As mentioned in a previous article, America is engaged in a new civil war about everything. It is a state of incompatibility where anything can serve as a pretext for strife.
In this new civil war, the disintegration of social structures is the key means of bringing about the collapse of the American system. The impatient left targets social structures, heavily embedded with Christian and Enlightenment principles, because they are obstacles to the utopian society it envisions.
A decadent, conservative society finds many of these same social structures burdensome since they impose obligations contrary to modern lifestyles. In addition, many are deemed conservative are tainted with modern ideas that make them more difficult to defend. Christians, for example, cannot support procured abortion framed as a modern notion of “freedom.”
As a result, everyone wants to find a way out of the present mess where all feel anxiety and stress. The current discontent is different from that of the past because there is no specific desired outcome.
From Process to Chaos
Traditionally, the left has seen history dialectically. Opposing sides (thesis and anti-thesis) struggle to produce a synthesis part of a never-ending process of progress and social justice.
However, today’s revolution in the new civil war about everything is no longer a dialectical process toward a specific end. Instead, it represents a descent into chaos. This chaos replaces the search for a synthesis. Many think chaos will spontaneously generate the left’s ideological utopia and rid the world of any remnant of the Christian order. Even some on the right advocate this chaos as an escape from the present dyslexic society.
A New Way of Doing Revolution
Indeed, since the late sixties, the mechanisms for social change have followed a model that uses chaos, not ideas, to destroy the culture.
German-born political philosopher Herbert Marcuse already foresaw this change from process to chaos in 1968 when he said, “The traditional idea of the revolution, and the traditional strategy of the revolution are out. They are outdated.”1 Later that year, he added to this, saying, “What we have to envisage is some kind of diffused and dispersed disintegration of the system.”2
Marcuse presented no timeline for this system meltdown. He could not foresee the reactions that delayed the coming of total chaos. However, the time for the system’s complete disintegration has moved much closer with the coming civil war about everything.
Internal Destruction of Social Structures
Chaos happens when structures are no longer in place. Thus, this cultural disintegration is a phenomenon that empties, implodes or collapses social structures that bring order to society.
Each social structure might be compared to the destruction of a house. The obsolete processes of decay are like external forces working to destroy or weaken a building’s structure. On the other hand, the present disintegration resembles internal points of pressure, tension and deconstruction inside the building, causing it to implode.
The first case is easier to oppose since it is an act of clear aggression, and the destruction may be gradual and not total. This attack might even trigger healthy reactions. The second is much more sinister since the diverse and dispersed manifestations of the crisis make it seem so unconnected and spontaneous. However, they are united in their goal. Like nuclear fission, deconstruction is much more powerful because it destroys powerful internal bonds, which once gone trigger the system’s total disintegration.
Exploiting Points of Tension and Contradiction
This destruction of structures can happen in many ways. This internal destruction can be triggered by exploiting areas of tension and heterogeneity inside social structures.
Some social structures contain diverse elements that normally coexist but can be made to flare up into strife. Those seeking to find their way out of the system can artificially exploit these points of natural tension. A natural point of division in wood, for example, is the grain. A log holds together well unless someone artificially inserts a wedge to split it.
Thus, inside society, there are natural points of internal tension such as racial, ethnic or religious differences coexisting inside a unified nation. From a position of relative calm, these disparities can be suddenly and artificially inflamed. The Marxist prism of critical race theory is one example of the left’s efforts to wedge-split an otherwise harmonious community toward systemic change.
More complex points of tension are found in social structures with internal contradictions that can be set in motion by activists. Modernity’s liberal framework, for example, suffers from the contradiction that allows both unbridled freedom and ordered liberty. For example, extreme individualism promotes ideas that put the individual above the common good, justifying procured abortion. When taken to their final consequences, contradictions within these social structures can be activated to create polarizing strife.
Subverting Homogenous Points
Other social structures are unified and homogenous in their constituent parts. Strongly cohesive bonds keep them united. The family, for example, is the most fundamental of these units. Its unchanging homogenous elements are a husband, wife and children.
Postmodernity has tried to turn these naturally unified structures into artificially diverse ones by planting the elements of contradiction inside their tranquil constitutions. Thus, the left attempts to turn the family into many possible “families” that frustrate its logic and purpose. What should be a point of unquestioned general agreement explodes into controversy.
Postmodern thought takes this tactic to an extreme by exploding the natural bond between parents and their children, subverting parental authority, and pushing criminal efforts to help children become transgender at school without the knowledge and consent of parents.
The left does this again when it pushes for transgendered students to be given access to school restrooms and locker rooms different from those of their biological sex. The same applies to transgendered boys participating in girls’ sports. The school’s homogeneous ambiance collapses.
All such efforts of the left create chaos and implode what was homogenous, causing hellish suffering.
The Role of Catastrophic Events
One final factor accelerates the destruction of social structures in the civil war over everything. This is the introduction of catastrophic events that work together with the points of tension to turn society upside down. Thus, the COVID crisis has served as a huge catalyst to hasten the descent into chaos by calling everything into question, undermining trust in governmental authority and destroying confidence in science.
Likewise, the destructive rioting over the summer of 2020 and subsequent acrimonious elections caused massive anxiety and uncertainty.
These events increased the already great discontent with the present social structures and the tendency to flee toward chaos.
Return to Order
The new civil war over everything is more dangerous than a classical one. It knows no geography but pervades everywhere. It involves opposing sides and imploding structures that create intolerable levels of chaos. It has no defined goal save that of chaos. Thus, few know what to expect or where events will take the nation during this rush to destroy everything.
That is why the left’s destructive revolution of chaos must be exposed. Chaos brings no solution to America’s troubles. Chaos cannot create anything constructive. Only a regenerative return to the Christian moral order can do this. This needed moral restoration of the nation presupposes profound changes deep inside the confused souls of countless Americans.
Photo Credit: © jef 77 – stock.adobe.com
1. Herbert Marcuse, “Talk at Fillmore East Concert Hall, New York, for Twentieth Anniversary of the Guardian (Dec. 5, 1968),” in Carl Oglesby Papers, Radical Perspectives, University of Massachusetts at Amherst, 33:52 to 33:59, accessed Jan. 24, 2022, https://credo.library.umass.edu/view/full/mums514-b080-i006/.
2. Herbert Marcuse, “Talk at University of California San Diego” (May 23, 1968), in “Herbert Marcuse and the Student Revolts of 1968: An Unpublished Lecture,” Jacobinmag.com, Mar. 31, 2021, https://jacobinmag.com/2021/03/herbert-marcuse-student-revolts-of-1968-ucsd-lecture/.