Friday, June 17, 2011

Where is America headed?

It’s our own fault. It’s not like we weren’t warned.

Of course, most of the people who warned us are dead—having died long ago.

In his own way, Plato warned us. He said that there are really only two important questions that will determine the course of a republic:

  1. Who teaches the children?
  2. What do they teach them?

Well, the greater part of a century ago—about two-and-a-half generations past—most Americans decided that the easiest way to educate succeeding generations was to turn them over to state-run schools with teachers trained in state-run colleges. And now—just now—we’re waking up to the fact that most of the citizens—products of a state-run education system—believe with all their heart and mind that the answer to almost every problem we face is (none other than) “the state.”

Who taught children? The state taught them.

What did they teach them? They taught them that “the state” is the solution; that collectivism—not individualism—is a better way; and that we are the problem and bigger government holds all the answers.

So, where is America headed?

Due to our own lack of vigilance for liberty—while we were busy “making a living” and enjoying what we made—those in whose minds it was to create a “new society” and a “new world order” have been diligently working day-in and day-out to take our republic and our posterity from us. I’m not talking “conspiracy theory” here; and this is not intended to hyperbolic rhetoric. There was no need for a conspiracy. All it took was for we, the people, to first be frightened into surrendering liberty in favor of “security” (falsely so-called) from Big Government. This was rooted in actions taken during the Civil War (another topic altogether), but blossomed into full fruition during the years of “The Great Depression.” The war years (i.e., WWI and WWII) also contributed to the willingness of us Americans to surrender more and more liberty in order to obtain more and more a sense of safety from all that could harm us.

Next came the years of prosperity and plenty. The generation that survived the lean years of the Depression sought to assure that their own children would lack nothing—plenty of food, plenty of clothes, plenty of everything. And, the generation that followed that one had even more bread and circuses.

Meanwhile, a relatively small number of ideologues were being influenced by radical new concepts introduced almost simultaneously on three different fronts. In the world of science, Albert Einstein set forth the concept of relativity in his famous “Special Theory.” By the early 1920s, for the first time, it was becoming increasingly popular to hold the idea that there really were no absolutes. What began as relativity in time and space emerged in the minds of many as relativity in the realms of good and evil, moral and immoral.

The transmutation of relativity from the world of science into other realms of human thought was augmented by the teachings of Sigmund Freud. Freudianism seemed to grow and expand until it was held by many in an almost religious sense. Freud’s body of work brought legitimacy to extrapolating from the relativity of the hard sciences (a la Einstein) to the relativity of moral values.

The third power that emerged was the philosophy of Karl Marx and Marxism, teaching that what one sees in the world of work is not the reality. That beneath the veneer of visible economic relationships was an “inner” and “concealed” essential pattern. These three—Karl Marx, Sigmund Freud and Albert Einstein—all brought the same message to willing listeners: What you see is not what you get. Everything is relative and what appear to be absolutes are not absolute at all.

These concepts tended to undermine the American traditions of personal responsibility and duty toward a reasonably settled moral code. Nevertheless, these very concepts were taught in colleges and universities. More importantly, they were taught in colleges and universities to those who were going to be the teachers and administrators who would run public school systems where children of succeeding generations would be taught.

So, where are we headed?

If we do nothing—or do something, but do it too weakly, with lack of intent, or failing in vigor—we are headed for the predictable collapse of all democracies (for we have already surrendered most of our republic).

We must be careful of our path, however.

Those on the left, with their penchant for collectivism, have long sought enforcement of uniformity from the national government and the federal courts. They want everyone everywhere to be subject to the moral relativism to which they blindly fly. This, of course, is never what the Founding Fathers intended.

Those on the right have too frequently make the same error. Of course, they were often provoked to staking their moral claims in Congress and in the federal courts in reaction to what was being promulgated by the Left. Nevertheless, such actions are wrong, for the Founding Fathers planned for a national government that permitted and supported diversity within the unity of the nation.

In the mind of the Founding Fathers, the national government was to remain neutral in matters of a personal and moral nature. Even criminal law was to be determined by states and localities, and enforcement against criminal or immoral behaviors was to be left to states, counties and cities. The federal government was to have no interest in such matters.

Such a brilliant concept allowed for one state, county or locality to hold one set of standards for moral conduct (say, on prostitution or homosexual “marriage”) while another state, county or city might have an entirely different set of standards and laws. The nation could remain whole and unified while those who preferred one lifestyle over another could choose in which states or localities they would live based on the criminal and moral code in effect in each place.

Because the steps that brought us to where we are today are our failings—all of us citizens and voters—the path back must be to retrace our steps. We—all of us who are of such a mind—must contribute to the cause of re-educating our children, our friends, our relatives and our co-workers. We must undo the mis-education step-by-step, one person at a time. There is no magic wand to wave. There is only the hard work of finding the proper “compass” and retracing our steps back to a healthy republic and a healthy economy.

That is, if we can do it. If we can beat back the leviathan we have created.

That remains to be seen.


1bigdogmac said...

You have hit the Nail on the head. We need less Government in our daily lives not more. With more government we loose our freedom. Or Freewill. The one thing even god cannot force upon us.

Emam Muhammedd said...

With G*D's NAME: Yes i agree, "WE THE PEOPLE" must return to the formula of our Founding Fathers formula for success in what you said crowned by "IN OUR CREATOR WE TRUST."

Emam Muhammedd said...

With G*D's NAME: As president i will enhance our education system 100% via bringing our CREATOR into the class rooms until that happens USA will continue to suffer in all areas of Civilizations meaningful growth & development because our children are being deprived the most vital aspect of their education=true knowledge of our LORD CREATOR, the root cause of all USA's problems. Yes! i have a plan to restore sanity, economic recovery and over all well being to our illustrious Nation! "Without Change there is no Progress", the change needed is submission to our CREATOR via the one HE has appointed to represent HIM to USA Citizens. Please follow me on Twitter imam Muhammad1 @deputyMahdi, thank you.

RDCushing said...

Thank you for your comments. I am happy to follow you on Twitter. You will find me @RDCushing on Twitter, as well.

A_gem_restored said...

I totally agree with you. The best way to get one to conform is to make them think it was his/her idea, which is what our government has done. It has done so with security threats, a poor health care system, and a fragile economy. So the people have requested health care reform, more security,etc., and it has gotten to the point where we are depending on our government instead of ourselves and most importantly the promises of God!