Ransom Notes, May 15 2008

Meghan Markle and her family are everywhere in the news.  Who do they think they are?  Kardashians?   It is time for all Jacobites to say, "I told you so."  And, in case anyone is ever tempted to take Piers Morgan seriously, you need to read his own smarmy comments on the Royal Wedding fiasco.  One might think that a grown man who has made so much money would make a stab at climbing out of the sewer of tabloid gossip.

My father always told me that the Hanoverians and the Saxe-Coburg mob were German trash.  Dickie Mountbatten was bad enough, but Diana's younger son acts as if he is on a ruthless vendetta to destroy the family she so hated.

Alas, his offspring have a pretty remote chance of succeeding to the throne.  Perhaps Harry should consider the scenario of Kind Hearts and Coronets.   It be more entertaining than the continuing soap opera of the Royal Romance.

Here's a famous song that exists in many versions.  Can you spot the verse usually omitted?

By yon bonnie banks and by yon bonnie braes,
Where the sun shines bright on Loch Lomond,
Where me and my true love were ever wont to gae,
On the bonnie, bonnie banks o' Loch Lomond.

Oh, ye'll tak the high road, and I'll tak the low road,
And I'll be in Scotland afore ye;
But me and my true love will never meet again
On the bonnie, bonnie banks o' Loch Lomond.

'Twas there that we parted in yon shady glen,
On the steep, steep side o' Ben Lomond,
Where in purple hue the Highland hills we view,
And the moon coming out in the gloamin.

O braw Charlie Stewart, dear true, true heart,
Wha could refuse thee protection,
Like the weeping birk on the wild hillside,
How gracefu he looked in dejection.

There the wild flowers spring and the wee birdies sing,
And in sunshine the waters are sleepin',
But the broken heart it kens nae second spring again,
Though the waefu may cease frae their greetin'.

Blackklansman is Spike Lee's latest exercise in uncreative disinformation.  He retells the tale of a black police officer who infiltrated the Klan in the 1970's.  I can only speak from reading reviews, but it is part of the virtual reality currently being concocted in Hollywood and imposed by government at all levels.  Having lived in the 1970's and having met a few Klansmen over the years, I can assure you that they only presented a danger to each other--at one point it was calculated that perhaps a majority were FBI informants.  For 50 years the Klan has been a refuge for white trash losers across the country, and if they were 50 million strong they would not be able to take over a dog fight.  In fairness to the KKK, though, they did not sink anywhere near as low as the girly boys of Alt Right.

Lee's message--that prejudice, racism, discrimination are holding down black people in America during the Trump years as badly as in the Nixon years is based on two lies.  The first lie is that black America is not being subsidized, coddled, protected and privileged by the rest of us.  And what is the result?  A privileged welfare class that preys upon its benefactors.  It would be a kindness to all to shut down the entire apparatus of Affirmative Action and Welfare.

Most conservatives would reject the first lie but they would gleefully embrace the second, which is that black failure in the 1970's was due to discrimination.  Alas, they were already benefitting from the same sorts of privileges that have destroyed black families and communities ever since.  James Burnham, recounting his days as university teacher in New York, recalled how black students were routinely given one grade higher than they earned.

Hollywood and Congress are free to make up any reality they like, but anyone who has lived on the ground in the real American knows perfectly well that the welfare-consuming classes are living off the sweat of American workers, whose only reward is to be insulted and attacked.

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Thomas Fleming

Thomas Fleming is president of the Fleming Foundation. He is the author of six books, including The Morality of Everyday Life and The Politics of Human Nature, as well as many articles and columns for newspapers, magazines,and learned journals. He holds a Ph.D. in Classics from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and a B.A. in Greek from the College of Charleston. He served as editor of Chronicles: a Magazine of American Culture from 1984 to 2015 and president of The Rockford Institute from 1997-2014. In a previous life he taught classics at several colleges and served as a school headmaster in South Carolina

18 Responses

  1. Khater M says:

    What makes the Klan better than the girly boys of the AltRight? I know next to nothing about the Klan, but I know plenty of guys who’d call themselves “AltRight”

  2. Avatar photo Thomas Fleming says:

    Crude, dumb, resentful, marginalized as they were, some Klansmen were otherwise just ordinary redneck Americans, countryboys with families and innocent diversions–hunting, fishing, NASCAR. The Alt Right girls with their poofed hair, odd gestures, and hysterically funny pretensions to erudition are, so far as I can tell, possessed of no discernible virtues. They are the all too representative victims of postmodernity.

