Five reasons why we’ll have another domestic conflict

One Friday night about a month ago, I sat down to write out 10 reasons why I thought the United States was headed towards a domestic conflict. My goal was to flesh out some ideas that many of us have considered intuitively, but provide some research and structured thinking to them. I got to the fifth reason and realized that it was an exercise in futility because I didn’t need 10 reasons. You likely don’t, either.

Demographically, culturally, fiscally, we’re hemorrhaging as a country. Studies show that most immigrants, legal or illegal, have a political predilection towards larger, more authoritarian government. They do or will vote Democrat. That’s why amnesty is the death knell for the right-leaning electorate. And amnesty is only a matter of time, which means the GOP as a nationally viable party could have an expiration date within your lifetime. Several states, including Texas, were decided by fewer votes than those states have illegal immigrants. Amnesty pushes those states blue, which then push a far Left agenda in a Democrat-controlled Congress. That writing is on the wall.

Without amnesty, studies show that larger percentages and greater numbers of future generations are slightly or consistently liberal. Millennials are the least white voting generation on record; Generation Z is less white than Millennials, and these two groups are or would vote for Leftist populists (like Bernie Sanders) in far greater numbers than previous generations. If we look at political leanings by generation (graph below), we can see the decline in percentage of those mostly or consistently conservative. (Look at each generation in 2017, for instance.) The opposite is also true: the Baby Boomer generation in 2017 had a greater percentage of mostly or consistently liberal than the Silent Generation; Generation X had a higher percentage than the Baby Boomers; and the Millennial generation has a higher percentage than Generation X. Each generation is becoming more liberal due wholly to immigration. Because immigration is little more than importing future Democrat voters, I don’t see how the GOP hangs on to anything outside of regional power without a cultural resurgence (like Reagan, for instance).

This is the bloodless coup that makes the revolution possible. The Left couldn’t seize power any other way.

We hear that Generation Z is the more conservative than the Millennial generation. If true, that trend is largely driven by whites. Generation Z is the most diverse generation on record; nearly half are minorities. Given voting patterns among minorities — and I’ll be happily wrong — I remain skeptical that Generation Z will be the conservative savior voting class in another decade.

Fiscally, for all their gnashing of teeth, President Trump and the Republican Congress are being just as reckless in their spending as their predecessors. We’ll have a trillion dollar deficit this year, followed by a recession around 2020 which is likely to rival 2008. Many Americans are going to be out of work again; unhappy again, needy again, and looking for answers. We know from history that high youth unemployment is a recipe that increases the likelihood of civil unrest, at a minimum. These are economic conditions with social consequences; namely more reason to be unhappy with the way things are, or will be.

This is not a prediction of “the end of the world as we know it” but a prediction of some very turbulent times ahead which may be a few short years away.

Given the gift of hindsight, we understand that the pendulum swings — left to right and back again — almost like clockwork. Sometimes it swings farther than we’d like, but there seems to always be another election cycle around the corner. But history shows that all political systems are eventually disrupted, and so the question that Americans have before them is What happens when the pendulum stops swinging?

America is no stranger to political conflict, violent or otherwise, although we have certainly seen darker days. There have been local rebellions, small wars, strikes, riots, and massacres in virtually every decade of the 20th century. The Long Hot Summer of 1967 alone had riots in 159 cities — the late 1960s may be the most violent period, domestically, in the past hundred years. The 2010s so far have been a turbulent decade, yet domestic political and cultural unrest have not erupted into sustained violence that pushes us past irrevocable conflict. Political and social violence will always be a part of America, until America exists only in history books. As is the way of all empires, America, too, will end one day.

Historian Victor Davis Hanson last year opined on the collapse of America and the multicultural conflict that’s brewing. He wrote at National Review:

History is not very kind to multicultural chaos — as opposed to a multiracial society united by a single national culture. The fates of Rwanda, Iraq, and the former Yugoslavia should remind us of our present disastrous trajectory.

Either the United States will return to a shared single language and allegiance to a common and singular culture, or it will eventually descend into clannish violence.

With that, here’s where I stopped with my five reasons.

