Wars and Rumors of Wars

Academics and men of letters tend to work off each-other. They are now discussing the prospect of a second American civil war. Bill Lind’s latest essay on the topic of Constitutional breakdown leading to civil war appeared the same day as Michael Vlahos’ essay on the same topic. Bill Lind wrote an entire book on the topic called “Victoria.” The parts about the green totalitarian state of Cascadia are more and more true every day.

The basis of our civil war is conflict between two worldviews: a nominally-Christian, rural Constitutionalist one and an urban, materialist, secular humanist one. Both sides carry heavy baggage of postmodernism and neither side would be recognizable in 1776. Most of the bad ideas leading to the mess we are in today were just invented or were just being invented and hadn’t worked their way into the marrow of our civilization yet.

Whichever side wins, the old order isn’t coming back. There were civil wars in the Roman republic before it gave way to the empire. Attempts to save the republic were made but failed. Killing Julius Caesar didn’t bring back the Republic after he declared himself dictator for life. So it is with the United States. The people and the state are too decadent for the order established in 1776 to persist, and most great powers last on average 250 years. The United States is right on the brink of its doom one-way or the other: senescence, decadence, demography, and invasion are bringing it down right before our eyes.

The implications for the dissolution of the United States are large: it is the lynchpin of the 372 year-old Westphalian nation-state order established in 1648. Its navy and army rule the world though they’re being severely challenged by an upstart China. It is the guarantor of the world order inherited from the British Empire. When the US is gone, the nation-state system is gone. It’s helpful, therefore, to see this nation-state era as just another epoch in history. There will be others until the eschaton which could come in the twinkling of an eye at the last trumpet.

People already sense the fracture of the United States and are working in its fissures. Vlahos explains this in a previous essay that compares gangs to the local powers that sprung up during the collapse of Rome. These local powers are who you’re going to answer to if the state and federal government can’t maintain order. In California, for example, the ability to maintain order is the subject of ridicule since the government can’t keep the fires out and the lights on.

Who do you live around? Who would take power should there be a vacuum? These are things to consider. Pretending it can’t happen won’t do you any good. Public order can break down in as little as 24 hours, as it just did in Ecuador. Panic is also unwarranted. God shatters kingdoms as a way of judging its kings and their gods. It’s not directed at you if you believe in His Son.

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