history-pedant

52Joined Jun 2020

Comments
4

EA considerations regarding increasing political polarization

My position is more like the following:

  • Even if we played forward the worst 5-percentile version of the current situation for a decade, it would be importantly disanalogous to the Cultural Revolution. So it's better to consider a reference class of more similar events: Red Scare 1, Red Scare 2 (McCarthyism), and various of the inquisitions. Possibly also placing a tiny amount of weight on the Cultural Revolution.

Disanalogies with the cultural revolution:

  • No recent civil wars
  • Taking place in old democratic societies
  • Situated within Western culture
  • No targeted physical violence
  • State not supporting the violence
  • etc.
EA considerations regarding increasing political polarization

It's weird that so many people want to analogise the current situation to the cultural revolution - the case of a murderous autocrat, when they could choose McCarthyism (or indeed the first Red Scare), which have the same element of finger-pointing but without the violence. The cultural revolution analogy is clearly way overblown and diminishes the credibility of any claims made.

Moreover, why would one focus on the possibility of a new civil war, when a new cold war seems 1-2 orders of magnitude more likely, and no less important?