This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.
T.S. Elliot, The Hollow Men
It’s also the way that America is ending. Yes, there are verbal fireworks aplenty, but there will not be a “hot” civil war. The country that my parents and grandparents knew and loved — the country of my youth in the 1940s and 1950s — is just fading away.
This would not necessarily be a bad thing if the remaking of America were a gradual, voluntary process, leading to time-tested changes for the better. But that isn’t the case. The very soul of America has been and is being ripped out by the government that was meant to protect that soul, and by movements that government not only tolerates but fosters.
Before I go further, I should explain what I mean by America, which is not the same thing as the geopolitical entity known as the United States, though the two were tightly linked for a long time.
America was a relatively homogeneous cultural order that fostered mutual respect, mutual trust, and mutual forbearance — or far more of those things than one might expect in a nation as populous and far-flung as the United States. Those things — conjoined with a Constitution that has been under assault since the New Deal — made America a land of liberty. That is to say, they fostered real liberty, which isn’t an unattainable state of bliss but an actual (and imperfect) condition of peaceful, willing coexistence and its concomitant: beneficially cooperative behavior.
The attainment of this condition depends on social comity, which depends in turn on (a) genetic kinship and (b) the inculcation and enforcement of social norms, especially the norms that define harm.
All of that is going by the boards because the emerging cultural order is almost diametrically opposite that which prevailed in America. The new dispensation includes:
- casual sex
- serial cohabitation
- subsidized illegitimacy
- abortion on demand
- easy divorce
- legions of non-mothering mothers
- concerted (and deluded) efforts to defeminize females and to neuter or feminize males
- gender-confusion as a burgeoning norm
- “alternative lifestyles” that foster disease, promiscuity, and familial instability
- normalization of drug abuse
- forced association (with accompanying destruction of property and employment rights)
- suppression of religion
- rampant obscenity
- identity politics on steroids
- illegal immigration as a “right”
- “free stuff” from government (Social Security was meant to be self-supporting)
- America as the enemy
- all of this (and more) as gospel to influential elites whose own lives are modeled mostly on old America.
As the culture has rotted, so have the ties that bound America.
The rot has occurred to the accompaniment of cacophony. Cultural coarsening begets loud and inconsiderate vulgarity. Worse than that is the cluttering of the ether with the vehement and belligerent propaganda, most of it aimed at taking down America.
The advocates of the new dispensation haven’t quite finished the job of dismantling America. But that day isn’t far off. Complete victory for the enemies of America is only a few election cycles away. The squishy center of the electorate — as is its wont — will swing back toward the Democrat Party. With a Democrat in the White House, a Democrat-controlled Congress, and a few party switches in the Supreme Court (of the packing of it), the dogmas of the anti-American culture will become the law of the land; for example:
Billions and trillions of dollars will be wasted on various “green” projects, including but far from limited to the complete replacement of fossil fuels by “renewables”, with the resulting impoverishment of most Americans, except for comfortable elites who press such policies).
It will be illegal to criticize, even by implication, such things as abortion, illegal immigration, same-sex marriage, transgenderism, anthropogenic global warming, or the confiscation of firearms. These cherished beliefs will be mandated for school and college curricula, and enforced by huge fines and draconian prison sentences (sometimes in the guise of “re-education”).
Any hint of Christianity and Judaism will be barred from public discourse, and similarly punished. Islam will be held up as a model of unity and tolerance.
Reverse discrimination in favor of females, blacks, Hispanics, gender-confused persons, and other “protected” groups will be required and enforced with a vengeance. But “protections” will not apply to members of such groups who are suspected of harboring libertarian or conservative impulses.
Sexual misconduct (as defined by the “victim”) will become a crime, and any male person may be found guilty of it on the uncorroborated testimony of any female who claims to have been the victim of an unwanted glance, touch (even if accidental), innuendo (as perceived by the victim), etc.
There will be parallel treatment of the “crimes” of racism, anti-Islamism, nativism, and genderism.
