to be part of a movement, and how to regard the League of the South.
Concern has arisen in some quarters in recent weeks regarding secessionist organizations that express values—or are charged with expressing values—that others do not like, and questions have been raised about alliances with such groups. The Middlebury Institute would like to establish a basic response to such concerns and questions.
First, the secessionist movement is made up of organizations of many different kinds that are alike in their advocacy of secession—of secession in general and of secession of their particular part of the planet. That is what makes them colleagues and allies—because in this difficult task of making secession and separatism a legitimate political goal they stand shoulder to shoulder with each other.
Second, it is not up to any organization in the movement (or its friends) to judge the attitudes, philosophies, or beliefs of others. While one would hope to have those compatible with one’s own, it must be understood that different people in different places will have different ideas, desires, goals, and strategies—that, after all, is the whole point of secession. A group is for secession precisely because it does not want to be part of a larger entity whose beliefs and actions it does not like, and wishes to live free on its own terms.
Third, the kind of people who insist on telling others how to live and think so as to have one unanimous right-minded uniformity are dangerous people and precisely the kind that establish national governments and pass laws applicable to entire populations. Fascism is one obvious and ugly form of this, but mass industrial democracy is a similar, if often more benign, form. And it is exactly this that secession and separatism are opposed to.
Fourth, as to the League of the South (LOS), it is demonstrable that as an organization it is not racist and would not establish a racist state if they were successful in secession. (The official position of the LOS on this matter is added below as an appendix.) The Middlebury Institute has offered to be a co-sponsor with the LOS of the next Secessionist Convention this year squarely because it believes it to be an honorable and legitimate—and non-racist—organization sincerely and intelligently devoted to peaceful secession from the empire.
We accept the fact that there may be people in the LOS who have expressed intemperate and intolerant opinions—but of what group, we ask, could that not be said? (And the scare-mongering charges along these lines by the Southern Poverty Law Center have much more to do with its desire to squeeze money out of people made to be afraid of hobgoblins than by any genuine exposure of misbehavior.] Moreover, even if there are, as individuals, LOS people we could from our point of view deem racist, that would matter not one whit as to whether they were legitimate colleagues in the secessionist movement. It is irrelevant.
People turn to secession because they want their own form of government, on their own terms, and hope to create a state that will live out their beliefs, principles, ideals. It is no more justifiable for one organization to question or criticize or castigate those goals if they work toward a Christian-directed government that outlaws abortion and adultery than if they work for a secular democracy favoring gun-control and same-sex marriages. The beauty of secession is that it looks toward having a world where those and many other kinds of states can exist, free and independent, and not impose its ideas on others or have others’ ideas imposed on it.
Ultimately we in the secessionist movement stand divided, but we stand together. We believe in secession, each of us, and though the ends we work for may be different—and what a thriving, vibrant, multi-variant world that would bring us to—the means we use unites us all.
Director, Middlebury Institute
Appendix: League of South Statement on Racism
“The League of the South has never before issued a statement denying that it is “racist” because racism is a wax nose charge. Those who resort to this charge can never be satisfied. The more we deny it, the more we will be forced to deny it, until at last all that we will have time to do is to repel the latest charge of ‘racism.’ However, we make this one statement, to satisfy strangers of good will, that we bear no ill will or hatred to any racial, ethnic, or religious group.
“We believe that Christianity and social order require that all people, regardless of race, must be equal before the law. We do not believe that the law should be used to persecute, oppress, or favour any race or class.
“We believe that the only harmony possible between the races, as between all natural differences among human beings, begins in submitting to Jesus Christ’s commandment to “love our neighbours as ourselves.” That is the world we envision and work for.
“We believe that the politics of race — baiting whites against blacks and blacks against white has been profitable for politicians but catastrophic for the South and Southerners.
“We believe that black Southerners want and need what we want and need: a safe country for their families, liberty, and the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
“We believe that the last thing the South’s enemies want is to see black and white Southerners sitting down together to determine their common destiny and work for authentic harmony, a just social and economic order, and an independent South. We can’t foretell precisely what that order will look like, but certainly it will not make room for diversity police and political correctness. Rather, we hope it will bring the greatest freedom for the greatest number of all races, and good will among them all.”
The League of the South Board of Directors 21 June 2005