Just a few thoughts before getting back to normal:
If you follow any political discourse, mainstream or fringe, you’re almost bound to have heard we’re headed for a new Civil War (no I don’t just make this stuff up!).
There have been a few basic themes developing–a common one, expressed by Terry Teachout (who preaches as a Moderate Conservative and seems to practice as one, too, which makes him a reliable guide to a big chunk of conventional thought) is that we’ll split up into a set of Balkanized states, each going their own way by legal means and diplomatic wrangling, serving their own best interests.
Others predict simple chaos. Still others predict a more tightly controlled central government which will rule by direct force. And, of course, still others think we’ll muddle through somehow, as happened in the 1960’s.
I’m not in any of these camps, nor do I have any big idea of some different possibility no one’s thought of yet. (Though I note I’ve found no respectable opinion provider willing to state another obvious possibility–that of massive military defeat and takeover by a foreign power or powers. I think everyone assumes we’ll be able to nuke our way out of that one. There were plenty who once thought the same about the Soviet Union. Nukes are the new Greek Fire.)
What I do believe is that some things are inevitable. (This is assuming we don’t miraculously return to civilizational norms post haste…and anyone who follows along here knows what odds I’d take on that.)
So, when the Big Breakup comes, next month or next century, it will be different from our first, founding Civil War in these ways:
–It won’t be fought over some straightforward issue like slavery. Slavery rested on a legal structure. It could be changed by legal means. Means that–unlike outlawing “racism” etc.–could be imposed or rejected by a victor.
–Liberal Democracy as we have known it will have no side. If you’re for it, you will be left in the cold. If you resist, see below.
–It won’t be fought by entities who are neatly divided by geography. That means the points of conflict will be purely ideological–and run to the extremes. Those caught openly practicing the minority view in heir own neighborhood will be swiftly rounded up and dealt with by local standards. Richer environs may opt for detention centers (i.e., concentration or slave camps). Elsewhere, public executions will be preferred. Count on attendance being mandatory.
–I don’t know if nuclear weapons will be deployed. The reasons they haven’t been deployed since the end of WWII (i.e., Mutual Assured Destruction) will probably still hold. But everything else will be on the table and the side that deploys them most effectively in any given arena will prevail.
–If anyone does manage to gain some kind of central control over such a conflict, it will be by means that make Hitler and Stalin look like Sunday School teachers (and those who think Lincoln belongs in their company look even dumber than the box of rocks they resemble now).
–There will be no mercy for the loser.
The details of how all this will shake out?
Via my usual sources, I am privy to a piece of the soundtrack. It’s from the early, hopeful days….