Good afternoon, Netizens...
A good friend forwarded this rather lengthy piece to me and, upon reading it through twice, I began to listen and anticipate what the author had to say. Could it happen here, in the land of milk and honey? The author of this piece accepts that it might happen, asserting that it happened once before in history. It is a good tidbit for thought nonetheless.
"Civil War in the United States?"
By Immanuel Wallerstein
We are getting accustomed to all sorts of breakdowns of taboos. The
world press is full of discussion about whether it would be a good
idea to "nationalize" banks. None other than Alan Greenspan, disciple
of the superlibertarian prophet of pure market capitalism, Ayn Rand,
has recently said that we have to nationalize banks once every
hundred years, and this may be that moment. Conservative Republican
Senator Lindsay Graham agreed with him. Left Keynesian Alan Blinder
discussed the pros and cons of this idea. And while he thinks the cons are a bit bigger than the pros, he was willing to spend public intellectual energy writing about this in the New York Times.
Well, after hearing nationalization proposals by arch-conservative notables, we are now hearing serious discussions about the possibilities of civil war in the United States. Zbigniew Brzezinski,
apostle of anti-Communist ideology and President Carter's National Security Advisor, appeared on a morning television talk show on February 17, and was asked to discuss his previous mention of the possibility of class conflict in the United States in the wake of the
worldwide economic collapse.
Brzezinski said he was worried about it because of the prospect of
"millions and millions of unemployed people facing dire straits,"
people who have become aware "of this extraordinary wealth that was
transferred to a few individuals without historical precedent in
He reminded the listeners that, when there was a massive banking
crisis in 1907, the great financier, J.P. Morgan, invited a group of
wealthy financiers to his home, locked them in his library, and
wouldn't let them out until they all kicked in money for a fund to
stabilize the banks. Brzezinski said: "Where is the monied class
today? Why aren't they doing something: about the people who made billions?"
In the absence of their doing something on a voluntary basis,
Brzezinski said, "there's going to be growing conflict between the
classes and if people are unemployed and really hurting, hell, there
could even be riots!"
Almost simultaneously, a European agency called LEAP/Europe that
issues monthly confidential Global Europe Anticipation Bulletins for
its clients - politicians, public servants, businessmen, and
investors - devoted its February issue to global geopolitical
dislocation. The report did not paint a pretty picture. It discussed
the possibility of civil war in Europe, in the United States, and
Japan. It foresaw a "generalized stampede" that will lead to clashes,
The experts have some advice: "If your country or region is a zone in
which there is a massive availability of guns, the best thing you can
do...is to leave the region, if that's possible." The only one of
these countries which meets the description of massively available
guns is the United States. The head of LEAP/Europe, Franck Biancheri,
noted that "there are 200 million guns in circulation in the United
States, and social violence is already manifest via gangs." The
experts who wrote the report asserted that there is already an
ongoing emigration of Americans
to Europe, because that is "where physical danger will remain marginal."
If Brzezinski hopes for the emergence of another J.P. Morgan in the
United States to force sense upon the "monied" class, the LEAP/Europe
report sees a "last chance" in the April 2 London meeting of the G20,
provided the participants come forward with a "convincing and
These analyses are not coming from left intellectuals or radical
social movements. They are the openly expressed fears of serious
analysts who are part of the existing Establishment in the United
States and Europe. Verbal taboos are broken only when such people are
truly fearful. The point of breaking the taboos is to try to bring
about major rapid action - the equivalent of J.P. Morgan locking the
financiers in his home in 1907.
It was easier in 1907.
by Immanuel Wallerstein
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