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  • Civil war or just uncivil society?

    Posted by Margaret on February 8th, 2018 (All posts by )

    It seems that at least once a week I read an article predicting that the extreme political divisions in our country will lead to an actual civil war. “The country hasn’t been this divided since 1860!” is a common refrain.

    Divided, yes. But leading to war? I don’t think so.

    Those who actually know all about our Civil War may wish to correct me; I admit that discussion of this topic in my Georgia high school was so frequent and so prolonged that I did my best to sink into a coma whenever the subject came up. Even so, I think I grasped a few general points about that war which differentiate it from the present situation.

    (1) The war was driven by one major moral/economic dispute, even if the two sides described it differently. (North: “Slavery is wrong.” South: “Our economy depends on slavery. Besides, states’ rights.”)
    (2) The opposing sides were (mostly) geographically divided.
    (3) There were, on both sides, people who were willing to actually fight with something more lethal than a sarcastic Tweet.

    Now look at the current mess.

    (1) What’s the argument about?
    Us: “Freedom! Besides, the Constitution.”
    Them: “Fight racism! And homophobia! And transphobia! And Islamophobia! And Climate deniers! And whatever we think of tomorrow!”

    I’m not saying that the Left doesn’t have a coherent objective under this froth. I just don’t think they have one they dare say out loud. “Hand over total control of everything you think, do and say to Us, your superiors,” isn’t going to win a lot of fans. As long as they keep pretending that’s not the message, though, they have to keep coming up with ever more trivial causes of offense. And when they get down to silliness like, “I’m offended because this guy I don’t know said he wouldn’t want to date a ‘woman’ with a penis,”… well… I don’t think that’s going to inspire a lot of actual warriors, do you?

    (2) Geographical division? OK, we have a lot of blue cities and a lot of red everything else, but the blue cities aren’t contiguous. I don’t expect to see the Confederation of New York-Boston-Austin-San Francisco-Portland as a geopolitical entity any time soon.

    (3) People who are actually willing to fight. Yes, I’ve seen the fevered dreams of the Left play out on Twitter, and very nasty and violent they are too – but have you seen the sorry specimens responsible for the most violent fantasies? Twerps.

    And that’s my biggest reason for feeling that the yelling and screaming will not turn into actual war. To have any kind of war at all you have to have at least two sides that are willing to fight.

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    81 Responses to “Civil war or just uncivil society?”

    1. Brian Says:

      The Nullification Crisis preceded the outbreak of the Civil War by 30 years. We are not in 1860, but it’s not unreasonable to extrapolate current behaviors out a few decades and see serious problems, even to include severe violence. It’s not clear what unifies the country anymore.

    2. Bill Brandt Says:

      I remember the 1960s when Vietnam divided so many. There was actually people bombing government buildings. Still no Civil War. As to the war being geographically divided some states were even divided like Kansas, Kentucky, and later West Virginia. Here West Virginia is broken off from Virginia, I was told so Lincoln could have the B & O rail road, And yet half the counties there were still for the south and the other half for the north. I think we’re a long way from an actual shooting Civil War

    3. David Foster Says:

      “trivial causes of offense”…not that trivial to those who are offended, I’m afraid. There are a lot of rage explosions…call them Ragegasms…going on currently. Historically, look at all the religious wars fought (ostensibly, at least) over totally intangible questions.

      And consider the Gostak and the Doshes.

    4. kaflick Says:

      I think you are wrong on one point. It does not take two sides that are willing to fight, it only takes one side. The other side will either fight back or be exterminated. Either way it is a civil war. One way is just a very short one.

    5. mkent Says:

      I agree that there won’t likely be a civil war the way historians define civil war, with armies opposing each other on the battlefield to fight for control of the country. But it is increasingly looking like there will be some kind of rebellion, insurrection, revolution, or democide. What form it will take is still up in the air, but it doesn’t look good, that’s for sure.

      You say there’s no one willing to fight on either side? Have you missed the Trump supporters beaten silly, the college professors sent to the hospital, the cops ambushed in Dallas and elsewhere, the fires started at Berkeley, the Republicans shot at a baseball practice, and Ferguson being nearly burnt to the ground? That doesn’t even count the thousands of incidents of racial, ethnic, and political violence kept out of the papers.

      What is the argument about? The same thing it always is when ethnic violence flairs: the right of one group or another to exist within a particular space. It doesn’t have to make sense to an outside observer. Was the persecution of Jews and Gypsies in Germany rational? Or the Kulaks in Russia? Or the intellectuals in China and Cambodia?

      History doesn’t repeat. What some are calling the Second American Civil War won’t look like the first. But there will be violence. There already is violence. The only unknowns now are what form will it take and how bad will it be.

      Pray for our country. Divine intervention may be our only hope.

    6. Brian Says:

      The Nullification Crisis was about tariffs, not slavery. But the same motivators led to a brutal civil war 30 years later.

      California is openly pushing nullification today over immigration. Nothing similar happened in the Vietnam era. Imagine if Massachusetts had passed a law then saying that anyone assisting with the draft in any way would be prosecuted by the state. It would have been unthinkable.

      This is clearly what many people view as an existential moral and economic debate. Where it is going to lead is difficult to see.

      No, it won’t lead to armies in pitched battles across the land, or blue cities besieged by red states, but let’s not be sanguine and pretend that catastrophe couldn’t be looming within a generation.

    7. Towering Barbarian Says:

      @ Mikent,
      “You say there’s no one willing to fight on either side? Have you missed the Trump supporters beaten silly, the college professors sent to the hospital, the cops ambushed in Dallas and elsewhere, the fires started at Berkeley, the Republicans shot at a baseball practice, and Ferguson being nearly burnt to the ground? That doesn’t even count the thousands of incidents of racial, ethnic, and political violence kept out of the papers.”

      That shows there are leftists who are willing to attack when they think they may do so with impunity. But fights involve more then one-sided attacks. They take the willingness to sustain personal damage for the sake of objectives as well. How many of them do you think have the ability to do that these days? o_O

      There have been plenty of episodes in our history where domestic political violence was a thing without matter reaching the point of civil war. I might compare what our nation is currently experiencing to what the Greeks called “stasis” but even there what we are experiencing is not yet as bad as what the Greeks had seen nor, hopefully, is likely to become that way. ^_^

    8. Anonymous Says:

      I think the conflict could well be based on the terrorism model where fear is used to move the society toward a more statist model suppressing liberty and destroying the political consensus. The disfunction in DC is evidence that this is already happening. After all that is what the left really wants.

      At some point those who value liberty more or who find they are the bill payers may react violently, in a largely localized manner, further driving us toward more state control to provide personal security. The physical violence is likely only part of the war. We can look forward to the deep state doing their part. We can look for targeted cyper attacks by and against a variety of targets with the intent to disrupt or control what is. The dead weight loss of all of this would be staggering. The implicit trust and optimism that glues all our interactions will significantly dissolve. For all those whose highest values are personal peace and affluence, this will be devastating. Which will they chose, liberty or security?

      If we are on this path, the information highway will accelerate the process compared to what was previously experienced. What took months or years in the 19th century now takes days, weeks or months. It not only broadens and speeds the effects, it magnifies the drama and fear. How robust are our cultural and political institutions?

      Death6

    9. David Foster Says:

      “terrorism model”…there is already sufficient fear in the United States that many people are reluctant to offend Islamists. Those who do so offend them are likely to pay a high personal price. The cartoonist Molly Norris is apparently still in hiding:

      https://edition.cnn.com/2015/01/13/us/cartoonist-still-in-hiding/index.html

      As is less-well-known, there has also been considerable intimidation against biomedical researchers by “animal rights activists.” The threats of violence have extended beyond the researchers themselves to secondary and tertiary levels: babysitters, investors and banks funding the research, etc.

    10. David Foster Says:

      There is a relevant passage in Sebastian Haffner’s memoir of life in Germany between the wars. Apparently during the Gustav Stresemann chancellorship, the inflation had been brought under control and there was a general stabilization of the economy and society:

      “The last ten years were forgotten like a bad dream. The Day of Judgment was remote again, and there was no demand for saviors or revolutionaries…There was an ample measure of freedom, peace, and order, everywhere the most well-meaning liberal-mindedness, good wages, good food and a little political boredom. everyone was cordially invited to concentrate on their personal lives, to arrange their affairs according to their own taste and to find their own paths to happiness.”

      But…and I think this is a particuarly important point…a return to private life was not to everyone’s taste:

      “A generation of young Germans had become accustomed to having the entire content of their lives delivered gratis, so to speak, by the public sphere, all the raw material for their deeper emotions…Now that these deliveries suddently ceased, people were left helpless, impoverished, robbed, and disappointed. They had never learned how to live from within themselves, how to make an ordinary private life great, beautiful and worth while, how to enjoy it and make it interesting. So they regarded the end of political tension and the return of private liberty not as a gift, but as a deprivation. They were bored, their minds strayed to silly thoughts, and they began to sulk.”

      and

      “To be precise (the occasion demands precision, because in my opinion it provides the key to the contemporary period of history): it was not the entire generation of young Germans. Not every single individual reacted in this fashion. There were some who learned during this period, belatedly and a little clumsily, as it were, how to live. they began to enjoy their own lives, weaned themselves from the cheap intoxication of the sports of war and revolution, and started to develop their own personalities. It was at this time that, invisibly and unnoticed, the Germans divided into those who later became Nazis and those who would remain non-Nazis.”

