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Saturday, September 10, 2022

September 10-11, 2022: Michael Walters’ Guest Post: Chaos, Order and Progress, in the first North American Nation

 [Dr. Michael Walters’ hybrid journalistic and scholarly work has appeared in The Human Prospect in both 2018 and 2019 –first with “On Overcoming Colonialism, a Dual Case Study”; and second with “On Historical Continuity, Slavery, and Justice.” During his journalism career, he covered talks by Spike Lee and Haki Madhubuti, news and features throughout Hudson County, NJ, and wrote a story on drugs in Greenwich Village, long before the decriminalization of marijuana. In 1997, his Jersey Journal profile of a young man killed during the Korean War brought praise from the Korean War Veterans of Hudson County, and recognition by a Hudson County Freeholder. A story he wrote on the Jersey City school district refusing to excuse student absences for visiting HBCUs resulted in the district changing its stance. He co-wrote Starting and Finishing the Paper: a How-to Guide for Quality College Writing, in 2006. Michael has taught composition in colleges across the New York metropolitan area; since 2008, he has instructed math alongside teaching writing. Michael has written a novel inspired by his postcolonial studies educational background, and the four years of Donald Trump's presidency. For American Impasse, which tells the story of race in the US through the lens of two families, he seeks an agent or a publisher.]

While undoubtedly Donald Trump’s presidency was most chaotic, the perception that the United States has been an orderly stable nation has always been subject to debate, depending upon whose status is questioned. Therefore, while a great portion of the country’s population may feel relief at a new presidency, a significant group within the voting bloc that resoundingly rejected the previous president still may aspire to a more orderly and just society. Simultaneously, the issue of how the wealthier in society may react must be addressed, for portions of society react disparately, when their senses of stability are interrupted. 

While to some the American Revolution, or War for Independence, as the 1776-1781 conflict is still taught in Europe, was radical, if society were dissected into the two major ethnic portions in the newly formed United States of America, there were two struggles subsumed in one. “A black revolution, if not the white one, confronted racial slavery” (Sinha 47).

Whether what United States students learn to be the American Revolution was even successful is open to debate. In a 2011 article on the Arab Spring uprising in Egypt, Ghent University conflict and development researcher Brecht de Smet refers to United States sociologist Theda Skocpol’s “consequentialist” definition of revolution: to call a successful rebellion a revolution, it must entail “class-based revolts from below,” and “rapid, basic transformations of a society’s state and class structures” (De Smet 12). Therefore, Skocpol claims, a change in power does not necessarily equal a revolution, unless the most oppressed ascend into the hierarchy. A less stringent definition of a successful revolution is provided by historian Diane Russell, author of Rebellion, Revolution, and Armed Force. “A successful revolution may be said to have occurred when substantial social change follows a rebellion” (Weede 44). Thus, societies may want order restored after years of rebellion, but whether that process brings progress for the society will depend upon which segment of the society is analyzed.

If Skocpol’s definition is applied to every violent transfer of power, then very few would meet the sociologist’s criteria for a successful revolution. However, historian Russell’s definition of attaining freedom from under an oppressor’s boot may be too broad. Regarding the process by which British North America became the United States, the revolutionary event was the initial separation of an American colony from a European power. Perhaps accompanying this journey was national social change, but such is harder to define, thus inserting greater subjectivity to whether attempted usurpations accomplish their goals. In the United States, many colonial leaders retained their status after 1781. Even abolitionist founding fathers John Adams and Benjamin Rush were not impoverished, and their slave owning brethren among the signers of the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution certainly did not want to see their chattel attain power over them.

Attempted insurrectionists from around their country, indicating at least somewhat elevated class status because of travel costs, sought to take over Washington D.C. on January 6, 2021, as the United States House of Representatives was certifying Joe Biden’s victory over Donald Trump to become the country’s 45th president. Considering how Joe Biden ascended to the Democratic Party nomination, aided by the endorsement of James Clyburn, African American representative of South Carolina, this attack of white Americans climbing capital walls like zombies and attacking police was viewed by activists of color as a desperate act of white supremacy. From the prelude to colonial separation and national formation, the 1770 Boston Massacre, irony echoes through United States’ racial history: “One of the first martyrs of the American Revolution was an Afro-Indian sailor and runaway slave from Framingham, Massachusetts, Crispus Attucks.” 

