Feb 19Liked by Max Remington

Niall Ferguson wrote about 20thC genocides in https://www.amazon.co.uk/War-World-Historys-Age-Hatred/dp/0141013826?nodl=1&dplnkId=033311d5-ada9-4b94-8a39-9f63be4ff7a7 - you have imperial / National decline or defeat coupled by extreme diversity and the perception that one group is favoured above others… recipe for bloody mayhem

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The trends you highlighted, as well as those highlighted by Lynch, certainly point to a major domestic collapse, but they arguably point more towards a 4th Generation Warfare (4GW) scenario than to the model of civil war or revolution familiar to most Americans. The 4GW model was developed by military and political theorist William Lind, and draws in part from concepts posited by Martin Van Creveld's works The Rise and Decline of the State (mentioned in the Q&A portion of his presentation in the linked video) and The Transformation of War. The idea is that states exist so long as they maintain legitimacy by doing what states were intended to do--maintain a certain level of well-being and order. So long as they maintain legitimacy, people from diverse backgrounds will maintain identificational loyalty which allows them to view their ethnic/tribal/religious/ideological/factional/territorial differences as secondary (e.g., a liberal Nepalese Buddhist from urban New England can live in harmony with a conservative Hispanic traditionalist Catholic from rural West Virginia if they see themselves firstly as Americans). When states lose legitimacy, the identificational loyalties turn elsewhere, usually to the aforementioned ethnic/tribal/religious/ideological/factional/territorial identities, with criminal loyalties becoming a potential primary identity as well. Eventually the groups formed by this type of social fracturing start competing with each other for needs, influence, etc., and the competition eventually becomes violent, devolving into warfare between non-state actors.

From a 4GW standpoint, the ideological divisions in the US are likely to erupt into a 4GW conflict rather than a more traditional civil war/revolution in part because the left has made racial, sexual, and gender identities such a prominent issue in our society. For example, due to the ongoing indoctrination in racial class warfare, the most committed BLM and black street gang types would regard the white Antifa types with distrust and disdain. This could potentially lead to conflict between them, though that depends partly on whether someone attempting to coordinate a broader Marxist effort could keep them aligned despite the indoctrination, or if could sustain parallel operations which keep them separate on an ongoing basis. Additionally, from a 4GW perspective we are importing 4GW daily at our southern border. Most Latinos have an inherent distaste for western gender and sexual ideologies hawked by the left today. Hispanic culture gave us the frameworks of machismo and marianisma, both of which are repudiated by today's left, i.e., the western left attacks what has long been key cultural values for them. Whether they would fight alongside American leftists depends therefore on whether their embedded cultural values or the financial gains to by had by aligning with the left speak louder to them. The radical Muslims coming over the border might do like some within the American political establishment by pretending to be progressive while never themselves accepting the left's values in their homes. However, most are likely to fight purely for their own religious cause. It is unlikely that those from the various countries and ethnic groups coming across the border will ally with each other indefinitely; in a 4GW conflict, they'll likely start fighting amongst themselves at some point.

The most significant concerns for those who ascribe to 4GW theory is that all the ingredients are in place for it to break loose. The state has been losing legitimacy rapidly for the past several years: neglecting to secure the border despite known hostiles using it to enter, refusing to punish those arrested even for violent crimes but punishing those who dare to attempt to stop the criminals in the act, allowing the destruction of sections of cities in the name of racial equity, allowing a radical group to establish an autonomous zone in a major US city where law enforcement could not enter, shutting down small businesses with heavy penalties for non-compliance while allowing mega-corporations to continue to run outlets, refusing to allow children and parents to go to parks yet allowing leftist protests--the list could continue for some length. On top of this, groups such as Antifa, Proud Boys, and any number of militia, criminal, and ideological groups are still around, so some of the potential actors in a 4GW conflict are already in place. The question is what the trigger will be. I believe that's where some of the analysis shared by you and Lynch some into play.

