There are a lot of people out there, mainly in the media, referencing a looming civil war. That’s sensationalist and patently ridiculous. It will never happen. It’s also an extremely unhelpful theme for our content. Producing that stuff makes it difficult for the thoughtful and well-informed to take you seriously. Dysfunction and deprivation leading to social fracture is a much better talking point.
There are plenty of real cases to examine and consider. Here’s one: Martin County in Eastern Kentucky. It was in the news last week. With local industry gone and municipal finances in dire straits, the situation is pretty grim. It’s saddled with debt. The county’s roads are in terrible condition and getting worse. It has failing water infrastructure that’s leading to groundwater contamination. Kentucky itself is in pretty bad financial shape, so help is sparse.
Of course, it’s also plagued by opioids. Martin can only afford the sheriff and a single over-worked deputy. There’s nothing much they can do about crime. If someone breaks into a house, that’s basically too bad. The sheriff acknowledges the absence of law-and-order, recommending guns and “biting dogs” as the best security measures.
This is a story that will play out again and again. Across the nation, states and municipalities are entering an unprecedented era of fiscal crisis. In unfunded pension liabilities alone, they’re nearly 7 trillion in the hole. Add on a few trillion more in myriad debts. The American Society of Civil Engineers rates infrastructure nationwide at D+. Financial estimates of this deficiency often exceed 5 trillion.
The productive white population is contracting as 10,000 Boomers exit the workforce each day. At the federal level, their unfunded liabilities far exceed the national debt. Meanwhile, cheap laborers and their families, who must be subsidized, flood in from the 3rd World. There’s no positive trend here. In California for example, the majority kids are non-white by a wide margin. Less than 40% can pass a basic math test. Do you see a big crop of civil engineers on the way?
We’re not living in a country where Red and Blue are mobilizing to fight. It’s a 1st-world nation devolving into 3rd-world dysfunction. The legacy population doesn’t have a frame of reference, but sadly it will get acquainted. This is a long process, especially at a national scale. It’s not an event.
Martin County, rural and white, is much better suited to handle falling apart than a city like Philly or Baltimore. Some residents volunteer as deputies, and others even donate cash in person to the sheriff. Rural people are much better suited to self-reliance. There won’t be any riots. Plenty of urban areas seemed destined to go up in flames as feral denizens living in child-like dependency become dissatisfied with a declining quality and quantity of free stuff.
There’s a common maxim: Diversity + Proximity = War. The equation actually needs a third variable to produce such an outcome: Scarcity. That’s the primary driver of social conflict. If everyone has jobs or handouts, adequate government services, and the police are well-manned and sufficiently paid, then conflagrations like the LA Riots are an aberration. When there’s no longer enough to go around, things like the Yellow Vest Movement get underway. This is the inexorable trend for the foreseeable future.
What if Martin County had plenty of diversity and a much higher population density? How would residents organize for security in the absence of sufficient law enforcement? It’s a much more realistic scenario to contemplate than civil war.