To sum up the series to date: in my estimation, a ‘shooting’ civil war is not likely in the near term, notwithstanding the deteriorating conditions. Structurally, America has several important ‘checks’ on such a development which are not going to disappear any time soon. However, that does not at all mean that our sense that the conditions have deteriorated is misplaced. Moreover, we must bear in mind how such things tend to unfold in actual reality. Even when things are percolating but seem under control, an event can take place which can change everything. I call such events ‘catalysts.’
Take something like 9-11 as an example. Now, people might very well acknowledge that 9-11 significantly changed the landscape of the United States, but most people would, I think, agree that in the main, the landscape was not changed so much as to make us worry about the actual social fabric of the country. But this attitude is myopic and short-sighted. Why should we think that our only insights into how calamities occur are derived from the West? If that is our attitude, then 9-11 was important, but not landscape changing… for the United States. But for Iraq and Afghanistan, 9-11 was seismic in its ramifications.
Imagine, if you will, an Iraqi citizen on 9-12-01. Regardless of his feelings about the attacks, he probably doesn’t feel like his status quo is at risk. Hussein had been playing fast and loose with weapons inspectors for a long time. Things were not great for most people in Iraq, but there was a baseline of order which kept the worst currents from expressing themselves. It is not likely that this Iraqi citizen would have recognized 9-11 as a catalyst for him.
Once the brutal hand of Hussein was lifted off the throats of the innocent and guilty alike, those elements were free to manifest. At that point, it became apparent how fragile the relative freedom in Iraq really was. At that point, it became apparent how dangerous Islamic theology really was. Iraqis may have thought before hand that Christians, Yazidis, and Muslims of various stripes could indeed get along just fine, but this turned out to be an illusion–as the Christians and Yazidis violently discovered. The conditions for destruction were there all along. The perception of ‘order’ based on any kind of social ties, etc, was a fantasy. In reality, Iraq was only being held together by Hussein.
As an aside: You can well imagine that when eventually ISIS would raise its head, the people of Iraq wished that they had a 2nd amendment and a culture which understood its necessity!
We can produce many such examples throughout history if we were so inclined. Unfortunately, there are many, many, many people who know nothing about history. They do not understand that history is a giant window into the reality of human nature. Rather than look through that window, they look only at their present moment–a tiny peep hole compared to the giant window, and base their perceptions of American society based on that extremely small, limited, view.
A wider view tells us that catalysts happen. A wider view tells us that the things we count on often fail when put under stress. A wider view tells us that we cannot take peace and civility for granted. It must be maintained and sustained, and to do that, we have to understand how it came to be in the first place.
In the case of Iraq in 2001, ‘peace and civility’ was maintained and sustained by a tyrant. With the tyrant gone, so went ‘peace and civility.’ If we do not know how the ‘peace and civility’ in America of 2019 is maintained, then we risk 2 things: 1., undermining the very things which give us that ‘peace and civility’ and 2., mistaking which things are the ones that give us that ‘peace and civility.’
Both #1 and #2 are under threat in the United States.
Another consequence of a failure to know and appreciate human nature as history testifies it to be is that people do not understand just how different it used to be. An unhealthy number of Americans today don’t understand that the first people to came to America did so trying to escape tyrants and brutalities. Often, their very life was at stake. When they set out to establish a new society, it was a specific and explicit goal to build one which would be resistant to tyrants and brutalities. It was the point.
In a sad, disturbing irony, the first Americans fled people who are just like these modern Americans. Indeed, over the course of several centuries, American would absorb people fleeing all kinds of tyrannies, usually but not always of the European type. One of the most common traits of Americans prior to 1930 or so is their desire to escape tyrants of various types.
Only now, there is no where else to flee to.
Many people who are aware of these facts still think that that because we live in a different time, people themselves are different. You hear this sort of thing all the time in many different contexts. One example is the argument that we don’t need a second amendment anymore because it is just silly to think that our government could do X.
Since most genocides are perpetrate by governments, and genocides are occurring, even today, such a sentiment is obviously baseless, born of a fantasy and illusion. But that’s not the point I’m trying to make in this ‘wrap up.’ The other assumption buried in this argument is the idea that we will even have a government which we could rely on. That’s what I’m getting at with the Iraqi story. There were ample reasons for Iraqis to understand that the status quo was maintained by one man, and that there was little within the fabric of their communities or the society at large to hold things together once that man was gone. What if our government was gone? Would our communities or our society at large hold together?
If the answer is “No,” then we have big, big, big problems.
If the answer is “Yes,” then all is well.
My answer is, “Yes, but barely.”
