The horizon is not so far as we can see, but as far as we can imagine

The US Appears To Be On The Road To Civil War

The simple history of the pre-Civil War era in the US is that the slave states wanted the non slave states to return escaped slaves to them. The free states did not want to do that, and it eventually led to war.

There is something similar going on in the US today. Anti-abortion/Anti-Trans states are making it illegal for people to go to other states for abortions or trans related medical care. Part of the mechanic of that was punishing people who helped slaves.

And here we are today:

A law to protect providers and patients in Washington from out-of-state lawsuits for providing reproductive and gender-affirming care passed out of the state’s Senate Monday and now heads to Gov. Jay Inslee’s desk for his signature.

The so-called Shield Law will prohibit out-of-state subpoenas and criminal investigations that seek information related to abortion and reproductive healthcare services. It will also make it so the governor cannot extradite any person for out-of-state charges related to reproductive healthcare services and will protect healthcare service providers from harassment for providing protected services.

The next step will be to refuse to allow police to execute out of state subpoenas for laws relating to abortion and trans-care. In other words, to protect those fleeing to free states. This is a direct violation of the Constitution as I understand it and indicates the union is no longer working.

This is related to the current jurisdiction shopping where anti-abortion forces are using rulings by local justices in Republican to enact nationwide bans on abortificants, again imposing red-state law on blue states (though they would say this is turnaround.)

The step after that is either succession or war.

Honestly, If it doesn’t divide the country in half (as in separate the coasts) I’d consider allowing succession (though I suppose a bi-coastal “blue” America could ship thru Canada.)

Take this seriously. It doesn’t have to lead to war, but it is a very bad sign.

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  1. Willy

    This issue could be resolved with a greater respect for states rights, as Republicans themselves continuously repeated after the overturning of Roe. Oh wait, you mean they’ve been lying the whole time and knew damned well they were lying the whole time and this is actually about national minoritarian power?

    Plus I’m pretty much done with the child trans panic. Whenever I drive by my PNW exurban town public school zones, I see lots of kids walking during operating hours. Sometimes running when it’s some gym class activity. I’ve never seen a single trans kid. But what I have noticed, is that the mostly white kids of 2000 are now mostly brown kids in 2023, from places like Pakistan, Mexico and Somalia. I suspect that this is the real issue for our “anti-woke” red staters (but they’ll settle for the lie of a full-blown trans panic for now).

  2. Feral Finster

    I doubt it, for the simple reason that almost everyone of influence and authority considers the United States more valuable as a going concern.

    When enough of the people who matter see more utility in breaking the country into its constituent parts, then you should be concerned.

    Now, if the establishment is good at nothing else, it is very good at determining whom to buy off, whom to co-opt, whom to neutralize, whom to ignore. This is how, for example, the Civil Rights generation, people who did genuinely heroic things, they faced down Bull Connor’s dogs,, were converted into Team D machine politicians, how the Tea Party became a wholly-owned Team R subsidiary,

    This is getting harder to do, for the simple reason that there are less of The Goodies on offer. Until recently, if you were white and you lived in America, you worked moderately hard and generally obeyed most of the rules that mattered, you could count on a fairly decent life. Not lap of luxury, but comfortable. Not only that, but you could be assured that if your children did the same, they would have more comfortable lives than you had.

    This is increasingly no longer the case. Superfluous elites are the most dangerous class in any society, leading to revolutionary activism at home and exporting ideology abroad, as shown by Spain in the 1930s, Russian in the first decades of the 20th Century, or middle Europeans in the generation of 1848.

    The question remains whether the populace will figure any of this out, while they still can do something about it.

  3. Tallifer

    I think an even more divisive and important issue might be guns. Rural voters and their exploiters are currently going to extremes to promote guns, and the resultant horror might push urban voters (and educated rural voters) to enact coercive measures to control guns. To anyone outside of rural America, the issue seems to have the moral clarity and violent repercussions of the slavery debate.

  4. NR

    I’m not sure it’ll be a civil war as much as just a general breakdown of civil society (which may be one and the same thing; anyone who thinks a U.S. civil war today would be some romantic blue vs. grey nonsense and not something like Syria is fooling themselves). And this certainly seems to be what the right wants, with the fact that they’ve taken to claiming that any election they lose was stolen.

    The latest escalation in this de-civilizing of society by the right is Texas Republican governor Greg Abbott announcing that he’s going to pardon a man who was convicted of murder after driving his car into a crowd at a Black Lives Matter protest and killing someone. If the pardon goes through and this guy walks away scot-free because he killed someone right-wingers don’t like, this could lead to a lot more vigilante actions in the future. The next time someone drives his car into a protest and kills some people, I could easily see some of the victims’ friends/loved ones deciding that there’s no point holding the killer for the cops and that the only justice is what they dispense on the spot.

