Whatever the outcome of the legal battles around president Trump's immigration order, there can be no doubt that there is going to be a vigorous campaign to deport as many illegal immigrants as possible from the USA. It has already started http://dld.bz/fyg7X. No doubt it will get more and more thorough and more and more people will actually be deported. Jolly good thing, some will say. After all what is the point of having laws if nobody takes any notice of them (though, of course, many south European countries have been operating this way for centuries). However, this is going to result in a lot of disgruntled people arriving back in S American countries full of fury at the US. Latin America is the US's "backyard". It is also, as some Spanish speaking people are wont to point out, the "other" (dare we still say "alternative") America. Although it is still part of the "second world" we are not here talking about somewhere insignificant. So far, the US has only had real trouble from that continent in Cuba and Venezuela. I wonder what the future holds?

Not only abroad. Within the US these actions are going to precipitate a kind of internal "war" between those citizens who do and who don't sympathise with the immigrants. Those who do do so include both hispanic people (who may now start to withdraw co-operation with the authorities thus making American cities less easy to govern and even, perhaps, providing a new seedbed for organised crime) and non-hispanic people who may now feel themselves in more serious conflict with the government to a degree that may in due course dwarf previous civil rights disturbances. If to this is added a further crack down upon black communities, civil order is going to become extremely difficult to maintain. American cities could become jungles as bad as they were in the 1930's or worse.

It is understandable that there would be a white backlash given the demographic trends that, if unchecked, suggest they are heading toward a situation where they will become a minority in what they regard as their own country, but changing such trends is not at all easy even if it were desirable. It involves real conflict. Such conflicts in which both sides feel themselves to be totally justified are not at all easy to resolve and the collateral damage can be considerable.

When there is mounting strife at home, it is quite common for governments to use the strategy of fermenting a confrontation with an outside power as the only way of bring unity back to the home population. I hope it does not go this way this time, but one can rather see it coming. I do not think I am alone in thinking that the world is currently becoming a more dangerous place.

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As you predicted a while ago racism and xenophobia are visible in a large part of the western world. People have no tolerance and we see hate crime on the increase in innycity areas in Birmingham.
It's a great pity that communities can't see the benefits of being made up of many different cultures backgrounds and abilities as a positive rather than a negative or intrusion.
The people that settled in this country in the 50's and 60,s are now part of the U.K. Community. The Irish Pakistan Caribbean all bring thier culture that we now imbrace. It would seem that in the UK it is now the Eastern Europe communities that we distrust and some so much so it manifests as hate.
Then the talk of the threat from Muslims, so much so that legislation requires organisations working with vulnerable adults to have safeguards in place that are aimed at the prevention of radicalisation by Muslim extremists.
I hope that it's not too long before this has settled but can't see it happening in the immediate future.

A very benign analysis, David

Speaking to friends in the US, it sounds like another fault line - or should that be web of hairline cracks? - opening under the pressure of new administration is between central and regional government. One friend said that local districts (I guess the equivalent of UK regional councils?) are declaring themselves 'sanctuaries' from deportation, inciting threats of funding-cuts from the centre. Meanwhile the (e.g.) police in those same districts are solidly behind the administration, and what its doing. An ugly mood gathering around that split. Yes, a growing sense of danger feels quite palpable on all sides: from that, to Russia deciding to re-legalise domestic violence. Not only disturbed, but perplexed by that. To what end?

Very moving moment, amidst the gloom, to hear of the gathered SNP MPs protesting the Brexit vote by singing the Ode to Joy in the House.

Namo Amida Bu

Thanks, Andrew, Gayre, and Mat. I imagine that the battle lines will be mostly in east coast or west coast states. The interior is more solidly Trump country. However, it is those coastal states that generate most of the US economic output. If large numbers of people end up working against the police one has a more or lss ungovernable country. What is not so clear is what the new government's eventual aim is. If it is simply what they say, then there is trouble enough, but regimes around the world have used such chaos for all kinds of hidden agendas in the past. I'm always interested in trying to take a large scale view and learn the lessons of history because they tell us so much about real human nature.

As I was reading your post David I felt all your were saying was also fairly much a plan for the Trump government.  I thought I would reflect further but the next essay I came across is one from Paul Krugman of the New York Times detailing this plan rather specifically and also relating it to George Bush junior and the Iraq war..  http://www.dailykos.com/stories/2017/2/10/1632194/-Paul-Krugman-Iss...

I want to explore your assertion- which I agree with- regarding the conflict involved in trying to change people from 'falling into fascism' if I may characterise it that way. It has grown exponentially, with many other things in our lives and while I believe it is likely beyond peaceful restraint there are important things we can do within our personal relationships and through our networking.