People act as though the status quo in the US is going to go on and on and on, even as they pick at the things that sustain that status quo. What if a meteor struck Washington DC, wiping out the entire Federal apparatus? What if terrorists attempted to decapitate our economy, by destroying the center of our trade, while simultaneously trying to decapitate our military, by destroying the Pentagon, while simultaneously trying to decapitate our leadership, by destroying the Congress and/or White House? I know, right? WHAT ARE THE ODDS?
What if a bureaucratic coup is attempted on the duly elected president of the United States? What if such a coup had succeeded? What if P O T U S is assassinated?
Things can change overnight. If–or shall I say, when–they do, will our communities hold together?
I said “Yes, but barely.” I believe that there is a much more robust social structure that exists beyond Leviathan. At the community level, there is still an emphasis on shall we say, “God, family, and country.” With the way our country is designed, to the extent that we actually operate within those designs, much falls on state governments, and then county governments.
That means that wiping out the Federal government still leaves the infrastructure of 50 separate states to continue operating, and within each of those states, to various degrees, the governments are in closer contact to the people actually being governed.
Emphasis, here, on “to the extent that we actually operate within those designs.”
But we should also point out that there is a sustained attack on each of the three elements I said helped hold individual communities together: God, family, and country.
All three of these things have been dispensed with by many Americans. I’m not writing this with the ones who dispensed with them in mind. If you’re reading this at all, you probably already know exactly what I mean. Thus, I will leave it to the reader to parse out the relationships between our ‘peace and civility’ and ‘God’, ‘family’, and ‘country,’ and from there attempt to discern what happens to our ‘peace and civility’ if the former three are stripped away.
In my last post on this topic, I gave some concrete examples of how our ‘peace and civility’ have been threatened by how certain agendas have been attained in this country. The ‘how’ is critically important. I would like to take a moment to address some of the ‘agendas’ which have the potential to eventuate ‘catalysts’ or make the soil more fertile for a ‘shooting’ civil war.
Perhaps a better analogy on this is that the ‘how’ is raising the temperature, but some of the ‘agendas’ are throwing highly combustible materials in large amounts into an area already getting uncomfortably warm. The people doing this are almost exclusively on the ‘left’ who, since they are ignorant of history, have zero concept that if you raise the temperature hot enough, everything burns, but certain things will certainly spontaneously combust at much lower temperatures. All that assumes that someone doesn’t throw a lit match into the room. Or, more innocently, merely turns on their phone–generating a spark, at just the wrong time in just the wrong conditions.
There are many ‘agendas’ which constitute ‘highly combustible material.’ I would like to bring up the one that seems the most likely to ignite a conflagration in the near term, with the caveats already mentioned on my estimation that–in the near term–such a conflagration is unlikely, and the caveat that I am well aware that the actual catalyst could be something no one could predict.
Here I think we need to repeat what I said in the third post in my ‘Civil War’ series:
… its a wonder that more people haven’t figured out that much conflict between humans occurs because one group of people wishes to impose their views on other people. […] The obvious solution to reducing conflict, then, is to radically limit how much people impose their views on other people.
It is a further wonder that more people haven’t figured out that in America over the last 100 years or so, much of that imposition has been in the name of ‘compassion’ and ‘the common good.’ It’s not like we have people proposing the erection of concentration camps replete with ovens and putting that up to a vote! No, everyone has the best intentions behind their proposals, and they expect to have their proposals judged based on the intentions they are put forward.
It is funny, I say such things, and the same person who sees it and comments on this specific passage, still says that I am describing leftists as “the other half of the nation [who are] a bunch of evil demons intent on destroying everything by not playing by the rules.”
Such cognitive dissonance is par for the course with this particular individual, but I raise it here again because it is precisely this dissonance which is turning up the ‘temperature.’ The problem is emphatically not that liberals are ‘a bunch of demons’ but emphatically is because they have ‘the best intentions.’
If they were ‘a bunch of demons’ it would be easy. And if it was possible to judge them only on the intentions behind their proposals, it would be easy, too. But since their proposals in actual history have led to tyranny and hundreds of millions of people murdered and/or starved to death, we are left in the difficult position wherein otherwise decent people advocate and PUSH and PUSH and PUSH for demonic policies. With no introspection on their part, and little to no awareness of the consequences or implications of their own ideas.
To the degree that they are aware of how things have gone down before, they are quite confident that this time it will be different!
The words of C.S. Lewis out of “God in the Dock” puts it well:
Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.
The ‘tyranny sincerely exercised’ that is on our doorstop is that old monster and its various children which we can call ‘Collectivism.’ Again: the stage is set such that many different ‘tyrants’ could emerge, depending on how circumstances arise. Nonetheless, we presently have a setting where the legitimate Democrat candidate for president for 2016, Bernie Sanders, is an avowed socialist. AoC is unabashedly a socialist and her “Green New Deal” reeks of collectivism. Pretty much every one of the 2020 Democrat candidates have come out in favor of various socialization proposals which are tantamount to collectivism. Obamacare is collectivist, and passed on a party line basis–which means that every single elected Democrat voted for it.