Events associated with the election could certainly be a trigger point. If Trump we have a repeat of 2020 where many believe Trump was defeated in a rigged election, or if he is sentenced to prison or ruled disqualified to hold office in one of the trials, right-leaning groups might revolt. (That's something the left almost certainly wants.) If Trump is exonerated or gets elected, the left might revolt. Personally, I question whether something more mundane might set off a conflict. For example, suppose there's a shooting between parents and some officers enforcing a removal order for their child due to the parents' refusal to affirm the child's gender identity. Might a group that's had enough of the gender ideology revolt? Might a group in a conservative state that has a city with a progressive DA ever decide to go vigilante to stop the crime in the city? Alternatively, some of the policies promoted in the US that originate in the WEF's Great Reset agenda might also put enough of a squeeze that they could instigate a revolt over property rights, access to fuel/transportation in rural communities, access to food, etc. If a similar policy as the one which instigated a mass protest by Dutch farmers gets transported to the US, it could have the potential to produce a much more volatile reaction, as we are an armed population. The 2014 Bundy standoff was based on one individual rancher's protest. If hundreds of ranchers and farmers are effected, the likelihood of a much larger armed incident could result. Again, what might trigger the likely future disruption can't be predicted. The right in the US has allowed things to go far beyond what one might expect without many major protests for some time. A state takes custody of a child so the child can be transitioned to a different gender, yet the right doesn't take to the streets in protest--none of that would have been imaginable just 10 years ago. Perhaps the thought that it will take a massive incident to incite a revolt is correct. Regardless, it does not seem like we are moving into 2-sided conflict, but one with many groups competing, aligning, and realigning with each other. If that happens, beware the Leviathan that people will accept in exchange for security, peace, and order.

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Feb 17·edited Feb 17

If I had to bet on an upcoming major foreign event that will permanently degrade US global power, I would bet on China (supported by Russia) successfully invading Taiwan, with the US finding itself incapable of preventing it. This would probably come close on the heels of Russian victory in Ukraine.

And if I had to bet on an upcoming internal conflict that will take us to edge of CW, I would bet on either election-related domestic terrorism, or another round of George Floyd-type racial unrest -- except this time resisted with significant violence from both the organized Right and from apolitical normies.

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"US power overseas is waning" - Are you sure about that? How did US power look during Carter post-Vietnam, or in the early 90s with the Somalia humiliation. Pre-9/11 there was more talk of US decline. In recent years, the US power has utterly humiliated Russia militarily, at a total discount, without spending a drop of its own blood. Xi Jinping's reign is ruining China, with a few nudges from DC, and now ending talk of the "China Century." Sunni terrorism is quiet. The US can do whatever it wants to Iran and its proxies who are more of a nuisance than anything. These are the hard power realities without even touching on how America has swallowed all other soft power - cultural/philosophical rivals. If this is your idea of decline, what does utter dominance look like?

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A few things struck me in the course of your article (very good, as it usually is BTW).

WhatIfAltHist has intelligence (obviously), but it's a rare 22 year old who possesses wisdom. Perhaps he does, but he says in one of the videos you linked that we're wise to remember his own lack of education and life experience.

Your comment about the executioners of that grandfather deserving the needle struck me. I have been 100% opposed to capital punishment for decades on Christian grounds. Given that execution forecloses the possibility of repentance (and therefore salvation), and a modern state is perfectly capable of keeping someone locked up for life... capital punishment should not be practiced. I respect you and others may disagree, but that's been my view for decades: pro-life all the way, even the hard cases. I find myself wondering about that now though. We have the physical ability to keep people incarcerated, but absent the political will to do so, perhaps I need to rethink this position.

Don't be too hard on the mom who blew the $11K in free money from the government. I'm serious. Read the original article (https://www.washingtonpost.com/dc-md-va/2024/02/01/dc-cash-payments-mothers-pilot-program/ ) There are several positive things: she's apparently not married or even cohabitating but the family went on the trip together with the kids' father; she spent part of it on a used car that she needed; she opened her first savings account ($50 in it, but small steps...); she talks about what her kids got to experience more than she herself. These are good things. Sure, she screwed up most of it ($1200 a day in any city... wow!) but her focus wasn't completely off.

Here's a quote from the original article, from Miller (the mom): "Communities in my area don’t know the financial gain of credit, saving for your kids; that’s why we’re broke, that’s why we don’t have nothing to pass down or no house to give down. I’m trying to get to the level where I’m passing something down that really matters, so I can be set and my kids can be set, and they don’t need to push so hard like I’m doing now.”

My wife teaches Title 1 3rd grade; if half her single parents had this much concern for their kids' life experiences and future, she would be thrilled.

It's easy to make fun of the last item she mentioned, "Do you see how good I look in this picture. I didn't have to look like a working, stressed out mom." But that knowledge, that she can be something other than what she is even for a short time period, is incredibly powerful. JD Vance would probably say this is the difference between being "poor" and just being "broke".