      I believe we have today in America a considerable number of people who expect to have..maybe not the *entire* content of their lives, but a significant and emotionally-intense portion…delivered by the public sphere. And it is these people who are most likely to commit political violence.

    11. Margaret Says:

      Towering: like you, I believe we can experience domestic political violence – and far too much of it – without reaching a civil war. Joining a violent mob is one thing; having the discipline and courage to stand against an enemy that shoots back is another.

      Anonymous: It may be that I’m overly optimistic, having lived through an earlier period of violent dissent and civil unrest that never turned into civil war. Maybe the larding of the bureaucracy with leftists means this time will be different. Maybe the speed and ease of modern communications will indeed accelerate a breakdown of society. Certainly “Give us the power to protect you from terrorists,” is a more acceptable message than “Give us all the power because you’re too stupid to come in out of the rain.” I admit I didn’t think of that.

    12. ed in texas Says:

      If a civil war was to start in the US, the battlefield model would probably be more based on the Balkans, than say, Iraq. A great deal would depend on the whether the military decides to intervene, which they almost certainly would.
      The classic version of American warfare, that of taking the fight to the enemy, wouldn’t play here. More of an insurgency. It is generally not an improvement to have a free fire zone in your living room.

    13. PenGun Says:

      Oh dear. You need two wings to fly. If you cannot reconcile your infantile left right dichotomy, you are done.

      To insist that it has to be one or the other is to cripple yourself.

    14. Mike K Says:

      I think we are seeing an attempt at a coup d’etat run by the FBI and other members of the Deep State.

      Nixon was taken down after a 49 state victory in the election.

      That is pretty much the model being tried again. The top echelon of the FBI along with the huge influx of leftist political types in the State Department produced by Obama has provided a nucleus. Whether they can get enough support among those who are not as ideological is the question.

      Looking at most of the comments to this LA Times piece about the Democrat “memo” gives a clue. Schiff produced exactly the effect he wanted with his “memo.”

      The problem he and the Democrats have is that most of the country is not California.

      The FBI is in a war with Trump and, like Hoover in his day, they have all the secrets to use as weapons.

      Maybe we have one example last week of the FBI use of secrets to conduct their war.

      It’s resonating in part because it fits into pre-existing narratives. The “Trump is a misogynist” narrative is reinforced by the idea that the president kept an alleged wife-beater around the White House. The “Trump is a stumbling clown” narrative is reinforced by the idea that Porter wasn’t properly vetted to begin with or that then his departure was prolonged and botched by a White House that first defended him and then dumped him overboard.

      But there’s a third possible narrative that the Porter story might fit into — one that I haven’t yet seen written about. That is the story of a too-powerful and potentially abusive FBI at war with a White House that is trying to rein it in.

      It’s an interesting thought. Lyndon Johnson, who had worse scandals in his life, left Hoover alone and Hoover left him alone.

      The FBI had a number of high officials who were devoted to a Hillary win and, maybe sincerely, feared a Trump victory.

      He did not launch the war on the FBI. They acted first. Could he have ignored it ? I doubt it.

    15. Trent Telenko Says:

      Mike K,

      The FBI was acting as an anti-body to protect the corrupt organism that is Wash DC.

      See the folloing from the latest Strozk/Page texts —

      Bombshell:

      Strozk/Page texts confirm Paul Combetta used Bleach Bit to wipe laptops of Cheryl Mills and Heather Samuelson.
      2016-03-29 02:43:14 Tues INBOX

    16. Trent Telenko Says:

      Mike K,

      The coming civil war won’t be called such in the history books, if it is mentioned in them at all.

      The suppression of the late 1960’s to early 1970’s Leftist bombing campaigns by the Weather Underground and Black Separatists/Nationalists weren’t. This is because the typical response to the emergence of urban guerrilla warfare always brings “extra legal” responses that are hazardous to document.

      Historically, be it French Algeria, 1980’s El Salvador or Iraq in the mid-2000’s, the “Typical Response” to urban guerrilla warfare has meant death squads.

    17. PenGun Says:

      There is no doubt that what is known as the deep state is mostly the security apparatus of the government. The CIA, NAS and the FBI badly want their ball back and the Donald has it.

      The entire MSM, and more, are completely onside with this and the level of distortion is impressive. At this point we have internet volunteers, with basically no knowledge at all, coming up with madness, the MSM will jump on as evidence … of something.

      It’s great entertainment for me but Trump is up against a very powerful entity. JFK found out the hard way.

    18. Subotai Bahadur Says:

      Jumping in late on this thread.

      Margaret, with all due respect I think that you are in fact too optimistic. While the First American Civil War had slavery as a public face, there were other triggers that were just as important.

      America was conceived from the beginning as a collection of sovereign states, a concept that has now become pro forma and meaningless. Each colony that became a state viewed itself as separate and distinct. It did not work under the Articles of Confederation, for a number of reasons; cultural, political, and economic.

      Our Constitution was a conscious act of nation-building. It did not of itself end the differences, but suppressed them to a certain extent. Nation building happens one of two ways. If a nation comes together peacefully, the old ways die out in a couple of generations and the new way becomes the norm for the generations that follow. Or, unity is established with deadly force. It is what it is when people are involved.

      Within a generation of the establishment of the Constitution we had our first foreign war, with Britain again. The New England states did not want the war, and when it came what they feared came true. Being trading states, the British blockade destroyed them. They were not happy campers.

      I offer for your consideration the Hartford Convention of December 15, 1814-January 5, 1815. Abridging somewhat, these were NOT radicals outside the government. These were the legal and official governments. The call for a convention was issued by the Governor and legislature of Massachusetts to the other New England states, backed by the New England Federalist Party. Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island sent full, official delegations. Despite the efforts of the governors of Vermont and New Hampshire who prevented their legislatures from officially responding to the call; 2 New Hampshire and 1 Vermont counties sent their own delegates in defiance.

      They met in secret and few records were kept, but the resolutions passed and published endorsed the power of state and regional nullification of Federal laws, banning trade embargoes ordered by the Federal government, requiring a two-thirds Congressional majority for declaration of war, admission of a new state, or interdiction of foreign commerce [functionally giving regions total veto power over Federal laws], removing the 3/5 of a person for slaves advantage the South had [modern Democrat propaganda notwithstanding, the argument at the Constitutional Convention was not between not counting slaves for representatives and the 3/5, but the South wanted to count them fully for representatives (giving them more Congressmen) and New England wanted them NOT counted as people at all (giving the South fewer Congressmen) the 3/5 was a compromise.], only one term for president, and requiring each president to be from a different state from his predecessor.

      It was expected that the Federal government would reject amending the Constitution as demanded, and the response would be secession by the New England states.

      As they say, timing is everything. Three Commissioners from the Convention were sent to Washington, DC with the list of demands. They arrived in February 1815 just as the news of both the victory in New Orleans and the signing of the Peace Treaty at Ghent was announced. Realizing that the Federal army now had nothing to do but head north, the Commissioners went home posthaste. While it is not covered in modern history books, it became widely known then and it led to the end of the Federalist Party.

      Thus the first attempt to break up the Union was from the north, in New England. It entailed a weakening of the national government and the nullification of the laws and the Constitution. The second came from South Carolina in 1832-33 when South Carolina decided that it had the right to “nullify” Federal laws it did not agree with. That one ended when President Andrew Jackson [a Democrat ironically] promised to bring the army and make assemblages of South Carolina politician, ropes, and trees.

      The next attempt started in South Carolina again, and led to the First American Civil War. It required brute force and massive numbers of deaths on both sides to re-establish a national government and indeed a nation.

      Just in passing, I will note that there was one justified grievance, far outside the question of slavery, that the South had. BEFORE the First American Civil War [before the first income tax], the only sources of tax revenue that the Federal government had was tariffs on imported goods [Article I, Sections 8 & 10]. The North manufactured and exported and paid almost no taxes. The South had basically a mono-crop exporting economy. Foreign countries paid several times what the North would pay, so cotton was sold overseas. In those days, there was no safe way to move large sums of money overseas. So the farmers sold their goods overseas, were paid overseas, and used the money to buy the goods they wanted overseas. It WAS possible to insure shipments of goods, so they shipped them back to the South. And the South paid the import tariffs on them. Most of the taxes collected by the Federal government came from the South. Most Federal spending was in the North and what then passed for the West [now the midwest]. A part of the argument over slave and free states was a proxy for who had control of Federal taxes and spending.

      Slavery itself was not universal throughout the South. It took a certain cropping system, and richness of soil to make it economically possible. Cotton drained the soil of nutrients. By the Civil War, it was actually dying in Virginia and North Carolina and the new frontiers of slavery were the Gulf Coast states where the soil was richer. But eventually, it would have died out everywhere.

