Maybe I am just being sensitive, but it seems that in the past few months, rhetoric has ramped up on both sides of the Great Divide in American politics. Actually, ALL sides of the multiple divides of political thought and actions here in the Fifty States.
As we go through a nastier than usual winter in much of the continent, is all of this just lots of screaming that will erupt into action and movement – even more confrontations (including violence) – when Spring comes?
Indeed, are all of the Biden regime’s claims of wanting to build unity just leading to more division? Are the claimed threats that Trump, now powerless, was shattering the American nation – and still is – true?
At the same time, we are seeing more and more restrictions – and threatened restrictions – on liberty. To listen to many of us, freedom is vanishing as rapidly as snow in a chinook. So people ramp up even more. Grumbling grows.
Does that mean that we are facing civil war, come Spring of 2021? Does that mean the only chance we have of defeating the enemies of liberty within the Fifty States is violence?
Civil wars do not HAVE to be fought using weapons. Indeed, before a violent civil war, the non-violent campaigns of the opposing sides can establish the parameters of the war to come. Sometimes, a civil war can be resolved (won and lost) without actual massive wide-scale violence taking place. Even it does break down and the violence becomes general and at high intensity, victory can sometimes be won with non-violent actions still dominating. And after the war, the non-violent operations of both the victors and the defeated can significantly modify the results of the war – even overturn it. And (often at lower levels) violence can continue for years after a civil war is resolved.
Generally, a civil war is NOT about succession – one part of a nation gaining independence from another. It is about who controls the single (or dominant) government over a nation or region. That is what the Roman civil wars generally involved: what faction or what individual will control the government and therefore the empire. That was also the case in the English Civil War.
The war between the Union and the withdrawing Confederacy was NOT a “civil war” despite the name commonly given. There were States and areas within States where there were civil wars: Missouri, eastern Tennessee, and perhaps even Illinois and Indiana come to mind. The war between White and Red in Russia after WW1 and the Revolution would also, I think, be a civil war.
That is what we see now in the Fifty States. A war – still very low-key – for control of the FedGov. And of the governments of many States. And even a few counties and cities.
Over at Small Wars Journal, Tom Doherty presents a good discussion of non-violent unconventional warfare versus traditional, violent unconventional warfare. It is a highly technical discussion, and thought-provoking. This is more, much more, than civil disobedience and such things as protests, boycotts, and political maneuvering. And it is not absolutely peaceful – nonviolent. Just mostly so.
Indeed, if you go through the article, and look at the critique he presents of US Army doctrine on unconventional warfare, you may come to the same conclusion that I have.
That is a simple one. The Fifty States have been engaged in an internal non-violent unconventional warfare form of a civil war for over a half-century.
A war which the lovers of liberty, the friends of freedom, has lost so far and continues to lose.
For decades, we who love liberty have been slowly but steadily losing a war we didn’t even realize we were fighting.
And we are nearing the crisis – the decision point. The point at which the war is finally and completely lost. Not that the (non-violent, unconventional) warfare will cease. But that the final outcome is known and inevitable.
And right now, despite our optimism, it does not look like the lovers of liberty are going to win. It does not look like we are going to defeat the enemies of liberty and freedom.
Unless we change.
How? Lets talk about that in another commentary.
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The last state was admitted in what, 1959? That means the war you posit has been going on in the 50 states for 62 years, not 50.
And before that, it’s been going on for centuries, since before the first 13 states broke free of Britain.
The outcome was always known and inevitable. You can have the state or you can have liberty. You can’t have both.
Good point, Tom. I was being too precise, and at least partially fixed that – over fifty years. And you are right: we can see different versions of that battle going back centuries – indeed, back to the time when Nimrod started his little empire. The outcome has to be one or the other, but in the long term, I don’t think the state is inevitable. Liberty can win. If we are willing to pay the price.