John Adams stirred enmity among American revolutionary patriots by defending the British soldiers accused of killing Attucks, two others, and wounding eight more colonists, two   later dying from their wounds. “A few years later Adams used Attucks’s name to use as a pseudonym for an essay he wrote on liberty.” John Adams’ cousin Sam, “mastermind behind the Sons of Liberty” – in British North America more renowned than the future president -- organized the funeral processional for the massacre’s five victims. “Abolitionists used the symbolism of Attucks’s martyrdom well into the 19th century” (Sinha 34). Whether the upheaval in British North America ending in the formation of the United States facilitated progress for the most oppressed in the former colonies depends upon which region is studied. With multiple layers of government often disagreeing on philosophy and policy, national progress is difficult to attain, though some elected officials will easily discuss American greatness.

Many espousing “American Exceptionalism” refuse to acknowledge the United States’ journey – fraught with obstacles and sacrifices – to terminate chattel slavery. Regarding abolitionism, Manisha Sinha’s The Slave’s Cause documents a struggle over centuries; in the 1790s, British North America’s descendent, borne of violent struggle, was unprepared to mobilize to cease free labor, either politically or militarily. Enough of the early United States population preferred order of a new, allegedly stable country, to upheaval and chaos of the previously enslaved attaining more power than war granted. The tradition of granting legal equality to newcomers previously judged as lesser because of birthplace began during war from 1776-1781, but the seeds of future divisions – stability and opportunity for some, and struggle and shambles for others, begins during national formation.

First came Rhode Island; then all other northern states granted freedom to slaves who enlisted. “Virginia and Maryland allowed only free blacks to serve, though many slaves in the Chesapeake, pretending to be free, or in lieu of their masters, joined the Continental Army” (Sinha 49). Given that the American Revolution was a revolution, during the counterrevolution only social change and the burgeoning nation would be evidence that colonial disarray occurred, transitioning into the United States of America.

However, the consequential definition of revolution, of sociologist Theda Skocpol, could not be applied to the United States, as of the 1790s. Irish Nationalist Wolfe Tone went into exile in the United States in 1795, fearing arrest for words he wrote against the British crown. One reason he could not stay was his distaste for American politics: the Federalists had ascended, attracting rival Republicans labeling Federalists as the “British party” (Elliott 271). Thus, depending upon perspective, as of the 1790s little had changed in the social structure of the first nation state west of Europe, according to both Diane Russell’s and Theda Skocpol’s definitions of successful revolutions. However, from 1776-1781 chaos reigned as British North America became the United States of America. This case of transition is evidence that restored order does not facilitate violent insurrection of any kind.

Though slave rebellions did occur, human property would not rule over their owner class in former British North America: Even founding fathers who were not slave owners “believed that large scale emancipation would cause significant social disruptions, including life-threatening poverty, theft, and violence” (Beeman 334).  Anthony Di Lorenzo wrote in a philosophy dissertation that in the 1790s, ending slavery, which imposed chaos and disorder on the lives of enslaved, became controversial because antislavery causes were linked to ideas enough felt were designed to destabilize the new nation state. Congregationalist Pastor Jedidiah Morse, cited by Di Lorenzo as an opponent of slavery, first supported the ideals of the French Revolution, which freed slaves in all colonies, but then became concerned that the revolutionary goals, if spread worldwide, would entirely undo the influence of religion. The words of Baptist Morgan Rhees, after a late 1795 meeting with Morse, imply that the two were no longer compatriots on abolitionism. Morse was “drifting toward aristocratic beliefs,” Rhees wrote. Di Lorenzo cites theories referencing the “Illuminati,” which fostered belief that ending slavery would end religion. Discussions in private entered the public through sermons; meanwhile: “In the South, slavery's defenders could easily draw on the discourse developing in New England to caution against any dramatic alterations to the institution.” Therefore, “The resulting cultural, political, and religious atmosphere was not hospitable to radical abolitionist thought and activity. Even many opponents of slavery came to fear the destabilizing implications of emancipationist policies” (309-310). Before attempting to free his homeland from British influence, Wolfe Tone joined the French Navy, attempting two missions to complete his crusade.

Slaves would not be freed in the United States until the 13th Amendment in 1865, ensuring that from 1781-1865 the lives of national wealth builders could have their worlds overturned if an owner went broke, or if a slave did not perform free labor according to directions provided by a white person, often attaining stature resulting from a combination of birthright and inheritance. However, the country still expanded west. Clearly more disorder would have occurred, had the United States not nationally demilitarized after war. In claiming western lands, however, the same governments that sought to maintain hierarchy over an economy based on free labor took land from indigenous people, imparting chaos into their lives, from which entire peoples have never recovered. From this westward growth, lauded and enforced by, among other presidents, Andrew Jackson and James Polk, comes the myth of rugged individualism. For his part, John Adams, before he became George Washington’s vice president and president himself, lamented the lack of economic growth in his new country in the 1780s. More land would ameliorate this situation for a fledgling country (Langley 59-63).

