Comparative Collapse: Soviet Union 1991 Vs. United States 2021


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

Let me be absolutely clear — the only reason why I keep writing about the possibility of some sort of “collapse” of the United States into civil war / revolution is we have a 50 / 50 chance it is going to happen between now and, say, January 2021.

Either Trump “wins” outright and we slip into a Russian style autocratic managed democracy peacefully, or there’s a significant implosion of the United States that takes months, if not years, to sort out. There is never going to be what we otherwise would assume would happen — a peaceful transfer of power. Those days are gone. We are now in the age of white-knuckled power politics.

If the United States does “collapse,” the closest approximation in modern times to this event would be the a similar collapse by the Soviet Union. But the similarities between these two events extremely superficial — it simply involves a major geopolitical power imploding. That’s it. Otherwise, the two situations appear to be completely different.

The collapse of the Soviet Union was a unique event because everyone pretty much just stop believing in its central tenet all at once after years of decline. The whole thing was peaceful because the major political force in the Soviet Union — Russia — essentially had something akin to a political revolution in the months leading up to the Soviet Union’s demise in the guise of Boris Yeltsin declaring that Russia’s laws held precedence over those of the Soviet Union.

And, remember, the Soviet Union was, in a sense, a 19th Century dream that outlived its welcome after existing for just about the length of one lifetime. Communism simply could not adapt to the vigor of American Capitalism. At its heart, Communism was a lie and little more than Russian imperialism under a different name.

So when Russia stopped believing in Communism, the whole thing became moot. The coup of August 1991 was, in hindsight, nothing more than a final deathrattle.

Now, let’s look at the United States in late 2020, early 2021.

Any collapse of the United States will happen because a lot — a LOT — of things go wrong for Donald Trump. He’s well on his way to consolidating power by stealing the election in a rather brazen fashion and that will be that. Americans are too content, too politically apathetic and too generally indifferent to the rise of tyranny in the country to do the things necessary to stop it in its tracks at this late date.

There are two ways Trump could screw this otherwise foregone conclusion up — one, be himself. He’s a self-own artist. He’s just an idiot. So, that’s one major known unknown. Connected to that is if things move to fast the average person not on Twitter might get woke in a rather abrupt fashion. So abrupt that we careen towards something closer to a revolution than a civil war.

So, in a sense, any collapse of the United States would be a political collapse. The two sides simply would have no middle ground and, as such, would try to solve their differences through “other means.” A lot of gnashing of teeth is being done about what California might do if there were, say, dualing presidents. The lazy answer is that California will leave the Union. I find that stupid because that’s just the type of the Trump would want so he could really consolidate power. There’s a chance, however, that not even Trump could pull that office because, well, he’s just a fucking idiot.

The liberal fever dream is, of course, that Blue States will simply leave the Union, establish a liberal utopia (maybe in conjunction with Canada) and we will, at last, have a taco truck on every corner and drive through free abortions. But I just don’t see that happening.

Yes, there will be a lot of talk about Blue States leaving the Union if things get bad enough, but it seems as though it would be more a matter of Blue States not recognizing Trump as president and coordinating a reponse to that rather than they leave the Union and do some sort of New Coke USA.

Or, put it another way – once the collapse is actually upon us, it won’t be a matter of everyone no longer believing in our shared ideals, but that those ideals are interpreted in radically different fashions by Blue and Red States. There will likely be a lot of debate about Blue States simply leaving the Union, but in the end, that choice may be made for them — they may realize they can get a lot more support from center-Right-but-not-MAGA people if they market their struggle as a fight for the soul of a shared nation, not the creation of a new one — a New American Covenant, if you will. You might go with “Renewed American Covenant” if you wanted to sound a tick less radical, but lulz, no one listens to me.

And, remember, the United States is a voluntary union of states, at least since April, 1865. The Soviet Union actively did everything in its power to prevent some of its more restless Republics — like those in the Baltics — from leaving. So, the United States starts with a vast reservoir of legitimacy that the Soviet Union didn’t have when it really began to collapse all of a sudden.

