Grave Cause for Alarm

Ian Mitroff
2 min readOct 8, 2022

The Growing Threat of Civil War

I’m publishing this series of articles to share and discuss my ruminations on coping with a troubled and messy world. You can “follow” me to never miss an article.

A frontpage article in the Thursday, October 6, 2022 edition of The New York Times is nothing less than terrifying[i]. There has been a shocking increase in talk not just about the likelihood of a Civil War, but its necessity. A poll found that 54 percent of respondents who identified as “Strong Republicans” believed that a Civil War was somewhat likely in the next decade.

Talk filled with violence has become increasingly common. For one, at a Trump rally, Marjorie Taylor Greene said that “Democrats want Republicans dead”. She added “Joe Biden has declared every freedom-loving American an enemy of the state.” Thus, in a complete turnaround, Republicans blame President Biden for courting violence through labeling Trump’s supporters as “semi-fascists.” Indeed, according to Brian Gibby, “the Second Civil War began with the President’s remarks.”

The point is that for far too many, we’ve reached the dreadful state where the phrase Civil War is more than just a metaphor. It’s a call to action.

Other than sounding repeated warnings, and constantly urging people to vote for those who are open to Reason, I wish I had remedies for the terrible state in which we find ourselves, but I do not.

[i] Ken Bensinger and Sheera Frenkel, “Use of ‘Civil War’ Soars After Mar-a-Lago Search,” The New York Times, Thursday, October 6, 2022. PP A1 and A15.

Ian I. Mitroff is credited as being one of the principal founders of the modern field of Crisis Management. He has a BS, MS, and a PhD in Engineering and the Philosophy of Social Systems Science from UC Berkeley. He Is Professor Emeritus from the Marshall School of Business and the Annenberg School of Communication at USC. Currently, he is a Senior Research Affiliate in the Center for Catastrophic Risk Management, UC Berkeley. He is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the American Academy of Management. He has published 41 books. His latest is: The Socially Responsible Organization: Lessons from Covid, Springer, New York, 2022.

Photo by Scott Umstattd on Unsplash

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