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How Civil Wars Start, and How to Stop Them (and why this is relevant for the USA)

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Thought I might share something I've been reading lately, which should be of obvious relevance in the wake of a power grid attacks by fascist militias in the United States that have left tens of thousands of people in North Carolina without power.

Barbara F. Walter is a political scientist who has spent much of her career studying Civil Wars from all around the globe, and has identified a number of risk factors that are highly predictive of Civil Wars breaking out. Worryingly, these risk factors are becoming increasingly prevalent in the United States.

The full video is below, but here are two main Risk Factors:

1) Anocracy - this refers to form of government which is neither an autocracy or a democracy, but an unstable transition point between the two.

Anocracy can be reached from an autocratic society transitioning to a democracy, or from a democratic society backsliding into authoritarianism. The more rapidly this transition proceeds, the more likely a Civil War is to break out. 

2) Factionalism - This refers to political factions in a country being split along identitarian (religious, ethnic, or urban/rural) rather than ideological lines.

Sociological changes which alter the existing power structures within society tend to be the trigger for this kind of factionalism, leading to a situation where the dominant identitarian group feels existentially threatened by the loss of its status within society, and fears reprisals from the identitarian groups which are displacing in.

Factionalism tends to be weaponized by what experts call 'ethnic entrepreneurs', which is a term that refers to bad faith actors who exploit and deepen fears from existing cultural divisions as an avenue to power.


Edited by DocWatts

"The mind is inherently embodied.
Thought is mostly unconscious.
Abstract concepts are largely metaphorical." - George Lakoff

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