Page 52 of 53 FirstFirst ... 2424950515253 LastLast
Results 766 to 780 of 784

Thread: Collapse

  1. #766
    Super Moderator Wind's Avatar
    Join Date
    16th January 2015
    Location
    Just here
    Posts
    2,984
    Thanks
    17,254
    Thanked 14,294 Times in 2,988 Posts
    Because what happens in the US tends to affect the whole world too.

    My whole world collapsed last year too so I've been living in some kind of a twilight zone lately.

  2. The Following 7 Users Say Thank You to Wind For This Useful Post:

    Aianawa (17th January 2021), Aragorn (12th January 2021), Chris (12th January 2021), Dreamtimer (13th January 2021), Elen (12th January 2021), NotAPretender (12th January 2021), Octopus Garden (17th January 2021)

  3. #767
    Administrator Aragorn's Avatar
    Join Date
    17th March 2015
    Location
    Middle-Earth
    Posts
    15,855
    Thanks
    71,941
    Thanked 66,779 Times in 15,851 Posts
    Quote Originally posted by Wind View Post
    Quote Originally posted by Chris View Post
    Kind of puts the political shenanigans happening on the other side of the world in a different perspective. It begs the question:

    Why do people outside the US care so much about her internal politics?
    Because what happens in the US tends to affect the whole world too.

    My whole world collapsed last year too so I've been living in some kind of a twilight zone lately.
    No, that's only a small part of it. Let's be honest and politically incorrect here: the main reason why people outside of the USA seem to care so much about US-internal affairs and especially US-internal politics is because of the following three reasons...:


    • Of all the people on this planet with a connection to the internet, the most vocal ones are the US Americans. That may of course be due to the fact that the internet as we know it started off as a US military computer network ─ and is still for most part under US control ─ and due to the fact that the USA has since the end of World War II been conducting an aggressive economical and geopolitical policy out of its fear of communism, and specifically, its fear of the former USSR. As a result of this ─ and far more than as a result of any activity by the former British Empire ─ English has become a quasi-universal language on this planet. Which for most US Americans is a good thing, because most of them don't speak any other languages.

    • Most US Americans ─ whether (USA-termed) left-wing or right-wing ─ have a very parochial world view that puts the USA at the center of the universe, in combination with the fact that the US education system also doesn't appear to educate US American children on account of what happens outside of the United States of America, nor on account of the history and cultures of other countries than the USA. The only exception to that rule may be the countries that the USA has had dealings with in the past, or has been at war with, and in that case, it'll most likely be recounted with a highly US-favorable flavor.

    • In line with the bullet point here-above, most US Americans also believe that the USA is somehow exceptional in its freedom and democracy, while at the same time they appear totally oblivious regarding such things as the Patriot Act, or the fact that there are only two political parties, both of which are entirely sponsored by the corporate sector, or about the fact that the USA does not respect the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, engages in torture, infiltrates and overthrows foreign governments, engages in so-called extrajudicial killings (i.e. assassinations) and that the USA still condones capital punishment ─ and regards it as a crime deterrent, in spite of all the evidence that it doesn't have any such effect ─ or that human rights aren't even respected within the borders of the USA. This irrational belief then translates into a completely misplaced sense of patriotism and nationalism, coupled to the parochial world view.


    By consequence, in virtually every discussion on the internet that US Americans are involved with, inevitably the concept of US politics will be brought up, and with great passion too ─ not to mention, bigotry. As a result, non-Americans are just as inevitably drawn into those discussions ─ which can get pretty explosive if someone dares criticize the USA's politics or culture ─ or are at best forced to witness the exchange.

    There, I've said it.

    In an amusing way ─ or an annoying way, depending on what mood you're in ─ there is even a very similar thing going on here in the Flanders with regard to the city of Antwerp. Most of what I said about the USA here-above also applies to Antwerp, except that you can substitute politics by football ─ or what Americans call "soccer". Antwerpians also believe that they live at the center of the universe, and are totally oblivious of anything from outside of Antwerp. And they can't seem to stop themselves from making fun of the people living in the countryside, but the irony of it all is that they themselves are constantly migrating to the countryside.