    This seems to be the kind of country the right is pushing us towards, unfortunately.

  5. someofparts

    Well, red/blue divides aren’t confined to the coasts. Cities around the country are blue oases in red states.

  6. DMC

    Have a look at the numbers around the Christian Nationalist/Dominionist movement. Conservative estimates put them at about 50 million Americans, dedicated, to one degree or another, to the establishment of a theocratic state in the US. These are the reactionary vanguard. The people willing to kill and die for the cause. Look up Rousas J. Rushdooney for the blueprint for the Dominionist agenda. It’s even scarier than you’d imagine. “Republic of Gilead” ala “The Handmaid’s Tale” is a fair picture of what their endgame would look like.

  7. marku52

    All too likely. At this point there are two tribes-not parties-that hate each other with the power of suns. The results of the next presidential election will be regarded as illegitimate by the losers no matter which side wins.

    The Dems started this with their no-evidence Russia-Gate and used the power of the security state to cripple Trump. There will be blow back.

  8. Eric Anderson

    I can see one bright lining here: The er-emergence of the city state.
    As some have mentioned above, the real divided here is between rural and urban voters. Take Washington and Oregon, decidedly “blue states.” You step outside the counties where the cites are and it gets really really red, really really quickly. Rural legislators in Oregon, for example, are bringing forth legislation to merge the eastern part of the State with Idaho.

    Many of the Red states keep red by statutes that trump municipal codes by state law, and give undue rural weight to rural legislator’s votes. That’s how Idaho, for example, controls Boise — which out-,populates the rest of the State, and is decidedly blue.

    But, one must ask, when the chips are down, who “really” controls the use of force to break a deadlock between municipal and state conflict? For example, Boise has a bigger police force than all of the Idaho State troopers combined. If Boise decides it wants to do something in conflict with State law, who’s going to stop them?

    History rarely repeats itself. But sometimes it rhymes. As state laws become increasingly draconian, I anticipate a blue municipality surrounded by red to sooner or later flex it’s muscle.

  9. Mark Level

    I do definitely see things splintering (at the very least), & think all the Elites care about is the veneer of authority and control (in order to extract resources from us, their “subordinates”.) Recently I read an interesting piece in the most recent 5th Estate issue by a former mentor of mine, John P. Clark, an anarchist professor who teaches at the Jesuit Loyola University in New Orleans. He discussed the fact that now only the (far) Right are good at doing mass mobilizing, since the (nominally but not really) U$ political “Left”/ Dems are just PMC drones who want to run everything thru state, institutional, techno or academic power centers and can’t be bothered to waste time in face to face interactions with the lowly hoi polloi. I think this is quite true. The 8 years I lived in Louisiana I did see a lot of crazy theocrats and white supremacists, I had to work alongside some of them. The Right obsession with Trans people is of course looking for a wedge to go after others, but start out with those considered the “weirdest” or most marginal. Next on the agenda are “slutty” women (those with their own sexual agency who aren’t properly deferential to patriarchal mores), gays (who aren’t like Mary Cheney in the 0.1% because of course such people can’t be attacked), etc. I think that since much of the South never got over losing the Civil war, the splintering of America would mostly be a good thing. It won’t be good if you live in a violent, ignorant theocratic hellhole (Indiana, most of Ohio, the old Bible Belt, Idaho etc.) but may be somewhat more comfortable elsewhere. Despite their utterly fake “Pioneer spirit” it’s well known that Texas takes far more revenue and benefits from the feds than blue states do, & thus its departure would hurt it materially in the long run; so be it. It’s clear that a number of factors in U$ culture (primarily the settler-colonial violence, racism and ingrained anti-intellectualism and sense that since we were formerly “the richest” & “most powerful” therefore QED the “best”) allowed for the cultural rot and desire for primitive Bronze Age strictures and the sense of “security” such “traditions” give. If these people want to devolve to Afghanistan level misogyny, gun loving and queer-hating, sadly there seems to be little to prevent that at this late date. Since I live in Northern Minnesota now, a Blue state which even (shockingly) Michigan has become since the R’s overreached with Alito’s Roe destruction, (Hell, even reactionary Wisconsin elected the nominally “left” Judge Janet last week, thanks Samuel A), I think we would be better off to be politically separate from these wackos, & let them spiral down into increasingly lower levels of poverty, ignorance, drug addiction and violence, as this is evidently what they wish for. . . . I guess the main concern would be that hopefully if any federal government remains to administer the break-up that nuclear weapons be removed from the Red-reactionary states. Bill Clinton recently “apologized” for letting the Russians take control of the Ukraine (also Kazhakstan & I think Belarus) nukes when the USSR broke up in 1991, because he wishes the Ukie Banderist crew had nukes to attack Russia; hopefully there will be someone in power when the U$ breaks up into a nominally post-enlightenment semi-secular axis v. a Theocrat Gun-humping fetus worshiping (but child-hating) axis to prevent the Christofascists from having access to Nukes. That would indeed be extremely dangerous to everyone. (Oh, & in closing I never mentioned the 800 lb. gorilla in the U$ living room– all this “Culture War” b.s. is there because the business and MIC interests are fully in control of ALL levers of government power, & clearly neither voters nor anyone else can get back the “good jobs”, “affordable health care”, “safe streets” or any other things we let them sacrifice to Finance-Capital’s Mammon. But again, some on the right do nominally still have social interactions with others that most of the remaining “middle class” white collar folks have thrown away in achieving “success”. The R’s remain the Harlem Globetrotters who always win institutionally because they BELIEVE in something (albeit insane somethings), whereas the Ds/ PMC don’t believe in anything beyond rent-seeking, complacency and their own comfort, thus always playing the rear-guard “Washington Generals” team and losing as the script mandates. That old quote about the “good” people (even though the U$ is so right wing the remaining pretend-left is mostly reactionary and only slightly better vis a vis social tolerance than the unwashed, scabrous R’s) doing nothing, allowing the evil people and ideas to triumph clearly remains relevant here.)

