Monday, August 14, 2017

The New Yorker

Is America Headed for a New Kind of Civil War?
By Robin Wright
Having spent my life covering wars, I've thought a lot about this subject. So I wrote about it for The New Yorker today: "Is America Headed for a New Kind of Civil War?
A day after the brawling and racist brutality in Virginia, Governor Terry McAuliffe asked, “How did we get to this place?” The more relevant question after Charlottesville—and other deadly episodes in Ferguson, Charleston, Dallas, Saint Paul, Baltimore, Baton Rouge, and Alexandria—is where the United States is headed. How fragile is the union, our republic, and a country that has long been considered the world’s most stable democracy? The dangers are now bigger than the collective episodes of violence. “The radical right was more successful in entering the political mainstream last year than in half a century,” the Southern Poverty Law Center reported in February. The organization documents more than nine hundred active (and growing) hate groups in the United States.
America’s stability is increasingly an undercurrent in political discourse. The pattern of civil strife has evolved worldwide over the past sixty years. Today, few civil wars involve pitched battles from trenches along neat geographic front lines. Many are low-intensity conflicts with episodic violence in constantly moving locales....
Read on....


  1. I've long been an admirer of yours, but your brief piece on the prospects of a new American civil war left me puzzled. To gain some insight from expertise you asked a number of American civil war historians. OK, that makes sense. But you seem utterly unaware of the fact that there is an enormous -- and quite sophisticated -- literature on civil war, especially in political science. Why didn't you reach out to some of the luminaries in the field for their opinions? I say this not as someone who is in the civil war
    field, but merely as a reader interested in the subject. All you would have needed to do is a simple Google Scholar search to identify some of these scholars. To me, your piece is pretty weak tea.

  2. It's interesting how you gloss over the incitement of violence from the left as well. Comments like "burn this mother fu__er down" and the like.

    Perhaps you can get a more detailed look at "media polarization" by simply looking in the mirror

  3. This article confuses the concept of civil war with the 1864 US Civil War. Of course we are close to a civil war in the USA but not necessarily a replay of 1864. Kevin Phillips, in his studies of the various civil wars, from the English Civil War to the American, was correct when he says that ethnicity and religion were the biggest determinants of which side you were on. Phillips explains how religious, ethnic, geographic, and class-based identities affect the loyalties of different groups. The implicit logic of his analysis suggests that the Revolution took place because the social, cultural, and economic factors he surveys converged in the mid-1770s to make Americans into revolutionaries. History is full of multiracial/multicultural societies which have always imploded into racial civil war and collapse, if they haven’t eventually merged through racial amalgamation. Those are the ONLY two long-term end results of multiracialism. Just as the United States is more divided racially and culturally and politically than it has ever been since the last Civil War, the pattern we are now following is not unique. It happened in the Austria-Hungarian Empire. It happened in the Ottoman Empire, where Kemal Ataturk purposefully dismantled their multiracial state and downsized it into Turkey, following WWI. Notice how the last gasps of that secularism died with the failed coup there recently. Multiracial societies are by definition unstable. Homogeneous states, where people share a common race, ethnicity, language, culture, and religion, by definition, are more stable

    1. A Homogeneous society is more STABLE, period. I TOTALLY agree! If the Creator, or Intelligent Design[er], or Mr/Ms Evolution had intended to populate the earth with mongrels, he/she/it wouldn't have put each race in its separate country or land. So mixing races is not natural. It's destructive and contrary to nature's intent--biologically, socially, ideologically and in any other way one could think of.

  4. I read your article the other day and just heard you on one of the PRI radio shows. Very insightful, and very frightening. FWIW, I just published a short story on this very subject: an alt-right Trump-abetted Civil War. I'd be honored if you read it:

  5. Is America Headed for a New Kind of Civil War?

    Ms. Wright, one answer you might find in Ms Ann O. Symoun's latest novel "POLARIZED", 452p. Amazon search string 'Polarized novel Symoun'

  6. I read the book. It's dynamite! Happening right now -- America, polarizing, disintegrating.