In 2015, expect civil unrest, disaffected police

The astute John Michael Greer, whose Archdruid Report is one of my favorite blogs, predicted that the most important trends in 2015 will be the disaffection of America’s police combined with continuing civil unrest.

He said the morale of American police is at the same state as that of the American forces in Vietnam in the 1970s.  Police feel they’ve been sent into a war they can’t win, and abandoned by the civilian authority that’s nominally their superior.

I think there’s truth to that, although it’s exaggerated.  Rank-and-file police officers did not invent the “broken windows” theory of policing, which is that the way to ensure civil order is to punish every violation, no matter how minor.  Nor are they the ones who decided that the way to finance municipal government in places such as Ferguson, Missouri, is to collect traffic fines from poor people.

civil-unrest-2016Revolutions generally occur when the police and the military cease to be willing to defend existing authority against rebels.

I think there is zero chance that the military or police would go over to the side of rioting black people or even peacefully protesting black people.  Armed resistance is not a feasible option for African-Americans in the present-day USA.

Effective resistance to civil authority, as I see it, would come from armed and organized militias, such as the group that formed around rancher Cliven Bundy in his fight with the federal government over grazing fees.   They defied federal and local police with loaded weapons, and were not met with deadly force.

I believe there is a real possibility that, as the U.S. economic plight worsens, resistance to government could grow and, as military and police morale decline, resistance to government would be tolerated until it became a real threat.

If things continue as they are in the United States, I believe there is bound to be an explosion.  And, given the history of violent revolution, I do not expect anything good to come from such an explosion.

∞∞∞

Here is John Michael Greer in his own words:

Something else that’s baked into the baby new year’s birthday cake at this point is a rising spiral of political unrest here in the United States.

The mass protests over the extrajudicial executions of nonwhite Americans by police were pretty much inevitable, as pressures on the American underclass have been building toward an explosion for decades now.

There’s a certain bleak amusement to be had from watching financially comfortable white Americans come up with reasons to insist that this can’t possibly be the case, or for that matter, from hearing them contrive ways to evade the awkward fact that American police seem to have much less difficulty subduing belligerent suspects in nonlethal ways when the skins of the suspects in question are white.

Behind the killings and the protests, though, lies an explosive tangle that nobody on either side of the picket lines seems willing to address.

Morale in many police departments across the United States resembles nothing so much as morale among American enlisted men in Vietnam in the last years of US involvement: after decades of budget cuts, grandstanding politicians, bungled reforms, an imploding criminal justice system, and ongoing blow-back from misguided economic and social policies, a great many police officers feel that they’re caught between an enemy they can’t defeat and a political leadership that’s more than willing to throw them to the wolves for personal advantage.

That the “enemy” they think they’re fighting is indistinguishable from the people they’re supposed to be protecting just adds to the list of troubling parallels.

In Vietnam, collapsing morale led to war crimes, “fragging” of officers by their own men, and worried reports to the Pentagon warning of the possibility of armed mutinies among US troops.

We haven’t yet gotten to the fragging stage this time, though the response of New York police to Mayor De Blasio suggests that we’re closer to that than most people think.

The routine extrajudicial execution of nonwhite suspects—there are scores if not hundreds of such executions a year—is the My Lai of our era, one of the few warnings that gets through the Five O’Clock Follies of the media to let the rest of us know that the guys on the front lines are cracking under the strain.

The final bitter irony here is that the federal government has been busily worsening the situation by encouraging the militarization of police departments across the United States, to the extent of equipping them with armored personnel carriers and other pieces of hardware that don’t have any possible use in ordinary policing.

This is one of a good many data points that has me convinced that the US government is frantically gearing up to fight a major domestic insurgency.

[snip]

Will an American insurgency funded by one or more hostile foreign powers get under way in 2015?  I don’t think so, though I’m prepared to be wrong.

More likely, I think, is another year of rising tensions, political gridlock, scattered gunfire, and rhetoric heated to the point of incandescence, while the various players in the game get into position for actual conflict: the sort of thing the United States last saw in the second half of the 1850s, as sectional tensions built toward the bloody opening rounds of the Civil War.

One sign to watch for is the first outbreaks of organized violence—not just the shooting of one individual by another, but paramilitary assaults by armed groups—equivalent, more or less, to the fighting in “bleeding Kansas” that did so much to help make the Civil War inevitable.

Greer’s other predictions for 2015 are a continuing collapse of the hydro-fracking industry, more extreme weather events and no breakthrough technological or political solutions.

Click on The Cold Wet Mackerel of Reality to read his whole article.

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One Response to “In 2015, expect civil unrest, disaffected police”

  1. Gunny G Says:

    Reblogged this on IF THE TRUTH BE KNOWN…BLOGGING BAD w/Gunny.G….

    Like

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