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Posted by: anybody ( )
Date: February 17, 2022 11:03AM

"You have created a monster and it will destroy you!"

-- "Frankenstein" (1931)

If you don't like the term "civil war" to describe the current or coming situation, here's another term for you: ethno-religious nationalist extremism.

If you're thinking of 1861-65, that's not what I mean. This won't be a conventional war between trained military formations. This will be armed groups of civilians of one kind or another fighting, killing, bombing, and terrorizing other civilians -- like "The Troubles" in Northern Ireland or "Bleeding Kansas" in the 1850s.

Corporations have a lot of influence, but not when it comes to ethno-religious nationalism -- and definitely not when the inmates start running the asylum.

To understand what's going on now, we have to go back a hundred years to the pre-WWI immigration era. Back then, immigration was "open" -- if you were "white" -- and "white" was not merely an arbitrary social classification. It was defined by law. To add further confusion, the nationalistic ire of xenophobes at the time was not chiefly directed at people of colour, but at non-northern Europeans. "Anglo-Saxon" was the term of use. "America" was said to be an "Anglo-Saxon" nation, and Irish, Italians, southern Germans, Spanish, Portuguese, Greeks, Poles, Hungarians etc., were "invaders" who would destroy the country. Now fast forward to the postwar 1950s. The definition of "white" was changed to include those previously excluded groups -- now defined by "ethnicity" instead of "race" -- but with the so-called "Anglo-Saxons" still at the top.

This was the social order from about 1950 to 2000. Religious and ethnic tension became more of a friendly rivalry almost like that between sports teams. There was still some stratification and caste discrimination within this new definition of "whiteness," but it gradually diminished over time. But there was a dark side to this game. During the 19th Century, previously discriminated against groups like the Irish quickly discovered that to maintain their new social position, they too had to discriminate against the excluded. This was repeated with each new wave of immigrants. People who previously had no conception of American style skin colour racism found out they had to adopt it for their own group survival. Democracy was seen as uniquely American heritage and not viewed as a threat as the excluded were not thought to have enough influence outside of a few urban and sparsely populated regions of the country.

Now we come to the 21st Century. American Democracy is under threat. For the first time in the nation's history, a sizable portion of the population no longer thinks that democracy is beneficial or advantageous to them. Why? Where does religion fit into all this? Most of you are familiar with old stories like the Curse of Cain and the Curse of Ham to justify racism in the Protestant Christian tradition. Religion in this context is more of a feedback amplifier to modify human behaviour. Once you make something a religious duty, practice, or taboo, it's a lot easier to get them to do it. Take the Jewish dietary laws. People didn't know what caused infection or food to go bad before modern germ theory. Refrigeration didn't exist. It wasn't easy to prevent parasites from infecting animals. Protecting people from unknown, unseen things was easier if you said a deity said to do it.

People are not natural haters. They have to be led into hatred. Religion was used as a weapon against marriage equality (remember Prop 8), social equality, equal rights for women, and just about everything else that went against "white" male patriarchy. They even changed the definition of "white" to compensate for changing demographics -- but now that's no longer possible. What's the alternative? As we have all seen, that alternative is to abandon democracy -- one of the basic tenets of American society -- and embrace autocracy and fascism.

Don't misunderstand me. I'm not saying that there is some nefarious "plot" or "cabal" behind this. There are too many players with different agendas. But there are many people who have been fed both religious extremist and ethno-nationalistic propaganda for years by others who are now running the show. That's why the influence of corporate or moneyed interests will not stop them. They created this monster for their own selfish ends, and now they can't control it.

As I said before, it will be miracle if America avoids another civil war -- but I don't think we will avoid the type of violence and civil unrest that preceded it. It is not possible for a violent, religious extremist minority to impose its will on the entire population in a democracy, so them to succeed, democracy must go. It's happened in many other places.

Only actions of good and decent people will prevent this from happening here.

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Posted by: Done & Done ( )
Date: February 17, 2022 11:13AM

There are a few states I would be happy to have a passport to enter and vice versa. Those are visas I would never request.

Goodness and decency tend to be of little value in a survival situation.

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Posted by: anybody ( )
Date: February 17, 2022 03:45PM,2418123,2418151#msg-2418151

Believe it or not, this was a significant influence on mormon culture and reinforced mormon beliefs. It also allowed abusive parents to absolve themselves and turn the blame back on their children because "you chose us as parents in the premortal existence, you knew what you were getting into."