A friend of mine living close by was the only witness to the ceremony Modgala conducted when she first visited me in 2010. He practiced the Dharma for many years with a local Sangha. He is now a very passionate supporter of Australia's One Nation party, a fascist movement aligned with Trump. He falls into rages in conversation and is very much distressing his partner. He rages against Muslim people. 

And I find myself to be a trusted friend and this is a fortunate situation for me to first hand learn and share this powerful and destructive wave of energy. But there are pauses and while any overtly political discussion is a lost cause I sense, finding areas that are less politically charged may open to change. Ironically such an opening presented in the assertion that peoples beliefs never change...... Buddhist to Fascist?

So my premise is that where and when opportunities open, we so need to challenge and attempt to deconstruct these energies.  People welcome this sense of passion for change and it seems our livelihoods do depend on a change of story that drives this passion. 

David. I agree about the lack of clarity of the government's evdntual aim. Perhapx partly it depends on who actually has the power....and the vision, Trump or Bannon. I guess they are symbiotic. Trump has the Presidential power but Bannon, the vision and the plan.

If left to his own devices it seems clear that Trump's vision extends only so far as his personal greed. Bannon is a much more sinister fish. His avowed intention, the overthrow of social order. And I think, in that scenario you can read both domestic and global order. That is, both civil and global war.

I think your middle versus the edges description is apt David. A country divided along clear economic AND ideological lines

It remains to be seen how Californians will vote in the 2018 secession/independence referendum but I believe they may well vote to seceed from the Union and that would further emphasise the huge Hispanic(Latin)/ non-hispanic divide.

As a side note, I have believed for decades that the US would split up along these lines but now.....there may not be enough time if Bannon unites the country against a common enemy

He may have to organise anothef 9/11 to achieve global action. 



Gayre Christie said:

David. I agree about the lack of clarity of the government's evdntual aim. Perhapx partly it depends on who actually has the power....and the vision, Trump or Bannon. I guess they are symbiotic. Trump has the Presidential power but Bannon, the vision and the plan.

If left to his own devices it seems clear that Trump's vision extends only so far as his personal greed. Bannon is a much more sinister fish. His avowed intention, the overthrow of social order. And I think, in that scenario you can read both domestic and global order. That is, both civil and global war.

I think your middle versus the edges description is apt David. A country divided along clear economic AND ideological lines

It remains to be seen how Californians will vote in the 2018 secession/independence referendum but I believe they may well vote to seceed from the Union and that would further emphasise the huge Hispanic(Latin)/ non-hispanic divide.

As a side note, I have believed for decades that the US would split up along these lines but now.....there may not be enough time if Bannon unites the country against a common enemy

He may have to organise anothef 9/11 to achieve global action. 

Rob, your account of this friendship has everything, to me, that social media is so inadequate at facilitating. Engaging the other in non-judgemental communication, bringing kindness to those volatile zones in our shared lives.

I listened recently to a BBC World Service profile of Steve Bannon. Troubling, but well worth it, for me - if only as a counterpoint to what I read about the new US administration online. A reminder that not everyone sees things the way I and my friends do.

Cannon is closely aligned with the Catholic, Rome-based 'Institute of Human Dignity'. Interesting to hear a highly educated Englishman - an ex Tory MP - celebrating both Trump and Bannon as 'intuitive geniuses' who, if able to deliver on their promises, will initiate a 50-year reign over US politics.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p04qx7vv 

Mat, I notice your interesting typo - Cannon.

Oh dear - lets hope its not autocorrect being prescient. Am enjoying Century of the Self after a nudge here - half way through now. Will find that thread when I finish.

An important point of refrence in the debate about what is really going on over there is surely the fact that Calexit, were it to happen, would be at least as big a disturbance to the world order as Brexit. Trump will be very keen to see that it does not happen. One can deduce therefore that action by the immigration people to reduce the number of Latinos may turn out to be even more vigourous in California than anywhere else. On the other hand, such action might also alienate more Californians so this is not an easy or obvious course. The more extreme the current regime in US becomes, the more likely a Calexit becomes. California would be the sixth largest economy in the world (after US, China, Jqpan, Germany and UK, if UK is still up there by then) larger than France, India, Brasil or Russia. What holds groups together is, in the end, common values. The US faces a double problem. On the one hand, the ever increasing Latino population threatens the WASP value system. On th other hand, efforts to reverse this trend polarise opinion in the country as a whole. It is not just the EU that has got to define itself more clearly and is in danger of losing some members in the process.

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