Grim Lessons from Aristotle on the Causes of Civil War

Dem’s Banking on America’s Soft Skulls………….

Call this conspiratorial thinking if you want, but the whipsawing back and forth between COVID-19 hysteria and street rioting over exceedingly rare deaths of black criminal suspects while resisting arrest – while we’re being told that those “mostly peaceful” protests have no effect in spreading the virus – is something unprecedented in the history of American media, and while it would appear to defy explanation it certainly does not.

Might we remind our readers that this is an election year?

Let’s remember that 40 percent of the electorate thinks Biden might have dementia, which is not an impression Biden’s latest public appearance did much to dispel. Biden said that he’s taking “regular” cognitive tests, which isn’t something he’d have to do if people didn’t think he needed them.  It’s fair to say that a party saddled with this as its nominee would be interested in creating sub-normal circumstances by which to skew the electorate.

It’s July. The vast majority of Americans are nowhere near thinking about the election. But whatever media buzz there would be about the resiliency of the economy has been buried by talk of riots and mask mandates and assurances that riots have nothing to do with spreading the virus (though bellying up to a bar for a much-needed cocktail is a “super-spreader” event, dontchaknow). If you can’t see that these things are connected, and if you can’t see that the June jobs report is the precise thing the Democrats and their media allies have unleashed cultural mayhem on America to stifle in the public’s mind, then you are not paying attention.

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.
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