A Confederate/Southern Renaissance
Without apology, I see myself as a Southern writer. I love the South and its history, culture, and values. However, we may be in need of a Southern Renaissance.
Europe’s Renaissance resulted from a mix of several catalysts: the discovery of great former works, desperation for change in the status quo, a shift in values and mindset, and new creative works of thought and art to express those values.
The South is in great need of its own Renaissance. Our art, values, and culture have been ravished by conquering modern Goths and political Vandals; our children are in their own Dark Ages, numbed and dumbed by television, movies, music, and a terribly flawed school system. Their peers and society offer them little and challenge them even less. We are creating more average scholars and less great ones. The next generation is a generation that we (Southerners) could lose entirely and forever.
What is it exactly that we need? I think the classical definition of a Renaissance is helpful. We need a rebirth, a flowering of the arts and sciences. In many ways, we have a good start.
We need a Renaissance in music, writing, and the arts generally.
We need a Renaissance in history.
We need a Renaissance (perhaps revival would be a better word here) in our organizations that are devoted to Southerner heritage, history, and culture.
The South needs a political Renaissance. The number of Southerners with traditional Southern values represents a large percentage of the voting population. However this is only significant if we can attain unity of cause that will take us to the polls. While our Southern values resists the idea of pushing our ideas upon others, even the fiercely independent sovereign States of the Confederacy managed to unite, and that unity was a force that gained the attention of the whole world.
We can learn some lessons from our Confederate ancestors. If we don’t want to learn, perhaps we should read the dystopian novels (Brave New World, 1984, Fahrenheit 451, etc.) one more time to see how bad things can be when a nation’s citizens lose their sense of heritage, history, and individuality.