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August 5th, 2012
By Dan Miller
Regardless of the electoral outcome, the possibility of civil unrest should not be discounted.
I wrote here about the Civil War of 1861 – 65 and here about the constitutional implications and causes of that war. Should violence follow the November election, the conflagration and its context will be very different. It will have less to do with North versus South or with our few remaining States’ rights. It may be influenced by the increasing misery brought on by persistent and worsening economic conditions and the tendency of governmental efforts “unexpectedly” to exacerbate rather than to ameliorate them.
There may be no discernible focus at all. Big riots can easily spring from circumstances ignited by minor displeasures, celebrations or for no apparent reason. “Flash robs” assemble to rob stores of luxury goods or just for the Hell of it. An unfortunate incident can be turned into a cause celebre by race or other agitators abetted by sensationalist media pleased to invent what they then report as facts. A White candidate defeating an incumbent Black President — who has himself been historically effective in fomenting racial, economic and social hatred — might easily be the catalyst for an already unstable chemical mixture to explode. If the race is too close to call on election day, the chances are probably greater. Conversely, a victory by President Obama could be transformed from a celebration into demands for revenge against perceived perpetrators of perceived past wrongs. In either event, individual and apparently unrelated mobs seem likely to expand, multiply and coalesce as focused leaders take charge and shape mob positions to suit their own ambitions. Violence and threats of more can be useful tools for shaping revolutions. They also provide great opportunities for attacks by terrorists and other external enemies to become quite troublesome. The ultimate consequences are now difficult to imagine; in three months it may be easier to figure out at least the direction(s) in which things are heading.
My guess is that in the event of a major coalescing conflagration the ultimate focus will be on the form the Dependency Plantation is to take as it evolves and expands before entering a death spiral, as it ultimately will: such a plantation can not remain viable indefinitely as fewer and fewer do the work and pay the taxes for the benefit of more and more.
I very much hope that we, as a nation, don’t have to experience such turmoil. We may, and if we do it may become more bloody and deadly than during the earlier Civil War; our means of killing and maiming each other have improved greatly since then.
There seems to be official recognition that civil unrest is possible. There have been reports of substantial Federal purchases of riot gear to deal with civil unrest, possibly at the Republican and Democrat conventions and thereafter. Displeasure with our current economic travails coupled with hatred on all sides directed against those on other sides may well find outlets in violence.
The conditions are certainly ripe for civil unrest in this country. A multitude of recent polls and surveys have shown that Americans are angrier and more frustrated than ever. Sadly, we are taking a lot of that anger and frustration out on each other. America is more divided today than at any other time since the Civil War era. The left absolutely hates Mitt Romney the Republicans, and the right absolutely hates Barack Obama and the Democrats. If you doubt this, just surf political blogs for a few hours and read the comments that people leave. This country is a boiling cauldron of hatred and anger and all it is going to take is just the right “spark” to cause all of this hatred and anger to absolutely explode. This upcoming election season is likely to be one of the most heated and divisive election seasons in U.S. history, and if there is not a clear winner on election night there is the potential that chaos could be unleashed that would be far, far worse than anything we saw during the Bush/Gore debacle of 2000. (Emphasis in original.)
Many such articles have appeared in the “right-wing-nut media,” few in the “principled” media. I wonder why — is it because there is nothing factual of significance behind the stories, or because there is? We should know after the election whether there’s anything worthy of concern. If unpleasant events occur, the “principled” media are likely to report as they did when big White bully George Zimmerman killed sweet little Black child Trayvon Martin — thereby making the situation far more volatile and dangerous.
In the meantime, this from the August 4th issue of Power Line:
What collection of WSC greatest hits would be complete without the passage from The Grand Alliance (volume 3 of his World War II memoirs) about the character of the United States:
Silly people—and there are many, not only in enemy countries—might discount the force of the United States. Some said they were soft, others that they would never be united. They would fool around at a distance. They would never come to grips. They would never stand the blood-letting. Their democracy and system of recurrent elections would paralyze their war effort. They would be just a vague blur on the horizon to friend or foe. Now we should see the weakness of this numerous but remote, wealthy, and talkative people. But I had studied the American Civil War, fought out to the last desperate inch. American blood flowed in my veins. I thought of a remark which Edward Grey had made to me more than thirty years before—that the United States is like “a gigantic boiler. Once the fire is ignited under it there is no limit to the power it can generate.”
A “gigantic boiler” indeed, capable of generating nearly (but not quite) limitless power. It is also capable of exploding. That takes time and immense heat but decreasing amounts of both as the boiler ages and develops small but visible cracks as well as internal and therefore invisible weaknesses. We don’t notice them because we are so accustomed to having it do what it was built to do that we don’t pay much attention. If and when it explodes, the consequences are likely to be unpleasant for all.
The gentlemanly principles that many revered back in 1861 have vanished with few remaining vestiges.
Perhaps it may eventually be necessary to decide with whose principles one’s own are the most closely aligned. For me, the necessity to make a choice under such circumstances will be painful and therefore difficult; should it have to be made, however, making it will be easy.
Wouldn’t something like this be better?
Having already begun my seventy-second year on Earth I probably won’t see it. It would, however, be the high point of my life could I do so.
(This article was also posted at Dan Miller’s Blog.)
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