Writing Armageddon

Writing Armageddon
Furious writing or writing furiously?

Friday, March 25, 2016

Canvassing my social circle on Civil War

One of the most deleterious effects of living in a country going through a violent political conflict is the fear that one can feel that they are a minority of pacifists in society of fightaholics. The fact that the loudest voices in social and mass media tend to be the ones preaching violence or expecting violence does not help. With the recent bombings in Turkey and Europe, as well as the acrimonious political debates in the US I did feel a bit isolated. Partly as a coping exercise, and partly out of curiosity  I decided to canvass my social circle on two questions:

1)A Civil War, despite the devastation and death that would accompany it, would be a good thing for my country in the long term.

2)A Civil War is likely in my country in the next decade.

3) My country is
I posted the survey on Facebook and the The Miniatures Page for possible pool of respondents of 263 and 32,201 respectively. My circle is not very diverse but includes people from Korea to Pakistan, and from Australia to Sweden. There is heavy presence of USA though. I must make it clear that this is in no way a scientific poll, but more a broader collection of anecdotal information.

64 people respondent.  Of those 44 were from the US(one put Texas is a their country), 5 from the UK, 2 from Turkey, 7 from Greece, and one each from Lebanon, Palau, France, Denmark, the Czech Republic and Canada.

The overall global results are heartening. Of the 64 Respondents 58 said they would not consider a civil war a good thing for their country in the long term (93%). Five however said they did. One skipped it.
Most people in my circle do not consider civil war as something desirable for their country.

Furthermore 45 did not expect their country to suffer civil war in the next ten years (70%). Eleven do expect it (17%), and 8 had no opinion (13%). Results are a bit more somber in this case, but still the majority feels secure for the future of their country on this issue.

When we break down the responses by country we seems some very heartening and some very depressing results.

People from the US retain their optimism. Of the 43 US respondents only 4 said a civil war would be a good thing for the country (10%). And of those 4, one did not think it likely in the next decade. Seven respondents did except a civil war to happen in the next decade, which is a bit worrisome (16%), but still a minority. Four respondents offered no opinion on that issue. Thus in general we can say that the majority of US respondents are neither fightaholics, nor fearing a likely civil war in the US in the next decade.

All of the UK respondents answered negatively on the desirability of a civil war, and negatively on its likelihood (with one no- opinion).

Greek responses surprised me. Considering the economic crisis, the polarized politics, and the street fighting between anarchists and nazis on the streets all of my Greek respondents answered negatively on the desirability of a civil war. The majority also answered negatively on its likelihood though there was a large proportion (3 of 7) that gave no opinion.

The most depressing results were from Turkey. Both respondents answered positively to the desirability of civil war and to its likelihood. While I cannot make any inferences abut the larger population, there does seem to be a deep anger, coming perhaps from political desperation, which feeds into a blood-lust and the view of a civil war as a cathartic event. I do not know how I can help them overcome this, as the politics is good. But as I political scientist I can say that I have seldom seen a civil war that has resolved the underlying political tensions that lead to contested politics. But that is not the narrative my friends seem to hear, or want to hear. They are in pain, and this shows it. But many of my Greek friends are also in pain, and as you saw their is much less blood-lust.

Of the singles, all but the French answered no on the desirability of a civil war, but the French and Lebanese respondent both expected a civil war within the decade. Perhaps indicative of the political situation in both states.

In the end this was heartening exercises. Most of my circle think like I do, but there are areas for somber thought and fear. May I be a friend that can help.

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