Friday, March 01, 2019

Loose Talk Of Civil War

The Post, needless to say, puts the blame on the right, but I've been seeing such talk on both sides--and not just reactively on the left. Though it does seem to me that the talk I see on the right is more like Maybe we'll hafta, while the talk on the left is more like Maybe they'll do it. And concerns about Trump refusing to abide by electoral outcomes are based in things he's actually said. And the fact that we can't quite be certain how far he might go. Who knows what that guys is capable of?
   Anyway: people really do need to cool their damn jets--especially the right, it seems to me.
   Though I do have some sympathy with a view on the right that basically says: the left, having won the culture war, has elected to make it a total victory--opting to crush the right...hence traditional American culture...irrevocably, rather than allowing it a defeat with dignity that grants it a right to exist. The left's attitude is more like: Having won, let us raze traditional American culture to the ground and salt the earth. The right fears--justly, IMO--that the left knows no bounds and will never stop. Such a belief (tacit and ill-formed though it may be) makes desperation understandable. In fact, it may even make talk of civil war rational. If you believe I have the means and intent to destroy all or most of what you hold dear, what are your rational options?
   I'm not trying to defend civil-war talk. I'm suggesting that--irresponsible though it may be--it might have roots in something that's not altogether unreasonable. I'm certainly sympathetic to the idea that the left has become rather rabid and bloodthirsty in victory. The ascendance of the extremist left has certainly made it plausible to think that it is large-scale, revolutionary upheaval rather than judicious, incremental, occasional improvement that they have in mind.
   Unfortunately, bloody-minded talk of civil war seems to me to reveal the very kinds of errors and stupidity that discredits the right and drives people to the left. Sometimes what I see on the right seems not so much to be a kind of panicked, desperate suggestion that war might be the only hope...rather it sounds darker...more eager than fearful...
   But, as always, I could be wrong about basically all of that.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is there any situation where the Left wins a culture war and doesn't try to raze the opposition and start a revolution? Just by the nature of the Left as a political entity. And if that is true, what's the implication you should draw on the balance of power in the political persuasions, is it in fact a civilizational weakness for the Left to get the upper hand?

Obviously depends on your priors about the need for revolution, of course, and there are shades of Leftism of course. Scandinavia is in many ways dominated by the Left, but it's also conservative in terms of hard data too (very little churn in social/economic position for instance, so existing power brokers retain power, which is in a fundamental sense quite conservative).

8:12 PM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home