  1. When Americans believe the ‘Social Contract’ is failing them, they seek to revise or leave it. The Social Contract states that citizens give up some power to the state so that the state can enforce law and order. This is the foundation of “liberal democracies”, whereby the people give legitimacy and authority to the government in exchange for some security. This is not a referendum on the merits of the social contract, however, what we’re seeing is a “contract” under some duress. When terms of the contract can’t be revised through politically-engaged social movements, it’s changed through violence. We can observe this in the lead up to the American Revolution (e.g., “no taxation without representation”) and again concerning States’ Rights prior to the secession of the South (e.g., Lincoln’s election despite not carrying a single Southern state). More recently, the Obama administration was radical. It heavily favored international interests at the expense of the nation; it weaponized neo-liberal policies against traditional America. Obama ‘fundamentally transformed’ the terms of the social contract, and Americans, through the election of Donald J. Trump, showed their desire to have the social contract reformed. At some point in the near future, some Americans may find the current social contract so intolerable — or consider the prospects of changing the terms through politics so unfeasible — that they decide to fight over it.
  2. As America becomes ungovernable, it will split into governable factions. One concept I’ve talked about before is that of exponential difficulty in governance. In 1790, America had just under four million citizens, or about 153,846 citizens per Senator and 61,538 citizens per Representative. In 2018, there are 3.2 million citizens per Senator and 737,931 citizens per Representative (based on an estimated 321,000,000 citizens). As the nation has grown, we’ve become more poorly represented. This is a large dilution of representation (especially considering that the interests of so many non-citizens are represented so widely). Similarly, government has grown exponentially, but our representatives’ ability to govern has not kept exponential pace. This means that as the nation grows more complex, it also becomes more ungovernable. As Johns Hopkins professor Michael Vlahos describes it, recent political events represent an “existential shift” in the nation. Let’s look at two specific cases. In 2011, the Texas state legislature considered passing a bill that would outlaw patdowns by Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agents in Texas airports — open defiance to federal laws. That move triggered federal authorities so badly that the Department of Justice threatened that the TSA would be forced to ban all flights out of Texas if the bill were passed. “Either Texas backs off and continues to let government employees fondle innocent women, children and men as a condition of travel, or the TSA will cancel Texas flights,” one Texas legislator summarized. When Texas was put to the test, the state decided that it was governable after all. Now let’s look at California’s sanctuary state situation. California is being openly ungovernable over federal immigration laws, and its state authorities cannot be made to enforce federal laws. If this is the hill that California is willing to die on, then they’re going to have their chance. Should they remain defiant and the Department of Justice is unable to end that defiance of federal law, then we could see other states follow over this and other matters. Secession is being floated as an alternative. Imagine what red states will do when faced with an indefinite, and perhaps permanent, period of Democratic rule after amnesty gets passed.
  3. As Americans move father apart politically and ideologically, they will likely favor alternatives to the ‘united’ states. Twenty-three years ago, Pew Polling began asking a series of questions aimed at measuring the political sentiment of the nation. As of 2017, their study shows a widening ideological gap among several key factors. In fact, in the past 23 years of polling, these gaps have never been wider. According to Pew, “the average partisan gap [on all issues] has increased from 15 percentage points to 36 points.” And Pew also notes that the percentage of democrats and republicans who view the other party unfavorably has also grown — in fact, it’s more than doubled since 1994. Nearly half of all participants viewed the opposition party as unfavorably. Ultimately, this study shows that more Americans are moving either further left or further right on most issues. This is probably why, in recent years, more publications have focused on both amicable and violent separation in America.
  4. Societies collapse when decisions beneficial for elites in the short term are bad for the people in the long term. Anthropologist, environmental icon, and UCLA professor Jared Diamond made an observation in Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed that societies (in this case, empires) can collapse for a number of reasons. Diamond argues that when elites make poor decisions — especially so when those elites are insulated from the consequences of their poor decisions —  they create fault lines that lead to future instability and collapse. Diamond calls this a “blueprint for disaster”, yet this is exactly what Americans have observed of their politicians for decades. (Here’s a report entitled, “LAWS THAT DO NOT APPLY TO CONGRESS” which appears to be published by the Democrat-led House Rules Committee. It clearly shows a laundry list of laws that apply to the public, but not to Congress. This is how Congress insulates themselves from their own poor decisions, ensuring poor decisions in the future which will inevitably lead to collapse.) Furthermore, our four to six year political cycles ensure that every politician focuses on short term popularity (i.e. re-election) in favor of ensuring long term national success. This incentivizes the electorate to support what Bastiat called Legal Plunder — government theft against one class in order to support another class. (“As soon as the plundered classes gain political power, they establish a system of reprisals against other classes.” – The Law, 1850) This system of short term decision making and the use of government as a blunt force instrument against political enemies will continue indefinitely until brought to an end, which leads to my next point.
  5. Eventually, government will grow so powerful that one political party is likely to not give up power. This is what conservatives widely feared under the Obama administration, and it’s what liberals fear under the Trump administration. It’s what each political party is likely to fear during every administration past this juncture, and eventually one will finally be correct. It was my fear that the Obama administration had created such a powerful executive branch that he would not be willing to give it up to a Republican. Whether through an incompetent conspiracy (now being revealed through revelations that Obama-era apparatchiks planned and supported a soft coup against President-elect Trump) or the sheer will of the American electorate, the neo-liberal power structure couldn’t hang on. Maybe this is a lesson that another administration will take to heart as it go to greater lengths to ensure partisan succession in a future presidential election. Through the growth of government, it bears to reason that every successive president wields more and more power, until eventually one is no longer willing to allow his political opponent to use that power against his party. When liberals accused Bush of ushering in a dictatorship, I didn’t think they were that far off base, considering the effects of the Patriot Act and domestic surveillance (and how easily that could lead to a dictatorship), followed by the endless wars in Iraq and Afghanistan (and I’m a veteran of both). When conservatives accused Obama of ushering in a dictatorship, I didn’t think they were far off base, either. But now after all the hand-wringing and accusations of Trump ushering in a dictatorship, I wonder just how long it will be until a future president seizes the reigns and actually becomes a dictator. The key assumption is that the power of the executive will grow to represent a point of no return, at which point no one wants to give up Frodo’s ring. And that’s when we’re going to have a major domestic conflict, either top-down or bottom-up in nature.

