I’ve been catching up on photog’s excellent blog Orion’s Cold Fire, and boy did I miss a doozy. Good ol’ photog regularly presents his pick for American Greatness “Post of the Day,” and on August 7, he wrote about a sobering Angelo Codevilla piece, “Igniting Civil War.”
Meanwhile, Southern history think-tank The Abbeville Institute posted an essay Monday asking “Is Political Separation in Our Future?” These pieces suggest that something cataclysmic is looming for the United States. Are they right to be concerned?
Codevilla is a clear-eyed analyst of the root causes of civil wars, and has written about the possibility of separation in the past. Should such an unfortunate calamity befall the United States, historians will do well to note Codevilla’s Cassandra-esque writings.
The frequency of such pieces is alarming. Some of them, perhaps, are alarmist in nature, but I suspect many of these pieces are not the cause of separation talk, but the symptom. Codevilla, for example, is merely the physician diagnosing the patient: a sick body politic at war with itself.
Codevilla traces the history of civil wars back to the Corcyrean Revolution of 431 B.C., all the way through the Spanish Civil War of the 1930s. In every instance, a moment came at which political opponents would not accept the outcome of the established political process, and resorted to violence. Once one faction refused to participate in the political system, the other would soon follow suit.
The result is always bloody: in the cases of the Corcyrean Revolution and the Spanish Civil War, the regular folks began butchering their political opponents with ease—even gusto! But the genesis of these civil disorders began with the elites, who increasingly demonized their opponents.
Codevilla points out that the Democrats began this rhetorical demonization back in the 1960s. By engendering hatred towards whites, they hoped to rally a coalition of various minority and outsider groups to buoy them to electoral victory. Meanwhile, simpering “goodwhites,” as John Derbyshire calls them, were cowed into supporting Leftist causes to avoid the odious charge of racism, the equivalent of being accused of witchcraft in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.
Fast forward to the violence of Leftist groups like Antifa, who refuse to accept the outcome of the 2016 presidential election, and it’s easy to see that we’re rapidly advancing towards some form of greater social disorder. As Codevilla notes, it’s only a matter of time before the other side fights back.
Indeed, we saw this weekend the conviction of two members of the Proud Boys, a group that is demonized persistently and dishonestly in the press as a “white supremacist” group. These two gentlemen were convicted of assault for acting in self-defense against Antifa attacks. They were charged and convicted in New York City, so they never stood a chance—does anyone believe they could get an impartial jury in the capital of multicultural Leftism, especially after a concerted media disinformation campaign against what is, essentially, an old-school men’s fraternal organization?
I shudder to contemplate where our country is heading. I do not support violence or secession, but I am a proponent of reasonable self-defense in the face of attack. I also believe our justice system, as well as our federal government, has become deeply compromised. I have little confidence that an outspoken conservative can receive a fair hearing in a court of law today.
If I’m correct, that situation—according to Codevilla—cannot long endure. In such a case, peaceful separation might offer the best chance for a bloodless divorce. Of course, the better solution is to restore federalism and States’ rights, properly understood—stop forcing everyone and every State into a one-size-fits-all, nationalistic frame.
Regardless, I pray for peace, and that we can stop ratcheting up the situation we find ourselves in presently. May God have mercy on us.