Saturday, November 28, 2015

2016 Civil War - Dreams and Nightmares

The Next American Civil War
Tis' the season. Start your shopping early.
Be sure to mark your calendar for a couple of months in 2016 or 2017.

We frequently hear that the United States has never been as divided and polarized as it is today, but such comments betray a troubling lack of depth with respect to one's awareness of history. The mid Nineteenth Century offers a chilling contradiction to such a claim.

To "muddy the waters" even a little more, not only is the sanguine horror of the tale missing, the other details of what all prompted it to begin have been sorely "civilized" and "organized" in other more or less deceptive ways to produce a Disney Land version suitable for consumption by high school students, romance movies, 1800's battle ground movies and, worse of all, flippant threats from those unknowing souls who would like for everyone else to think that they are considering the "war" option seriously.

All of this would only amount to the rantings of a cranky old blogger -- if there weren't more. Unhappily, there is more.

MeanMesa predicts that the nation may be slowly rumbling into a 21st Century version of the hideous nightmare of the 1850's. No one walking the streets of American today can even begin to comprehend what a seventeen year old in a poorly fitting uniform with worn out boots was experiencing as he made his way to fight at Cheat Mountain, Virginia, in September of 1861. The problem arises when the largely illiterate potential combatants visualize this "experience" in the context of the copious, fictional, cosmetic "renditions" of it as modern theater.

The next civil war won't be the same. At all.

MeanMesa has been thinking about this -- primarily as a result of examining the GOP's Trump  and Carson supporters. Yes, the billionaires in charge of the Republican Party are chortling in their soup at the prospect of ripping a gash through the country large enough for them to walk in and take over the whole works. Those awkwardly bloody dreams of rapacious greed are "yesterday's news" to visitors here at the blog, but for the rest of America, it may well be "high time" to begin attempts to visualize the details of what such a pogrom might be.

The screaming racists occupying the modern Confederacy have neither the education nor the intellectual capacity for such an undertaking, but we should remember that many of them can still shoot. They have been propagandized and carefully agitated to the point of unstable collapse, and in such a state, we may assume that their "violent side" is already barely contained.

Finally "kicking them over the edge" might have been a daunting task if hundreds of millions of dollars had not been directed to the media -- both FOX and the other useless networks -- to sustain a "24/7" flow of incendiary drivel for the decades since Reagan. These days, all these drawling, uninformed hill billies are, indeed, perched perilously at the edge. Further, they are not all Southerners -- the Confederacy's infestation reaches deeply into racist strongholds such as Indiana, Ohio and others.

In all those unfortunate places Republican governments have stripped the red states of "every nickel which wasn't bolted down." Wages are awful, and as a result living conditions are predictably careening into the abyss with them. Education has intentionally had its Achilles' tendons sliced, and legions of odorous, "dirty shirt preachers" of the type which have never been particularly civilized, have been on an Old Testament rampage for years.

So, all the ideological "fog and feathers" are already afoot...waiting for the bullets.

A MeanMesa "Educational" Supplement
Uncover Your Eyes and Look at the Last Civil War
It turns out that we're more ready than we thought.
Don't worry about gathering too many details about the last one, 
we're at the "dawn of a new version."

Had we begun a decade ago, we might have conceivably "educated" ourselves to avoid this situation, but "education" takes time -- lots of time -- to make such water shed transitions. It's too late -- way too late -- to educate ourselves now. Plus, the oligarchs' plan called for "education" to be pretty much broken even way sooner than that.

The oligarchs are salivating. Bernie Sanders famously repeats that "The billionaires can't have it all," but right now they are close enough to "having it all" to count the buttons.

So, we can look at the Civil War, but not as history -- as news.
June 3, 1864, Battle of Cold Harbor, Virginia [image source]
Coming to your town.
Americans remember things by context. Not too long ago citizens here learned about matters such as the first civil war by reading more or less objective history books and occasionally seeing the old photographs which annotated such reports. Such realistic history lessons are now, thanks largely to "allegedly educational" propaganda institutions such as the Texas School Board, have been, apparently permanently, remanded to either the professional, graduate studies of academic historical "hair splitters" of, simply, to the lost and rewritten, dark annals of forgotten history about events which actually happened.

However, when MeanMesa refers to "lost and rewritten, dark annals of forgotten history about events which actually happened," the effort is not directed at some overly dramatic lament. We can even scrutinize this claim by the numbers...

1. "lost and rewritten" 

Recently a mother of young public school student complained that her ninth grade son's textbook rather brazenly characterized as the black slaves -- who had been kidnapped in Africa and forcibly brought to the United States to perform forced labor until they died -- as "immigrant workers."

The text book was quite intentionally prepared, approved by the "ethical and objective, academic guardians" seated on the Texas School Board, published with a substantial subsidy provided by a few racist Texas oil millionaires and distributed to school systems all across the country -- at a "real bargain price." [Read the story here Washington Post]

Similarly, even the bloody Civil War -- which was fought over the question of brutal, inhumane, legal slavery -- has been re-imaged in the same way and by the same process as some sort of complicated issue such as "states rights," "property rights" or "economic necessities" by the eager text book authors of the modern Confederacy with the full support of preachers, politicians and other bigots infesting the unfortunate region.

