Friday, August 9, 2019

Suppose We are Not Heading for Civil War?

Lots of experts are predicting civil war -- the next step from our current "cold civil war." I also have a military acquaintance that is worried about that.

Heck, I'm worried about that.

And I am worried that, in the aftermath of two-a-day mass killings, one by a lefty Warren supporter and one by the son of a licensed psychotherapist, President Trump caved on the "white nationalist" canard.

Hey, if Trump the brawler doesn't have a Twitter come-back for the usual accusers of racism, then ain't nobody ready to confront the race-card issue.

I mean, it means that President Trump doesn't feel it is safe to say, for instance.
What planet are these Democrats and "fake news" journalists on? I just don't care about race; I only care about Americans. And if you ask me, when it comes to race and racists, it takes one to know one.
But the time is not yet ripe.

Still, I can't help feeling that, rather than get to a race war, we are actually getting to the moment of Thermidorean Reaction. That's the moment in the French Revolution and its aftermath when Robespierre fell, the Reign of Terror ending, and pretty soon the French had Napoleon to rule them.

The notion is that the religious fervor of a Reign of Terror cannot last forever, because ordinary people just want to get on with wiving and thriving. Example du jour is Ferguson, Missouri, where the white Mayor James Knowles -- a known Republican in a 67% black city -- got reelected in 2017 with 57% of the vote. Joseph Duggan:
Blacks, whites, and, increasingly, Latinos, live side by side today in the community. Those who are staying in Ferguson or who will move there tend to be motivated by solidarity—on being together as neighbors first and foremost without undue impulses of activism or ideology.
The point is that humans are progammed to come together at a moment of crisis to defend the homeland or the race, or recover from a natural disaster, or combine to kill some scapegoat, or whatever. But we are also programmed to wive and thrive and tend our families and communities. And that most of the time.

The game of a ruling class is to rile up the natives when it needs them for some ruling-class power project. And that project must be represented as a response to an existential peril, according to my maxim that
The only warrant for government action is existential peril.
In other words, if you are a ruling class and you want to flex your ruling-class muscles, as ruling classes often do, then you must sell the people on an existential peril. It could be the Nazis, the Commies. It could be "white nationalists;" it could be climate change.

It could be a true peril. It could be a brazen lie. From the ruling-class perspective, it doesn't matter.

My feeling is that the way that the ruling class has elevated the race issue over the last half century is sending a message. Our ruling class is running out of existential perils with which to frighten us.

Meanwhile, its failures have been piling up: big government in all its aspects from unaffordable entitlements to failing schools. Cultural deserts, from the white working class dying of despair to the women traumatized by the sexual revolution to blacks producing 75% of children outside marriage, to the radicalization of the universities, to the LGBT folly, to the recent classification of illegal immigrants as the archetype of helpless victims.

If I were the secret Mr. Big of the present ruling class I would be afraid, afraid that the whole thing could come tumbling down. And I would know that the only thing to do would be to rile up the natives in one more big college try. In other words, a Reign of Terror and Virtue.

But the point is that a ruling class that opts for a Reign of Terror is a ruling class that is looking right into the face of failure. Because when things are going good you don't need a Reign of Terror, you just go on your next Royal Progress and greet your happy peasants with the usual Royal Wave.

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