Author Topic: Threat of possible US Civil War  (Read 22951 times)

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Offline Thucydides

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Re: Threat of possible US Civil War
« Reply #50 on: November 05, 2018, 23:42:47 »
The story in the United States is a replay of a very old story. The History of the Peloponnesian Wars has a similar event, if on a smaller scale:

Quote
Corcyra’s revolution in 427 BC, the fifth year of the Peloponnesian War, is a paradigm of revolutionary logic. Thucydides tells us that the citizens’ divisions had been of the garden-variety economic kind. Its Assembly had taken an ordinary vote on an ordinary measure. But the vote’s losers, refusing to accept political defeat, brought criminal charges against their opponents’ leader. By thus criminalizing differences over public policy, by using political power to hurt their opponents, they gave the revolutionary spiral its first turn. The spiral might have stopped when the accused was acquitted. But, he, instead of letting bygones be bygones, convinced the assembly to fine those who had brought the charges. After all, they had to be taught not to do such things again. The assembly approved the fine. But the second use of political power to hurt opponents gave the revolutionary spiral its second turn. Had the original wrongdoers paid up, the problem might have ended right there. Instead, outraged, they gave it the third push, bursting into the Assembly and murdering him. That ended all private haven from political strife. Civil war spiraled into mutual destruction, until the city was well-nigh depopulated.

This article lays out the possibility in the United States, and where the danger of a civil war comes from: the political, academic, media and bureaucratic classes which refuse to accept they may be disempowered by the voters and taxpaying citizens.

We may see something similar here, the election of Doug Ford in Ontario and the Coalition Avenir Québec shows some of the signs of a populist movement away from the "Laurentian Elites", and globally we see many attempts to push back against populism.

The author holds out a small hope: If voters continue to punish the authoritarian "elites" in the 2018 Mid Terms, the 2019 Canadian General Election and in other places, then the "elites" will be forced into a defensive posture and have less ability to continue preying on taxpayers. However, cornered animals are perhaps the most dangerous....
« Last Edit: November 05, 2018, 23:48:58 by Thucydides »
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline Journeyman

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Re: Threat of possible US Civil War
« Reply #51 on: November 06, 2018, 09:25:27 »
This article lays out the possibility in the United States, and where the danger of a civil war comes from: the political, academic, media and bureaucratic classes which refuse to accept they may be disempowered by the voters and taxpaying citizens.
I'm a long-time fan of Angelo Codevilla and his insightful writings on International Relations.  However he's been quiet recently, except for occasions where he has 'strayed' from his SME field to tilt at windmills on things like political correctness.  C'est la vie.


That said, I whole-heartedly agree with his sentiment:
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The logic is rooted in disdain, but not so much of any of the supposed inferiors’ features or habits. If it were, the deplored could change their status by improving. But the Progressives deplore the “deplorables” not to improve them, but to feel good about themselves. Hating people for what they are and because it feels good to hate them, is hate in its unalloyed form
….. while disagreeing with the labels;  neither side has cornered the market on dishonourable behaviours. 

Perhaps this is the reason for his indifferent,  "in our revolution, as in others, which side first transgressed civility’s canons matters only historically."  This, while acknowledging but dismissing Trump's role in increasingly hostile narratives:  "Donald Trump was out of central casting—seemingly a caricature of what the ruling class said about its opponents.  But the words he spoke were less significant than that he spoke with angry contempt for the ruling class." 

Indeed, for both sides (whether via Twitter or collectively lying to Congress to block a nomination), "truth comes to be what serves to increase fellow partisans’ animus against socio-political opponents, and words to mean neither more nor less than what serves the speaker at any given time."

As such, given both sides' public lamentations, "cornered animals are perhaps the most dangerous...." is applicable to both parties, and possibly the collateral damage people in the middle who are susceptible to the manipulations of the more extreme.



ps - I personally find him blaming universities for the hatred to be laughable.  I think a growing number people see them as little more than an irrelevant cushy place to hide people who claim 'feminist interpretive dance' is some legitimate field of research.  But then, I encouraged my children to work for a living -- either through a college where they could learn an employable respectable trade, or directly.  YMMV

Offline Old Sweat

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Re: Threat of possible US Civil War
« Reply #52 on: November 06, 2018, 09:59:24 »
I found myself thinking back to the 1960s, a decade of turmoil and political unrest on both sides of the border. Back then much of the unrest seemed to have originated on the left which rebelled against the rampant materialism - at least as they saw it - of the 1950s. Public order had deteriorated to such an extent that well into the 1970s much of our force structure planning was based on being able to assist the civil authority in containing one major and one minor riot in two different areas of the country at the same time.

