The month of July has thus far brought to global attention---and even somewhat aroused the somnambulant domestic population---to how deeply divided the American people are. Now there have been times in our history of division; we even fought two civil wars. The first was over whether to remain a colony of Britain or to establish a Republic. The second was fought over whether our government would be a national union or a confederation of sovereign states. And there have been other less dramatic, but equally divided times as well; focusing on Indian Rights, the Abolitionist Movement, various tax revolts, labor unrest, the Civil Rights Movement, opposition to wars, economic policies, and many other issues.
The difference between those earlier conflicts and today that America has become a narcissistic culture---more of a battle between individuals clubbed together in small groups trying to dominate others. In the past---even during the 1860s when Americans were literally drawn up into two opposing armies---there was a belief on both sides that the fight was for something greater than the individuals involved. To illustrate this point, we will recommend for this weekend's viewing an innovative and penetrating television series set in the US Civil War: The Gray Ghost.
The Gray Ghost aired on CBS from 1957 to 1958. It was a fairly historically accurate drama series about the exploits of Confederate commando leader, Major John Mosby. The series was controversial even in the late 1950s for casting a Confederate officer in a heroic role. However, this was evidently a deliberate and pointed choice by the producers. They chose Mosby, a heroic figure in a lost cause, precisely to illustrate that honorable men serve a Higher Purpose regardless of personal consequences.
That theme of honor is brought out in several episodes. In the episode airing during Christmas 1957, Mosby arranges a temporary truce so that Union soldiers will spare the home of a family whose mother is about to give birth. "God is non-partisan." he reminds the Union officer. No doubt to the horror of modern Cultural Marxists, twice Mosby actually leads soldiers in prayer during this episode!
The idea of a masculine Code of Honor has nearly disappeared from effete postmodern culture. Both the Cultural Marxists and the Manospherian Game Cultists---both of whom engage in many dishonorable deeds---look upon Codes of Honor as something of a quaint relic of the patriarchal past. Actually, though, it is an integral component of genuine masculinity. As many bloggers who write on relationship issues point out, the greatest fear a man has is of insignificance. A Code of Honor establishes significance through a system of mutual respect by which a man builds a personal reputation for honorable behavior.
In our postmodernist era we see a cultural phenomenon whereby the basest and repulsive male specimens are elevated to fame and fortune; while good and noble men seem to live in an atmosphere of hopelessness and despair. This phenomenon is a direct result of an absence of a masculine Code of Honor. Manosphere Gamers will say that the honorable man is really weak; a sucker and a chump, while the strong Alpha Male simply takes what he wants, disregarding reputation and honor. The reality is actually the reverse of that position. What the Manospherians fail to see---mostly because of their narcissism and idolatrous fascination with material success---is that reputation and honor were the factors that formerly united men in mutual respect. When this respect is broken, only those men who live by cunning and force---the weaklings in a truly masculine system---can rise unchecked to power and profit. Unity is based on love and trust. Without these things, it is obvious that good men cannot unite against evil.
As proof of this, witness the ease in which contemporary American leaders have emasculated nearly all of our institutions. Why don't good men resist? Because they can't depend on other men to resist as a point of honor or reputation. The very thing that the Gamers complain about most---that men won't unite against effete social trends---is a problem that they themselves are fueling with their hyper-individualism.
The Gray Ghost is also noteworthy in that it never addresses some of the obvious political failings of the Confederacy; such as its support for slavery or its hideous treatment of Union prisoners-of-war. Critics from the Left have pounced on this point, but it is our opinion is that this too was a deliberate move by the producers to illustrate a moral principle. To men of Mosby's character the personal is not political. Mosby is clearly operating on the premise that his duty is to a Higher Power and does not tie his sense of self-worth to the policies of the Confederate Government. It is noteworthy that the villains in this series are mostly those seeking to take advantage of and profit off of the Civil War. It shows a sense of respect for men of both sides: in one episode an arrogant Union general forces Mosby to beg for much needed medical supplies. Mosby ends up rescuing the son of one of the general's superiors and heaps coals of fire on his enemy's head by putting him in a position to beg for the boy but not enforcing it.
It's also very evident that the writers of this series were strongly influenced by Christian values, which stand out in several scenes. Mosby often puts himself at personal risk to help others in need throughout the series---once even breaking into a Union prison to rescue a female spy.
The Gray Ghost is genuinely good programming for those who enjoy drama of this genre. It's almost worth watching for its sheer political incorrectness alone; there is absolutely nothing in this series that a postmodern 'Progressive' would enjoy seeing. To make it even more aggravating to the Cultural Marxists, The Gray Ghost was billed in 1957 as family-viewing; meaning suitable for children. Nonetheless, there was considerable action, and some very well-written stories involving often sophisticated moral and philosophical issues. It's a series that really stands out over any of the sanitized, politically correct dramas of today.
The Gray Ghost is in the public domain and available on DVD. As of this writing, about 1/4 of the episodes are published free on Youtube.