Three years after the British sacked Washington D.C. successfully, burning the capitol building during the War of 1812, or, as his opponents called it, Mr. Madison’s War, the “Era of Good Feelings” arrived in the United States – 1817 to 1823. Democratic-Republican James Monroe presided over a one-party nation, after the Federalist party collapsed. Monroe was able to pay off the nation’s war debt, lower taxes, and envision a state without political parties, as George Washington outlined (Trickey). Flowery zeitgeist predominated, but suffering, unaddressed in the 1780s and 1790s, continued for the voiceless.

Undoubtedly, as a slave owner, Monroe was unconcerned that many on the bottom rungs of the economic ladder still sought to improve their collective status, which included African Americans living in the North debating vigorously how to attain their perceptions of the ideals outlined in the United States Constitution. In the chapter “The Neglected Period of Antislavery,” Manisha Sinha describes abolitionist activities during the alleged “Era of Good Feelings.” While it may be fair to say that absence of rebellion is a sense of order, upheaval in slave lives could occur at any time. Slavery did not recognize marriage, but minimizing those deemed other has not left United States political intent. During the Trump administration, many journalism outlets attacked immigration authorities for separating families. However, slavery effected similar family disruption and destruction for centuries, which, by the alleged “Era of Good Feelings” had become: “The cornerstone of the national economy” (Sinha 160). In 2020, more than seventy million United States voters supported a now former president whose administration sought to irreparably fracture families of migrants, just as slavery shattered human bonds for centuries in North America. To the Trump administration, creating order for their supporters meant injecting more chaos into southern migrants fleeing various dangers south of the Mexican border, just as maintaining slavery maintained the order of the United States, before the nation’s binds became untenable because of various factors, including the Dred Scott decision, essentially making all states slave states, if slave owners visited with their human property in tow.

In response to antebellum slavery, powerful African Americans and white allies continued the struggle for all to experience the positive ideals outlined in the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. In 1816 the American Colonization Society was founded, supporting repatriating freed blacks from slavery to African nations. While some American blacks did move to African nations, Liberia, founded by freed slaves, being most prominent, black support quickly withdrew from the ACS. “By positioning themselves against colonization, African Americans rejected any solution to slavery that did not encompass black rights” (Sinha 160).  Asking people who lived on a continent -- as did their ancestors -- for centuries, to leave, with the stated goal preserving order, dismissed the uncertainty forced upon the prospective emigrants. Indeed, it is a government’s responsibility, to some extent, to assist constituents in overcoming obstacles. Race was decided as a classification employed to divide people in colonies, into those eligible for enslavement, and those able to escape bondage’s wrath.

The Civil War amendments freed slaves and were a step to equality, bringing disorder for both oppressed and oppressor. For a few years hence, within both southern and northern society, African Americans progressed as a community. However, to the white supremacist forces previously unquestioned by the federal government, such developments were intolerable. A new order, to the ascending previously oppressed, meant chaos to the former oppressors unwilling to adjust to a transformed society. While certainly some freed slaves were able to maximize opportunity after the Civil War, the numbers of freedmen and freedwomen who ascended multiple rungs of class was small, because United States white supremacy adapted. State laws passed superseded the 15th Amendment, which guaranteed the right to vote to all men. Statutes called Black Codes contributed to the atmosphere in the South called “Jim Crow,” named for a racist theater character played by a white man. When the 1876 presidential election ended essentially in a tie, very similar to that of 2000, the Republicans proposed to the Democrats, whose base then was southern white supremacy, that if candidate Samuel Tilden’s party allowed Republican Rutherford B. Hayes to serve as president, Republicans would remove all troops from the South, effectively ending Reconstruction, and enveloping black southern lives with threats of violent terrorism.

World War II’s quest for the allies to save the world from the Nazis and Empire of Japan awakened many to the realities that fellow citizens in the United States did not have the same freedoms they did; courts swung toward the oppressed. A landmark court case, Brown v. Board of Education, ended de jure school segregation by race in the United States. However, in any country three times the size of former British North America, practical transformation would take time to implement.