The situation, causes and effects may be different now, but at least in the US there seems to be enough dissatisfaction at both ends of the political spectrum to keep the authorities worried, and the pundits chattering away. I don't know if the term "civil war" is one I would have used. The situation seems to be more akin to stage one of revolutionary warfare, except that the rebels are of many causes. Perhaps the solution is more political and social than one for law enforcement and, heaven forbid, the military. May an attack of mass laryngitis descend on the rabble rousers, whatever their persuasion, long enough to allow people to cool down.

Offline Brad Sallows

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Re: Threat of possible US Civil War
« Reply #53 on: November 07, 2018, 12:51:05 »
I think it highly unlikely there will be a civil war over social issues in the US unless a "Permanent X Majority" really does emerge - because that "majority" will probably be only a few percentage points above 50%.
That which does not kill me has made a grave tactical error.

"It is a damned heavy blow; but whining don't help."

Despair is a sin.

Offline Thucydides

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Re: Threat of possible US Civil War
« Reply #54 on: November 07, 2018, 23:43:11 »
The situation, causes and effects may be different now, but at least in the US there seems to be enough dissatisfaction at both ends of the political spectrum to keep the authorities worried, and the pundits chattering away. I don't know if the term "civil war" is one I would have used. The situation seems to be more akin to stage one of revolutionary warfare, except that the rebels are of many causes. Perhaps the solution is more political and social than one for law enforcement and, heaven forbid, the military. May an attack of mass laryngitis descend on the rabble rousers, whatever their persuasion, long enough to allow people to cool down.

Sadly, I think we have slipped into "Bleeding Kansas" territory. We have already seen acts of political violence, such as BLM assassinating 5 police officers, James Hodgkinson attempting to assassinate Republican lawmakers at a charity baseball practice, Eric Clanton striking up to seven people on the head with a bike lock (a potentially lethal blow), Rene A. Boucher attaching Senator Paul with such force that several of the Senator's ribs were broken....and continuing calls for violence from Democrats like Maxine Walters.

At some point, people are not going to sit passively and let themselves or their property be attacked, spinning the cycle to another level.
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline Xylric

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Re: Threat of possible US Civil War
« Reply #55 on: November 08, 2018, 00:19:58 »
I've considered the possibility a legitimately increasing risk within the next twenty years ever since I read Luttwak's Coup d'Etat: A Practical Handbook. As was described to me by a friend who once ran for a minor government office in his home state, the Untied States of America is the result of taking the core features from each of a monarchy, a republic, and a democracy - each of which form one of the three branches of the government. The US is merely a meta-stable state, and well, certain politicians and notable figures are quite clearly functionally equivalent to a mathematical strange attractor.

The only real question I have is whether or not the equilibrium state within this particular system is one which external observers are willing to accept.

Offline daftandbarmy

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Re: Threat of possible US Civil War
« Reply #56 on: November 10, 2018, 08:56:18 »
Revolutions were a lifesaver for me when I was doing my history degree, I've got a lousy memory and they gave me some good milestones to work from, hence I'm quite fond of them in a twisted fashion.

I like this book  'The Anatomy of Revolution', which gives a hint of some measures you can use related to the relative likelihood of a revolt breaking out based on a review of some revolutions in the past. As noted, however, America rarely follows any rule book:

"According to Brinton, while "we must not expect our revolutions to be identical" (p. 226), three of the four (the English, French and Russian) began "in hope and moderation", reached "a crisis in a reign of terror", and ended "in something like dictatorship—Cromwell, Bonaparte, Stalin". The exception is the American Revolution, which "does not quite follow this pattern" (p. 24)."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Anatomy_of_Revolution
"The most important qualification of a soldier is fortitude under fatigue and privation. Courage is only second; hardship, poverty and want are the best school for a soldier." Napoleon

Offline Brad Sallows

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Re: Threat of possible US Civil War
« Reply #57 on: November 10, 2018, 12:08:48 »
Neither did the 1688 revolution mount to terror or end in dictatorship.
That which does not kill me has made a grave tactical error.

"It is a damned heavy blow; but whining don't help."

Despair is a sin.