There are assuredly other reasons to believe that conflict could happen at some point. We haven’t mentioned the potential for a black swan event, such as a political assassination, a terror attack, a world war, a cyber attack, or any other case of systems disruption; a “national emergency” where a president could invoke war time powers and wreak havoc on the peaceful transfer of power.

For me, these are enough reasons to establish that conflict is at the end of our trajectory. It could be two years, or it could be twenty, but we’re already seeing a low grade domestic conflict marked by sporadic political violence. And we know that things could certainly get much worse. Given what’s likely to occur in the future, is there any reason to believe that the social climate in America improves? I don’t.

 

Always Out Front,

Samuel Culper

P.S. If you’re concerned about where we’re headed as a country, whether on the near-end of the spectrum or the far end of the spectrum (social, political and economic instability; domestic conflict; or collapse of empire), and want to stay informed on what the headlines don’t cover, then I invite you to try us out. If you’re not happy within the first two weeks, I’ll refund your monthly or annual subscription cost – no questions asked. You can get access to our intelligence reporting and training area here.




 

 


Samuel Culper is a former military intelligence NCO and contract Intelligence analyst. After 39 months of deployment time to Iraq and Afghanistan, he's now the conflict and warfare researcher at Forward Observer.

23 Comments

  1. Nailed it.

    Even when I occasionally come to different conclusions, I can at least follow your process.
    There’s nothing to fault here; if anything, you’ve soft-pedalled the likelihood of a conflict.

    Like the re-work here.

    Please, keep it up.

  2. Protect the 2nd Amendment and never, ever give up your guns…never.
    That is line, we must hold the line.
    Follow Sam’s formulae for knowing and illustrating your “demographics” and where the threat will come from.
    Read Sun Tzu one more time.
    Get your family prepared, the enemies domestic get bolder every hour.

  3. Spot on target, no windage adjustments needed. Only strong and assertive, really so, of civil activism, gadfly like, can staunch the bleed out that is occuring now as we all sit idle. The afore mentioned constructs of this article and it’s outcomes is a sanitary description by many standards of like kind scenarios. As Lord Bison cautions “got wheat, lots of wheat?”

  4. Re: “When conservatives accused Obama of ushering in a dictatorship, I didn’t think they were far off base, either. But now after all the hand-wringing and accusations of Trump ushering in a dictatorship, I wonder just how long it will be until a future president seizes the reigns and actually becomes a dictator. The key assumption is that the power of the executive will grow to represent a point of no return, at which point no one wants to give up Frodo’s ring.”

    An excellent, thoughtful analysis by the author. I do take issue, at least in part, with the passage above, however, for reasons I’ll explain.

