Southern Agrarianism is a tradition-based aesthetic. It is, of course, about agrarianism, about appreciating the traditional and the rural, and having our roots deeply embedded in the soil, but it is more than that. It is an appreciation of beauty. Plants will still grow in a trash-filled dump, and chickens are raised in third-world slums, but there is more to it than that. Much more.
We have our vegetable garden, but a part of it is always set aside for cut flowers (mostly Zinnias), and we have a rose garden in the front, where we enjoy sitting on the bench with coffee and tea as we watch the sun come up. Is that “agrarian”? Strictly speaking, no; however it is Southern Agrarianism.
A recent article in The Federalist noted the current cultural trends that seem to normalize and glorify ugliness – obesity, tattoos and piercings, buildings that look like a Soviet prison, etc. On the other end of the scale is the beauty advocated by the late Sir Roger Scruton.
Beauty is our English language. Ugliness is the profanity and urban “trash talk” that seems to have spread throughout Western culture.
Beauty is classical music, folk music, and other traditional forms of musical artistry. Ugliness is rap “music” – which is not music at all.
Beauty is traditional art. Ugliness is “modern art”, appreciated only by those who smugly pretend that they understand the deep meaning of some paint splattered across a canvass – and if you don’t, then it’s because you’re a simple rube who isn’t attuned to the “artist’s” intention.
Beauty is traditional, classical architecture, whether it is a humble but cared for farm house, or a magnificent stone monument designed to inspire. Ugliness is the concrete, steel, and glass modernist style that seems designed to belittle and depress the spirit.
Beauty is the system of manners and etiquette that serves to keep a society running smoothly in spite of competing agendas. Ugliness is the “Me first. Do your own thing” attitude that seems to be in control in modern society and promoted by the media.
Beauty is a family where family comes first, where multiple generations come together, and where they understand that they are only one link in a chain that extends back in time and forward to generations yet to be born. Ugliness is the trend of glorifying childlessness, single parenting, one night stands, and unwed motherhood.
Embrace Tradition – Reject Modernity.