Clyde Wilson from Chronicles Magazine
On the Alamo
The Alamo is an exhibit of Texan valor and Southern valor. If we call it “American” we might be tempted to think of the U.S. Army and then the U.S. government, neither of which deserves any credit for the Alamo. Soon, we will have conflated the heroes of the Alamo with the US government soldiers so eloquently eulogized by Lincoln, who destroyed the “Union” and founded the “Nation” at Gettysburg. When we have slipped into this way of thinking we have falsified the central story of American history by erecting a fake nationalist continuity….
On the South
…let me point out the nationalist trick of adopting from the South as “American” anything that is favorably regarded, while only the disfavored things are described as “Southern.” Thus we have books on “Celtic” valor to avoid discussing the disproportionate contributions of Southerners to American heroism. We have “country” music rather than Southern music. We have Texas, when she is in good favor, denominated as “Western” and not “Southern.”
On Contemporary America
…America in our time cannot have a real history, because America today does not have a real people. …The inhabitants of the United States are corralled under the same territorial monopoly of force and exploitation; they share the same bread and circuses. They are not a people, only the motley subjects of an empire. Aggregations of Oprah watchers, sports fans, and mall shoppers do not a people make.
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