Why Does MAGA Want A Second American Civil War So Bad?

by Shelt Garner

Much like the lead up to WW1, MAGA has glorified political violence to the point where they think all their fucking problems will be solved if we just have a civil war and settle the “liberal problem” once and for all.

Besides the obvious — war is hell, is never pretty and never goes the way you plan it — there’s the issue of MAGA not being nearly in the pole position to win any civil war once they finally get what they’re lusting after so badly right now. They would be much better off just being patient and letting the existing drift of macro political history forces give them the autocracy they want peacefully.

But they’re idiots who can’t understand that — so they want a civil war.

And, yet, why?

I struggle with this a lot these days. One idea is MAGA sees “civil war” as a kind of short hand, much like the “Insurrection Act” was around January 6th. They’re sitting on the back porch of the cabin with their buddies smoking pot and drinking Miller Lite and they start talking about how dem dar lib’rals “won’t leave them alone.” Then get all riled up and start taking their anger to its logical extreme — a civil war.

But the vast majority of these fucking cocksuckers haven’t gamed this idea out in any practical fashion. All they know is the hate liberals and in some sort of vague manner think if only the United States was more like modern Russia that they wouldn’t have to worry about “cancel culture” or their children being forced to learn Critical Race Theory. There’s no logic to any of what they believe. They just have a general sense that “things ain’t right” and, as such, Something Bad should happen to liberals. But I doubt they really have any concrete ideas about a civil war other than that’s the worst thing they can think of.

So, in a sense, MAGA’s political stance is completely recursive — they believe what they believe because they believe it, and fuck you lib. But this is a very dangerous dynamic because it gives a general historical determinism to a general drift towards SOMETHING bad, be it a civil war, or something else.

I have no idea what is going to happen, but I am growing aggravated with how wrapped up in the idea of a civil war MAGA has become. If nothing else, it means the United States is growing far more politically unstable than one might otherwise think.

But as I keep saying, it wouldn’t just magically happen. Just as MAGA thought Trump invoking the Insurrection Act was magic pixie dust that would solve all their liberal problems, so, too, has “civil war” become some sort of abstract cure-all.

What any of this means in practical terms, I still don’t know. Only time will tell, I guess.

Tik-Tok’s ‘Algorithms’ Continue To Be Spooky

by Shelt Garner

Not a day goes by now that Tik-Tok doesn’t serve me content that is so narrow, so specific to me personally that it makes me sit up and take notice. Of course, I guess that’s the point. One of the most recent instances of this involved me looking at a model’s video on Instagram where she told people to follow her on Tik-Tok. I thought hard about this for a moment, then was ultimately not interested enough to write her Tik-Tok username down. I did not think anything more about it until that very model popped up in my Tik-Tok feed right on cue. I continue to have a lingering suspicions that it’s at least possible that one of three things is happening.

  1. Tik-Tok is far more intrusive than we imagine.
    If this explains how I saw that Instagram model’s Tik-Tok account after thinking really hard about her, then that’s something that, while aggravating, at least fits within the established computing paradigm. That’s something I can accept. Somehow, Tik-Tok is so intrusive that it was able to monitor my Instagram usage and noticed me pause on the Instagram model’s video telling me to follow her on Tik-Tok. All that’s probably a national security threat, but it’s still not that weird.
  2. Tik-Tok is using hard AI to figure me out.
    All this does is take the first option and supercharge it. This takes Tik-Tok’s words about the power of its “algorithms” at face value. All I’m noticing is Tik-Tok’s “algorithms” are so advanced that somehow they are able to infer from my online activity that I would like to follow that Instagram model on Tik-Tok. Again, this is severely troubling from a national security point of view, but it at least doesn’t sound nuts when you tell people about it at a bar.
  3. Tik-Tok is reading my mind in some way
    This, of course, is the most bonkers of all the options. But hear me out. What if the reason I go that model’s Tik-Tok account pushed to me so soon after seeing her Instagram post is I thought really hard about it. As such, when I thought hard for a moment about finding a pen to write down her account name, Tik-Tok’s Singularity technology, it’s “digital telepathy” picked up the concept and waited for me to use the service again so it could push me her account. This is, by far, the most dangerous of the three because that would mean the government of China, through Tik-Tok is able to monitor the minds of millions of Americans — many of them children. This also at least, in an abstract way, raises the prospect of an “inception” scenario where the Chinese government could not just monitor our minds, but implant information into them.