    For instance, the village where I grew up ─ which lies in the East Flanders province, not the Antwerp province, and is in no way, shape or form related to Antwerp ─ is already swarming with Antwerpians now. You can't miss them, because people from Antwerp have an unmistakable and very recognizable accent and dialect, not to mention an ostensibly self-righteous attitude.

    It's a cultural thing. Whenever a certain population is indoctrinated with the belief that they are somehow superior to any other population, they will also start behaving that way. And the city of Antwerp is a metropolitan with "only" 1'200'000 people. The United States of America is a country, with approximately 300'000'000 people. And they have the biggest military-industrial complex and nuclear arsenal in the world. Which, if you consider American culture and the average level of intelligence of the US population, is actually quite worrisome.
    = DEATH BEFORE DISHONOR =

  4. The Following 7 Users Say Thank You to Aragorn For This Useful Post:

    Aianawa (17th January 2021), Chris (12th January 2021), Dreamtimer (13th January 2021), Elen (12th January 2021), NotAPretender (12th January 2021), Octopus Garden (17th January 2021), Wind (12th January 2021)

  5. #768
    Senior Member giovonni's Avatar
    Join Date
    26th September 2016
    Posts
    5,732
    Thanks
    5,838
    Thanked 30,357 Times in 5,742 Posts

    Thumbs Up

    Speaking of Americans

    A celebration of life ...
    Laugh & Cry ...
    Worth the listen!


    The Pete & Sebastian Show

    Episode 441


    Pete deals with a huge loss.
    Jan 11, 2021

    1:03:48 minutes



    Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JZpo0BaMKCU

    Descriptive:
    The Pete & Sebastian Show Pete Correale & Sebastian Maniscalco Two A-list comedians, Pete Correale and Sebastian Maniscalco, get together once a week to create a comedy radio show with stories and comedy bits.
    Presenting an alternative to the alternative community.

  6. The Following 7 Users Say Thank You to giovonni For This Useful Post:

    Aianawa (17th January 2021), Aragorn (12th January 2021), Chris (13th January 2021), Dreamtimer (13th January 2021), NotAPretender (12th January 2021), Octopus Garden (17th January 2021), Wind (13th January 2021)

  7. #769
    Senior Member Hungary
    Join Date
    10th July 2018
    Posts
    1,262
    Thanks
    3,213
    Thanked 6,159 Times in 1,256 Posts
    I can only speak for myself, but I actually follow US and UK politics more closely than Hungarian politics.

    Don't ask me why, though...

    What I am increasingly recognising though is that it is a waste of time and energy to get worked up about the political life of people who live very far away. One should only really care about local politics, if at all. Let's face it, there is a reason this is done by career politicians who are in it for life, the general public has very little control over events and decisions made at the highest level, except in rare cases, such as referendums.

    Another thing to note is that even politicians might have less influence over events than is generally believed, with a lot of the important decisions made in the shadows, by faceless bureaucrats and business and media moguls. There is also a non-human, interdimensional element to controlling human affairs, which is another facet that people tend to ignore and yet it may be the most important one. I am not referring to any Ickeyian Reptilian Agenda here, more like a religious dimension with various spiritual forces and factions fighting it out amongst each other to gain complete control of humanity.

  8. The Following 7 Users Say Thank You to Chris For This Useful Post:

    Aianawa (17th January 2021), Aragorn (12th January 2021), Dreamtimer (13th January 2021), Elen (12th January 2021), NotAPretender (12th January 2021), Octopus Garden (17th January 2021), Wind (13th January 2021)

