The Culture of The Old South as a Model For The Future

Tomislav Sunić on Southern Agrarianism – an SNN Interview

tomislavSunic_crTomislav Sunić was interviewed by Michael at the Southern Nationalist Network on the topic of Southern Agrarianism.

The Southern Agrarian movement in its purest form was described in the book, I’ll Take My Stand, (first published in 1930) by Twelve Southerners. Two of those “Twelve Southerners” – Stark Young and Frank Lawrence Owsley – were my cousins. Young’s section of I’ll Take My Stand was titled Not In Memoriam, But In Defense, and Owsley’s section was titled The Irrepressible Conflict.

From the Wikipedia entry for Southern Agrarian: The Southern Agrarians bemoaned the increasing loss of Southern identity and culture to industrialization. They believed that the traditional agrarian roots of the United States, which had reigned since the nation’s founding in the 18th century, were important to its nature. Their manifesto was a critique of the rapid industrialization and urbanization during the first few decades of the 20th century in the southern United States. It posited an alternative based on a return to the more traditionally rural and local culture, and agrarian American values. The group opposed the changes in the US that were leading it to become more urban, national/international, and industrial. Because the book was published at the opening (1930) of what would eventually become the Great Depression, some viewed it as particularly prescient. The book was anti-communist. I’ll Take My Stand was originally criticized as a reactionary and romanticized defense of the Old South and the Lost Cause of the Confederacy. Some critics considered it to be moved by nostalgia. But, in more recent years, scholars such as Carlson, Scotchie, Eugene Genovese, and others have re-evaluated the book in light of the modern problems of highly urbanized/industrialized societies. They acknowledge the effects which such urban-technological-industrial systems exert on human society as a whole, as well as individuals, the environment, various social issues, politics, economics, etc. Today, the Southern Agrarians are lauded regularly in the Southern Partisan. Some of their social, economic, and political ideas have been refined and updated by writers such as Allan C. Carlson and Wendell Berry. The Intercollegiate Studies Institute has published books which further explore the ideas of the Agrarians. “All the articles bear in the same sense upon the book’s title-subject: all tend to support a Southern way of life against what may be called the American or prevailing way; and all as much as agree that the best terms in which to represent the distinction are contained in the phrase, Agrarian versus Industrial. … Opposed to the industrial society is the agrarian, which does not stand in particular need of definition. An agrarian society is hardly one that has no use at all for industries, for professional vocations, for scholars and artists, and for the life of cities. Technically, perhaps, an agrarian society is one in which agriculture is the leading vocation, whether for wealth, for pleasure, or for prestige – a form of labor that is pursued with intelligence and leisure, and that becomes the model to which the other forms approach as well as they may. But an agrarian regime will be secured readily enough where the superfluous industries are not allowed to rise against it. The theory of agrarianism is that the culture of the soil is the best and most sensitive of vocations, and that therefore it should have the economic preference and enlist the maximum number of workers.” “Introduction: A Statement of Principles” to their 1930 book I’ll Take My Stand: The South and the Agrarian Tradition.

Tomislav Sunić is a Croatian-American and a Director of the American Third Position political party. His professional career includes working as a professor, a lobbyist, and a diplomat for the nation of Croatia. He is fluent in English, Croatian, French, and German.

The interview was conducted by Michael – a staunch supporter and prolific author of pro-Southern material. He is the owner of Southern Nationalist Network. He also posts regular podcasts to his YouTube page.

(Originally posted on The Southern Agrarian on December 29, 2011)

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