In all generalities lies some truth.
Before America’s Civil War, French diplomat, political scientist and historian, Alexis de Tocqueville wrote “A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations has been 200 years.”
More recently, Maggie Thatcher put it a bit more succinctly: The problem with socialism is that sooner or later you run out of other people’s money.
And so, here we are, a bit more than that 200 years into The Great Experiment. America has expended volumes of its most precious blood, sweat and tears, building arguably the greatest nation in history. But among many there is great dissatisfaction with the results. The irony is that today’s dissatisfaction is to be found primarily among those who have benefited most with the least amount of effort! Generations of people, a good portion of whom simply want what they want, and want it now. They no longer seem to believe they can stand on their own two feet, work hard, and get what they want on their own. One senses they have no desire to embrace America’s traditional moral sentiment.
Perhaps it’s not their fault. Americans can’t get enough of puppies, kittens and kiddies. They coddle them. Spoil them rotten. Combine that with the craftiness of the spoiled brats in getting what they want, and tradition and responsibility fly right out the window.
So we now get a raft of potential political candidates tossing caution to the wind, openly promising free college, free health care, free abortions and whatever else they can think of to generate attention and votes. A kind of new age smoothie of socialism, capitalism, progressivism, globalism and democracy. A promise which cannot be fulfilled.
Perhaps we should think of it as Neo-Marxism or cultural Marxism where the Left attempts to impose not so much class division by wealth – poor versus rich – but now by race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, faith and any other way they can invent to divide us. But the division is not simply to put us in neat little boxes, it’s intended to turn one box against another.
I wonder. Would parents actually question the wisdom of sending their kids away to a free college to be indoctrinated in anti-American sentiment? And beyond college? After indoctrination, why would a graduate feel any debt to the country which they grew up in, and now despise? Is there any impulse to serve their country in some positive way? Embark on a useful career? Start a good family? Buy a house and become a useful member of a community? More likely they gravitate to becoming political activists. Or anti-facist fascists. Or members of the army of so-called journalists – which is pretty much the same as political activism – very few of whom seem to be contributing anything positive beyond partisan politics. Does America really need another journalist? Does America need one more lawyer? Or doll-faced tv talking head carping with that perpetually adolescent voice they all seem to have adopted?
Almost predictably, America’s wonderful Constitution has become the very instrument of its demise. The freedoms which the Constitution guarantees have enabled our greatest institutions to be infiltrated by the very enemy of that Constitution. Leftists and their obsession with Marxism have virtually taken over America’s legal system, institutions of learning, medical, healthcare and pharmaceutical industries, entertainment, journalism, publishing, and daily chip away at our manufacturing, technological, agricultural, defense, transportation and even sports industries.
Virtually every potential failure of The Great Experiment can be traced to the simple fact that there are now far too many who have no underpinning of or love for traditional American values. It is as alien to aliens as aliens are to America’s laws.
Our politicians have failed the nation. Religion has failed the nation. Ethics has failed the nation. Law has failed the nation. Culture has failed. The Great Experiment is not exactly turning out great except for a small number of the new class of mega-wealthy. A handful of super-wealthy wielding their power over the rest of our 320,000,000 citizens isn’t what the Founders hoped for in this Great Experiment, is it?
By opening our borders and treasury to millions upon millions of immigrants from countries whose cultures are incompatible with traditional America, we now have a nation so divided, with a plethora of industries devoted to further the divide, that we may have passed the point of no return. We hear a lot of blather about “bringing us all together” but it’s clear the more we talk, the wider grows the gap.
Tocqueville warned that modern democracy may be adept at inventing new forms of tyranny by pushing the noble goal of equality to a radical degree. Is this not exactly what we are experiencing now? Tearing down statues. Renaming places. Labeling anyone who disagrees with the new tyrants as racist, homophobic, misogynist, xenophobic, Islamophobic and a plethora of other Marxist-inspired epithets.
If despotism were to take root in a modern democracy, opined Tocqueville, it could be a much more pernicious version than the oppression which existed under Roman emperors or tyrants of the past, who could only exert oppressive influence on a relatively small cluster of people at a time. In contrast, despotism under democracy could see "a multitude of men", uniformly alike, equal, "constantly circling for petty pleasures", uncaring about their less fortunate fellow citizens, with the few benefiting under the will of a powerful state which would exert an immense protective power. In this, Tocqueville anticipated Hitler, Mau, Stalin et al.
Must America’s traditionalists simply accept the idea that we’ve had our 200 years, and allow our nation to continue it’s descent into whatever chaos follows the failure of a democracy? I do not believe Americans are anywhere near ready for that. What to do, what to do?
There have never been simple, quick or painless ways to change the course, or revitalize an Experiment of this size, complexity and duration. Perhaps we can imagine some in articles to come.
Posted by andyboy at 8/09/2018 11:46:00 PM