Collectivism has never worked, does not work now, and will never work. It has been tried endlessly with failed results in all cases. In the relatively few places where Collectivism has not sunk the entire country, the country is descending deeper and deeper into debt, suggesting that in a decade or so, if not sooner, depending on circumstances, they could each have their turn as the next Venezuela. Most of the time, where Collectivism was enacted, individual liberty was severely curtailed. In the very few places where Collectivism was not immediately associated with draconian control of individuals, the trends are clearly in that direction. England and Canada are perfect examples of this.
Meanwhile, as every single elected Democrat voted for socialized medicine (with an obvious eye to socialize it even more, in time), every single elected Republican voted against it. It was party line, remember? This was followed by 4 consecutive elections where Democrats and their policies–increasingly identical to collectivist policies–were utterly repudiated. That would strongly suggest a firm resolve against socialism. And yet….
Donald Trump says that “America will never be a socialist country.” I don’t agree. Given the examples 3 paragraphs above, America very well will be a socialist country. In 20-40 years, after the public schools and colleges finish their work, it may actually be the case that Americans ‘voluntarily’ embrace socialism. As it stands today, a solid 50% of the country, if not more, reject collectivism. You will have to shoot them in order to implement it.
In light of that, why shouldn’t the Democrats just bide their time? Just wait a little longer, and you will have all you want, and without bloodshed. (At least, no bloodshed until decades later, and the country implodes, as it almost certainly will.) That’s not the way they think, though. Remember, we have AoC out there saying we only have 12 years before we’ve reached the point of no return re: ‘climate change’, meaning we need to act NOW. TODAY. Come hell or high water! And, disturbingly, she has framed her ‘Green New Deal’ in terms of one of the the world’s bloodiest wars. Granted, this was in view of how the GND was to be funded, but seeing as she’s never going to get her proposals passed except on a party line basis, and not obeyed by anyone else, the logic of the ‘war’ analogy suggests the obvious course of action which they are going to have to undertake: violent subjugation. Reluctantly, of course.
Since the collectivists seem to also accept as FACT this 12 year horizon (or at least, they present it as FACT), it seems likely that the hysteria and desperation will percolate up into violence. Add to this the fact that they believe the people on the other side of these debates are actual Nazis, you can be sure that there will be as much exuberance as there is ‘reluctance.’
Considering that they contemplating a near term deadline to prevent (as they see it) the deaths of hundreds of millions of people, if not billions, it is hard to see how if they really believed that, they would be opposed to a judicial use of overwhelming force to coerce compliance. Unlike people like myself, who believe that all human lives have intrinsic value that is bestowed by God, not other humans, these do not have the same ‘checks’ built into their ideology that I do for taking human life. Quite to the contrary, their ideology contains aspects that weigh them heavily in a direction which regards human lives as ultimately meaningless, and disposable when it comes to the ‘preservation of the species.’
That whole series on ‘how the left went wrong’? This is why. Please see the post on Darwinism and Utilitarianism for more.
There is no way that America is going to voluntarily adopt the GND, nor accept the UN’s 12 year horizon. I figure they have got to know this. If they really believed it, I would think, as I argued in another post, that they would fix on the climate aspect like a laser, and set aside all the Marxist excrement. But what if the Marxism is the goal, and the ‘climate’ is only the latest pretext? If that is the case–and a strong argument can be made that it is–then the mention of the 12 year horizon is an indication that they have grown impatient with people resisting their Marxist plans. Things may end up moving quite quickly.
I think I’ve made it clear by now that I believe that a ‘shooting’ civil war is most unlikely in the near term, for reasons I laid out in the early part of the series. I doubt even that the Collectivists could instigate it, and they’re not likely to succeed. But, ‘catalysts happen.’ In my perception of history, there rarely is just ‘one’ thing that is the cause of things that happen, anyway. Attempts to implement the GND will be seen against various backdrops, each adding their different dynamics to how things actually unfold.
Still, here is a semi-plausible scenario–which should be read in the full context of this series in particular, and the 2 other series on the ‘left’ that preceded it. It also reflects my general answer to those (conservatives) concerned about a ‘shooting’ civil war that there can be no ‘conventional’ ‘shooting’ war so long as Americans are armed according to the second amendment. This reality is, no doubt, one of the big reasons why the left wants to dismantle the second amendment and confiscate anything beyond a musket.
Suppose that as part of the GND and a combination of SCOTUS decisions exhibiting the same contempt for the rule of law as Roe and Obergefell exhibited, parents were forbidden from telling their own children that there were only two genders. Maybe something along this, but implemented nationally.
