A culture in collapse
By News Editors // Jan 22, 2024

In the last six months, we have borne witness to many iconic moments evidencing the collapse of American culture.

(Article by Victor Davis Hanson republished from AMGreatness.com)

The signs are everywhere and cover the gamut of politics, the economy, education, social life, popular culture, foreign policy, and the military. These symptoms of decay share common themes.

Our descent is self-induced; it is not a symptom of a foreign attack or subterfuge. Our erosion is not the result of poverty and want, but of leisure and excess. We are not suffering from existential crises of famine, plague, or the collapse of our grid and fuel sources. Prior, far poorer, and war-torn generations now seem far better off than what we are becoming.

What is happening to us is not due to an adherence to a too strict conservative tradition but is almost exclusively the wage of the progressive project.

In short, we are seeing fissures that America has not experienced in our cultural history since the Civil War. The radical Left apparently feels such chaos, anarchy, and nihilism are necessary to topple past norms and customs and thereby adhere to a socialist, equity agenda that no one in normal times would stomach.

Some of the decay is existential and fundamental; some anecdotal and illustrative. But either way, while decline came about gradually over decades, its sudden and abrupt chaos during the three years of Biden’s presidency has shocked Americans.

Financial Implosion

As long as interest rates were de facto zero, both parties ran up gargantuan debt. Now the national debt has hit $34 trillion. But two odd things have also happened under the Biden administration that are beginning to undermine the very existence of the U.S. financial system:

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1) Interest rates have soared from de facto zero and are on a trajectory to 5.5%—meaning that the interest on the debt, in theory, in the not too distant future will require 20 percent of the annual budget, squeezing out both entitlements and defense.

2) Yet the upcoming rendezvous with economic Armageddon has not slowed a Biden administration intent on borrowing nearly $2 trillion in the current fiscal year.

The public is baffled: is the Left playing chicken with us? Is the strategy to “gorge the beast,” thereby demanding even higher federal taxes, which, combined with many state taxes, now exceed 50 percent of one’s income?

Is the goal massive “redistribution” by ensuring “equity” by gouging the middle class and rich? Or is the left’s goal more nihilistic: to force a remedy for insolvency by ensuring high inflation, renouncing government debt, or government appropriation of private capital?

Military Crises

Americans have lost deterrence abroad.

Confusion reigns among the public over why the Biden administration fled from Afghanistan, leaving behind billions of dollars of munitions and equipment in the hands of Taliban terrorists. Why did it allow a Chinese spy balloon to traverse the continental U.S. with impunity?

And why did Biden signal to Russia when preparing an invasion of Ukraine that our reaction would depend on the magnitude of Putin’s offensive? Why has military recruitment cratered, shorting the Pentagon of thousands of soldiers?

Why do Iranian proxies attack almost daily U.S. installations abroad and ships in the Red Sea, apparently without fear of reprisal? Why did Hamas slaughter Israelis on October 7? What explains our indifference or ennui?

Is the answer a deliberate effort to curb supposed American “arrogance” by once more leading from behind? Are we rebooting the Obama Administration’s bankrupt idea of empowering an Iranian crescent from Teheran to Damascus to Beirut to Gaza to ensure “creative tension” between Israel and the moderate Arabs and Persian-led theocratic Shiites?

Why do our officer classes rotate in and out of lucrative military consultantships, lobbying billets, and board membership on corporate defense contractors—as if their innate talents rather than their lifelong contacts with current serving procurement officers earned their exorbitant fees?

Why did our retired four stars with disdain violate the uniform code of military justice by serially and publicly trashing the commander in chief? Why has the Pentagon revolutionized the entire system of recruitment, promotions, and tenure in the armed forces by predicating them in large part on race, gender, and sexual orientation rather than merit or battlefield efficacy? Did we learn anything from the old Soviet commissariat system? Would we prefer to lose a war by promoting equity than win one by ensuring liberty?

Why did the top brass go after supposedly “insurrectionist” white males (who died at twice their demographics during combat in Iraq and Afghanistan) in the military, only to discover from their own internal investigations that no such cabal of “domestic terrorists” existed, and only to drive out thousands more of the maligned by stupidly requiring COVID vaccinations from those with naturally acquired immunity?

In sum, the U.S. will either undergo a post-Vietnam-like revolution in the military or, in late Roman imperial fashion, our armed forces will be unable to defend the interests or indeed, the very safety, of the U.S.

Race

Why, when so-called non-white ethnicities and races were achieving parity with or exceeding the majority population in per capita income and when racial intermarriage was commonplace, did we blow up the values of the civil rights movement and revert to precivilizational tribalism? Who were the sophists who convinced us that racially segregated dorms, safe spaces, and graduations, or using race as an arbiter of admissions and hiring, were not racist?

When did we lump together an entire cadre of diverse ancestries, ethnicities, religions, politics, classes, and values and dub them all “white,” and then smear them collectively in stereotypical fashion? When did we calibrate race as the chief determinative factor in our identities? Have we become premodern tribal people—feuding clans right out of the Norse sagas, ghosts of the Balkans nursing ancient grievances and hatreds? Since when in history has a nation’s “diversity” ever been preferable to its “unity”?

Read more at: AMGreatness.com



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