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I’ve been meaning to link to this great post at Status 451, which is a review of the Bryan Burrough book “Days of Rage” and a look at the late 60s/early 70s political upheaval and violence in America. The categorical differences in Left/Right revolutionary fervor are also examined, with a special consideration for the now largely memory-holed murderous violence committed by radical black activist groups.
In short, the near-term prognosis for our nation is not good.
This is the difference between the hard Left & hard Right: you can be a violent leftist radical and go on to live a pretty kickass life. This is especially true if you’re a leftist of the credentialed class: Ph.D. or J.D.
The big three takeaways for me about Weatherman, when it comes to political violence in America as we might see it in 2016:
- Radicalism can come from anywhere. The Weathermen weren’t oppressed, or poor, or anything like that. They were hard leftists. That’s it.
- Sustained political violence is dependent on the willing cooperation of admirers and accomplices. The Left has these. The Right does not.
- Not a violent issue, but a political one: ethnic issues involving access to power can both empower and derail radical movements.
Interestingly, a lot of the 60s/70s political violence originated with revolutionary groups based out of California and the West in general. Agnostic would say this fact follows from the basic character of Far West Americans, who are rootless itinerants and radical individualists prone to falling into cults and infiltrating mainstream religions.
What does it mean for us? First, let’s be blunt: most political violence is not going to be as well-trained & highly disciplined as FALN. You’re not going to see that level of skill again, unless the Cubans decide they want to come to play. What you might see, on both sides, is what to me is the most amazing part of the FALN story: its parasitization of the Episcopal Church.
And the important point that Leftist murderers are simply more tolerated, even coddled, by the establishment:
The other takeaway: again, Lefty radicals have more opportunities and more acceptance from their mainstream than Righty ones. I don’t see Eric Rudolph getting clemency, no matter the administration. He shouldn’t. Nor should have FALN.
A new Turchin cycle (a Fourth Turning) is descending upon us:
But it’s the implications of Bryan Burrough’s book that scare the willies out of me.
I am afraid that the United States is in for political violence in 2017. It could be as bad as or worse than the 1970s. I have some ideas as to what some of it may look like. It really isn’t pleasant to think about.
I’m going to talk about some nasty things here. I do not want any of it. But some or all of it could happen. Some of it already is. In 2017, I am very pessimistic about America’s future, to the point that I think the country should seriously consider a National Divorce.
Everyone feeling nice and at ease now? Good, let’s get started.
Let’s not mince words: the United States of America is currently engaged in a cold Civil War.
So maybe we can hope that political violence in the US, ’70s-style, won’t go all-out for massive numbers of deaths? Well… maybe. The way I see it, domestic conflict in the United States could operate in basically four stages:
- cold Civil War
- targeted political violence, mostly short of murder
- political violence with murder as the default
- Civil War II
The United States should start seriously talking about National Divorce before we get to stage 3.
We’re in Stage 1 now. Stages 2 and 3 are what we’re concerned with: the public getting mobilized. What would that look like, on Left and Right?
People tend to think that the Right will be an awesome, horrific force in political violence. The SPLC’s donations depend on that idea. Righties tell themselves that *of course* they’d win a war against Lefties. Tactical Deathbeast vs. Pajama Boy? No contest. Why, Righties have thought about what an effective domestic insurrection would look like. Righties have written books and manifestos!
The truth: the Left is a lot more organized & prepared for violence than the Right is, and has the advantage of a mainstream more supportive of it.
What about the pro-Trump military?
Righties might go, “Yeah, but the military!” Yes, the military runs very heavily Righty. As do the cops. To which my answer is: if we get Civil War II, how many Americans do you think the U.S. military is willing to run over with tanks?
And that’s all the author says about it. A pat assertion, with which I disagree. If the situation heats up enough, like it did just before the first Civil War, then the military (red state through and through) will be more than willing to crush leftist Americans in the streets. Or turn their guns on Leftist institutions like academia, federal buildings, and media headquarters.
The Chateau Civil War II Doomsday Clock now calculates that the chances of bloody internecine war within the next ten years is more likely than not.