The Soviet Union was RUSSIA and 14 other Republics. The United States is California, Texas, Florida and 47 other States. The Federal — especially the U.S. Military — has the “mandate of heaven” for millions of people who simply want to raise their kids, pay their mortgage and go see a nice movie every once in a while.

As such, those people will be completely sucker punched if the bolts finally pop off the Republic and Blue and Red States actively begin to plot against each other on the battlefield.

I still don’t think this is going to happen. Something pretty big would have to happen for me not to simply try to tune out after Trump “wins” election night and we become, at last, the Fourth Reich.

‘Surprise Me’


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

First, let me say I have no revealed truth. I have no idea what is going to happen. But, for all my rambling about why I think Blue States could “win” a Second American Civil War if need be, I just don’t think the conditions are there for us to get that far.

The conditions are there for Trump to brazenly steal the election (one way or another) and get away with it. We’ll lurch into an American interpretation Putin’s Russia (at least on a political level) and that will be that.

Surprise me.

It seems to me that just like a lot of people were worried there might be a civil war in the collapsing Soviet Union and then it all happened rather abruptly and rather peacefully, the same thing is going to happen in America. But instead of ushering in an era of unprecedented freedom as happened in Russia, America is going to lose its freedoms one by one.

All the talk about civil war on the part of Right Wing agitators is more along the lines of such chatter in the closing days of the Weimar Republic rather than the Soviet Union. The Right is just nervous they won’t be able to consolidate power, and so they talk really loud about knocking heads. But things will never get that far because Americans are so politically docile that, lulz, what a joke.

Surprise me.

The momentum is on the side of the Bad Guys on this one. It seems to me the question is how far down the spectrum of tyranny do they manage to get before they realize they’ve done too much and pull back a little bit? I’m thinking we’re going to slowly drift towards the politics of modern Russia. In fact, the center-Left is so excruciatingly weak in the United States that nothing, in real terms, might even change immediately.

Any belated attempts to halt our sild into autocratic rule will be punished severely by Barr. The fascist response to events in Portland has already been normalized to such an extent that we could very well know that the practice of snatching people off the street has been taken nationwide and nothing, in real terms, happens. They could even add pushing people (like me!) out of windows and, again, it’s all a luz.

Something truly out of character for the average American — who would decide our fate — would have to happen. They would have to care. They would have to have an opinion.

Surprise me.

California & A ‘New American Covenant’


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

Dirt don’t vote. Dirt don’t fight. But what does vote and fight is people. Looking at the United States with a clear eye, it’s pretty obvious that MAGA-Qanon is very, very, very stupid for chomping at the bit for any type of civil war. They have a lot of big states with a lot of dirt. That’s it. They have a bloodthirsty 38% of the electorate in a personality death cult scattered across the 50 States and maybe 9 solid old Confederate States they could rely upon. But even then, the African American community in those states probably wouldn’t appreciate being put under a white power jackboot.

The basis of a New American Covenant.

The best I can do is they’re conflating what they’ve gotten policy wise by abusing our political system with all the “wonderful” things they think they can get if they just start murdering people in cold blood. But as I keep saying, if things grew existential, a lot of those soyboys drinking lottes at hipster coffee shops and smelling their own farts would turn into Rambo pretty quick for no other reason than they absolutely would have to.

In a sense, what people like Roger Stone and Michael Caputo are doing is the same thing with Blue States that Hitler and Tojo did about the United States in 1941 — they see their enemy through the eyes of ideology. With the Axis, it was the supposed “degenerate” nature of American culture. With MAGA-Qanon, it’s something very similar — they are ignoring basic human nature. If you stick a gun in someone’s face, they just might freak out and surprise you.

So, I guess what I’m saying is if the United States implodes and we can somehow convince California to stay and fight, then the Blue States have a pretty good shot at surprising those fuckers Stone and Caputo, just like the Greatest Generation surprised the Axis. What’s more, Stone and Caputo are such fucking misogynists, that they are totally oblivious to the untapped skills that unisex conscription by Blue States would be able to tap into.