2. "dark annals of forgotten history"

The intention of such "academic prostitution," aside from its visible attachment to the retrograde religious impulses found in the Confederacy, is obvious. Those writing the checks to sustain this awful perversion of facts have a wet dream of an entire generation of voters who really, really do think that the bloody, starving survivors of the slave ships were, in fact, pleasantly ambitious "immigrant workers."

Generational stupidity has always offered political advantages, but this uniquely perverse, destructive "festival of lies" pays that wage six fold. As hundreds of thousands of American teenagers walk away from graduation ceremonies with this intentionally taught, historical calumny in their brains, the Texas bigots who financed the evil hoax are chortling around their "down home" pot belly stoves like George W. Bush at the Chinese Olympics.

3. "...about events which actually happened."

Forget Vivian Leigh and Clark Gable.

Neither the Civil War nor any other war were anything similar to what can be seen in cinematic fiction depicting them. [Have another look at the photograph above.] The day following the Battle of Gettysburg rivers of blood were still flowing across the farmland scene of the horror. The sounds were the groans of slow death knells and the wordless, patient gurgling of those still in the process of dying, all punctuated by the screams of those on amputation tables and embellished with the putrescent stench from the piles of corpses bearing uniforms of both colors. THAT was Civil War.

There is almost no possibility of avoiding the next Civil War when those most eager to engage in it have no idea what comes next. Perhaps only the most idealistic among us are prepared to look at guaranteeing this objective distribution of such vital knowledge as one of the fundamental responsibilities of public education.

There's no telling what this looks like to the Texas billionaires so obsessed with disseminating such craven, bold faced lies -- to the young! MeanMesa sincerely hopes that not a single one of them is able to avoid the view once the shooting starts....or the day after it pauses.

No Armies, No Uniforms, No Bugles,
No Generals and No Winners
It's hard for a mob to take down an entire network
or ensconce a new man in the Oval Office, but there's no rush.
The Chinese and the Russians will take "R and R" 
until we knock out all of our teeth.

MeanMesa suspects that combat will be initiated with clashes between ideologically separate parties, perhaps with unexpectedly harsh violence, during protests and demonstrations. The police and the National Guard units might enter the fray in some sort of order at the beginning, but both groups, quite aside from their respective "sacred oaths," would find their ranks gradually dividing along the both of the same "positions" that the combative parties held.

There might be some initial success at "defusing" the passion in such events, but that "period of perilous peacefulness" will be short lived. Gradually, the impetus to "open fire" which might have originally been based on some sort of policy decision or active demonstration will shift to an "automatically reaffirming" impulse to simply "get even" for the most recent, previous violence.

The Fourth Estate, already famously irresponsible for any motive beyond getting additional viewers, could, conceivably, play a positive role at this point, but the same "media moguls." quite segregated from the actual reality of such grave events, will be more likely to be attracted to the profits to be made by editorially injecting even more incendiary propaganda into the matter. [We must remember that, while usually attributing this republic wrecking rhetoric to FOX, we have to also seat the other "alphabet networks" in the defendants' dock with Murdoch and the Saudi Prince.]

There will almost certainly be "lone wolves" imagining themselves to be "retributive snipers" acting in accord with some character they've seen in a movie. Rather than reporting "news" of a Union Army advancing along this road or through that valley, the horror will be more akin to "wall paper." No city, town or neighborhood will be "off limits" for the violence -- probably not even the guarded, gated, country club estate communities of the billionaires.
Asuncion in Springtime [image]

Happily, for them, at the first sign of trouble they will have removed themselves along with their families and servants to the safety of their yachts or to certain mansions among their "quiet" foreign holdings in places where it is currently springtime. Paraguay should be hopping with "touristy visitors" who seem strangely "at home"  in the cafes and restaurants of Asuncion. [Visit this blog (2008) Springtime in Paraguay - MEANMESA]

Importantly, although suppressing this type of "wide ranging" violence might, in more normal times, be considered a police matter, after it has spread across the country to all the places where "pissed off" Americans have both rifles and bad tempers, let's just say that "putting the cork back in the jug" will become a much more daunting challenge. In almost no time at all the "reasons" for shooting someone will migrate, almost magically, from any sort of recognizable political conflict to simply a matter of "just settling scores" -- all of them.

As the casualty count soars there will not be many reports -- beyond the predictably useless, inflammatory "editorial" comments by the likes of Hannity or O'Reilly -- of one side or the other winning or losing. Nonetheless, every slowly maturing grudge targeting some neighbor who once kicked one's cat will "blossom into full, mature, ripeness, ready for harvest" as the delicious odor of black powder revenge wafts through once peaceful neighborhoods.

Even when it's finally over, it will still not be "finally over." Whatever arguments were simmering about things which had "happened" and were resolved by the gun fire will be replaced with new ones about what just "happened" during the gunfire. It promises to be a "uniquely American event," perhaps best labeled "a Civil War in name only" when compared to all these others punctuating the old history books.

Still, not a problem. Those old books are in a box stored in a school basement somewhere.

Maybe we could switch the term describing the event to something a little more like "Dionysian..." Once everyone had an opportunity to realize how fun was to be had, those festivals went on for centuries.

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