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Would America survive a civil war? The US army could not withstand an insurgency

The country has neber been so divided (Sean Rayford/Getty Images)


November 12, 2021   6 mins

Historically speaking, empires on average last for around 250 years, after which they tend to either slowly — or very, very quickly — fall apart due to overreach and internal conflict. Somewhat ominously, the 250th birthday of America is coming up in 2026.

Yet when, towards the end of Trump’s presidency, a radical friend of mine told me that he thought America was headed for civil war, I dismissed the argument out of hand. Why? How? It takes a unique confluence of mistakes and crises for civil war to appear possible, and an even longer list of mistakes, crises and elite screw-ups for them to happen.

But 2021 is a different world to 2015. Talk of insurrection, secession, civil conflict and civil war is no longer the chatter of the gullible and the mentally ill. It’s entering the fringes of polite society. Some support this ‘national divorce’; others are opposed to it. Others claim they would actually prefer to declare war on their recalcitrant countrymen rather than let them go their own way unmolested.

None of this morbid interest in civil conflict is irrational, given the times. The year 2021 has thus far been a spectacular year for signs of political decline: the US has now seen all the notable “horsemen of the apocalypse” that historically herald strife and revolution appear, one after another. Political division among its elites, increasing loss of legitimacy in the eyes of the population, military defeat abroad, and a new and very ominous crisis in the real economy, with no end date in sight.

Any one of these crises would be bad enough on their own; taken together, they represent a truly serious threat to the stability of the current order. Still, the question to be answered at the end of the day is quite simple: how likely is civil war, or national divorce, or a ‘troubles scenario’ really? To answer this question accurately, a few misconceptions about it being impossible have to be dealt with.

One of the most worrisome aspects of contemporary American political discussion is the sense one often gets that many participants are possessed by a thinly-veiled bloodlust. Sometimes, that bloodlust is not even thinly-veiled; after the unarmed USAF veteran Ashley Babbit was fatally shot through a locked door in the Capitol building, many anonymous (and some less anonymous) commentators intimated that perhaps the problem with police violence in America wasn’t that officers were shooting and killing too many unarmed people — but rather that maybe they just weren’t killing enough of them. Following a wave of destructive riots that tore through many cities in the United States last year, this turn toward open celebration of equally useless violence when it is visited on the enemy team speaks to a dangerous sort of polarisation.

From this sort of bloodlust flows another very common assertion: that a civil war, if waged on American soil, would be over quickly, and lead to a fairly effortless massacre of any insurrectionists in flyover America. The idea here is that the US military is so advanced, and has so many tanks, gunships, fuel air bombs, and drones, that the federal government is simply assured of victory. As such, a civil war is an unlikely or impossible scenario, given the dramatic imbalance of power between the state and even a numerically large, dissatisfied internal population.

But this is a dangerous misconception. While the US military is indeed powerful and lavishly funded, it is a military designed to fight other states. Warfare between states is bound by rules and regulations; it is based on consent. This might seem a strange assertion to make, given that a country cannot just decline a war declaration from an enemy, but it holds true. There’s a formal or informal understanding of who is an actual combatant and who is not.

In contrast, warfare in primitive or tribal societies does not make any distinction between a civilian and a soldier. There are just enemies; ambushing and killing a 12-year-old girl drawing water at the creek is seen as normal as killing an adult warrior. This is where the European habit of calling uncivilised peoples “savages” comes from; rather than merely being an expression of racist chauvinism, Europeans were in fact oftentimes shocked by the habit of Native Americans and other peoples to ‘not play by the rules’.

But playing by the rules is a mug’s game. An insurgency in America has about as much reason as the Native Americans once did to follow the rules of their enemies; they are under no compulsion to wear blinking strobe lights to make themselves easier for the drones to target. And that simple fact means that a counterinsurgency effort in the US is almost certainly doomed to fail.

In counterinsurgency warfare, everything that makes the US armed forces great — high-tech weapon platforms with immense destructive power — are not just useless, but counterproductive. A tank parked outside a shopping mall in Idaho will either spend its time shooting at nothing, or be at a very high risk of killing innocent American civilians for the high crime of ‘looking suspicious’. Droning American weddings, like Afghan ones, does very little to advance the goals of a counterinsurgency. If anything, it only makes the relatives of the dead more likely to fight.

The US armed forces are also at least an order of magnitude too small to do the job effectively. During Operation Banner, the British military deployed at most 20,000 soldiers in Northern Ireland to keep a lid on that wayward province. The US armed forces consist of about 1.3 million active duty personnel, but this is spread out over five branches (Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard), and only a small minority of military personnel are actually combat troops. It is thus very unlikely that the armed forces could scramble more than 100,000 regulars willing to do the job of holding an M4 carbine and patrolling down the main street of Anytown, Texas. To put that into perspective, Northern Ireland is about 2% the size of Texas.

Then there’s the fact that the most significant political split in America is between rural areas and coastal metropoles, and the armed forces are reliant on the very areas it would be tasked with policing as far as recruiting soldiers goes. Red America is overrepresented within the armed forces, and this won’t change. As such, the US doesn’t just have too few soldiers, it has potentially unreliable ones, and the more brutality is used against recalcitrant red states, the more these soldiers will be ordered to fight and kill their own friends and family — a recipe for serious mutiny and disobedience.

Finally, there is an even greater elephant in the room. In the case of an American drone pilot accidentally blowing up a wedding in Afghanistan, the Afghan relatives of the slain have very little recourse. If an American drone pilot blows up an American wedding, however, that drone pilot and his or her family lives in the United States. Given the likely unreliability of some significant parts of the armed forces, the names and addresses of the most hated butchers are unlikely to stay a secret for long.

In Northern Ireland, for example, the provisional IRA not only attacked soldiers; they made a habit of assassinating the officers, commanders and politicians both for revenge and as a display of might. From Lord Mountbatten to a near-miss against Margaret Thatcher herself, to a score of less well-known targets, the IRA illustrates just how difficult it is to protect against an enemy that can simply choose to not wear a uniform before their enemies visit.

Now, with that all that said, how likely is it that there will be some sort of civil conflict in the near or mid future for the United States?

Unfortunately, the correct answer here may very well be that it is not terribly unlikely. What is significant about America today is not that it’s nearing its 250th birthday, but rather the clear and advanced signs of sickness in the body politic. The ranks of America’s military are now sullen and battered after 20 years of failed nation-building, while its higher officer corps is increasingly alienated from the world of its grunts, mirroring that same cultural, economic and social divide that is currently poisoning civilian life in the US.

The legitimacy of its elite has been shaken repeatedly, and faith in the electoral process itself is now rapidly declining among large segments of the electorate. America is currently a malarial swamp of strange new faiths, creeds, soothsayers and itinerant prophets; from Q to vaccine scientism to various forms of psuedo-gnosticism centered around trans people. To a student of history, this should also be a familiar — and quite ominous — sign: France in the 1780s had its own scientism and mesmerism, and Russia in the 1910s and 1980s was rife with soothsayers and itinerant preachers of new strange faiths.

Most ominously of all, however, looms the growing supply crisis. This crisis would be tolerable if it merely implied a lack of variety at the grocery store. In such a case, 2020s America might just have ushered in a new golden age of Soviet-style political jokes. But it is also creating havoc in the productive economy itself, denying farmers the spare parts to run their harvesters and car manufacturers the metals they need to make cars. The longer the crisis goes on, the more broken the economy will become, and the more painful the necessary reforms will be, once America’s elites truly wake up to the danger.

If there is one time throughout history where civil wars are actually likely to occur, it is precisely when a delegitimated elite undertakes necessary reforms after letting underlying problems fester for decades. That is when states are at their weakest, and when they are vulnerable to the worst forms of internal disasters. Sadly, that might just be where America is headed today.


Malcom Kyeyune is a freelance writer living in Uppsala, Sweden

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J Bryant
J Bryant
2 years ago

This is one of the most interesting articles I’ve read on Unherd and one of the only articles I’ve read anywhere that makes me think the talk of civil war or secession is more than just wishful thinking on the part of a few marginal people.
For me, however, the main impediment to civil war in America remains the lack of any unified movement advocating that goal. There are discontents throughout the country, especially in the southern states, but I’ve seen no evidence they’re organized enough to do more than create a little chaos in their home states. The MSM will happily warn of the threat of white supremacist insurrection but, really, look at the images of the Capitol Hill rioters–what a rag-tag bunch. Are they really the face of the coming civil war? If so, we have little to fear.
Secession is more realistic, imo, but still far from assured. I could imagine a group of states becoming so disenchanted with the US that they decide to break away, but they’d face tremendous obstacles.
I suspect American civil war in the 21st century will look like the current situation: an increasingly divided people and increasingly dysfunctional politics; left and right constantly sniping at each other and whichever party is in power happily undoing the policies of their predecessor. An America that slowly sinks to the status of a third-tier nation. And we did it to ourselves.