  10. Jan Wiklund

    I suppose you saw this piece from Peter Turchin:

    “Structural trends undermining social resilience in the United States have been building up for decades. It became clear to me 10 years ago (see my 2010 forecast) and has become obvious to most everybody in the last few years. These structural forces are: increasing popular immiseration (declining incomes, falling life expectancies, growing social pessimism and despair), elite overproduction and intra-elite conflict, and failing state (growing state debt and collapsing trust in state institutions). The Covid-19 pandemic put even more pressure on the system, especially exacerbating immiseration.”

  11. GrimJim

    The split will be more like the bastard child of Yugoslavia and the Warlord Era of China, with the added bonus of general religious and ethnic slaughter of the 30 Years War combined with the Rwandan Genocide.

    The end result will be a series of failed states from Canada to Mexico that make Somalia positively look utopian.

    Peoples of certain races, ethnic groups, sexual persuasions, and religions will be extirpated from various areas; some will be entirely exterminated and/or ethnically cleansed from the continental US.

    There will never be peace between the handful of Blue enclaves that remain and the Red interior. The Reds will starve the Blues in their own cities, further destroying their own economies, which will never recover. All will be blamed on the remaining Blue enclaves, against which will be levied permanent war.

    This is all predicated on some last remaining adult in the Executive branch or Military rendering all the nukes unusable. The last Federal government will be Christofascist Dominionist, and will seek to use our nukes to enforce their will on the world at large (not to mention against our own Blue cities).

    If those are not taken out, all the other possibilities are moot, as the rest of the world will not follow the Christenfueher, and so all will die, either in the big glowy bangs or from the fallout thereafter…

  12. Ian Welsh

    Hadn’t seen Turchin’s piece. I don’t remember when I first pointed out civil war or succession was quite possible but it was plenty long ago, most likely at BOP in the early/mid 2000s in an article about eliminationism.

    Turchin likes to talk about elite overproduction, but he didn’t discover it, it’s been known for a long time and considered part of revolutions like the Russia and French.

    All that said, yup, it’s becoming obvious to everyone

  13. Ché Pasa

    Will we? Won’t we? I’ve pondered this many a time over the years. I don’t know.

    Civil war in the US is not out of the question. After all, Britain had more than one and many formerly united countries have broken up. The US was initially united loosely which helped make the war between the states possible, even inevitable.

    But I’m not seeing the kind of unities within sectional cultures that was formerly the case — in part because it was so difficult to move from one place to another. If you’re stuck where you are — or you like where you are — you’re going to adopt/be part of that culture. But in the US it’s still fairly easy to move and every section is split into different cultural islands.

    There is no way I know of to create the kind of unity within sections that would enable them to go to war against one another. What we see instead is an increase in random violence. rhetorical “warfare”, deep anxieties expressed as hatreds between and within groups, a static, stalled and incompetent political environment and media that uses fear and loathing of The Other to build and keep audience.

    A trigger could start this situation into a war of all against all. But also not.

    More likely is that rural areas and the US Empty Quarter would just cease to cooperate with The Hated Government. And they would be largely allowed to get away with it. There would be the question of all those corporate welfare and subsidy payments though. So it couldn’t go too far. Just far enough to feel good.

    What a mess.

  14. Dan Lynch

    Yes, the U.S. is becoming increasingly ungovernable, though I don’t think the abortion issue will, in the end, be that big of a deal. That’s because even in red states, only a small minority are stridently anti-abortion.

