[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