      A key, it seems, as to whether a civil war breaks out is whether the national government can enforce the laws it makes, or whether subsidiary governments can ignore them. This is regardless of whether the government is a constitutional democracy, a dictatorship, or a monarchy. Either the national government is sovereign in the fields run by the national government, or it is not. If it is not, it eventually comes down to brute force to determine who is in charge.

      Today, the American Left, geographically isolated in cities, has centered its very existence in nullification of national law and national unity.

      They claim the right to determine that elections they lose are not legitimate.

      They claim the right to nullify Federal drug laws at will.

      They claim the right to nullify not only Federal immigration laws, but the very concept of national borders.

      They claim the right to have their own foreign policies.

      They claim the right to be exempt from the legal requirements for Federal aid and grants.

      They claim the right to void the protections of the law and the Constitution for their political opponents.

      And right now they are claiming the right to overthrow the duly elected government of the United States by making the Coercive Power of the State a tool for one political party, theirs.

      If we do not bring the Left within the law, including the powerful and those in the Coercive Organs of State Power in very short order [we are not talking generations, we are talking months], the Second American Civil War is locked in.

      Mind you I am not saying who would win, or even if they will be Americans of whatever definition. It is in the hands of the God of Battles. I suspect it will be a combination of what happened in the Former Yugoslavia with ethnic and religious components, neighbor against neighbor, 4th Generation Warfare where the line between combatants and civilians is blurred if not erased, 5th Generation warfare where high tech information and economic warfare is used for causes and not nation-states, and far more Medieval siege warfare than one would expect. I am not one who seeks such. Seeking and predicting based on data are two different things.

      Incidentally, it will not all stay within our own borders. To the north and the south we have the same kind of Leftist elites, and both have imported terrorists that they, like we do, deliberately ignore. EVERYBODY’s dance card is going to be full.

    19. Margaret Says:

      Thank you for that very informative post. As usually happens when I hang out here, I’m impressed by the wealth of knowledge the members bring to every question.

      Your summation of the Left’s current nullification efforts is also impressive. When one looks at these all together, rather than one at a time, it does look like a concerted effort to destroy national unity. I suspect you’re right and it is just that.

      And yet I am still optimistic that we will survive the current crisis without widespread violence. That we will bring the Left within the law. The next few months should be interesting.

    20. Anonymous Says:

      SB, stimulating post for my little gray cells. Appreciate the history lesson on the early 19th century.

      Death6

    21. Gringo Says:

      Subotai Bahadur:
      Just in passing, I will note that there was one justified grievance, far outside the question of slavery, that the South had. BEFORE the First American Civil War [before the first income tax], the only sources of tax revenue that the Federal government had was tariffs on imported goods.

      There were Southerners who were for tariffs before they against them. Among the Southern stalwarts who supported the Tariff of 1816 were Senator John Calhoun of South Carolina and Congressman William Lowndes of South Carolina. I haven’t found a state-by-state breakdown of the vote in Congress, but a party vote for the House shows that the Federalists were split 25-23, and the “Republicans” (Democratic Republicans- Jeffersonians) voted 63-31 for the Tariff. Federalists would have been primarily from New England.

      In 1816 the United states passed its first protective tariff, the principal aim of which was to place high duties on cotton and wool textiles. Historians, in examining this act, have been impressed by the strong support given it by the South.’ Especially was this support noticeable in South Carolina, where two of the South’s strongest political leaders, William Lowndes and John C. Calhoun, voted for the measure.

      (This is from Southern Support of the Tariff of 1816-A Reappraisal, Norris W. Preyer The Journal of Southern History Vol. 25, No. 3 (Aug., 1959), pp. 306-322 . Accessed via local library access to JSTOR)

      Just as the South was against States Rights when it came to fugitive slaves in the North,resulting in the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850, but was for States Rights as a reason to secede in 1861.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tariff_of_1816

    22. David Foster Says:

      Tariffs: Nobody stopped the South from developing industry, which of course have made it less dependent on imports and hence less vulnerable to tariffs.

      Indeed, there was a Virginia man named Wiliam Gregg who was a strong advocate of cotton mills in the South. He did build and run a large mill in South Carolina, but was not able to gain much traction in terms of persuading others to follow the same course.

    23. Subotai Bahadur Says:

      David Foster Says:
      February 12th, 2018 at 3:50 pm

      Believe it or not, I abridged the h*ll out of that post because it could have even been longer. In the paragraph:

      >>>>”America was conceived from the beginning as a collection of sovereign states, a concept that has now become pro forma and meaningless. Each colony that became a state viewed itself as separate and distinct. It did not work under the Articles of Confederation, for a number of reasons; cultural, political, and economic.”<<<<

      Among the differences from the beginning was a North-South split. The South was settled by what functionally the Royalist side of the English Civil War, and the North by the Roundheads, plus various European Protestants who were not at all High Church. Look at the original 13 colonies. The names of the southern colonies Georgia [named after King George], South Carolina [named after King Charles, North Carolina [named after King Charles], Virginia [named after the Virgin Queen Elizabeth], and Maryland [named after Queen Henrietta Maria, consort of King Charles I, with kind an allusion to the Virgin Mary as Maryland was the only colony that provided some toleration of Roman Catholics].

      Their religion was High Church Anglican. Their politics were Royalist and feudal. And they became planters rather than manufacturers. The North was Puritan and derivative in nature mixed with Dutch and German protestants. Their politics were more populist. Their culture was more innovative, and their cities were more industrial than centers of class power.

      Yeah, if they had become manufacturers, or had not gone with a mass plantation culture, they would have been in a better position. But by their nature, they could not. It ended up with the resort to force.

    24. Mike K Says:

      Tariffs: Nobody stopped the South from developing industry, which of course have made it less dependent on imports and hence less vulnerable to tariffs.

      That has always interested me. The cotton plantations took up much of the good agricultural land.

      The climate may have been a factor. Air Conditioning has had an enormous effect on the South.

      Maybe the north had rivers that ran east and west, while those in the South were mostly north and south. I know that the Ohio River was very important as were the Great Lakes, in western migration.

      New England had poor soil for agriculture but the ocean was nearby for merchants and seamen. Water power was present in local rivers.

      Perhaps this influenced the early development of industry,

      Many immigrants to the North were German with skills and work ethic. Pennsylvania and Missouri and Wisconsin all had large German immigrant populations.

      The Scotch Irish were a lot of the southern immigrants. Jim Webb wrote a book about them but I haven’t read it.

    25. Jonathan Says:

      Air conditioning and public health measures including modern sanitation and the eradication of malaria and other tropical diseases.

    26. David Foster Says:

      The Southern elite class seems to have modeled themselves pretty consciously on the British aristocracy, or at least what they thought the British aristocracy was.

      One difference: Britain was an island and a maritime power with overseas colonies, the South was not. This probably led to a more inward-focused attitude on the part of Southern society.

    27. Mike K Says:

      “The Southern elite class seems to have modeled themselves pretty consciously on the British aristocracy, or at least what they thought the British aristocracy was.”

      Yes, but they were a small minority. There must have been other factors. There was a white small holder class who did most of the fighting for the Confederacy.

      What was their life like ? Sherman’s letter to a friend:
      “You people of the South don’t know what you are doing. This country will be drenched in blood, and God only knows how it will end. It is all folly, madness, a crime against civilization! You people speak so lightly of war; you don’t know what you’re talking about. War is a terrible thing!
      You mistake, too, the people of the North. They are a peaceable people but an earnest people, and they will fight, too. They are not going to let this country be destroyed without a mighty effort to save it …
      Besides, where are your men and appliances of war to contend against them? The North can make a steam engine, locomotive, or railway car; hardly a yard of cloth or pair of shoes can you make. You are rushing into war with one of the most powerful, ingeniously mechanical, and determined people on Earth — right at your doors.
      You are bound to fail. Only in your spirit and determination are you prepared for war. In all else you are totally unprepared, with a bad cause to start with. At first you will make headway, but as your limited resources begin to fail, shut out from the markets of Europe as you will be, your cause will begin to wane. If your people will but stop and think, they must see in the end that you will surely fail.”
      – William T. Sherman, letter to a Southern friend at the outset of the war

      I have not found a good source for why the South remained agricultural. Certainly, that was Jefferson’s ideal but there must have been men who saw the problems.

    28. Grurray Says:

      The cotton gin had a lot to do with it. Before it was invented slavery was becoming less and less profitable. After the cotton gin the number of slaves almost doubled in the first two decades of the 19th century. So much for the progress.

    29. Brian Says:

      The details of 19th century America are interesting, but the main issue is that after 150 years, the American nation-state is disintegrating. Prior to the Civil War, the country was basically a federation of separate nation-states, then it became a unified nation state, and now it’s breaking down into tribalism.

    30. Grurray Says:

      The nullification controversy actually started in the 18th century when Jefferson and Madison devised the Principles of ’98 to oppose John Adams’ attempts to turn the republic into a police state. Adams was a great diplomat but not suited for the position of president.

    31. Mike K Says:

      “then it became a unified nation state, and now it’s breaking down into tribalism.”

