I remember the 1970’s driving around New York City with my family during the holidays like they were yesterday.
Back then the talk in the front seat of the car between my parents was New York City’s bankruptcy. My dad, NYPD at the time, was as much a part of this as anyone since the Police pension fund helped bail out the city government back then.
The West Side Highway fell down and because of that I grew up with a fear of heights and, especially bridges. I really hated taking the back way (New Jersey) into Staten Island. The mere mention of the Outer Bridge crossing would nearly put me into a panic attack.
I remember thinking then, “If these people can’t pay the bills now, what’s it going to be in ten or twenty years?” Sure, I was a naive ten or eleven at the time and had no idea about capital flight, but the sentiment was sound.
Even then the Emperor was naked to this child’s eyes. This was Rome near the end and the Sword of Damocles hung over the heads of my generation in ways we could barely articulate.
So, for me, the idea of the U.S. breaking up into its component parts has been a constant companion most of my adult life. And, as a libertarian, I always think in terms of secession first, rather than revolution. It sits on my shoulder whispering in my ear the truth of what’s in front of us.
We’ve reached a very important moment in world history. It is that moment where the promises of classical liberalism are failing in the face of a creeping totalitarian nightmare.
America as mythology has always stood as the ‘shining house on the hill’ for this enlightened idea that the wishes of the individual pursuing his bliss creates the community and culture which lifts the world out of a Hobbesian State of Nature.
The war of all against all, (bellum omnium contra omnes).
But America as Mythology and America as Reality are two vastly different rough beasts. And it is that difference between them that is being exploited today by The Davos Crowd to set the process in motion for their next victory.
Brandon Smith at Alt-Market brought up the trap conservatives are being led into today in his recent article. He argues, quite persuasively, that the ‘right’ is being radicalized into thinking about an armed civil war to fight the corporatist left-wing useful idiots in an orgy of violence.
To be clear, what I believe is happening is that conservatives are being prodded and provoked, not to separate and organize but to centralize. I think they want us to support actions like martial law which would be considered totalitarian. Conservatives, the only stalwart defenders of civil liberties, using military suppression and abandoning the Bill of Rights to maintain political power? That is a dream come true for the globalists in the long term. And despite people’s faith in Trump, there are far too many banking elites and globalists within his cabinet to ensure that such power will not be abused or used against us later.
Nothing would give Klaus Schwab and The Davos Crowd more pleasure than turning us into them — willing to use indiscriminate violence to push otherwise humble and decent people into crazed killers and repudiate their inherent meekness, their inherent desire to pursue their bliss, allowing everyone else that same courtesy.
But, leftism as practiced today, is aggressive. It is rapacious and rests on the idea that no one can exist outside their preferred outcome lest anyone see their world for the nightmare it truly is.
Secession is not only not an option, it is expressly verboten.
I’ve made the argument that violence, not secession, is one very possible outcome of where the current political divide is taking us. Brandon uses the situation in Germany in the 1920s/30s as his historical guide. In short, Fascism rose to meet the violence of the Communists with the old monied elite providing the means for the conflict.
The parallels to today are striking. In November’s issue of Gold Goats ‘n Guns I likened the rising frustration of the American right to that of the Fremen Jihad of Frank Herbert’s classic Dune.
When you marginalize the tens of millions of people who produce the goods which sustain their false reality, when you remove their ability to speak their mind and make their voices heard, when you insult them, berate them, hector them and beat them then you will bear the consequences when the sleeper awakens, in Herbert’s words.
This isn’t a threat or an open letter of defiance. This is an observation of what always comes next. These people know that they have been lied to, their children spiritually separated from them. The election was a cruel joke meant to rub our noses in their complete power over us. You can
see it every day on Twitter.
What comes next will benothing short of a Fremenesque jihad by the 70+ million people who voted for Donald Trump. If his allies prove the systematic thievery of the election it will fuel a simmering anger to boiling over into a near-religious frenzy.
Because these are people who still believe in the Mythology of America, they are very susceptible to this programming. That mythology is worth fighting for in their minds.
Brandon Smith, however, is making a finer point which I tend to agree with. And that is that secession, not revolution, is always the better option rather than the pre-packaged violent one which the oligarchs always seem to prepare for us.
To broaden Brandon’s point, I want to challenge the precepts of that American mythology in the hope we can avoid the kind of religious war that is brewing.
There are two wars which bear most of the weight of that mythology — The American Revolution and the U.S. Civil War.
