August 24, 2017
MY CORNER by Boyd Cathey
Are We Headed for A Second “Civil” War”
I placed the word “civil” above between quotation marks because the War that occurred between the States of the American federation in 1861-1865 was not, in an actual sense, a “civil” war. It was, rather, a war between duly constituted states that had never ceded controlling authority to the central government and which, rather than submit to unconstitutional diktats from Washington, took a stand militarily to defend an understanding of the Federal union that they believed to be the vision of the Founders of our union.
Rather, my question should actually be: “Are We Headed for A Real Civil War?”
Recently, several authors, including Pat Buchanan, have asked this question. They describe historical circumstances in 1860 similar to those we see around us in 2017. While there are similarities and comparisons to be made—and I agree that this nation is quickly reaching a crisis point, a point of no return—for me the closest analogy I see is with Spain in the mid-1930s, and the subsequent outbreak of true “civil war” there in July 1936.
The fall of the liberal Spanish monarchy in April 1931, brought about a period of intense instability. The newly-proclaimed republic was immediately torn between radical extremes: on the Left were a powerful Socialist Workers Party, Communists, Anarchists, and left-leaning Republicans—these groups strong in Spain’s major urban areas; on the Right were traditional monarchists (Carlists) in the hills and mountains of Navarra, Valencia, and Aragon, liberal monarchists (in the 19th century terminology), Agrarian groups, Christian Democrats (the CEDA), and the Spanish Falange (similar to the Italian Fascists, but with major differences, religiously and politically).
For five years the Spanish republic struggled to find some kind of stability. But the radical differences in philosophy, religious belief, and regional background between the roughly balanced forces in the country inevitably meant that no unity, no compromise of any durability could be produced. As the Cardinal Primate of Spain in Toledo wrote in 1936: “How is it possible for a follower of Our Lord Jesus Christ, who believes that our society must accept the Social Sovereignty and Kingship of Christ—how is it possible for such a person to accept the Godless tyranny of, much less a partnership with, the Communists, anarchists and socialists?”
The past half century has witnessed the growth in the United States of a situation reminiscent to that of Spain in the early 1930s that finally led to uprisings by a portion of the Spanish military, together with the traditionalist and Catholic farmers and middle classes in the north of the country. Unlike America in 1861, when the Southern states themselves debated secession, in July 1936 the rising against the Spanish socialist government occurred like patchwork, in dozens of cities and in scattered regions of the nation.
In Catalonia, for instance, while Barcelona remained under control of the socialists and communists, large rural areas of the province rose up with the slogan, “For God, for Country, for King, and for our regional rights!” In Madrid, the government put down the rising, but in the north, in Navarra, Old Castile, and parts of Aragon, the rightist-Catholic-traditionalist forces, in conjunction with army units, were successful.
By 1939, Spain’s Nationalists, its alliance of monarchists, Catholics, and right-wing republicans, with the powerful military leadership of Francisco Franco, had achieved a hard-fought victory; hundreds of thousands of Spaniards were dead, hundreds of churches has been torched, and Spain would not recover economically until the late 1950s.
What various writers have noted in our country since the election of President Trump is a state of affairs that I think is analogous to that in Spain eighty years ago: what we term the “American Left” has spiraled much further to the left, indeed, to extremes not hitherto witnessed in American politics. And what makes this situation so grave is that the Leftist narrative now basically controls one major political party in the United States, and has growing influence in the other party, as well. The media and means of communication, our entertainment industry, and perhaps most critically, our educational establishment, by and large are also controlled by this Leftist template.
Until last year it seemed that this movement to the Left would continue its unstoppable advance, unhindered in large part by a disorganized and intellectually febrile opposition. But the results of the November election and the appearance of a visible and newly active populist and nationalist Right signaled the existence of real opposition. It was, indeed, those “deplorables”—those Middle American Radicals—who blocked the way of the once-thought irrepressible Revolution and its Deep State managers.
The result has been a fierce counter-reaction from the Left, from the Deep State apparatus, its array of government functionaries and politicians, it adjuncts in education and in Hollywood, all under the advance leadership of its zealous Mainstream Media panzers who do not seek “unity” under one flag, one Constitution, or one God, as President Trump pleads. Rather, they seek to suppress and extinguish the opposition, even if it takes open conflict—whether on college campuses, or in the streets of our cities, but more effectively for the moment in the halls of Congress and in the newsrooms of the major media.
But make no doubt, although widespread violence has not broken out—yet—we are indeed in a “civil war,” and that war is not just political and cultural, but also religious, a war for the very heart and soul of the American nation.
This conflict reached something of a boiling point in Charlottesville and Durham recently, but not specifically over those Confederate monuments. Rather, the statues to Lee and the Confederate veterans are pretexts, symbols of a culture, a mode of existence, a faith, that the Left and its Deep State managers detest and which must be destroyed. That they have met fierce resistance, even coming from the president, is both maddening and infuriating.
With these demons from Hell, just as with the Communists and Marxists of Spain in 1936, there can be no unity, no coming together. In the end, one side must win, the other must lose.