in this period, race, ethnicity and religion began to be purged as boundary markers of American national identity. Groups like the New York Intellectuals created this narrative about American identity. Home rule was swiftly ended in the post-World War II South by the Civil Rights Movement. Geopolitical conflict with the Soviet Union dominated the country. Multiculturalism and other fashionable -isms continued to redefine the parameters of American national identity as the floodgates were opened to a tidal wave of Third World immigrants.

Why aren’t young conservatives interested in economics and the size of government? Those were the pressing issues at the end of America’s first historical cycle. We are at end of the third.

The sectional rift that opened up in the antebellum era and swallowed the country in the War Between the States is no longer the salient faultline in American politics. The current rift emerged in the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s when the new liberal ruling class redefined American identity as a vacuous abstraction. Previous generations would not have understood this experiment. Liberalism in the 19th century did not mean liberation of the individual from his or her traditional culture. It did not mean raw elite hostility and contempt for the nation. On the contrary, liberals used to be ardent nationalists. Lincoln and the Union side in the War Between the States were the nationalists. The Gettysburg Address is one of the best examples of liberal nationalism. In his First Inaugural Address, Lincoln spoke of “the mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land,” or what Joe Biden would call “white supremacy.” In those days, liberal elites were trying to build nation states like Germany and Italy, not tear them down to their foundations.

In 2023, we are in the last years of the Third Republic. The thing that we are watching dying before our eyes is the political and cultural order that was created by FDR and his successors in the 1930s and 1940s. Beyond that lies an era that is alien to our own. Beyond that lies an even more remote and alien world that culminated in the War Between the States. The problems of our time can be traced back to the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s. The tensions which were always present in that consensus which was hammered out back then are boiling over at home and abroad. The years between 1945 and 2023 are the history of the decay of the New Deal order. The New Deal coalition was a weird and unstable coalition of Southern conservatives and Northern liberals which ultimately fell apart over identity issues once the passing circumstances of the Great Depression were long forgotten by generations born after World War II.

If we lived in a country that was exclusively composed of people like Brion McClanahan and our friends at the Southern Cultural Center and the Abbeville Institute, paleo-libertarianism could work because we are all so similar. It would be an ideal arrangement. Live and let live federalism, however, didn’t work out in the 1850s in a world that was still overwhelmingly Anglo-Protestant. The North and South were extremely similar, but different enough in their interests to come to blows. Tyranny is the natural and most common form of government for populations and empires that resemble the Star Wars bar scene.


  1. “Do We Have Two American “Foundings”?”

    Yes, in fact, quite a few more than two.

    However, for the sake of the argument, let’s reduce our two ‘foundings’ to that represented by Massachussetts (New England) and the other by Virginia (The South)

    In my view these two views are not compatible, now, nor have they ever been.

    The Founding Fathers brilliantly tried to navigate this problem with the 10th Amendment – or that of Sovereign States’ Rights.

    In the late 18th century, all states were in favour of that.

    Amazingly, this concept, States’ Rights, managed, in spite of the events of the 1860-1870s, to hold fairly well, until the judicial activism, colluded with by the relative passivity of Southern State governments during that time, put an effective end to it.

    Now we see that Blue States chafe at being constrained by those who consciously, or unconsciously, still wish to live within some aspect of The Virginia Founding.

    On that score, alone, this union will come to an end.

    You cannot be married to someone who idea of life is largely, if not totally, antithetical to yours.

    It’s Humpty-Dumpty, and not even the determined efforts of many oligarchs can keep ole Humpty upright on the wall.

  2. Libertarians need to get it through their thick heads that Marxism (and its bastard offspring) aren’t the only economic models that have NEVER manifested real world success. Libertarianism is prominently featured right beside those.

    The only circumstances that have resembled it, (the colonial frontier, the wild west, gold rush eras) were transcient and everyone was glad when the lawlessness and chaos of those eras was moderated by the influence of…. you guessed it, government.

    People, as individuals, have disperate interests and will never “agree” to abstract principles of self moderation etc. It turns into a clusterfuck given any amount of time or diversity passed about a single generation of relationship. Same as Socialism.

    Smug posting about how limited government would save us all while the Left has used it to obliterate the White race and disposses them of their inheritance is caved in head academic tier faggotry.

    This is the real world. In the real world, your enemies want to take your stuff and don’t read textbooks to come up with dry and lofty excuses for taking it.

  3. No, we have two and here is the problem.
    JB and I were born into racialism. We still believe certain aspects to this day.

    Here is the problem. JB, even before me wondered why our mulatto neighbor never bothered us, and had a lawn and garden that had up peeking through the windows. “Are they going to Mow Again??”

    This movement & all social adjucnts are dead, especially the “young people” AF movement. They have been exposed as homosexuals, and in some of the worst.. Pedophiles.

