Monday, August 12, 2019

"Igniting Civil War"

That's the title of an article by Prof. Angelo Codevilla, whom we've met in these pages several times before.  I've learned to respect his views very highly, because they've proven prescient over a long period.  Here's an excerpt.

It all starts with getting people accustomed to hating each other. And that starts at the top.

Saying hateful things about one’s opponents is a time-tested way of stoking supporters’ enthusiasm, of building support for one’s own side. But when blood is spilled, someone, then everyone else, tends to use it as a pretext for inciting more violence. That’s the meaning of blood-feud.

. . .

Police in leftist jurisdictions have stood aside as violent groups disrupted the 2016 Republican presidential campaign and the 2017 presidential inauguration in Washington, D.C., as racial mobs have ravaged malls and shut down major roads, as conservatives have been attacked physically as they tried to speak or merely observed. The media have basically justified the violence. The other side has done nothing comparable—yet.

. . .

What should happen, what can happen, when the real, existing violent organizations of the Left—Antifa and the several radical black organizations—try to exclude or to punish? Several cities—Portland, Oregon and Charlottesville, Virginia among them—have had their streets taken over. What happens when these organizations organize mobs to harass their least favorite people? What happens when some of them wind up dead?

At a certain point, the other side shoots back. Here as elsewhere, the several police forces may be expected to split and take opposite sides. Then the army’s special forces become the arbiters, and the war rages.

We know that our ruling class having largely made government into a partisan thing, America has crossed the threshold of revolution. While we have no way of knowing what lies ahead, we know that the spiral of political violence has already taken its first fateful turns, and that the logic of our partisan ruling class is pushing for more.

There's more at the linkHighly recommended reading.

I think - I fear - Prof. Codevilla is exactly right.  I have friends who live in or near cities dominated by far-left-wing politics and movements (e.g. Portland, Oregon).  They all complain about feeling like foreigners in their own cities, ignored by local government, taxed more and more to pay for programs with which they utterly disagree, and generally vilified as being part of the problem because they won't "get with the program".  A number of them are looking to move away.  Some already have.

That applies to travel, too.  A number of my friends will no longer go to certain cities at all, because crime, homelessness, panhandling, etc. is out of control, they fear for their safety, and they're not allowed to carry a firearm for personal protection.  I don't blame them.  For the same reasons, I won't go to those cities, either.  I suspect places like that are losing a fair amount of business and tourist revenue from such unofficial boycotts;  but it doesn't look like they care about that at all, provided they can keep to their politically correct, moonbattish ways.

To me, one of the most dangerous aspects of this sort of politics is the attempt to criminalize people by passing laws that liberals know will not be obeyed.  For example, consider bans on certain types of weapons and/or accessories, enacted in states like New York and Connecticut.  It's been estimated that compliance with the new, highly restrictive laws is extremely low.  That's civil disobedience to an astonishing extent.  It's made criminals - according to the letter of the law - of those who've refused to obey the new rules.  What will happen if attempts are made to identify them, confiscate their non-conforming weapons, and charge them with an offense?  Will they go quietly?  Or will they decide that resistance is the better part of valor?  If they do, they probably outnumber the law enforcement officers and agencies that will be arrayed against them.  If I were among those officers, I'd be rather hesitant to push things too far.  Indeed, some senior officers have said precisely that, to the discomfort of their politician bosses.

I suspect Prof. Codevilla is right on the money, yet again.



Old NFO said...

The question now is, what will be the 'spark' that sets things off?

Peter B said...

Professor Codevilla wrote

The ruling class’s provocative bias has been on display subsequent to the most recent outrages by mental cases—22 killed in El Paso, Texas, and nine in Dayton, Ohio—the first by someone who mixed anti-immigration rantings with radical environmentalism, the second by a purebred leftist.

My gut is increasingly telling me that that analysis is too easy, and that the reality is in many cases worse; that's why Michael Bane's recent podcast The Changing Face of Active Shooters (billed as "Are they as political as the media want them to be? Or are they simply playing a video game?") caught my attention.

