I have repeatedly said in the past that if the End ever comes I’ll either be the first person to die or the guy who brings back civilization. So, if a Second American Civil War happens, I’m my vision is I pack up my few belongings and head north to NYC.
But first, some context.
This is really a delusional idea — for the moment — because of what it would require. When I lived in South Korea, I did really well there because every day was an adventure and everything is extremely chaotic. But for things to get so bad in the United States that I would have an infrastructure to get me to some sort of Revolutionary NYC, then, well, things would have to gotten very bad indeed.
I guess me talking about such — at the moment — delusional things is me simply giving myself some solace that I have A Plan, if need be. But I do know that I manage to get to NYC under the conditions of this dystopian hellscape, I would probably do quite well for myself. I’m really good at abstract thought and I’m a pretty good organizer.
If nothing else, it would be pretty cool (in a sense) to live in the Manhattan Commune, or whatever the Revolutionary Government there would be called. The idea such a thing would even ever exist is, in itself, rather dubious. But it just makes sense that of all the potential places for a Commune, NYC , LA and Boston would be it.
Or to put things another way — I’m not going to sit on my hands if America goes tits up. I’m going to use whatever talents I might have to try to make people’s lives better again.
And, really, there’s a good chance SCOTUS is going to punt this particular problem down the road and it might be as late as 2024 — or never — that such a End of The World situation even happens.
But it definitely feels as though America is one Oklahoma City-style explosion in NYC or LA, or an assassination away from the whole country collapsing and people dying for their politics. I hope I’m wrong. I really do.
Revolutions have a dynamic all their own. It seems to me that there’s a big old pink elephant staring us straight in the face and we refuse to acknowledge its existence: something is deeply wrong on an existential level with the American Ancient Regime.
This rot pops out every once in a while in a very conspicuous manner. The most recent instance of this is the absolute craven need on the part of Republicans to name Amy Coney Barrett to SCOTUS no matter what. The logic on the part of Republicans is so disconnected from any form of adherence to liberal democratic norms — or common sense — that is makes you sit back and think about the whole edifice.
Republicans aren’t shy to make it clear that they’re gunning for two politically popular aspects of modern American life: Roe V. Wade and the ACA. Both of these poll well above 50% and yet Republicans are lulzing this and licking their chops at the idea of doing away with them altogether.
This is not something that would happen in a functioning liberal democracy. Doing away with both of them would not happen in a vacuum and there would be major political consequences. In fact, I would go so far as to say Republicans are setting themselves up, at least in the case of Roe, for something akin to a reproductive rights Dred Scott Decision.
But there’s a chance the whole country might implode before that even can happen. It makes you wonder what that implosion might look like on a practical level. I would suggest you keep an eye on New York City. Because of its Deep Blue nature, should the absolute worst happen — some sort of implosion — New York City seems like the place where some sort of radical event might happen.
Something like The Taking of Trump Tower. Or maybe the gutting of Fox News headquarters in the city. That could set off a cascading series of events in which the populace rises up and sizes control of municipal government and some sort of revolutionary commune-like governance arises.
This sounds pretty bonkers. But if take a step back from the United States and stop looking as what you think it is and, instead, what it really is, it’s at least possible that this otherwise fantastical thing might happen. Once House Trump loses the Mandate of Heaven in Blue States, some pretty fucking nuts things might happen very, very quickly.
One thing I struggle to figure out is if you start at the end — the United States imploding — and work back, how, exactly, would Blue States defend themselves from Mad King Trump if he really wanted to take “total control” as suggested by his best bud Roger Stone. A lot would depend on what happened to the US Military.
If even that venerable institution wasn’t able to stay together, then, I guess, Blue States would have to organize their own New Model Army (or whatever) under the guise of the governors of individual Blue States. The legal justification for such a call up of forces eludes me. But if you have Red States breathing down your neck, I guess you could pull something out of your butt.
And, remember, the key thing to think about is any type of civil war or revolution would only happen if the natural inclination of the Fourth Estate to calm everyone down was unsuccessful. So, as such, it’s very possible that despite all my wargaming, we don’t implode at all, we just slip into an autocratic managed democracy with our eyes wide open. Barr will give Trump a thin veneer of legitimacy and, as such, he will be able to quickly consolidate power.
Trump’s such a fucking self-own artist, however, that even if he and Barr win the election through the “soft power” of media narrative management, he could single-handedly bring the country to its knees (and incite a revolution) from sheer incompetence.
A fish rots from its head, afterall.
I’m not advocating any of this. But New York City is a very interesting political situation. If my worst nightmare happened, NYC would likely be the first surreal flashpoint in the even more surreal collapse of the most powerful, most stable nation on earth.
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