20 January 2021

Capitol Siege: What Fissures Await?

The storming of the Capitol by Trump fans at the January 6th election count has rocked the country. As the polarization of 21st century America deepens, pundits are scrambling for a comparison. Is this like the 1861 Civil War? The 1773 Boston Tea Party? Is it like the color revolutions we secretly fund abroad? Is it going to lead to a partition, like in India? Or to self-segregation and mutual hostility, like in Northern Ireland? 

Is America as we know it over and done?

Since our first great scission in 1861, many have predicted another split. Back in 2010, think tanker Jeffrey Kuhner reacted to the passage of Obamacare:

President Obama is splintering America. The passage of Obamacare was a historic victory for liberal governance. Yet, its true cost may be that it triggers the eventual breakup of the country.

The Obama revolution threatens to tear America apart. ... The bitter debate over Obamacare has exposed the country’s profound divisions. We are no longer one nation or one people. Rather, there are now two Americas: one conservative, the other liberal. Increasingly, we no longer just disagree but we despise each other.

Trump has also aroused such sentiments, as from pundit Elizabeth Drew in ‘The Next Civil War?’:

Although US President Donald Trump has long hid his tax records and history of business failings, he has never made any secret of his willingness to destroy the US constitutional order if doing so will give him a political advantage. Not since the eve of the Civil War has America been so on edge.


Here at TWCS we recently looked at the deepening left/right split and possible break-up scenarios.  But are there societies that have already gone down this path? Where does it lead? What can we learn from them?

Let us take a tour d'horizon...


I. Religious Divide



Some have predicted a Balkans-like split-up of the U.S. in the near future.

Over centuries of migrations and empires, Southern Slavia had become a mosaic of different ethnies and religions. Catholics, Orthodox, and Muslims lived uneasily side-by-side under the strong-man regime of Tito, but when he disappeared, so did peace. The slaughter that followed the end of Communism was the result of centuries of simmering inter-ethnic / inter-religious anger. 

But it shares little in common with the current situation in the U.S.


India partition

India is the textbook example of a massive country dividing itself in two. Centuries of conquest had left tens of millions of Muslims mixed with hundreds of millions of Hindus. After independence from Great Britain, India decided quite simply to split into two countries: Muslims at the far west and east, Hindus in the middle. The partition process was violent on both sides, and not complete—there are still Muslims in the Hindu nation and vice versa (and inter-group strife still going). 

But again, this is not so analogous to our problems in America.


Northern Ireland

After centuries of incursion and oppression from the British, Ireland was in tumult. Partition was also the choice here. In Northern Ireland, an uneasy quasi-segregation is the solution Catholics and Protestants have found. Even so, violence has flared up regularly over the years. 

But this type of colonial conquest followed by religious enmity is far from the dynamic in the U.S.


The idea of a religious split doesn’t seem to apply to us today. While ‘Red’ America is no doubt more religious than ‘Blue’ America, the majority on both sides are (at least culturally) Protestant Christians. Both sides also have their fair share of Catholics and Jews. Real religious enmity (Protestant-Catholic) once existed in the U.S. , but those days are long behind us. 

So where do our real divisions lie?


II. Urban / Rural


We looked last time at the U.S. urban-rural divide, which seems sharper than in any other first-world country.


In all wealthy nations the urban tend to vote more to the left than rural. But nowhere in the first world is that split starker than in the U.S.



Where else do we see such a sharp divide? Has it caused similar problems?


Middle East


The Muslim Middle East shares a similar pattern. The Arab Spring threw into sharp relief what has been true for decades:  In many of these states, the population is almost evenly split between an urbanized, educated, secular ‘left’ and a rural, traditional Islamist ‘right.’ 

As in America, national elections tend to fall on juuuuust one side or the other of this line. (Excluding countries which are divided ethno-religiously where people tend to vote by identity politics, such as Iraq or Lebanon.)




