Now that pan-secessionist sympathies are rising, how do we prevent this desirable situation of pan-secession from becoming…
from becoming this undesirable situation of civil war.
Abolishing the system while avoiding civil war is the primary long-range concern.
As many readers know, Attack the System was formed in large part for the purpose of forging a political realignment along anti-system vs pro-system lines, with a populist (the people vs the elites) and anarchist (anti-statist, decentralist, etc) perspective. The main weakness I now see in this view is that I overestimated the commitment to “radicalism” of many “radicals” and underestimated how deeply entrenched “culture war” politics actually are. The culture war is a quasi-religious war about existential values that is led by rival factions of the power elite and not a revolutionary struggle against an entrenched power elite per se (more post-Saddam Iraq than 1776, 1789, 1917, or 1936). Nearly all so-called “radical groups” are merely appendages to one of the major tribal sectarian coalitions.
However, it seems much of what I wanted to see happen is taking place anyway. The empire seems to be slowing cracking and receding internationally, the domestic regime is fragmenting and losing legitimacy, massive lumpenproletarian uprisings have occurred, support for secession movements has increased by 50% over the past decade, and embryonic pan-secessionist actions are taking place, and the drug war is slowly falling, among many other things that have happened in recent times that are consistent with the ATS paradigm.
The main concern I have now is avoidance of a Lebanese or Syrian-like civil war if the system fully collapses like the former USSR, Warsaw Pact, and Yugoslavia did at the end of the Cold War. A civil war would be the worst possible outcome. Everybody loses. I don’t know that it will come to that. We may end up just being a normal country. For instance, 1 in 5 elections around the world is accompanied by violence. Democracy as it is practiced in Latin America, Africa, Central, and South Asia, and the South Pacific is the global norm, not the genteel middle-class societies that people in North America, Western Europe, or Australia are accustomed to. But it’s certainly not impossible or even that far-fetched that a civil war could occur.
Prior to the pandemic, I was very skeptical of the probability of a civil war, but the economic effects of the pandemic, combined with the acceleration of animosity that accompanied it (lockdowns, recession, anti-lockdown protests, George Floyd, BLM protests, riots, the election, January 6, etc.) seems to have made the prospect of a civil war more likely. In the space of 16 months, 20 years’ worth of major events has happened.
Many people are concerned that we are moving toward a Third World model of society. I would go further and say that’s already happening and is pretty much a done deal for the future. The question is will we have a Third World-like civil war. I used to always say Americans were too lazy to fight a civil war, and that no one would want to risk disruption of internet service. But the combination of class polarization and political polarization we see today is alarming. The further economic conditions deteriorate and the angrier people at rival tribal-sectarian factions, the greater the probability of violence on a significant scale. When people have nothing to lose economically, but an “other” to blame, is when they start shooting. I have long argued in favor of a much, much stronger anti-imperialist antiwar movement. Increasingly, we are also in need of an anti-civil war antiwar movement.