America’s next civil war has already started – this is how it will end

When Stephen Marche began writing a book that imagined a future civil war in the United States of America, he repeatedly found himself having to throw out large chunks of text because the very things he conjured on the page suddenly started happening in real life: sheriffs across the country refusing to obey federal law; white power groups getting their hands on nuclear material. Marche soon realised that the civil war he was predicting had, in a way, already begun.

There is something in the air, in the streets, and now on our screens in the form of Alex Garland’s new film Civil War, which imagines a dystopian future – the American presidency has become a dictatorship and rebels descend on the White House.

Marche says that when the first civil war happened in the 1860s, very few people in America saw it coming – even when the first battle began, at Fort Sumter, near Charleston, South Carolina. There is a quote near the beginning of his book, The Next Civil War: Dispatches from the American Future, from a retired army colonel who says that a new American civil war would not be like the first one, with armies manoeuvring on the battlefield. 


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