    So why all the fuss about abortion? Because we have non-democratic elections. In Idaho, being a one party state these days, the GOP primary is the defacto election. Whoever wins the GOP primary is guaranteed to win the general election. Problem is, it’s a closed primary, and only registered Republicans are allowed to vote in it, and turnout for the primary is low. The net result is that Idaho politicians are elected by a low turnout of registered Republicans, who are not representative of the broader Republican party, let alone the broader general state population.

    A solution might be replacing closed party primaries with a single general primary with ranked choice voting. Ranked choice would favor the moderate candidates, and help defuse the polarization that currently drives U.S. politics. But neither capitalist party is pushing ranked choice voting (see the Iron Law of Institutions).

    So yeah, the U.S. is screwed, BY DESIGN.

  15. Trinity

    “making it illegal for people to go to other states for abortions of trans related medical care.”

    Should be “abortions OR trans-related”

    “Part of the mechanic of that was punishing people who helped slaves.”

    I’m thinking that it should be mechanics (plural). Or maybe mechanism? Or some other word, maybe, but I can’t think what it should be. This entire sentence really belongs at the end of the first paragraph. It will flow better.

    “using rulings by local justices in Republican to enact nationwide bans ”

    Should be “in Republican states to enact”

    “abortificants” should be “abortifacients”

    Hope this helps, this is a very serious issue, among all the other issues we are facing.

    Please delete this posting, too. Thanks, Ian.

  16. Trinity

    Recently some maps (some good, some bad) have been circulating regarding recent migration patterns within the US. As noted, quite a few people moved to Idaho, but just a quick scan of the maps suggested people moved from expensive housing areas to cheaper housing areas with jobs, like Texas and Florida, or to Arkansas and similar places for just cheap housing, or to places with lots of jobs but expensive housing like the DC area. Almost no one moved to California as the rentier economy there reached all time highs. It was like taking a mixer to the geographic population distribution, due in part to the pandemic. So, one wonders what, if any, all that mixing had in the amplification of the Red state woes. Because this time it is cultural.

    I bring this up partly because the little thinking I’ve done about a breakup of the Union was more along the lines of what migrations would occur, where would people go to get away from the red states?

    But any succession will have severe complications not just in terms of laws, but pretty much in every aspect of our lives no matter which state we live in currently. Think border crossings and state-to-state travel restrictions, new fines or costs to ship across new “national” borders, no longer “free”, easy access to cultural or natural resources, formerly “protected” national parks, forests, lands, etc. The list of complications would break us all. And climate change and it’s spatially inconsistent effects?

    Lots of unknowns, and uncertainties, along with all the other something’s. Food just keeps getting more and more expensive. Something has to give.

  17. anon y'mouse

    if there will be civil war, who will furnish the weaponry to fight it?

    the transnational elites find the US too big a bat in their hand to ever give that up.

    even China will not stop doing business with us, as we make threatening noises at them.

    why? their elites want to make money too.

    a lot of people here display the same inverse mirror image bigotry against rural people and blue staters as you accuse them of doing to your kind.

    also, where will these blue places get their meals, fuel, military conscripts? the ghettos are not inexaustible. and which way will the suburbs—people who escaped the cities because they dislike them or couldn’t afford them–cleave towards?

    our country might be at total divide and conquer because that keeps the elites in control. we are going Brasil way, not balkan way.

    and no, people’s personal stores of guns won’t really cut it no matter the anti-gun alarmism.

  18. Eric Anderson

    The concept of Tiebout sorting may shed some light on the discussion. It’s one of those concepts you can’t unsee once aware of it. It definitely occurring, with some some additions and subtractions to the general theory.

  19. VietnamVet

    The USA has been an Empire since the Mexican War and the annexation of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, California and parts of Utah. All the Confederate Monuments torn down and the recently renamed military bases were built to integrate the back-water South back into the North American Empire. It was air conditioning and civil rights that integrated the South and North, sort of. One event not mentioned is that in 1965 the European preference for immigration into the USA was ended. Immigration from across the globe has driven the US population from 194 million then to 331 million. My high school in Seattle, back then, had one black student. Today minority enrollment is 91%. “Mixed-race neighborhoods quietly became the norm in the U.S.” Since the 1970s, working wages have stagnated.

    The North American Empire has become a global hegemon led by “off-shored”, jet-set, ideologues who are intent on remaining the tip of the pyramid no matter the consequences. In order to rule, Americans are subject to the same divide and rule neoliberal political/economic system as the rest of the world. All that matters is corporate profits. People are “nada”. World War III has started and Saudi Arabia has switched sides.

