[Discussion] So... How's that democracy working out for you?

Is democracy a system capable of dealing with the challenges of the future, and if not, what alternatives exist?

I think maybe you’re expecting a scholarly treatise when the podcast is designed for laymen about the worsening political and social divisions and what an individual can do about them.

Without having listened to the podcast, I could certainly imagine a civil war/coup in some amped up future (not currently though) if military units start switching sides.

This does seem somewhat unlikely though. Even if individual troops/officers were to "join the revolution", I just don't see the devotion to military leaders (generals, or at the very least colonels and commanders), for entire units to change sides the same way that it happens in some countries.

Then again, I've never been in the military, so what do I know.

ruhk wrote:

I think maybe you’re expecting a scholarly treatise when the podcast is designed for laymen about the worsening political and social divisions and what an individual can do about them.

I don't think something needs to be a scholarly treatise to avoid overly simplistic comparisons that muddy the waters more than they clear things up.

I get the reference to a second civil war to mean that one: it won't be conventional like the last one, and two: it won't (as) neatly line up into two sides.

Well, if you want to get the point across that it won't be a conventional war, then just call it the *third* civil war--the resistance that ended Reconstruction was not a conventional war either. No need to even leave the borders of America to make that point.

If you want to make some point about how the sides won't line up neatly, then just make the point. If anything, dragging in references to other civil wars seems to detract from his point that it *won't* be like those other civil wars where when the nation-state breaks down and ethnicities either think they have to look out for themselves or look to another nation they have closer cultural ties to. He seems to be warning of some kind of splintering that we're not expecting because it's *different* from the usual situation.

I have a feeling it would be a much better work if it didn't try to shoehorn it into these poor comparisons. Then again, I think doing so is in support of this idea of an overwhelemed central authority, which means its not there because it's insightful but just because it's useful to get the narrative where he needs it to go.

I mean, sorry to harsh on the squee, I remember when I used to get excited about the things other people had to say and felt some connection with them so I get it, but I think that's what's happening here.

edit: yeah, if I can really try and tl;dr all that: it's not just "about the worsening political and social divisions and what an individual can do about them." It's about predicting it's going to worsen so much, the central authority will be so overwhelmed and frustrated that it will get so bad it will resemble other civil wars around the globe.

I'm interested in the first part you spoke of and would probably pretty much agree; it's the second part that makes me go 'y tho'

I disagree with most of your points, but I also know that there’s no point in arguing with you once you’re set on a topic.
Maybe the situation is a little more real for me because armed white supremacists from a neighboring state come to my city multiple times a year to pick fights and/or randomly assault people, all under the protection of local cops.

ruhk wrote:

I disagree with most of your points, but I also know that there’s no point in arguing with you once you’re set on a topic. :P

I wonder if I would disagree on why there's no point in arguing with me once I'm set on a topic, but I would agree that there does come that time. ; D

Maybe the situation is a little more real for me because armed white supremacists from a neighboring state come to my city multiple times a year to pick fights and/or randomly assault people, all under the protection of local cops.

That's possible. I'm also hoping that while you have plenty to fear, what you fear is not as dire a sign of what is coming as this guy is making it out to be.

If you change the definition around enough, nothing is a civil war.

I mean, if they're not in blue and grey uniforms, it doesn't count, right?

Malor wrote:

If you change the definition around enough, nothing is a civil war.

I mean, if they're not in blue and grey uniforms, it doesn't count, right?

It's just sparkling treason

Tanglebones wrote:
Malor wrote:

If you change the definition around enough, nothing is a civil war.

I mean, if they're not in blue and grey uniforms, it doesn't count, right?

It's just sparkling treason

That might be the best line I've seen this year.

Malor wrote:

If you change the definition around enough, nothing is a civil war.

I mean, if they're not in blue and grey uniforms, it doesn't count, right?

One of the most common arguments from the alt-right is that you can’t call modern people who follow or quote Nazi ideology Nazis because they don’t wear matching uniforms and live in the 1940’s.