Considered one of the most liberal Muslim countries, Turkey has a population largely split between more educated, secular urbanites in the west and more conservative Muslims in the rural east. Mustafa Kemal’s forced secularization of the country after WWI largely contributed to this state of affairs. The fragile balance is holding for now, despite a coup attempt in 2016 and a ruling party which is becoming more and more hardline every year.





Tunisia, the most advanced country in North Africa, launched the Arab Spring ten years ago and ousted its longtime dictator, Ben Ali. Since then, the country has seen an uneasy shifting of power between secular and religious parties. Here again, we have a strong divide between more conservative rural folk and more progressive city-dwellers. It has not led to societal rupture--for now.




Iran is another Muslim country which often sees a stark divide between its urban and rural voters. In what may seem counter-intuitive, reformer Khatami in 2001 did best in rural areas, while hard-liner Ahmadinejad in 2005 cleaned up in the cities:


Image source: Elections, Urbanization

This can also be seen through the lens of ethnic minorities vs. majority Persians:

This push-pull between city and countryside will seem familiar to us in the U.S. As for Iran, it has managed to stay stable, despite a mass protest movement in 2009 which, we may remember, had American neo-conservatives baying for 'regime change."



Thailand, the only country in its region to never have been colonized, is an interesting case study. It is a constitutional monarchy which has spent much of its history governed by the military elite. 

In the 2000s, a self-funded billionaire populist came on the scene and electrified the rural working classes who felt forgotten. (Sound familiar?) The rich urban / poor rural divide was stark, leading to two factions (the 'reds' and 'yellows') who nearly came to civil war. 

Elected in 2001, Thaksin, a telecom billionaire, instituted a range of policies popular in rural Thailand, including microfinance schemes and fuel subsidies. Thaksin quickly became venerated by much of Thailand’s rural poor, especially in the densely populated north and northeastern parts of the country. As a result, Thailand's power center began to shift from the cities and the south to the country's north and northeast. Thaksin's supporters became known as red shirts.


Opponents of Thaksin, who wore yellow shirts, say Thaksin's five-year tenure was marked by nepotism, corruption and the creation of an unprecedented rift in the country. In 2006, following massive street protests from yellow shirts and an election win for Thaksin’s party, the military staged a coup, setting the stage for a nearly decade-long, sometimes bloody back-and-forth, power struggle.


Could the rural-urban divide in America lead to such a fracture in the future? Some feel that this is the fault line that will tumble us into our next Civil War. 



III. Socialist / Conservative—the ‘Populist Hero’


The rural/urban divide is visible in many countries, especially poorer ones. But another factor driving enmity between groups is socialism/conservatism, most clearly visible to our south in Latin America.


Latin America: The populist hero


Since independence from Spain and Portugal, many Latin American countries have swung back and forth between socialist populism and conservative military juntas.


But politics here is often pigmented. The Euro-descended elite lean conservative and the Indigenous / Afros lean socialist. So the left-right divide is not purely ideological—it is also ethnic, and wealth-based.


Trump himself became a populist hero, the first of his kind seen for a long time  in the U.S. But south of the border, the populist icon is a recurring theme.


Argentina is one such example, with its charismatic leftist leader Juan Péron (his wife Eva immortalized in Andrew Lloyd Weber’s 'Evita'). He drew millions, such as here at his return from exile in 1973:


Argentinian politics today continues to swing back and forth between business-friendly free marketism and redistributional leftism (lately embodied by Nestor Kirchner and his widow Christina).


But now Kirchner herself, the standard-bearer for Péronism, has drawn crowds demanding her departure after trying for a forbidden third term:



Brazil saw similar swings between military governments and socialist leaders. Champion of the poor Ignacio “Lula” Da Silva is an icon to Brazilians:  

He is simultaneously the most loved and hated figure in Brazil, and people's perceptions of him tend to manifest themselves in extremes. Some see him as the man who finally defeated an elite that had been in power for centuries and who used his powers to better the lives of the masses. Others say Lula is a corrupt populist whose only real project was to perpetuate his party's stay in power through dodgy deals and alliances.

His government is credited with having lifted millions out of poverty through economic growth and cash-transfer programmes - no small feat in a country with one of the highest levels of income inequality in the world. This garnered him international fame, and hero status among Brazil's poorer classes and left-wing intellectuals.