Matt Hindman
Matt Hindman
2 years ago
Reply to  J Bryant

If you think the Capitol Hill rioters are what would be really fighting in a new American civil war, you are a fool. I do not know if you have ever really met the shooter/veteran/blue collar community in America, but they can be a lot more dangerous and competent than most people believe. Modern mass media likes to crap all over them since they are one of the few “acceptable targets” left. Get outside the bubble, read some history books, and take a good look at things like geography, logistics, loyalty breakdowns (particularly military), infrastructure vulnerabilities, proficiency with and availability of small arms, technical skill, and potential recruitment. The overall picture looks very grim for any counterinsurgency operation. It does not help that there are many disgruntled veterans who have received twenty years of up close guerilla warfare experience from America’s “nation building exercises” and recent wars have shown America’s technological firepower to have serious problems facing low tech guerillas with small arms. The good news is these people require a very serious push to become engaged. They understand how ugly things can get and how the country stands a good chance of disintegrating no matter what happens.

Last edited 2 years ago by Matt Hindman
Douglas Proudfoot
Douglas Proudfoot
2 years ago
Reply to  Matt Hindman

i’m a Trump voter living in North Suburban Chicago. Even though I have 2 MS degrees, I identify as a redneck. Most of my political friends are very angry at the current state of affairs. However, most seem to think that the 2022 and 2024 elections will straighten things out. After all, Younkin beat the margin of fraud in Virginia, Edward Durr, a truck driver who spent $2,500 on his campaign, beat the New Jesey State Senate President, a Democrat, in the recent election. From here, it looks doable.

The censored news and social media in the US is discrediting themselves more and more every day. Media Democrats are say the inflation is temporary, then it grows every month, with no relief in sight. Even fixed polls, that oversample Democrats, show Biden’s approval rating under water. Fewer and fewer people believe the censors. Their credibility gap is far wider than Lyndon Johnson’s ever was.

The only reason for a civil war in the US would be if all other options were impossible. That would only happen unless the 2022 and 2024 elections were completely and obviously fixed. With the Democrats so unpopular now, I don’t think there’s enough foot soldiers out there for Democrats to do it.

Just for the record, there were no guns found in the Capitol Riot. The only person killed was Ashli Babbitt, who was shot for her white privilege.

on the other hand, Antifa/BLM riots feature guns, explosive fireworks and Molitov coctails. Democrats objected to those riots being called in insurrection. Local government Democrats defended their right to allow riots when Trump threaened to use federal resources to restore order. When the Democrats accuse Republicans of insurrection, they are projecting.

Matt Hindman
Matt Hindman
2 years ago

That is part of my point. Countries do not descend into civil wars if people believe there are other options available. At the same time, however, there are some very stupid people who think that because a group has not become active or violent yet, they never will no matter what the circumstances. Needless to say this is very shortsighted and dangerous.

Douglas Proudfoot
Douglas Proudfoot
2 years ago
Reply to  Matt Hindman

I agree with you that folks have a limit.

I grew up in Montana, so I studied Montana history. In the fall of 1863, road agent outlaws killed over 100 people an the Montana gold fields. The miners formed a Vigilace Committee. The Vigilantes hung 20 road agents, including the “Law and Order” sheriff of Bannack, MT, Henry Plummer, in the first 3 weeks of 1864. Mr. Plummer was the leader of the gang. Vigilantes chased several outlaws over 200 miles on the snow to what’s now Missoula to catch them. The gang’s recognition phrase was, “I am innocent.”

In my 8th grade history class, this was considered a good thing. It was also taught as a reaction to nothing being done by the forces of law and order. It was during the US Civil War, so the federal government was busy elsewhere.

Kat L
Kat L
2 years ago

i would welcome republicans to become an majority but i’m not blind to the fact that the traditional – free trade at all costs, unlimited cheap labor via immigration and forever wars along with their limp wristed surrender to the culture wars has contributed mightily to the decline of the country. we wouldn’t have a supply chain problem if they hadn’t exported all our manufacturing overseas. the mitt romney/paul ryan/kinzinger/sasse wing needs to be cleared out and given walking papers. we need more desantis and hawley and cotton and rubio and less the patrician libertarians.

Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
2 years ago

There’s an awful lot of discontent in the land. An awful lot. And that Biden & Democrats seem oblivious to the needs of common citizens, ie. affordable food, gas and shelter in place of racialized social services, equity this & that, failing schools which focus on race and not reading/writing/arithmetic is a fact. I think we’re just about at boiling point now. It doesn’t feel good.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
2 years ago
Reply to  J Bryant

“There are discontents throughout the country, especially in the southern states,”

I am a construction worker in the Deep South USA, I drive a pickup, have a dog at work with me, live in the woods, fish a lot, fly the American Flag, am MAGA, believe in General Stark’s ‘Live Free or Die’. The people I spend most time with have no education past high school, work construction, drive trucks, fish a lot, are MAGA….. They work hard, pay their bills, watch TV – no weird meetings and plotting and gun fetishes.

They are NOT discontents. They are Patriots, they get along with everyone, all races, all beliefs, we all just get along. No one wants any stupid C*a p like breaking up the country. None are White Supremacists (and a lot of them are Black anyway). They all would fight FOR the country, NOT against it.

Terry Needham
Terry Needham
2 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

“They all would fight FOR the country, NOT against it.”
I am not quite sure what that means. We had a civil war in England in the 17th century. Both sides believed that they were fighting for the country, not against it – That was the trouble.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
2 years ago
Reply to  Terry Needham

Yes. That is half the trouble. Both sides can think they are in the right. In a Dale Carneigie book he describes someone who went into prisons interviewing murderers in death row in the USA. Most of them described themselves as public benefactors. There is nothing worse than an evil person who thinks he is right.

Last edited 2 years ago by Tony Conrad
David McDowell
David McDowell
2 years ago
Reply to  Tony Conrad

Tony Bliars without a following.

Clive Mitchell
Clive Mitchell
2 years ago
Reply to  Terry Needham

And the damage done by the civil war lasted generations. Proportionally as many people died in the civil war as died in the Great War. For what? Cromwell died, the Commonwealth collapsed and the Stuarts were invited back.

All wars are stupid (although some are necessary), civil wars are particularly stupid (and evil).

R S Foster
R S Foster
2 years ago
Reply to  Clive Mitchell

…true up to a point, but the throne that Charles II was invited to occupy was absolutely and fundamentally different from that occupied by his Father…and even more different to the “Divine Right/Absolute Monarchy” outcome his father aspired to…and it is genuinely difficult to see how the transition from 1639 to 1689 would have been made without bloodshed…Civil War may, sometimes, be the only way to resolve those differences.
And at least our forbears had the wit to see that it was “This War without an Enemy”…and for the most part behave better towards their antagonists in the C17th than the various peoples of Yugoslavia did in the C20th…the bloodshed was terrible, but mostly confined to the battlefield, or within the “Laws of War” then prevailing…

Clive Mitchell
Clive Mitchell
2 years ago
Reply to  R S Foster

“ it has been estimated that the conflict in England and Wales claimed about 85,000 lives in combat, with a further 127,000 noncombat deaths (including some 40,000 civilians).”
This doesn’t include the up to 600,000 who died as a direct result of Cromwells campaign in Ireland.
It’s ironic that a war fought in opposition to the divine right of Kings and in support of the authority of parliament, ended with Cromwell as Dictator.

Last edited 2 years ago by Clive Mitchell
David McDowell
David McDowell
2 years ago
Reply to  Clive Mitchell

Ah Jaysus ah Jaysus ah Jaysus.

Clive Mitchell
Clive Mitchell
2 years ago
Reply to  Clive Mitchell

deleted

Last edited 2 years ago by Clive Mitchell
Liz Walsh
Liz Walsh
2 years ago
Reply to  Clive Mitchell

It’s true that civil wars leave particularly painful scars. My twice-great-gran’s three first cousins, raised in the same Bluegrass household, all become generals in the civil war…two for the Union, one for the Confederacy. The latter opted for that side because, a true Bluegrass man, they promised better horses and more cavalry independence. (He lived to found the stable which later produced Man O’War — so much for moralizing.) All wars involve frightening randomness, and civil wars recapitulate stresses and strains which are unlikely to be extinguished with the cessation of hostilities. The USA’s 10th Amendment issues are, as the article implies, still vexatious today. Didn’t Augustine of Hippo say something like, “All wars are fought in the hope of peace”? Sigh.

Ian Cooper
Ian Cooper
2 years ago
Reply to  Clive Mitchell

Without Cromwell’s victory there would have been no Glorious Revolution in 1688. That was progress.

Last edited 2 years ago by Ian Cooper
R S Foster
R S Foster
2 years ago
Reply to  Terry Needham

…not generally known, but just as the American Civil War was the bloodiest war ever fought by the USA…so were the British Civil Wars the bloodiest ever fought by the different parts of these Islands. In the end, we English-speakers are very good at waging war (once we get warmed up) because of the practice we got fighting each other without mercy, and for years at a time…in both cases believing our side to be right…and our own kith and kin on the other side, irredeemably, and often wickedly wrong…so all I can say is I very much hope we don’t see it again, ever…
…but I very much fear we will, and probably in my lifetime. And I’m over sixty…

Andrew Lale
Andrew Lale
2 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

‘I am a construction worker in the Deep South USA.’ Today, that’s what you are. You have been many other things on other days…

Drahcir Nevarc
Drahcir Nevarc
2 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Lale

I think he may be channelling Charles Bukowski.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
2 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Lale

Hi Sheep,

I have always said I am a Construction worker, mostly carpentry, also electrical – and all the trades to some level.