    Ok, that last bit was pretty insane, even for me. But it felt good to write it. Anyway, which one to I think is the right answer? It’s probably some sort of fuzzy area between 1 and 2. There’s no “soft Singularity” involved, it’s just that existing technology has reach the point where it’s really good at figuring out what’s going on in our minds via available information that we provide without thinking about it. At least, that’s what I hope is going on. If Big Tech really can read our minds, then, well, we’re kind of fucked.

DeSantis: The Autocratic Next Time

by Shelt Garner

All macro political trends indicate that the United States is drifting — maybe careening — towards a transition into an autocratic managed democracy like is found in Russia. The man who could very well be the once to tip the balance is current Florida governor, Ron DeSantis.

He’s the political creature that we’ve long feared: Trumpism without Trump.

So, it’s easy to imagine he becomes POTUS and makes autocratic rule palatable enough that it won’t be until Tom Cotton, or Josh Hawley or Mike Pompeo inevitable become POTUS that the ICE infrastructure is weaponized and loudmouths like me start to get pushed out of windows. But for the duration of the DeSantis Administration we’ll see a dynamic whereby hard power is weld by MAGA and cultural soft power continues to exerted by liberals in the media.

We’ll just drift into a Russian-style government so by the time the media is purged and ICE pushed me out of a window we won’t even think about it. About 50% of the population won’t even notice or care that the United States is no longer a liberal democracy because they will, at last, “just be left alone.”

That, at least, is one option.

But there are two other scenarios to think about when feeling bad about how dark America’s future is right now.

One is, Trump is so stupid and craven that he completely fucks up what is otherwise a done deal. He either kneecaps DeSantis out of envy or he somehow bungles our transition into autocratic managed democracy by embracing the “24 or before” slogan and everything goes wrong. In a sense, this would simply delay the rise of fascism in the United States, not stop it.

Meanwhile, the other option is, well, a fucking civil war.

I hate violence and I don’t want a civil war. But if you look at the United States on a macro historical level, we’re very similar to the America of the late 1850s — there may come a point where we have to chose between continued domination by Slave Power (MAGA) or we are forced to slice this particular boil once and for all.

But there are no assurances that the “good guys” would win in such a situation. So, I don’t know what to tell you. We’re fucked.

The Fall Of The American Empire

by Shelt Garner

If you work on the assumption that some pretty basic concepts about the United States that I assumed to be universal come not from us being a “city on the hill” but, well, because white people were pumping out enough babies to keep them demographically fat and sassy then, well…wow.

It kind of blows my mind that American liberal democracy rests not on American exceptionalism, but the cold, hard metrics of demographics. In fact, in a sense, the whole idea of America being a “melting pot” is a lie: even Germans were seen as a threat in the 1850s-1860s…and they were demonstrably white!

So, if you throw in the speed at which travel happens in the modern world, then pretty much everything wrong with American politics boils down to one thing: a dearth of white babies.

The abortion debate: white women need to pump out more kids!
Immigration: Scary brown people will bring brown babies!
Guns: We have to protect white babies!
Taxes: I need money for my white babies!


What conservatives want is things to go back to “normal” where white people are on top to a point where they don’t even realize they’re on top. As Ezra Kline says in his book, “Why We’re Polarized,” all the civil rights progress of the 1950s and 1960s was seen as largess on the part of the White Majority. Now that White People are nervous about a lack of white babies…screw you guys!

It’s all very disheartening.

All I can say loud mouths like me — who have the most to lose when America slips into autocracy — I need to get the fuck out of this country while I still can.

Fuck MAGA and its false orange prophet.