One issue that needs to be address is — why would Blue States stay and fight in the first place? Why not just leave the Union and establish some sort of liberal fever dream utopia? Well, there a lot of problems with that. First, there are a lot of conservative military guys who simply would not brook leaving the Union. Why force yourself to write off Gen. Mattis out of some sort of delusional belief that Blue States could actually leave the Union without a serious beatdown by the U.S. Military. Also, think of it this way — a lot of America’s problems would be solved if the entire country was based on the implied ideology of California.

California is a big, prosperous, diverse state. It would be extremely shortsighted for them to leave the Union when they could help save the Union and unlock a massive amount of untapped potential in Red States by forcing them to undergo a Second Reconstruction.

Or, let me put it more concrete terms — not only is the end of the Union what our enemies want (Putin, Trump) but there’s no assurance that they would be able to successfully escape in the first place. It would make a lot more sense to appeal to everyone’s common sense of being American and to re-imagine that idea, rather than abandoned it altogether.

The United States has a lot — A LOT — going for it, but our politics is broken. We need a refounding. We need a New Covenant. We need a Second Republic. And the only way to do that is to get California to believe in the Union again by telling them that, in essence, it would be a takeover. California in the Second Civil War would play the part of The North in the First Civil War.

Look at it this way — abolition was a very, very radical 19th Century concept until out of sheer desperation Lincoln adopted it as a war aim. The same thing with my proposal — to your average blue collar guy in small town Alabama, basing a Second Republic on the ideals of California would be a pretty fucking radical proposal — until they absolutely had to accept it.

Let me be clear that I keep talking about this not because I want it to happen — fuck that — but that the fucking MAGA-Qanon assholes seem determined to murder people who would again like to enjoy a liberal democracy — like me!

I just want to finish my novel. And no one reads this blog, so it’s not like anyone is listening to me. And if they are, they probably think I’m both delusional and bonkers. Or, “delusional and stupid” as someone once called me.

A Second American Covant: As Goes California, So Goes The Nation


Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner


Everything is so dumb.

That I even have to say that all things considered it makes a lot more sense for California to stay and fight than try to leave the Union is so, so, very stupid. I say this because our historical amnesia hit the point where everyone has forgotten that about 700,000 Americans died the last time states tried to leave the Union?

Don’t answer that.

Anyway, let me at least make the case for California staying in the Union instead of attempting to leave when Trump inevitably rather abruptly and brazenly steals the 2020 election.

The key issue is what California is — a massive state with a massive economy and a largely homogeneous polity. In other words, the very things that Calexit people point to as a reason for it to “leave” the Union, I point to as a reason why it has to stay and fight.

I just don’t see the liberal fever dream of a Blue State Republic happening. More likely than not, California would have to take the lead on responding to some sort of tyrannical power grab by Trump and work together with other major Blue States to renew the Union’s covevant.

As I’ve said before, if you look at the realpolitik of the geography of the United States, the Blue State play book writes itself. You use California as your dreadnaught. You blitzkrieg across the Great Plains from California and meet up with your Blue State brethren in the Midwest.

Then you bribe African Americans in the South with the promise of reprations for slavery and, ta-da, you break the back of MAGA-Qanon and re-unite the country. You have go through a Radical Reconstruction phase that would address systemic racism and misogyny and you cruise into something of a second Gilded Age that bursts forth from the foundation of a Second American Covenant.

All of that is very dumb, in a sense, because I have no idea if that plan would work. But it is something to believe in rather than simply California leaving the Union and expected to get away with it without suffering a great deal.

And, really, wouldn’t California want to remake the United States in its image rather than go through extended “Troubles” that would likely involve IT going through something akin to a Reconstruction? There is strength in numbers, after all.

‘Implosion’


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

At this point, it seems clear that only some pretty serious self-owns on the part of House Trump will stop a significant consolidation of power on their part. They’re very much in a position to steal the election and then continue to, in fits and starts, strangle liberal democracy in the United States.

I honestly struggle to imagine any situation where this doesn’t happen.