I also spent 16 years living in camps, lived in several countries, lived in the remote bush in the Far North for years, lived out a backpack about 5 years, moved to USA around 19 after dropping out of high school in London – and have been crossing the Atlantic since. I have lived from Pakistan to Alaska, and visited most between. I have read well over 1000 books, mostly classics, history, Non-Fiction, and managed a few years of college (did my high school as an adult in my 20s) and university here and there (4 schools) studying chemistry and Biology. I have 2 citizenships, but could have had 4.

I have been in a great many very weird and unusual situations and places, and mixed with a vast variety of people, and know the world better than 99.9%.

Matt B
Matt B
2 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

Oh. Fascinating. Is this some kind of dating agency info? Or a trip?
https://www.brookings.edu/blog/fixgov/2021/09/16/is-the-us-headed-for-another-civil-war/

Last edited 2 years ago by Matt B
Michael Sweeney
Michael Sweeney
2 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

I am an Ivy League graduate living in NYC with a son in the Military. I have spent 3 Covid era vacations visiting Pensacola and Jacksonville. I drove each time from NYC to/from Florida. I also have a son with Autism, and the people of the South have been incredibly kind to him. I love the South, want a pickup, but wifey won’t let me! Oh yea, parking is not so great for pickups in Manhattan!!
The Author also has no idea how the US Military works. Get back to me on how the National Guard was ignored in his article.
This is the second time I have commented on an article on Unheard from someone that does NO on the ground reporting about the South. The author lives in Sweden. Get off your rear end, go speak with real people, and get off of Twitter (me too!).
#FlyNavy

Last edited 2 years ago by Michael Sweeney
Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
2 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

Well said. Blessed are the peacemakers.

Claire D
Claire D
2 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

Thank you for this down to earth comment.

stephen archer
stephen archer
2 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

Believe you, Sanford, but maybe not all are like that and while you have a world view, one big problem with a lot of the population in middle and south USA is the total ignorance of what lies outside. If the USA-first dogma takes hold then USA’s influence in the world will rapidly diminish, leaving the rest to Xi and Putin. It’s in the USA’s long term interest to preserve the power balance in both Europe and the Far East, protecting the USA’s interests in trade and influence. There’s a lot more to worry about than civil war while a hell of a lot is happening outside the borders. The thing is, the USA needs someone to step forward to take responsibilty, someone from the Republican party, but God help us, not Trump!

Tony Buck
Tony Buck
2 years ago
Reply to  stephen archer

By 2024, he’ll be as old as Biden was when inaugurated.

Kat L
Kat L
2 years ago
Reply to  stephen archer

i need to inform you that we are broke. we can no longer afford to protect the world. many experts are saying that the govt is backing something called ‘modern monetary theory’. there may be a coming economic collapse and then all bets are off the table. we are TRILLIONS in debt. it’s disgusting what the government has wasted our money on. rich people understand this and are spending millions on bunkers. let xi try to take over; he will overextend his country just as we have. putin will probably stay in his region. but we will eventually have to pay the piper. globalization is a failure

Andrew Lale
Andrew Lale
2 years ago
Reply to  J Bryant

If all those pathetic university students, tik-tokkers, antifa mobsters and professional communists in the US who publish their pronouns and insist on having a ‘safe space’ and trigger warnings could deploy heavy weapons, use small arms competently and knew small unit tactics, then there might be something to worry about. But the Democrats and their army of unwashed agitators against the combined might of American soldiers, airmen, marines and SF soldiers isn’t really a fair fight is it?

Matt B
Matt B
2 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Lale

Nor even likely

Hardee Hodges
Hardee Hodges
2 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Lale

We can take solace in the fact that the antifa/blm riots were not countered by a few well armed people doing the duty the police failed to do.

Tony Buck
Tony Buck
2 years ago
Reply to  J Bryant

It is economic breakdown, rather than ideological or political conflict, that is likeliest to Break the Union.

Eg so decayed are the US’s great cities, that many of their inhabitants depend on government money. What happens if the federal government can’t meet a payment date ?

Andrew Lale
Andrew Lale
2 years ago

The first thing that would happen in a US civil war would be the grunt infantrymen, marines, sailors and policemen fragging their woke officers and higher-ups. I lived in the US and 90% plus of those people are patriotic and right wing. I can’t imagine them EVER firing on their own families and neighbors on behalf of Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, Jack Dorsey and the other people who actually run America in 2021. Just not going to happen. It would be a very short civil war, because all the people who actually know how to use guns and other weapons are on the same side.

Last edited 2 years ago by Andrew Lale
Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
2 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Lale

Yes but the left will not be beyond getting in armies from China or N Korea who agree with communism.

Kat L
Kat L
2 years ago
Reply to  Tony Conrad

i believe you are probably right about that.

waynemapp
waynemapp
2 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Lale

There are two types of civil war.
A secessionist movement for a discrete part of the country, as was the case of the American civil war. In such cases there are two obvious sides with formed armies. Civilians are not the targets. These days it is likely to be a peaceful breakup., as occurred in Czechoslovakia or much of the former Yugoslavia. The 1991 to 1995 war was essentially within Bosnia.
The second, which seems to be mooted here, is an insurrection that covers most of the country. Insurrections usually involves lots of terrorism, mostly against political targets but frequently against civilians. Militarised policing and detailed intelligence is usually the counter. So instead of the US Army, there would be greatly expanded police forces, with some military style gears. Some of this is already happening in the US, with many police forces have substantial arsenals.
Insurrections occur when a significant number of people think democracy has failed, and will continue to fail, or if there is no democracy. Is that really the case in the US, not withstanding Trump?

Tony Buck
Tony Buck
2 years ago
Reply to  waynemapp

Who will PAY the cops and soldiers when the economy has gone under ?

Kat L
Kat L
2 years ago
Reply to  waynemapp

every single institution has gone woke. every. single. one. there are outliers but the vast majority have gone nuts with it.

Matt B
Matt B
2 years ago
Reply to  waynemapp

Good distinction, with oddly few replies to your core question above.

Last edited 2 years ago by Matt B
Tony Buck
Tony Buck
2 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Lale

Well, no – the young black guys are well-armed as well.

But outright civil war is unlikely.

Kat L
Kat L
2 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Lale

that’s what they thought in 1861.

Andrew Lale
Andrew Lale
2 years ago

A good, balanced article. Until very recently, I could not imagine the US having a civil war, until the rejection by a significant tranche of the US population of the outcome of the 2016 election. And by rejection, I mean they actively sought for four years to overturn the result by treachery, lying, fake ‘scandals’ and repeated use of impeachment to destroy the incumbent. Many millions of Americans looked on in disbelief. That disbelief has now turned to anger, and may well go beyond that. The disciplined, hard-working and conservative part of America is slow to anger, but don’t provoke it. Once it raises itself to action you don’t want to get in its way. The woke vanguard currently trying to get complete and permanent control of the US almost certainly won’t go quietly. Their use of machine politics and mob violence is already well demonstrated. Will they try to destroy the Republican party and independent conservatives by force? I don’t know. But they are crazy enough for it to be a possibility.

Laura Cattell
Laura Cattell
2 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Lale

“Many millions of Americans looked on in disbelief”.

At what? The president being caught out in an act of blatant corruption?

Laura Cattell
Laura Cattell
2 years ago
Reply to  Laura Cattell

Exactly the response I expected.

Matt B
Matt B
2 years ago
Reply to  Laura Cattell

That by itself is a bad sign and rather supports the premise of the article.

Last edited 2 years ago by Matt B
Kat L
Kat L
2 years ago
Reply to  Laura Cattell

and heck 1/2 the country doesn’t even know about biden’s corruption because of corporate media and big tech. 10% for the big guy…

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
2 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Lale

They are sure crazy enough.

James Joyce
James Joyce
2 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Lale

Extremely well said! Well done, mate! May I add that HRC still has not conceded the election–isn’t that necessary for a (functioning) democracy?
Her false claims about Trump and Russia–Steele dossier–are only now being shown to be completely mendacious and malicious. Where’s Hillary?

James Joyce
James Joyce
2 years ago

I’m a Yank, and I pitched an article on the coming civil war in America. No dice. Bravo to UnHerd for publishing this piece by a black, Swedish Marxist for real insight into America!
But I also see a coming Civil War, and the theme of my proposed piece was an incident that would trigger a new Ft. Sumpter. What this story misses is the extreme level of hatred that the different groups have–and I admit that I’m part of this “problem.” It is now a thing to fly the “black flag,” new to me but suggesting that no prisoners will be taken, which raises the question: taken in what? The coming Civil War. This means that–to the limited extent they live in the same zip code, the family flying the BLM flag will be killed by the family flying the black flag, and vice versa.
Let’s hope for a peaceful dissolution, but I don’t see it happening. I do see an incident where heavily armed groups, perhaps BLM and home and business owners (think Kyle Rittenhouse), who shoot a member of the opposing camp, they shoot back, and presto, Ft. Sumpter. Do not underestimate the level of hate!
I listened to the HONESTLY podcast with Bari Weiss where she interviewed Caitlin Flanagan, whom I had never heard of. It was about abortion, but at the end, Caitlin Flanagan talked about her Berkeley background, how she had marched in the streets during the Vietnam War and other protests, showing her street cred. But what she then said was extremely interesting, even wise. She said that America was stronger then, and could absorb and even benefit from the protests. There was a common “American-ness,” a common culture, a common language, common values and traditions. Yes, there was great disagreement, mass protests, some violent, but the point of all of that was to make America better, stop killing innocents in Asia, live up to the countries ideals. As per Caitlin Flanagan, America is different now. It’s not as strong. It can’t take it. And the goal is different: destroy capitalism, eliminate white people, smash the patriarchy, destroy America.
Civil War is coming.
Lock and load.