  9. #770
    Senior Member NotAPretender's Avatar
    Join Date
    3rd April 2017
    Posts
    7,326
    Thanks
    24,570
    Thanked 29,618 Times in 7,251 Posts
    Actually Aragorn, your comment just hit me. The notion of Parochialism is undoubtedly true. And gets stronger or lesser with the size of the communities. And therein sits the political dichotomy ... It's a combo of racial AND cultural animus. You've mentioned that the U.S. is a baby country and "we", I was gonna say "they", I've never felt part of the in-group that calls itself 'American', certainy adheres to type. Hopefully, we have seen the light, the scales have fallen from our eyes, we have been enlightened, we have grown up, we have felt the spirit and the compassion that accompanies it, we have ... you get the idea. But, I doubt it. Just when you think that the object of your affection has dropped below the tipping point, it is demonstrated that no, that's not the bottom yet.
    “Chance is perhaps God's pseudonym when He does not want to sign” Anatole France, Le Jardin d'Epicure

  10. The Following 7 Users Say Thank You to NotAPretender For This Useful Post:

    Aianawa (17th January 2021), Aragorn (12th January 2021), Chris (13th January 2021), Dreamtimer (13th January 2021), Elen (13th January 2021), Octopus Garden (17th January 2021), Wind (13th January 2021)

  11. #771
    Super Moderator United States Dreamtimer's Avatar
    Join Date
    7th April 2015
    Location
    Patapsco Valley
    Posts
    11,830
    Thanks
    61,156
    Thanked 52,222 Times in 11,742 Posts
    Aragorn's analysis can help to explain folks like my brother who do have blinders on. He's been in denial of most of the things Aragorn wrote about for a long time. And he likely still is. He'll probably act shocked about the insurrection when I next see him. "Who could have possibly expected that?"

    He's too smart to be that dumb, and yet, that ends up being how it is.

    When things change, they change fast. The Senate leader, McConnell, is now in support of impeachment, as are several Republicans. Which will make Trump a truly historic president in about all of the really bad ways. Many are reportedly in favor of conviction as well. Which would render Trump unable to run for office again.

    Right now it looks like the Republican party is collapsing. (which is the only explanation for their sudden flip-flop, imo. they're trying to save their asses)

    We shall see.
    Last edited by Dreamtimer, 13th January 2021 at 13:06.

  12. The Following 6 Users Say Thank You to Dreamtimer For This Useful Post:

    Aianawa (17th January 2021), Aragorn (13th January 2021), Chris (13th January 2021), Elen (13th January 2021), NotAPretender (13th January 2021), Wind (13th January 2021)

  13. #772
    Super Moderator Wind's Avatar
    Join Date
    16th January 2015
    Location
    Just here
    Posts
    2,984
    Thanks
    17,254
    Thanked 14,294 Times in 2,988 Posts
    Quote Originally posted by Chris View Post
    What I am increasingly recognising though is that it is a waste of time and energy to get worked up about the political life of people who live very far away. One should only really care about local politics, if at all. Let's face it, there is a reason this is done by career politicians who are in it for life, the general public has very little control over events and decisions made at the highest level, except in rare cases, such as referendums.
    Here in Finland we have a party called Finns party and right now it's the most popular party in polls. In theory they are against immigration and the EU and supporting the common man, but I don't buy that populist shit. Unfortunately that party has many bigots and racists in it, actually it's leadership is downright Neo-Nazi scum and that's why I would not in a billion years support them or their agendas. The good part is that they will never get to form a government here because we have so many other parties and almost none of them would be willing to join forces with them. My parents kinda support that party because of the anti-immigration, but my parents are not racists. They are just naive and of the older generation who want to preserve what used to be, except that everything changes and there is no longer the Finland that existed back in the day. Those days are long gone and it's pointless to try to get that back.

