I hafta constantly laugh at my own tendency to assume the 2024 election will settle things, and to hope against hope that if Trump won, we’d settle down and get back to business until 2028.
But we’ve lost that, the sine qua non of “First World” membership: that elections have consequences, that the results are accepted, even if only grudgingly, until we vote again.
I think if Trump won, we’d be back to the summer of 2020. And this time he would send in troops. He would HAVE to do it. And then, one of two scenarios:
some American citizens are killed by our own troops, kinda like Kent State but on a national level, with the ensuing reaction; OR
The woke military refuses to obey the orders of the Commander in Chief. This isn’t far-fetched: didnt Milley actually SAY he would not, vis à vis China?
Either way, it will be “obvious” that Trump “can’t govern”; the RINOs will line up à la Nixon, to say, we’re sorry, but for the good of the country you have to go, Mr. President.
If Bygone-Hapless wins again, the scenario will be along the lines of the famous remark about the Romans: “They make a desert [of our rights] and call it peace”. After the example made of the Jan 6 “paraders”, will anybody on the Right ever risk staging a peaceful protest again?
The two scenarios are equally horrifying. I hope I’m wrong. Tell me I am, dear polymaths.
Funny, “2024!” Is on everybody’s lips these days.
I don’t think I’ve yet heard anybody talk about 2025 et seq.
I have to agree with your implication, Hypatia, that we are long past the stage where we can “vote” our way out of the situation. Lots of hopeful people focus on the next Presidential election, but if the 2020 election of President Trump proved anything, it proved that the elected President is not in control. If re-elected, President Trump would face the same two problems as before:
- The Republicrats in Congress will undermine him at every opportunity.
- The bureaucrats in the DC Swamp will undermine him at every opportunity.
Interestingly, neither the Republicrat Party nor the dwarves competing for the Republican presidential nomination have said Word One about how they plan to accomplish the essential task of cleaning up the DC bureaucracy. Thus, even an honest vote – which we certainly won’t get – would not change anything of substance.
That means we will continue to the inevitable economic collapse. A country cannot expect the Rest of the World to subsidize it indefinitely through a giant (and increasing) trade deficit. Nor can a government cover its massive budget deficits by printing money indefinitely. But has any politician, Demoncrat or Republicrat, proposed any serious plan to address those existential issues?
Economics will lead to the collapse of the DC Swamp, maybe sooner than we expect (or maybe not). What happens in the aftermath is too difficult to predict, but the breakup of the formerly United States is quite likely – as is the immiseration of once-dominant Europe and the subsequent outbreak of conflict between former partners China, India, and Russia. History tells us that is how we humans tend to behave. I, for one, am glad I am old!
Okay, @Gavin but I’m talkin’ on a much more basic level: the collapse of civil order itself.
If the left brings that about, do WE have the guts and the muscle to restore it?
Idk if I do—and yes, in such circumstances age is a consolation, but it isn’t that. It’s more what you’ve got to lose. I wanted to go to DC on 1/6/21. I hafta thank God I didn’t. Cuz if I had would worry every day that the FBI might break down our door.
“it” meaning what, exactly?
“We” lost the muscle to restore “civil order” the moment the Federalists re-defined “We The People” in their over-reaction to Shays’s Rebellion – which should have alerted them to the need for mililtia.money but, instead, resulted in the US Constitution. From that moment forward, it was up to The Federalists to Keep the Republic (as long as we’re referring to the history of the Roman Empire here). You broke it, you own it. Pay now or pay later – with interest that just may take the form of guillotines down to the local chambers of commerce.
So in that sense of “We” – certainly “We” have the power to restore it but “We” have relentlessly increased immigration rates for a half century over the objection of more than a supermajority of whatever you want to call those polled by Gallup over that period as it certainly has nothing to do with the phrase “We The People” as designed by those who call on propertyless young men to enforce their will against that of whatever you want to call those polled by Gallup for a half century.
Now, on the other hand, since “We” are obviously in the death throes of even the pretense of “consent of the governed” the main problem “We” face is how to either transition to rule by God Emperor or rule by militia.money. “We” don’t have much time left to implement something like the delegate.network so as to establish an interregnum command and control structure that releases the pressure in a controlled fashion since, obviously, going straight to militia.money is not going to be accepted by even the local chambers of commerce.
