Written by an anonymous friend who also senses the arrival of the long night of networked tyranny:
"Today is the final day of 2018. As years go, it was adequate to its purpose, which was delivering us in one complete orbit about the Sun. Enough with retrospectives: let us understand what is coming in 2019.
The coming year will be an exceptionally difficult one for the republic, perhaps even uniquely so. Two major streams of events will at their confluence yield extraordinary outcomes: the advent of the 2020 Presidential-campaign cycle, and the nearly inevitable impeachment of the President by the now-incoming Democratic House. (Impeachment by the House will likely succeed, conviction-and-removal by the Senate will likely fail.) The mechanisms of it all will yield imperatives for maximal behavior by all parties. It will become impossible to compromise without communicating fatal weakness to the other side, impossible to retreat without being immolated by your own.
Imagine, if you will, the momentary hysteria of the Kavanaugh nomination — momentary because its principal perpetrators did not actually believe their own proximate case — revived and extended into a permanent state, with a real sense of existential threat animating all participants. That is our probable 2019.
This doesn’t stay inside the Beltway. This means heightened ideological conflict as a permanent feature of ordinary American life. We haven’t seen much of this before — the strife of the 1960s and 1970s being fairly localized in many ways, and that of the 1860s being mostly regionalized — with one major exception. That exception is the American Revolution itself, when neighbors really did turn upon one another in the name of political theory in a process more brutal and merciless than popular memory recalls. Even that, though, is not wholly the template for now, because there does not seem to be much by way of partisans for liberty in 2019. More apt, probably, is the example of France with its own tradition of ideological self-terrorization, devoid of any good guys, whether in 1792-1794, 1870-1871, or 1958-1962.
In our lifetimes, the single most significant threat to the life, liberty, and property of the average American citizen has always been the federal government. The danger in 2019 is that a consequence of that federal government’s crescendoing dysfunction will be the replacement of that most significant threat with one far more grave, far more vicious, and far more relentless: our own neighbors.
The perfected expression of democratic society is, after all, Twitter.
This is the probable 2019 and you should prepare for it. In times past one avenue of preparation and protection was withdrawal. That avenue is closed. There is no retreat, no refuge in federalism or community; no “Benedict option.” We have made our public square inescapable and pervasive — we even have electronic 大字报, although we generally lack the wit or perspective to grasp what that implies. Preparation therefore isn’t the seeking of the safe harbor. Nor is it the girding for combat and surrender to the awful machinery of mass democracy at its lowest point. Let the fanatics do that: there is no victory in their game.
The only preparation that matters is in conducting yourself and your family as if it were another era entirely. You cannot change what 2019 will probably be. You can, though, be an example in memory and history when the time comes to rebuild."
I spent a good part of the last year writing about the arrival of the long night over at the Global Guerrillas report. The war for the future is already here and you have been drafted.