Knowing Your Civil War Loyalties

As one of the 2/5 of people in the United States who believe that a Civil War in the near-term is quite possible, it is important to understand what one means by a Civil War.  There are a great many models as to what a Civil War looks like, and the nature of the two sides involved makes a big difference as to which of the sides I would support myself.  I have no particular or consistent bias in supporting “loyalist” as opposed to “rebel” causes, in looking at the various Civil Wars that have come to my attention as a reader of history.  And as someone who is pessimistic about the fate of my own country and time in looking at the reduced comity and goodwill that exists between people in general and that exists in my own dark heart towards people whose worldviews and belief systems are hostile to my own, it is always worthwhile to consider the grounds on which I choose sides in Civil War disputes.  With that in mind, let us begin.

One type of Civil War model that exists in the world, although it is rare today, is that between rival elite factions and their retainers.  The War of The Roses model pits two closely related but feuding segments of the elites and those who support them against each other.  As someone not particularly closely related to the elites in question, I would tend to be neutral in such a conflict.  I would, of course, be hostile to anyone who was besieging or attacking my own town or destroying my own field or stealing my crops and so on, but aside from that I would have a great deal of indifference as to who ultimately won so long as the victory of one side or the other was conducted with a concern for law and order and the well-being of the ordinary people at large and so long as those who ruled did so with considerable competence.  This is the least interesting category of Civil War to me personally because the stakes are the least important.

A second type of Civil War model may be considered as the blue vs. gray model.  In this particular situation we have a regional or local based rebellion against a central government that is viewed as potentially or actually abusive and tyrannical.  Despite a generally anti-anarchical tendency I also have strong anti-tyrannical tendencies and so my preference in such cases is strongly dependent on the particular local identities involved.  For example, I have a strong bias against highly centralized states because of the gross tendencies for abuse that are present when power is concentrated in the hands of one place and one nearly always corrupt and tyrannical elite.  My strong initial bias, therefore, would be in support of those who wanted more regional autonomy to protect their own culture from being wiped out of existence in efforts at nation-building.  That said, it is dependent on the particular cause involved in each case.  For example, hostility to violent Islamist rule would lead me to be supportive of the desire of the Igbo for more freedom from a Nigerian state dominated by northern Nigerian Muslims.  My loyalty to the American Revolution springs in large part from a hostility on the part of a corrupt British parliament to claim that it had the power to decide things for its colonies in all matters whatsoever and leads me in general to be anti-Imperialist.  Similarly I support the cause of Western Sahara and Somaliland to be de jure as well as de facto free of even the appearance of rule by states that are alternatively tyrannical and anarchical in nature.  To the extent that a region rebels because of imaginary wrongs in order to inflict tyranny on its own minorities, though, like the Confederacy in the American Civil War, or in the case of contemporary left-wing Soymalias and Antifastans in the United States, I support the crushing of such rebels with the utmost severity.

A third type of Civil War is ideological in nature.  Specifically from the beginning of the 20th century onward there have been a series of Civil Wars fought in situations where the possibility of peaceful republican rule has become deeply polarized between whites on the side of conservatism, respect for property, religion, and law and order on the one side and between radical leftists with strong influences from socialism and especially communism that are labeled as reds.  In such Civil Wars my loyalties and partisanship is always for the whites and never the reds.  Whether we are looking at cases like the Russian, Chinese, or Spanish Civil Wars and others like them, my support and loyalty is always to the counterrevoltionary side in the protection of law and order against anarchy or against the establishment of a Leftist tyranny.  Regardless of what side actually ends up winning such a conflict, it is my firm belief that we should shelter and support those on the sides of the whites where they lose and are exiled from their homelands and to support the crushing of the reds as a common threat to the well-being of humanity.  To the extent that America’s current ills are a conflict between whites and reds, my sympathies and support are clearly on the sides of the whites in such a dispute.

With that said, therefore, let us ponder the nature of my own particular biases and perspectives as they relate to Civil Wars and which side I reflexively support.  In the case of a Civil War between two elites that I am not particularly closely connected to, I am indifferent to the two sides but in favor of good government by whichever power wins and generally inclined to be hostile to either side only to the extent that they attack my own personal interests.  Otherwise I would simply prefer to be left alone.  In the case of a rebellion in favor of greater local autonomy against a corrupt and abusive central authority, my bias is generally in favor of those seeking greater autonomy unless they are abusive and tyrannical to their own minorities in turn.  The establishment of federal states on the early American or Swiss model in order to reduce intergroup tension is a solution I consistently support as a way of handling and managing such internal pressures within governments or institutions.  Finally, in the case of ideological conflicts where there is a fight between a broad coalition of various strands of right-of-center view as opposed to Marxist-Anarchist extremists, my support of the right over the left is fierce and consistent in favor of the counter-revolutionary side.  Where do you stand, dear reader?

About nathanalbright

I'm a person with diverse interests who loves to read. If you want to know something about me, just ask.
This entry was posted in American Civil War, American History, History and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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