Electoral politics tends to be racialized in Brazil, with the whiter south voting right and the colored north voting left.

It is the model to which many believe  the U.S. is heading in the not-so-distant future. 


Bolivia is the rare South American country whose population is majority indigenous. Evo Morales, an Aymara Indian, was the first native to be elected president. He is a hero and icon to millions of Bolivian Indians.

But his redistributionist policies made him enemies among the country’s Spanish-descended elite who dominate the eastern regions. They almost pulled off a secession in 2008.  


Like so many populist heroes before him, Morales eventually fell prey to his own hubris in trying to prolong his presidency past constitutional limits. He was ousted in a coup last year--yet, like Trump, remains an icon to his loyal supporters.



Perhaps no populist hero has been as widely adored—and detested—as Hugo Chavez in Venezuela. The country’s abundant oil wealth permitted Chavez to spend lavishly on the poor, earning their undying devotion.


He survived many attempts to oust him, via coups and recall referendums, due to his unshakeable popularity among Venezuela’s poorest (and most pigmented). The  maps from his elections (declared free and fair by international observers) call to mind Reagan’s legendary landslides:


Who knows where he’d have ended up if not killed by a massive heart attack a few months after winning his fourth term?


Trump resembles all of these populist heroes in more ways than one. He rallies the forgotten working classes like no one else. He stirs up patriotism. He insults the elites. He draws huge crowds.  His followers are fiercely loyal, and his enemies even more fierce in trying to take him down.

But in Latin America, populism rhymes with socialism: not the case in the U.S. Leftist leaders win votes there by taxing the rich and redistributing to the poor. These champions of the downtrodden have oft been ousted by business-friendly (and U.S.-friendly) right-wing military dictatorships (a reflection of their roots in Iberia, where Franco and Salazar hung on until well into the 1970s).

Anglo-America has not typically gone to such extremes. But as we become more Hispanicized (and in general more third-world) than ever before, such a see-saw dynamic cannot be ruled out. As larded as the Pentagon is with globalists, Trump could have easily succumbed to a military coup under the right circumstances--as might his successor in four years’ time. Our future may be more Latin American than we imagine.


IV. Rich / Poor

One of the biggest ruptures Trump has caused in the Republican party is cutting it in two halves, the 'country clubbers' and the 'coal miners'. (That these two groups had come to inhabit one political party is a historical oddity in itself.)

Up until now, the proletarian revolution has never had much luck on American soil. We've always seemed allergic to European-style socialism.

As blue collar workers are ever more forgotten about, the right and the left seem to have practically joined forces in pushing for open borders, 'free' trade, and perks for big business.

But what does it look like when the proles start to revolt?

France's 'Yellow Vests'


The  last presidential election in France was a game changer: the two big parties (socialist and conservative) were both knocked out in the first round, for the first time ever, replaced by center-left Macron’s ‘On the move’ party and Marine Le Pen’s populist ‘National Front.’


But back in 2012, Marine Le Pen was up against a classic socialist, François Hollande. Here’s the map from that election:

Rich-poor plays a large part here. The map on the left shows the France of the ‘left behind’, who voted massively for Le Pen. But her party is anti-immigrant, so the big cities, which are made up of poor brown immigrants and rich white lefties, voted massively for her opponent (see blue dots on map on right).


A punishingly high gasoline tax introduced by Macron in November 2018 (part of the ‘green transition’) saw the rise of a massive, grass-roots protest movement all over rural and small-town France known as 'Les Gilets Jaunes,' or 'yellow vests.'   (We did some frontline reporting here.) It eventually bled into the big cities.

This revolt of small-town France has parallels with our ‘Deplorables’ in the U.S. This is the white working class rising up, the group whom globalization has hurt the most. (Conspicuously absent are the Arab and African proletariat who, like Blacks in the U.S., are in big cities living on hand-outs from the left.).

These spontaneous, grass-roots marches ended up taking over the whole country.

