Saturday, June 19, 2010

A second civil war

It comes up every once in a while in libertarian circles, more often in some boards than in others and more often as we near the anniversary of the secession of 1776 - a discussion of a potential future civil war that could theoretically restore liberty in the United States. Although entertaining to think about an uprising can have disastrous consequences, or if it is the wrong uprising can be a disaster itself.

One of the ways it could go horribly wrong is if the conflict is steered into red versus blue, red states versus blue states. Neither the Democrats and their supporters nor the Republicans and their supporters represent greater liberty, but instead offer competing versions of how the government should run the lives of the people. The leadership of both parties believe that they are entitled to rule others. Yet this is a particularly likely form of civil war due to it perpetuating the basic right versus left division that has kept the freedom movement divided against each other instead of the common foe, and kept the people divided so that they do not notice the common foe.

What could undo that possibility is if both a red state and a blue state were to nullify or secede for different reasons at the same time. Supposing California seceded over marijuana legalization while Texas seceded over health care reform, at the same time. By both acts occurring near each other it would prevent those in charge from saying that pulling away is uniquely red or uniquely blue.

Another possibility is a very messy war composed of many factions, both within and outside the government. Although this gives the freedom movement more opportunities, it will take a lot longer to resolve and it will mean many more enemies. This would come about if an over grown government begins to splinter under its own weight. Different areas of the country could come under different rule not by secession but by different agencies or commands declaring different fiefdoms. It is already the case where the military is establishing a command with the special focus of inside the United States, and there are the ever present rumors about FEMA camps.

Then there is the possibility of a groundswell in the form of riots. Some predict that they will be triggered by the depression getting worse, or by a lack of food. Given the success of public education it will take a lot to get to this point. The people have been successfully taught that there are only two respectable sources for answers to political questions, and anything else is fringe and to be ignored. These same people also do not like the answers they are getting from the only two sources they have learned they should listen to. It is a nasty dilemma that the average person is in, and the frustration can lead to chaos. This type of uprising could lead to a revolution more like the French Revolution than either of the American Revolutions.

The only real option for the freedom movement in the face of those possibilities is to try to build strong networks of mutual support. That way if it does come down to people shooting each other the freedom movement will have the advantage of friendly loose organization.

If those in the freedom movement genuinely believe there will be conflict, then the thing that needs to be done is to prepare to ensure it is the right conflict. The wrong conflict could result in a Napoleon or a Lenin seizing control. And even if it is the right conflict, it should be remembered that war is ugly. There may be some opportunity for glory, but there is much more opportunity for gory.


Dave said...

"but instead offer competing versions of how the government should run the lives of the people."

Well said!

Eric Dondero said...

This is about the ugliest blog I've ever seen. Dude, surely you can make it look a little better.

No graphs. No photos. And a revolting black background that's offensive to the eyes.

Not only do your views suck, but your blogging skills leave a lot to be desired, as well.

I'll add you to my Least Favorite list.

Ayn R. Key said...

Fuck off you neocon poser.

Dave said...

Eric DILDerO...what a fucking piece of trailer trash! I'll add you to my ass wipe jokes, i.e., "I'll see you guys later, I've got to pinch off a Bush and wipe my DILDerO!"