As the law changes, violators of moral reasoning behind such seek circuitous paths to ensuring their questionable, immoral, or amoral behaviors escape accountability. In 1956, two years after the unanimous Brown decision, argued successfully by future Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, visions of maintaining segregationist superiority remained instilled in southern aristocracy’s worldviews. Following the first decision in Brown, a 1955 corollary called for desegregation to occur with “all deliberate speed,” much to the dismay of University of Virginia President Colgate Whitehead Darden Jr. Fortunately, from Darden’s perspective, the college president had just appointed James McGill Buchanan economics chairman. Buchanan would be instrumental in mobilizing university thought debates for decades forward.

Buchanan did not necessarily think that Brown was decided incorrectly. He did, however, believe that the wealthy should not be forced to fund programs they as individuals did not believe would benefit their interpretation of society. Therefore, if wealthy only view their own class as society, the most financially fortunate will not wish to fund programs, or schools, benefiting the poorest. UVA President Darden took advantage of this opportunity to intellectually argue against the long-term effects of successfully implementing the Brown decision – equal educational opportunity for black and white children nationally. Extending the same educational opportunities to all children could endanger the wealth gap among black and white families, ending white supremacy, a belief intrinsic in the unsuccessful arguments in the Brown case.

As discussions of costs for public service and relief persisted in national debate: “What animated Buchanan, what became the laser focus of his deeply analytic mind, was the seemingly unfettered ability of an increasingly more powerful federal government to force individuals with wealth to pay for a growing number of public goods and social programs they had had no personal say in approving.” Democracy in Chains author Nancy MacLean writes that Buchanan’s worldview came from a more libertarian age, before The New Deal, when government did very little, except “maintenance of order and military defense” (xxiii). “In [Buchanan]’s mind, to protect wealth was to protect the individual against a legalized form of gangsterism” (xiv).

Buchanan’s “public choice economics” (xxv), which claims that individuals have a legal right to withhold their taxes if they disagree with how any one of their tax dollars will be spent (xxiv), created a new wave in constitutional thought, spawning organizations including The Cato Institute, The Heritage Foundation, Citizens for a Sound Economy, and Americans for Prosperity.

The purpose of these organizations, funded by plutocrats including Charles and David Koch, Richard Mellon Scaife, Harry and Lynde Bradley, John M. Olin, and the Devos family (Mayer 4), is to finance political candidates who wish to “hobble unions, limit voting, deregulate corporations, shift taxes to the less well-off, and even deny climate change.” Though President Barack Obama sought to govern in a bipartisan way, such desire did not preclude the Koch brothers from spending a hundred million dollars in a “war against Obama” (MacLean xix). Constitutional activism to extract chaos from the lives of the less fortunate is the target of public choice economics and organizations which seek to undo not only the positive effects of Brown v. Board of Education, but more importantly gains of the Civil Rights Movement.

The objective of the crusade encompassing Buchanan’s academic brainchild, and organizations fed by plutocratic interests within the United States, advocates say, is “liberty.” Buchanan once told an interviewer the seemingly innocent: “I don’t want to control you and I don’t want to be controlled by you.” However, if a majority of taxpayers want to fund equal schools for all children, or criminal justice reform including fewer police and more mental health professionals responding to calls where violent force is not necessary, that majority should have a right to dictate to the minority, in a democracy.

Nancy MacLean, on Buchanan’s theory and political tree: “It’s architects have never recognized economic power as a tool of domination: to them, unrestrained capitalism is freedom.” Hobbling unions increases power of management, adding chaos to the lives of workers, just as maintaining slavery infected the lives of the enslaved with more work, and delaying African American emancipation from 1781 to 1865, after black Americans had fought for separation from England. MacLean: “For all its fine phrases, what this cause really seeks is a return to oligarchy, to a world in which both economic and effective political power are to be concentrated in the hands of a few,” (xxxiv). Trends in summer of 2022 indicate a growth in union membership, thus showing that people can rise up against the implementation of public choice economics and the effects of unregulated capitalism, if citizens are aware of the damages caused by plutocrats and libertarian economics.

MacLean implies that the quest to exemplify the positivity outlined in the United States’ founding documents has encountered consistent opposition from similar foes. Referring to the intellectual political movement begun by Buchanan, the scholar of social movements refers to Andrew Jackson’s vice president, John Calhoun, as its “lodestar” (xxxiv). Calhoun died in 1850 believing slavery to be a positive good for the United States; economically, “Calhoun was America’s first tactician of tax revolt, and arguably the nation’s most influential extremist” (1). If oligarchy rules, plutocratic oligarchs can effectively foster upheaval into the lives of all beneath them in the class ladder. Alterations to unregulated capitalism can create national order, if the privileged accept demotion, or do not have the power to attack ascendancy.

