Civil War 2 is coming. More and more in the media are beginning to talk about it. But how will it begin? What will trigger it? Three writers give excellent thoughts on the subject.
Peter Grant provides the complete post with links to the original posts by Fred Reed at his own blog and David French at National Review, and adds some excellent thoughts of his own based on his experiences in South Africa. I’ll excerpt from each original source to pull highlights for those with the Redoubt mindset.
Fred Reed – Freedom vs. Tyranny
We open with Fred Reed quoting General Robert E Lee.
Yeah. That has all come to pass. Here’s how the US has become despotic at home:
In, say, 1950, to an appreciable though imperfect extent America resembled a confederacy. Different regions of the America had little contact with each other, and almost no influence over one another. The federal government was small and remote. Interstates did not exist, nor of course the internet, nor even direct long-distance telephone dialing. West Virginia, Alabama, Massachusetts, New York City, Texas, and California had little in common, but little conflict arose since for practical purposes they were almost different countries. They chiefly governed themselves. The proportion of federal to state law was small.
Regions differed importantly in degree of freedom, not just in the freedom of local populations to govern themselves but also in individual freedom. It made a large difference in the tenor of life. If in Texas, rural Virginia, or West Virginia you wanted to build an addition to your house, you did. You didn’t need licenses, permits, inspections, union-certified electricians. Speed limits? Largely ignored. Federal requirements for Coast Guard approved flotation devices on your canoe? What the hell kind of crazy idea was that?
Democracy works better the smaller the group practicing it. In a town, people can actually understand the questions of the day. They know what matters to them. Do we build a new school, or expand the existing one? Do we want our children to recite the pledge of allegiance, or don’t we? Reenact the Battle of Antietam? Sing Christmas carols in the town square? We can decide these things. Leave us alone.
Tyranny comes easily when those seeking it need only corrupt a single Congress, appoint a single Supreme Court, or control the departments of one executive branch. In a confederation of largely self-governing states, those hungry to domineer would have to suborn fifty congresses. It could not be done. State governments are accessible to the governed. They can be ejected. They are much more likely to be sympathetic to the desires of their constituents since they are of the same culture.
As for aggressive abroad, Fred Reed highlights the following:
Aggressive abroad, said General Lee. Is this not exactly what we see? At this moment Washington has the better part of a thousand military bases around the world, unnecessary except for the maintenance of empire. America exists in a state of constant war, bombing Afghanistan, Pakistan, Syria, Somalia, recently having destroyed Iraq and Libya. Washington threatens Iran, North Korea, Russia, and China. Its military moves deeper into Africa. Washington sanctions Cuba, Russia, North Korea, and Iran, to no effect. It constantly tries to dominate other nations, for example adding to NATO.
None of these wars and little if any of the imperial aggression interests more than a tiny fraction of the country’s people. To whom can the war against Afghanistan matter? Libya? Few people have heard of Montenegro. Does its membership in NATO or lack of it affect Idaho?
Peter Grant – Equal and Opposite Reaction
Here we get to the interesting bit for our purposes. After looking over the writing of Fred Reed, Peter Grant expands with the following thoughts:
There’s another aspect to this, one I’ve seen in action at first hand in South Africa, and (in the opposite sense) in the former Soviet Union. It’s a political and social and cultural phenomenon, but it’s rooted in Newton’s Third Law of Motion: ‘To every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction’. In cultural terms, a government or political philosophy may apply pressure to achieve and maintain a particular effect in society. When that pressure is removed, the countervailing pressure against it – the ‘equal and opposite reaction’ – will immediately result in the opposite effect being at least strengthened, if not becoming dominant.
Another way of putting this is that when the pendulum is pushed too far one way, when it eventually gets free its going to swing far to the other end. He supports his thesis with two examples:
In South Africa, the political and racial philosophy of apartheid decreed that every cultural ‘nation’ – in particular, African tribes – must be separated from all others, and emphasize its national or tribal identity. This was taken so far that many tribes were forced into ‘homelands’, some of which became nominally ‘independent’. The idea, of course, was to prevent the adoption of any overarching Black or African identity – ‘divide and rule’ in a tribal context. However, when apartheid collapsed (which was demographically inevitable), the result was a rush to emphasize national unity over any and all divisions of tribe, culture, language, etc. (Those divisions are very real, illustrated by the fact that to this day, South Africa has no less than eleven official languages: English, Afrikaans [a Dutch derivative dialect], and nine tribal tongues.) It was the opposite of apartheid . . . call it an enforced ‘togetherheid’, if you like.