      Read America 3.0 . It might have some ideas for the future.

      I bought Jim Webb’s book “Born Fighting” to see if he has any insight into this matter of the South before the Civil War.

    32. King Mob Says:

      Mike K;

      The south remained agricultural because it was profitable. Cotton wasn’t the only factor – before cotton became king in the 1820s and afterward, sugar cane and indigo were crops grown with gusto in the South. Pork was also a large export. Cattle. The South was an agricultural powerhouse that was internationally renown, and the cotton that grew there was considered top-tier quality that helped drive the British textile industry.

      Secondly, weather. People whom don’t live in the south can’t imagine what the weather is like until they experience it. Imagine what it was like pre-air conditioning. AC is considered by several historians to be responsible for assisting the South to rise out of it’s post-civil war development slump… in the 1970s.

      Third, population. The South, even exempting Texas(as you should, discussing things like this) is far, far larger than the Northern states. The population in the North at the time of the civil war? 22 million. The South? 9 million, slaves included.

      Fourth, transportation. The South only had a single large port and river – New Orleans and the Mississippi. The North had New York, Boston, among others, and extensive canals and train track networks that were overlaid in an area that was much smaller than the South. Incidentally, the number of large ports is also what drove the heavy immigration into the North with the train network correspondingly funneling them westward.

    33. Anonymous Says:

      Mike K
      I bought Jim Webb’s book “Born Fighting” to see if he has any insight into this matter of the South before the Civil War.

      Frederick Law Olmsted is best known as a landscape architect. He designed Golden Gate Park and Central Park. He also wrote some books on his travels through the South in the 1850s.

      Interested in the slave economy, he was commissioned by the New York Daily Times (now The New York Times) to embark on an extensive research journey through the American South and Texas from 1852 to 1857. His dispatches to the Times were collected into three volumes (A Journey in the Seaboard Slave States (1856), A Journey Through Texas (1857), A Journey in the Back Country in the Winter of 1853-4 (1860)) which remain vivid first-person social documents of the pre-war South. A one-volume abridgment, Journeys and Explorations in the Cotton Kingdom (1861), was published during the first six months of the American Civil War at the suggestion of Olmsted’s English publisher.[8] To this he wrote a new introduction (on “The Present Crisis”) in which he stated explicitly his views on the effect of slavery on the economy and social conditions of the southern states.

      My own observation of the real condition of the people of our Slave States, gave me … an impression that the cotton monopoly in some way did them more harm than good; and although the written narration of what I saw was not intended to set this forth, upon reviewing it for the present publication, I find the impression has become a conviction.

      He argued that slavery had made the slave states inefficient (a set amount of work took 4 times as long in Virginia as in the North) and backward both economically and socially. The profits of slavery fell to no more than 8,000 owners of large plantations; a somewhat larger group had about the standard of living of a New York City policeman, but the proportion of the free white men who were as well-off as a Northern working man was small. Slavery meant that ‘the proportion of men improving their condition was much less than in any Northern community; and that the natural resources of the land were strangely unused, or were used with poor economy.’

      They can be downloaded without cost from Google Books. Cotton Kingdom is an abridgement.

    34. Gringo Says:

      The previous comment is mine.

    35. Grurray Says:

      Albion’s Seed gives a vivid account of the different cultures that settled America. Particularly stunning for me was the description of the Virginia Cavaliers’ sexual morality. William Byrd who founded Richmond was a sexual predator and kept a diary of his conquests. The culture of Washington D.C. makes a lot more sense after reading it.

    36. Grurray Says:

      My point being that the unofficial (as far as I know) system of slave concubinage, of which Jefferson among others was an enthusiastic participant, must have been a strong incentive to keep slavery going.

    37. Mike K Says:

      King Mob, two of your points I made as well.

      The wealth of agriculture maybe part of it. I wonder how prosperous the small holder class that made up so much of the Confederate army was ?

      Gringo, that sounds like a good source and I will look into it.

      The profits of slavery fell to no more than 8,000 owners of large plantations; a somewhat larger group had about the standard of living of a New York City policeman, but the proportion of the free white men who were as well-off as a Northern working man was small.

      That is what interested me,

      The climate is a significant factor, I am certain. The post war South was a basket case of malnutrition and disease until the 70s. That is when air conditioning became affordable.

      The Robert Caro biography of Lyndon Johnson makes the point that white families were very poor in Texas until quite recently.

      Many Army and Air Force installations were placed in the South because of the weather and the poverty and cheap land.

    38. Mike K Says:

      “the number of large ports is also what drove the heavy immigration into the North with the train network correspondingly funneling them westward.”

      Even earlier, the water transportation drove westward immigration.

      My great grandfather moved to Illinois in the 1850s and probably followed a similar path that Henry Mayo followed along the rivers and the Great Lakes.

      The railroads were important for later immigrants following the Civil War but canals were there from 1835.

    39. David Foster Says:

      My impression is that Charleston was a pretty major port:

      http://www.maritimeheritage.org/ports/usSouthCarolina.html

      Cotton exports from the Carolinas and Georgia must have had some kind of port access.

    40. King Mob Says:

      Mike K;

      Careful with Olmsted. This is the same writer that criticized southern farmer homes by stating they’d never be able to stand up to New York winters. I’d even go so far as to call it a Newspaper-sponsored hitpeice(Olmsted was a Journalist, keep in mind) against the South for Northern readers to indulge in.

      The attitude that lead HL Mencken to pen ‘Sahara of the Bozart’ was a thing that existed well before the Civil War and existed long after(to this day, I’d argue.)

    41. Mike K Says:

      Yes, David, Savannah and Charleston were major ports. New Orleans was more important for the agricultural Midwest.

      The internal water transportation might have been more important as a difference,

      King Mob, Olmsted was also a major figure in the Sanitary Commission during the war and was obviously an Abolitionist.

      I guess I’ll see what Webb had to add.

    42. Mike K Says:

      Here is a typical history version of the issues I am interested in.

      Unfortunately, I feel it does not explain why things happened.

      Since Eli Whitney’s 1793 invention of the cotton ‘gin, the cotton industry became a lucrative field for Southern planters and farmers. Utilizing slave labor, cotton planters and farmers could cut costs as they produced cotton for sale to other regions and for export to England. In exchange, Southern farmers and planters purchased manufactured goods from the North, food items from the West and imported luxuries like European designer clothes and furniture from England. The growth of the Southern cotton industry served as an engine of growth for the entire nation’s economy in the antebellum (pre-war) years.
      The other critical economic issue that divided the North from the South was that of tariffs. Tariffs were taxes placed on imported goods, the money from which would go to the government. Throughout the antebellum period, whenever the federal government wanted to raise tariffs, Southern Congressmen generally opposed it and Northern Congressmen generally supported it.

      These are explanations that do not explain. Why did the South have less industry ?

      I just don’t believe that small southern farmers were “imported luxuries like European designer clothes and furniture from England.”

    43. Gringo Says:

      These are explanations that do not explain. Why did the South have less industry ?

      One possible explanation is demographic. British engineering and scientific advancements from 1600-1850 came overwhelmingly from religious Dissidents- much the same demographic that settled New England. See C.D. Darlington’s The Evolution of Man and Society. The South was settled by Anglicans. Anglicans contributed very little, if anything, to the engineering and scientific revolution in Britain.

      Perhaps it was too easy to make big money in cotton and slaves, so that is where capital was invested.

      New England valued education more than the South. It was no accident, as Pravda once would have said, that it was a Connecticut Yankee who invented the cotton gin.

    44. Gringo Says:

      Regarding textile manufacturing, the South had a number of inherent advantages. The fall line from the Piedmont to the Coastal Plane provided a better water power source than rivers in New England. Cotton was closer and thus cheaper. The advantage that New England had was technology. Samuel Slater, who began working in textile mills at age 14, was recruited to come to New England to help design a textile mill. Which he did. (I knew a Samuel Slater from my hometown, but as far as I know, he was not a descendant.)

    45. Mike K Says:

      All good points, Gringo.

      I remember reading about the textile technology being secret and the secrets being stolen.

      I am listening to Webb’s book on audio as we drive to California tomorrow.

      The Industrial Revolution went from France to England after the Edict of Nantes was revoked by Louis XIV. The Huguenots carried it with them.

      If the South was settled by Jacobites after Culloden, it might be a factor.

      Incidentally, I’ve been reading the “Outlander” series of novels.

      They are pretty well researched, somewhat like Jean Auel’s “Clan of the Cave Bear” series.

      She makes the point that the Scots settled North Carolina after the Battle of Culloden.

      I’ll see if Webb’s book agrees with her. “Clan of the Cave Bear and the others were quite well researched.

      May be the Catholic immigration was a factor. I grew up Catholic but have been aware for many years that Catholics did not invent much,

      A lot of the pathology of South America is probably related to the emphasis on afterlife of Catholic theology.

      The Protestants, and especially the Presbyterians, put more emphasis on material propsperity.

    46. Grurray Says:

      A great book about that is New World of the Gothic Fox by Veliz. He uses the fox and the hedgehog analogies to draw a contrast between North America and Latin America, but, specifically, his contention is the north was influenced by the Enlightenment and the Spanish speaking world by the counter-reformation.

    47. Brian Says:

      “I grew up Catholic but have been aware for many years that Catholics did not invent much, A lot of the pathology of South America is probably related to the emphasis on afterlife of Catholic theology. The Protestants, and especially the Presbyterians, put more emphasis on material propsperity.”

      Ugh. Literally nothing about English culture that led to the Industrial Revolution, etc., was magically introduced because Henry decided to strip the altars, sack the monasteries, and make himself Pope. If England had remained Catholic, we’d have all that cool stuff, and lots fewer screeds blaming religion for differences rooted in other cultural historical factors (the Bourbons & Habsburgs were far more focused & successful at centralizing power than the English monarchs ever were).

      (To be fair, one could argue that legal changes made by Henry for his lackeys, the original and literal robber barons, caused the destruction of English rural life and drove people to the cities, causing and supporting the rise of factories, but you can’t somehow argue that The Common Book of Prayer suddenly changed the culture and made people want to be make lots of money where before they had been happy to be peasants.)

    48. David Foster Says:

      For those interested in the history of Southern industrialization, and the social forces involved pro and con, here’s a worthwhile book:

      The rise of cotton mills in the South

    49. Gringo Says:

      Grurray
      A great book about that is New World of the Gothic Fox by Veliz

      In addition to The New World of the Gothic Fox, Claudio Veliz wrote an interesting article in the Australian periodical Quadrant: The True Genesis of Amnesty International. As he was, shall we say, present at the founding, the article is worth reading.

      My perception of the difference between the Spanish and English colonies is that the Spaniards went looking for easily exploitable wealth, such as gold and silver, and found it. The grandees, who monopolized wealth and thus capital in New Spain, had little incentive to become more wealthy, as they already had plenty. So they sat on wealth that could have been invested in, for example, industrialization. In later centuries, this difference resulted in many of the Latin American elite viewing Gringos as vulgar money-grubbers. The Latin American elite, on the other hand, had no need to be money-grubbers, as THEY already had plenty to live on.

      The English, for the most part, didn’t find easily exploitable wealth, and had to work to create wealth. The parts of British America which most resembled New Spain, the southern US and the Caribbean colonies, had easily exploitable wealth in the form of slaves.

      One similarity between Spanish and British colonies is that both the Roman Catholic and Protestant clerics were a moderating influence on the treatment of Indians and of black slaves, as they were both interested in converts.

      The Venezuelan journalist Carlos Rangel, in The Latin Americans: Their Love-Hate Relationship with the United States, discusses the anti-tariff stances of Lowndes and Calhoun (after supporting the 1816 Tariff, mind you). He points out that in claiming that the industrial North was exploiting the agricultural South, they were predating the Third World Marxist rant a century later.

      I read the book as Del Buen Salvaje al Buen Revolucionario (From the Good Savage to the Good Revolutionary.) Excellent book.

    50. Grurray Says:

      Münzenberg perceived, almost intuitively, that societies experiencing the warm secular embrace of industrial modernity were afflicted by a critical depletion of that moral justification which is “one of our deepest needs, one of our most powerful and essential human drives, ignored at our cost and peril”. Lacking any formal knowledge of theology, history or sociology, he understood in practice the importance of “righteousness” in human life. Correctly perceiving the dearth of this definitive ingredient among the middle and upper strata of Western European society, he deployed his formidable propaganda machine to the task of producing a sufficiency of convincing, immaculate and soul-enhancing righteous causes to fill the vacuum.

      Brilliant, thanks for sharing. He nails the fundamental problem that’s still exploited by the Left.

      I was just reading this earlier today about Jeremy Corbyn’s days as a Useful Idiot. Schindler went off the deep end after he was fired from the Naval War College, but his intel work is still always top notch.

    51. Mike K Says:

      Brian, I missed the point of your comment,

      I think the “Protestant Ethic” as an incentive to work and make money is pretty well accepted,

      Henry certainly devastated the monasteries but that was hundreds of years before the Industrial Revolution.

      The Scottish Enlightenment was pretty much a Protestant movement.

      The Webb book is pretty interesting. We listened most of the way from Tucson to LA.

    52. Brian Says:

      The “Protestant Work Ethic” is a myth that English writers of Industrial Age made up to explain why England (& the Dutch) was successful compared to their enemies, France & Spain. It’s a stupid bigoted trash take. A Catholic England would have had all of the same cultural and historical components that led to the English Empire. You would have had a wealthy and dynamic Catholic England, and sclerotic and less successful France & Spain, and we could have talked sensibly about cultural differences rather than the lazy religious bigotry tropes we have now. As I said, absolutely nothing was magically introduced into English culture that caused its later success. If anything, what was introduced were malignant totalitarian aspects of other cultures.

    53. Mike K Says:

      “we could have talked sensibly about cultural differences rather than the lazy religious bigotry tropes we have now.”

      This sounds like a hobby horse of yours so we will just have to disagree.

      South America is another example, f you could see it.

    54. David Foster Says:

      Münzenberg perceived, almost intuitively, that societies experiencing the warm secular embrace of industrial modernity were afflicted by a critical depletion of that moral justification which is “one of our deepest needs, one of our most powerful and essential human drives, ignored at our cost and peril”. Lacking any formal knowledge of theology, history or sociology, he understood in practice the importance of “righteousness” in human life. Correctly perceiving the dearth of this definitive ingredient among the middle and upper strata of Western European society, he deployed his formidable propaganda machine to the task of producing a sufficiency of convincing, immaculate and soul-enhancing righteous causes to fill the vacuum.

      What was this from?…can’t find the comment that contains the link.

    55. Jonathan Says:

      David, it’s from the Veliz piece on Amnesty International that Grurray Gringo linked to.

      In 2006 I posted a video of a interesting talk by Veliz, but the video is no longer online. Maybe I’ll dig up the video and post it again.

    56. Anonymous Says:

      It seems to me that Spain and Portugal were not full partakers of the industrial revolution as was most of the northern Europeans. As such their exploration of the New World did not have a market motivated basis. Their model seemed to be accumulation of precious metal wealth and other easily transported and monitized forms of wealth. While doing so the conversion to Catholicism was also a primary, not necessarily highest, motivation. England on nthe other hand established overseas colonies as primarily commercial enterprises and tolerated a variety of religious beliefs, even Catholicism (Lord Baltimore, Maryland). They were motivated primary by trading and economic development. Hence, the political, social and economic structures of these colonies reflected those ends.

      I think that the point that a Catholic England would have had largely the same trends based on its unique cultural differences misses the point that those distinct cultural, geographic and historical differences were exactly why England wanted to and could split from Catholicism and its centralized political control/influence. It was a messy transition, but ultimately made possible the foundation of a British Empire that was built on a far different model than any of the other European nations, including France 23 miles away. One can see the differences between the basis of the American revolution and the French Revolution as well. I think Winston Churchill got this right.

      I find it interesting that David Hume’s formulation of the quantity theory of money was based on his observations of the process of Spanish import of precious metal over a lengthy period and how that produced very little economic development in Spain compared to northern Europe where production and trade were flourishing. The temporary boost in wealth that precious metal import created was very concentrated in the feudal class in Spain and likely contributed to the continuance of those structures largely as the governmental model well into the 19th century.

      Death6

    57. Brian Says:

      Death6:
      “those distinct cultural, geographic and historical differences were exactly why England wanted to and could split from Catholicism”
      Sigh. The English Reformation was the one national reform movement that was top-down, with almost zero bottom-up pressure or support. England didn’t want to split from Catholicism. Henry did.
      “…and its centralized political control/influence”
      Post-reform England was far, far more centralized politically than it ever had been before in its history.

      MikeK:
      “South America is another example, f you could see it.”
      No, it is the same example. South America was Spanish, hence it had all the Spanish cultural handicaps.

      “This sounds like a hobby horse of yours”
      Agreed, it very much is. This “Protestant Work Ethic” myth has similar origins as the preposterous notion that medieval people thought the Earth was flat, just another ridiculous slander by later scholars to propagandize for The Enlightenment (which was initiated by Greek scholars fleeing the Turks, by the way) at the expense of those awful papists…

      “so we will just have to disagree.”
      Agreed again.

    58. Gringo Says:

      Jonathan
      David, it’s from the Veliz piece on Amnesty International that Grurray linked to.
      No, I linked to it. Gurray quoted it, but didn’t provide a link.

      [Fixed, sorry. J]

      Death6
      I think that the point that a Catholic England would have had largely the same trends based on its unique cultural differences misses the point that those distinct cultural, geographic and historical differences were exactly why England wanted to and could split from Catholicism and its centralized political control/influence.
      Recall WHY Henry VIII split from the Roman Catholic church: because he couldn’t get Papal approval to annul his marriage to Catherine of Aragon- who hadn’t produced a male heir to the throne. Pure politics. Granted, Scotland, then an independent kingdom, did have its own Protestant conversion courtesy of John Knox- no kingly influence in Scotland to turn Protestant. Given Henry VIII’s un-theological motives for the establishment of the Anglican church in England- the Pope wouldn’t let me do it- one is on very shaky ground to make generalizations about Protestant England versus Roman Catholic countries.

