07 08 10 - 07:45A society stays together when it is founded on a small group of principles. That way, every citizen can derive the information they need to know from that founding logic. When that logic gets fractured, societies fall apart.
I wrote the following on New Year's day, 1994. America 16 years ago was a relatively content nation, though full of political sparks: 10 months later the Republicans would take the House for the first time in 40 years. But beneath all the action was, I thought, a coming unease. Something inside was telling us we were living through "not the placid dawn of a peaceful age but the illusory calm before stern storms."
The temperature in the world was very high. "At home certain trendsâcrime, cultural tension, some cultural Balkanizationâwill, we fear, continue; some will worsen. In my darker moments I have a bad hunch. The fraying of the bonds that keep us together, the strangeness and anomie of our popular culture, the increase in walled communities . . . the rising radicalism of the politically correct . . . the increased demand of all levels of government for the money of the people, the spotty success with which we are communicating to the young America's reason for being and founding beliefs, the growth of cities where English is becoming the second language . . . these things may well come together at some point in our lifetimes and produce something painful indeed. I can imagine, for instance, in the year 2020 or so, a movement in some states to break away from the union. Which would bring about, of course, a drama of Lincolnian darkness. . . . You will know that things have reached a bad pass when Newsweek and Time, if they still exist 15 years from now, do cover stories on a surprising, and disturbing trend: aging baby boomers leaving America, taking what savings they have to live the rest of their lives in places like Africa and Ireland."
The biggest political change in my lifetime is that Americans no longer assume that their children will have it better than they did. This is a huge break with the past, with assumptions and traditions that shaped us.
But they look around, follow the political stories and debates, and deep down they think their children will live in a more limited country, that jobs won't be made at a great enough pace, that taxesâtoo many people in the cart, not enough pulling itâwill dishearten them, that the effects of 30 years of a low, sad culture will leave the whole country messed up. - WSJ
She nails something that few people are afraid to tackle: America is in decline because it has become a parasite-state.
Being a modern person, and unable to think outside the modern paradigm, she keeps returning to economics. Maybe if we just have more money flowing through, people will go back to that happy oblivion where they don't worry about consequences.
At this blog, we tend to look deeper into the past and future, because we know that more factors than economics determine events. Maybe not voters -- who have the attention span of a 2-year-old -- but the transaction of history, surely.
At that level, the entire West is fragmenting because it no longer agrees on what's important or what should be done. In turn, that has led to an end-game cycle: the left wants more entitlements, the right tries to make more infrastructure that generates wealth.
While the populist right is more realistic than the left, both sides have gotten bought out just like the voters. "Oh, there's jobs!" -- throw all other worries out the window.
An honest conservative party will start mentioning the obvious:
- We need to be us. The only happy societies are homogenous.
- End the subsidy state. We don't want parasites or protected classes.
- Less is more government. Bureaucracies kill.
- Real green action. Buying CFLs doesn't do it. Reduce population, increase national forest.
But these things are still "too extreme" for most people, who have forgotten that most of history is extreme and EVERY nation thinks -- shortly before it collapses -- that it's too big to fail, has too much technology, and is too "enlightened" for "savage" behavior like revolution and warfare.
The real indicator of failure: a nation so divided people don't know what's true and what's not:
Police investigated at Fusco Corp. in New Haven just after 11 a.m. on Thursday morning after getting a call from a security officer.
The officer at Building 4 of Science Park in New Haven reported having information about an employee, Francis Laskowski, 58, of Derby saying he understood the shooterâs mindset.
The shooter, Omar Thornton killed eight people and injured two before apparently killing himself, police said. He went on a rampage after being fired from Hartford Distributors, a beer distributor and told 911 dispatchers that HDI was a racist organization and he took things into his own hands. The company said that Thorton was treated fairly. - NBC
Which one was it? Was he an oppressed victim of racial discrimination, or a thief who stole from the trucks he worked with, then flipped out when he got fired?
It's not an essay questions. Yes or no. One or zero.
Modern people are trained by their televisions, politicians, corporate overlords and friends to say "well believe whatever you want to, and ignore other opinions." But in our hearts we all know that is dysfunctional. The truth is out there, whether we deny it or not. And denying it just furthers the conflict.
Here's another hilarious one:
Mohammed Shahjahan, 27, of Slaymaker Close, was found guilty of rape and sexual assault.
Feizal Ali, 26, of Howard Street, was convicted of sexual assault.
Shahjahan shouted: "The system is racist anyway," before being led away. - BBC
So which is it?
Is he a rapist, or a victim of racism?
It can only be one, because if he's a rapist, he's not the victim.
One or zero, yes or no. Which? We can't just be relativistic about this and say "well whatever you want to believe, man."
Reality's out there. Do we have food for today -- YES OR NO? Does this guy we're thinking of letting in to our community have the plague -- YES OR NO? These wandering Mongol herders, are they disguised attackers -- YES OR NO?
Figure it out, modern world. You've become so detached from reality you've come to consider it arbitrary. And because we fanatically insist we're all equal, you feel perfectly empowered to make any old random decision and insist it's just as valid, meaningful and "correct" as any other.
Hint: nature doesn't care. Real life doesn't care. You can only make these decisions because you live in a wealth, corrupt nation.
Reality exists. It's out there. And as we've gotten fatter and dumber, we've drifted away from the golden rule of the scientific method:
Narrowly speaking, the correspondence theory of truth is the view that truth is correspondence to a factâa view that was advocated by Russell and Moore early in the 20th century. But the label is usually applied much more broadly to any view explicitly embracing the idea that truth consists in a relation to reality, i.e., that truth is a relational property involving a characteristic relation (to be specified) to some portion of reality (to be specified). - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
We can invent purely theoretical statements in our heads: if I invent a hofus and a rudus, which are two types of shapes, and they both fit into a goombus, I can say they're goombus-derived and have that be true. I can even deconstruct (translation: remove context, make arbitrary) that statement and have it be true. But it's "true" in a world that is not our own.
Back to reality. Yes or no. Live or die. Thrive or fail. Which do we pick?
At the present time, we're still playing with mental constructs, wondering when we'll have to pay the piper.