    Without restoration of the democratic constitutional republic; the crumbling apart will only accelerate. Keeping the Western Empire together is simply too expensive and intrusive. Its only purpose is to enrich a few families and give jobs to the plutocrats’ Overseers. The Empire’s war plans were leaked in a Discord chat room led by a twentysomething gun enthusiast who had access to them on a military base and discussed them with two dozen men and young boys who shared a “mutual love of guns, military gear and God.” The documents were copied and ultimately were posted to telegraph and twitter with alternations.

    There will be no “Battle of Bull Run” with Congress riding out to watch if there is no global nuclear holocaust. Things will just stop working due to the lack of energy, firefights in banks, storm destruction, rising seas, and migration towards the cooler climes. If the Chinese have any sense, they will avoid creating a sequel to the movie “Red Dawn”.

  20. Soredemos

    This seems like a surprisingly shallow analysis. The American Civil War happened because of fundamentally incompatible economic systems, one of which required constant expansion to ensure long-term survival and which threw a giant hissy fit when it lost control of Federal foreign policy, as well as convincing itself Lincoln and the radicals were about to make slavery illegal (they weren’t, and in fact the massive southern overreaction became a self-fulfilling prophecy that ensured the institutions destruction).

    There’s nothing today that is remotely comparable. In fact I would seriously dispute whether there has ever been a civil war fought over kulturkampf issues.

  21. John

    The big difference with the historic Civil War is the fact that the slaves were monetized. Freeing them was a direct attack on the wealth of the oligarchs. Social idpol issues today like Trans don’t so directly attack oligarchs wealth. It is an effective technique to divide the proles.
    With a serious economic crash that destroys oligarchs wealth, all bets are off. Losing the war against Russia and China that the neocons are dreaming of would do that. But then that’s nuclear death for everyone. Game over.

  22. Tallifer

    @anon y’mouse
    I imagine that the gun-owners and gun-voters will be the potential rebels, and that the gun-controllers will be the supporters of a Lincoln-like anti-secessionist/anti-rebel government with its government-armed military: leftists would happily join such a legitimate army (cf Spanish Civil War). As in the 1860s civil war, the army will purge all the Christian nationalists and Trumpists.

  23. Ian Welsh

    The idea that there aren’t also economic issues is amusing. This is a short article which deals with one thread.

  24. different clue


    The Republicans started this with their using their Republican supreme court to steal the election from Gore and award it to Bush. ( In fact, they pre-started it with their blowjob impeachment of Clinton.)

  25. Soredemos

    @Ian Welsh

    Elaborate on how you think these culture wars map to underlying economic issues that would be the actual druvers of a war.

    I don’t see trans issues in particular being a catalyst for anything. There are no dueling economic systems in modern America. There’s only an omnipresent neoliberalism, and transgender ideology is one of its bleeding edges. Even if people revolt against it, they’re just inevitably picking another flavor of neoliberalism to oppose it. Everything is just a commercialized consumer identity now.

  26. One thing not mentioned here is “what would happen to the U.S. dollar if the country splits up”? The planet is awash in greenbacks, mostly the electronic kind on ledgers in countries everywhere. The reserve currency is the money that makes the world go round; the lubricant that keeps the financial wheels turning. If the U.S. stops being a “thing,” so will its money. That’s a big ol’ bucket of sand dumped into the gears of The Machine. America would become an instant Argentina. Nice landform, currency that’s worthless to the rest of the world, lots of citizens doing it real tough as a result. If the U.S. was to go bust, and the greenback was as useless as an 1865 Confederate dollar, all that cheap plastic crap from China would not be affordable at Mall-Wart. Then there’s the chaos that would happen worldwide as IMF loans, mortgages made in Eurodollars and all kinds of commercial transactions were suddenly scrambled. THAT would be the “Great Reset” but not as Klaus Schwab envisions it. More like “The Great Short-Circuit.” Our current global pattern of life would have a Joseph Tainter “collapse of complex civilisation” demise, not a Turchin “elite overproduction” failure.

    I’m thinking the U.S. will go into a “war of each against all” (to paraphrase Hobbes). As NR and others upthread have noted, it’s not likely to be an organised factional “Union vs. Reb” conflict. It’s going to be angry individuals, whose lives have collapsed so badly that they have nothing left to lose, deciding to use their handguns to kill a few of the people who they hate the most, before they go down in a blaze of gory (sic). Stuff is just going to stop working, when any encounter at a grocery store checkout might erupt in a screaming match because someone spoke a phrase that showed they were from the other tribe, or they had a skin colour that someone didn’t like, or maybe they were sexually offensive to someone’s prejudices. When a critical mass of the no-hoper population is easily triggered, and any of them might have their finger on a literal trigger, people will think twice about going to McDonald’s. “Would you like to die with that burger?”

