Fred Reed is a case in point. He see the utter hopeless mental, financial and material deterioration of Western civilization as led by the United States, the country that was once seriously referred to as the the "Leader of the Free World," and spells out the criminal imbecility of the leadership so clearly that there seems little left to say. For example:
To me Mr. Romney’s candidacy signaled the Republicans’ admirable capacity to do the impossible: find an aspirant even more depressing than Obama. But they managed. It was a triumph of the human spirit. Never underestimate American ingenuity.Or consider this:
How was this result achieved? Mr. Romney asserted that Russia is America’s most perilous adversary, wanted to deal fiercely with China, asserted the nonexistence of Palestinians, pledged his undying troth to Israel (America presumably would be a second wife), wanted to attack Iran, and thinks we need to increase the military budget.
Oh god. Oh god.
Were the Chinese paying him off? If you want to bring the United States down, keep it spending. On anything. On everything. Does nobody understand this?
It is most curious. Conservatives think that Reagan the Baffled won a great victory over the Soviet Onion by spending it into penury. Grrr. Woof. But in the great sweep of things, what he did was to increase military spending. The Russians didn’t matter: The Pentagon quickly found another financial pretext in Terrorism after the budgetary godsend in New York. Subsequent presidents continued the trend. From a Chinese point of view, it is wonderful. They build their economy while we assassinate ours. They don’t need a military. Ours is doing the job for them.
We are doomed, saith the preacher, and should accommodate ourselves to it. In times of growing governmental power, protestation at some point becomes futile. Little is served by standing in front of a charging Mongol army and shouting, “No! You should reconsider! Perhaps some other course would be advisable. Let’s parley….”We are so doomed, even Fred has lost the will to resist.
Complaint is useless. It is too late. It booteth not. We are done. The Mongols ride. America comes apart at the seams. The country turns into something altogether new, new for America.
In high school, I read Shirer, first Berlin Diary and then The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich. I had little idea what I was reading. A naval base in rural Virginia is not a hotbed of historical understanding, or any understanding. I knew nothing of Weimar or the Spartacists or the Treaty of Versailles. Still, I dimly grasped that a theretofore civilized country with great rapidity turned into something horrible. It was not an evolutionary change, like the Industrial Revolution. Brahms to Goebbels in a decade.
Something alike happens in America, and one wonders—I wonder, anyway—how can this be? In little more than a decade, the Constitution has died, the economy welters in irreversible decline, we have perpetual war, all power lies in the hands of the executive, the police are supreme, and a surveillance beyond Orwell’s imaginings falls into place.
These observations are now commonplace. It is almost boring to read of them—yet they proceed apace. Where we go, we go fast. Already against the authorities there is no recourse. Should you talk back to the police, you will spend the night in jail.
I sometimes wonder whether there is not some malign force in play, some diabolical miasma with a sense of humor that, having brought the Soviet Union down, amuses itself by turning the United States into the same thing. Or maybe it is just that if any state that can become totalitarian, it will.
But if you think Fred is a pessimist, take a look at this: