This morning commenter Frank posted several paragraphs from an article by Michael Anton. The article is from last winter, so it's behind events. Nevertheless, it raises matters of concern for many:
The election and its aftermath.
One of those concerns for many is the fear that Blue America could rise up and subjugate Red America. In that context Anton quotes Christopher Caldwell, writing in The New Republic (of all places). Caldwell likens our current crisis to the unification movements of the 19th century in Germany, Italy, and--yes--the United States.
The comparison within the context of the 19th century is interesting--but not truly parallel, as far as the United States is concerned. I believe the analogy is even further afield when applied to 21st century America. Germany and Italy in the 19th century were cultural spheres that had a sense of true belonging together, but were politically disunited due to outside forces (as well, admittedly, by internal forces). The United States, by contrast, subsisted as a constitutional republic subject to centrifugal forces. The challenge in America was to resist the forces of disunion--although the result was a greater degree of unity than the federal republic envisioned by the founders.
In 21st century America there is a very real cultural divide, as well as religious and ethnic division. This mirrors to some extent the situations in Germany and Italy. However, I would argue that Blue America itself lacks the degree of unity needed to impose its vision of hegemonic unity. The Dem coalition is far more deeply fractured than is Red America--it is, to borrow Steve Sailer's apt phrase, truly a "coalition of the fringes". This contrasts with Germany and Italy. In Germany the Prussian unifying juggernaut was quite homogeneous, as was the House of Savoy in Italy.
Again by contrast, Blue America would, in my opinion, be far more likely to attempt to secede from the rest of America than to aggressively seek to subjugate it. Tucker Carlson has said that the Left has captured all the drones and tanks without a fight. We understand what he's saying, but that's not really the case. The trained warriors in the military are a relatively small and elite group. They are, by and large, not woke. The wokesters have taken over the higher, politicized ranks, and the administrative posts. You would not want to back them if push came to shove against the trained warriors, who would not be in the least inclined to subjugate Red American on behalf of Blue America.
At any rate, here is Anton, basically as quoted by Frank:
Christopher Caldwell recently observed in the New Republic that
[i]n the 1860s, three major Western countries—Germany, Italy, and the United States—each fought similar wars of national unification, in which the more dynamic part of the country subjugated the more bucolic (or backward) part. In our time, Democrats are the party of relatively greater technological and demographic dynamism, Republicans the party of relatively less.
Subjugation, certainly, is the aim—with the events of January 6 to be used to justify whatever means are necessary. I wonder, though, whether the effort can turn out as successfully as the examples Caldwell cites. Does the Blue coalition really have the chops—that is, not merely the will but also the wherewithal—to cow and dominate at least 75 million independent-minded, self-sufficient, and (in many cases) ornery Americans?
The ruling class has backed Middle America into a corner. Keeping them there will require a level of cleverness and competence that, to say the least, our would-be masters have yet to demonstrate they possess. If they can manage, it will likely be because of new tools—above all Big Tech—no prior ruling class even dreamed of. Since we’re in uncharted waters here, the possibility cannot be ruled out. But even if technology does turn out to enable present arrangements to trundle on for a while, how long might that be? Five years? Ten? Twenty?
At any rate, there are reasons to believe that a resurgence of American spiritedness is possible—foremost among them the second-highest vote total in history, for a presidential candidate whom the entire socio-intellectual-media complex ordered the people to reject with prejudice. But there are also reasons—e.g., the opioid crisis—to fear widespread resignation and apathy. The longer present conditions can be made to continue, the more reasonable it is to assume that the latter will spread. Should half of America surrender to defeatism and its consolations—booze, drugs, porn, junk food, video games, streaming services, and sportsball—we shall test Blue America’s very high opinion of itself. For at that point we will find out whether the coasts are capable not merely of surviving without the heartland, but of rising to even greater heights without all that dead weight.
I share Anton's skepticism, as well as his misgivings about cultural trends in Middle America. There's no doubt about the Left's drive to take over the military--follow the link below for an overview of what's going on. If that drive should remain in place for long enough, the result will not be a woke and highly efficient fighting force. Rather, it will be a military riven by conflict, lack of discipline, and rank criminality. The competent will have left and will not be inclined to support the organization they will feel has betrayed them and their country against the parts of the country that they feel most akin to. To the contrary, they will offer a core of leadership and competence to Red America.
However, none of that is to suggest that we can rest easy. Follow this link for an overview of what the Left is attempting:
Tucker Carlson Blasting Republicans For Doing Nothing About The Woke Takeover Of The Military
I think there's too much emphasis on the red / blue team. What I don't see is team red "doing nothing". I see team red assisting, participating and even leading the way ahead of team blue on many things.ReplyDelete
For whatever reason that conversation gets really really uncomfortable. It shouldn't be but for whatever reason when you get into the idea that you've no team to cheer or other team to blame one's brain seems to panic.
I think a better analogy may be that we have oligarchy being headed off rapidly by a technocracy. But for the time being both are still nodding and smiling at each other.
If things go wrong the majority middle americans will treat it like it's May 2020.
I cannot see any precedent for what's going on, except perhaps in the early days of our Republic, when the states really were almost different countries. We are in tough times, but I do not believe that there is, outside of a small group of fanatics, any serious appetite for secession.ReplyDelete
I believe we are just in a very odd, and sadly, extremely destructive moment that will end soon enough, like a fever that will burn itself out.
As the article mentioned, "The ruling class has backed Middle America into a corner. Keeping them there will require a level of cleverness and competence that, to say the least, our would-be masters have yet to demonstrate they possess."
I certainly do not feel like I have a team for which to root. I know who should be acting like my team--but they do not. I don't fully understand why. The other team I completely understand--they play for keeps and do not care what happens if their drive for power goes off the rails.ReplyDelete
I think what is likely to happen is for somebody charismatic to come along and lead the charge against the Deep State. As somebody said recently, "Trump was their last chance." A lot of us are going to figure that it is either them or us. We will choose them.
Very concisely summarized PDQ, exactly that! thank you!Delete
Maybe a better way to look at the idea of subjugation and conflict is through the lens of 1930s Spain. There are many parallels to 2020 America.ReplyDelete
The 1920s and early 30s in Spain was a time of great societal upheaval. A transition from monarchy to democracy with Bolshevism and trade union socialism making loud demands. The role of the military and Catholic church was being challenged as well. When the coalition of leftists and center leftists (Popular Front) came to power in a national vote against a fractured conservative slate, a radical program of land confiscation, church property confiscation, and military purges followed. By 1936, the military acted, staging a coup. But many units declared allegiance to the government. What ensued was a mad scramble by each side to seize territory. Quickly, foreign governments provided increasing aid and advisors and even military units.
This rough scenario seems more likely than any other ive seen conjectured for America. If the oligarchy continues to push radical measures, at some point, it will be too much. Yes, many (most?) Americans are lazy and uncommitted. Ignore them. It's always like this. The American revolution was fought actively by a very small percentage of the colonists. Most either sat on the sidelines or gave secret aid where they could. So it will be now. It will be a spark setting off the proverbial powder keg and then the military will get involved, probably in a confused, contradictory mess until the lines are drawn. The National Guard will play a big part, particularly in red states, to level the playing field and perhaps keep conflict at a rough stalemate to allow a negotiated split or truce.
Now is the time to consider carefully where you live. All of us have a good sense of our community and how it might respond when, for example, DC demands the names of patriots in an effort to secure territory. In 1930s Spain, lord help you if you were catholic or a monarchist caught in Republic territory.
Best case scenario is the military upholds the oath and takes temporary control of government and we have a truly free and fair election to restore Constitutional rule. Then we will see just how blue these cities and states are without the oligarchs to rig voting and pad numbers.
While the Spanish case may seem closer, demographically the working class has long ago left the Dems in a cultural sense. In Republican Spain a radicalized working class was the backbone of the Left. What's the backbone of the Left in America, and would you want to lead a violent revolution with them?Delete
Excellent point, Mark. I agree, the working class in America has largely abandoned the...hesitate to say "Left" as the oligarchy is not easily classified left or right. Oligarchy will do. Nonetheless the Oligarchy has cultivated a pretty numerous following of government dependents, i.e., govt employees,public unions, welfare recipients, BLMTIFA types, full on wokesters, et al.Delete
My thesis is that these civil wars are not fought by large numbers on either side. They are fought (or instigated really) by the few with passive majority bystanders and the military dragged into it ineluctably.
So it is entirely conceivable that the oligarchs push policies including overhauling the military and gun confiscation that sets off a rebellion. Like the Spanish civil war, the military splits and each side grabs territory and consolidates its hold over captive populations.
Would this be a winning strategy for the oligarchs? No, I doubt they will have anything like the kind of time needed to really overhaul the active military, to say nothing of the National Guard, so their initial position would be tenuous. They will count on the patriots adopting a live and let live attitude. Many conservatives are perfectly willing to let whole states like California split off, regardless of the large numbers of patriots not living on the coast. Add in the possible indirect support from CCP and EU and it's anybody's guess who prevails.
Yeah A2, "the military" will get involved, probably in a confused, contradictory mess, but the 1930s Spanish regime lacked one option the current Wokesters have, i.e. conventional *missiles* which can be targeted/ fired by very *few specialized* personnel.Delete
How many such well-placed missiles, fired into "red" towns, would it take, for "red" America's backers to be so decimated, that suppressing most of the rest would be a fairly easy mop-up operation?
How many Wokesters wouldn't back, or at least acquiesce in, such a slaughter of Deplorables?
Granted, this would bring the end of the "normal" economy, but wouldn't the oligarchs prefer that, to them allowing the "vile" Deplorables to get the upper hand?
Well, mouse, in the Spanish civil war, both sides had access to pretty much all the potent weaponry of the time. Stalin sent planes, tanks, and advisors to the Republic. Mussolini and Hitler did the same for Franco. Same would apply here...both sides would have missiles so the destruction would be mutual, not something the Oligarchy wants. In some ways the oligarchs have more to lose since much of their wealth and power derives from fixed assets like server farms, buildings, infrastructure etc all of which is easily targeted by the other side. Look at the article posted below about suitcase EMPs. Which side could more easily survive without electricity or computers, the Oligarch city dwellers or the rural patriots?Delete
A2, are you sure that both sides would have enough missiles, if Dems control the DoD stockpiles?Delete
For our situation to become analogous to '30s Spain, it'll likely take a Franco to grab slews of missiles from the arsenal.
Anon, The oligarchs have been buying up farms. We would have to strip them of their property. It may take many such forceful moves to restore/ keep the rule of law. Violate the rule of law to save it...Delete
Mouse, I'm not sure i conveyed the idea as clearly as I ought. In the 1930s Spain scenario the US military (to say nothing of NG) splits between the oligarchs and the patriots. That necessarily includes military bases with stockpiles of advanced weapons and missiles. The Spain analogy is not exact of course. The patriots aren't Franco authoritarians. Nonetheless once hostilities began, each side would be scrambling to secure as much military hardware as possible, much of it located in red states would be grabbed by patriots.Delete
Keep in mind we are hypothesizing a Spanish style civil war. Each side will secure all the territory possible as quickly as possible. In a civil war, the laws of war apply, not normal civil law. No one said civil wars were nice, neat affairs nor desirable. How do you feel about the way Lincoln violated the laws in 1861-5? How about Sherman? Whether Gates et al keep their farmland will be a military decision predicated upon military necessity and highly speculative at this juncture. Are you somehow alluding to the canard about destroying a village to save it?
@Anon, I'm not really making any subtle or sophisticated references, just noting that unpleasantries will necessitate further unpleasantries. I accept that war is messy and dirty, even when necessary.Delete
I'm coming to grips with the fact that our constitution really was only fit for a moral and religious people. Absent that, I'm just ruminating about how things need to change to maximize liberty in the context of a nation that does not possess a shared framework of reality and values.
Perhaps you will think that I have veered off topic, but you said the oligarchs had more to lose with their towers and server farms. But they're also heavily invested in food farms.
The assumption that the good guys win is largely predicated on our representation and training in the military and our dominance in the real world of food contra their dominance in fake things like media, debt, and software. Thus I'm reminded that we need to seize their farms, cut off their cities, and destroy their servers. But for all the well-deserved scorn that we heap on them, they're not completely stupid. If they manage to secure their farms and purge the military, then it will be rather difficult to beat them.
Well put. Yes, agree that the longer the purge of the military is allowed to continue the worse it looks for the good guys. I read somewhere yesterday that the regime is starting to relocate military equipment from red to blue states. If true that would be bad news as well as a genuine tell as to their intentions.
@A2, while the relocation from red to blue states is concerning, I'm reminded that nearly all counties are red.Delete
@A2, on "once hostilities began, each side would be scrambling...."Delete
They should be scrambling ASAP.
Waiting for once hostilities begin will likely be too late.
Here's some food for thought on how easy it would be for enemies to shut down the electric grid:ReplyDelete
The article is absurdly credulous about Russian involvement but if these suitcase EMPs are really that easy to build and deploy, anyone living in a city is SOL. Get that solar battery backup while you can.
Taking back the Republican party is easy to do:ReplyDelete
If a relative few patriots, instead of preparing for battle, would instead do the simple steps to be appointed as precinct committee members (slots are currently half-empty), patriots would rule the party.Delete
I'd do it myself but I reside in Mexico.
It's probably worth a try Neill, although I'd embrace the power of both/and not either/or. By all means, take over GOP precincts, nominate patriot candidates, try like heck to get them elected. My cynicism is that with very very few exceptions these people go to DC and some diabolical transformation occurs which renders them loyal members of the Uniparty. Look for instance at the list of GOP House members who voted in favor of the January 6 commission.Delete