    I’m thinking that in the year 2200, if humanity is still using the same calendrical measuring system, the population of the current continental U.S. is going to be more like 100 million (or less) and we’d be lucky to have 2 billion souls wandering the Earth. (Which will be starting to heal ecologically after so many of us have ceased to spew carbon and toxins! Give it a decade or so for all the corpses to decompose — a fair bit of methane released by that…)

  27. different clue

    Many resenters of the American Hegemony would welcome an American Civil War or Civil Breakdown or Civil Chernobyl Meltdown Event as ushering in the end of the disliked American Hegemony.

    Some of those resenters live in Canada.

    But a breakdown of America on Canada’s borders would pose a higher level of problems to Canada than America as-is now poses. How would Canada like to share a border with a nuclear-armed Gilead Republic of Christianazi Satanofascistan? At least one of the Successor States arising in the Former American Space would be such a Gilead Republic.

  28. Ian Welsh

    As with most things, I’ve written about the perils of American breakdown for Canadians before. OTOH, the increasing authoritarian/fascist swing in America, combined with resource shortages that are certain, means we’re in danger either way.

  29. StewartM

    Dan Lynch

    A solution might be replacing closed party primaries with a single general primary with ranked choice voting. Ranked choice would favor the moderate candidates, and help defuse the polarization that currently drives U.S. politics. But neither capitalist party is pushing ranked choice voting (see the Iron Law of Institutions).

    There are other, I think better ways.

    One would be to abolish districts altogether and elect representatives (at least in the House) by proportional voting, with a cutoff (5 %).

    Another thing that might be to have independently drawn, large districts. Most states, let’s take North Carolina for instance, have geographical separations–the Mountain West, the Piedmont Center, and the Coastal Plain East. Those would be the three districts. These would thus likely contain both urban and rural areas, areas of varying ethnic racial makeup, etc.

    North Carolina has 14 US House seats. You have three districts. Thus, you could say, in the district races, the top 4 vote-getters get in, accounting for 12 of the seats. Then two more representatives could be elected in a state-wide race where the top 2 get in. That would account for all 14.

    That would be a hard system to game. The districts can’t be easily manipulated, given the requirements that they be equal, population-wise. It would be harder to shut minor candidates out. A party that overreached and tried to take all (here) 4 seats of a district might find out that they just split up their own voter base and elected NOBODY. I’m certain you would get a US House, at least, where the makeup of the House more closely resembles the state and national vote totals than it does now.

    North Carolina is hardly alone. I can think of many other states with similar “natural” divisions. But right now, there’s a law passed by Congress excluding the creation of districts with multiple representatives. That needs to be repealed.

  30. different clue

    ” On the other hand” of all this . . . there are still material-interest-motivated actors who would prefer a state of Civil Non-War in order to get their agendas ongoingly met and needs satisfied.

    Here is a quote from an article at Naked Capitalism about the growing feral pig problem in Texas. . . . .

    . . . . ” Over the years federal and state governments have shuffled more resources into efforts to control the pigs, to no avail. “We got half the wild pigs in the whole country, just in Texas, but I don’t get half of the federal funds,” said Mike Bodenchuk, the director of Texas Wildlife Services, a program that leads the state in managing wildlife damage. “We got a lot of pig problems. Way more than we can say grace over.”

    Did you spot the Texas Wildlife Services director’s reference to ‘federal funds’ to fight the pig problem? He wants ‘federal funds’. He can’t get ‘federal funds’ to address all the feral pigs if there is no ‘federal government’ or if the ‘federal government’ is consumed with addressing a Civil War Situation.

    So if the Texas Wildlife Services Director gets every Texan who wants to solve the feral pig problem together as a force to instruct every Texan who is conniving to create Civil War to sit the fuck down and shut the fuck up until the feral pig problem is solved and no more federal funds are needed for it, that might be a force to restrain the Texan Civil War seekers right there. It might not. But it might. And versions of that process might play out in other parts of America.

  31. Jorge

    “Eric Anderson”: yes, people do vote with their feet. I believe that our primary motivator is insulation from people with less money than us. I live in the most pleasant suburb that I can afford here in Silicon Valley, 2 blocks from federal housing (Section 8) and the freeway. I was righteously grievanced to discover there was a stabbing in the police reports for that block.

    School districts are the most precisely drawn social class maps you can find. They have the most precise gerrymandering.

  32. different clue

    I would also suggest that some of the “on the road to Civil War” pressures are carefully managed by pro Upper Class mainstream media, partly to sell more of their own media product and partly to keep the noise level high enough that the quiet thieves can keep quietly stealing . . . analogous to how a bunch of people start a noisy fight in a store so that their quiet co-thieves can quietly grab a bunch of stuff and run out of the store. Matt Taibbi recently wrote a book about the Big Rich Media deliberately and on purpose engineering as much Civil War Preparatory hatred as they can through all their media brain-soakage output. Here is a mention of Taibbi’s book.