I should also realize that once people are down to just insults, there's *also* no point arguing.

I just didn't encounter the issue you've (repeatedly) described. American armies have been frustrated by insurgencies in pretty much every overseas war they've participated in. Not hard to see that the same thing could happen on home soil where motivation and collateral damage would be even bigger issues.

In terms of what you're looking for, that sounds like half the genre fiction I read (apocalyptical, end of the world)! I appreciated the more nuanced view found in this series.

cheeze_pavilion wrote:

I should also realize that once people are down to just insults, there's *also* no point arguing.

Cheeze, you're redefining things so that armed conflicts between parties separated by ideology don't count as civil wars. You seem to be insisting that it's not Civil War 2.0 if people aren't lined up with flintlock muskets to fire at each others' armies.

That's not an insult, that's just an observation that you're imposing artificial requirements to get the official Civil War label. Those requirements have little connection to any reality on the ground, or to any experience lived by its hypothetical participants.

It's been 150 years, and military tactics have changed enormously. Why would you expect a new American Civil War to look anything much like the old one?

He's not doing that. He's not saying that there can't be a Civil War II. He's saying that if it does happen, it won't look like how the podcast predicts because our situation is too different from the conflicts the podcast is using as a basis.

But that’s a different podcast, not the one I listened to.

View from afar ... I give America 4 weeks until it becomes the hunger games writ large

That's generous!
I will note that we are seeing a spike in young person infections and hospitalizations.

Listening to the podcast, I can definitely say its totally plausable. I would like to say that it's NOT a series of scenerios, but rather one long sort of scenerio that sort of builds on comparasions and contrasts with existing civil wars.

I loved it, and honesty it was more hopeful then not.

I listened to the whole series which was supposed to be horrifying and at the end of it thought: Bring it on. But then again I have little to lose so anything (even a civil war with all the calamity that would bring) would be an improvement

Its amazing all things considering the sense of humour and gravitas people are bringing to the forum in which is, essential some of the darkest days we (as gen x) have seen.

I watched the twin towers fall live on TV, was in London for the bombings and COVID +Trump is worse in so many ways.

At least as an American Gen-X'er, it's that so many of those days felt like they could only get worse. Like right-wing forces were in their ascendancy, and if anything they were able to use each crisis to only further solidify their grip on power.

There's great danger in someone like Trump who plays for keeps when it comes to power in a way even other Republicans wouldn't--I don't meant to minimize that danger of a future which is just a boot, with the logo TRUMP FOOTWEAR printed on the sole, stamping a human face forever (actually it would probably fall apart after even moderate use). But to see the response to Trump is a thing of hope. And to not minimize the human toll of COVID, but for it not to happen on a Democrat's watch and have the Republicans exploit in a way that I think would dwarf even how they exploited 9/11.

These are times of unprecedented danger, but these are also times of previously unimaginable (if not personal) hope.

COVID, well-managed by a competent administration, with outcomes similar to what we see in Europe, would have barely pinged my radar compared to some of the bullsh*t we've seen. I'd probably still consider Katrina to be a worse disaster, because of all the needless deaths from incompetence, even if the death totals were higher with COVID. And I think I'd assign more personal importance to the Hong Kong protests. COVID would still be a huge problem, but a manageable one. We'd be able to wear masks and mostly get on with life, after our initial lockdown to get the initial burst under control and well-managed by a well-funded and tightly managed CDC.

I've said this before, but what COVID should look like: the Republicans screaming about the Democrats "wasting" all those billions of dollars on a problem that has had so little impact in this country.

COVID, as "managed" by Trump, on the other hand, has turned into a disaster worse than anything I've seen in my 50+ years. It dwarfs all other events. 9/11 doesn't even come close.

cheeze_pavilion wrote:

And to not minimize the human toll of COVID, but for it not to happen on a Democrat's watch and have the Republicans exploit in a way that I think would dwarf even how they exploited 9/11.