Or, put another way, when your only hope of saving liberal democracy in your country is the possibility that the bad guys will self-own then you got a serious problem. There’s every reason to believe that Barr is a lot smarter than Trump and our slide into fascism will happen in a rather uneventful fashion.

But there are some things to take inconsideration.

One is Newt Gingrich, Charlie Kirk and a seemingly endless parade of other MAGA-Qanon “thought leader” are chomping at the bit for a civil war. Obviously, I think Trump is going to steal the election rather easily, but there’s a chance that the Right has so whipped itself into a frenzy that they might prompt something akin to a civil war simply because they can’t control themselves.

Remember, the key to any Trump victory is apathy on the part of the average American. The moment their own, personal experience is dramatically disrupted, there’s a chance a lot of people who otherwise don’t care about politics might get woke.

That would change the dynamic of the whole situation rather dramatically.

Another thing to think about is even though Barr is well on his way to turning the United States into an autocratic managed democracy, Trump is still his boss. And a fish rots from its head.

But, I think all of that is just white noise. There’s not going to be a civil war and our fall into fascism is going to be continue to be slow and methodical. For that not to happen, a lot of center-Right people would have to really shock me and I just don’t see that happening.

How Trump Wins The 2020 Election


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

  1. A COVID19 “vaccine”before the election.
    It doesn’t matter how real it is. All he needs is to allay the concerns of the elderly.
  2. The Durham Investigation
    At a minimum, it has the potency of the Second Comey Letter in that it implicates Biden (and Obama?) in criminal activity. Even though it’s all a lie.
  3. Trump’s fucking with the postal service
    This, in itself, is enough to shave off a few points off Biden’s lead
  4. The Russians
    The Russians are going to hack directly into our election systems as part of a quid pro quo for Trump removing 1/3 of our troops from Germany.

So Trump wins on election night. If he doesn’t, Barr does a massive power grab. Either we do something about that en mass, we don’t. Good luck.

Only A Trump Victory Will Be Seen As Legitimate By MAGA-Qanon


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

I see a lot of Blue Check liberals who talk about how, on a political level, the Trump campaign is “imploding.” “Love to see it,” they say. I find this very aggravating because they’re deluding themselves.

America’s political system has collapsed. As such, for MAGA-Qanon, there can only be one legitimate victor in the fall — Donald Trump. This means that any outcome that doesn’t involve Trump winning is to be challenged, maybe even in an armed revolt. The issue is, of course, that if Trump “wins,” then he’ll begin to aggressively consolidate power and so, lulz, that’s it.

So either Trump wins and turns us into an autocratic managed democracy our he loses and there’s significant political violence, up to and including an actual civil war. I just don’t see the result that a lot of Blue Check Liberals apparently believe will happen — that of a Biden victory and a peaceful transfer of power — happening. It’s just not a very likely scenario at this point.

The more difficult it is for Trump to secure a victory, the more radical and ham-handed he will become. This, in turn, will throw the country in turmoil because a lot of Biden people are unlikely to simply let this happen without some sort of real-world response. As Trump’s insanity and political criminality fuse tighter and tighter as the days progress, there are all kinds of nightmare scenarios involving actual violent clashes in the streets.

Should the absolute worst case scenario happen — that of dueling presidents — then all bets are off. The only real question at that point will be which president the U.S. Military sees as valid and how they decide to put down any major insurrection on either the Blue or Red side.

I guess there’s the possibility that major Blue States may simply leave the Union, but I find that a bit too much of a liberal fever dream. It would make a lot more sense for California to stay and fight than try to leave the Union and give Trump a massive political excuse to attack them with the U.S. Military.

Anyway, one thing is for sure — this fall and winter are going to be extremely historic. Either the United States turns into an autocratic managed democracy, or there’s something akin to a civil war. If there is a new American civil war, then soon thereafter, it’s likely World War III will break out as the DPRK and Russia see their opportunity to finally obtain their long term stragetic goals.