Arguably, that collapse has already begun – witness the streets of San Francisco, or the abandoned stores on Wilshire Boulevard. Where California leads, the US (and the world) will follow.
However, the collapse of civil order leaves a vacuum, which is something that nature abhors. There are lots of nodes around which a new civil order could form. National Guard units are an obvious one, as indeed are the Mexican drug cartels already operating with impunity within the US.
The closest example of a society-wide collapse of civil order in a modern state was probably what happened in Russia following the collapse of the USSR. A generation’s worth of poverty and misery, but relatively little violence (all things considered). I keep looking for books & reports on what the Russian population went through in that quarter-century, but the pickings are strangely slim.
Vivek has said how he plans to accomplish the essential task of cleaning up the DC bureaucrazy.
Dimitry Orlov’s 2008 book, Reinventing Collapse, examines the Soviet/Russian collapse from the perspective of a person whose family emigrated from Leningrad to the U.S. in the mid-1970s when he was 12 years old, then returned for extended visits to the Soviet Union and Russia in the late 1980s through mid-1990s to observe events. He then discusses the probability of a similar collapse in the U.S. and what form it might take, compared to the Soviet example.
Drawing upon the Soviet example, the author examines what an economic collapse on a comparable scale would mean for the U.S. Ironically, he concludes that many of the weaknesses which were perceived as hastening the fall of the Soviet system—lack of a viable cash economy, hoarding and self-sufficiency at the enterprise level, failure to produce consumer goods, lack of consumer credit, no private ownership of housing, and a huge and inefficient state agricultural sector which led many Soviet citizens to maintain their own small garden plots— resulted, along with the fact that the collapse was from a much lower level of prosperity, in mitigating the effects of collapse upon individuals. In the United States, which has outsourced much of its manufacturing capability, depends heavily upon immigrants in the technology sector, and has optimised its business models around high-velocity cash transactions and just in time delivery, the consequences post-collapse may be more dire than in the “primitive” Soviet system. If you’re going to end up primitive, you may be better starting out primitive.
In a subsequent book, The Five Stages of Collapse, published in 2013, he describes a taxonomy of collapse in successive stages at each of which the collapse may end and recovery begin.
- Financial collapse. Faith in “business as usual” is lost. The future is no longer assumed to resemble the past in any way that allows risk to be assessed and financial assets to be guaranteed. Financial institutions become insolvent; savings are wiped out and access to capital is lost.
- Commercial collapse. Faith that “the market shall provide” is lost. Money is devalued and/or becomes scarce, commodities are hoarded, import and retail chains break down and widespread shortages of survival necessities become the norm.
- Political collapse. Faith that “the government will take care of you” is lost. As official attempts to mitigate widespread loss of access to commercial sources of survival necessities fail to make a difference, the political establishment loses legitimacy and relevance.
- Social collapse. Faith that “your people will take care of you” is lost, as social institutions, be they charities or other groups that rush in to fill the power vacuum, run out of resources or fail through internal conflict.
- Cultural collapse. Faith in the goodness of humanity is lost. People lose their capacity for “kindness, generosity, consideration, affection, honesty, hospitality, compassion, charity.” Families disband and compete as individuals for scarce resources, The new motto becomes “May you die today so that I can die tomorrow.”
He then describes five examples of collapses which came to an end at each of these stages.
- Financial collapse: Iceland
- Commercial collapse: The Russian Mafia
- Political collapse: The Pashtun
- Social collapse: The Roma
- Cultural collapse: The Ik
But we have a knowledge economy.
Read Dmitry Orlov on “Collapse, Best Practices”.
Addendum: sorry, I had not yet read John’s comment.
Google maps image of Burning Man and Algadez, Niger. One has some of the richest people in the world and the other some of the poorest. Maybe Burning Man is the VCs equivalent to prepping or maybe Niger is critical to the US because it offers the US military practice for its function should the US collapse.
Algadez at 1 mile scale:
Thanks for the suggestion – I have already read that book. My poorly explained point was that there are relatively few books like Orlov’s, covering the experience of living through a massive societal breakdown. In comparison, there are many books by Chinese authors translated into English covering first-hand experiences of living through Mao’s Cultural Revolution. Given the relevance of the post-USSR period to those of us in today’s declining West, the comparative lack of accessible reports is “strange”. Were such accounts not written or not translated or not published in the West?