    The political Civil War Design Engineers of course also hope to bring Civil War into existence while they still have time ( they think) to establish a Gilead Republic or Republics over whatever territory they can conquer or subvert. The Christianazi Satanofascist anti-abortionist militants are a real group of people genuinely seeking to cause a real Civil War in order to come to total power over at least some American territory. Countermeasures ( pre-violent if possible) will have to be developed with that reality in mind.

    Back to the upper class media’s role in all this, here is an article from Naked Capitalism detailing the New York Times’s well crafted disinformation campaign for blaming the “American people” for the demise of our covid containment emergency safety net. As long as the Upper Class MSM can put the spotlight on “Road to Civil War”, they can keep the cameras off of processes such as described in this article.

    Wouldn’t the Upper Classes be surprised if their carefully engineered “Road to Civil War” takes an unplanned-for detour onto the “Road to Class War” which results in the rounding up and mass slaughter of several million Upper Class people and their mass burial in huge pits and trenches all over the country?

  33. Henry Moon Pie

    Soredemos, you wrote:

    “There’s nothing today that is remotely comparable. In fact I would seriously dispute whether there has ever been a civil war fought over kulturkampf issues.”

    Why doesn’t Yugoslavia qualify? Huntington thought it did. I lived in Istria for a while. They still had the posters on the wall about what you should do in a bombing attack.

    As for the interplay between economics and the very kulturkampf issues mentioned by Ian, consider the case of New Mexico. A little over a month ago, the governor signed into law a bill protecting the right to an abortion and gender affirming child care. The abortion aspect of the law contains no time limit on abortion. Included in CNN’s article about the bill was this paragraph:

    “While abortion is legal in New Mexico, several GOP-led states have introduced or enacted measures restricting abortion, including Texas and Oklahoma, which have banned the procedure at all stages of pregnancy with limited exceptions. In response, New Mexico, which neighbors both states, allocated $10 million to build a new abortion clinic near the Texas border.”

    New Mexico, which also has another neighbor with strict abortions, Utah, is taking advantage of several commercial opportunities in the medical industry. I would expect Albuquerque, a city easily reached by air, to do the same. Maybe Santa Fe will build one for the rich and famous, and Taos for the New Age hippie redux set. I lived in rural New Mexico for a decade, working as a lawyer in Taos and Santa Fe. This law is hardly the product of local agitation for it.

    The governor of New Mexico was touting this on Face the Nation yesterday. She was especially proud of the aspect that apparently allows abortion almost to the moment of birth. She’s the descendant of a Spanish land grantee, the granddaughter of a New Mexico Supreme Court justice and cousin a current Congressman and cousin to a former governor and U. S. Senator, most of whom were Repulicans. Obviously, she’s a Democrat, and an ambitious one.

    Ian is spot on. The breakdown of the Full Faith and Credit Clause is a fundamental weakening of the Constitutional glue making the fifty states more than just a non-aggression pact.

  34. different clue

    @Henry Moon Pie,

    When the Conservanons were campaigning to engineer a Conservanon supreme court to strike down Roe v. Wade, they pretended they just wanted to ” send it back to the states”.

    Well, New Mexico is one of the States they pretended they just wanted to “send it back to”. The New MexicoGov is not trying to force the legalization of abortion within the borders of the antibortion states. It is just trying to keep abortion legal within its own borders and keep itself a pro human-rights probortion state. I don’t see any “full faith and credit” issues arising here. If you can explain them simply enough for simple me to understand, I will read your explanation.

    Now here is where the Conservanon Antibortion movement tracks the pro slavery movement in the pre Civil War time, just as Ian Welsh explains. The Antibortion Conservanon state-govs want to extend their antibortion conservanon rule by force into the probortion human-rights states. There is no Fugitive Pregnant Woman Law at the Federal Level allowing them to do this, the way there was a Fugitive Slave Law. That is where this is different than during the Federal Pro-Slaverist time.

    The antibortion anti human-rights states will not have any legal basis to send armed terrorist commando squads into probortion human-rights states to try enforcing their Christian Fascist state laws in those other states. The probortion pro-human-rights states would have a perfect right to set up State Guards to protect their populations against Christian Fascist State terrorist aggression beyond Christian Fascist State borders. That could be a path to Civil Violence at the very least, a path engineered on purpose by the Christian Fascist states in pursuit of their Gilead Republic.