His belief is that at least some of the young males killers are gamers doing it for real, trying to run up a high score.

Whether or not this is true, another point he makes is that the tactics they have been employing recently have been evolving and that our thinking on what we can do both proactively and reactively must also evolve.

His points:
• Sociopaths have very poor impulse control, and in a mob can provide the first breach of serious barriers which then "permit" escalation by others with somewhat better impulse control, which in turn lowers the barrier for others.
• This now enters into aspects of online behavior; that online mobs display similar escalation
• This is probably happening with mass shootings, with socially isolated young males finding "community" with like minded individuals and egging each other on either in chats and forums, or by moving up a personal timetable when someone else perpetrates an atrocity.
• The manifestos are at least some of the time deliberately provocative and manipulative for the sake of stirring the fecal matter, rather than being frank statements of belief or ideology.

If he is right about the video game aspect, it seems to me that there may be another new development. This kind of one upmanship would be very prone to being manipulated by a third party with a serious political agenda. If someone isn't grooming mass killers now, it'll probably happen soon.

Mad celt said...

No one has a civil war in economic upsweeps. The regime will simply get weary and hand over the reins.

Peripatetic Engineer said...

Don't forget the attempts at confiscation during Katrina in New Orleans!

Murphy's Law said...

Here in New Orleans currently, there is open joy at the prospect of civil war and driving the "fascists" (defined as anyone who might have voted for Trump, refuses to denounce ICE or objects to claims that all of America's current troubles come from white males.) They think that they can attack at will, both because they are justified in their own minds and because they think that no one will stand against them. And they're eager for the day that they can start because they think that they'll win.
Few have guns of course. They're in for a surprise when they start because if it comes to it, some of us won't be running.

kurt9 said...

The liberal-left is deluding itself if they think they can win a violent civil conflict. As the previous guy pointed out, they do not own the guns. The other side does. The other side is patient because they just want to be left alone and not be bothered with this kind of political drama. However, if pushed too far, they will react, and that reaction will not be what the liberal-left types expect.

I live in the Portland/Vancouver area, but not in Portland itself. Most of the areas AROUND Portland itself is rather conservative. The liberal moonbats are only in Portland itself. My wife and I were downtown a week ago, first time in 6 months. It was grungier than it was before. The homeless problem is getting out of control. A large encampment has appeared along the I-205 in the last 6 months (I drive this daily) that continues to grow.

What is interesting to me is that the homeless are nearly all white people. There are essentially zero blacks or hispanics among the homeless here. I suspect the same is true for all of the other West coast metro areas.

kurt9 said...

Old NFO,

It will be the next recession.

A Reader said...

I don't know exactly what or when, will start it, but I personally expect some thug in Portland will be holding the match.

McChuck said...

The Left has spent generations progressively destroying the minds of young men. Now they act surprised when a tiny percentage of them snap.

Old Commie tactic - create the crisis, so they can save us all from it.


At the risk of shameless self-promotion, and begging Peter's tolerance... the Leftists are MISSIONARIES. They truly believe, with the same faith I have in G-d, that they can create a utopia on earth by creating a Socialist Utopia.

Whether by economic collapse, a civil war, or people giving up because of the open sewer of corruption, or other means, they WANT chaos and death and destruction. "The worse the better". And once they have that they believe - BELIEVE! Hallelujah Marx! - that from that chaos will "inevitably" arise that utopia.

When you BELIEVE that you can do this... eliminate war, poverty, hunger, bigotry... BELIEVE WITH ALL YOUR HEART - then anyone who stands in your way must be EVIL. And evil needs to be eliminated.

lineman said...

That's because you probably didn't go into the black homeless areas which are a lot sketchier...They are out there in large numbers...

markshere2 said...

I've never been a criminal, always follow the rules.

If the powers that be criminalize me by passing unconstitutional laws, I will strive to be the best criminal ever.

If the Leftists start violence, I'm NOT playing defense.

Offense wins.

And I'm starting with the source of the evil: politicians, Media, and academia.

Y'all keep pogo-ing in the minefield and see what happens. Dare ya.