The first one is the good war. It is the foundation of the mythology. We know the narrative: brave colonials fought a war of independence, a war of secession, from the evil English. It brought forth the Founding Fathers, the Declaration of Independence and all the symbology of our shared American identity.
That mythology, while simplistic, held a core truth, that there are some things worth fighting for, when pushed to an extreme.
However, was 1770’s America that extreme a place? Was war the only practical outcome? Or was it the dream of those men whose tolerance for tyranny shallower than the norm. In other words, could America have seceded more peacefully in ten or twenty years’ time?
Viewed that way, this was a war of secession that the English and the Colonies didn’t have to fight. There may have been an equitable way out of conflict. But the colonies chose war just as much as the Crown did if we’re being honest with ourselves.
The Civil War, on the other hand, is supposed to be the shameful one. And from the Mythology side it truly is. Lincoln’s war can only be characterized as a war to prevent secession in the same way that Crown fought to prevent the colonies from seceding.
The mythology states this was the war we had to fight to prevent slavery’s survival into the 20th century. But, was it that? Slavery may have been a dividing line to stoke the passions but it wasn’t the big factor driving the states apart, the Tariff of Abomination was.
Again, if we’re being honest with ourselves wasn’t Lincoln’s war where the ideals of the American Revolution – a compact between the sovereign states – were finally betrayed?
Aren’t we reaping the whirlwind of that war today with a Supreme Court who believes it has the power to ignore interstate grievances because none of the justices, even Thomas and Alito, believe in the compact of equals today?
Remember, the South was more than willing to leave in peace. And any reasons Lincoln had for fighting the war over the seizure of Federal property, i.e. the proximate cause for the events at Fort Sumter, could have been worked out, again, equitably as gentlemen, rather than through the butchering of 600,000 Americans over four years.
From the Mythology Lincoln is the Great Uniter and Buchanan, his predecessor, the Worst President in History simply because he refused to either bail out the railroad banks in 1857 or prevent the South’s secession in 1860.
What if the mythology of America today has these two wars backwards? What if all the conservatives mourning the Constitution today thanks to a feckless Supreme Court and treasonous Congress have it all wrong? What if the America they mourn the death of today died in 1865 not 2020?
Would that America still be worth finally fighting a bloody civil war for? Because that’s what The Davos Crowd is daring Donald Trump to do.
What if the better response is to do what the South tried to do and failed.
Simply walk away and say, “No more.”
Because fighting the bloody war of all against all, becoming raving fascists rising up to stop the rapacious (and economically backwards) communists in the process is always the wrong option.
Secession is always an option. Opting out of the hyper-collectivizing impulses of in-group/out-group bias is always the right choice. They want us to throw the first punch, to lash out, fire first out of fear, c.f. Fort Sumter, to justify their brutality afterwards.
But, as I said in the quote above, the states with the grievances today are the ones that produce the wealth of this fiction known as the U.S. It’s where the food is grown, the electricity generated, the goods produced and people aren’t shitting in the streets.
The food lines may be long in Texas but there’s still food to distribute.
The balance of power in the U.S. today in real terms is reverse of what existed in 1860. Post-Trump America looks a lot different than pre-Lincoln.
Because of that and the reality that the people pulling off this great coup against sanity are some of the most unimpressive leaders in history, the potential for a successful secession is far higher than it was for the Confederacy.
Brandon Smith is right that they invoke the Confederacy to shame conservatives as racists, conflating issues separated by more than 150 years of history. This is why the all-out assault on the history of the war, whitewashing it of any nuance.
Theirs is a mind-virus that grows beyond the ability of the oligarchy to control. And it is truly best to not just walk but run away from such people. Better to let them sink into their own cesspit of ideological rabbit holes while keeping the lines of trade open, if they have anything worth selling, of course.
They will turn on themselves soon enough.
Having grown up a Yankee and matured as a Southerner I’ve seen this descent of the American mythology from both perspectives. The eleven year-old me knew this day would come.
The Mythology of America is just that, mythology, worth using as the basis for the new story rather than a shackle keeping us chained down, staring at the Abyss and despairing at what was lost.
New York was a dream not a fixture in the night sky. God didn’t put his finger on the Empire State Building and spin the world.
Because Texas was too big for it to ever stay in balance, even if he did. And California is one bad day away from Big One which washes it from our memory.
This article first appeared at tomluongo.me