Taste of war?

I'm getting more than a little tired over the fact that some people on the left -- aided, naturally, by some people on the right (with the help of agents provocateurs and trolls) -- seem hell-bent on fomenting an American Civil War.

I think people need to remember how much civil wars suck.

Take it from George Orwell, who fought alongside the Communists against Franco's Falangists.

To be marching up the street behind red flags inscribed with elevating slogans, and then to be bumped off from an upper window by some total stranger with a sub-machine-gun-- that is not my idea of a useful way to die.
Fortunately, it hasn't come to that here, although the idea of engaging in pitched street battles with radical Maoists in support a cause being insinuated into the Tea Party movement is not my idea of fun.

Later, after detailing what it was like to be shot through the neck and narrowly survive (all the while being suspected by one leftist faction of belonging to a competing leftist faction), Orwell said this:

however it ends the Spanish war will turn out to have been an appalling disaster
Better to avoid appalling disasters before they happen.


Dalí's "Cannibalism in Autumn" is probably in order:


And so is one of my lifelong favorites -- "Soft Construction with Boiled Beans: Premonition of Civil War":


Not only do tastes differ, but they change over time. Orwell absolutely hated Dalí, and I can understand why. Artistic tastes aside, Orwell was a highly principled idealist, and Dali was a deranged and corrupt Monarchist. But such things are nothing to start a war over.

posted by Eric on 11.19.09 at 01:51 PM


Is there room in the tent for unprincipled anarcho-capitalists?

dr kill   ·  November 19, 2009 1:53 PM

"Better to avoid appalling disasters before they happen."

I'm all ears. How exactly do you stop one without abject surrender or just laying down and dying?

guy   ·  November 19, 2009 2:24 PM

How do you not start a civil war? I'm not enough of a megalomaniac to believe I have such power, but I can do small things when I can, by refusing to support or encourage those who seem the most eager to start one.

Many historians have said that had Hitler been laughed off the podium early when he was still at the beer hall stage, he might very well have gone back to doing something more useful, like painting postcards.

Eric Scheie   ·  November 19, 2009 2:55 PM

It's funny Eric, sometimes I think you're an incredible pessimist and others I think you're think you're an incurable optimist.

I work from the idea that people are scum and see where that leads.

I also look at history, we've spent the longest at any time I can think of in history without serious, all engulfing wars.
While there were serious wars going on in Europe between nations, there were others going on in Africa and all over Asia and in the the Americas. World wars except the different sides were allied. WWI was the war to end all wars. But a generation grew up without remembering what war was like. Imagine the shock of modern, cosmopolitan Jews living in Austria and Germany to suddenly find themselves in death camps.

People find an other and hate him. It's what we do.
The only thing that brings us together is an external enemy.

The problem now is that we've allowed leftism to get too strong, and leftists aren't happy until they rule everyone. 1984 isn't so much a work of fiction as a warning. We can see all the different bits playing out in lesser form.

They won't give up power easily, democracy is only good when they win, when they lose they game the system. See: Ashcroft losing to a dead man, NJ Dems switching candidates against the law, Mass Dems changing a law after the fact to get a Dem as temporary Senator, 2004 Washington Governor's election, Al Franken and of course, the biggie, Al Gore trying to steal an election all while leftists are still screeching about how Bush stole it.

I'm not advocating civil war, but the ball is in the left's court now.

The whole idea of America is that it's a deal between ourselves. If we can't trust elections, revolution becomes not just possible but likely.
Politicians of both major parties want us to shut and let them tell us what to do.
That's not the deal we had.

We had a deal. Americans don't like people who don't keep their deals.

Veeshir   ·  November 19, 2009 4:14 PM

If we can't trust elections, revolution becomes not just possible but likely.

But losers always claim the elections were untrustworthy. Does that mean losers have the right to start a revolution because they lost?

It seems to me that the people who are making the most noise on the right are those who wanted their own party to lose, because they were not getting their way within the party. What they ought to do is concentrate their efforts on winning elections. Yet some people seem to dismiss the possibility of winning elections and insist on revolution -- as if they don't think they are bound by the same rules as everyone else.

I guess my question is this. If the majority is willing to vote for what you think is tyrannical, and the demographics are solidly against you, does that mean you should start a war against that majority?

Call it a revolution if you will, but it would become a civil war and I don't think it's a good idea. History shows that civil wars are disastrous. Perhaps people think carefully about what they want.

Eric Scheie   ·  November 19, 2009 4:40 PM

"and the demographics are solidly against you, does that mean you should start a war against that majority"

No, it means you take your ball and go the fuck home and leave the majority to live in the hell they've created.