Last edited 2 years ago by James Joyce
Martin Bollis
Martin Bollis
2 years ago
Reply to  James Joyce

My strong advice to you would be stop being part of the problem. What on Earth do you expect to achieve?

It’s hard to judge from across the pond, just how far it’s gone, but I can be pretty confident the vast majority of Americans don’t want a shooting war with their neighbours.

â€œï»żBut the problems of history are not caused by the average man with the average views. It needs only two vigorous minorities confident in the righteousness of their cause, to split a country from top to bottom” Historian Joel Hurstfield writing about the religious divisions of the C16th

Nobody wins a civil war. When, after years of killing, you have to reach some sort of political compromise, you will have irrecoverably lost your preeminent position in the world, be immeasurable poorer and quite possibly we’ll all be governed by the Chinese, who are no doubt doing as much as they can to foment this nonsense.

Instead of ending every post with lock and load try “talk and listen.”

Last edited 2 years ago by Martin Bollis
James Joyce
James Joyce
2 years ago
Reply to  Martin Bollis

OK, fair play. But how? Suggestions welcome. Should I join hands with the woke and sing Kumbuya? Should I hate people who are trying to take away my basic freedoms a bit less, reach out to them, start a dialog? Should I denounce my “privilege”? Pay reparations? Acknowledge my collective guilt.
I spent years trying to persuade born-Again Christians that Jesus isn’t coming back to save them, years trying to persuade the Hasidim to shave their beard and have some shrimp, years trying to persuade observant Muslims…..OK, let’s not go there.
Not really but you get the idea. Religious fanatics don’t listen. What’s the point?
All I want is to be left alone (Libertarian leaning), treat people with respect (always initially, then when deserved), pay fair taxes in a non-corrupt country that I recognize. That is no longer the US. I don’t care about gays, trans, who uses which bathroom. I believe in common sense, borders, freedom, government free of corruption, and treating people with respect, so I can live my life. And others can live their lives. But that is no longer possible. This is a Civil War–all that’s left is the shooting. I, perhaps, have realized this before most. I may be early, but I’m not wrong.
Some say it’s noble to “fight for freedom,” i.e. the American troops fought valiantly for women’s freedom in Afghanistan. Maybe. Is it less noble to fight for freedom in my own country?
Maybe I’m not part of the problem. Maybe I’m part of the solution. If I go down, I’ll go down fighting.
Lock and load!

Martin Bollis
Martin Bollis
2 years ago
Reply to  James Joyce

Fair push back. I don’t live in the US and don’t know enough about it’s political and legal structures to answer properly, other than to say the parents of Virginia seem to have found a way without shooting anybody.

The Free Speech Union issues a weekly news letter. The following is a direct quote from today’s, which indicates this stuff can be fought within the political and legal structures available.

“Cambridge Union U-turns over “blacklist” of banned speakers
The President of the Cambridge Union apologised for a speech made by Andrew Graham-Dixon during a debate on good taste, in which the art historian and broadcaster used “derogatory terms” while impersonating Hitler. Graham-Dixon himself apologised for several of his comments, saying they were offensive “even in quotation”. The offending speech can be read here.

Although Graham-Dixon won the debate, the Union’s president Keir Bradwell said a blacklist of banned speakers would be created – to include Graham-Dixon – and shared with other debating societies. The decision was labelled “Stalinist” by former Union president and author Andrew Lownie, and “pathetic” by scientist Richard Dawkins, who said university should foster and encourage free speech and free thought. John Cleese withdrew from a talk he was due to give at the Cambridge Union in protest, and asked to speak at a venue “where woke rules do not apply”. Louis de Berniùres asked to be added to the blacklist in solidarity, writing that academics and artists should volunteer for such lists in order to boycott universities and institutions that practice cancel culture. Harry Clynch in the Spectator said the episode was sadly “utterly unsurprising” and that the Union had a “poor track record when it comes to defending free debate”.

Following the furore, the Union president reversed the decision and told the Telegraph: “Obviously announcing a U-turn looks silly. I was just a 21-year-old who tried to make the situation better. There is no policy to ban anyone for what they are going to say – it’s a free speech institution. If there is a dichotomy between free speech and offence, I would defend free speech. I don’t want to create an impression that the Union is against free speech.””

Even the Guardian, as woke a rag as you’re likely to find, recently published an article suggesting the woke version of CRT is going too far.

As to winning civil wars, of course one side wins. Do you think the country wins? Afghanistan, Vietnam, etc – better places for their populace to live for having had a civil war?

A more difficult point to discuss iro the US civil war, granted, but that it could be argued that war was part of the birthing pains of a new nation.

My main point is that war, particularly civil war, really really should be a very last resort. You have more than enough levers available to fight, that don’t involve war. Focus on using them first.

Last edited 2 years ago by Martin Bollis
James Joyce
James Joyce
2 years ago
Reply to  Martin Bollis

I think we are in agreement on many points. As noted, I have called for a peaceful dissolution as Option A, but I don’t see it happening. The UK surrendered its capital city without firing a shot. Would anyone disagree that London is no longer an English city? No longer a British city? John Cleese wouldn’t.
Now back to your first point: “the parents of Virginia seem to have found a way without shooting anyone….”
First, I am not calling for shooting anyone, though I will do my bit when the shooting starts. Option A is a peaceful divorce. But more to the point: “found a way” to do what? So they defeated the absolute most extreme bit of the woke agenda. Well done. But 98 to 99% remains and is thriving, thriving in part because of extremely woke people who suddenly find themselves cancelled and therefore “on side.” Julie Bindel. Kathleen Stock. Bari Weis. Asra Nomani.
Do you really think these people are “on side?” Not woke? Blimey, mate, they are as woke as they come, except for a single issue.
The parents of Virginia have won little. It’s not nothing, it’s good, but the tsunami of a woke agenda is coming.
Talk and listen.
Just kidding. Lock and load!

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
2 years ago
Reply to  James Joyce

‘On side’….. Perhaps for starters you could defer just a little to majority opinion, which most certainly isn’t yours in either the US or the UK! It doesn’t sound immensely tolerant to cite a long list of almost every Unherd contributor, and just name calling rather than engaging with anything they say.

I just love the way that assorted right-wing fanatics claim ‘the people’ as being on their side, eg Brexit, Trump, but suddenly object when the people have a different position,as perhaps on covid.

I happen to live in a very unfashionable area of London. Like most metropolises, it has its problems, but people get along.

James Joyce
James Joyce
2 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

With respect, are you lumping me in the your characterization of “right wing fanatics?” I’m gutted mate, especially after Hillary called me a deplorable. I once was asked this question by the BBC–are you a liberal or a conservative, and I threw it back at them, saying I’ll tell you what I believe and you tell me. Not to blow my own trumpet, but it got an interesting response worldwide.
So I’m against the death penalty (yes, mate, a real thing in the USA) pro gay (sort of, just don’t care much), pro trans (sort of, just don’t care much, treat people with respect), anti-immigration from the third world, anti-imperialist, pro-Brexit, pro peaceful divorce in US, pro-freedom of speech, atheist, anti-corruption (levels in US would make Indians blush, though many wear suits so it’s not called corruption), pro-equality (meaning anti “equity,” equality of result), pro-abortion (a woman’s right to choose, not my business), anti-war/s, anti-American or other hegemony. The list goes on.
Right wing fanatic? Come on, mate!

David Yetter
David Yetter
2 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

You write, “I just love the way that assorted right-wing fanatics claim ‘the people’ as being on their side, eg Brexit, Trump…” I have a similar affection for the way centre-left elites claim elections that don’t go their way represent “threats to our democracy” e.g. Brexit, Trump.

James Joyce
James Joyce
2 years ago
Reply to  David Yetter

This is an excellent riposte! Well said, mate!

Tony Buck
Tony Buck
2 years ago
Reply to  James Joyce

What drives woke, are hordes of young people from broken homes, huddling together in ideological groups for comfort, family-substitute and identity.

Kat L
Kat L
2 years ago
Reply to  Tony Buck

spot on and i might add indoctrination from the school system. no one knew what was going on until covid, so i guess that might have been a silver lining…

David Bell
David Bell
2 years ago
Reply to  James Joyce

Pardon my ignorance but what do you mean by ‘lock and load’? I assume load refers to a gun but ‘lock’? Lock the house first and then load your gun or load your car? I’m not taking the mick, I’ve not heard this expression before.

Zorro Tomorrow
Zorro Tomorrow
2 years ago
Reply to  David Bell

It’s Hollywood I think. Judging by the Trump hating Baldwin and Let’s go Deniro, guns are not their expertise. A gun needs to be loaded first but will not fire until its components are locked, or cocked, which comment moderating software rejects.

James Joyce
James Joyce
2 years ago
Reply to  Zorro Tomorrow

Not Hollywood. Military. A real thing.

David Bell
David Bell
2 years ago
Reply to  Zorro Tomorrow

Thanks, though in that case shouldn’t it be ‘load and lock’?