Last Wednesday, The Federalist reported that the Supreme Court of British Columbia, Canada, declared a father guilty of family violence for his polite refusal to refer to his daughter as a boy in private, and his repeated choice to affirm in media interviews that she is a girl.
Clark argued that his child had been misled and brainwashed by online activists and school administrators, who began to treat Maxine as a transgender boy at school, without informing her parents, when she was only 12 years old.
There are so many points of friction with this that any one of them could serve as a ‘catalyst.’ Between BC’s Supreme Court’s wild departure from the real world, to the potential of actual arrest, to the role of school administrators, and the complicity of the medical establishment, one can imagine that at any one of these points someone could feel ‘backed into a corner’ and react as one might expect. Parents might try to flee with their children to a place that is sane, but find none–or be accused of kidnapping, child abuse, or who knows what, and be extradited even if they think they found a safe haven (example, example, and example). Or, authorities might kick down the door and attempt an arrest. But remember, I’m not talking about Canada, Europe, or Australia, here. This is America. If such incidents became common, it is inevitable that one or more door kicked down is met with bullets coming the other direction.
This behavior is increasingly common by statists, so unfortunately this is no hare-brained hypothetical. Still, I’m not predicting this will happen, I’m laying out a potential way things could explode. Ok, so let’s stick with the hypothetical, and contamplate what the statist reaction to a violent response to their violent incursions based on stupidity and fanatical irrealism would be. Would statists say to themselves, “Well, gee. We really pissed some people off, here. We now have a half dozen or so police officers dead. Maybe it was we who were too aggressive. Maybe our viewpoint on the role of parents, gender, etc, needs to be re-thought. Maybe we shouldn’t have just stood by while SCOTUS unilaterally overturned numerous state amendments related to this, etc, and sought a different way.”
That is not how statists think.
No, a statist would say, “Well, it was unfortunate, but we can’t very well let people shoot our officials.” A statist would say, “We cannot save the earth unless we have ‘justice and equity‘ and we only have 6 more years to do it. These radicalized people are standing in the way of progress, while the stakes are so high! If we don’t let boys identify as girls at the age of six, the earth is going to die!” A statist would say, “Well, that’s that. We knew that eventually people would use their guns to attack government officials. They are so anti-government! It’s time to confiscate the guns.”
That’s how it will happen. The whole culture will be permeated with leftist absurdities which they push, and push, and push, and push, with never a consideration that it may be them in the wrong, and then something will ‘pop.’ Whatever that is, that will not be cause for introspection on their part. It will be the pretext to take away the guns. And they won’t bother with formally abolishing the second amendment, as that very well could turn things very ‘hot’ overnight, and they know it. Their goal is to boil the frog to death before the frog knows he’s in trouble. So, they’ll do it by getting the 6th circuit to rule that “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed” actually reads, “…the right of the Federal government to be armed, being necessary… but no one shall prevent people from walking around with bare arms.”
Supposing SCOTUS goes along with that, progressives throughout the country will give a great cheer, immediately enact a gun confiscation program, and demand that gun owners immediately submit to the ‘rule of law’ and give up their guns.
Which will not happen.
I’m not saying this is how it will happen. I’m saying if anything were to happen, this is basically the structure of how it would happen.
The above scenario is crazy, but not too crazy as to be impossible. But that doesn’t change my belief that Americans are going to put their foot down long before they get to this point. Even liberals are finding this gender bending stuff to be nonsense. Even liberals are disgusted with the way that free speech is shot down, sometimes by mob force. And so on. Where I suspect we’ll end up is how things were in the 1960s, where the ‘bad’ people, now believing that the earth has only a few years, and then only a few months before it DIES, resort to bombings, death squads, targeted assassinations, and so on. And then, as in the 60s, the ‘silent majority’ will prevail.
But I can’t be sure about that. We’re talking about people who are confused about genitalia but are nonetheless certain that the world is beyond hope after a scant 12 years. We’re talking about people who think Trump was a Russian agent guilty of treason, based on headlines and CNN reporting, alone. We’re talking about people who believe a measles outbreak of less than a thousand cases and no deaths is cause for a national crisis, while they sit idly by as more people die EACH YEAR from ‘imported’ drugs, as soldiers who died in the ENTIRE VIETNAM WAR (50,000+). No crisis there!
We’re talking about a lot of people who are completely, and utterly, delusional. And they are crazy-assed-dangerous, not terribly bright, but thoroughly convinced of their moral righteousness.
In the immortal words of AoC:
I think that there’s a lot of people more concerned about being precisely, factually, and semantically correct than about being morally right.
And they are absolutely convinced that they are morally right. Reality be damned.
Sell your cloak and buy one.