A CULTURES’ END

Statue of LibertyThe United States, an apparent culmination of western Judeo-Christian culture, also provides a theater featuring that culture’s repudiation. Whether we are watching a Phoenix headed toward rebirth or a final ending, the result will shape our descendants’ lives.

The United States is the result of enterprising post Renaissance, post Reformation people who shared or promptly adopted a common language, law and culture that facilitated conquest of a continent and constructing a nation. That unity has been the engine of American predominance and Christianity has been its fuel. Now, that engine is limping on empty as its fuel dwindles.

Without the shared precepts of a Supreme Lawgiver superior to the state, we are left with only government enforcement, an avoidable deterrent. We see now routine public violence from Muslims, nutcases, criminals and young men seeking excitement. We see piles of dead foreigners from our desire to keep our military-industrial complex funded. We see education degenerated, inconvenient babies aborted, suicide assisted, cheating blossoming and corruption infiltrating government. We see our politicians and bankers impoverishing our economy, spending the future earnings of our grandchildren. And we see former journalists now propagandists and as always when government is master, everything is seen through the lens of politics, prostituted by political goals now manifestly supreme. Firing God hasn’t come cheap. When the inflated economy hits the next sharply pointed reality, we will see much more of that price. Christianity may have annoyed us with its restrictions, but it also held off devils.

The economic balloon is world sized; its deflation will be lengthy and spectacular. Much confidence will be lost; many rock-ribbed beliefs will be questioned, leading to new beliefs or restoring old ones. The United States is presently dividing sharply along a socio-political chasm that is now appearing in a Federal government where Democrats in and out of government publicly oppose and privately try to sabotage successfully elected Republicans. Congressfolk demand the impeachment of a sitting President on the grounds that they do not believe that he should have been elected. Public discourse is replaced by populism and posturing. Public truth is absent. Opposing views are demonized; the “news” media use them to lynch opponents, leading to job loss, closed businesses and even prosecutions. No country can be long governed in this way; there must be either a secession or a revolution if political leaders will not demonstrate accommodation. But if they are too accommodating, the result will be dictatorship. America’s Founders created a political tightrope.

A cultural interregnum is a risky period; you may get a United States or a post-Revolution France. You also may get a Nazi Germany or a communist Russia or China or today’s Venezuela. For the U.S. Alexis de Tocqueville predicted a sort of benign totalitarianism. We do seem on that track but “benign” and “totalitarian” have never coexisted long in human affairs. And today’s technology is providing tools of near total control, if used for that. In places like China, that is how they are used now. In places like the United States, citizens ho longer have privacy under the gaze of intelligence agencies and must pass inspections to travel. There is pressure to “regulate” the internet while people’s cash and cars are seized on suspicion without due process. Risky enough signals from a crumbling culture …

Opportunists are responding by running for offices as outsiders; voters are responding by electing them. Both are acts of hypocrisy and both will be disappointed; they are painting the face of a harlot. Massive Godvernment, obese with socialism, will continue to engorge itself upon the citizen’s wealth until it is dismantled and reborn once more as a relatively helpless infant. That dismantling may be violent or not;, relatively quick or not; the cost of its destruction will be the same. Given its already gargantuan size, it will stomp onward dead for a while before keeling over. Present citizens are a long way from ready for any of that, so current trends will likely proceed for a while. If you are reading this, a quick glance at: “12 Days in Xinjiang: How China’s Surveillance State Overwhelms Daily Life” may be instructive. Or not …

Of course, that will take a while and the next financial cataclysm, presently undated, seems likely to produce changes. Of one sort or another …

About Jack Curtis

Suspicious of government, doubtful of economics, fond of figure skating (but the off-ice part, not so much) Couple of degrees in government, a few medals in figure skating; just reading and suspicion for economics ...
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