  3. Jacob Johnson says:

    There has been quite a lot of confusion about that term, especially thanks to an article written by a certain attention-seeking former Brietbart writer who has an eponymous two word subtitle which is obvious and redundant. There are those who say that since they’re right wing and they don’t like the “mainstream right,” that they support an alternative to that, not knowing that for whatever reason the term basically denotes those who try to imitate the European new right, which is impossible in America for a variety of reasons. Those who get heavily into this tend to come from urban, coastal areas and come from atheist families with leftist tendencies. It’s an ambiguous and unnecessary term.

  4. Clyde Wilson says:

    Britain is now suffering from the great mistake of settling for a trashy ruling class over the King over the Water.

  5. Curtis says:

    Well, the Alt-Right has grown very rapidly among Gen X/Millenial Rightists because it taps into their anger with the impotence and treachery of movement conservatism and their disillusionment with the liberal American tradition, generally. I am reminded of Walker Percy’s Lancelot: “I cannot tolerate this age. And I will not.” I don’t think you can effectively dismiss it merely by pointing out the personality quirks of its leading figures. Are they saying anything that Sam Francis didn’t?

    It is refreshing to have right wing personalities who spit in the eye of leftists and “cuckservatives”, and more importantly we need a harsh, clean break with American liberalism so we can once again become who we really are – Europeans. There are good elements in the old America which we should commemorate, but in general it is time to move on from America. We have more in common with Dante and Samuel Johnson than the nonsense world and nonsense people surrounding us.

    The Alt Right’s has a very big tactical problem: they have gone – in the most inflammatory way possible – after the most sensitive myths and the most powerful groups buttressing the radical left in this country. And now they feel the full weight of the leftist establishment coming down on them with lawsuits, firings, website/fundraising de-platforming, travel bans, etc. How an inchoate online group that holds occasional marches can overcome all that, I don’t know. A movement that preserved their audacity while toning down the negative rhetoric and playing up the positive aspects of our European and orthodox Christian heritage might have more success, but the powers that be would still find a way to label it racist, anti-semitic, beyond the pale of acceptable human discourse, etc. etc.

  6. Avatar photo Thomas Fleming says:

    I don’t object to any nonsense people may choose to believe in. Apart from advocating assault and murder of strangers, I pretty much regard ideologies with calm objectivity–they are more or less all deranged. What I object to in Alt-Right are: bad prose, bad manners, inconsistent logic, ignorance of history, a sissified advocacy of immorality, and effeminacy.

    Sam Francis had his quirks, and he made many mistakes about which the less said the better. The fact that I can quote E-=MC2 does not make me Einstein, a student of Einstein, or even a high school physics student, and the fact that creeps can quote Francis and Nietzsche does not make them the heirs of Francis and Nietzsche. One thing Sam used to say repeatedly–and coming from someone who hung out with some rather unusual people, it is striking–and that is”The important thing is to kick the brown shirts out of the movement.” I abjure all movements, but on this point Sam seemed to make a good point.

  7. Jacob Johnson says:

    There is no reason to go out of one’s way to hen-peck this group like a sanctimonious, broken record. Indeed, for anyone born after 1980 with at least a quarter of a brain or half- decent instinct, the grievances over the poisonous, artificial environment we were placed in are innumerable. This age must not be tolerated by anyone who hopes to keep his sanity. I am the last person who should ever lecture anybody about keeping cool when provoked, but believe me this issue is a trap. Being strident is an unavoidable condition of being a young male. Among those who are older are some who know this well and will attempt to exploit this for whatever reason. Never underestimate the depths of dishonesty that these types who go to in pursuit of these ends, and the lack of concern for the truth of the matter the common man will have for you in this situation.

  8. Jerry Brock says:

    As a 19 year-old pesudo idealist in 1968 I crossed paths and idealogies with a couple of Klansman in Texas. My offense was serious enough to warrant the Klan passanger to pull a sawed-off, double barrel shotgun during the car chase. Upon reflection I can only think I was posessed by the liberal and puritanical Yankee demon. When I described the evnent to my father he responded “why didn’t you just leave them alone.” Words that liberals should, but never will, heed. In general I agree with Dr. Fleming. They are not such a bad sort.

  9. Robert Peters says:

    In the sixties, in my neck of the woods, most Klansmen were bored men, ranging from about seventeen to seventy. One night they would build a bonfire on a ridge and fox hunt. Another night they would built a bonfire in a “holler” and possum hunt. On yet another night they would build a cross, burn it and drink whisky and hot chocolate. They also drank whisky and hot chocolate when they fox hunted and possum hunted!

    I had a few encounters with the Klan.

    Three of us, coming back from basketball practice on night, decided to make a detour to a remote place on Little River, Koin’s Bluff, where we had heard there would be a Klan rally. Within about one-quarter of a mile from the bluff, we could see the glow from the fire which turned out to be a burning cross. We crawled up to the edge of the gathering which looked for the world like a wash of bed linens holding a seance. We did not stay long. When I got home, daddy immediately asserted, “You boys went to that Klan rally didn’t you. Lucky you did not get your butts shot off!”