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The Church has always held capital punishment, in itself, to be just. See http://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2013/03/capital-punishment-lecture.html

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Well, until Pope Francis. (Like so many other things.)

Unlike Francis though, I'm not saying capital punishment is intrinsically evil. I'm saying in a modern, industrialized state, it is not necessary. And if taking a human life is unnecessary, we should not to it. That simple.

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Pope Francis isn't "the Church"; Catholicism frowns on positivism. Anyway, deeming capital punishment imprudent or unneccesary is different from deeming it inherently evil. A Christian (an orthodox one) can do the former, but can't do the latter. You'd said, though, that you are against it 100% "on Christian grounds" and that it precludes repentance. One of the arguments for it is that it invites repentance, forcing the criminal to actually face his own mortality and make a decision.

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I do not believe it's intrinsically evil, as I said. Only that it is unnecessary in a modern state and on Christian grounds, the unnecessary taking of human life should be avoided.

As I said in my original post though, if we lack the political will to actually imprison people for life when they deserve the needle, I may have to rethink that. Because you are correct, there are times that justice requires someone be permanently removed from society.

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Here the view of an outsider: I am a German and partly grew up in the US. While being a journalist I have met many Americans abroad in central Asia and have an idea of the establishment and also of ordinary Americans. The gap is beyond anything I have seen anywhere else in the world. The embassy people, the NGO people and the higher military live in another world. They are surrounded by a ridiculous amount of security and literally have no idea of how local people live. Still they are convinced that they have the answer to all problems. Theirs is a civil religion that might best be characterised like "wokeness". They are universally hated by the natives who nevertheless never let their hatred show as the Americans (and their EU vassals) have the money.

But there are also other Americans. And they are most interesting. Peace corps people who make do on local salaries and know the local languages; fundamentelist Christian missionaries who founder in these tough surrondings but are respected by the locals and some crazy entrepreneurs like the guy who tried to found an air transport company and run afoul of local corruption. Finally I even met a black fellow from the slums in Chicago who was teaching English in China. All these people have a sound bearing and are well respected by the locals. They wil survive and take leadership in the upheaval that is coming.

The upper crust has it coming. Without a doubt. They don´t know anything about the world and once the Dollar evaporates they will be like the emperor without clothes. Abroad and also in the US. Other people will take over and so much for the better

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The 80-year rule is interesting in this context because we are about 160 years removed from the last civil war (which I like to call the War of Southern Secession). And at roughly the midway point between then and now, the Great Depression was quite destabilizing, with the rise of figures such as Huey Long and Charles Coughlin being seen as especially concerning. Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan almost served as a 'deus ex machina' by finally pushing us into the rather different crisis that was World War II; what had served as another dividing line in the nation became totally unifying after Pearl Harbor.

That said, I may be one of the "normies" here. A couple things that preceded the last civil war which, while not necessarily predictive, we nonetheless have yet to see this time (yet):

- The utter collapse of the two-party system. The Whigs fell apart in 1854, replaced by the Republicans, and by the 1860 presidential election there were essentially zero national parties and four sectional ones—Republicans and some Democrats in the north (candidates Lincoln and Douglas), and secessionists and unionist Democrats in the south and border states (candidates Breckinridge and Bell).

- A near-fatal assault on the Senate floor in 1856, when Representative Preston Brooks (D-SC) beat Senator Charles Sumner (R-MA) to within inches of his life.

Together, those events demonstrate the complete disintegration of the political system and of civil discourse. At the present time, we continue to at least retain a facade of both of these things; they may be tenuous but they haven't shattered yet.

Focusing on the political system, I don't know if it has to collapse before war, but that happened in 1790s France, 1910s Russia and 1930s Germany as well. Not that it gives *that* much warning time, since in the first two cases at least, the political collapse happened only months before the major violence.

So maybe I've just been rambling; wouldn't be the first time...

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First, gloomy, but difficult to dispute overall.

Someone somewhere in the Cyber ocean averred recently that he thinks breakup will occur not in the aftermath of a foreign disaster, but along the line of Texas' resistance to the treasonous action of the federal government in regard to the border. There will be another resistance, another defiance, and to invoke Hemingway's perception about personal bankruptcy, it is going to happen gradually, then suddenly.

I don't think Biden is too demented to be spared national contempt in regard to the border. Everyone knows that the President is Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of the United States. Any President could seal the border in a few days by using troops armed with water cannons, rubber bullets, and God help us if it should become necessary, the threat of the use of live ammunition.

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