From Fred’s latest column:
As the sentient have presumably noticed, the United States is in crisis, the country’s problems are profound, intrinsic, without solution, and worsening. When a population reaches the point of despair, even desperation, when it sees a darkening future for itself and its children, people yearn for a strong man who will forcibly put things right. Yet it is unlikely that helicopters of Marines from Quantico will descend on the White House and announce the dictatorship of some general. Military officers are too well paid and comfortable to worry about the country. It is hard to imagine an American Mussolini. Trump is a caricature and no one else comes to mind. Yet “unrest” –less euphemistically, “chaos” on the order of Mr. Floyd’s massive riots, is possible. We have seen it. We can see it again.
Consider America today. By comparison with Japan, China, Korea, it is a barbarity, a dumpster, an asylum, an abattoir, an astonishment. San Francisco loses conventions because of needles and excrement on the sidewalks. Almost weekly we see multiple shootings in stores, high schools and, now, grade schools. Murders of whites by blacks run at thirty a month, the news being suppressed. In cities across the country crime is out of control, the tax bases moving out, bail abolished so criminals are freed in hours. stores leave to escape undiscouraged shoplifting and robbery. Seven hundred homicides a year in Chicago, 300 in Baltimore, and at least twice as many shot but survive, similar numbers in a dozen cities. For practical purposes law does not exists in these ungovernable enclaves. Sexual curiosities, once called perversions, flourish with American embassies hoisting flags in support of transsexualism Mobs topple historical statues. Many tens of thousands live on sidewalks and a hundred thousand a year die of opioid overdoses. The country drops math requirements and English grammar in schools, AP courses, and SATs as racist. The economy declines, jobs have left for other climes, medical care in beyond most people’s means, government is corrupt and incompetent, and wars are unending. There is actual hatred between racial, political, and regional groups. Ominously, gun sales are up.
How is this going to end well? How did we get here?
. . .
The current regime in Washington appears deliberately and intensely divisive. Biden has attacked the South, supporting renaming of military bases in deliberate affront. A thorough racist, he frequently denounces whites. He denounces Trump and his supporters, nearly half of America. He has ostentatiously chosen black women as justice of the Supreme Court, member of Federal Reserve, Vice President, and White House spokeswoman. While these may or may not be competent, he announced them as diversity hires. He is poised to assault owners of guns, sure to provoke fury, has involved America in another war, and wants a federal Ministry of Truth to prohibit ideas he doesn’t like. Profoundly partisan, he makes no attempt to calm things or promote tranquility.
. . .
This can’t last. The hatreds are intense, the guns everywhere, anger growing at crime, something akin to economic desperation appearing. Washington will leave nowhere alone, will not address national problems, will always give priority to its military, its wars and its empire over domestic needs. The hostility that fueled the Floyd riots, the burning cities, the looting and vengeful vandalism, are still there. She’s going to blow. Watch.
There’s more at the link.
Fred’s saying no more than many other pundits (including yours truly) have been saying for a while now (some of them for years). I can’t disagree with his forecast. This is going to blow, and when it does, life is likely to become noisy, precarious and “interesting” (in the sense of the fabled Chinese curse) for anyone in or near big cities. Those of us who are more distant from them will be insulated to a certain extent, but we’ll still have to be ready to “repel boarders” when necessary.
I also agree with Mr. Reed that in the chaos, there will be overwhelming temptation for Americans to elect – or at least tolerate – a “strong man” who promises to take charge, end the chaos and restore order. That’s a pattern visible in history on many previous occasions. It’s very, very seldom ended well. In our case, I expect we’ll see local or regional “strong men” jockeying for position, cementing their local power base (if necessary by exterminating or driving out those who won’t support them) and trading favors and supplies for national influence.
I fear that outcome even more than I fear chaos and anarchy. One can keep local control over chaos, given sufficient ruthlessness, and anarchists can be neutralized. It’s much harder to control a “strong man” with military and/or security forces (whether official or “spontaneously organized militia”) backing him. That goes double when half or more of one’s neighbors may want to support him as “the only possible way out of this mess”. That way lies dictatorship and all its evils. Even worse, that way lies criminal domination of society. We’ve already seen how drug cartels literally control large parts of Mexico, up to and including entire states. Want to see that here? In the upheaval that’s coming, you may. If it isn’t cartels, it’ll be powerful gangs dominating a city (see Chicago, for example, where that’s already a reality), or alliances between left-wing (BLM, Antifa) or right-wing (Proud Boys, local militias) producing the same result.
I’ve spoken often enough about the need to prepare for what’s coming. If you haven’t done so yet, you’d better crack the whip, because you don’t have much time left, and the supply chain crunch may mean you’ll find it difficult to acquire all you need in the short term. I won’t be surprised if the meltdown commences before the end of this year.