    Our neighbor, Mr. Elvin, who lived across Fish Creek from us, was our friend, a stalwart deacon and some sort of wizard in the Klan. We knew, but we never mentioned it to him. One night, probably in the fall of 1964, he came across the creek to the house and, after casual conversation asked Daddy if he would not consider joining the Klan, to which my daddy replied, “Elvin, I don’t want the federal government comin’ down here and telling me who to love; and I don’t want you comin’ across the creek and telling me who to hate.” Daddy overstated it. Elvin did not hate black folks; he was just scared of the changes whirling around him and “belonging” to something like the Klan appeared to be an anchor. After he left, Daddy told me to never join any secret organization, none of any kind.

    About three months later, I was riding to school with Mama, a school teacher who had that look which could wither a fig tree at 1000 yards. On the gravel road, early in the morning before school, two hooded Klansmen had set up a road block. They were asking for donations. Mama rolled down the window and one of them asked for a donation in any denomination. My mother asserted, “Gerald, I know your voice. You need to get out of that garb and go to work!” We drove off.

    One night we came home late. Our home was on the grounds of a church camp. Daddy was the manager. Upon on the hill, at the flag pole there was a gathering of pickups and men. Daddy knew it was the Klan. I was sixteen. He told mama to stay at the house. He and I, both armed with pistols but not brandishing them approached the group. Daddy had told me to keep my mouth shut. He said, “What you boys doing here?” They said that they had a two-way radio, I suppose a ham set, and were on the hill on church property to attempt to set up a south-wide communication with other Klaverns. Daddy suggested that a higher hill just to the west off church property would likely offer them better opportunity. He called a couple of them by name, boys he had fished and hunted with. They got in their trucks and left toward the hill which Daddy had suggested.

    These ol’ boys were never as dangerous in their Klan sheets as they were in a honky-tonk on a given Saturday night!

  10. Frank Brownlow says:

    The thing to remember about England is that the last English king of England died in 1066, & the last Scottish king of Scotland in 1701–although the present queen can claim a Scottish mother, & we shouldn’t forget Queen Anne. On the whole, though, & excluding good Queen Anne, since 1688 the English monarchy has been a kind of stage-performance, more or less convincing depending on the ability of the actors. The half-Scottish queen has done very well, but Harry, like his putative father, is ALL WRONG. He can’t even walk properly, something we all noticed as he shambled down the aisle at his brother’s wedding.

  11. Avatar photo Thomas Fleming says:

    My dissertation director, Douglas Young, was, in addition to being a classicist and a poet, a Scottish nationalist. Whenever anyone cited the Japanese monarchy as the longest-lived on earth, he would trace the descent of Elizabeth II back to the Irish Scottish Fergus.

  12. Dot says:

    Didn’t the Irish descend from the Vikings and where did the Vikings come from?

  13. Avatar photo Thomas Fleming says:

    The Vikings were Scandinavian adventurers who raided and sometimes took over parts of England, Scotland, and Ireland. To what extent they affected the Irish gene pool, I do not know. Dublin, which was the center of Viking-controled Ireland, celebrates their heritage in several museums.

  14. Frank Brownlow says:

    As I understand it, none of the incomers to the British Isles, including the Celts, made much impression on the genetic makeup of the place, the impression diminishing the further west and north one goes. So most of the present-day inhabitants of England, Scotland, Wales, & Ireland descend from the builders of Stonehenge and the other stone-age structures scattered about. There was a dramatic demonstration of this about 20 years ago when geneticists from Oxford found Cheddar Man’s ten-thousand-year-old mitochondrial DNA in some children & a history teacher living within a kilometer of the cave where Cheddar Man was found.

  15. Vince Cornell says:

    What about some of the older Alt Right folks, like John Derbyshire or Steve Sailer? They seem more respectable than some of their younger, girly-boy followers.

  16. Avatar photo Thomas Fleming says:

    If Derbyshire and Sailer are Alt Right, then T.S. Eliot was a neoconservative.

  17. Ken Rosenberger says:

    Derb coined the term “dissident right,” which makes a lot of sense to me, if one must have a label. It says, “I am against the Left, whether it calls itself that or neocon or Establishment Republican. Also, I don’t like Fox News and wish that a lot of decent ordinary folks would stop taking their orders from it on what to think about Syria, Russia, and Israel, etc.”

  18. Avatar photo Thomas Fleming says:

    All these labels are largely of negative utility. “Dissident” is an obvious attempt to coopt a term of leftist revolution. It if works, fine, but it contributes next to nothing. Most people on the so-called dissident right still adhere to the basic principles of the left.