Since 1968, two successful presidential candidates have gained office, directly campaigning on stability represented by “Law and Order:” Richard Nixon and Donald Trump. In 1968, Nixon was able to capitalize on a stance softer than that of segregationist George Wallace, while courting a silent majority of white voters.

In the background, since 1936, J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI had engaged in COINTELPRO, a program that surveilled United States leftists from 1936 to 1956; subsequently, in the early 1960s, the KKK was added to their list of state enemies. By the late 1960s, however, the Civil Rights Movement became COINTELPRO’s focus. As the antiwar movement peaked, the United States Federal Government’s unconstitutional program, begun unbeknownst to the president or attorney general (Donahue 1082):

 ‘Caused antiwar activists to be evicted from their homes; disabled their mail;

 wiretapped and bugged their conversations… prevented them from renting

facilities for meetings; incited police to harass them for minor offenses;

sabotaged and disrupted peaceful demonstrations; and instigated physical

assaults against them.’ The FBI conducted interrogations to ‘enhance the

paranoia in [Leftist] circles and ... to get the point across that there is an FBI

agent behind every mailbox. The organization extended its interviews to the

workplace, where it questioned supervisors, as well as religious organizations

 and neighborhoods (1083).

Therefore, since the New Deal, the United States government has spied on those perceived as enemies of stability, a term defined by a surreptitious federal law enforcement bureau. During the 1960s, COINTELPRO ensured that chaos pervaded the lives of activists seeking to end the Vietnam War.

In the late 1960s and early 1970s, a “war on drugs” began in the United States, leading to a massive increase in the prison population. Addiction is a disease, which by itself adds challenges to many drug users’ lives, but criminalizing drug use, especially for the poor and those of color, diffused waves of damage throughout populations deemed outside of Nixon’s perceived United States mainstream, the white middle class. In 2016, an interview given by then deceased former Nixon aide John Ehrlichman revealed that waging war on drug use and users was solely a political ploy to increase support among Nixon’s base, the “silent majority,” while attacking the allegedly lawless who consumed drugs, and protested military actions by a supposedly benevolent government.

We could arrest their leaders. raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.” Nixon had stated that the drug war was necessary because of an increase of heroin use and hallucinogens among students (LoBianco). The antiwar movement was creating disorder, to United States foreign policy hierarchy intent on staying in Vietnam. In response, those bestowed with government power spread havoc through the movement’s lives.

The war on drugs is a major factor in United States mass incarceration; only in Maine and Vermont can prison inmates vote, meaning most of those incarcerated lose the opportunity to have voice in their government. Lives and families have been ruined forever by the war on drugs, in the name of order. Only recently have senators and Congresspeople who voted for laws facilitating the massive increase in United States prison population begun admitting their mistakes; from Michelle Alexander’s 2012 revision of The New Jim Crow, on the effects of the drug war:

Drug offenses alone account for two-thirds of the rise in the federal

 inmate population, and more than half of the rise in state prisoners

from 1985 to 2000. Approximately a half-million people are in prison

or jail for a drug offense today, compared to an estimated 41,100 in

1980… drug arrests have tripled since 1980. As a result, more than 31

million people have been arrested for drug offenses since the drug war


Regardless of the reason for incarceration, jailing creates disorder in a criminal defendant or a convict’s life. Chaos has subverted order for a tremendous percentage of United States residents: “There are more people in prisons and jails today just for drug offenses than were incarcerated for all reasons in 1980” (60).

Alexander explains how the Supreme Court first allowed more searching in 1968, but Justice William Douglass dissented in the case Terry v. Ohio, warning of a “slippery slope” (63-64). From 1982 to 1991, thirty seizures of drugs were contested at the court, and all but one were deemed constitutional (63). Police became emboldened by federal fund rewards for making drug arrests, to get more funds to do the same (73). SWAT (Special Weapons and Tactics) units proliferated, and to justify their existence, have engaged in raids when a quiet arrest will suffice. “Drug raids conducted by SWAT teams are not polite encounters,” featuring smoke grenades and pointing guns at young children – a disturbance that can cause psychological trauma to all, and physical trauma to the already infirm. Criminologist Peter Kraska has described 780 instances, from 1989 to 2001, of “flawed” SWAT interactions with people whom the officers should be protecting and serving. “Many of these cases involve people killed in botched raids” (75).

