Leftist liberal begs other liberals to stop discussing the idea of a coming civil war because pointing out that Civic Nationalism has failed may cause another civil war.

By Dylan Matthews, Vox.com

Stop making second American Civil War clickbait

On the rise of apocalypse punditry.

Last Sunday, the New Yorker, which is practically synonymous with careful, sober-minded reportage in the United States, tweeted out this:

The New Yorker@NewYorker

Experts estimate a 35% chance of a U.S. civil war over the next ten to fifteen years. What do historians think? http://nyer.cm/MadCpII 

Is America Headed for a New Kind of Civil War?

Experts estimate a thirty-five-per-cent chance of a U.S. civil war over the next ten to fifteen years. What do historians of the Civil War think?


…Also underlying the titillated interest in civil war and civic armageddon, however, is an extreme fatigue with muddling along through clearly dysfunctional institutions. Instead of tiresome and exhausting transfers of powers, every four or eight years, between a white rural coalition devoted to shrinking the state and a multiethnic urban coalition attempting to reinflate it, what if the two sides just got onto a battlefield and fought it out, once and for all?

At best, this is a pointless and distracting form of anti-politics. At worst, constant LARPing of the Civil War and Weimar can serve to make the case that the stakes now are equivalent and deserving of equally extreme and violent remedies.

I want to tread lightly here, for fear of devolving into the kind of hysteria I’m trying to critique. But much more common than civil war or complete democratic collapse are moments when one or more segments of a democratic society decide to break the implicit social contract that forbids the use of violent remedies for intranational disputes — think the Italian Years of Lead, the French OAS, the Weather Underground.

When electoral politics begins to look exhausted as a route to resolve major political disagreements with life-or-death stakes, conducting a few bombings at home might begin to look reasonable…