Last edited 2 years ago by David Bell
James Joyce
James Joyce
2 years ago
Reply to  David Bell

An expression used by (at least the US) military when they go into battle. A reminder that this is real.

David Bell
David Bell
2 years ago
Reply to  James Joyce

Thanks, JJ. Interesting expression.I believe many others come from the military, like ‘Leatherneck’ which arose from use by U.S marines of leather-collared tunics as protection against scimitar blows during the war against the Barbary pirates. Britain has many from its naval tradition.

Liz Walsh
Liz Walsh
2 years ago
Reply to  Martin Bollis

I agree. A civil war is never “the last best option” — it’s the first worst option. That being said, a campaign of sand-in-the-machine, Irish democracy may not come amiss since last January’s shadow has fallen over the land, with imposition of Obama 2.0 …

Last edited 2 years ago by Liz Walsh
Tony Buck
Tony Buck
2 years ago
Reply to  James Joyce

One of the signs given by the Bible as foretelling Jesus’s Second Coming, is the return of the Jewish People to their ancient homeland.

Which has happened.

Jesus’s return is as Judge – of everyone, Born Again or not. And will be accompanied by the End of the present world and cosmos, followed by a “new Heaven and a new Earth.”

James Joyce
James Joyce
2 years ago
Reply to  Martin Bollis

“Nobody wins a civil war.”
Really? With respect, are you kidding? Didn’t China have a Civil War during and after WW II? Didn’t the communists win? Didn’t the losers flee to Taiwan? May not even be over, mate.
Didn’t Vietnam have a Civil War? Didn’t the communists win?
Didn’t Afghanistan have a Civil War? Didn’t the Taliban win?
Didn’t the US have a Civil War? Didn’t the North win?
I think you are historically wrong, mate. Option A is a peaceful dissolution. I hope that happens, but if not a shooting war is coming.
What on Earth do you expect to achieve?
Libertarian states of North America. No corruption, true freedom and prosperity. Is that a worthy goal?

Samuel Gee
Samuel Gee
2 years ago
Reply to  James Joyce

Agreed it’s always interesting when people say civil wars aren’t won. More widely that “violence doesn’t work”. This is wishful thinking because for some people it offends their sense of natural justice. The winners in a conflict may not be the good and the righteous, they might be be evil tyrants. Because they don’t like that idea that evil may triumph they simply dismiss that the method might work.
Violence does work. It’s highly effective. History proves that it works. Even at the individual level it works. Even at the “likely threat of it” level, it works.
It’s a technique, a tool. It’s open source and it works both ways.

Simon Denis
Simon Denis
2 years ago
Reply to  Samuel Gee

Violence may work in the short term and for partisan goals, but it does profound, irreparable, long term damage – that’s the point – not to mention the appalling, traumatic effect on countless innocent individuals. So the communists “won” most of the civil wars they started – true; but they then presided over stagnant charnel house societies which collapsed. We don’t want to emulate that, do we? Then there’s the problem of mission creep – once violence is used here, it’s used there. Now, I acknowledge that there are some cases in which violence, as wielded by the right, has been sufficiently targeted and controlled to rescue society from the left: Thiers in 1871; Stolypin around 1907 are the classic examples – the left still hates them with the usual sadistic intensity, of course. But these are rare occasions and very risky, totally contrary to usual Conservative practice for the very good reason that they involve immoral actions. So let us leave no stone unturned in the search for ways and means to stop the left which involve no violence of any kind. How the left will hate us then – for we shall not have supplied them with any more dye for that wretched flag of theirs…

Samuel Gee
Samuel Gee
2 years ago
Reply to  Simon Denis

That’s not a counter argument. Violence works. Ask a mugger? Or better still ask the police officer pinning him to the ground to cuff him.

It’s open source and it works just as well for anyone and just as well against anyone.

Rupert Steel
Rupert Steel
2 years ago
Reply to  Samuel Gee

Absolutely. Which is why the state goes to considerable lengths to maintain its monopoly on violence. The UK is a top-down democracy, where the grant of electoral franchise was a concession by the monarchy following the Civil War. Consequently it has long been the practice of British governments to be heavily restrictive in the matter of firearms ownership. The British populace are disarmed, and in the main prevented from owning any weapons of military potential.
The situation in the US is quite different. As a bottom-up democracy based on settlements that were frequently established on a syndicalist basis, in the face of frequently hostile indigenous peoples, the US has enshrined the right to bear arms, and it does. It can be argued that this armed population is an important guarantor of limited government. There’s a latent threat of mutually assured destruction within the US polity that seems to achieve an equilibrium.
If a civil war, or inter-communal strife, is imminent, it may be within some European states where the indigenous white populations are feeling threatened by seemingly unlimited third world immigration. Attacks on statues and monuments like the Cenotaph are tangible and polarising events which are not easily forgotten or forgiven. The recent statement by retired French generals about the future of France seems significant.

Kat L
Kat L
2 years ago
Reply to  Rupert Steel

i think it’s becoming increasingly clear that diversity is not our strength.

David Bell
David Bell
2 years ago
Reply to  Kat L

Diversity is division.

James Joyce
James Joyce
2 years ago
Reply to  Kat L

What an excellent pithy comment. With respect, may I add that it does not become our strength no matter how many times it is repeated?
Well done, you!

Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
2 years ago
Reply to  Kat L

‘second that!

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
2 years ago
Reply to  James Joyce

There is no such thing as libertarian government! The alternative to government is the Mafia.

Nancy Washton
Nancy Washton
2 years ago
Reply to  James Joyce

t

Last edited 2 years ago by Nancy Washton
David Yetter
David Yetter
2 years ago
Reply to  James Joyce

I seem to recall all the civil wars in the Roman Republic and Greek city states had winners, too.

Tony Buck
Tony Buck
2 years ago
Reply to  James Joyce

Yes, but very unlikely to emerge. Most Americans – from either Party – just aren’t good citizens any more

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
2 years ago
Reply to  Martin Bollis

Well said. There are far too many posturing self-righteous extremists on here, they like the frisson. But if they are going beyond that, it is worrying.

Plus the usual American dysfunction, emphasised in so much of its culture, that the gun is the solution to all problems. And in THAT respect at least, the Right is more to blame than the Left.

The NRA and Republicans strongly politicised this issue for decades, well before ‘woke’ was ever heard of.

2nd amendment:

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed”.

Note the rather important word, “militia”!.

Last edited 2 years ago by Andrew Fisher
David Yetter
David Yetter
2 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

Yes, “militia”, understood as it was in the 1700’s: the body of armed citizens.

Matt Hindman
Matt Hindman
2 years ago
Reply to  David Yetter

Fisher is one of those who believes that “militia” means federal government (as if the government ever needed a right to bear arms) and that “people” does not mean the people of the country even though it does under every other part of the Bill of Rights. Or he could just be full of it.

Kat L
Kat L
2 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

take guns away and citizens will be defenseless. i was always on the fence about it but after seeing the absolute hatred coming from some quarters i think it’s absolutely necessary now.

Nancy Washton
Nancy Washton
2 years ago
Reply to  Martin Bollis

We will be subservient to China given their hyper focus on sheer cognitive ability and nothing else.

Last edited 2 years ago by Nancy Washton
Kat L
Kat L
2 years ago
Reply to  Martin Bollis

yes, i agree you have no idea what is going on here. you are telling the wrong people to talk and listen. we are already poorer due to the immense amount of debt the govt has gotten us into. it’s not just biden although he has made it so so much worse. both sides have done this.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
2 years ago
Reply to  James Joyce

‘I’m a Yank,’

f*ing seppo…..

(I am fluent in both British English and American English (even Canadian English))

James Joyce
James Joyce
2 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

Can you kindly explain? Your thoughts, though welcome (I think) are lost on me.

Linda Hutchinson
Linda Hutchinson
2 years ago
Reply to  James Joyce

I echo this; I have no idea what he means.

James Joyce
James Joyce
2 years ago

Thanks! I thought I was deficient in some way (not really!), as he clearly seems to be taking the moral/linguistic high ground.

Ed
Ed
2 years ago
Reply to  James Joyce

“Seppo” means septic tank/yank. It’s rhyming slang a teasing name for someone from America. I don’t get the downvotes. He was clearly joking 🙂

Michael Richardson
Michael Richardson
2 years ago
Reply to  Ed

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhyming_slang for those who still don’t get it.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
2 years ago
Reply to  James Joyce

Cockney Rhyming Slang. It is deep into British slang and works on paired word rhymes, and this is a British rag, and I am just dropping into Brittishisms (f*ck ing Yank being a phrase which has always been popular in UK, since WWI and WWII when millions of them were billeted there, it is not hostile, just a thing…)

Trouble = Wife, because the paired words ‘trouble and strife’, where the second word strife rhymes with wife – so the first word is used for wife.

China = Mate (close friend) as the word pair is ‘China Plate’, with plate rhyming with mate, thus China = Mate.

And thus Seppo = Yank as ‘Septic Tank’ and Tank rhymes with Yank, and so Septic means yank, reduced to seppo.

British are much more into slang than Americans. Cockney slang was from old days when they were a sort of group with rough lifestyles so it allowed them to have a language others could not understand – – and many of these rhyme slang worked their way into British English. And to a great deal mid 1900s.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
2 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

What’s seppo?