As for "disparaging other places, like Siberia and Madagascar," standard official mormon doctrine. I give you the incomparable Mark E. Petersen, from "Race Problems – As They Affect the Church," 8/27/1954:

"[C]an we account in any other way for the birth of some of the children of God in darkest Africa, or in flood-ridden China or among the starving hordes of India, while some of the rest of us are born here in the United States? We cannot escape the conclusion that because of performance in our pre-existence, some of us are born as Chinese, some as Japanese, some as Indians, some as Negroes, some as Americans, some as Latter-day Saints."

And let's not forget Alvin Dyer's "For What Purpose," delivered in 1961:

"Why is it that you are white and not colored? Have you ever asked yourselves that question? Who had anything to do with your being born into the Church and not born a Chinese or a Hindu or a Negro? Is God such an unjust person that He would make you white and free and make a Negro cursed under the cursing of Cain that he could not hold the Priesthood of God? Who do you think decided and what is the reason behind it?"

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Posted by: Dr. No ( )
Date: February 17, 2022 12:27PM

. . . so what is saving us right now?


Video games, The Bachelor, Twitter & forums (where be fearsome keyboard warriors), Onlyfans, alcohol/drugs (including prescription), fast-foods causing health incapacities and gravitational be-challengement (keeping mighty warriors firmly pinned to sofa) -- while many fit others are working two and three jobs just to survive.

These are sedations and/or time-energy vampires

Ye be awake and a Thinking Unit, Anybody, so are concerned
-- but is that the typical state?

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Posted by: anybody ( )
Date: February 17, 2022 12:29PM

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Posted by: Dr. No ( )
Date: February 17, 2022 01:09PM

. . . 'cause it means Bread & Circuses might just prevent any no-kidding civil-or-uncivil war
dunno but oh let's hope is case

Keep us divided, distracted, satiated, & stoopid

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Posted by: Humberto ( )
Date: February 17, 2022 12:38PM

I saw a discussion with Barbara F. Walter, political scientist and civil war expert, who seems to agree with you that the US is approaching such a state. I haven't read her book, but she has written one. Perhaps you'd be interested.

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Posted by: anybody ( )
Date: February 17, 2022 05:11PM

And How to Stop Them
By Barbara F. Walter

Dispatches From the American Future
By Stephen Marche

Last month, three retired generals warned that the U.S. military needs to start preparing for the possibility of internal breakdown over the 2024 election. “In a contested election,” they wrote, “some might follow orders from the rightful commander in chief, while others might follow the Trumpian loser. … Under such a scenario, it is not outlandish to say a military breakdown could lead to civil war.” Two new books suggest their concern is not misplaced.

The generals are likely familiar with the Political Instability Task Force (P.I.T.F.), a group of analysts that has been crunching enormous amounts of data in order to predict where conflict might erupt. Barbara F. Walter is a member of the task force who has spent 30 years studying civil wars around the world. Her new book, “How Civil Wars Start,” explains that studies have identified three factors that predict which countries are most likely to descend into civil conflict.

The first is whether a country is in transition toward or away from democracy. A data set known as the “polity score” rates every country on a scale from +10 (most democratic) to -10 (most authoritarian). Those countries in the middle — between +5 and -5 and therefore neither full democracies nor full autocracies, or what the experts call “anocracies” — are twice as likely as autocracies to experience political instability or civil war and three times as likely as democracies.

The second factor is what the P.I.T.F. calls “factionalism,” which in Walter’s definition arises when a political party is based on ethnicity, religion or race instead of ideology. According to a study of hundreds of countries over 70 years, the presence of anocracy and factionalism was the best predictor of where civil wars were likely to erupt. It’s in this zone, Walter writes, that “politics goes from being a system in which citizens care about the good of the country as a whole, to one in which they care only about members of their group.” These factions tend not to harden on their own. Frequently, what the researchers call an “ethnic entrepreneur” — for example, Slobodan Milosevic in Serbia or Omar al-Bashir in Sudan — stirs up fears within one group that they are under threat from another group and must band together.

Finally, Walter details a third factor: a dominant group’s loss of status. Called “downgrading,” this predicts which groups are most likely to initiate conflict: those experiencing not just political defeat, but “status reversal.”

