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Thread: Grim Lessons from Aristotle on the Causes of Civil War

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    Grim Lessons from Aristotle on the Causes of Civil War

    I really don't get it. Does the left actually believe that if a civil war does come to pass, that the country will be a better country than it was? The odds of that happening are slim and none, and slim left town.

    They are gonna fuck up the greatest country in the world, and it will NEVER be better than it was.

    Liberal: a power worshipper without power. George Orwell



    Is the United States headed for a civil war? Every new partisan battle feels like the battle to end all battles.

    But contemplating apocalyptic violence and massive upheaval brings doubt: even with all the current acrimony, could it really be the case that the most successful nation on earth is spiraling towards internal war? Isn’t intense partisanship a hallmark of American democracy? At what point does intense partisanship threaten to devolve into civil war? And how would we know—especially when so many of our intuitions are bolstered by unfounded hopes and the assumption that things can’t change?

    Let’s step away from the moment’s heat and look at things from an outsider’s point of view. Aristotle is a helpful guide. Not only did the ancient Greek philosopher think deeply about the numerous civil wars that took place in the tumultuous world of ancient Greece, but he also grasped a profound point that’s easily lost on us: civil wars don’t show up like some surprising and alien virus attacking an otherwise healthy body. Civil war takes place because familiar forces wear down the healthy civic bonds that hold citizens together until some crisis finally triggers action.

    That’s what makes reading Book V of the Politics so unnerving. When we consider the seven long-term causes Aristotle identifies as having the potential to transform otherwise peaceful citizens into would-be factionalizers, it’s startling to find that so many of the well-known proclivities of our contemporary ruling class are exactly those that Aristotle thought would undermine political cohesion and make civil war more likely.

    Changing the Political Landscape Through Demographics

    Aristotle understood that there is some truth behind the claims such as “personnel is policy” and “demography is destiny.” Character and cultural norms structure basic expectations about how people should live together, and so inevitably influence political views. Indeed, this was the idea behind the prediction of an emerging Democratic majority in American politics: “fast-growing” and “dynamic” populations would result in a progressive lock on power precisely because the cultural norms of those groups would motivate left-leaning voting.

    What Aristotle reminds us, however, is that quickly transforming a political order through demographics can be incredibly dangerous. For it dispenses with the notion that politics is a realm for discussion about justice and the good and instead inaugurates a process whereby citizens invested in the existing constitution are simply overpowered. Stunningly, many who rule in western liberal democracies have deliberately embraced this tactic.

    Andrew Nether, the now-famous former advisor to Tony Blair, made the point bluntly: while the huge increase of migrants to Britain was given cover by talk of economic benefits, the actual goal was to “rub the Right’s nose in diversity.” Nether, like the other globalists who embraced such explicitly non-political means to effect major political change, was well aware that this upheaval would produce discomfort, create fissures, and sow the seeds of conflict.

    Unjust Distribution of Wealth

    The reason so many politicians accepted such change was, as Nether indicated, the promise of increased communal wealth. That is a powerful reason: for procuring wealth has always been, and surely always will be, one of the main reasons people seek membership in any community.

    But the mere increase in total GDP achieved through immigration has not led to a shared sense of economic security: for our decision-makers flooded markets with cheap labor at exactly the same time that they incentivized offshoring, cheered on technological creative destruction, and introduced rafts of regulations that increased living costs and inhibited business formation. As a result, as the extreme cases of California and New York illustrate, our rulers have ended up promoting the very conditions that Aristotle took to be the most volatile: a political situation featuring a few dynastic oligarchs who feel entitled to power, a far larger group of vulnerable poor who believe they’re being treated unfairly, and a struggling middle class that otherwise might have acted as a buffer between them.

    Unjust Distributions of Honor

    It’s a mistake to fixate exclusively on these familiar issues of wealth distribution. Commentators too often assume that money alone explains human action in the political realm. Aristotle reminds us that this is dangerously myopic: people don’t come together in a political community merely to achieve a basic income; they make the effort of living together because they believe they’ll have the chance to enjoy beautiful things and attain some level of respect. Aristotle documents many cases where rich citizens, who have plenty of money, unhesitatingly initiate civil war against other rich citizens because they believe their wealthy adversaries were making it impossible for them to find proper respect in their community.

    We should take note. Honor is not some archaic value, and our own cultural elites obviously dole out major awards, highlight positions of prestige, and publicly celebrate specific kinds of citizens for emulation and approval. Indeed, anyone who leans Right has long learned to live with the fact that most cultural honors are reserved for progressives. Nevertheless, though this partisan distribution of honor was always perceived as unjust, it was tolerated: for those on the Right could still go about enjoying their lives, cheering on and supporting their own heroes overlooked by elites. But times have changed.

