Some are wondering if conditions are ripe for another American civil war:
Robin Wright of the New Yorker: “Keith Mines has spent his career—in the U.S. Army Special Forces, the United Nations, and now the State Department—navigating civil wars in other countries, including Afghanistan, Colombia, El Salvador, Iraq, Somalia, and Sudan. He returned to Washington after sixteen years to find conditions that he had seen nurture conflict abroad now visible at home. It haunts him. In March, Mines was one of several national-security experts whom Foreign Policy asked to evaluate the risks of a second civil war—with percentages. Mines concluded that the United States faces a sixty-per-cent chance of civil war over the next ten to fifteen years….Based on his experience in civil wars on three continents, Mines cited five conditions that support his prediction: entrenched national polarization, with no obvious meeting place for resolution; increasingly divisive press coverage and information flows; weakened institutions, notably Congress and the judiciary; a sellout or abandonment of responsibility by political leadership; and the legitimization of violence as the “in” way to either conduct discourse or solve disputes.”
Ross Douthat thinks the more likely scenario before us is the civil conflicts of the 1960s, not the civil war of the 1860s.
“The wildness was what we prized about Treasure Island, what we instinctively knew to be a rare and fragile thing, all too easily destroyed. If our island was also our opponent, busily undoing our efforts to impose on it an order of our own, this was how we needed life there to be. Our labors might appear self-defeating or perverse, but they were also something else: the exertions of virtue.” Life on an island utopia
“While we are overwhelmed by digital technologies these days, there’s a striking lack of social technologies to assist people in asking for help, talking about their experiences, or sharing the methods they use to deal with the darkness. Facebook offered me the chance to ask for help, but any recovering I’ve been fortunate enough to do has been social in the original sense of the word: person-to-person, with friends, family, therapists, study groups, recovery fellowships, sympathetic employers and colleagues, with people I met randomly on trains or in rooms, always in collaboration with others. Recovery is a social exercise that can be assisted but never replaced by digital technologies.” Man down: why do so many suffer depression in silence?