On the other hand, the Soviet Union emphasized a strong central government under Russian hegemony. The states that had made up the Russian Empire were forcibly amalgamated into the USSR, their ethnic, cultural and language divisions forcibly dismantled, with the Communist Party demanding and enforcing an overarching Soviet and Marxist-Leninist identity that subsumed all others . . . or so they thought. However, when the Soviet Union collapsed, those ethnic divisions reasserted themselves. The enforced union disintegrated, with its component ethnic divisions and former independent states splintering off from the central state as fast and as far as they could. To this day, Russia is a far smaller entity than the former USSR that it dominated. It’s trying to reassert its political domination, but this is often fiercely resisted by the former Soviet states around it.
Looking from Peter Grant’s illustrations back to what Fred Reed wrote, it gives us a roadmap of the shifts we should expect to see.
We want freedom from DC. We had it back in the 1950’s, but not so much today. The Federal government is increasingly pushing in a direction like the Soviet government, mandating one-size-fits-all policies from afar.
Here’s the key point for patriots and survivalists: the federal government is increasingly lazy and inefficient. They may write a thousand laws for us to live by, but with each passing year they are less and less able to force us to follow them. They are like a Roman centurion who not only stopped training in his armor, but also plopped down on a couch in front of a TV and put on an extra 200 pounds. He’ll yell, “Don’t make me get off this couch,” but the threats are weaker than they were in his prime.
[Note: We do not advocate for any sort of lawbreaking. Civilization depends on expecting citizens to adhere to the laws. However, the amount of contradictory federal laws are like a cumbersome load on your shoulders. You don’t need to throw them down and rebel. They’re on the verge of collapsing under their own weight, and if you wait until they do then you will have freedom.]
This suggests an ideal tactical strategy of “under-the-radar” as opposed to open rebellion. If you largely follow the laws to the best of your ability, and pay your taxes, and for as far as the increasingly near-sighted federal leviathan can see you are a loyal subject, then the leviathan will leave you alone. It is too busy trying to solve health care and fining Fortune 500 companies to pursue a lone small-fish American.
But if you try to rebel and take a stand and send a statement, you might as well shoot up a flare and dare the Feds to act. They will. And they’ve still got enough weight and skill to squish you or your whole town.
I’m not saying you need to submit to tyranny. By no means. But if you drop of the radar it is becoming less and less likely you’ll be forced with that choice.
David French – Moderates Will Shoot You in The Back
How do you recognize a moderate?
He’s the one shooting his supposed allies in the back.
I wouldn’t bother with his contribution to the discussion except for two reasons:
- He represents another notable media outlet starting to wonder if there will be a Civil War 2
- It is an excellent teaching example of how to recognize a moderate and not get shot in the back
David French considered a presidential run against Trump (as an independent candidate) with the support of Anti-Trump commentator Bill Kristol. However, he ultimately decided not to run. That tells you a lot about him alone. He presents himself as a conservative and constitutional individual. (He writes for National Review, which tries to define the conservative movement!)
Let’s take a look at his recent Civil War 2 column for National Review.
Throughout, he mixes in useful and reasonable data in order to gain your trust and get close. But don’t be deceived – he’s really looking for a spot to stick the knife.
The combination of negative polarization and a phenomenon that economist Tyler Cowen calls “matching” is leading to a national separation so profound that Americans may not have the desire to fight to stay together. Unless trends are reversed, red and blue may ultimately bid each other adieu.
Wow. So if California succeeded at CalExit, David French would be there to shed tears. I’m more along the lines of Larry Correia, who wrote:
CalExit- Sadly it appears my dreams have been crushed. I had so been hoping you would be able to spread your wings and fly. Someday, California, someday.