    The domestic civil war of which the author speaks has already begun – it is merely being played out mostly in secret and behind the calm, “all is well” façade of official Washington, D.C. To date, this conflict is mostly non-violent, but that does not mean it is being fought any less ferociously than its predecessor a century and a half ago.

    A few years ago, a group of eminent political scientists and historians from some of the top universities in the nation did a study whose objective was to assess whether or not the United States of America remained a democratic republic, or was governed in some other manner.

    These scholars – and remember that most of them were/are liberal-left in political persuasion – concluded that the U.S.A. was effectively ruled by an oligarchy – a small group of extremely powerful and wealthy individuals – and not by the popular franchise or the people.

    This small group – which comprises, in part, what is now commonly -referred to as the deep state – are the real powers who run America. All of the rest of the visible machinery of democratic republicanism – elections, voting, political campaigning, bipartisan squabbling in both Houses of Congress, and all of the rest of it – are just so much political theater staged to convince the rubes out in flyover land that their votes actually matter in how the nation is run.

    Back in the 1950s, Israeli historian J.L. Talmon popularized within academic circles the descriptor “totalitarian democracy” – which describes “a system of government in which lawfully elected representatives maintain the integrity of a nation state whose citizens, while granted the right to vote, have little or no participation in the decision-making process of the government.”

    Talmon’s thesis describes very much of what we have today, does it not?

    Current President Donald Trump ascended to office in part because he was perceived as an individual willing to fight the pernicious influence of the deep-state and the oligarchs, those who have gathered so much power to themselves that they – and not the President and Congress or the States – run the country for all intents and purposes.

    President Trump’s difficulty in fighting the many-headed hydra which is the deep-state illustrates the raw power and utter amorality of the oligarchs – who seemingly will stop at nothing to keep their power, wealth and position as rulers.

    For all intents and purposes, at least two factions within the U.S. government (and perhaps more) are already at war with one another. These factions mirror, in many respects, the deep and possibly irreparable divisions within the electorate, and within greater American society and culture as well.

    The key point here is that the current fight raging inside the deep-state isn’t over executive power, per se. The deep-state is quite comfortable with expansive executive powers – as long as they are the ones pulling those strings. What they object to so vociferously and so violently is the prospect of losing some of their wealth, power and influence to the common people of America, whom they so despise.

    Whether the “cold civil war” being waged within this country goes hot or not – cannot be predicted with certainty. However, it is clear that elements of the deep-state have gotten over their initial shock of losing the White House and have now mounted a multi-pronged counter-offensive against Trump and his supporters.

  5. On our present trajectory, I think you’re assessments have merit, however, there is a Great Awaking, a “phase transition”, that will change EVERYTHING, and what I mean is, is that the once malleable mushed minds of the masses are about to get splattered on the rocks of Truth. We are on the precipice of where reality is literally changing, dramatically, day by day, hour by hour, where people are realizing the systems, all of them, are not working, while simultaneously experiencing that we’ve been told lies our entire lives, from birth through the indoctrination centers and now, where we find ourselves today. We’ve all been severely programmed and the program is the culprit.

    We all have the consciousness to snap out of it. Hence, we are in the Dawn of the Great Awakening and the World IS as You Are. Time to get back to the simple joys of life.
    Oh, by the way, we won’t want 5G anywhere close to our bodies…it kills and can literally possess the mind. Shoot the “antennas” with your 12 gauge. Satisfaction Guaranteed.

  6. It’s not immigrants that are the problem.

    The problem is that YOU are intellectually-wedded to Democracy … to Voting. That is, you actively seek to have the Collective dispose of your property.

    That’s Socialism; at the very least.

    All of the abuses, against which you rail, are merely symptoms of the system which you endorse.

    It’s a Gordian Knot, which can only be undone when you cleave it apart.

    As to the ‘Social Contract’ … it’s a fiction … devised to add ‘legitimacy’ to injustice.

  7. Regarding Amnesty as the way for Dims to achieve ideological control of government. My observation from living in Houston is Texas is already demographically screwed due to illegal immigration. With 5-6 kids per family and birthright citizenship, our local school district, Pasadena, has gone from 70% white in 1986 to 82% Hispanic today, with Blacks as the #2 demographic, Whites are 7%. Texas will become Blue very soon if something radical is not done.

  8. What this post indicates is that Federalism as was intended to be the basis for a unified country has been swept aside.