If a Democrat had been in office when this hit, the Fox News crew and other right-wing punditry may have died in ecstasy at the prospect of how far they could ride that horse (answer: at least 10 years). Benghazi? So yesterday. Her emails? Not even an appetizer. War on Christmas? Staying power, but amateur hour.

AUs_TBirD wrote:
cheeze_pavilion wrote:

And to not minimize the human toll of COVID, but for it not to happen on a Democrat's watch and have the Republicans exploit in a way that I think would dwarf even how they exploited 9/11.

If a Democrat had been in office when this hit, the Fox News crew and other right-wing punditry may have died in ecstasy at the prospect of how far they could ride that horse (answer: at least 10 years). Benghazi? So yesterday. Her emails? Not even an appetizer. War on Christmas? Staying power, but amateur hour.

Seriously. And I should add that I don't think death toll would have been any lower. We've seen the danger Republican governors are willing to put their people in when they can't blame it on the Democrats. Imagine if they could blame it all on Hillary? If they could dare her to enforce a lockdown or a national 'track and trace' program?

On the other hand, if a Democrat had been in the oval office, Republicans might be taking the virus super seriously as the most dangerous thing ever and the Dems aren't doing enough to keep you and your family safe!!!

Remember, this is the group that will desperately want to tell you about the common household item (your loofah) that is silently killing you and your kids....after this commercial break (and all the other breaks until they mention it briefly at the end of the program).
They'd have a field day.

AUs_TBirD wrote:

On the other hand, if a Democrat had been in the oval office, Republicans might be taking the virus super seriously as the most dangerous thing ever and the Dems aren't doing enough to keep you and your family safe!!!

Remember, this is the group that will desperately want to tell you about the common household item (your loofah) that is silently killing you and your kids....after this commercial break (and all the other breaks until they mention it briefly at the end of the program).
They'd have a field day.

Oh yeah--it would be *both* mega-Benghazi *and* a hoax at the same time!

You only need to go back to the Ebola outbreak when Obama was president to see how different Fox News and the GOP would behave today.

2 Americans total died to that outbreak.

Trump basically declared war on my city last week and now Federal agents in unmarked vehicles are kidnapping people off the streets.

Over the weekend they also hospitalized a peaceful protestor by shooting him in the face with a less-lethal round, fracturing his skull and jaw, and killed a homeless teenager by holding him down and refusing to let medics attend to him after teargas sent him into a series of seizures.

They also have snipers with live rounds posted on rooftops around the Justice Center downtown. I fear we are getting really close to Kent State territory here.

Can I just point out the spike in sectarian murders over the past couple weeks? On the liberal side there was Summer Taylor brutally murdered during a peaceful Seattle protest. On the conservative side, we now have a young mother Jennifer Whitaker shot by a BLM supporter for saying “all lives matter.” I get that was stupid thing to say but there’s no excuse for that level of violence. Both of these deaths are just so senseless.

I won’t lie - this tit for tat escalation is scaring the sh*t out of me. But maybe that’s also because I have extended family in Northern Ireland and was a peacekeeper in former Yugoslavia.

There you go jdzappa. Watch the first part of that 7 part special that was created by BBC Northern Ireland. The parallels can be even more troubling that most would appreciate.

I finished this a few month ago and I'd warn people it does not shy away from how dirty that conflict got. Highly depressing watch.

jdzappa wrote:

Can I just point out the spike in sectarian murders over the past couple weeks? On the liberal side there was Summer Taylor brutally murdered during a peaceful Seattle protest. On the conservative side, we now have a young mother Jennifer Whitaker shot by a BLM supporter for saying “all lives matter.” I get that was stupid thing to say but there’s no excuse for that level of violence. Both of these deaths are just so senseless.

I won’t lie - this tit for tat escalation is scaring the sh*t out of me. But maybe that’s also because I have extended family in Northern Ireland and was a peacekeeper in former Yugoslavia.

Reading that BLM news article there is zero evidence that it was due to an "all lives matter" shout. Seems like a lot more was involved.

I don't want people arguing to get shot but it is definitely usually NOT a "both sides do it" thing.