Key to Survival


James Catron

Lawyers and injunctions will not prevent the destruction of the Western rural culture and lifestyle. We must develop and maintain an expression of our way and it must commence with knowledge of our history.

That our ranching and mining techniques and tools are Celtic is obvious to anyone familiar with Scottish and Spanish history. But millions of rural Westerners are not familiar with that history, with who we are and where we came from.

The education and information of those who have never learned the lessons of the past is an ongoing and never-ending process. Anthropologists are still piecing together the dim reaches of knowledge of these people.

Personally, I do not write of Celtic culture and history from racial or ethnic pride. Genetically, I am much more Iroquoian, Muskogeon, and Nordic than Celtic. However, like millions of Western Americans, my culture and my political beliefs are more shaped and dominated by ancient Celtic attitudes towards government and governors than by any other ethos.

Native American Indians and grandsons of German immigrants in the West alike share ancient Celtic styles and fashions in music, clothing, and politics. The things we consider Western are really Celtic. For example, the curvilinear, flowing vegetal designs seen in Western clothing, boots, and belts are extremely old and descend directly from the Gaels who terrorized the classical civilizations of antiquity. Exactly the same motifs and designs occur on helmets and arms from three and four thousand years ago.

Rock and roll music came out of the mix of Appalachian folk music and black jazz. Appalachia is the American home of the descendents of those Scotch-Irish who emptied Ulster in the 1720's and came to America seeking freedom from imperial dominance. They brought with them their music and their jigs. Less adulterated is County and Western music; its rhythms and themes are classically Gaelic.

Scores of writers for centuries have remarked upon the pride and obsession with freedom of the redneck, an epithet used to describe Celtic peoples for over twelve hundred years. That pride and love of liberty are cultural, passed from generation to generation from the times when most of Europe and half of Asia was dominated by Celtic societies ruled by a tall, slim red-headed warrior-aristocracy.

When the might of Rome crushed that warrior society in ancient Gaul and Iberia, it refused to submit and fled to the Highlands and Islands of Britain. Centuries later, the same families were transported to America as enemies of the British Empire. They resisted the Federal government in the War of 1860-1865 and many were pushed into the American West.

Go to the libraries and learn for yourselves of the origins of Western American culture. Learn who you are and defend your ways from the homogenization of empire. If you do not, your grandchildren will be as rootless and as lost as the hippies.