Maybe not though.
“All week I’ve been haunted by a brief few seconds of video posted on Twitter late Sunday night by a student journalist in Eugene, Oregon. Two men face off at a protest — the one standing on the left is demonstrating for Black Lives Matter; the one on the right, sitting in a pickup truck, is a counter-protester. Each is pointing a handgun at the other’s face at point blank range. …
The left, meanwhile, views things exactly in reverse. The story of the country is one characterized by unjust domination by a narrow class of white, male, heterosexual, cisgendered oppressors, and then a slow, grinding fight toward greater liberty and equality for every identity. Yet instead of giving up its exclusive privileges and conceding the justice of continuing with progress toward ever-greater democracy, the right has mounted a counter-assault that aims to reverse the progress America has made, with the ultimate goal of propping up its remaining power and then actively narrowing the circle of citizenship in the hopes of turning back the clock to a time when white, heterosexual, cisgendered men were in charge of everything. That poses an existential threat to all that’s worthwhile about the country and fully justifies uncompromising acts to thwart its realization.
But today? We talk of red states and blue states, but that’s obviously simplistic. It’s not even possible to speak of an archipelago of progressive coastal cities arrayed against a much less densely populated inland empire of conservatism. The fact is that even small cities in America are significantly more liberal than the small towns and countryside that surround them. I live in an inner-ring suburb of Philadelphia that is heavily Democratic, but just a few miles from my house there are neighborhoods and towns filled with loyal Republicans. We are politically intertwined. That’s the way a country is supposed to be — at least when those on different sides of political disputes don’t hate each other.
Do we hate each other? And if we do, what are our viable options as a polity? I don’t know how to answer those questions. What I do know is that it is long past time to begin posing them. …”
“But conveniently, a group of former top government officials called the Transition Integrity Project actually gamed four possible scenarios, including one that doesn’t look that different from 2016: a big popular win for Mr. Biden, and a narrow electoral defeat, presumably reached after weeks of counting the votes in Pennsylvania. For their war game, they cast John Podesta, who was Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, in the role of Mr. Biden. They expected him, when the votes came in, to concede, just as Mrs. Clinton had.
But Mr. Podesta, playing Mr. Biden, shocked the organizers by saying he felt his party wouldn’t let him concede. Alleging voter suppression, he persuaded the governors of Wisconsin and Michigan to send pro-Biden electors to the Electoral College.
In that scenario, California, Oregon, and Washington then threatened to secede from the United States if Mr. Trump took office as planned. The House named Mr. Biden president; the Senate and White House stuck with Mr. Trump. At that point in the scenario, the nation stopped looking to the media for cues, and waited to see what the military would do.”
I’m convinced it is a natural and cyclical process. Every period of cultural unraveling or degeneration is inevitably followed by a crisis. We have been here before in the 1910s, 1920s and 1930s (the rise of Modernism) and before that in the 1830s, 1840s and 1850s (the rise of Romanticism) and before that in the 1740s, 1750s and 1760s (the rise of Enlightenment).
America had a fierce culture war in the 1920s. During Prohibition, people who wanted to relax and drink alcohol were driven underground in our society for committing what was thought in that time to be the great national sin. The utopian crusade to stamp out alcoholism was written into the Constitution. Back then, the “wet” was the equivalent of a “racist” to the temperance movement, an object of hatred and puritanical moral fervor and a threat to America that was repressed by the government.
It sounds ridiculous and impractical to us now like our present day crusade to stamp out the “systemic racism” of whiteness. The Modernists decisively triumphed over the Romantics after the shocks of the World Wars and Great Depression. Prohibition was repealed. The world was steadily rebuilt from the 1930s and 1940s in the image of Modernism. Everything was changed by the Modernists including how America came to see itself as a melting pot and Nation of Immigrants with no racial, ethnic or cultural core. The past was a burden to be shaken off in the name of universal liberalism and cosmopolitanism.
Like their historical predecessors, the Modernists created their own great national sin, which after achieving a critical mass and permeating and polarizing all of society has to be dealt with in their waning days. The great national sin is now being a culturally conservative White person who is attached to your race. Culturally and legally, it is shameful and against the law to be a “racist.” It is “discrimination” in favor of your own kind. You can’t be a “racist” in the Modernist mainstream. Unlike in previous ages, you can be every conceivable type of moral degenerate and be publicly celebrated for it. You can consume any product including drugs. Modernism, however, is fundamentally about shaking off the past, the liberating experience of being uprooted, transgression and celebrating the self and the other. Modernism is the perspective of the “mainstream” which represses those who reject modernist values.