    Progressives in positions of cultural power are no longer content merely to reserve honors for the Left; they have decided it is time for those on the Right to be actively dishonored. All public statues and symbols revered by the Right must now be toppled and desecrated. Conservatives and Republicans must be “deplatformed” from college campuses, corporate boards, and social media because they should not only be deprived of the honor of speaking but need to be publicly shamed.

    https://amgreatness.com/2020/06/26/g...-of-civil-war/


    Mark
    Race Card: A tool of the intellectually weak and lazy when they cannot counter a logical argument or factual data.

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    Political correctness is ideological fascism. It’s the antithesis of freedom. Dr. Piper

    Gender is not a "Social Construct", it is an outgrowth of biological reality.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 80zephyr View Post
    I really don't get it. Does the left actually believe that if a civil war does come to pass, that the country will be a better country than it was? The odds of that happening are slim and none, and slim left town.

    They are gonna fuck up the greatest country in the world, and it will NEVER be better than it was.

    Liberal: a power worshipper without power. George Orwell


    Mark
    It's hard to figure.

    I think they believe all the signs of prosperity around us, from skyscrapers to department stores, represent wealth stolen from people of color. See Rep. Pressley, "It's time. Pay us what you owe us."

    I think their goal is simply to erase the U.S.A.

    End the country itself, do away with its military, its technology leadership, its influence, its "negative rights" Constitution, and lastly, especially when lack of food and civil order kicks in, do away with white people.

    I'm baffled as to why young white kids, especially the "Millennial" white women, would buy into this. Some may believe supporters will be exempt from the pogroms; their strategy will be to be the most zealous of all. They dare not be outflanked by anyone!

    Others fancy themselves the leaders, the intelligentsia, the planners and directors; and are therefore exempt as socialist leaders always are. They might be wise to consider, really, how narrow the walkway was at the Moscow parapet where the USSR leaders would line up on May Day for the world to see.

    Some are just dimwits and badly educated.

    None of it's good. Most of it's dangerous.
    • “Weakness is refusing to take responsibility for your own actions, weakness is pointing your finger at someone else in a time of crisis." — Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey, blaming Trump.
    • "We hold these truths to be self evident. All men and women created by the, you know, you know, the thing." —Joe Biden, explaining the Creator.
    • "The way I see it, there's always, c'mon, there's always money. It's there." —Elizabeth Warren, explaining socialism.
    • “The interesting thing about the Green New Deal is it wasn’t originally a climate thing at all.... We really think of it as a how-do-you-change-the-entire-economy thing.” —Saikat Chakrabarti, then AOC's Chief of Staff.
    • "We have to stop demonizing people and realize the biggest terror threat in this country is white men, most of them radicalized to the right, and we have to start doing something about them." —CNN's Don Lemon, showing how to stop demonizing people.


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    Civilization is a façade. Its paper thin. Instead of nurturing it, they want to replace it? Idiots.

    Mark
    Race Card: A tool of the intellectually weak and lazy when they cannot counter a logical argument or factual data.

    "Liberals have to stop insisting that the world is what they want it to be instead of the way it is." - Bill Maher

    Political correctness is ideological fascism. It’s the antithesis of freedom. Dr. Piper

    Gender is not a "Social Construct", it is an outgrowth of biological reality.

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    represent wealth stolen from people of color. See Rep. Pressley, "It's time. Pay us what you owe us."
    Dunno how only "people of color" can be poor people of "stolen wealth".

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lady Marva View Post
    Dunno how only "people of color" can be poor people of "stolen wealth".
    Well, only white people can be racist, so it follows. . . .
    • “Weakness is refusing to take responsibility for your own actions, weakness is pointing your finger at someone else in a time of crisis." — Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey, blaming Trump.
    • "We hold these truths to be self evident. All men and women created by the, you know, you know, the thing." —Joe Biden, explaining the Creator.
    • "The way I see it, there's always, c'mon, there's always money. It's there." —Elizabeth Warren, explaining socialism.
    • “The interesting thing about the Green New Deal is it wasn’t originally a climate thing at all.... We really think of it as a how-do-you-change-the-entire-economy thing.” —Saikat Chakrabarti, then AOC's Chief of Staff.
    • "We have to stop demonizing people and realize the biggest terror threat in this country is white men, most of them radicalized to the right, and we have to start doing something about them." —CNN's Don Lemon, showing how to stop demonizing people.


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