Bayou Pete commends the late John Ross’s Unintended Consequences, an early-on staple of the dystopian-future/Civil War v2.0 genre, to our attention, posting an excerpt from the hefty 700-page tome’s Author’s Note as a lure for prospective readers.
A friend in law enforcement told me that because of this book’s content, I should not let it be published under my own name. Violent events happen in this story, and our country’s current situation is such that these events could indeed come to pass. My friend’s fear was that this book might precipitate such violence. He told me to expect to have drugs planted in my car during routine traffic stops, or have other similar miseries befall me and my family. He advised that if I did have this work published, I should use a pseudonym, employ an intermediary for all publisher contact, and in general prevent myself from being linked to the finished work, to avoid reprisals.
I didn’t do that, not only because of free speech considerations, but because I disagree with my friend’s hypothesis. I believe that if the instigators glimpse what may lie ahead, they will alter their behavior before wholesale violence becomes unavoidable. It is my hope that this book will reduce the likelihood of armed conflict in this country.
History has shown us that government leaders often ignore the fundamental fact that people demand both dignity and freedom. Because of this disregard, these decision-makers then initiate acts that are ultimately self-destructive. To illustrate this point I will remind the reader of the origin of two of modern history’s most destructive events, and of all the warning flags that were frantically waving while the instigators rushed headlong towards the abyss.
In the late 19th and very early 20th centuries, European leaders formed two major alliances. Germany, Austria, and Italy comprised one coalition, and Britain, France, and Russia the other. Belgium remained neutral per an 1839 treaty signed by all of these nations except Italy. The smaller European countries became indirectly involved in the two aforementioned alliances. One such example was Serbia, a country Russia had pledged to aid in the event of war between Serbia and Austria. Despite Russia’s presence, Austria annexed a large part of Serbia, a province called Bosnia, in 1908.
Few people remain emotionally indifferent when their culture and country are taken over by an aggressor, and the Bosnian Serbs were no exception. Many Bosnians despised the government that had chilled their independence. In spite of this obvious fact, the Austrian leaders sent an archduke to the capital of Bosnia to survey the people Austria now ruled. This archduke was resplendent in full military ceremonial dress, festooned with medals and other military decorations, and accompanied by his elegantly-dressed wife. An objective observer might at this point have said, “Stripping motivated people of their dignity and rubbing their noses in it is a very bad idea.”
As we all know, the Archduke Ferdinand’s assassination has reverberated and echoed throughout world history ever since the day it occurred, beginning with its immediate consequence, WW1, leading in its turn to WW2, and continuing right on through the Bosnia-Serbia conflict of the 1990s. In our time, the war-tocsin’s reverberations are starting to sound downright clangorous once again.
Today in America, honest, successful, talented, productive, motivated people are once again being stripped of their freedom and dignity and having their noses rubbed in it. The conflict has been building for over half a century, and once again warning flags are frantically waving while the instigators rush headlong towards the abyss, and their doom.
It is my hope that these people will stop and reverse their course before they reach the point where such reversal is no longer possible.
Sadly, tragically, our own wannabe despots seem to be no more intelligent, reflective, or modest than their predecessors, making any reversal of their hell-bent-for-leather race to catastrophe and horror unlikely in the extreme. Peter follows up with some essential, if grim, wisdom that none but a self-serving, supremely arrogant ProPol could fail to take note of.
I believe the (fictional) internal conflict that John Ross foresaw for the USA back in 1995 is perilously close to becoming a reality in 2022. The reasons are more varied and complex than he predicted almost thirty years ago, but the outcome is likely to be very similar. I hope and pray that doesn’t happen, because I’ve seen civil war and internal conflict in several nations and know how absolutely, genuinely horrific it can be for those caught up in it. However, those pushing to impose their views and policies on the rest of the country appear blind to that reality. They simply won’t leave people alone. They’re imposing their views and insisting that the people of this country “get with the program” – or else. (To cite just one current example, adding 87,000 people to the IRS is not about more efficient functioning of that agency. It’s about picking on dissenters and making their lives unbearable, just as the IRS did when it was “weaponized” under the Obama administration. Expect the same thing today as then, only on steroids.)
I hope John Ross’s vision of what might happen in the USA may never come to pass…but I fear that may be a pipe dream. Read his novel for yourself. It seems eerily prescient in many ways.
Prescient? I’d say so, yeah. Not having read Ross’s classic yet myself, I took advantage of Peter’s link to the free version and downloaded it (there’s also a for-pay edition available at Amazon), for which gracious inclusion I humbly thank him.