When engaging in questionable searching, not everybody is arrested. However, “Hardly anyone files a complaint, because the last thing most people want to do after experiencing a frightening and intrusive encounter with the police is show up at the police station where the officer works and draw more attention to themselves.”  Though not all targeted by the drug war are people of color, race is a focus of Alexander’s book, and, along with class, affects the extent to which people are willing to protest individual police actions at an officer’s workplace. “Many people – especially poor people of color, fear police harassment, retaliation, and abuse” (69).  Regardless of who uses drugs, police know that wealthy people would be far more likely to complain about being searched unreasonably – likely why stop-and-frisk, which enabled police in some cities to search people at will, was never implemented on Wall St. in New York City, instead pervading the lives of poor residents of color, effecting its unconstitutionality – years later. Support for criminal justice campaigns like the war on drugs occur, as Nixon and other shrewd politicians knew, because some privileged in a society see the other, threats to their status, as unruly, or a society’s de facto upper caste just understands the advantage to labeling threats as dangerous.  Hierarchy seeks to create chaos within the lives of those deemed threatening to ruling classes, which included the Nixon administration’s beginning of the drug war, and COINTELPRO’s targeting the antiwar movement and black activists. As the war on drugs persisted, the enemy of stability became criminals, focusing on the evils of drugs, as mass incarceration affected the entire country, predominating in communities of color. In 2022, the drug war appears to be subsiding some: evidence is legal marijuana, to varying degrees in many states. One example, Maine, has multiple cannibas dispensaries on some roads in major cities and small towns. However, mass incarceration, the domain of states, has yet to be addressed, even under an administration beginning to receive praise for its advances with a divided senate.

Many formerly incarcerated debate to themselves whether to dishonestly fill out job applications, considering leaving out checking the box admitting previous criminal convictions, if such a box is legal in their states. Only over the past decade have there been campaigns to “ban the box” in job applications, an attempt to prohibit such questions. Probation, parole, and other laws regulate former convicts’ lives as well, leading to recidivism of largely nonviolent offenders – a vicious circle of chaos in the person’s life, and those of his or her family members. “When someone is convicted of a crime today, their ‘debt to society’ is never paid” (Alexander 163). Therefore, comparisons between mass incarceration and chattel slavery have become more common.

Once slavery ended, the goal of sociological descendants of the slave power resembled the objective of the slave owners themselves – dictate to those seen as lesser, leaving the least powerful subject to whims of hierarchy. Before 1865, such could be accomplished legally, through ownership of other human beings. The commonality among 1860 slave owners and their political allies, and the billionaires funding The Cato Institute and the Heritage Foundation is donors’ and southern nobility’s refusal to acquiesce to decreases in both economic might and accompanying societal influence. While the answer for the slave power was attempted secession, rather than accepting the future, the response of plutocrat think tank donors is to spend countless dollars to influence political candidates; at times even writing modeled bills candidates must support, to ensure that donations continue (Mayer 90; 346-347). Jane Mayer and Nancy MacLean know this is how democracy can die. With a midterm election coming in November of this year, and some candidates advocating that the 2020 language was fraudulent, many fear that if the United States Congress changes hands, no more free and fair elections will take place in the first North American nation. To the victors, this will be order, suppressing the majority. To those who want their majority voice to be heard, it will be chaotic, and oppressive, should the deniers of Joe Biden’s presidency gain control of Congress.

In analyzing the Civil War, historians claim that the conflict from 1776-1781, resulting in the Americas’ first nation state, left loose ends, what Martin Luther King would call order at the expense of justice. James McPherson’s Abraham Lincoln and the Second American Revolution is one of many Civil War books analyzing the significance of the last war on United States soil within a national journey. As war ended, the southern interests had to evaluate how to retain their power, as chattel slavery ceased. Therefore, the ruling class experienced turmoil for a short time, but was able to recapture much of their status after Reconstruction.

Consequently, from the national founding of the United States, for the underprivileged, order often means continued subjugation, while upheaval can lead to ascendancy; in contrast, hierarchies appreciate stability, because chaos could cost status. In a society with any degree of capitalism, the exploited either seek to climb the economic and sociological ladders, while some seek greater systemic reform. Given how chaotic the Trump presidency was, in accordance with his loss in the popular vote, now may be one of those eras for the United States.

[Next series starts Monday,


PS. What do you think?]

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