I expect 2024 response to a DJT loss to result in another 1/6 - only this time the “protestors” will come armed. They have learned something from the riots so far.
I saw an insightful comment on 𝕏 a few days ago about what civil war entails compared to those considering the U.S. “civil war” as the model for such a conflict.
Those who hear “civil war” and think, “bring it on!” miss this point. The conflict in the U.S. in the 1860s was not a civil war—it was a war of secession, just like the American revolution. The South had no desire to overthrow the government in Washington and impose its rule upon the entire country: it simply wished to separate and govern itself. There was a more-or-less clear territorial separation in effect which made for a well-defined border between the two sides which fought in what was a prototype of the industrial-scale killing of subsequent wars in Europe.
Typical civil wars are those where a territory is inhabited by two or more factions which have come to the conclusion they cannot accept rule by the other(s) and are willing to fight to put them down and impose their rule upon them. These factions are not cleanly separated by borders (although there may be regions in which one is the majority), but mixed up, so a solution like the 1992 Velvet Divorce in Czechoslovakia is not feasible. Instead, what you end up with is not just “brother fighting brother”, but chaotic terror, assassinations, repression, curtailment of liberty, and paralysis of civil society and the economy as in Lebanon, ex-Yugoslavia, and Northern Ireland during the Troubles.
This seems to me a far more probable outcome for the U.S. than Fort Sumter followed by pitched battles of the Blue and Grey ending in a formal surrender of one side. And if the U.S. tendency to turn everything up to eleven and then try to go for a hundred, what happens may make Beirut in the 1980s seem like a warm-up
If only!! Nobody is going to be throwing any damned tea over the side. If they were going to they would have done it already. Haven’t “The People” seen enough? If they haven’t been animated to action by now, then they won’t be. Remember “We the People” put Christ to death. You think this same bunch will get pissed off about their natural rights being shat upon by Lord Klaus?
Exactly. How many “conservatives” do you know have the stomach to implement Sioux type warfare on the Left? Mutilation of bodies, scalping, killing women and children? That’s what I thought: no too damned many.
Me? I would laugh myself silly as I fed Klaus to the wood chipper, but something tells me the “mean tweets “ crowd just ain’t there yet.
Eisenhower neutralized the NG as nullification force against Federal overreach. That leaves “extralegal” forces. The cartels are already demonstrating power in Iowa over the Republican party from my direct experience with the large landowners who, in their cheap labor addiction addled brains, rationalize hiring illegals by holding young Iowan men in contempt – young men who will kill them first and then the cartels.
Lest I be considered unsympathetic to large landowners I understand that they are in a position where Federal lawlessness has essentially required that they hire illegal labor. The problem is that once they have made that concession it is like taking the first hit of fentanyl. At that point their very Humanity is compromised just as it is with actual fentanyl.
Maybe we misunderstand each other. I was not suggesting that the National Guard would fight against the forces of the DC Swamp.
Rather, suppose the situation is that the bankrupt Federal Government has essentially collapsed, causing societal chaos. Existing groups will step into that power vacuum – groups of people who know & trust each other, are used to working together, and are heavily armed. Hence two groups that come to mind are National Guard units (call them “rogue” NG units if you wish) and drug cartel gangs. We may see a thousand flowers bloom as people try to rally around whatever local group looks like the strong horse in their particular neighborhood.
I ASKED you guys to tell me I’m WRONG about 2025!
No Hypatia, you are not wrong about 2025. You may be excessively hopeful that we will survive 2024 – but it is good that hope springs eternal.
If you missed it, James Jatras has what is perhaps the most clear-eyed short review of where we are, and how we got here. It seems fairly clear where we are going. Definitely worth a read:
The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity : The Only Thing We Have to Fear Is Extinction Itself
"… Keep in mind, we’re not talking about a mere political crisis that will get solved in an election or two. Not even about political and constitutional collapse, or even a financial and economic calamity – that’s coming too, in part because of the impact of the Ukraine war on the dollar-denominated global system – but a fundamental challenge to the social fabric itself, and not just in the United States.
A watershed was passed with covid and the measures – the lockdowns, the masks, social distancing and monitoring, the clot shot, censorship of dissent, all combined with a pervasive, inescapable external and internal panopticon: …"