I connect the. Old South to the Feudal Age of King Arthurs Knights and the chivalry and valor of the individual heroic warrior. The Old South was a Romantic place while the North was all about machines and the melting pot of foreigners who varying cultures turns the North into a Tower of Babel where languages and colors and culture all mixed into a stew. But in the South life was slow and simple, with only two colors carefully divided like salt and pepper on the table.
Agrian, the South moved to the rhythm of the seasons and the Mother Earth. In the North society moved to the clock and the factory whistle. Men moved in herds of workers who lived in city slums. In the south a man had plenty of land wrapped around him, and a white man servants were not machines but slaves. And so the myth of the romantic South was built and still holds our imagination. Carved in stone, every town has it Confederate Remembrance, usually at the Court House. We have on at Nottoway. Every Court House has it statue of a god, just like Roman cities had their statues of their local deities.
Why do we worship the past? Why can’t we take these gods down? What is it here that holds our imagination, our hearts captive?
The Souther General on a horse has so much mythic content. The American Savior rides in on a horse. The heroic cowboy rides in on a horse to restore order, to win battles, to keep back the hoards of Indians/barbarians/ yankees. This belief in the heroic individual of that past, these knights in shining armor who dies for valor and honor, who do not give their position, who cannot be moved…who like a stonewall cannot be taken down.
The South has made a religion of the Civil War. These statues fix the mind like Roman Gods fixed the minds of the empire in its statues. Stone statues fix the mind on a single point. Every court house in the south has this fixed point in its past, in its now glorious Lost Cause. The cause is valuable because is is Lost. If it had been found, it would not exist now. So it is Lost and we are still looking for it…this Lost Paradise.
Like Adam and his children, we are still seeking the Lost Paradise in the Past. Even Trump, our latest Southern General is leading the charge to restore America to is Lost Past. This is how the South and the Christian Cause get mixed up; both are in exile from the Garden. Both are looking for something lost.
The problem is that life looking in the Rear View Mirrors not looking at the actual road we are driving on, which, BTW, is full of pot holes. When the Government comes in to fix the pot holes, our Don Quixote puts on his armor and charges the dragon. It’s those damn Yankees, he cries, rallying his dusty troops from their graves.