A prevailing assumption in all of outsider politics, both Left and Right, is that America is headed for a civil war. The details are not all that clear, but that is the assumption. Even the mainstream political types think it is possible. A regular part of Tucker Carlson’s act is to warn his fellow political elites that they better shape up or the else. From time to time polls are done that show Americans are increasingly sure that a civil war is the most probable outcome for the turmoil and conflict of the current year.
At first blush, it is not a silly assumption. After all, empires tend to end in violence, either they are conquered or break apart. Even if you think America is some sort of exception when it comes to being an empire, every society is racked with conflict. It has been over 150 years since the United States has had serious internal distension. The closest to a revolt was the Civil Rights Movement, but the blacks were easily bought off after some protests and riots. America seems due for a violent adjustment.
Further, the far Left assumes they will win such a conflict. How is never explained, as most are noodle armed sissies, but they probably think they will have the full support of the police, like they see at their protests. Maybe the cops will side with the far Left in an armed conflict. If it means keeping their pensions and benefit packages, that’s probably a safe bet. On the other hand, history says police forces tend to scatter quickly when order falters to the point where there is fighting in the streets.
Many on the far Right make the same assumption as the Left, with regards to the outcome, owing to the fact that most of the guns are owned by whites. Those noodle armed Antifa sissies and their mouthy women would not last long in a fair fight, much less an armed fight. That’s certainly true, but if they did have the cops fighting for them that would be different. Then there is the fact that the same people controlling Antifa also run the military, so the gun disparity would change quickly.
The main trouble with the civic war bogeyman is no one bothers to imagine how it would be conjured in the first place. Civil wars are fights between two or more factions, led by members of the elite. The American Civil War was a fight between New England elites and Southern elites. Modern elites, not just in America, but across the West are in lockstep on every important topic. It is inconceivable that they would take up arms against one another. If anything, they will take up arms against the people.
That leaves open the other option for a social war. An armed rebellion of some sort, maybe due to divisions within society that the elites can no longer contain. The Antifa media, for example, harasses the wrong people and the result is organized white terrorism against Progressive targets. Alternatively, the media agitation results in some left-wing street protesters moving from theater to violence. The media did convince that guy to shoot up the Republican softball game a few years back.
The trouble with the rebellion scenario is that a decent rebellion has to be led by people capable of organizing a lot of people. The structure of the Left precludes a rebellion from that side of politics. They control the institutions and the rank and file lack the will and brainpower to go it alone. The Left is not going to revolt against itself, so they will continue to ratchet up their terrorism against everyone else. Red flag laws, for example, will be used to jail dissidents in the near future.
Outside of left-wing circles, organizing a rebellion seems less likely. Blacks like to riot and they have some reason to rebel against the prevailing order. History says they will just burn down their own neighborhoods and loots some local stores. Hispanics seem to be the most passive group in America. As long as they have cheap food and cheap entertainment, they are not rebelling. The squalor of America beats the squalor of back home, so getting them angry enough to rebel seems implausible.
If there is to be a rebellion, it will be among whites, but whites are far from being a monolithic group like blacks. There are regional divides, as well as class divides, which are easily exploited by the people in charge. Ruling class whites, for example, hate all lower class whites. That’s part of what motivated the FBI to spy on the Trump people in the last election. It’s why the IRS harassed white people in the 2012 election. Ruling class whites have a deep loathing for the rest of white America.
At the other end, the working classes have had plenty of reasons to revolt since the 1970’s, when the usual suspects began auctioning off the manufacturing base. In coal country, for example, where you will find the most rebellious whites in America, an all-out war on their way of life has not resulted in much resistance. The semi-urban white working class has continued to support a system that shows every sign of trying to snuff out the white working class. There’s no rebellion in that group.
That leaves the white suburban middle-class, who are certainly the angriest cohort in the country, but they are the most docile too. Perhaps if they fear a real threat to their economic position, they will become less docile, but middle-class revolution remains an oxymoron at this stage. For now, they will remain committed to the system, taking out their anger on politicians at the ballot box. Even though voting has had no impact on the trajectory of American society, it seems to be enough for this class.
Even if you can conjure a scenario in which a group revolts or the ruling class splits, resulting in a civil war of some type, it’s hard to imagine it being violent. For starters, rebelling against the local police department, much less the military is laughably implausible, given the disparity in firepower. Even small town cops these days have been militarized. They have assault units, armored vehicles, drones and electronic surveillance equipment. America is literally a police state now.
Rebellion would have to be guerrilla war, turning the weight of the surveillance state against itself. Instead of blowing stuff up, the rebellion of the future will be placing racist material in strategic locations, forcing the police to spend hundreds of man hours looking for invisible Nazis. More sophisticated tactics will require infiltration of ruling class assets, so rebels can easily and surreptitiously throw sand in the gears of the custodial state. The war will be fought in cubicles, not the streets.
Now, this may seem depressing at first blush, but civil wars and rebellion never encompass the whole of the society. The American Revolution directly involved about five percent of the population. The American Left radicalized the country with less than 20% support among whites. For those hoping to see the next American civil war, it will not take much of a change in the above dynamics to get the conditions for it. A serious economic catastrophe or a major foreign policy setback could be enough.
There’s also the fact that the nature of rebellion changes with the times. The rebels of the agrarian age faced men with bayonets and muskets. Men with muskets and rifles hiding in the woods could do real damage to their rulers. In the industrial age, general strikes and urban riots were enough to counter state power. In the information age, the rebellion will be about sapping the strength of the rulers, with regards to their ability to control data. Unplugging a data center will be the new terrorism.
When you start to puzzle through it, the probability of an old fashioned civil war is close to zero, while armed rebellion is in the single digits. Things will have to change a lot for the conditions to be right. On the other hand, a new type of rebellion, one suited for the age and the sorts of people unhappy with the system, is increasingly likely. Middle-class mom giving company passwords to rebel hackers is a likely scenario. The revolution of the future will be low-grade and mostly non-violent.
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