The protesters succeeded in their major goal; the diesel gasoline tax was revoked. The groundswell of popular anger, though, hasn’t really gone away—it’s just been forced indoors by Covid. Once the virus is under wraps, will the Gilets Jaunes start their marches again, with their cries of ‘Macron demission!’ (‘Macron, resign!’)?

More importantly, could such a movement of working-class anger take hold in the post-Trump U.S.?  A suivre...

V. People vs. The Regime


Color Revolutions


The phrase ‘Color revolution’ has been bandied about recently in the U.S. It’s a phenomenon which has touched many ex-Communist countries. Instead of two factions fighting each other, we tend to see a large swathe of the population rising to topple a regime they consider illegitimate.


Ukraine is no doubt the most famous example, with its ‘Orange Revolution’ ousting Viktor Yanukovych just after he was elected in a race widely considered (at home and abroad) to have been rigged.

The case went all the way to the Supreme Court, who ordered a new election. This time, Yanukovych’s opponent won by a healthy margin, and the crisis ended peacefully.

The cleavage was real, though. The eastern Ukraine favored closer ties with Russia; the western part with the E.U. This conflict came to a head in the 2013 Euromaidan crisis and Russian annexation of Crimea.


Georgia, in the Caucasus, had a very similar ‘Rose Revolution’, ousting its Soviet-era apparatchik leader Shevardnadze in favor of Western-oriented Saakashvili.


Kirgizstan, in a similar vein, had its ‘Tulip Revolution’:


Most of the ‘color revolutions’ have taken place in the ex-USSR, countries where old Soviet puppets remained in power and the masses were demanding real democracy.

But is such a thing imaginable in the U.S.?


Some think so: Months before the November election, officials were ‘war gaming’ scenarios where Trump squeaked out a victory and the country descended into chaos:  

In its 22-page report, the Transition Integrity Project warned of tactics Trump could deploy to halt counting of mail-in ballots: lawsuits seeking injunctions, shutting down the U.S. Postal Service, or ordering the censure and sequestration of ballots deemed fraudulent.

And yet, while concerns mostly centered on actions Trump might take, the project found that a scenario in which Biden narrowly loses the electoral college while winning the popular vote could lead to outrage on the left, resulting in mass protests challenging the election outcome and perhaps impasse as well.

Leftists activist group ‘Shut Down DC’ was openly promising a Maidan scenario in the event of a Trump victory:   

Even if the result is not immediately known, activist groups have vowed to swarm the streets of Washington DC on election day in an attempt to oust the President. The groups, going under the banner of ShutDown DC, say they plan to disrupt traffic around the White House and National Mall with more than 10,000 people. … 
"We're making plans to be in the streets before the polls even close, ready to adapt and respond to whatever comes our way," the group writes. "We're going to make sure Trump leaves."

In the face of such rhetoric, it is unsurprising that many have felt that anti-Trump forces were planning their own color revolution right here on American soil. 

The January break-in at the Capitol building, however, led some to believe that the shoe was on the other foot—that angry Republicans, feeling the election had been rigged, were about to run Joe Biden out of town on a rail.

Whether it be from the right or from the left, a 'color revolution' in the U.S. would bring us back to a level of conflict not seen since our own Civil War.



 *     *     *


So what can we guess about our future by looking at these examples of deeply divided countries? Urban/rural, socialist/conservative, rich/poor, light-skinned/dark-skinned?   

A well-functioning country, a Germany or a Spain, can swing from left to right to left again without attacks, military coups, or street violence. 

In the U.S. this was once the case too--but it is becoming less so every day. Trump's presidency was met with four years of non-stop leftist street violence, serving as the shock troops for the alphabet-soup agencies trying to oust him in their own soft coup.

Most Swiss, be they on the left or on the right, have the same vision for their country. They fundamentally believe in living in the same kind of society. In Tunisia, that’s not true. Half the country wants to live in an Islamist theocracy, and half wants to live in a secular republic.


What if half of Americans want to live in a country that is viscerally opposed to what the other half of Americans want to live in?


What if one half of the country feels disenfranchised?