    There is also a non-human, interdimensional element to controlling human affairs, which is another facet that people tend to ignore and yet it may be the most important one. I am not referring to any Ickeyian Reptilian Agenda here, more like a religious dimension with various spiritual forces and factions fighting it out amongst each other to gain complete control of humanity.
    Not only do I believe this to be exactly the truth, I know it to be true. It's quite simple, forces of light vs the forces of darkness. You may call them angelic, heavenly forces vs demonic or reptilian forces. In fact often the negative ones seem to be a bit reptilianish in their energy patterns. I do not believe that there actually would be any lizard people walking here on Earth, that's just nuts. But interdimensional entities controlling people? Absolutely. That goes both ways though, except that the forces of light and good respect the law of free will whereas the negative forces don't or try to use any loophole in order to override the so called human free will. The Nazis for example were a manifestation of a very dark demonic force and Hitler himself was something quite else. World war II was a battle between light and dark literally, but after that it's not been so simple. Now the game is being played on different, smaller levels.
    Last edited by Wind, 13th January 2021 at 14:11.

  14. The Following 7 Users Say Thank You to Wind For This Useful Post:

    Aianawa (17th January 2021), Aragorn (13th January 2021), Chris (13th January 2021), Dreamtimer (13th January 2021), Elen (13th January 2021), NotAPretender (13th January 2021), Octopus Garden (17th January 2021)

  15. #773
    Administrator Aragorn's Avatar
    Join Date
    17th March 2015
    Location
    Middle-Earth
    Posts
    15,855
    Thanks
    71,941
    Thanked 66,779 Times in 15,851 Posts
    Quote Originally posted by Wind View Post
    Here in Finland we have a party called Finns party and right now it's the most popular party in polls. In theory they are against immigration and the EU and supporting the common man, but I don't buy that populist shit.
    Can you say "Nigel Farage", "UKIP" and "Brexit"?
    = DEATH BEFORE DISHONOR =

  16. The Following 6 Users Say Thank You to Aragorn For This Useful Post:

    Aianawa (17th January 2021), Chris (13th January 2021), Dreamtimer (14th January 2021), Elen (13th January 2021), NotAPretender (13th January 2021), Wind (13th January 2021)

  17. #774
    Super Moderator Wind's Avatar
    Join Date
    16th January 2015
    Location
    Just here
    Posts
    2,984
    Thanks
    17,254
    Thanked 14,294 Times in 2,988 Posts
    Quote Originally posted by Aragorn View Post
    Can you say "Nigel Farage", "UKIP" and "Brexit"?
    I'm very familiar with that fella, wasn't he Trump's great friend too?


    Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bypLwI5AQvY

  18. The Following 7 Users Say Thank You to Wind For This Useful Post:

    Aianawa (17th January 2021), Aragorn (13th January 2021), Chris (13th January 2021), Dreamtimer (14th January 2021), Elen (13th January 2021), NotAPretender (13th January 2021), Octopus Garden (17th January 2021)

  19. #775
    Administrator Aragorn's Avatar
    Join Date
    17th March 2015
    Location
    Middle-Earth
    Posts
    15,855
    Thanks
    71,941
    Thanked 66,779 Times in 15,851 Posts
    Quote Originally posted by Wind View Post
    Quote Originally posted by Aragorn View Post
    Can you say "Nigel Farage", "UKIP" and "Brexit"?
    I'm very familiar with that fella, wasn't he Trump's great friend too?
    Oh yes, he is.
    = DEATH BEFORE DISHONOR =

  20. The Following 7 Users Say Thank You to Aragorn For This Useful Post:

    Aianawa (17th January 2021), Chris (13th January 2021), Dreamtimer (14th January 2021), Elen (13th January 2021), NotAPretender (13th January 2021), Octopus Garden (17th January 2021), Wind (13th January 2021)

  21. #776
    Senior Member Hungary
    Join Date
    10th July 2018
    Posts
    1,262
    Thanks
    3,213
    Thanked 6,159 Times in 1,256 Posts
    Quote Originally posted by Wind View Post
    Here in Finland we have a party called Finns party and right now it's the most popular party in polls. In theory they are against immigration and the EU and supporting the common man, but I don't buy that populist shit. Unfortunately that party has many bigots and racists in it, actually it's leadership is downright Neo-Nazi scum and that's why I would not in a billion years support them or their agendas. The good part is that they will never get to form a government here because we have so many other parties and almost none of them would be willing to join forces with them. My parents kinda support that party because of the anti-immigration, but my parents are not racists. They are just naive and of the older generation who want to preserve what used to be, except that everything changes and there is no longer the Finland that existed back in the day. Those days are long gone and it's pointless to try to get that back.