    So what we have told leftists they were, we are. I do not care if anyone gets angry over this. It is the Truth.

    WNs hollering about election fraud are defending Trump. Who Literally Tried to Engage in Election Fraud & has been indicted for it… By a grand jury in Florida!

    This is why we left the WN movement. It’s become so delusional, we must retain our sanity.

  4. @Ivan

    I agree. Most of us down here agree. “Leave me the hell alone,” means a few of us have given up on the television for anything other than a good game and a good excuse to drink. There are a lot of old farts who are too addicted to talking head news thanks to Rush and Bill and Hannity, but it’s fine. I’m sure they will change their tune once they realize the second verse in Trump’s song is the same as the first.

    • Thank you, Hugh, for your response.

      Yes, folks are very passive and afraid, on, many counts.

      Sad to see, because I grew up in a time when most Southern Men were really really men.

      As to what happens with President Trump, in this coming election, I do not know, other than to say that I have a hard time seeing the country, in the current union it is, surviving it.

      The current political establishment has no brakes, which means that anything they might do to heal our nation and bring it back together, they are incapable of doing.

      All they know to do is keep roiling everyone up.

      Be well!

  5. So the 4th “republic” is when White minoritization finally happens? Because our children are already minorities, and we are already out of power, so we are really in the beginning stages of the finalization of hostile foreign takeover, which I’m guessing is the 4th stage of America.

  6. I am not from the US since I am from South America, and to live in such a historical time like ours right now is both exciting and horrible at the same time.
    It is exciting because of the revelations about everything, but at the same time is horrifying because how evil all of this is, especially the anti-White cancer cult and the degeneracy that I always hated.
    Keep strong Mr. Wallace

  7. The bottom line is, democracy is a form of equality, and that’s why it’s fragile.
    You can’t have democracy with enormous socioeconomic disparities, which’s why we no longer really have it.
    A little diversity is healthy for democracy, because democracy needs different parties with different ideas, but a lot of diversity is unhealthy, because no one can agree on anything and no one shares the same interests.

    And that’s what America has become, a multiplicity.
    There is no one America anymore, not even close, instead there’s black, brown, white and yellow America, male, female and queer America, rich and poor America with little-no middleclass, educated and uneducated America, and the educated may as well speak Chinese, because they no longer speak the language of working people, not even close.
    There’s the state, which has a seemingly insurmountable monopoly on force and intelligence, there’s citizens and millions upon millions of illegals, religious and irreligious America, rural and urban America, north, south, east, west and so on.

    All that’s at least in part why no one can get anything done in politics anymore, because they end up alienating half or more of the country, or the elites who largely control everything and share nothing in common with the people they rule.
    We’re getting to a point where, if these enormous differences can’t be mitigated by some bold, insightful politicians and cultural leaders with fresh ideas, then only a strongman could keep America together, a dictator who forces everyone to do it his way, otherwise it’s headed for collapse and balkanization, like the USSR before it.

    A dictator could appear on either side of aisle as crises mount, as things continue to escalate and break down.
    Trump could be that dictator, or it could be a democrat.
    A dictator will be able to get things done at least.
    Anyone who disagrees with him will of course be swiftly executed, that’s how dictators are able to accomplish so much fast.

    So that’s where I see America headed, barring some genius politicians who’re able to mitigate these differences and disparities, America is headed for dictatorship, or collapse and balkanization, I just don’t know the timing.
    Democracy is a fragile thing, there were democracies in antiquity like Athens and Rome but one by one they all fell.
    Democracy was on the brink during WW1 and 2, Italy, Germany, Spain, Portugal and others momentarily lost their democracies.

    We could be entering a period again where democracy ends up being challenged, and replaced by a dictatorships all throughout the west.
    Some dictators may be ideological, far left or far right, while others may be more pragmatic.
    Anarchists, and homegrown terrorists may also come out of the woodwork.
    But yea we appear to be headed for dangerous times.

    Everything that happens in America, moving slightly to the left or right is now an existential crisis.
    Politics has become a zero sum game.
    Collaboration and compromise has gone out the window, after all how can we collaborate with fascists, or Marxists?
    It’s sad, how many morons there are in America on both sides, how dumbed down and snow flakey everyone is.
    What America needs if it’s to survive is a consciousness expansion, an openness to different ideas, but instead consciousness is narrowing, people just want to live in their echo chambers and bubbles, to not risk being offended/rocking their paradigm.

    I think the elites may have planned it this way all along.
    Open the floodgates, maliciously, not to bring people together, but to diversity, divide and rule.
    They know how to bring democracies down.
    Our elite doesn’t like democracy, they prefer technocracy, and plutocracy.
    An autocracy they can manipulate and extort behind closed doors would likely be preferable to them.
    Then they just gotta worry about one or a handful of men/his inner circle as opposed to all this bureaucracy we have now, and all these laws.

Comments are closed.