In the business world, there are BATNAs, best alternative to a negotiated agreement. These exist in the political world. These are always in the calculus for peace agreements, ending wars, starting guerrilla campaigns, etc. The machine believes it can keep this system going. A dramatic change reduces the economically preeminent, so of course, they will fight it. The politically preeminent believes they will never get serious push-back. While reflecting a large segment of the population, Trump is an aberration in the progressive empire that will never end.
The elite think they can turn the US into a continent wide California with a military for foreign intervention whenever they want. The bright red lights shining in their face do not change their approach. Syria was a definitive loss. China is out of their grasp. Russia has performed adroit work despite sanctions (sanctions actually helped since they devalued the ruble). The American natives are restless.
The elite cannot repeat California because California leaked its right wing population for decades to get to this point. Who do you think gave the Rocky Mountain states their population growth? There is nowhere for the American right wing to escape to. There is also no economic tailwind like the decades of tech fueled growth that California enjoyed. All of the left’s economic schemes are transfers of wealth, not creation of wealth. Education? The uneducated to the educators. Health care? The sick to the providers. Not everyone can eek an existence out of home value appreciation.
A negotiated agreement would be to let the Inner Party keep the woke going in their zones and to let the flyover regions enjoy some small semblance of sovereignty and live relatively poorer than the elite in the blue metropolises. Turn the immigration spigot off now that the outcomes are guaranteed. Knock it off with the totalitarianism that desires to rule not just territory but the mind. What does one baker in Colorado matter? Why do the bathrooms in rural South Dakota matter? Let it go. One could argue the post-FDR arrangement was that the left held the real power but the right would be allowed to make as much money as possible. Declare victory and focus on making the whole empire work better and congeal unlike the Autro-Hungarian Empire.
Really a desired outcome and secretly better for the right wing and heirloom Americans is to go separate ways. This gets floated out for each party when it is out of power and disgruntled by pundits on the left and right. Is anyone really happy with the federal government? Speaking of the feds, the federal response to each crisis that arises must make state governments start looking at their capacity. The Inner Party can brush this all off and say, “haha we don’t care, we will rule“. This is where BATNAs come in. Partition is not a BATNA unless you could find a way to say partition would unburden the left. The right limits and restricts the left from full actualization. If you doubt this, consider that the left has made black students embrace segregation under the auspices of safe spaces.
The sales pitch is possible. You want some sort of partition as the US has become too unwieldy. Any fool who thinks we devolve to 50 small states is trying to scare you out of it, but consider regional blocs (except for Texas and California). Even Matt Yglesias has written about the greater flexibility regional blocs as nations would have compared to the lumbering American federal state. Those regional blocs would be G-7 level nations. No other big power is coming in and pushing them around. This is inferior to the Inner Party maintaining the full 50 state Union but not putting the boot on the right’s neck.
The key is to make the Inner Party see that the BATNAs are all inferior, and that really, they all resembles WATNAs (worst alternative to a negotiated agreement).
“Lost Empire” – Riding the woke train and continuing our current economic system will lead to an easy defeat to China in a cold Civil War. The Inner Party might, just might this is uncertain, respond to the idea that the globe-spanning empire is lost. If the left laid off screwing over it’s native human capital of flyover whites and right wingers, they could have a population eager to help in the fight to reign supreme over the globe. Even a rollback to just the Americas is in the cards (especially given China’s African investments) and would destroy the egos of the Beltway elite.
“War” – Reasonable talk would note that outright civil war is not going to happen, but guerrilla resistance is possible. Hank Oslo has written a series of posts on the murky ways this could play out. If America were to enter a depression that the left would never figure out how, or even want, to escape (see the Obama years), far more men would have nothing to lose. The Irish Troubles, the Years of Lead, the Dirty War are all messy examples and real possibilities. The left’s elite still do not get that their underclass viciously hates the very system that is reliant upon their fake votes to justify their rule. With how dominant the left’s position is, memetically stochastic terrorism is likely. When the Inner Party’s neck is at risk, they can see the negotiated agreement as far superior.
These are all possibilities and feel like remote chances that will never happen, but look at covid. There is no unifying feeling. A corporate bailout happened, and both sides in DC signed off on it. All that has happened is a hardening of both political tribes as masks, data and even medications get politicized. Latest news is Social Security now hits automatic reductions due to funding issues in 2029. Like many of our problems, fixable but no one in a position of power will fix it. Your mom and dad (and you) will see benefit cuts so we can waste money on imperial wars and 3rd world immigrants. Your willpower and drive absolutely will strengthen for alternative arrangements.
On to the links…
Right wing populism gets culture – An outsider view but the take that right wing populism gets that culture and art matter is a good read.
The SJW Endgame This is a great read from Claremont on what exactly is it that the SJW endgame entails. There are no brakes on the woke train so at what point does a faction of the elite say ‘enough’, a Stalin arise or enough of the peasants revolt against the volunteer thought and language police as they turn into bureaucratic stasi.
Democrats Abandon Civil Liberties – Taibbi is freelance or independent now. He is a good critic of the system but still wrapped in left wing garments. Here he traces a strong current of the authoritarian left and their abandonment of being liberal a la the embrace of the IC, the rule breaking to go after any Trump surrogate and lastly, the lockdowns.
US Losing Simulations – This might be a release to demand more funding, but our military keeps losing simulations against the Dragonbear. Not hard to believe since our aircraft carriers are big fat sitting ducks, and we are dependent on absolute air superiority. Easy against goat herders without air forces or missile systems.
2 coasts 1 virus – New York was a shitshow for containing corona, but it was all unexpected when people saw California as one of the first outbreak spots. New York is the supposedly better run state. What if the counter to this is that California is such a dump and is in a much more precarious position, therefore when a real threat emerges, the authorities have to act fast and prevent the entire circus collapses?
British values – Superb explanation of the state of Britain in fiction form.
China gets it – China gets the stakes of their battle against the liberal world order. Seeing the Soviet Union fall was a great warning to them.
Bring back zeppelins – If I were a billionaire, I’d gladly bring back Zeppelin airships for travel between a few key cities. Treat them as an overnight train style transport and you could take a huge bite out of the morning shuttles between Boston-NY, NY-DC, or other well traveled lanes like NY-Miami. It might be possible with well crafted marketing to make it cool, that this could turn a profit. They got SWPLs to buy Stella Artois, so anything is possible.
Sanders’ collapse – Mike Tracey and Andrea Nagle cover the collapse of Bernie’s 2020 campaign.
Covid censorship – The Soviet parallels gain steam as more slices of society learn about the de-platforming and tech censorship when a narrative is challenged. Between this and the ancients at the head of the Inner Party, feels Brezhnevian.