    Not only do I believe this to be exactly the truth, I know it to be true. It's quite simple, forces of light vs the forces of darkness. You may call them angelic, heavenly forces vs demonic or reptilian forces. In fact often the negative ones seem to be a bit reptilianish in their energy patterns. I do not believe that there actually would be any lizard people walking here on Earth, that's just nuts. But interdimensional entities controlling people? Absolutely. That goes both ways though, except that the forces of light and good respect the law of free will whereas the negative forces don't or try to use any loophole in order to override the so called human free will. The Nazis for example were a manifestation of a very dark demonic force and Hitler himself was something quite else. World war II was a battle between light and dark literally, but after that it's not been so simple. Now the game is being played on different, smaller levels.
    yes, very true.

  22. The Following 6 Users Say Thank You to Chris For This Useful Post:

    Aianawa (17th January 2021), Aragorn (13th January 2021), Dreamtimer (14th January 2021), Elen (13th January 2021), NotAPretender (13th January 2021), Wind (13th January 2021)

  23. #777
    Senior Member Hungary
    Join Date
    10th July 2018
    Posts
    1,262
    Thanks
    3,213
    Thanked 6,159 Times in 1,256 Posts
    I am slowly coming around to the idea that the Trump movement is really a form of fascism.

    I always knew that the Anglo-Saxon world wasn't exactly immune to such movements and sentiments, like it imagined itself to be, but it really surprised me that the ones actually bringing it in would be the ones that in rhetoric were the most vehemently opposed to supposed totalitarianism, a collection of conspiracy theorists, alt-righters, Q-Anon believers and what nots. It seems that the face of modern Anglo-Saxon fascism is basically Alex Jones and his posse, which includes the now increasingly irrelevant Orange Man.

    I really quite like Nick Cohen's Guardian column, he always struck me as a thoughtful and measured intellectual and social commentator, so the below analysis is really worth reading.

    If Trump looks like a fascist and acts like a fascist, then maybe he is one

    Nick Cohen

    The F-word is one we are rightly wary of using, but how else to describe the disgraced president?

    Assurances that “fascism couldn’t happen here” are always appealing in Anglo-Saxon countries that think themselves immune because “it” never did. The US and UK did not experience rule by Nazism or communism in the 20th century and the ignorance our lucky histories fostered has weakened our defences in the 21st.

    Even after all that has happened in Washington, apparently serious voices insist we cannot compare Donald Trump to any variety of fascist. Conservatives habitually say that liberals call everything they don’t like fascist, forgetting that the moral of Aesop’s fable was that the boy who cried wolf was right in the end. They used to chortle about “Trump derangement syndrome” that spreads in stages like cancer until sufferers “cannot distinguish fantasy from reality”. They have bitten their tongues now that the reality of Trumpism is deranged mobs trying to overthrow democracy.

    Their silence was broken last week by the historian of Nazism, Richard Evans, who with the effortless ability to miss every point a professorship at Cambridge bestows, decided now was the moment to denounce his colleagues, Timothy Snyder and Sarah Churchwell. They might compare the Trump and fascist movements but “few who have described Trump as a fascist can be called real experts in the field”, he wrote in the New Statesman with an audible sniff. “Genuine specialists”, such as, and since you asked, himself, “agree that whatever else he is, Trump is not a fascist”.

    Before we get to why the argument matters, I should say the New Statesman needs to expand its fact-checking department. Snyder, whose work on how democracies turn into dictatorships is essential reading, does not say that the Trump movement is “fascist”. He writes that “post-truth is pre-fascism and Trump has been our post-truth president”. Churchwell’s astonishing studies of how German Nazis and American white supremacists fed off each other are a revelation. (And I come from the old left and thought I had learned about everything that was rotten with America at my mother’s knee.) When asked, she says she too is careful and characterises the Trump movement as “neo-fascist”.

