It’s official: The Biden “return to normalcy” is more divisive than Trump’s tweets. America is now arguably more polarized than any time since the Civil War because of wide and deep disagreements over all three of the major sources of civil strife: ideology, race and religion. A large minority, more than prior to the Civil War, believe this will result in bloodshed. Tribal conflicts have been the order of the day since the beginning of recorded civilization. The development of nation states in Europe during the second half of the last millennium sometimes suppressed, other times magnified such strife.
Democratic politicians caused the first race war and are on the cusp of starting the second to overturn the existing political order of limited government, minority protection and opportunity based on individual merit that for over a century has defined America’s Exceptionalism and been a deterrent to the growth of their progressive administrative state.
The Cause of America’s First Civil War: A Disease of the Public Mind
The US has generally succeeded in uniting diverse populations because its Founding Documents protect individual rights regardless of race or religion, and the minority from majoritarian control. The majority of the original 13 colonies in the US were founded on the principles of religious freedom for various Christian sects. (By 2050 the number of Muslims is projected to double to about 8 million, a potentially politically divisive issue only if they reject America’s Founding principles and laws.) The US has assimilated virtually all races.
But it took a bloody Civil War to initiate the extension of Constitutional rights to slaves and their descendants. Battlefield deaths were at least one hundred times greater in America’s Civil War than the 7000 battlefield deaths in the Revolutionary War. Initially inclined to accept secession as the South’s Constitution emulated the libertarian US constitution but for the exclusion of slaves, the Northern Republicans formed a constitutionally dubious “nationalist” campaign to “save the union.” General Sherman’s “Total War” to impress and terrorize the civilian population with the moral superiority of the North created enmities that persist to the present. Both Northern policies set a precedent for subsequent inter and intra national wars around the globe.
Why did it take a Civil War? Less than 4% of slaves imported to the Americas ended up in what became the United States, the only country that fought a war (losing about 10% of its population) to end the practice. The War wasn’t fought over the issue of the abolition: only about 5% of Northerners were abolitionists, the same as in the South. Although most people North and South now recognized slavery as morally wrong, disagreements arose over the viability of various exit strategies (Lincoln’s plan to return slaves to African Liberia would have resulted in much higher mortality than slavery. Parenthetically, mortality rates were lower in the South than in African generally, much lower than in South America, and lower than for Northern slaves.) More free blacks owned slaves (7.5%) than did Southern whites (6%). Historian Thomas Fleming concluded that a Disease of the Public Mind, deep hatred caused by Southern Democratic segregationist politicians’ steadfast refusal to negotiate a future extension of rights to what they claimed were “racially inferior” African Americans made war inevitable.
What do Democrats Mean Today by “Our Democracy”?
The Democrat campaign of 2020 to “save our democracy” did not define it- the term isn’t mentioned in the Constitution so we can only infer their intent. Following the French revolution, Europe’s democratization in the late 18th and early 19th century; “so often resulted not in smoothly functioning liberal democratic regimes but instead in “illiberal democracies,” “competitive authoritarian regimes,” or “hybrid regimes,” where democratic and antidemocratic institutions, rules, and practices coexist” (pg. 313). These were precursors of American crony capitalism.
Democrats have re-instituted corrupting earmarks.
The first Progressive Democrat President Woodrow Wilson, a racist and segregationist, proposed to “make the world safe for democracy” by granting racially, ethnically and religiously homogeneous populations within definable borders their own democratic state. Tens of millions of people were uprooted and tens of millions killed, but the failure to achieve such homogeneity led to many subsequent civil wars and genocide. Such wars continue to the present day, particularly in the Middle East, motivated by racial, ethnic and religious differences.
Democrats support relatively open borders to non-white immigrants but oppose racially and ethnically homogeneous neighborhoods and schools in favor of “diversity.”
Democrats (and Americans generally) support the much greater professional and financial success of African Americans in professional sports, but they sue business as racist under the constitutionally dubious “disparate impact” theory when other market outcomes e.g., for housing, jobs, corporate boards, etc., “under represent” them. They simultaneously support the negative disparate impact of progressive policies.
Democrats continue to put barriers to African American participation in the labor force through, e.g., forced unionization, Davis Bacon wages, licensing requirements and the federal minimum wages while subsidizing non-participation..
Equal Opportunity – not cultural assimilation – is the essence of America’s melting pot.
Contemporary Democrats apparently still implicitly believe African Americans are “inferior,” unable to compete without constitutionally suspect systemically racist favoritism,e.g., in higher education admissions or business contracting.
It appears “our democracy” means “majoritarian rule” only when they have it, and an autocratic “people’s democracy” where the state reigns supreme when they don’t.