      One point about Spain is that there is no way it would have turned Protestant.The Roman Catholic faith was an enormous factor In the 800 year Reconquista to kick the Muslims out of Spain. For all the bad press that Spain got for kicking Jews out in 1492, in the 1300s there was pressure from Rome for the Spanish kingdoms to not be so tolerant of the Jews. England kicked out the Jews circa 1300.

      Copernicus was a cleric and the nephew of a Bishop. The philosophical underpinnings of the scientific revolution in Europe came from the Roman Catholic church- God has made an ordered world, and as scientists we will investigate the order that God created.

      Disclaimer: as far as I can tell, no Roman Catholics in my family tree for the last 400 years.

    59. Mike K Says:

      One point about Spain is that there is no way it would have turned Protestant.The Roman Catholic faith was an enormous factor In the 800 year Reconquista to kick the Muslims out of Spain.

      Phillip II destroyed Spain and dissipated the fortune brought back from the New World in trying to force the Protestants of England and Holland to return to Catholicism.

      They never recovered from his profligacy,

      Brazil suffered similar pathology even though it was ruled by Portugal, not Spain.

    60. Whitehall Says:

      Deep into a solid history of the Spanish Civil War:

      https://www.amazon.com/Spanish-Civil-Cambridge-Essential-Histories/dp/0521174708/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1518859848&sr=8-6&keywords=the+spanish+civil

      The resemblance between the radical Left in Spain and the contemporary American Left is uncanny. It was clearly admitted by the Spanish Left that they had no interest in democracy that didn’t give them full power to reshape Spanish society.

      Their quotes could have been ripped from today’s headlines of quotes of Pelosi or Sanders.

    61. Trent Telenko Says:

      Whitehall,

      Regards this —

      >>The resemblance between the radical Left in Spain and the
      >>contemporary American Left is uncanny. It was clearly admitted
      >>by the Spanish Left that they had no interest in democracy that
      >>didn’t give them full power to reshape Spanish society.
      >>
      >>Their quotes could have been ripped from today’s headlines of
      >>quotes of Pelosi or Sanders.

      The above is why I’ve been saying “The Spanish Civil War is Coming” (TSCWIC) since 2007.

      This sort of political difference cannot be resolved by politics. Politics inflames the issue. It does not resolve it. In the end, blows must decide.

      What the Obama Administration-Clinton Campaign failed electoral coup did is prematurely move us from the “Pre-revolutionary stage” straight to Civil War.

      RIGHT.

      NOW.

      That the battlefield is political, judicial, media and cultural does not make it any less a war.

      For instance:

      The Media anti-Trump/GOP hate campaign has already activated folks like Antifa and the sociopath minds like the shooter of the GOP softball team — so helpfully doxed by the media — and Senator Rand Paul’s Leftist nutball neighbor who blind sided Paul and broke his ribs. Not to mention the recent Boston post-marked “White powder snail-mail incident” with Pres Trump’s daughter-in-law Vanessa.

      Here is another example of the on-going “Hate and delegitimize Pres. Trump” media hate campaign in action —

      https://donsurber.blogspot.com/2018/02/abc-cranks-it-to-11-and-calls-trump.html

      Such media hate campaigns are nothing new and have been going since Pres. Ronald Reagan.

      The difference today is the Left’s control of both media entertainment and schools has left them a “inside the bubble tin ear” versus Pres Trump’s “return serve” to “Heritage America” via social media that “culturally appropriates” Leftist media propaganda and re-purposes it for his own use.

      What happened with “Fake News” is a wonderful example of this, for which see:

      https://theconservativetreehouse.com/2018/02/15/sharyl-attkisson-tedx-speech-discussing-origin-of-fake-news/

      And in case you had not noticed it, Pres. Trump is running his own attack on the legitimacy of both the Deep State and the Democratic Party via coordinated Congressional/political, multiple Inspector General, and AG Session’s judicial investigations of the failed Obama-Clinton electoral coup.

      The signs and portents are that Trump has made several of the public figures in the Deep State Coup attempt ‘turn states evidence’ to roll up the conspiracy. And that he is timing events related to the prosecution of this for maximum political benefit in 2018 and 2020.

      See:

      https://theconservativetreehouse.com/2018/02/10/game-over-judge-jeanine-interview-with-hpsci-rep-chris-stewart/#more-145720

      The less know but far more important development is Pres Trump is implementing a round of Civil Service reform that will utterly change the Federal work force because of the work-to-pay incentives built in. That is, while it will still be difficult to fire a slug Federal worker. A 10 percent an annual appraisal docking of pay for lack of work is.

      The amount of discretionary time left to plot and implement Leftist power games in the Federal bureaucracy is set to get a very large salary cost.

      What you need to look for now is a “precipitating event” for the American Right to “go lethal.”

      The assassination of Pres Trump by the Left is one such event, but I rate it unlikely since;
      1. Trump has restaffed his Presidential Secret Service team with American ex-special forces operatives, and
      2. The Deep State elements where the most competent assassins are is under “Hostile” NSA enabled Secret Service surveillance coupled with
      3. Pres. Trump’s corporate “Able Danger-like” open source “Total Information Awareness” data mining software that accesses the best private corporate market transaction data the Federal government “officially” can’t use without a warrant or a lot of cash.

      [Note, see these URL for Able Danger reference:

      https://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/able-danger-identified-911-hijacker-13-times

      http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:AJlTPWK59dUJ:www.nationalreview.com/article/216189/its-time-investigate-able-danger-and-911-commission-andrew-c-mccarthy+&cd=10&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us%5D

      No, I think we will see as a “precipitating event” something closer to the jury nullification crisis that the Feds faced with the first two Clivin Bundy trials as applied to Right wing folks doing vigilantly justice against the “Leftist politically connected.”

      And “Leftist politically connected” covers a lot of ground in our culture.

      The latest Florida school shooter is a classic case because the Left made it -impossible- to take out the violent mentally ill before they kill.

      Everyone knew the latest Florida shooter was going to kill. Hell, he posted about it on social media. Everyone who knew him did the right thing in telling authorities — 39 times — and the authorities including the school, county police and the local FBI all refused to act.

      This was the result of a deliberate policy by the Left to prevent anyone in law enforcement from forcibly preventing such things under the guise of “Civil Rights”. Not getting killed by the violent mentally ill isn’t considered a “Civil Right” by the Left. And they rub people’s face in that over and over.

      _THAT_ is is an example of where the collapse of law enforcement legitimacy will bring out vigilante justice by the Right.

      There is another name for such “vigilante justice.” It is called Death Squads. When such squads operate, and cannot get convicted in a local criminal jury trial. That is when you know ITS ON.

    62. Anonymous Says:

      Brian,
      You make good points, but I would assert that Henry’s eventual break with the Pope had more basis than his issue with his separation from Catherine being recognized by the Pope. He was also seething about the Pope’s apparent deference/favoritism toward the kings of France and Spain.

      As you said, English political power became more centralized in Henry’s era, but something changed at that point resulting the declining power of the crown and the nobility at a faster rate than most other european countries. In my view, part of this had to do with the international independence England achieved based on what Henry initiated as well as the complete union of the English church with the crown. As the crown lost power, so did the Anglican church. Once both Catholic and Anglican beliefs were acknowledged as permitted, other faiths crept in as well. The crown seemed more concerned with its political power than its religious power.

      To me it seems likely that the individualism (natural rights) and diversity of faith which grew among the English commoners and the nobility over the next two centuries was at least a significant contributing factor in the growing difference between the English and most other other Europeans. I can not see how the culture and its religious faith(s) can be separated. While I’m not saying that the religious faith is always definitively causative (more bi-directional), but I believe both the commercial and political development were enabled by the break with the international Catholic Church and the diversity of protestant sects that came later.

      I agree that the distinct character of the English speaking cultures have other vital sources. I do think religious independence and diversity that gradually broke down the power of a centralized church hierarchy as mediator between the individual and God and made personal mediation more important would be supportive of individual initiative, accountability and sovereignty so characteristic of the British. I need to be careful to point out I’m talking about the political and cultural practices of the Enlightenment and early Modern period Catholic Church, not the essential tenets of the faith, as being a drag on breaking down of the earlier structures of noble hierarchical power that emerged from the Middle Ages.

      I also believe that the legacy of both the religious and political structures of the era of colonialism imported from the colonial powers can be seen between the English speaking former colonies of the British Empire and those of most other former colonies.

      The difficult question for me is how much the religious divergence of England had on its political, social, cultural and economic changes. I have little doubt that it played an important role in making England the leader in escaping feudalism.

      Death6

    63. Mike K Says:

      Trump has restaffed his Presidential Secret Service team with American ex-special forces operatives,

      I am glad to read this as I had no trust in the USSS. That was as much incompetence as politics.

      The one agent who said she “would take a bullet for Trump” was less a concern that the drunks and whoremasters.

      The Civil War will smolder along under the surface for the most part but the FBI may take a serious hit on the matter of the Florida school shooter.