    The use of “fascism” in political debate is both a call to arms and a declaration of war. For once you say you are fighting fascism there can be no retreat. By talking of “pre-fascism” or “neo-fascism”, you acknowledge that the F-word is not a bomb you should detonate lightly; you also acknowledge the gravity of the times.

    The alternatives look like the euphemisms of formerly safe societies that, like Caliban, cannot bear to see their face in the mirror. The Trump leadership cult, the attacks on any source of information the leader does not authorise, the racist conspiracy theories, the servile media that amplify the leader’s lies are not “conservative” in any understanding of the term. How about populist? If it means anything today, populism is supporting the people against the elite. But what could be more elitist than denying the result of the people’s vote with the big lie, the Joseph Goebbels lie, that Trump won the election he lost and then inciting brainwashed followers to storm democratic institutions? Followers, I should add, who included men dressed in “Camp Auschwitz” T-shirts and waving Confederate flags and wannabe stormtroopers crying “sieg heil!” and “total negro death”. “Far right” and “extreme right” are no help. They are just polite ways of saying neo-fascist.

    In his The Anatomy of Fascism, Robert Paxton, the pre-eminent authority on its ideology, wrote that the Ku Klux Klan in 1867 rather than Mussolini’s squadristi in 1920 could be seen as the first fascist movement. As with the Nazi party, the embittered officers of a defeated army formed the Klan. They mourned the defeat of the Confederacy and did not accept the legitimacy of the US government. They had uniforms, white robes rather than leather jackets, the fantasies of racial supremacy and deployed terror to maintain the subjugation of African Americans. Last week, police sources told the Washington Post they were shocked to see “former law enforcement and military personnel as well as senior business executives” among the Washington mob. If they had known the history of military and bourgeois support for fascism, they would have been less surprised. It isn’t always powered by “the left behind”.

    Paxton said last week that he had “resisted for a long time applying the fascist label to Donald J Trump”, but Trump’s incitement of the invasion of the Capitol “removes my objection to the fascist label”.

    Republicans fear assassination if they vote to impeach Trump. Rupert Murdoch’s broadcasters are delivering barely veiled threats of violent insurrection if the Democrats pursue impeachment. “We see what’s happening around this country, how 50 state houses are being threatened on Inauguration Day,” warned one. “This is the last thing you want to do.”

    I can see three objections to calling a large section of the Republican party pre-fascist. The first can be dismissed with a flick of the fingers as it comes from a self-interested right that has to pretend it is not in the grip of a deep sickness – and not only in the United States. The second is the old soothing “it can’t happen here” exceptionalism of the Anglo-Saxon west, which has yet to learn that the US and UK are exceptional in the 21st century for all the wrong reasons. The third sounds intelligent but is the dumbest of all. You should not call Trump or any other leader a pre- or neo-fascist or any kind of fascist until he has gone the whole hog and transformed his society into a totalitarian war machine.

    The example of the stages of cancer, so beloved by believers in Trump derangement syndrome, explains the stupidity. Imagine you are a doctor looking at pre-cancerous cells or an early-stage cancer that has not grown deeply into tissue. The door bursts open and a chorus of Fox News presenters and Cambridge dons cry that “real experts in the field” agree that on no account should you call it cancer until it has metastasised and spread through the whole body. A competent doctor would insist on calling a fatal disease by its real name and not leave treatment until it was too late to stop it. So should you.

    https://www.theguardian.com/commenti...aybe-he-is-one

  24. The Following 6 Users Say Thank You to Chris For This Useful Post:

    Aianawa (17th January 2021), Aragorn (17th January 2021), Dreamtimer (17th January 2021), Elen (17th January 2021), NotAPretender (17th January 2021), Wind (17th January 2021)

  25. #778
    Senior Member Canada
    Join Date
    30th October 2017
    Posts
    508
    Thanks
    1,716
    Thanked 2,678 Times in 511 Posts
    Quote Originally posted by Chris View Post
    Thanks for the empathy guys. Appreciate the kind words.