James Joyce
James Joyce
2 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

Excellent news! Proud of “Seppo.”

Andrew Horsman
Andrew Horsman
2 years ago
Reply to  James Joyce

I share a lot of your frustration and anger. I really do. But war solves nothing. Please could I humbly urge you, if you have not already to watch the 6 minute message from Jordan Peterson below, and take a couple of minutes to reflect on it. What we need to do, in my view, is to relentlessly wage individual love on our neighbours; to constantly ask ourselves: am I being truthful? Am I being just? I am being courageous? Am I pursuing beauty? If you can honestly answer yes to all those questions, the things that ostensibly divide us will pale into insignificance against the few things that actually do divide us.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=PcM3Y8kACo4

Kat L
Kat L
2 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Horsman

this is incredibly naive. objective truth is being turned into ‘my truth’. courage is now defined as caitlyn jenner. beauty and history are being erased. woke is clearly a new religion and they are eager to convert you but make no mistake, transgression will never be forgiven.

Zorro Tomorrow
Zorro Tomorrow
2 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Horsman

JP is an anathema to the woke left where logic is irrelevant (inconvenient if enforced).

Peter Mott
Peter Mott
2 years ago
Reply to  James Joyce

I did a masters in California in 1966 (I am British) and can confirm that the place seemed robust and vigorous despite Vietnam. As James Joyce says.

Tony Buck
Tony Buck
2 years ago
Reply to  James Joyce

Economic and political meltdown are coming.

Worry about food supplies, not armed enemies.

Kat L
Kat L
2 years ago
Reply to  Tony Buck

what do you think will happen when people are starving? those with arms will use them.

Drahcir Nevarc
Drahcir Nevarc
2 years ago

Why the assumption that an insurrection would be of flyover people vs coastal elite + military? Why might it not be a continuation of the woke fascist insurrection vs non-woke + military?

Ethan
Ethan
2 years ago
Reply to  Drahcir Nevarc

Because the “woke fascists” control the government (and by proxy, the military). They are the regime in charge.

Andrew Lale
Andrew Lale
2 years ago
Reply to  Ethan

A very dubious analysis. You think your average US infantryman or marine is going to fire on his kin because Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer tell them to? Then you don’t know America.

Matt B
Matt B
2 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Lale

Well said. They are a fine bunch of guys.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
2 years ago
Reply to  Ethan

By fiddling the software.

Hardee Hodges
Hardee Hodges
2 years ago
Reply to  Ethan

“control the government” – At the moment it’s unclear if anybody is in control of much. When the President and portions of the government refuse to obey court orders and portions of the DOJ seem to be in a political witch hunt (Project Veritas seizures), the public has lost faith. If the public begins to feel their government has become lawless, resistance can collapse the economy. Urban areas not serviced by trucked goods become unlivable. That sort of civil unrest can’t be corrected by force.

Matt B
Matt B
2 years ago
Reply to  Drahcir Nevarc

Or, perhaps there will be no such thing anyway (beyond the imagination of echo chambers)

Ernesto Garza
Ernesto Garza
2 years ago

The Founding Fathers deliberately armed the population as a bulwark against a tyrannical government. They correctly saw that a standing army stood no chance against an armed population. (The “Militia” of the Second Ammendment.). This ultimate power arrangement has dampened tyrranical ambitions. Until now?
We have arrived at a point where today’s Democrat Party, home of the self appointed elites, perceive themselves as the natural repository of power. Many consider the Constitution an obstacle to their ambitions. That is the real potential flashpoint.

John Riordan
John Riordan
2 years ago

Brilliant article, and it fleshes out something that I’ve been wondering for some time myself, which is that the Liberal-Left complacency about the Second Amendment would not last long in any conflict aimed at settling it to the satisfaction of the metropolitan elites. The people with legal access to guns who actually take up the right to bear arms are really very committed to the principle, and there are a hell of a lot of them.

An anti-gun commentator whose name I forget recently tried to make the point that the Second Amendment gives the right to bear arms, not artillery. This misses the crucial point that the right to bear arms is there as a counterweight to the force of arms borne by government, so if anything, the Second Amendment does confer the right to bear artillery, and indeed attack drones, tanks, laser-guided missiles and anything else that te government might choose to deploy against its own citizens – if, of course, we accept the view that the principle of the Second Amendment still holds today.

Anyway, let’s hope it never comes to that.

Last edited 2 years ago by John Riordan
Ernesto Garza
Ernesto Garza
2 years ago
Reply to  John Riordan

John, you get it. The American Founders deliberately put arms in the Constitution as a counterweight to tyranny. Many are willing to fight and die to protect that Constitution.

Matt Hindman
Matt Hindman
2 years ago
Reply to  John Riordan

Many of the cannons used in the American Revolution were privately owned and furnished and the whole thing kicked off when British regulars tried to destroy gunpowder stockpiles at Lexington and Concord.

Zorro Tomorrow
Zorro Tomorrow
2 years ago

As an onlooker, watching the USA news last year (for what the Orwellian leftist MSM’s credibility is worth) one could believe a war had already started. I very much doubt the National Guard or regular military would open fire on the citizenship unless they had to defend themselves. They would mutiny. This is the crux in an armed populace; they will also defend themselves. The USA is awash with trained experienced veterans so I doubt they would kowtow to aggression from regular soldiers under orders from an apparently increasingly unpopular government. If there aren’t citizens self defense groups formed already there will be if Antifa and BLM types start again. Mom and Pop will fight back on a guerilla basis from a position of armed cooperation. Probably part of the Democrat thrust to ban guns, so popular with the Left.
Alternatively I can see seceded states based on similar territory to the original civil war. This will drive population movement. We are seeing middle class flight, from California for example. There already no go areas in the big, especially blue, cities where drugs and crime are not dealt harshly enough with from some misguided liberalism. Look at how the wealthy fled during the pandemic.
As for the fickle callow Hollywood gang, they will have fleets of private jets with flight plans filed for everywhere but mainland USA.

Terry Needham
Terry Needham
2 years ago

Almost nobody wants a civil war. Unfortunately, once a war starts we are all obliged to take sides: There are no neutrals.

Matt B
Matt B
2 years ago
Reply to  Terry Needham

Not true. You have a choice.- in the US more than elsewhere. Somalia etc. Try to set an example and make the most of it.

Terry Needham
Terry Needham
2 years ago
Reply to  Matt B

I disagree. In a civil war you are either with us or you are against us.

Matt B
Matt B
2 years ago
Reply to  Terry Needham

With who/against who? Do you really imagine it is so binary? Most people in civil wars are torn before they go in, and then torn to bits again by the fools who start them. Take your pick: nationality, ethnicity, tribe, clan, family, religion/sub-divisions, language, dialect, town, district, politics, party, unit… the list goes on. But there is one thing in civil wars that is true. They are the worst, and the people who suffer the most are women and children. So think hard, and be suspicious of all your fellow blowhards doing the rounds these days – inc here on Unherd – before ‘picking sides’. They are hollow men with no imagination. Where did ‘with us or against us’ get the US to last time?

Last edited 2 years ago by Matt B
Terry Needham
Terry Needham
2 years ago
Reply to  Matt B

“Most people in civil wars are torn before they go in, and then torn to bits again by the fools who start them”
I quite agree, but people are obliged to take side whether they wish to or not – That was my point.

Matt B
Matt B
2 years ago
Reply to  Terry Needham

I don’t entirely disagree. But the process of destruction of society along the way to that binary extracted choice of last resort (which not all people do make in fact) is very avoidable: the free will to pull out of a nosedive or go full kamikaze. Ultimately, you all decide.

Last edited 2 years ago by Matt B
Tony Buck
Tony Buck
2 years ago
Reply to  Terry Needham

A civil collapse is in any case much likelier.

Kat L
Kat L
2 years ago
Reply to  Terry Needham

as robert e. lee could attest…

Last edited 2 years ago by Kat L
Michael Coleman
Michael Coleman
2 years ago

Good article (except for digression on supply crisis). It certainly seems like we are headed for divorce or civil war. Which would it be and what would precipitate the event? Most of the red US would not mind letting the blue urban states and their many irredeemable inhabitants go their own way but the reverse is not true. Blue states, despite having a disproportionate amount of the economy, would not be willing to let the vast majority of the US territory leave and remain a Taiwan-like beacon of freedom. And of course precedent has been set – so civil war seems more likely. But it won’t be an overt war, at least at the start. It can be argued that current Biden efforts to weaponize the FBI , DOJ and other parts of the government against their political opponents are the border skirmishes of a covert war. I believe the most likely cause of open war would be a governor of a red state deciding to ignore some Federal directives, be it to collect guns or some other Federal overreach, followed by the President sending troops. There is a simple solution for us to prevent this scenario thankfully – just don’t elect anymore Democrat Presidents.

Hardee Hodges
Hardee Hodges
2 years ago

The National Divorce is already underway. People are voting with their feet as seen by NY and CA losing population to states where fewer personal restrictions exist along with lower taxes. If there is little advantage in living in larger urban areas, people will move. If people can work remotely they can live anywhere. If commerce is dominated by delivery vans, no need for local shops. If this migration continues, power centers shift. Urban areas dominated by those needing government to survive fail as the tax basis migrates. The renewed effort for a Convention Of States to affirm the US Constitution may finally happen with the potential to reform the swamp in DC.
A shooting war is not necessary in the National Divorce. The people can do it for themselves.

Matt B
Matt B
2 years ago
Reply to  Hardee Hodges

Well said. At least someone here who appears to care for their country without a nihilistic death wish. It’s like watching a bad B movie.

Last edited 2 years ago by Matt B
David Yetter
David Yetter
2 years ago
Reply to  Hardee Hodges

Not so, the people “voting with their feet” mostly don’t actually understand that what they are fleeing from are the natural consequences of the ideology they voted for for decades, and end up remaking the state they fled to to be more like California or New York than it was when they arrived, by continuing to vote the same way with their ballots that they did in the state they fled (cf. Colorado).

Last edited 2 years ago by David Yetter
J M Dee
J M Dee
2 years ago

Hmm… I would slightly amend the first sentence in the last paragraph:

If there is one time throughout history where civil wars are actually likely to occur, it is precisely when a delegitimated elite pretends to undertake necessary reforms after letting underlying problems fester for decades.

Of course, the delegitimated elite will pretend to address all manner of pretend problems, too. In the US, every so-called urgent reform we’ve seen in the past 90 years (campaign finance: 2002 & 1974; telecom: 1996; ethics: 1989; money and S&Ls: 1980; airlines: 1978; firearms: 1986, 1968, and 1934; environment: 1963; banks: 1933) frustrated competition and innovation and created more festering problems than they addressed.

Kat L
Kat L
2 years ago
Reply to  J M Dee

great comment…and don’t forget the exportation of most of the manufacturing jobs which both parties gleefully took part in.

David Batlle
David Batlle
2 years ago

“There are discontents throughout the country, especially in the southern states,”

That is a outmoded paradigm. Look at the electoral maps for the last 20 years. This is not a “southern states” issue. It is a rural voters vs urban voter issue.

Urban voters control the money, rural voters control the food. You cannot eat money. The very people that Leftist America wants to destroy are literally the people who provide their sustenance. Blue cities could literally be starved into compliance. Bomb them if you want, and then starve even faster.

Last edited 2 years ago by David Batlle
Greg Moreison
Greg Moreison
2 years ago

Interesting article. Personally I am of the opinion that American civil war is a growing prospect, neither inevitable nor impossible, but simply increasingly likely in comparison to ten years ago. I think this has far more to do with the entrenched positions of both sides in the culture war, and the clear hatred or contempt expressed openly by them (but particularly by one side), than the question of the military being capable (or otherwise) of confronting a home grown ‘insurgency’. Personally I think the Spanish civil war (SCW) is a better example of what *may * happen than the Vietnam or Afghanistan conflicts, which were really proxy wars: As I understand it, the interesting thing about the SCW is that effectively the army itself split, after t*t-for-tat political killings had created a deeply divided nation that was already splitting along ideological lines. (Whether Franco caused war by ‘invading’ or whether the ideological direction of the elected Republican government left him no choice is a political question – pick your poison – and therefore moot. The question at hand is simply how this situation happens, not which side we may think is right).
So the first question wouldn’t really be whether ‘Woke urban liberals’ or ‘MAGA rural conservatives’ own more guns privately, or appear to be more warlike – the main armaments and soldiers on both sides would be provided by the armed forces’ current men and materiel anyway, and added to by volunteers from within the US and supplies from outside interested parties (my guess in this scenario? China and UK – think debt and finance).
If the most (or perhaps only) applicable example of a modern Western country falling into civil war is the SCW (not Serbia/Bosnia/Croatia as I think these are ethnic conflicts created in part by the collapse or withdrawal of empire; and so closer to the India/Pakistan partition violence, for example, than any possible future US civil war), then the next real question isn’t ‘who has the guns and who would the army fight’ – the current army has the guns and would effectively be fighting themselves – but rather, what are the possible causes of a potential split in the army, along ideological lines: and are the populace at a point where riots and general unrest could turn to specific, targeted, political murder?
So I think the things to start looking out for are: 1. Targeted murders from both sides ramping up the tension, fear and stakes, 2. Public (‘elite’?), formerly shared institutions taking one side rather than the other (and thus no longer representative of the political reality, making democratic balance impossible) 3. The internal ideological divide representing a divide outside in the world, with interested international parties lining up on both sides.

The crucial point I think *could* come if the army was asked to do anything that was clearly ideologically driven, but that the army itself is divided over. Soldiers are voters too, and I think the spectre of Federal powers on one side of the political debate and States or other constituent parts of the US (courts, etc) on the other side of the debate, is looking ever more possible. If the federal powers were to try to use the army to enforce their will against the states…? Well, personally I think the army could split.

Liz Walsh
Liz Walsh
2 years ago
Reply to  Greg Moreison

Thank you. Good observations. We must bear in mind that the wounds of the Spanish Civil War have only barely begun to heal, almost 80 years on, and may still rip open again.

Christian Filli
Christian Filli
2 years ago

Scary stuff, no doubt. However, it is far more likely that we will actually see a continuation of the decline already in progress – an extremely dysfunctional political system, an irreversible mental health epidemic, drug addiction, poverty and crime rates through the roof, the erosion of social trust, the corruption of young minds, the inability to fix or build things, the accumulation of capital in the hands of a few dozen technocrats, the complete surrender to the CCP, the implosion of an unaffordable health care system, etc etc. In other words, an eventual collapse of liberal democracy, economic output and quality of life. Maybe not by 2026, but could be 10-15 years out if we don’t course correct.

Simon Richards
Simon Richards
2 years ago

The American empire has only existed since WW2. Before then the European empires ruled the planet. I don’t think the American empire will last anywhere near 250 years and for the last 30 years looked to me like it could disappear in an instant.
I think civil war is possible in any Western country because the police and military have been reduced to minimal strength over the years, especially in the UK, such that the government would not be able to contain a popular uprising.

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
2 years ago
Reply to  Simon Richards

I was just reading an article about the Russian Revolution in 1917. Police officers were the first to be targeted by the communists.

Matt B
Matt B
2 years ago

Well-written, thought-provoking and definitely topical it seems – as this bizarre idea does seem to be gaining traction, judging by the inflammatory rhetoric from all sides in the US. It is shocking to even conceive of this as a desired option in the richest and most self-indulgent nation on earth, let alone to egg it on (as do some readers here). But in reality it is hard to see such scenarios expanding beyond hubris and at most serious localized breakdowns in order (Portland plus rat-tat-tat). The military for sure does not look.set to pick sides to help fools. As for local and wider secessions through the ballot box, what does US law say (and does anyone beyond the seriously loopy fringe really want it?). Ultimately the US encourages such splits abroad (inc NI in the past) so the game-plan and rules are well known. But at home? What an odd turnaround from Glory days. Pathetic really.

Last edited 2 years ago by Matt B
Bruce Hill
Bruce Hill
2 years ago

“Learned a thing or two from Charlie, don’t you know”.
From the song Copperhead Road (the unofficial Redneck anthem)

Martin Bollis
Martin Bollis
2 years ago
Reply to  Bruce Hill

I think Copperhead was what Unionists called the faction within their movement that wanted an immediate cessation of the war with the south, also know as the Peace Democrats.

Strange how these things come round.

Adrian Maxwell
Adrian Maxwell
2 years ago
Reply to  Bruce Hill

Its worth expanding your reference in the context of this discussion. What John Lee Pettimore learned from the Viet Cong was the art and skills of guerrilla war. He wanted to prevent the government (police, customs etc) finding his still down Copperhead Road. The song is indeed anthemic and reflects almost all the issues discussed here.

Liz Walsh
Liz Walsh
2 years ago
Reply to  Adrian Maxwell

We Yanks are such a work in progress. Haven’t even settled the Whisky Rebellion yet!

James Watson
James Watson
2 years ago

Very good article and as a result very interesting comments. Is civil war inevitable? Likely no, however I do believe that the current state of affairs in the US is untenable in the long run. Make that the short run. I’d love to see an analysis of what the options to insurrection are.

Ernesto Garza
Ernesto Garza
2 years ago
Reply to  James Watson

Unfortunately, that is where the surveillance state begins. As we speak, the DOJ is searching the phone of a Project Veritas leader, in an outrageous violation of press freedom. The State will then “roll up” the political opposition, using the limitlss power of its legal teams to crush them financially.
When Constitutional protections for free speech, privacy (unreasonable search and seizure) firearm possession are breached, we have a real potential for violent resistance.
So the surveillance state, as in China, is the root threat.

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
2 years ago
Reply to  Ernesto Garza

I just read about that. It’s really worrying.They even gave their findings to the New York Times to publish.

Jon Hawksley
Jon Hawksley
2 years ago

This article makes one think. A civil war needs two opposing sides that passionately believe in contradictory things. The passion is there but as an outsider both sides appear to believe in America and are intent in saving it from the other side. There does not appear to be any desire to make fundamental changes to America, the institutions or constitution. If both sides still intend to hold elections after winning it is not at all clear what a civil war could be seeking to achieve.
The factor that seems to be mentioned most is freedom but surely control was won 250 years ago for most of the population and during the civil war for the rest. The cry for freedom today is much more nebulous and focussed on rights rather than actual restrictions. There not even appear to be a drive for radical changes to end economic oppression, a key driver for civil war elsewhere.