Are we heading towards a future like much of Latin America’s? Where a sun people majority and an ice people minority stay locked in political conflict?


Or like the Middle East, where the country folk and the city folk disagree over what kind of country they want to live in?


Or like the ex-Eastern Bloc, where corrupt and illegitimate regimes are brought down by mass protests?

Or something else?


Whatever it is, the fact that our newly invested leader is purging the Inauguration Day troops of those who aren’t personally loyal to him is a sobering sign:


The 2010s, like the 1860s, may end up being a line in the sand. There will be a before, and an after. What comes after remains, for the moment, a mystery. Can looking at the paths taken by other deeply divided societies help us learn what pitfalls to avoid? 

Let us hope so.


Thank you for reading.




Andy5759 said...

Time will tell.

Oh,and God only knows.

Thanks for that, your people have researched deeply and well. They are precious.

I look forward to a big dig into the plague scare syndrome.

CJ said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Thanks for all that you do, M.G.

M.G. said...


Thanks for stopping by. I would love to do a piece on the Wu Flu! So many levels to explore there. It’s on my list.

Next big piece will be an in-depth look into how societies have dealt with what they feel to be troublesome minorities. Dark but interesting, and hopefully with lessons for us today. Stay tuned!

M.G. said...

Anon 7:08—

Thanks for your encouragement. Everything seems ready to topple at the moment; it can be good to see just how widespread this kind of societal division really is. We’re certainly entering what the Chinese call ‘interesting times.’

Anonymous said...

With regards to the Iranian elections and to the Brexit vote, you actually see many peripheral areas including highly rural ones voting on the basis of ethnicity. The peripheral zones in Iran voted against implicit Persian nationalism or rather a reinforced national consensus that may revolve around the bulk of the population who are Persian having an influence on what a new national consensus will be.


Similarly, Brexit could be seen as implicit English nationalism by both Scotland and Northern Ireland, (Where the DUP were the only allies for the conservatives on Brexit, even if they were concerned about possible consequences for Northern Ireland) though crucially, being tethered to England has atrophied the economies of both Scotland and Northern Ireland and both rely heavily on subsidies from the central government (Though it is highly arguable that Scotland's North Sea oil wealth means it is actually being directly robbed and given some scraps back) along with a much greater rural proportion who relied on the CAP payments of the EU which will now end. Again England, with it's much smaller proportionally rural population has much influence and so is unlikely to be a source of support for similar subsidies, at least not as reliably.

It's not a matter of 'nationalism', it's a matter of whose nationalism.

Anonymous said...

When you leave a greater union to a more tightly defined one, smaller ethnicities can feel like they're being not going from being locked up in the larger union to being locked up with the core ethnicity that now as greater ability to define policy and agenda to it's purposes at the expense of the smaller ethnicities or so they fear.

You saw this with the Orkney islands being a conspicuous outlier in voting patterns for Scottish independence in terms of their near total support for the union. They didn't want to be locked in with the Scots and forgotten even if it's questionable just how 'Nordic' the Orcadians are at this point or ever were in terms of ancestry. They'd rather being a little fish in a big pond with larger potential subsidies and access to greater resources of education etc than a small fish in a small pond. Whereas usually the core population is very willing to sacrifice near and even long term material benefit for self-determination, the Orcadians didn't see themselves as 'Scots'.

M.G. said...

Anon 6:10--

Great point about 'whose nationalism.' I like this map from Griggs & Hocknell where they show the 'nations of Europe' (they claim there are over 100):


We went from small fiefdoms to nation-states to empires then back to nation-states and now, it seems, ever more disaggregation. I really feel this is the trend going forward. All those separatist movements, from Catalonia to Scotland to Northern Italy to Belgium almost breaking up--and that's just in Europe. The nation-state is becoming obsolete in a lot of people's minds, smaller regions and ethnies feel they deserve more independence.

I didn't know that about Persia's ethnic periphery, very interesting. I've added your map into the post. Thank you for sharing it.

M.G. said...

Anon 6:18--

They'd rather being a little fish in a big pond with larger potential subsidies and access to greater resources of education etc than a small fish in a small pond.