    Yip, in my case, collapse has just become personal. Could be worse though, so I'm not actually complaining.

    Kind of puts the political shenanigans happening on the other side of the world in a different perspective. It begs the question:

    Why do people outside the US care so much about her internal politics? We don't get all worked up about what's happening in Brazil, or for that matter Hong Kong, but somehow we think US politics is also our politics. It's not like we get a vote, anyways.
    Oh Chris, I am so sorry to read about all of the collapses in your own life. Hoping your Mom's tumor is benign. You must feel like you've been swept up in a kind of tornado. Let's all pray you land safely!

    Speaking as a Canadian, I can tell you that we are completely 'owned' by the U.S. If we dare step outside of their sphere of influence we would suffer terribly. Many Canadians feel we are a sovereign nation but the Nafta trade treaty compels us to follow American law--even outside of trade matters. It's right in the treaty and why it took us so long to legalize marijuana. No politician wanted to admit this was the reason, but it quite obviously was.

    So Canadians find themselves in a terribly awkward position. Seeing as we are also a member of the Commonwealth, that affords us some protection, otherwise we would have been overthrown militarily within the last 100 years. When the U.S sneezes, we get pneumonia.

  26. The Following 6 Users Say Thank You to Octopus Garden For This Useful Post:

    Aragorn (17th January 2021), Chris (17th January 2021), Dreamtimer (17th January 2021), Elen (17th January 2021), NotAPretender (17th January 2021), Wind (17th January 2021)

  27. #779
    Senior Member Canada
    Join Date
    30th October 2017
    Posts
    508
    Thanks
    1,716
    Thanked 2,678 Times in 511 Posts
    This article explains Canada's dilemma:

    The Globe and Mail:

    Stephen Marche is a writer based in Toronto. He is working on a book about the possibility of a second American civil war.

    Deep in the Canadian soul is the desire for a good long nap. It’s the privilege of being peripheral, this temptation to disengage, to let the world take care of itself for a while, to drift off and hope that things look better in a bit. The election of Joe Biden offers a seeming opportunity to relax.

    After four years of Trump insanity – our country deemed a threat to American national security, forced to renegotiate a trade deal essential to our prosperity, generally overwhelmed with the feeling of being manacled to a meth head on a bender – it’s easy to feel we deserve a break.

    Unfortunately, the Biden presidency will only be a pause, a four-year respite. Every day of those four years will be necessary to extricate ourselves, as much as possible, from the nightmare that’s coming.

    There is a strong hope among American liberals and a portion of American conservatives that the storming of the Capitol represents the moment the fever breaks, the moment the American political insanity, fully revealed, finally begins to ebb. I’ve been working on a book about the possibility of an American civil war for two years now, and I see no evidence to back up that hope.

    Forty-five per cent of Republican voters support the assault on Washington. “There’s a lot of people out there calling for the end of violence,” Rush Limbaugh said on his show the day after. “I am glad Sam Adams, Thomas Paine, the actual tea party guys, the men at Lexington and Concord, didn’t feel that way.”

    Within a few months, the people who stormed the Capitol and smeared feces on its walls will be considered heroes to a significant portion of the American public. You can call it treason if you like, but as Alexandre Dumas said, “the difference between treason and patriotism is a matter of dates.” Those men and women storming the Capitol aren’t traitors to the country they believe they belong to.

    The past four years have not been an exception to the trend of American politics; they’ve been a continuation. Donald Trump is far less meaningful than either side understands. The smartest thing he ever said about his political career was in a 2017 press conference: “I didn’t come along and divide this country. This country was seriously divided before I got here.”

    In 2015, a routine military exercise across the Southern U.S., Jade Helm 15, spawned a vast labyrinth of conspiracy theories. Millions believed their own government was preparing the American people for a Chinese invasion. Others believed the operation would coincide with an asteroid collision.

    Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones claimed that “helm” was an acronym for “Homeland Eradication of Local Militants.” Texas Governor Greg Abbott, apparently swayed by the notion that the federal government was about to seize control of Texas by force, sent the Texas State Guard to monitor the operation. Before Mr. Trump, the disinformation pipeline flowed into real power. It will continue to flow: Internet-generated fantasies move through conservative media into the arena of policy.

    The events of Jan. 6 have been described as an insurrection. They were not an insurrection, and it is vital to be precise in these matters. The rioters were barely armed, they were only loosely organized and they had vague political support, no military support.

    It was less an insurrection than a desecration. The insurrection, when it comes, will be vastly worse than what we saw last week.
    The militias have only begun to make themselves felt.

    The hard right has infiltrated law enforcement in the United States to such an extent that no police department or federal agency could be relied upon in a struggle against white supremacy. This infiltration has been consistent and strategic.

    There have been connections between law enforcement and white supremacists or far-right militias discovered in Alabama, California, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Louisiana, Michigan, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, Virginia, Washington State and West Virginia. These connections number in the hundreds.

    A 2019 poll reported by the Military Times of 1,630 active-duty soldiers found that 36 per cent had seen evidence of “white supremacist and racist ideologies in the military,” a significant increase since 2018, when the number was 22 per cent.

    White supremacist violence, spearheaded by militias, is inevitable. Where does that leave Canada? Foreign governments need to prepare for a postdemocratic America, an authoritarian and hence much less stable superpower. They need to prepare for a broken America, one with many different centres of power.

    They need to prepare for a lost America, one so consumed by its crises that it cannot manage to conceive, much less to enact, domestic or foreign policies. Extrication, as far as possible, should be the immediate goal: Connections with the U.S. are connections to establishments with crumbling foundations.

    There is also the question of the international order and Canada’s place in it. The U.S., for the foreseeable future, will be the battleground for democracy. If Canada wants democracy to survive, it will have to be an active participant. Obviously, our virtues and our self-interest coincide on this point: An autocratic U.S. is a massive threat. How do we manipulate its electoral process and its government to serve the interests of global democracy? If we are too squeamish and too conventional to engage, the enemies of democracy, currently rampaging, will go unopposed.


    Mr. Biden’s victory speech claimed that it was “a time to heal.” We can only hope that was empty rhetoric. The Republican Party, and its wide base of national support, does not believe in democracy.
    They’ve proved it consistently. They’re continuing to prove it even after the physical safety of their own members came under threat.

    There is every evidence to suggest that the moment American conservatives come to any power again they will use it to subvert the workings of legitimate government. It is not the time to heal. It is the time to fight, for the Americans who want to keep their republic, and for us. Premiers, cabinet ministers, chief executives – no naps for you. Time to wake up.

  28. The Following 6 Users Say Thank You to Octopus Garden For This Useful Post:

    Aragorn (17th January 2021), Chris (17th January 2021), Dreamtimer (17th January 2021), Elen (17th January 2021), NotAPretender (17th January 2021), Wind (17th January 2021)

  29. #780
    Senior Member Hungary
    Join Date
    10th July 2018
    Posts
    1,262
    Thanks
    3,213
    Thanked 6,159 Times in 1,256 Posts
    Thanks OG.

    It has been confirmed that she has a benign tumour and the positive covid PCR test is probably still from the time when both me and my sister were infected, she probably had it too, but was never tested. They might remove the tumour next week, if she gets a negative covid result.

    Regarding Canada, I think it will benefit from the disorder in the US, as will Europe. Both territories were de-facto dependencies of the USA until now and will have to find a new, more independent and constructive role. I even think that a number of Northern states will actually end up joining Canada when the US falls apart, with the likes of Maine, Vermont or even Washington being obvious candidates.

    Climate change also means that much of Canada will open up to settlement and become a new frontier. I expect a lot of Americans will be moving there this century. Russia and Scandinavia will probably see a similar process unfold.

  30. The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to Chris For This Useful Post:

    Aragorn (17th January 2021), Elen (17th January 2021), NotAPretender (17th January 2021), Wind (17th January 2021)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •