The South's almost forgotten "Perfect Society" theory introduces an argument that has actually been on the tongues of Americans for decades.
Before we get ahead of ourselves, let us review the actual concept. In the antebellum South, there was a simple axiom: "No matter how rich or poor that you were, no matter who your parents were, no matter what country your ancestors immigrated from, no matter your skin color, no matter your religious preference, you were one rung higher on society's ladder than the slave."
At first glance, this theory would appear to be an anachronism. But not so fast! In reality, we do have contemporary "slaves" residing in the United States of America, thanks to President Lyndon Johnson! His "Great Society," creation of the sixties has since nurtured generations of entitlement recipients.
This is a kind way of describing chronic welfare receivers. They live in a "cradle to grave" dependency on government for their means to survive. They are essentially "wards" of the state. When you rationally distinguish these modern "wards" of the state, there is little difference from the actual slaves who were prevalent in the antebellum South.
What made the antebellum South's "Perfect Society" truly a "perfect society" stemmed from the ability to vote. Everyone, except the slave had the right to vote. It is here that revisionist historians get off track in referencing the "three-fifths" compromise. This related to representation in Washington. It was a purely political bone thrown to the Southern States. It had nothing to do with the actual effect on the non-slave population which is what we are addressing.
The effect resulted in blurred ethnic lines. It equally translated to more religious tolerance. And, it blunted class resentment. Every citizen always knew that they were not on the bottom of society.
You saw this especially manifested in Louisiana. Anyone who has spent time in the Bayou State will be amazed at it's ethnic diversity. The original settlers received land grants form the King of Spain. Then, the French took possession. Parts of New Orleans looks as if they could be located in France. Eighty miles up the Mississippi River is Baton Rouge. Baton Rouge is French for "red stick," a fitting name for a city that boasts some of the largest Red Oak trees anywhere.
Along the Mississippi River, beginning in New Orleans were large settlements of Italians. In fact, Baton Rouge today has more people from Italian decent that French decent. There were also large numbers of German immigrants. West of the Achafalaya basin, are the Acadian French. These people originally settled in Nova Scotia, only to be eradicated by the Queen of England. Unlike the French on the east side of the basin, who came directly from France, the "Cajuns" spoke a different French, an older French that was used in Paris in the 1600's. It would be comparable to English speakers today, using words like "thee" and "thou."
There were also unique people of color. "Sabines," who resided in Sabine Parish were essentially part French, part Spanish and part African. "Redbones," were mostly French, partly Native American and generally one-fourth to one eighth African.
People in the North part of Louisiana mirrored the "Scotch-Irish" in Mississippi and Alabama.
Religious lines were clearly drawn. In the North, people were Protestant. From Alexandria south, they were Roman Catholic.
With diversity such as Louisiana's, ethnic and religious confrontation would have been predictable. Not to mention the fact that some of the most wealthy Americans lived in Louisiana. They included Judith H. Benjamin, a practicing Jew, who owned a large plantation and scores of slaves near St.Francisville. Benjamin was Jefferson Davis' Attorney General.
Amazingly, there was little! Ethnic lines were practically non-existent in Louisiana. Especially in comparison to other parts of America during that time! People were "Louisianans and Southerners first!" Even today, the Governor of Louisiana is the son of immigrants from India.
What gets lost in history are the facts that many of these "people of color" voted, were slave owners, and fought for the Confederacy! This should provide sufficient evidence regarding the real reason behind the War Between the States!
Same held true with the Cherokee planters in Eastern Oklahoma. The United States Government had resettled them in brutal fashion from their homes in North Carolina. But they survived and even thrived! Like people of color in Louisiana, the Cherokee and other native peoples owned slaves and heeded Confederate general, Albert Pike's call for volunteers. In the end, native Americans sent dozens of regiments to the Confederacy.
Oklahoma's eventual statehood was still 45 years into future. However, all writings conclude that had the wars outcome proved different, statehood and suffrage would have been greatly accelerated.
In Texas, the original Anglo settlers came from Tennessee and Kentucky. They intermarried with the local Mexican population, taking the Catholic faith. Their children were referred to as "Texicans." This was shortened to "Texans" after Texas' admission into the United States in 1845.