    The probortion pro human-rights states could fight back by recruiting women to move from the Christian Fascist states to the human rights states. If they got enough women to move out of some of the low-population-at-least Christian Fascist states and into the human rights states, and they could protect the human rights status of the human rights states, they might be able to drain enough brains and numbers from at least some of the Christian Fascist states to depopulate and de-economy them enough to where they could no longer even function as states. They would lose enough population to lose Representatives in the House. They would lose influence and power in other ways.

    This would be a non-violent way for the Probortion Human Rights states to try tilting the correlation of forces against the Christian Fascist states by degrading and attriting their demographic population bases and their state-level economies

  35. Henry Moon Pie

    different clue:

    Article IV, Section 1 of the Constitution reads in pertinent part:

    Full faith and credit shall be given in each state to the public acts, records, and judicial proceedings of every other state.

    And Section 2 in part:

    A person charged in any state with treason, felony, or other crime, who shall flee from justice, and be found in another state, shall on demand of the executive authority of the state from which he fled, be delivered up, to be removed to the state having jurisdiction of the crime.

    Now consider Ian’s example from the newly enacted law in the state of Washington:

    The so-called Shield Law will prohibit out-of-state subpoenas and criminal investigations that seek information related to abortion and reproductive healthcare services. It will also make it so the governor cannot extradite any person for out-of-state charges related to reproductive healthcare services and will protect healthcare service providers from harassment for providing protected services.

    See the issue?

    The Full Faith and Credit Clause is critical not only for criminal law. If I, a citizen of Blue State, get a judgment from a Blue State court with jurisdiction against a citizen of Red State based on contract or torts, will I be able to enforce it, for example by attaching some real estate owned by Red State citizen in Red State or will Red State courts refuse to enforce a judgment from a Blue State court?

    As I understand it, Ian is also arguing that each refusal to honor another state’s judgments is likely to be reciprocated by the dishonored state. This wouldn’t have to escalate very far before things would break down commercially as well as politically.

    The criminal cases against Trump in New York and Georgia are obvious candidates for the match that sets it off. What happens if New York convicts but Trump is in Florida? DeSantis has said he wouldn’t extradite. What then? Send an FBI swat team against the Florida troopers?

  36. Henry Moon Pie

    different clue:

    Article IV, Section 1 of the U. S. Constitution (Full Faith and Credit Clause) reads in pertinent part:

    Full faith and credit shall be given in each state to the public acts, records, and judicial proceedings of every other state (e.g. a subpoena). And the Congress may by general laws prescribe the manner in which such acts, records, and proceedings shall be proved, and the effect thereof.

    Article IV, Section 2 provides in part:

    A person charged in any state with treason, felony, or other crime, who shall flee from justice, and be found in another state, shall on demand of the executive authority of the state from which he fled, be delivered up, to be removed to the state having jurisdiction of the crime.

    Ian’s example, the recently enacted law in the state of Washington, was this:

    The so-called Shield Law will <strong<prohibit out-of-state subpoenas and criminal investigations that seek information related to abortion and reproductive healthcare services. It will also make it so the governor cannot extradite any person for out-of-state charges

    related to reproductive healthcare services and will protect healthcare service providers from harassment for providing protected services.

    See the problem?

    The Full Faith and Credit Clause is essential for commercial transactions as well. If I sue an out-of-state corporation in Blue State and Blue State court has jurisdiction over the corporation, can I take that judgment to a Red State court to enforce it by attaching the corporation’s property, will the Red State courts enforce my Blue State judgment?

  37. different clue

    @Henry Moon Pie,

    I see your point.

    It is the Christianazi Satanofascist antibortion human rights suppressors who have turned this into a “problem” by seeking to exploit the Full Faith and Credit Clause to extend their persecution into non-persecutionist States, just as the Slavers sought to exploit it by exporting their Slaverism and Kidnapping into nonSlaverist States.

    If the Christianazi Satanofascists drive more Human Rights states into becoming Human Rights Refuge and Protection States, then it is the Christianazi Satanofascist States which will be causing and engineering the breakapart of the country which some of them are in fact actively advocating for. ( Marjorie Taylor Green).

    The way to prevent that Civil War which the Conservanons are working for is to brain drain as many non-Conservanon people as possible from some key Conservanon States in order to peacefully attrit and reduce their population in order to attrit and degrade their economic and social power against the rest of the country.

    They can respond by inviting all the Conservanons to leave the Human Rights states into the AntiHuman AntiRights States. Hopefully there will be too few such states to be able to exert any power against the Human Rights States. If those States then decide that they want to seccede to form their own Gilead Republic, we should peacefully let them seccede. And then build a Big Beautiful Wall between us and them so as to prevent cultural contamination from seeping over it from them into us.

  38. different clue

    Well! . . . Anne Coulter ( of all people!) has offered a most excellent compromise solution to the abortion problem. And here is a tweet about it.

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