The Contemporary Democratic Party’s Delusion of Moral Superiority
Since its founding the Republican Party has championed full rights for slaves and their descendants. The Democratic Party from its founding supported Southern Plantation slavery, then supported the expansion of slavery to new states on the basis of a white majoritarian rule. After almost a century of support for Jim Crow (to suppress black progress) and Eugenics (to repress black reproduction) Southern Democrats walked out of their own convention rather than admit segregation was wrong. The Civil Rights Acts of 1964 were passed over dogged Democratic political opposition. So what is the basis for the Democrats’ current presumption of moral superiority that is their apparent governing principle?
They claim America’s systemic racism – a legacy of slavery – has failed African Americans and must be replaced with a regime that will provide “racial and social (economic) justice.” No human system of administration is perfect, but no legal framework offers more minority protection than the US Constitution. Some of the great African American economists of the past half century (e.g., Tom Sowell, Shelby Steele, Walter Williams) conclude along with most conservative analysts that it was the Great Society of LBJ, an FDR disciple, that extended the social welfare state – socialism – to make this population economically and politically dependent, financing this political bribery at public expense.
The Democratic Party can never openly embrace Marxist socialism because the Communist Party remains illegal in the US due to its fatal attraction, but its African American political factions do so. While Capitalism has provided a greater improvement in human living conditions in 200 years than the prior two million years of tribal hunter-gatherers, Marxist socialism is responsible for the deaths of 100 million and the suffering of hundreds of millions more. Nationalist Fascist movements arose to prevent the spread of Marxist socialism when democracies couldn’t. The US belatedly joined that fight to eradicate Marxist socialism, switching sides after WW II to launch a Cold War – global proxy wars – and the occasional direct wars (Korea, Vietnam) to prevent the spread of communism.
Progressive ideology is indistinguishable from Marxism in numerous ways:
- They both claim “moral superiority” over other systems based on their “intent.”
- They both promise Utopia but often deliver totalitarian dystopia.
- They deflect any responsibility for failure by manufacturing their own facts and history (e.g.,1619).
- They delude their leaders and followers, rationalizing failure with their own dialectic.
- If religion is the“opium of the people” Progressivism/socialism is the heroin/fentanyl.
- Marxism and Progressivism are both inherently racist.
- Sanders/Biden “democratic” socialism” is Marx’s
Arguing “systemic racism” with progressives is generally no more fruitful than arguing socialism with contemporary Marxists, They are both genetically addictive: tribalism embedded socialism in the human DNA; the legacy of slavery embedded victimization in the DNA of African Americans. It’s too late in any event. The Marxist roots of “critical race theory” were planted in the 1960s. It is now an intellectual weed intoxicating primary, secondary and university education, the intellectual elite and liberal media, and now the younger generation of Democratic politicians.
This has liberated its proposals from all the traditional economic constraints of a free market economy while remaining relatively mute about the necessary totalitarianism of a socialist autocracy. The “new” American Utopia proposed by the Biden Administration is the contemporary American equivalent of the old Bolshevik socialist utopia.
Liberal Rahm Emmanuel questions whether Biden’s intoxicating “new” New Deal: $8 trillion of new debt and taxes and repressive regulation, all fueled by a bottomless LSD-laced Federal Reserve punch bowl, is “making the most of the opportunity afforded by this particular (COVID 19) crisis.” To paraphrase socialist economist Yanis Varoufakis (Adults in the Room, 2017), socialist distribution without socialist supply is beyond human comprehension (except for corrupt politicians and their cronies).
This radical agenda and the Fatal Conceit of its administrative state promoters is more divisive than the Morrill Tariff of 1860 that led to Southern Secession and the first race war. And it isn’t just America’s second race-based civil war, but its second revolutionary war as well.
Institutional resistance is being eliminated. With the Supreme Court once again cowed by the threat of packing, demands that the Senate Republicans overthrow their “obstructionist” leader, legislation essentially making elections a Party affair, the First Amendment neutered and the Second under constant attack. Even crony capitalists seemed cowed by accusations of “systemic racism” into going along.
There is currently no serious nationalist (rebel or NAZI) domestic opposition political movement in the US – mostly a progressive straw man. Either the voters will react before they are dis-enfranchised or the Democratic Party will have succeeded where Charles Manson failed..
No wonder the US ranking for political stability fell from 17th place in 2020 to 28th place in 2021 and the US ranking for ease of doing business of 20th could fall to 40,ht i.e., only “moderately free” in 2021.
Kevin Villani, Chief Economist at Freddie Mac from 1982 to 1985, has held senior government positions, has been affiliated with ten universities, and served as CFO and director of several companies. He recently published Occupy Pennsylvania Avenue on the political origins of the sub-prime lending bubble and aftermath.