The power of Walter’s model is that she does not need to reference the United States. One plots our nation automatically as one reads. (Before last year’s inauguration, the United States had a polity score of +5, within the anocracy zone for the first time since 1800.) Her conclusion: “We are a factionalized anocracy that is quickly approaching the open insurgency stage, which means we are closer to civil war than any of us would like to believe.”

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/17/2022 05:12PM by anybody.

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Posted by: Uncle Pennybags ( )
Date: February 17, 2022 01:25PM

The current state of global unrest which includes America can be distilled to the quest for power.

Power is a product of wealth.

Follow the money.

Whoever controls the money controls everything else.

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Posted by: Done & Done ( )
Date: February 17, 2022 01:41PM

We are on a trajectory that cannot be stopped. Goodness and decency only feed the monster.

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Posted by: Rubicon ( )
Date: February 17, 2022 04:34PM

What you are seeing is mostly agitation propaganda created by a failed central banking system trying to divide and conquer so they can take everything over with fascism. It's corporate fascism. Simple as that. Do you really think Neo Nazis carry tiki torches and dress in polo shirts and kakis? Do you think Black Lives Matter or Antifa were grass roots organizations that organically grew? There's not much organic about any of it.

America is too big and too diverse to be taken over by what's being attempted. Sure you will have some cess pools but other parts will be fine. If anything power will probably devolve back to the states.

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Posted by: anybody ( )
Date: February 17, 2022 05:17PM

and BLM did grow organically. You can look this stuff up yourself.

If someone did try to do as you say (and I bet you mean a certain Hungarian American billionaire whose name I won't mention but you know who I mean), it could not be kept secret and such top down movements usually are not successful.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/18/2022 10:24AM by anybody.

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Posted by: Brother Of Jerry ( )
Date: February 17, 2022 05:37PM

And antifa is not an organization, grass roots or otherwise. Like "woke", the only time I ever hear the term "antifa" is from opponents mocking it.

"Agit prop" - haven't heard that one since about 1970! Well played!

>America is too big and too diverse to be taken over by what's being attempted.

Here I am pretty much in complete agreement with Rubicon. In a lot of smaller countries (think Central America), if insurrectionists take over the police station and main radio station in the capital, they pretty much control the country. If terrorists took over Cleveland, the rest of the country would hardly notice. :)

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Posted by: anybody ( )
Date: February 18, 2022 10:26AM

For those of who had only ever really encountered neo-Nazis via American History X, these alt-right stormtroopers caught us completely unaware because they looked nothing like Edward Norton’s character from the aforementioned movie. The shaved heads, tattoos and Doc Martens that we so often associate with modern day fascism have been replaced with golf course wear for suburban dads. The original Nazis had strict dress codes and meticulous uniforms. Members of the alt-right, meanwhile, look like they shop exclusively at Walmart.

Oddly enough, that’s kinda the point: just like the term “alt-right” itself, this polo-and-khakis uniform is an attempt to cloak racism in a thin veneer of mainstream acceptability. The word “Nazi” conjures up images of gas chambers and the most horrifying acts of inhumanity imaginable. Over the past 72 years, it has become the ultimate barometer for evil. “Alt-right”, on the other hand, sounds like a keyboard shortcut.

It’s vague, jargonistic and allows its devotees to disassociate from the genocidal elements of rightwing ideology and present an alternative form of racism that’s somehow supposed to be less repugnant. The unfashionable uniform spotted in Charlottesville serves a similar purpose: prior to August’s “Unite the Right” gathering, prominent neo-Nazi Andrew Anglin instructed his followers to dress presentably in an attempt to win over those so-called “average Americans” that every political movement needs to build up any sort of momentum.

“Wear fitted T-shirts…I would not wear pants that loose-fitting. And that's another thing: don't ever wear shorts. Serious men in serious situations are not wearing shorts,” Anglin dictated via The Daily Stormer, the far-right propaganda site he runs. “We need to be extremely conscious of what we look like, and how we present ourselves. That matters more than our ideas...if people see a bunch of mismatched overweight slobs, they are not going to care what they are saying.”

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Posted by: Dave the Atheist ( )
Date: February 18, 2022 12:03AM

The civil war started January 20, 1981

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Posted by: bradley ( )
Date: February 18, 2022 10:15AM

Wouldn't it be funny if Joseph Smith was right about the last days after being wrong about everything else?

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