I will note that there is a chance that MAGA-Qanon will self-own even if Trump “wins.” They could now already be so bloodthirsty that even if Trump “wins” they will start murdering people they don’t like in cold blood. That, in itself, could evoke a significant response from Blue State governments.

Good luck

How To Win The Second American Civil War


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

I want to convey is how moronic it is for anyone — especially the Right — to want a civil war in the United States. The Right is ascendant in the United States and they are well on their way to getting everything they want through the collapsing political system of the country. Of course, in a sense, the Right is trying to avoid a civil war by hoping to snuff out the Republic in broad daylight. They hope that through the Durham Investigation, fucking with the postal service, fucking with mail in ballots in places like Wisconsin and getting the Russians to hack directly into our election systems that the whole thing will be a lulz and fuck you.

And they may very well succeed.

But let’s, for a moment, suggest they don’t. The absolute worst case scenario happens and we have dueling presidents come January 20th. The Right, because of Interior Minister Barr’s legal shenanigans, absolutely thinks Trump is president. Meanwhile, everyone else knows absolutely that Trump has strong armed the situation in a pretty brazen fashion — so much so that people take to the streets. A combination of Far Right paramilitary groups meet them there and a cascading series of events lead to an actual organized fighting war between the States.

Who wins?

This is a very murky situation that is difficult to game out. Red States, for their part, have the passion, organization and leadership to win the first round of this clusterfuck because they actually want a civil war. And, honestly, if the Blue States simply all attempt to leave the Union, then the Red States will probably win because the U.S. Military will do exactly what they did during the original civil war. Or, put another way, something akin to a dystopian Second Reconstruction will happen, with the Blue States being turned into military districts (or worse.)

That, too, is a very real possibility. It will be a very bloody situation, but, I guess, MAGA-Qanon’s war aims — to finally squash the “Blue Peril” — will be achieved. Trumplandia will be established and we all are forced to watch OANN and listen to Lee Greenwood’s “God Bless The USA” on repeat all day long. Trump gets his Constitutional Convention. We leave NATO and align with Russia. Trump serves out the remainder of his days as something of an American Brezhnev.

But let’s suppose Blue States stand and fight. This is where things get far less rosy for Red States. The crucial thing Blue States would have to do at this point is get the U.S. Military on their side. It might be difficult for Blue States to get the U.S. Military to pick any side, but getting the power of the U.S. Military on their side would go a long way to allowing them to win their war aims.

Now, one issue is, as it stands, the Blue States don’t even realize the peril they’re in. So, it would take a little while for leaders to emerge and for there to be any sense, at all, as to what the Blue State’s war aims were in the first place. But, in general, I suppose their war aims would be to restore liberal democracy to the United States. To accomplish that, one war aim would be to completely and totally destroy the Republican Party. As things grow more radicalized as the civil war progresses, it would make sense for the Republican Party to go full fascist and start rounding up liberals and minorities and murdering them in cold blood. I say this especially in the context of the rise of Qanon, which is nothing more than a Nazi conspiracy theory re-branded for the modern age.

I have come to believe that seen from a strictly realpolitik point of view, the Blue States have it in them to conquer the Red States. It may take longer than anyone would prefer. It may take a lot of blood and treasure to do it, but it can be done. One issue, of course, is the Red States are likely to play dirty. They may seize arms from the U.S Military such as chemical and biological agents (hell, even tactical nukes) which would really scramble everything.

And, to be clear, an actual civil war would unleash astonishing economic, political and social changes. There would be a Before and an After. But, hopefully, when it finally ended, we would be Americans again.

A Second American Civil War & The Lesson Of Ensign Pulver


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

I spend way too much time these days thinking about the possibility of a looming Second American Civil War and I keep thinking about a few things. One is, I simply can’t find any logic for the Right wanting a civil war. It makes no sense. None.

On a political level, they’re in a position to get everything they want. Even if Trump lose, the gradual trend in American politics is rightward. The center-Left is weak and divided. The center-Left is so weak and divided that it’s very possible that all this angst over a second civil war is a whole lot of nothing because Trump is simply going to consolidate power after stealing the 2020 election. That’s a very real possibility. It will all happen on a political level, no violence needed.