This reminds me of how some native tribes in South America welcomed the Spanish conquerors at first, assuming they'd get a better deal from them than from the Maya or Inca or whomever was oppressing them at the time. History is made up of few conquerors and many conquered--for most groups, it's always been about securing the best deal for themselves, paying danegeld to the bullies that will give them the best protection / most freedom / most goodies / etc. Ethnically close or ethnically far had little to do with it.

Anonymous said...

I don't know that separatism can ever be termed a 'retreat' from nationalism or the nation state, they're seeking to make even more defined new nation states. It is nationalism. Northern Italians are ethnically different from the south (Though, with unending migration from the South, how much longer?), Basques and Catalans are distinct peoples. Scots are a different people to the English.

They don't see themselves as 'regions'.

Though that map of Europe is insanely exaggerated and doesn't make distinctions between attempts to make new states and attempts to join with other states or even just increased autonomy or recognition.

Scania leaving Sweden or Livians in Latvia are treated the same as Scotland or Catalonia.

2Chron714 said...

Some interesting parallels, but note that in most 'modern' cases up until total (((media))) saturation has been achieved, the divides can be drawn along racial lines; Whites seem to be more 'conservative' - and productive - whilst the darker races are more 'communistic and parasitical. This is true in America even much more than Latin or eastern countries. Its a fact that cannot be argued. The only difference now is the complete control over media exercised by one (((group))) and their relentless propaganda push for extreme leftism and White replacement.
As for America, we know what happens when peaceful secession is tried - the marxist and food dependent side resorts to violence and invades the seceding, productive area with help and financing from "internationalists" and "bankers", punishing the citizens with brutal violence and continued oppression from now on.
Left to our own devices, and as originally envisioned, we wouldnt be having this problem in America. This country was clearly founded upon certain, Biblically based principles and was intended to be ONLY for White people [who have His law 'written upon their hearts]- just read the writings and the laws from founding. Oh, there will always be differences of opinion and opportunists trying to profit off the largess of the populace and its treasury, but , with an intelligent, moral and racially homogenous population, theses instances are few and problems are solved without internal violence.
However... we do NOT have a country as envisioned and established. The miasma of multiculturism, idiocy and treachery that is modern amerika is so far beyond what the Founders ever could conceive as to beggar belief. So what now? Well, in the short term - and I fear for quite a while - we will see the daily increase of communism, oppression and attempted White genocide marching across the land. People will put up with it and put up with it, because most White folk just want to be left alone to live their lives as peacefully as possible. But the time is coming when finally the goyim will say 'enough!' and push back. And the pushback will be violent and terrible; the left will not know what hit them and the eradication of troublesome sects of society will be swift and vicious. Jews and their pet minorities along with their champagne socialist 'useful idiots' would do well do simply leave us alone and continue their parasitic existence as is. But enough is never enough to these types - history proves that. Or, simply secede since they hate us so much and dont want us around, except of course then, the 'blue' areas and populations would starve and be unable to keep the lights on, as the 'red' areas and people are the ones who do all the work.
Regrettably, I see nothing but violence on a massive scale in store for this country.
One other thing to consider: once this country has either crumbled economically and socially, or at the outbreak of 'civil war' , there is the problem of the red chinese. They have openly stated their intent to come and steal this land. Being the sneaky, opportunistic barbarians that they are, we will undoubtedly have to fight them also, as well as their minions from the 'blue' areas. Red china has close to a million - approximately 850k - troops already positioned outside of each of our borders as we speak. Of course, if joe and the ho get away with giving everything to them as they are on track to do before We finally wake up, that might not be needed.

Anonymous said...

2Chron741--The divides are not necessarily drawn along racial lines, as you are neglecting to account for religion. One's faith trumps one's skin suit. Whites collectively are not "conservative", as each person has their own ideological framework. There is no White replacement. America was founded for a host of reasons, but it was not intended for exclusively white people. This push back you discuss, I've heard that same argument for 40 years. Besides, why aren't you doing something about it?