      Getting into politics as much as they did maybe fatal for the service.

      The anti-gun narrative is getting overwhelmed by the “FBI dropped the ball” narrative.

    64. Trent Telenko Says:

      FBI Legitimacy Collapse—Arriving!

      This is a comment seen at Sundance’s place on this thread:

      https://theconservativetreehouse.com/2018/02/16/say-something-do-nothing-fbi-statement-on-parkland-florida-school-shooting/comment-page-3/#comments

      There is a report in the Wall Street Journal about how the FBI failed: “FBI Didn’t Follow Up on Tip From Person Close to Teenager Charged in Shooting“. The report currently has nearly 1500 comments. The three comments that have the most recommendations (by readers), are as follows.

      1. Does this qualify as “grossly negligent” or “extremely careless”?

      2. Most FBI agents were busy fabricating evidence about Trump’s “collusion” with the Russians. The rest were sexting their mistresses.

      3. Too busy covering their tracks after the fraudulent FISA warrant…

      The SJW’s that run the FBI and DoJ have zero idea of the institutional implications of this…

      …but they are going to find out very soon.

    65. Gringo Says:

      Donna Brazile, in her recent book, Hacks: The Inside Story of the Break-ins and Breakdowns That Put Donald Trump in the White House, points out that the hacking went on well after the FBI discovered it in September 2015. Brazile goes on to state that both the FBI and the DNC shared responsibility for this fiasco.

      I found out at last why it had taken so long for the FBI to let us know we had been hacked. The cause was incompetence on both sides. After first becoming aware of a possible hacking when they detected computers in the DNC communicating with known Russian hacking command centers, the FBI called the DNC in September 2015 and asked for the IT department. The FBI agent was transferred to the DNC’s help desk—you know, the people who answer your calls if you’re having trouble logging onto the network or your mouse stopped working right. The help desk employee was a contractor hired by MIS Choice, the Chicago-based technology company who had worked with the Obama campaign in 2008. When Obama took office, he’d brought this company on to help with the party’s network.
      The technician thought the FBI call—made by Special Agent Adrian Hawkins—might be a prank call, not an unusual occurrence at the DNC. Agent Hawkins said he was trying to alert the party to the presence of Russian hackers in our computer network. Think about that for a minute. If the FBI—or even someone who claimed to be the FBI—called you, wouldn’t you panic, just a little?
      Instead of alerting his superior, the IT contractor decided to look for a compromised computer in the system. The technician’s scan of the system didn’t turn up anything, so he let it go.
      Special Agent Hawkins called again in November but the IT tech again could find no signs that the system had been breached. This went on for some weeks before the FBI offered some more specific information. In December Agent Hawkins gave the technician a URL for the machine that was sending out the signal to Russia hoping having that address would help the tech office find it inside the system…..
      The IT guy made a mistake, and a big one. What about the FBI? Aren’t these guys the world’s most sophisticated investigative force? They know how to read people, right? The FBI agent had to know that he had not reached the decision maker when he got this young man on the phone. The DNC offices were only a few blocks away from FBI headquarters. The agent could have walked over and asked at the front desk to speak with the boss. I believe Miss Barbara Hurd and Miss Natalie Chung would have promptly called the party CEO, Amy Dacey. Or they could have brought our chair, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, into a secure room in Congress where they hold high-security briefings, but that seemed not to have crossed their minds. By the time Debbie finally found out about the hack, the Russians had been in the system for almost a year without anyone noticing.

      Neither the FBI nor the DNC come out of this looking very good.

      I was expecting an earth-shattering book, which is not what I got. Donna Brazile is a dedicated Democrat with some four decades of party experience. She ran Al Gore’s election campaign. She was not happy that Hillary took months after the election to give her a thank you call. She was not happy that Hillary’s command center in Brooklyn didn’t give her sufficient autonomy. But would she campaign strenuously for Hillary were she the party’s nominee tomorrow? You betcha!

    66. Mike K Says:

      The major failing in all this is the failure to realize that Hillary did commit a felony and instead the FBI bloodhounds set off after the Trump underlings.

      Winning the election did not stop that.

      They tried to duplicate Mark Felt’s successful coup against Nixon but they had no dirt on Trump.

      The FBI had been surveilling presidents since Roosevelt but they had nothing on Trump but already public knowledge.

      After Bill Clinton, nobody cared.

      This might be enough to kill the FBI.

    67. Trent Telenko Says:

      >>They tried to duplicate Mark Felt’s successful coup against Nixon but they had no dirt on Trump.

      This is why I say it is a legitimacy and not a credibility collapse for the FBI.

      You can recover, institutionally, from the latter with new leadership and a decade of hard work. See the USMC.

      The former is terminal.

      And the SJW types running the FBI from the 7th Floor of the Hoover building are utterly clueless as to the meanings of either problem.

      The Federal bureaucratic template for failed agencies is to create a new agency to do the mission the old one failed at and leave the rump organization to wither.

      You cannot do that with the Dept of Justice — it’s a constitutionally required niche — but you can do that with the FBI and reduce the power of the DoJ in the long run.

      Applying that template here means Domestic counter-intelligence will be taken away from both the FBI and Department of Justice and given to a new agency in Homeland Security.

      As that’s a majority of the present FBI’s mission and budget. The truncated FBI will keep only its pre-WWII criminal functions and go from a 35,000 person agency to something on the order of 10,000.

      The best way to protect American constitutional rights with this new domestic security agency — “Federal Counter-Intelligence” or FCI –are to make it Military officer run at senior levels and not have arrest power over civilian citizens.

      The use of uniformed military officers as “FCI” senior leadership would also be a huge screen for SJW infiltration of the type we see currently in the FBI. And it would last for at least a generation because military officers have to -work- in a way that the current generation of SJW types abhor.

      I think the power to arrest servicemen under the UCMJ by a proposed “FCI” is warranted as the military is the primary consumer of Federal security checks, theoretically has an operational security focus and has a lot of skin in the game for the leaks of secrets.

      The same “more skin in the game” motivations are true for the US Military regards foreign terrorism via immigration of unvetted Muslims from terrorist supporting nations.

      This would also make the “FCI” subject to oversight hearings by the Intelligence, Armed Services, Homeland Security and Judiciary committee’s in both Houses of Congress. So there would be a lot less leverage for “constituency capture” by this new FCI as compared to the current FBI.

    68. Trent Telenko Says:

      Pres. Trump just tipped his hand regards the future of the FBI.

      See:

      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5404995/Trump-uses-Florida-shooting-excuse-attack-FBI.html

      “President Donald Trump said it was ‘not acceptable’ that the FBI missed signs the Florida school shooter was going to attack, slamming the agency for ‘spending too much time’ focusing on the Russian collusion investigation.

    69. Mike K Says:

      Applying that template here means Domestic counter-intelligence will be taken away from both the FBI and Department of Justice and given to a new agency in Homeland Security.

      And I was impressed with the new DHS head. She might enjoy skimming the cream from the FBI and sending the rest to “rubber rooms” until they decided to retire.

    70. Grurray Says:

      Two relevant stories this weekend

      Mueller Worked with Lerner to Target Tea Party

      We have been aware of this abuse of power for some time, but now we have indications that the conspiracy was coordinated by the FBI

      The FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) began a series of inquiries about her and her group; the BATF (Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms) began demanding to see her family’s firearms in surprise audits of her and her husband’s small gun dealership – which had done less than $200 in sales; OSHA (Occupational Safety Hazards Administration) began a surprise audit of their small family manufacturing business; and the EPA-affiliated TCEQ (Texas Commission on Environment Quality) did a surprise visit and audit due to “a complaint being called in.”

      and this one

      This Short Seller Pressed ‘Tweet.’ Then the FBI Showed Up

      The agent said he wouldn’t leave until Cohodes promised not to post further threatening tweets about Petit. The agent said there would be consequences if they had to return, according to Shapiro. He asked Cohodes several times: “Do you understand?”

      Cohodes’s lawyer subsequently called FBI’s San Francisco office. The following day, supervisory special agent Brenda Atkinson wrote that the agency was concerned about more than the tweets: “Adding children to a threat stream only ups federal and local law enforcement concern levels.”

      Shapiro says the agent was referring to a picture that Cohodes had posted of a MiMedx official and her family a month earlier and quickly removed after a complaint.

      What we see here is that the FBI has the means and the time to harass political enemies over their guns and social media postings, but when it comes to policing real homicidal maniacs all of the sudden it’s beyond their reach. It’s time to abolish the FBI and start over.

    71. Brian Says:

      One thing I found very interesting about the Friday indictments–no leaks ahead of time. Tells me Mueller is actually running a tight ship, and that all the leaks we’ve been seeing about what he’s up to are from vermin like Schiff who don’t actually know anything.

      What’s it mean for the future? I dunno. The internet crazies have mostly given up on the theory that Mueller could be a white hat, which is too bad since I think he actually is the only person who could save the republic right now.

    72. Anonymous Says:

      What would it take for Mueller to actually be a white hat?

