be self-financed in the comingrntime of chaos, they will grow likernwildfire. Militias, cults like thernNation of Islam, and other armedrnorganizations will also rapidly growrninto full-blown armies.rnMr. Chittum also has some fascinatingrnscenarios of how the conflict will playrnout in various areas of the country, parficularlyrnthe South, where the ethnic andrnracial composition will be so mixed thatrncertain “enclaves” may survive. Finally,rnhe has some practical advice on how tornsurvive even if you don’t live in such anrnenclave: stockpile food, get a gun (herndoesn’t like handguns but recommendsrnmilitary semiautomatic rifles that firerneasily available standard cartridges), andrnselect the part of the country for yourrnstronghold based on its capacity for economicrnself-sufficiency and distance fromrnlikely areas of conflict. Also, don’t tellrnanyone what you’re doing since otherwisernyou may enjoy unsolicited andrnnone-too-friendly visits when yourrnfriends and neighbors realize you’re preparedrnand they’re not.rnMr. Chittum has no doubt that all thisrnis going to happen, and indeed he makesrna powerful case for it. But there are alsornreasons to think that it probably won’trnhappen. First, with all due respect tornethnic and racial loyalties, there arernother social relationships that are oftenrnno less powerful as group bonds. Givenrna chronic breakdown in the economicrninfrastructure and governmental enforcementrnof order, it is just as likely thatrnregional, economic, class, and religiousrnbonds will divide the population intornmutually competirrg and conflictingrngroups. Race appears to mean very littlerneither to Christian evangelicals or tornmost milifia members, and at least somernurban gangs are already ethnicallyrnmixed. Areas that depend on agriculturernor on serving economic demands thatrncould still be served and can’t sustainrnthemselves any other way would probablyrncontinue to function as fairly peacefulrncommunities of mixed ethnic, class,rnand religious groups.rnMoreover, even if ethnicity and racerndo become the primary identities forrngroup existence and action, it does notrnfollow that they will go to war with eachrnother. Urban street gangs haven’t maderna bid to take over entire cities yet, despiternthe large funds from drug trafficking andrnthe availability of sophisticated weaponry,rnprecisely because they are criminals.rnnot soldiers or empire-builders, and becausernthey provide a certain sense ofrncommimity and group bonding to otherwisernsocially crippled adolescents. It’srnmore likely that the gangs will insist onrnpushing crack and running girls than attackingrnmilitary’ bases, however soft andrnflabby. As for the milihas, strange religiousrncults, white separatists, and similarrnunderground movements, I’ve seen andrnread nothing about any of them thatrnwould convince me they’re a seriousrndanger to anybody. Most of theirrnburned-out members seem to spendrnmore time smoking dope and readingrnpornography than they do plotting guerrillarnwarfare. The fact is that, apart fromrncriminals and a few lunatics, Americansrnin general today are couch cabbagesrnwhose closest approach to guerrilla warfarernis the weekly argument over whornholds the remote during Melrose Place.rnBut the major argument against Mr.rnChittum’s predictions is that the overclass,rnas flabby and crooked and imperial-rndecadent as it might be, is not about tornlet Civil War II take place. What Mr.rnChittimi doesn’t entirely grasp is that thernriding class, as I have argued before,rnrules mainly through manipulation, notrnthrough force or intimidation. RubyrnRidge and Waco, which he sees as signsrnof impending reliance on force, arernmore likely signs of the incompetence ofrnthe ruling class at using force. Rulingrnclasses that do rely on force (like thernNazis or the Communists) would haverngobbled Randy Weaver and David Koreshrnat a single bite and not spent weeksrnpondering how to get them to come outrnpeacefully. It’s quite true that there is anrnemerging federal police state, but our incumbentrnruling class, Republican orrnDemocrat, simply isn’t constructed to relyrnon it as its primary mode of power. Instead,rnit relies on manipulation, the deliberaterninculcation of an apparentlyrnspontaneous and voluntary desire tornobey, and soap operas, game shows, andrnprofessional sports are far more useful instrumentsrnof control for its purposes thanrnBATF goon squads.rnMr. Chittum is entirely right aboutrnthe ethnic, racial, social, and culturalrnfragmentation — “Balkan ization” — thatrnmass immigration is engendering, but itrndoesn’t follow that the ruling class thatrnpermits, wants, and indeed commandsrnthat this fragmentation take place won’trnbe able to control the results. Balkanizationrnand fragmentation are themselvesrnmeans of manipulation (“divide andrnconquer”) by which the elites preventrnthe formation of any enduring nationalrncommunity that can challenge its ownrnpower. The real future, perhaps less excitingrnthan that of Civil War II, is whatrnvarious writers have called “Brazilianization,”rnthe disintegration of traditionalrncommunity, class, and nation at the basernof American society and the dominationrnof a technically skilled, affluent (if notrnluxurious) overclass that is no less multiethnicrnin its composition but is bound togetherrnby its control of wealth, status, andrnpolitical and cultural power. That is whyrnAmerican society becomes more “diverse”rnthrough immigration but morernhomogeneous through the uniform disciplinernexerted by the federal leviathanrnin conjunction with the mass consumerrneconomy and mass instruments of culturernand communication.rnMr. Chittum is aware of this line ofrncriticism and tries to respond to it: “Thernoverall tendency is for establishmentrntypes to predict a crime and povertystrickenrnmultiracial banana republic,rnsomething like Brazil. Brazil is wrackedrnby violence, but has so far avoided massivernbloodshed like Bosnia. In such a society,rnthe establishment reckons it canrnendure quite nicely behind its razorrnwire, walls, and securit}’ guards. Thisrnoptimistic view is based on their utterrncontempt for working-class whites. I’mrnconfident they will be proven wrong, butrntime will tell.rnI guess you can put me down as “an establishmentrntype,” though I don’t considerrnthe prophecy of Brazilianization anrn”optimistic view,” and I don’t harbor “utterrncontempt for working-class whites,”rneven if they do tend to be couch cabbages.rnBut you don’t have to harbor “utterrncontempt” for anyone to believe thatrnthere is nothing in most Americans’rnbackground to prepare them for the kindrnof stockpile-and-shoot first future Mr.rnChittum predicts. You do have to believernthat most Americans can see nornother option for themselves but a passivernendurance of the regime the ruling classrnhas created, and of course that is a narrowrnvision that the ruling class does all itrncan to maintain. But who knows, maybernMr. Chittum will turn out to be right afterrnall. If and when Americans are ablernto glimpse an alternative Riture in whichrnthey can displace the ruling class and itsrnregime of manipulation through theirrnown resistance, Mr. Chittum’s book mayrnpop up on the best-sellers list.rnJUNE 1998/43rnrnrn