edgecase
Author: StJohn Piano
Published: 2020-08-28
Datafeed Article 171
This article has been digitally signed by Edgecase Datafeed.
1144 words - 268 lines - 7 pages




Friend:
also reading this, a fan fic of a conflict breaking out in the USA 2020 election https://www.jamesjheaney.com/2020/08/23/and-the-war-came/


StJohn Piano:
how did you wind up reading this?
incidentally, I see the chance of a civil war in the US in 2020-2024 as "not zero". When I was younger, it definitely was zero.


Friend:
Reddit


StJohn Piano:
it won't look like the last one though, with big state-like entities slugging it out. It'll be like Syria.
i.e. loose networks.


Friend:
It's good if starting on very technical legal disputes


StJohn Piano:
aha.


Friend:
But its criticism of the media, echo chambers and trust is great
And how things move from the court to the street
a quote:

"Breitbart blared: "'NO FORENSIC EVIDENCE' FOR DEMOCRATS' RUSSIA CONSPIRACY THEORY," which was largely true. The Huffington Post blared, "'HIGH CONFIDENCE' RUSSIA ATTACKED ELECTION SYSTEMS," which was also largely true. The mainstream media all went with variations on HuffPo for their headlines and variations on Breitbart for their subheads, because that was "responsible journalism" in the Year of Our Lord Twenty Twenty. "


StJohn Piano:
lol
yeah
i'll read it.
"And how things move from the court to the street" -> this might be optimistic. riots start now before the court case has occurred.
and various people have almost certainly been burnt alive in the fires.


Friend:
in wisconsin and portland?


StJohn Piano:
not just there
if riots kick off in 50ish major cities, and arson is a common phenomenon, then people are going to be stuck inside burning buildings.


Friend:
so my understanding is the violence in portland has fluctuated with the presence of federal forces, and that there have been deaths in kenosha
but i would think that the death counts are low enough that deaths by arson could be found on the night or next day
this isn't syria


StJohn Piano:
no, it's not syria.


Friend:
america reminds me more of kenya right now


StJohn Piano:
however, during the initial groundswell, my understanding is that in many cities the police were reluctant (or forbidden) to engage with rioters / looters, and that largish chunks of new york, chicago, etc are seriously damaged.
it's hard to know how true this is, and how to measure it.
one thing I'm quite sure of is that the standard media ideologically support the protests and are interested in downplaying their negative effects.


Friend:
and of course, as i am a consumer of different news, i have heard that this is overstated or due to federal forces' response
and i also agree, during the london 2011 riots, no one in the media supported it. even if they believed the shooting of Mark Duggan was illegal


StJohn Piano:
"and of course, as i am a consumer of different news, i have heard that this is overstated or due to federal forces' response" -> could be a factor. [0]
the striking thing is that this is the playbook we use when overthrowing other countries' governments.
we've turned our own weapons on ourselves.


Friend:
well the story shows that russia doesn't need a particular person to win, they just need to introduce the element of uncertainty


StJohn Piano:
encourage protesters, wait for sparks, blame police, and repeat [1]
I haven't gotten to Russia in the story.
do you think Russia is a particularly important factor in this conflict?


Friend:
no russia is the boogeyman


StJohn Piano:
(I personally doubt it - looks to me as though the US elite has realised that there aren't enough places on the boat) [2]
aha


Friend:
the fact that the country would be fixated on only thousands of votes as controlling their destiny between utopia or dystopia shows how polarised and fragile he country has become


StJohn Piano:
yeah
neither side believes it can survive if the other is in power
I think the loser of this election won't accept the result.


Friend:
yup


StJohn Piano:
"neither side believes it can survive if the other is in power" -> and both are probably correct.


Friend:
there is a good argument that republicans have more to gain from voter suppression or purging of rolls
their base is shrinking


StJohn Piano:
yes


Friend:
and the old tactic of turning white resentment into tax cuts and deregulation only works if the white republican base has a comparatively high standard of living
and whites have seen their standards drop. they also have issues with drugs and unemployment
but the democrats need to reign in protests and riots
a tiny minority argument doesn't work
a tiny minority of right wing nutcases run cars into protesters or drive from illinois to wisconsin to shoot them, and it taints the whole ideology. the democrats need to be more wary of how this works both ways


StJohn Piano:
yes to all.
with a caveat: even if a democrat is wary of the tiny minority argument, I don't see how they can stop their co-party-members continuing to drive forward with it.
in fact, same applies to republicans.
it feels like no one can stop the feedback loop.
when I mentioned syria, I don't think the US is Syria atm.
But I think this feedback loop could definitely drive it there.


Friend:
i think this is how it goes 'things got out of hand'


StJohn Piano:
yeah


Friend:
the story does a good show of no-one acting illegally but destroying public trust in the process


StJohn Piano:
yes
"no-one acting illegally but destroying public trust in the process" is a pretty good answer to "how do societies disintegrate?".
reading back over this discussion, I think it's rather good, and certainly better material than the stuff that's published in the standard press.
I'd rather like to turn it into an article for edgecase.
would you like to have your name on it, or prefer to remain Anon?


Friend:
Anon
Put me as a friend
I'm trying to have my opinions stay light on the Internet
i think i'd sum up as a mixture of an imperial presidency and divided electorate, along with an unrepresentative system (as all elector/fptp [3] systems are), means that people are unlikely to trust the process
when the process is not trusted, then one party's victory is evidence of a conspiracy


StJohn Piano:
cool
will do











[start of footnotes]


[0]
On reflection, I think it is definitely a factor, just not the primary one. If all police overreaction and/or federal responses were magically prevented, there would still be burning buildings, chaos, and killing.

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[1]
I didn't include the final step: Eventually, declare the current President to have been rejected by the People, and insert our preferred candidate, who the People definitely love very much, trust us on this. Now the People are free, but we own their new banks, and guess who they're paying interest to now? Freedom isn't free.

[return to main text]

[2]
And that the inflatable lifeboats have been punctured by miscreants unknown.

[return to main text]

[3]
fptp = "first-past-the-post"

[return to main text]

[end of footnotes]