Silicon Valley Is Hot for Civil War

All the socionomic forecast posts always come with the caveat that social mood determines how events play out. Many people think a civil war is crazy talk, and yet it is popping up a lot more. And these are the good times. The stock market hit all-time highs in January, not all-time lows. This is America at its most amicable over the next 10 to 20 years if there's a serious downturn in social mood. I believe the top was in around 2000 and this current peak (measured by the stock market) is a negative social mood peak, which is why issues like inclusiveness and diversity are being used to push authoritarian social control. We are at a bear market peak in a serious wave of negative mood that could produce outcomes on par with the 1930s and 1940s or 1860s.

Medium: The Great Lesson of California in America’s New Civil War
In the early 2000s, California faced a similar situation to the one America faces today. Its state politics were severely polarized, and state government was largely paralyzed. The Republican Party was trapped in the brain-dead orthodoxies of an ideology stuck in the past. The party was controlled by zealous activists and corrupt special interests who refused to face up to the reality of the new century. It was a party that refused to work with the Democrats in good faith or compromise in any way.

The solution for the people of California was to reconfigure the political landscape and shift a supermajority of citizens — and by extension their elected officials — under the Democratic Party’s big tent. The natural continuum of more progressive to more moderate solutions then got worked out within the context of the only remaining functioning party. The California Democrats actually cared about average citizens, embraced the inevitable diversity of 21st-century society, weren’t afraid of real innovation, and were ready to start solving the many challenges of our time, including climate change.

California today provides a model for America as a whole. This model of politics and government is by no means perfect, but it is far ahead of the nation in coming to terms with the inexorable digital, global, sustainable transformation of our era. It is a thriving work in progress that gives hope that America can pull out of the political mess we’re in. California today provides a playbook for America’s new way forward. It’s worth contemplating as we enter 2018, which will be a critical election year.
The right produces the same analysis because we are in the antebellum stage of the the third civil war (after 1776 and 1861).
The best way to understand politics in America today is to reframe it as closer to civil war. Just the phrase “civil war” is harsh, and many people may cringe. It brings up images of guns and death, the bodies of Union and Confederate soldiers.

America today is nowhere near that level of conflict or at risk of such violence. However, America today does exhibit some of the core elements that move a society from what normally is the process of working out political differences toward the slippery slope of civil war. We’ve seen it in many societies in many previous historical eras, including what happened in the United States in 1860.
America has declining empathy between citizens, youth raised on violent video games and the ability to use drones and robots to kill people thousands of miles away. The extremes are already fighting violently in the streets, statues are being torn down by violent mobs, any small even can spark riots in a city. All it will take is a serious decline in social mood to start a wave of violence that doesn't end, but instead turns into what will in hindsight be described as the start of a war.
America’s original Civil War was not just fought to emancipate slaves for humanitarian reasons. The conflict was really about the clash between two very different economic systems that were fundamentally at odds and ultimately could not coexist. The Confederacy was based on an agrarian economy dependent on slaves. The Union was based on a new kind of capitalist manufacturing economy dependent on free labor. They tried to somehow coexist from the time of the founding era, but by the middle of the 19th century, something had to give. One side or the other had to win.

America today faces a similar juncture around fundamentally incompatible energy systems. The red states held by the Republicans are deeply entrenched in carbon-based energy systems like coal and oil. They consequently deny the science of climate change, are trying to resuscitate the dying coal industry, and recently have begun to open up coastal waters to oil drilling.

The blue states held by the Democrats are increasingly shifting to clean energy like solar and installing policies that wean the energy system off carbon. In the era of climate change, with the mounting pressure of increased natural disasters, something must give. We can’t have one step forward, one step back every time an administration changes. One side or the other has to win.
This is also accurate. Red State America's power is in the military, oil & gas, coal, and agricultural production. Blue State America's power is in government, finance, education and technology (software).
The last time America was in that position was in the 1930s, during the Great Depression. We were on the road of severe class conflict that could have continued toward civil war, but we worked out a power shift that prevented widespread violence. Franklin Roosevelt, the so-called traitor to his class, helped establish a supermajority New Deal coalition of Democrats that rolled all the way through the postwar boom. The conservative Republicans who had championed a politics that advantaged the rich throughout the 1920s and promoted isolationism in the 1930s were sidelined for two generations — close to 50 years.

Today’s conservative Republicans face the same risk. Since 1980, their policies have engorged the rich while flatlining the incomes of the majority of Americans, from the presidency of Ronald Reagan through to last December’s tax overhaul, which ultimately bestows 83 percent of the benefits over time to the top 1 percent. Make no mistake: A reckoning with not just Trump, but conservatism, is coming.
Technically the 1 percent are Blue State tech-finance-government, Trump voters are more likely to live in a trailer park than work in a business park, but the point still stands. There's are irreconcilable differences.
Two different political cultures already at odds through different political ideologies, philosophies, and worldviews can get trapped in a polarizing process that increasingly undermines compromise. They see the world through different lenses, consume different media, and literally live in different places. They start to misunderstand the other side, then start to misrepresent them, and eventually make them the enemy. The opportunity for compromise is then lost. This is where America is today.

At some point, one side or the other must win — and win big. The side resisting change, usually the one most rooted in the past systems and incumbent interests, must be thoroughly defeated — not just for a political cycle or two, but for a generation or two. That gives the winning party or movement the time and space needed to really build up the next system without always fighting rear-guard actions and getting drawn backwards. The losing party or movement will need that same time to go through a fundamental rethink, a long-term renewal that eventually will enable them to play a new game.
There is a peaceful solution: secession.
Let’s just say what needs to be said: The Republican Party over the past 40 years has maneuvered itself into a position where they are the bad guys on the wrong side of history. For a long time, they have been able to hide this fact through a sophisticated series of veils, invoking cultural voodoo that fools a large enough number of Americans to stay in the game. However, Donald Trump has laid waste to that sophistication and has given America and the world the raw version of what current conservative politics is all about.
In order to murder people, you have to paint them as bad and evil. This article isn't something I dug up, it has gone viral and been forwarded by big tech CEOs.

How things play out will depend entirely on social mood. If social mood turns up and people are optimistic, then they will peacefully change the society and accept change through the ballot box. They will view setbacks as temporary or fixable. If social mood declines, they will react violently and kill each other. If disagreements are really intractable, they will agree to separate peacefully like the Czech Republic and Slovakia. America is on a course for civil war, political dissolution or both.

1 comment:

  1. "There is a peaceful solution: secession."

    Does it sound like the left is interested in that? It sounds to me like they are fantasizing for their turn at the oval office to launch some sort of political purge. They have declared the right to be the enemy of not just them but of all humanity, and then they are going to shocked when they are treated as an enemy(given no quarter).