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Name: Kurt Cagle
Gender: Male
Hometown: Cascadia
Member since: Sat Dec 3, 2016, 01:02 AM
Number of posts: 1,475

About Me

Contributing Writer, Forbes Magazine

Journal Archives

The Coming Uncivil War

Twenty five years ago, I predicted that the United States will have become two or more countries by 2040. Today, I'm convinced that it will happen sooner than that.

The Supreme Court is systematically dismantling the progressive agenda and making no excuses about it. Gerrymandering is next up in the queue, which will be followed by every red state locking in draconian maps. Civil rights of all sorts will soon follow. Should, by some miracle, the House and Senate stay in Democratic hands in 2022, you will see defeated Republicans refusing to accept the results of even seemingly clear elections. If Republicans do manage to take the House and Senate, you'll see kangaroo courts attempting to impeach and remove Biden and Harris within days of being sworn in. By 2024, it will not matter whether Trump is running or not - the coup will have been successful.

Most people in the US think about Civil War in the context of the American Civil War of 1861-1865, with states breaking away from the Union, creating a separate country, fielding armies with uniforms, guns, and cannons. What most people (especially those unfamiliar with history) do not understand is how anomalous that war really was, that it was a reflection of 19th century social and warfare conventions.

I believe that we are actually in an Uncivil War, denoted by coup attempts, increasing polarization, authoritarianism vs democratic structures, fundamentalism, and radicalism. It becomes feasible when one party no longer has any interest in following any rules but its own, and who actively subvert the rule of law in favor of the rule of might (in this case, financial, rather than physical, might). The problem that Democrats face ultimately is that almost by definition are the Party of Law - they have to follow the rules, even when those rules are being turned against them, or they lose any real authority that they may have.

My expectation is that, as the Republicans continue into overreach territory, their actions are going to be seen as unpalatable to a larger and larger cross-section of the electorate. There will be a counter-backlash, and when that happens, they will lack the numbers to keep hold of the government. At that point, I think at that point that you'll see a formal break and secession, more than likely starting with Texas.

I've heard (and made) a number of arguments about why individual secession is likely to fail. Secession is illegal, of course, but there's a paradox there - once you have seceded, you are no longer a part of the political structure. In places like Texas, there is a heavy US military presence, but the question comes down to whether the commanding officers for enough bases can be subverted - the right bribes to the right generals could very easily pay off handsomely. Texas is purple, but the Texas political structure is quite red. Yes, Texas would lose key companies and people if they chose to secede, but Texas would also take with it Louisianna, Oklahoma, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, Kansas, possibly Arkansas and Missouri, and perhaps even as far north as Ohio, West Virginia, North Carolina, Virginia, Indiana, Iowa, Wyoming, and North and South Dakota. Collectively, these states account for about 42 percent of the population, but they also separate East from West.

Would a plebiscite of the people vote to secede in each state? Not likely. Would the far right, gerrymandered to hell legislatures? In a heartbeat. In some cases like Virginia, you might even see Northern Virginia break off from Virginia even as West Virginia gets reabsorbed. In this scenario, you end up with resistances, red and blue, forming in their respective states. This doesn't become North against South. It becomes fifty individual battle zones. It becomes clumps of states banding together because the federal authority has been deliberately compromised. and ultimately, it will end up devastating the rural zones even as control devolves from the states to cities along the various highway corridors. This is what "civil" war looks like today.

Such a war would be fought with both flying and tank-like drones, with "liberated" artillery, and with stealth attacks on civilian targets. It might look vaguely like what's happening in Ukraine, but the Russians and the Ukranians are battling with twenty year old technology. It might even go nuclear. In the end, the war won't end with a bang but with a whimper, as war weary states that haven't been bombed into the stone age establish a new, very raw peace.

I hope this nightmare scenarios doesn't happen, but I'm becoming increasingly pessimistic.

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