And, yet, here we are.

A number of far Right militias are full speed ahead in their belief that we’re already in a civil war.

The other thing that I keep thinking about is the character Ensign Pulver from the World War 2 movie Mr. Roberts. All during the movie, Ensign Pulver — played by Jack Lemon — is a lazy cad. He is the movie’s comic relief. At the very end of the movie, however, he has Mr. Roberts’ job and he is shown as a hero. He’s risen to the occasion because he had to.

As such, I would suggest to Neo-Confederates and other political scoundrels to slow your roll with talk of civil war. Just because you have a very low opinion of Blue State people, doesn’t mean that when politics finally fails us and the issues of the day become far more existential in nature that they won’t be up to the task.

It’s easy to imagine a situation where once we have some sense of where things stand — and what each side’s agenda is — that Blue State citizens shock everyone — including maybe even themselves — by really putting a hurting on Red State folks.

One thing I will note is there are a lot of variables that simply don’t fit the second civil war porn of Neo-Confederates. One is how modern American women are not going to sit idly by if defeating Trump is no longer a political question but a war aim. That’s an entire untapped source of mindskill and potential soldiers.

Also, and I can not stress this enough — what the fuck does the far Right think is going to happen with African Americans. If they literally turn most of Dixie into white racist ethno states, then there’s a good chance that many African Americans will revolt against that situation.

So, I dunno. Apparently the civil war is already here.

I still think it’s an extremely dumb idea for the Right to advocate.

‘We Don’t Need Your Civil War…’


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

I’m seeing with a great deal of alarm growing chatter on Twitter that the extreme Right believes that a Second American Civil War has already begun. This is very disturbing for a number of reasons.

But one thing we have to accept, as I’ve said before, is no matter what happens as part of the 2020 election, we’re in a new era.

And, yet, let’s go down the dark rabbit hole of a Second American Civil War. Let’s think about this seriously for a moment. It seems to me that the key thing we have to think about is there are likely to be a number of last-ditch efforts to avoid a civil war. Threats of secession, constitutional amendments and conventions and God only knows what else.

Sadly, it’s possible that they will all be for naught.

There’s a lot of talk about California leaving the Union if an actual civil war begins and the more I think about it, the more dubious that seems. MAGA-Qanon are seriously conflating what they’ve managed to get as part of their destruction of the American political system with what they think they might get by running around murdering people.

Yes, it’s very well possible that MAGA-Qanon, with the help of House Trump could strike a knockout blow against Blue States simply because they take the idea of an actual civil war far, far more seriously than most “coastal elites.” But as the opening days of the original civil war indicate, history doesn’t go in a straight line.

As such, once Blue States understood the gravity of the situation, there’s a decent chance that they won’t leave the Union, but fight for its soul. And key to winning that fight would be California staying in the Union. It’s easy to imagine a large military force from California swooping across the Great Plains and linking up with their compatriots in Minnesota and Wisconsin.

That would make the Blue States contiguous on a geographic level and then they could begin to strike east and south towards the heart of the old Confederacy.

But that’s all really very speculative at this point. It could be that while there will be significant political violence — no matter what happens in the fall — that Trump will simply use Barr to steal the whole thing in a “legal” fashion and he’ll consolidate power and that will be that.

Remember, it’s extremely likely that the Russians are going to hack directly into our election systems so Trump “wins” on election night. In fact, as of right now, that seems the most logical outcome to all of this. The Republic will die a political, not military death.

Going back to the tragedy of civil war again, if American really does implode, you have to think about the macro geopolitical consequences. Who gets the US Military? What happens if the DPRK attacks South Korea? Or Russia does a major military strike again, say, the Baltics? What are we going to do? Anything?

The whole thing is tragic and needless.

And, yet, I keep getting pings from different directions that definitely indicate something akin to a civil war might happen. MAGA-Qanon is really fucking bloodthirsty right now and in their craven quest for absolute power over the Blue States, they might get a lot more than they bargained for.