Kat L
Kat L
2 years ago
Reply to  Jon Hawksley

the difference is that one side believes in the constitution as written and the other side see it as a living document to be changed to fit the times. we can’t even agree on what reality is. a professor in arizona came out recently and stated he would no longer give grades based on merit because it’s racist; rather he would give out grades based on effort. you have no idea how bad it’s gotten.

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
2 years ago

Very interesting if somewhat depressing article. I think the US is quite a way from that outcome yet, the majority of people being more moderate than the political extremes, but, boy are those extremes extreme!

David Yetter
David Yetter
2 years ago

Consider the success of the Taliban. As I have opined elsewhere, if even 5% of the American adult population were to reject the authority of the Federal government and be willing to use violence to defy it, using only those weapons they already possess and the explosives they have legitimate access to, could purloin, or produce (lots of American know the formula for a diesel-fuel/nitrate-fertilizer charge), the Federal government would not be able to put down the uprising without taking measures strong that they would push more of the populace into the arms of the rebels, and move states to secede or at least use their National Guard to protect their people from the Federal government (or both the Feds and the rebels). Consider also in the “red-state rebellion” scenario, that the rebels will have hackers who could damage infrastructure more essential to the coastal cities than to the heartland without direct violence.

John Shaplin
John Shaplin
2 years ago

America is still grappling with the unresolved differences and conflicts of the last Civil War, the failed project of Reconstruction. and the unsettled relationship between the central; government and the sovereignty of the States. It is a function of the original. Constitutional structure of the United States, the 3 part division of powers which is essentially conservative in character and remarkably stable, despite periodic protests against the indifference and incompetence of whatever group of oligarchs has gained power by means of the corrupt, stock-jobbing Party systems.

Kat L
Kat L
2 years ago
Reply to  John Shaplin

upvote for the first sentence. however once lincoln managed to subdue the south it no longer was a voluntary union of independent states. that is how big govt got it’s start.

Virginia Durksen
Virginia Durksen
2 years ago

I have a difficult time thinking about the American military being willing to slaughter other American’s on the orders of anyone. I think it probable that they would either simply down their weapons, or start shooting the people who gave orders to shoot their own fellow citizens.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
2 years ago

I know it is a silly article for click bait – USA is not having a civil war

Kat L
Kat L
2 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

it’s a cold civil war, i cannot believe you to be so obtuse if you really live in the south.

David Batlle
David Batlle
2 years ago

There are factions within the military that would, and those that would not. That is the Civil War. The higher echelons of the military are blue, whereas the coronels and below are red.

Kat L
Kat L
2 years ago

‘Others claim they would actually prefer to declare war on their recalcitrant countrymen rather than let them go their own way unmolested.’ this could have been written in 1860…

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
2 years ago

Well, that is as silly an article as I have read. Maybe the writer has spent too much time playing computer war games instead of learning anything of actual history and military history and USA in its broad spectrum, and the modern world.

“While the US military is indeed powerful and lavishly funded, it is a military designed to fight other states. Warfare between states is bound by rules and regulations; it is based on consent. This might seem a strange assertion to make, given that a country cannot just decline a war declaration from an enemy, but it holds true. There’s a formal or informal understanding of who is an actual combatant and who is not.”

Come on, this is mere driveling. First the USA military is not going to fight its civilians, or each other. USA military is the citizen solider, and citizen is first. They are not mercenaries, or paid by plunder, or third world conscripts.

But the writer needs to learn something of military History and Ethics, as he obviously knows nothing of them. Look up ‘Total War’, that is WWI and WWII. The situation whereby the solider is merely the combatant who points and fires the rifle, the combatants back home (what the we call civilians) mine and grow the food and commodities to fight with, make the war material, supplies, food, transport, and train as youth to become fighters in their turn…. ‘Total War’ (This was Sherman in the USA civil war, the Blitz, Nagasaki, Dresden, Coventry…..) as all members of the other side are combatants, even civilians are combattants as they are as much of the war effort as the uniformed troops.

Then there are ‘Police Action’ Wars, Like Vietnam with ‘Enemy Combatants’ who are other than civilians, but not necessarily in uniform – but the concept recognizes Civilian ‘Non-combatants’ and ROE do not allow their slaughter. Like Ireland, Like Afghanistan, and the war is not total, and is thus merely a bogged down mess.

I really think no one would have a Military Police Action War on USA Soil, we saw MENA 20 years of weary fighting, we know of the Vietnam war. And no one ever believes USA would do a ‘Total War’ against its self.

USA is NOT having a Civil War, we did that in entirely different circumstances 150 years ago – and no one will try that again.

The writer has a feverish imagination, and I recommend the book ‘A History Of Warfare’ by John Keegan, some history, philosophy, and ethics of military.

Andrew Lale
Andrew Lale
2 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

You were pretending earlier to be a construction worker from Deep South (lol) and now you are pretending to know everything about modern warfare?

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
2 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Lale

I have consistently heard Sanford refer to his work which is construction. Why would a construction worker not have an opinion on modern warfare?

Martin Bollis
Martin Bollis
2 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Lale

Sanford’s persona has been consistent on here in the year or so he has been a regular commenter. Owner of a small construction outfit in the US south, following a life as a drifter originally from the UK. I don’t know the reason for the name change.

The quality of his posts generally bespeaks either a great deal of reading, particularly on economics and military history, or some research before posting.

I don’t endorse most of his conspiracy theory explanations, for many of today’s developments, but the facts in his analysis are usually well worth a read.

I’ve also enjoyed the charm offensive launched at Lesley after her confession to a couple of affairs in a post a while back. Invermectin, it seems, may be true love’s bond!

I would be interested in his view on a Northern Ireland “troubles” scenario, which clearly isn’t total war but also isn’t quite a policing operation in a foreign country. Some sort of ongoing low level insurrection, from the extremists on both sides, seems the most likely scenario.

I also don’t know enough about the command structure of the National Guard to know how/whether that would be relevant.

Last edited 2 years ago by Martin Bollis
Douglas McNeish
Douglas McNeish
2 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Lale

Elitist condescension.

Chris Eaton
Chris Eaton
2 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

I’m going to stick with what I know and mostly disagree about what you said about Sherman. His idea of ‘total war’ NEVER meant the targeting and killing of civilians. It did, however, mean he was going to take everything they had of value to supply his Army. He never considered them combatants and neither did anyone else in the United States Army.

Last edited 2 years ago by Chris Eaton
Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
2 years ago
Reply to  Chris Eaton

I use that as an example – he considered the entire infrastructure and all the people produced as part of the combatant. No he did not slaughter civilians, but in War later this became a norm. Burning of Moscow in the Napoleon war was similar – although each side is blamed for it variously. But again the harbinger of total war.

Tony Buck
Tony Buck
2 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

No civil war ? Yes, a civil war is unlikely.

But that won’t save the USA from collapse.

Roger Inkpen
Roger Inkpen
2 years ago

This revolution WILL be televised!
(OK – livestreamed)
With apologies…

Mike Wylde
Mike Wylde
2 years ago

Any such action is likely to be very complicated. The middle versus the edges, but only the North east edge and the South West edge most likely.
Then it has to be remembered that there are approx 100 sets of official armed forces in the USA. If you excuse the Navy from taking much of a part (it’s difficult to sail the USS Ronald Reagan up the Mississippi) you have the Federal forces (Army and Air Force) but you also have the National Guard and Air National Guard who are much more state based but equally lethal.Which side would they all be on? It could be very, very messy (if extremely unlikely).
Finally (tongue in cheek) you have the CAF, once stated as being the third biggest air force in the world, personally I prefer their original name but that’s not allowed in the current world so now it’s the Commemorative Air Force. based in Texas!

Tony Buck
Tony Buck
2 years ago

Jesus warned “he who takes the sword will perish by the sword”

As for the contending factions in the USA – both have a case, but both are pretty ghastly.

Philip LeBoit
Philip LeBoit
2 years ago

There are a lot of fever dreams on display here, so I’ll add my own. If you replace the formal concept of civil war with communal violence, the most likely scenario is that of an election in which a populist Republican loses the popular vote, but wins the Electoral College via the intervention of state legislatures. This would be followed by massive protests and civil disobedience, and mobilization of right wing militias. In states with Republican governors, its not hard to imagine them granting legal status to the militias if the national guard isn’t enough to maintain order.

Douglas McNeish
Douglas McNeish
2 years ago

Schadenfreude.

Zorro Tomorrow
Zorro Tomorrow
2 years ago

To return to one of Unherd’s most interesting topics it is worth looking at Europe 900 years ago. Castles and Keeps. (Gated communities, Militias) Robin Hood, outlaw? freedom fighter? urban guerilla? Political / military adventures in the Middle East. Returning mercenary veterans. Plagues, the Black Death. If history repeats itself where is the American Empire now? Look at the European maps. Squiggly map lines demarcate the nations where presumably the last argument fizzled out. USA seems divided on who their Sheriff of Nottingham is. I’m sure I know but it’s none of my business. We have fireworks and petrol bombs on the streets too. The Dutch authorities were using water cannon on Covid rebels only last night. NATO obligations will be called on for Belarus and Ukraine. Perhaps, like our little Falklands episode, internal disputes will be shelved. But we had Margaret Thatcher.