      Death6

    73. Brian Says:

      “What would it take for Mueller to actually be a white hat?”
      Mueller’s purview includes pretty much anything to do with the election, so should include FISA abuses, etc. He’s the only one who can go after the people who abused that process so badly and have credibility across the political spectrum. The DOJ IG report will be interesting, but the Dems will dismiss it and fight it as being due to Trump appointees (even though that’s not true), so I doubt it can really fix the problem so we can try to make sure it can never be repeated. Otherwise the police state is here.

    74. Brian Says:

      “What would it take for Mueller to actually be a white hat?”
      Mueller’s purview includes pretty much anything to do with the election, so should include FISA abuses, etc. He’s the only one who can go after the people who abused that process so badly and have credibility across the political spectrum. The DOJ IG report will be interesting, but the Dems will dismiss it and fight it as being due to Trump appointees (even though that’s not true), so I doubt it can really fix the problem so we can try to make sure it can never be repeated. Otherwise the police state is here.

    75. Subotai Bahadur Says:

      Coming back after a couple of days [It is Chinese New Year, which for our family is a major thing, and it is far from over.] I find myself to be more in agreement with Trent Telenko. We are past the run up stage and just waiting for the organic waste to meet the rotating airfoil. Regardless of the new staffing of the Presidential SS detail, the rest of the SS cannot be trusted in anything. Neither can the FBI and probably most of the “Coercive Organs of State Power”. I expect an attempt on President Trump’s life and do not rule out it being successful due to just enough of those responsible for protecting him looking deliberately the other way. We have already seen a Leftist [read Democrat] attempt at a mass assassination of Republicans in Congress, and the incident is being deliberately sent down the memory hole.

      But, as Mr. Telenko says, there may well be other trigger points. Right now, no one in their right mind, regardless of political orientation, expects the law to be enforced impartially, or for courts to rule based on law and the Constitution. We know how most Supreme Court Justices will rule based on their political stands, and we are pretty sure that the FBI or other Deep State apparat is blackmailing Chief Justice Roberts to support the Left on any issue of note. If law is moot, if a sufficient part of the government bureaucracy view the Constitution as moot, and if elections no longer determine who actually runs the government or policy; what means are left?

      Leave aside the problems of massive Leftist nullification of the Constitution and Federal law. If by the midterm elections the FBI is not either disestablished entirely or curtailed severely by legal means, it will be extremely kinetic shortly thereafter. If the Left wins, the FBI will be taking open revenge for the last two years. If the Left fails to overthrow Trump and his allies, the FBI will double down, because that is all they will have left to do.

      Because a Secret Police responsible only to one political party will provoke resistance from those not allied with that political party, it will be on.

      Mike K.: When you have that talk with your daughter, could you try to find out if the FBI has any conception at all of how they are viewed by those Americans they do not consider to be important enough to protect or to obey their Oath for?

    76. Trent Telenko Says:

      Subotai Bahadur,

      It is clear at this point — from the series of Instapundit posts on 2-19-2018 below — that FBI Counter-Intelligence is far more concerned with and works harder at suppressing Right of Center political dissent that it does at stopping lethal threats to the general public.

      The toxic political results of that perception for the FBI in a GOP Federal majority government are going to see the agency disassembled and the Counter-Intelligence function removed.

      See Instapundit post & links below —

      LIZ SHELD’S MORNING BRIEF: Florida Shooting Update, RUSSIAN Troll Farm Busted and Much, Much More. “Shortly after telling public that it had ignored a very specific tip about a maniac who would go on to shoot up his Florida school and murder 17 children and teachers, the DOJ decided to release a report on RUSSIA collusion so as to divert attention from its epic incompetence.”

      Ouch.

      24 Posted at 8:57 am by Stephen Green

      https://pjmedia.com/blog/liveblogevent/mondays-hot-mic-43/entry-224323/

      OH: Minnesota Terrorist Let Go After Telling FBI She Wanted To Join Al Qaeda And Wear Suicide Belt.
      https://www.weaselzippers.us/375146-minnesota-terrorist-let-go-after-telling-fbi-she-wanted-to-join-al-qaeda-and-wear-suicide-belt/

      THIS IS WHAT, THE FOURTH MAJOR SHOOTING WHERE THE AUTHORITIES WERE WARNED IN ADVANCE? Kevin Williamson: Fire The FBI Chief.
      https://www.nationalreview.com/2018/02/florida-shooting-fire-fbi-chief-christoper-wray/

    77. Trent Telenko Says:

      Subotai Bahadur

      Regards this —

      Regardless of the new staffing of the Presidential SS detail, the rest of the SS cannot be trusted in anything. Neither can the FBI and probably most of the “Coercive Organs of State Power”. I expect an attempt on President Trump’s life and do not rule out it being successful due to just enough of those responsible for protecting him looking deliberately the other way.

      I counter with this —

      https://theconservativetreehouse.com/2018/02/18/too-funny-special-prosecutor-mueller-patched-together-much-of-his-muh-russia-indictment-from-old-news-articles/

      Which points out that the ‘SJW indoctrinated’ post-graduate degree cohort are not the stuff successful coups are made of.

      The ‘collapse of ordinary competence’ has been a fact of life my entire 30 year Federal Government career. Starting with the post Cold War draw down and continuing with the Clinton Administration gutting of procurement regulations in the late 1990’s.

      It takes three years of real work experience before the new hires from college unlearn enough SJW crap to really listen. Trying to find newly issued college undergraduate degree people with the detail oriented long attention span for real product and industrial process auditing is a pain.

      I’d much rather have a 5-7 year NCO maintenance tech who has had by-God real world hands on experience than a college degree newbie.

      The Kafka-esque hiring policies implemented during the Obama era don’t bear repeating, other than to note a hiring event I was an interviewer for in the first Obama Administration saw us interview about 10 undergraduate law degree folks who could not get into the Bureau of Prisons for technical product and industrial process auditing positions.

      But “Diversity” was checked off.

      “The behavior template” you need to use looking at the ‘SJW indoctrinated’ is that special “Entitled-Arrogant rules don’t apply to me” and “Cause and effect does not exist” attitude that the “highly credentialed but uneducated” seem to specialize in now-a-days.

      The collapse of American primary and secondary education was a generation old when I graduated high school in the early 1980’s. Yet I can still tell when the Power Point is fantasy in front of me because I still understand cause and effect.

      Our “highly credentialed but uneducated elites” seem to think they can repeal cause and effect via bureaucratic fiat or influence with the right people.

      The key behavior tell about them is they are very lazy sham-ers in the main. If there is a predetermined outcome, they do the absolute minimum necessary and sometimes even less.”

      The demographics of this coming civil war are going to be interesting in that Pres. Trump’s emphasis on working class manufacturing via infrastructure spending and successful energy development will see a lot of non-college graduate women and both working class and college graduate men getting married and starting families.

      While Millennial generation female college post-graduates…won’t.

      What man in his right mind will marry a woman with a social studies post-graduate degree in gender/racial studies and $100 grand in college loan debt that isn’t dischargable by bankruptcy?

      These “Feminist Graduate Degree Spinsters/Single moms” will be the nut-base of the Left for a couple of generations, regardless of the Civil War’s outcome.

    78. David Foster Says:

      “What man in his right mind will marry a woman with a social studies post-graduate degree in gender/racial studies and $100 grand in college loan debt that isn’t dischargable by bankruptcy?”

      Sort of a Bride Price, payable to the academic establishment rather than the woman’s parents…

    79. Trent Telenko Says:

      About 1 in 4 of the “Feminist Graduate Degree Spinsters” turn into single moms.

      Usually with a man of much lower socio-economic status.

      See:

      https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/18/upshot/the-us-fertility-rate-is-down-yet-more-women-are-mothers.html

      “In the mid-1990s, it was almost unheard-of for a never-married woman in her early 40s with a postgraduate degree to have a child, according to the Pew report. Today, 25 percent of women who fit that profile do.”

    80. Mike K Says:

      When you have that talk with your daughter, could you try to find out if the FBI has any conception at all of how they are viewed by those Americans they do not consider to be important enough to protect or to obey their Oath for?

      We had out dinner Saturday night and I did not have the heart to bring up that “whore’s child at the wedding” sort of issue.

      The collapse of American primary and secondary education was a generation old when I graduated high school in the early 1980’s.

      It is pretty depressing but, I have mentioned to my wife, it is the only positive I can think of with respect to getting old.

      I think we are coming to a real inflection point in November. The question is if the Trump voters will turn out for Congress.

      I really don’t know. Then there is this:

      Last week, former U.S. attorney general Eric Holder announced that he and President Obama are coming to Wisconsin in April to campaign. In a state-supreme-court election. What is it about a judicial election in Wisconsin that could warrant such attention?

      See Ann Althouse’s description of this “nonpartisan” election for the state Supreme Court.

    81. Malthus Says:

      An enlightening discussion, but I think everyone is overlooking the obvious model for our next civil war: It’s baked into the cake of our politics, and was part of the reason we have the political structures we do. It’s the English Civil War, where the polity did not break down on next lines and the animosity leading up to the outbreak of hostilities took a lot of different forms.

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