With the rush of newcomers from the deep south, Texas gradually took on a flavor that more closely resembled Alabama and Georgia. But the Hispanic influence was maintained. And with it, a common classification and a general understanding of the spirit of Texas. It has been said that "Texas isn't merely a state. It is a state of mind." Today there is a common respect held by Anglos and Latinos. Perhaps the term, "Tex-Mex" says it best.
It may be that in Texas, Louisiana and Oklahoma that the "Perfect Society" was most vividly manifested. These three states provide the ideal "map" with which we may charter the destiny of a new Republic.
Their ancestors blurred racial, ethnic, religious and income lines through their "Perfect Society." It was their "benchmark." We can point to this success as the counter balance to a Marxist inspired movement most recently demonstrated in the 2012 presidential election. "Perfect Society" is the polar opposite of "Marxism and Leninism." The primary position taken by the Marxist and Leninist is "class warfare." Barack Obama expanded the divide on racial and ethnic grounds.
Marxists present "social justice" as the term for one group having more than another group. "Social Justice" justifies taking from one segment of the population and giving it to another.
"Perfect Society" contended that all members of contributing society ranked the slave. It mattered not how much money they had or how much they made! Because, "even if your income and means were modest, you were always significant and relevant due to your ability to influence the electorate." This bond superseded any ethnic or racial differences.
History is full of surprises and revelations! Yet, how would "Perfect Society" be applicable in contemporary America? Was not slavery abolished in 1865?
Actually it was re-introduced in the 1960's courtesy of President Johnson and his party. Today, it lives. In fact, it's members are key Barack Obama constituents!
Contemporary "Perfect Society" provides the ideal positioning statement for a new Republic. Unlike, Obama's "United American States," our "United States of America" would deny suffrage for all who had not participated in the work force over a certain period of time.
Naturally, we are not discussing Social Security or Disability recipients. They paid into the system and earned their entitlement. We are not talking about veterans or retired public sector workers. We are also not including those who, through tragic circumstances, such as a death of a family member, needed the safety net.
The entitlement systems exists for all of us. However, there are those who are not retired, disabled or faced with an unforeseen tragedy who have found that the entitlement system is a "better deal." In short, the benefits of the safety net outweigh those offered with a return to the work force!
Much has been written on welfare reform. There have been bi-partisan efforts to bring it about. In "Perfect Society" rationale, "those who choose to not return to the work force, would not participate in the electoral process." They essentially accept their place at the "bottom" of society. They are "contemporary slaves" who are dependent on government relief for their livelihoods.
What does denial of suffrage for career welfare recipients have to do with "blurred ethnic lines, racial lines or religious lines?"
Everything! Everyone who participates or has participated in the work force votes. Those who haven't, won't! It's quite a distinction. It essentially places everyone, whether they be a corporate C.E.O., small business owner, retiree or a minimum wage worker on a highway construction gang as "one rung higher" in society than the career welfare recipient.
Never mind where you came from, or your skin color or religious preference or your income! The point is, there is always someone lower on the scale than you! Because you can vote. They cannot.
Arrogant liberals would scoff as such thinking! True, it would never make it out of congressional committee. But we are talking about Obama's America. In a new Republic, we are starting afresh. Anything is possible. The verdict might be surprising.
There is a huge segment of the population that works from dawn to exhaustion. They feel that they have been passed by and are relatively insignificant. They receive no entitlements. But they pay the same prices for gas at the pump, food at the supermarket and electricity to heat their homes.
These Americans, often referred to as the "working poor" would overwhelmingly support a society where their voice was placed on an equal plain with the wealthiest members. They would draw comfort in knowing that there were those who didn't share that distinction.
This is the "perfect society" in modern application. Liberals would dismiss it as "right wing rubbish." In reality, it it the destroyer of Marxism. When people are capable of seeing themselves as "not at the bottom," the thought process turns to advancing to the next level. This is the true essence of America. In Marxist thinking, there is only jealousy and resentment, "coveting" what the other guy has.
History has proven countless times over that this is a flawed, failed notion.
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