Okay I'm apologizing in advance for this but I saw it and I want someone to share in my suffering I can't go through this alone?? pic.twitter.com/xrJlp9geJY— Mellie (@pinochetbelle) August 4, 2020
The mainstream Right is a Modernist poodle. It is content to conserve moral and cultural degeneration and repose in luxury. It cuts taxes and slashes regulations on businesses. It polices the world. It only crosses the line into ethnonationalism when it is championing the interests of Israel for its donors. The mainstream Left does not feel threatened by the mainstream Right because it is equally Modernist. It fears people on the Right who are rejecting Modernist values. It is the rise of the “Nazis” all over again. As Obama recently said, Trump is Bull Connor in Birmingham. The Modernist imagination always harkens back to the 1930s and 1940s or the 1960s when good triumphed over evil. It is terrified that “dark forces” on the Right are interrupting the great moral arc of the universe which bends toward perpetual social progress. The whole internet has to be censored and cleansed of the virus of anti-modernism!
If Trump is reelected in November, Democrats are now even floating the possibility of secession and civil war simply because in their minds he is associated with this. Why is there so much hysteria? Why is there this comical and delusional panic about “white supremacy” on the Left which controls the commanding heights of every cultural institution in our society? It is because there is a palpable fear among our Modernist elites that in spite of all their institutional power they are losing their grip.
How many times can you watch Hollywood movies which are remakes of remakes? How long can you ignore all the severe consequences of Modernism and pretend it will work out? How long can a political, economic and cultural establishment hold out that has lost its legitimacy? What happens when the public is no longer enchanted and lulled to sleep by Modernism like in the good old days?
My belief is that Modernism will exhaust, unravel, convulse and destroy itself like all previous social orders. It is Amazon that does the book burning these days in service to a decrepit idea. The country won’t break up permanently, but if it does temporarily, it will cease to be Modernist.
From the Declaration of Independence:
“When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bonds which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. …”
It is an Enlightenment founding.
From Lincoln’s First Inaugural Address:
“I am loath to close. We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battle-field, and patriot grave, to every living heart and hearthstone, all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.”
It is a Romantic refounding.
From Jefferson Davis:
“Fellow citizens and brethren of the Confederated States of America – for now we are brethren, not in name merely, but in fact – men of one flesh, one bone, one interest, one purpose, of identity of domestic institutions – we have henceforth, I trust, a prospect of living together in peace, with our institutions subject to protection, and not to defamation. It may be that our career will be ushered in the midst of a storm; it may be that, as this morning opened with clouds, rain and mist, we shall have to encounter inconveniences at the beginning; but, as the sun rose and lifted the mist, it dispersed the clouds and left us the pure sunlight of heaven. So will progress the Southern Confederacy, and carry us into the harbor of constitutional liberty and political equality. We shall fear nothing, because of homogeneity at home and nothing abroad to awe us; because, if war should come, if we must again baptize in blood the principles for which our fathers bled in the Revolution, we shall show that we are not degenerate sons, but will redeem the pledges they gave, preserve the rights they transmitted to us, and prove that Southern valor still shines as bright as in 1776, in 1812, and in every other conflict.”
An equally Romantic refounding.
From FDR’s First Inaugural Address:
“I am certain that my fellow Americans expect that on my induction into the Presidency I will address them with a candor and a decision which the present situation of our Nation impels. This is preeminently the time to speak the truth, the whole truth, frankly and boldly. Nor need we shrink from honestly facing conditions in our country today. This great Nation will endure as it has endured, will revive and will prosper. So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself–nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance. In every dark hour of our national life a leadership of frankness and vigor has met with that understanding and support of the people themselves which is essential to victory. I am convinced that you will again give that support to leadership in these critical days.
In such a spirit on my part and on yours we face our common difficulties. They concern, thank God, only material things. Values have shrunken to fantastic levels; taxes have risen; our ability to pay has fallen; government of all kinds is faced by serious curtailment of income; the means of exchange are frozen in the currents of trade; the withered leaves of industrial enterprise lie on every side; farmers find no markets for their produce; the savings of many years in thousands of families are gone.
More important, a host of unemployed citizens face the grim problem of existence, and an equally great number toil with little return. Only a foolish optimist can deny the dark realities of the moment.”
It is a Modernist refounding.