Hence succession, then civil war.

guy   ·  November 19, 2009 5:24 PM

The only thing that brings us together is an external enemy.

and trade

(though the left is against free trade, and both sides favor erecting barriers to competition to protect cronies.)

Sometimes I think we're going to hell in a handbasket, but i'm only 38, I suppose older people remember things being worse with even more socialists in government such as under Nixon, Carter, etc.

I guess only 10-15 years ago I was one of them, believing we needed more control. But i never took classic civ, or studied much history beyond school which was all about how western society is bad and the cause of the world's problems. that about sums up my schooling.

plutosdad   ·  November 19, 2009 5:29 PM

I'm not fer it, I just find it interesting. I like to watch my fellow man. It's endlessly interesting.
Unfortunately, both "interesting"s are in the Chinese curse sense of the word.

ACORN is getting ridiculous. I also cited a few specific examples. They were all blatantly stolen (or attemptedly blatantly stolen...uuuhhhh ly) and the NYTimesWashPostCNNABCCBSNBCetc. were wholly uninterested.
They've since morphed into Minitru and they're even more uninterested in Dem corruption.

However, that was imprecise and only one aspect of the anger. Indeed, it's a result of the anger.

Americans will take rigged elections if the leaders rule well. How else do you explain Boston?
But even in Boston they're screwing up and The Peepul are getting angry there too.

Politicians have forgotten their mandate is from us not over us.

Right now, they're pissing off the people who pay taxes and who work to make America work.
The ones they're making happy are the people who need the rest of us to support them.

Without all the people making widgets and paying taxes and sending their kids to college there can't be people who make money studying the effects of alcohol on college women and thinking up new ways to gain power over us.

Having 200,000 smelly hippies show up at a protest means absolutely nothing. Most of them were there using daddy's credit card anyway.

But 10- or 50- or however many thousands that go the tea parties means something.

Go to one. They're not like other protests. They're like going to Disney or Walmart or the county fair. They're the people who go to work every day and pay taxes.
And if 10,000 show up, how many more are there in spirit?

People are angry because their politicians are wholly unresponsive.

And that's even more important than the stolen elections (and why they have to steal elections in the first place).

They're not just ignoring the people, they want us to shut the hell up.

Self promotion watch

Like that. He's mad because people voted for their own interests instead of for what he knows is a greater good.

It never even crosses his mind that they disagree that it's a "greater good", they're just selfish bastids.

100% turnover in every politician everywhere.
From dogcatcher of Podunk, Indiana to President.

Veeshir   ·  November 19, 2009 6:50 PM

How do you feel about Heironymus Bosch? He always struck me as a big Dali influence.

Lynne   ·  November 19, 2009 7:07 PM

The Czech Republic and Slovakia split peacably after a referendum.

So peaceful civil dissolution is possible.

Tom DeGisi

Tom DeGisi   ·  November 19, 2009 7:31 PM

Our previous Civil War, tragic in so many respects ultimately did not settle the question of what rights, if any, a state had.

I know that many (most northerners, especially) will say that war was fought over slavery, and I am certainly glad that slavery ended...

yet, that war truly left unsettled the powers and authorities (rights, if you want to call them that) that states have beyond or equal to the federal government.

While the Union rightfully won on the question of whether a person's skin color or previous servitude precluded citizenship, the idea that federal law trumps state law could not declare such a win.

It is a flavor of such that now threatens a new civil war... but it will not be one involving bullets. Yet.

Donna B.   ·  November 20, 2009 1:08 AM

Donna B.,

Slavery has NOT ended; it is exactly what the Second Civil War will be fought over; and it will be Democrats advocating slavery that make it necessary. The difference between the plantation and the collective is purely semantic.

If the Founding Fathers had listened to the 1770s version of Eric, we'd still be ruled from England.

"Give no ear to bondsmen bidding us endure.
Whining "He is weak and far"; crying "Time will cure."

(Time himself is witness, till the battle joins,
Deeper strikes the rottenness in the people's loins.)

Give no heed to bondsmen masking war with peace.
Suffer not the old King here or overseas.

They that beg us barter--wait his yielding mood--
Pledge the years we hold in trust-pawn our brother's blood--

Howso' great their clamour, whatsoe'er their claim,
Suffer not the old King under any name!

Here is naught unproven--here is naught to learn.
It is written what shall fall if the King return."

The Old Issue, by Rudyard Kipling

SDN   ·  November 20, 2009 7:42 AM

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