All health care in the United States will be subject to review by a national, single-payer agency of the central government. Private care will be forbidden, though ready access to doctors, treatments, and medications will be provided for high officials and other favored persons. The resulting health-care catastrophe that befalls most of the populace (like that of the UK) will be shrugged off as a residual effect of “capitalist” health care.
The regulatory regime will rebound with a vengeance, contaminating every corner of American life and regimenting all businesses except those daring to operate in an underground economy. The quality and variety of products and services will decline as their real prices rise as a fraction of incomes.
The dire economic effects of single-payer health care and regulation will be compounded by massive increases in other kinds of government spending (defense excepted). The real rate of economic growth will approach zero.
The United States will maintain token armed forces, mainly for the purpose of suppressing domestic uprisings. Given its economically destructive independence from foreign oil and its depressed economy, it will become a simulacrum of the USSR and Mao’s China — and not a rival to the new superpowers, Russia and China, which will largely ignore it as long as it doesn’t interfere in their pillaging of respective spheres of influence. A policy of non-interference (i.e., tacit collusion) will be the order of the era in Washington.
Though it would hardly be necessary to rig elections in favor of Democrats, given the flood of illegal immigrants who will pour into the country and enjoy voting rights, a way will be found to do just that. The most likely method will be election laws requiring candidates to pass ideological purity tests by swearing fealty to the “law of the land” (i.e., abortion, unfettered immigration, same-sex marriage, freedom of gender choice for children, etc., etc., etc.). Those who fail such a test will be barred from holding any kind of public office, no matter how insignificant.
Are my fears exaggerated? I don’t think so, given what has happened in recent decades and the cultural revolutionaries’ tightening grip on the Democrat party. What I have sketched out can easily happen within a decade after Democrats seize total control of the central government.
Will the defenders of liberty rally to keep it from happening? Perhaps, but I fear that they will not have a lot of popular support, for three reasons:
First, there is the problem of asymmetrical ideological warfare, which favors the party that says “nice” things and promises “free” things.
Second, What has happened thus far — mainly since the 1960s — has happened slowly enough that it seems “natural” to too many Americans. They are like fish in water who cannot grasp the idea of life in a different medium.
Third, although change for the worse has accelerated in recent years, it has occurred mainly in forums that seem inconsequential to most Americans, for example, in academic fights about free speech, in the politically correct speeches of Hollywood stars, and in culture wars that are conducted mainly in the blogosphere. The unisex-bathroom issue seems to have faded as quickly as it arose, mainly because it really affects so few people. The latest gun-control mania may well subside — though it has reached new heights of hysteria — but it is only one battle in the broader war being waged by the left. And most Americans lack the political and historical knowledge to understand that there really is a civil war underway — just not a “hot” one.
Is a reversal possible? Possible, yes, but unlikely. The rot is too deeply entrenched. Public schools and universities are cesspools of anti-Americanism. The affluent elites of the information-entertainment-media-academic complex are in the saddle. Republican politicians, for the most part, are of no help because they are more interested on preserving their comfortable sinecures than in defending America or the Constitution.
On that note, I will take a break from blogging — perhaps forever. I urge you to read one of my early posts, “Reveries“, for a taste of what America means to me. As for my blogging legacy, please see “A Summing Up“, which links to dozens of posts and pages that amplify and support this post.
Il faut cultiver notre jardin.
Michael Anton, “What We Still Have to Lose“, American Greatness, February 10, 2019
Rod Dreher, “Benedict Option FAQ“, The American Conservative, October 6, 2015
Roger Kimball, “Shall We Defend Our Common History?“, Imprimis, February 2019
Joel Kotkin, “Today’s Cultural Engineers“, newgeography, January 26, 2019
Daniel Oliver, “Where Has All the Culture Gone?“, The Federalist, February 8, 2019
Malcolm Pollack, “On Civil War“, Motus Mentis, March 7, 2019
Fred Reed, “The White Man’s Burden: Reflections on the Custodial State“, Fred on Everything, January 17, 2019
Gilbert T. Sewall, “The Diminishing Authority of the Bourgeois Culture“, The American Conservative, February 4, 2019
Bob Unger, “Requiem for America“, The New American, January 24, 2019