[Two other gems from the same piece:
Bill Nye- One day Neil DeGrasse Tyson declared “No one can make science more preachy and pedantic than I can!” and Bill Nye said “Hold my beer and watch this”. It’s like he tried to jump the shark and fell in its jaws…
Venezuela – What? Socialism fails again? I’m shocked! SHOCKED I TELL YOU! No really. This is my shocked face.
Check out the whole post for many good laughs!]
Back to David French…
Americans tend to belong to their political “tribe” not so much because they love its ideas but rather because they despise their opponents.
Right. So I’m apparently not a Republican because they align closer to my ideals, but because I wanted to join a Democrat-hating club.
Take one of my favorite shows, Game of Thrones. Its appeal is heavily clustered in deep-blue coastal cities, something that’s completely unsurprising to this rural Tennessee resident. I have a hard time finding anyone who watches the show, much less someone who cares enough to do a deep dive into Westerosi lore. If you watch Game of Thrones, you’re also generally watching The Daily Show and Modern Family. Do you reject George R. R. Martin’s epic series? Then Duck Dynasty is the most likely show for you.
Oops, you let the mask slip, David. You’re supposedly a conservative, but you love the show most loved by deep blue regions. I read the first 4 books of the series, and watched season one before throwing in the towel. My review: the author solidly earned the nickname of George Rape Rape Martin, then HBO took it and decided there wasn’t quite enough rape and cranked it to 11. But hey, it is said it’s not porn if it’s on HBO.
Put all these trends together and you can discern the reason for the “politicization of everything.” It’s easy: It’s often the path of least resistance, and it gives people a sense of larger purpose.
Right, because those of us patriots roughing it on a frontier homestead in the Redoubt chose the path of least resistance…
A civil war results when the desire for unification and domination overrides the desire for separation and self-determination…
I don’t believe a civil-war mentality will save America. There are simply too many differences and too many profound disagreements for one side or the other to exercise true political dominance. Red won’t beat blue in the same way that blue beat gray. Adopt the civil-war mentality and you’ll only hasten a potential divorce.
Uh-huh. Red won’t beat Blue like Blue beat Gray? Because apparently Red Republicans are the ones oppressing and dominating those poor peace-loving Blue Democrats who just want to go their own way like the Southern Confederates? What country has David French been in for the last decade? It was Blue Democrats who are trying to tell me what insurance I must buy and how much I must pay, while Republicans are the ones saying, “Get off my lawn and leave me alone!”
If we seek to preserve our union, we’re left with a choice — try to dominate or learn to tolerate? The effort to dominate is futile, and it will leave us with a permanently embittered population that grows increasingly punitive with each transition of presidential power. There is hope, however, in the quest to tolerate.
Hoo-rah tolerance! The modern globalist religion!
There’s a reason why Christians tolerate others in their midst, but get martyred around the globe even in supposedly tolerant places like India: they insist that their beliefs are true and correct while other beliefs are incorrect. But they don’t force their beliefs on anyone.
Pulling it over to the political spectrum: I can put up with a neighbor having different political views than me. But I’m not going to back down and say maybe my views are wrong and maybe his views are right unless there’s some strong evidence to prove the point. And if he tries to force his views onto me, like how we all need health insurance, then it’s time for a fight.
If you love tolerance, maybe you should fight to preserve Christendom and Western Civilization, rather than rushing to import as many Muslims as possible as fast as possible. It’s not as if I’m reading weekly articles about Christian terrorists slaughtering women and children in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
David French is a snake, who’ll talk you into laying down your arms and then pretend he never saw it coming when your enemies take the opportunity to strike you down. He’s whispering in your ear that if you’ll just beat your guns into plows, then surely the Muslims and the Feds will do so as well. In reality, he’s given up on what we stand for and has chosen to join the other side because he think they’re going to win. Conservative? What has his movement conserved?
The feds are pushing hard for centralization.
The feds are increasingly lazy and inefficient.
When the feds finally fail, the pendulum will swing hard toward nationalism and local community and government.
Lay low until the pendulum swings. Then be ready to make a strong locale.
Beware of moderate snakes in conservative skin, like David French.