    * California wants drugs but Texas does not? Only under the centralized argot of the Feds does this become a problem. Keeping in mind that ‘health an welfare’ has been a State issue from the beginning.
    * Under what authority does the TSA have the means to deny landing rights out of Texas? It was not granted it was subsumed by administrative fiat. TSA can’t stop me from driving from Dallas to NY. The fact that I use a common carrier to do the same does not relinquish my right of free travel.
    * Idealogical splits. That really can’t be solved by government but it can certainly be acerbated by it. When rent seeking and price supports are a primary function of government a natural battle ensues to feed at the trough. Lacking govt intervention in the markets bad ideas fail of their own accord. This also applies to items 4,5 of the post.

    Want to test my theory? Look up when the 10th Amendment has been used in defense of liberty.

  9. With respect to #5, that is already our reality. The Progressive-Fascists seized power in 2008, and have not relinquished it. DJT is a useful tool and will actually allow them to further solidify their permanency. Frankly, it started downhill from at least the day Lincoln chose to invade the C.S.A., an independent nation, and subjugate it to the monied interests that had elected him. Our entire history from that day forward has been one of Progressive-Fascist descent towards Hell.

  10. Incredibly cogent and well balanced analysis. And, delivered in a well-structured and intelligible package for consumption, which should evoke some well-deserved discussion and thoughtful consideration of the scenario you paint by readers.

    Please, please – keep these types of sitreps and scenarios coming in a similar format. I’ve been carrying around a highlighted paper copy of this content thinking about how to correlate your observations and assertions from other contextual sources.

    Thank you for preparing and publishing this update.

  11. “…at which point no one wants to give up Frodo’s ring.” It wasn’t actually Frodo’s ring. It was Sauron’s ring. Once anyone who possessed it forgot that, they were on the road to destruction. Gollum was irrevocably twisted by it. Bilbo and Frodo held up much better because Hobbits don’t have an innate and corrupt desire to rule, but in the end, Frodo still couldn’t let it go. Anyone who tried to wield it against Sauron already gave him the victory.

    America is built on a sandy soil of Renaissance and Enlightenment philosophy. It may claim the Classical principles of the Greco-Roman world and a “Judeo-Christian” heritage, but it wasn’t modeled on the orthodox Christianity of antiquity. Instead, it combined the progressive and ever-changing Protestantism of Europe with pagan Greece and Rome. What has resulted is a politics that mixes elements of a radical “social gospel” and a libertarian rationalism.

    It isn’t that surprising that we have a Democratic Party that is, at times, a prophetic voice of justice appealing to our faith and conscience and at other times, theologically militantly heretical and desiring to use the force of the State to fulfill the purposes of God and a Republican Party that is, at times, a voice of fiscal and moral reason and at other times, a voice of misguided fundamentalism and desiring to baptize and circumcise the State into a new covenant with God. Democrats tend to want more abortion clinics and free child care. Republicans tend to want more Ten Commandments monuments and lower taxes. They’re both wrong, but they’re only working with the tools they have. You can’t expect a Lego castle if you only give them Lincoln Logs.

    So far, America has still been one of the better Enlightenment projects, even for all the flaws. In the end, philosophical errors will manifest themselves like obscure bugs in a mass of code. As in software-driven accidents, it may fail suddenly and at the worst possible time. Most people don’t realize they are running conflicting code in their heads all the time. We’ll hold inconsistent beliefs about God and human government, maybe for a lifetime without any occasion to question them, but an “edge case” sometimes arises and forces one to confront the conflict. For an individual, it can result in conversion, but if it happens suddenly at the societal level, you get revolution. A revolution toward orthodoxy would be a good thing, but there are more bad options than good.

  12. Our government is a reflection of the people, the consent of the governed. As equal stakeholders in our social contractual obligations, are we holding up our end of the bargain? Your article contained nothing controversial in my view. In fact, it appears as if we the people have dropped the ball. Maybe we as modern society are not educated in the correct principles of federalist self-governance. As Lt. Col. Allen West recently said, if you want change, start at the local level and work up. Run for or serve on your local school board-one of the most important and powerful positions in government. I say, Run for Precinct Committeeman in your precinct. The social disorder we see fermenting all about us constitutes a reflection of our lacking participation in our electoral process, starting at the local and up to Washington DC. The social disorder started locally through the public education system and local politics where people wanted government to please solve all their social and economic problems, then trickled up to the Federal level. So local government establishments is the first place to start. The article made reference to this as an ancillary note; it should be focal for everyone.

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