Mississippi and the Flag: Abolishing America (not contd!)…

To the
disgruntlement of Mississippi`s business
and political
establishment, it looks as though the vast majority
of the state`s voters next week will reject a
proposed new state flag that drops the Confederate
Battle Flag design of the current one. Depending on
which poll you cite, voters favor the current state
banner to the proposed one by majorities of between
66 and 73 percent. It`s almost enough to restore
one`s faith in democracy.

Democracy in fact is pretty much what the
aforesaid business and political leaders in the
“New South” are afraid of. In South
Carolina last year, the Confederate Battle Flag that
flew over the state`s capitol was removed only
after the state legislature voted on it, not after a
state referendum. In Georgia, which also sported a
Confederate design in its flag, the legislature
adopted a new flag after proceedings that even The
New York Times
calls “secret.” Only in
Mississippi have the real people of a Southern state
been asked
what they thought about keeping the Confederate
symbol, and the overwhelming majority are about to
say, “Keep it.”

The majority includes some 30 percent of the
state`s black voters, so the phony claim that the
Confederate design is a symbol of racial hatred is
exposed as a lie. The real reason for the war
against the flag is not merely what the professional
Afro-racists of the NAACP offer but the terror that
their threats of boycott and economic strangulation
inspire in the Economic
who run the South

“I want to remove every obstacle I can when
it comes to attracting good jobs to our state, and
this is a way to do it,” bubbles Mississippi
Gov. Ronnie Musgrove, a Democrat, who in contrast to
the state Republican Party, at least has the guts to
take a position. As the flag issue jumped off the
political front burner, state GOP Chairman Mike
Retzer announced
that the Stupid Party “will not fan the flames
of division by commenting further on this issue and
we have discouraged our leaders from making any
statement that would unduly influence the
electorate.” No danger of leadership here.

But let no one be deceived that the Democrats`
enthusiasm for dumping the old flag, which has flown
since 1894, and the Republicans` cowardice about
it are due to their positions on race. Both
genuinely reflect the imperative of Economic
to touch only what
turns to gold, to recognize only those parts of
reality that make money. A coalition calling itself
the Mississippi Legacy Fund, formed by the state`s
businessmen, is mailing out a flyer that makes its
materialist assumptions clear.

The flyer, as The New York Times describes
it, shows a grandfather feeding a baby with a bottle
and saying, “It`s not right that our kids
can`t find good jobs close to home because
companies won`t locate in our state, but it`s a
fact. They have the wrong idea about Mississippi. A
state flag that includes the Confederate flag just
adds to those false opinions.”

The flyer betrays a number of assumptions and
fails to betray a number of others. For one thing,
it doesn`t even bother to engage the argument that
the current flag is “racist” or
“offensive.” Indeed, it more or less
concedes that the claim of “offensiveness”
is false. But the flyer also concedes that nothing
can or should be done to correct such falsehoods.
The correction must come from those who are already
correct—the current flag must go.

Like the Marxist Economic Men whom they emulate,
the capitalists who got up this ad assume that
history is irreversible, that even though
“companies” have gotten “the wrong
idea” about Mississippi, their error cannot be
reversed. We can only accommodate ourselves to it.
It is precisely because such a hidden conception of
human history prevails in the capitalist mind that
it has embraced virtually every other lurch toward
socialism and the death of the West of the last
hundred years.

It was Richard
a great Southern
mind, who wrote
that the Old South, the South of the Confederacy,
was “the last non-materialist civilization in
the Western World.” That South, as someone else
wrote a few years ago, is gone with the wind. But
Weaver also wrote that the idea that the cliche that
claims you can`t turn back the clock was nonsense.
If the clock is broken, you set it right.

This week the people of Mississippi will set one
small clock right again by kicking the rear ends of
the Economic Men who have come to predominate in
what remains of the Old Southern civilization. If
enough remains of that civilization in the rest of
the South, the Mississippi vote could be the start
of something much bigger than which flag flies over
the state capitol.


April 12,