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The Coming Revolt

A few years ago, CNN reported on a survey indicating that over 40% of Americans believed that a civil war was “somewhat likely” in the next ten years. I dismissed the idea at the time. Cable news always tries to inflame rather than inform.


Of course, I was thinking of the American Civil War of the 1860s. The socio-economic factors leading to that conflagration don’t exist today. There are no clear geographic dividing lines now as there were then. Who would fight whom?


Now, I am beginning to think I was looking at it the wrong way. Maybe civil war is the wrong moniker. Perhaps we could say that the nation is splintering. And that has led to some new thinking about government and society. The national media, based primarily in New York and Washington, reports regularly on the culture war surrounding woke-ism, public school education, reproductive rights, immigration, and the plight of big cities. What’s missing are reports from the hinterlands.


Some believe we are on the cusp of a populist uprising against global capitalism. They are moving to sparsely-populated red states, like Wyoming and Montana, creating centers of thought advocating secessionism at a local level. The idea is to build decentralized mini-societies that would exit from our fraying system. This idea may sound like a pipedream, but the blueprint has been laid out. In his book The Network State: How to Start a New Country, venture capitalist and tech guru Balaji Srinivasan has created a master plan for us.


The core assumption behind these ideas is that our political battle lines are shifting from the traditional left-right divide towards a revolt against globalization. It’s not just liberals who are demonizing big corporations. Now, there’s a right-wing fringe espousing the same ideas. In this view, America is in decline because greedy oligarchs are more loyal to their corporate allies in London, Tokyo, and Taiwan than to their fellow Americans. The result is the destruction of the middle class, whose careers have descended into serfdom. Factory workers must become cleaners, waiters, or baristas to eke out a meager existence.


For the first half of my life, the significant forces of American society were organized around fighting the Cold War. Since its end, the relentless power of markets has worked its way into every aspect of our lives, driven by our smartphones, our credit scores, and online shopping. Globalism may have seemed like the right strategy in the 1990s. However, the result has been the destruction of communities, family farms, and nature. In other words, the pursuit of prosperity has led to the demise of everything important.


So, is a “revolt” in the near future? Will those working in the real economy rise against the journalists, bureaucrats, and bankers in control today?


It might be more realistic to imagine a future in which declining state power, driven by dysfunction in Washington, collapses of its own weight. We are seeing clear signs of it doing so—declining educational standards, crumbling infrastructure, crime sprees, and failure to control our borders.


What would that dystopian future look like?




This is a blog about books, of course. If you’ve read The Awakening of Artemis and Parallel Lies, you might imagine Diana and Gabrielle wandering amid this revolt. How would they react? Would they play a role? What would the outcome be?


Having survived the podosphere, an AI-enabled government surveillance system, and a jump to a new world, would they survive the Great Revolt of 2059?


Stick around to find out.

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There are a lot of people who think back to better times, regardless of whether the "old days" actually were better, and they want them "back." Think: MAGA hat. There is some truth to their grievances: off-shoring of jobs; "right-sizing"; the rise of the big box stores and more. Globalization has hurt a lot of people.

These guys carry guns. They have lots of them. And they are itching to use them. Even at polling places.

If there is a civil war, it will probably look like guerilla warfare, not cavalry on horseback. It will look like attacks on elected officials, churches (Blacks), synagogues (Jews) and grannies in supermarkets and Super Bowl celebration parades. Anyone who is blame-able. The fires…



I've wondered about things along those same lines, John.

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