October 7th. Where are we now?

As of October 7th 2018 I have the chance of civil war at 49%

Factor Possible Points Current Points
Division in the nation 5 5
Is there a path to fix this divide? 10 8
Righteous indignation 15 12
Does at least one side see a path to victory 5 5
Do the people of the nation believe it is likely? 5 3
How is the economy and standard of living? 10 2
Is there a clear geographic divide? 5 4
Is there already violence? 5 2
Have the violent parties lost respect for law and enforcement? 10 2
Is there main street support for either or both of the violent parties? 5 2
Are the politicians using threat of war for political purposes? 10 2
Is there a religious divide 10 1
Is there fighting over natural resources 5 1
Totals 100 49

Victor David Hanson, Robert Reich,  and USA Today, among many others have all commented on the chances of another Civil War in The United States. This is a good sign. The first step in stopping a civil war is to talk about it. Why is the nation so divided? Why does there seem to be no path to compromise? If we can begin to answer some of these questions we may be able to stop a civil war.

It is also important that we talk about what would happen if there were another Civil War. The first thing to understand is that in a civil war the victory is usually temporary. The loss is always permanent.

Any undertaking like this will of course be subject to bias and per-conceived notions. I created this algorithm because I was concerned that the chance of civil war had reached 30% or perhaps slightly more. But as I began constructing the algorithm and looking at the data I realized it was much higher.

One factor that is hard to derive is a cumulative bump. In some cases religious differences, or fights over resources are enough to cause a civil war Still others, a single political issue can cause violence. What is so striking is how many of these different factors are happening in the United States right now. Only a fight over natural resources, or religion is missing and we would have division at every level.

This is troubling. One could even make the argument that we do have a fight over oil and coal exploitation, which is a fight over natural resources. The only reason I don’t give much weight to this is that the fight is over whether or not to exploit the resource, and not who gets the spoils.

Because there are so many factors in play I was tempted to bump the number even higher than it came out. But there isn’t a big religious divide and the natural resource divide is not over money. Both of those could change.


Righteous Indignation is the most heavily rated factor.

This may seem odd at first. But a cursory study of any war will  quickly show that it is if anything under-weighted. Righteous indignation gives the combatant a moral certitude in the fight. If someone feels they are being morally wronged, they will kill you. It makes no difference if you believe they are right or wrong. If they are filled with righteous indignation, they already believe they are in the right.

Today I have that number set as 12 of a possible 15. I could easily make the case that the number should be higher. The Kavanaugh hearings almost caused me to bump it up to 13. But they are too new. We will see over the next few weeks if that outrage was real, or manufactured for political purposes. But I will be watching closely.


The bottom line.

We are at a dangerous point. We need to start talking about this before it is too late. I believe there is time, but the window is rapidly closing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.