Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The History of Social Progress and Fading American Ideals

I've made progress but am still working on my thoughts about the terrible price in this particular case of the understandable elation of electing our first black president. But today, I was forwarded a link to an article at Front Page: Obama's Road To Damascus , which is about first signals of imprudent foreign policy.

But in my anxiety about what may well be afoot, I replied about the precarious state of America's exceptional and advantageous place in the world.

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First of all, the link didn’t work (Page not found). But I was able to look the article up. I’ve listened to a lot of conservatives who are girding to confront what Obama and a liberal Congress may present and who feel that conservatism will review itself and make a come back, which I’m certain it will…a comeback of sorts.

But I am very concerned about the future of America. It is rather a big trick to collapse a social system in quick fashion and yes, other countries have taken steps back in a conservative direction in the face of the dysfunction that liberal policies have brought about. Yes, it’s almost beyond doubt that liberal expanding and intruding government will see token pullbacks in the face of the problems that will be the consequence of liberal policies. But in nations where its best moments might have been described as, “Two steps forward and one step back,” in the larger picture, it has always been that way in a inexorable progress to the left.

I am deeply troubled about might be distilled to a couple of points:

1. Perhaps the most notable pullback in Western history brought the election of Margaret Thatcher in Britain which had like much of Europe followed a route of socialism. Thatcher served as British Prime Minister of Britain from 1970 to 1990. Like the American President Ronald Reagan, she was able to implement some measures to encourage economic activity and bring some relief of the stagnation brought by liberal policies.

But, I recently heard discussion of how she had hoped to repeal the implementation which the socialist trend had implemented. But, that was not about to happen. Similarly in the US, Reagan was unable to staunch the growth of spending and government expansion. Tax reduction brought a doubling of revenues to the federal treasury, due to invigorated economic activity. But on budgetary terms, that was to no avail as spending tripled in the same period of time. Social Security and Medicare have divorced children from responsibility to their own parents. Parents care for their children from birth to near or beyond twenty years of age. But when parents age, there is no responsibility to reciprocate. On the whole, the government social system has not only morally maimed children, but has also relegated the elderly to a pittance in terms of living standard. But the famous “third rail of politics that is the FICA system is not only intractable, it is not even open for discussion. Bush (again) brought up Social Security, but it was summarily blown out of the water, and Bush slinked back to his corner.

Once a people has become dependent on a system, it would appear that only a revolution can change it, which incidentally has never happened.

2. All discussion of the benefit or detriment of the process of government socialization leave out what is clearly to me an essential point. The socializing nations have been to some considerable extent parasitic on a freer American society. Even beyond the fact that American power has repeatedly in the past come to defend other nations to weak to defend themselves. America has also been the seedbed of much of the technological advancement and education the fruit of which all nations have benefited from. But such advancement will be decidedly impaired once the chains of government are applied to American society. Sure, as has happened in Europe, government will necessarily in multivariate ways subsidize the largest established corporations in America. But, the seed of innovation is usually in startup commercial efforts, who are suppressed or obstructed by regulation or the subsidy of big business. So, if America is a last holdout for private liberty and the economic vitality that affords an overwhelming military, what does that mean not just for America, but for the world?

The respect for the sanctity of human life which is at the precipice of not just neglect but being utterly forgotten, Is at the foundation of the civil social character which enables both the defense of alien peoples and the conduct of civil society.

16 comments:

Borghesius said...

At the risk of sounding like a right wing reliculous extremist:
Contrary to the liberal fears about right wing extremists implementing a theocracy, the current trend is for materialist anti-religious to look to politics as their religion, the political figures as their prophets, and the Government as both their god and their father, dispensing rights and material goods. The Socialism is their religion and is the theocracy they warn against, because their belief system is very intolerant of other views.
This will be a harder task for evangelization because previous pagans were concerned with truth and understanding creation, and believed in things outside of themselves. What is to be done with a people whose primary worship focus is internal, I-doltry? And I agree, looking over the last 300 years the road appears to be one way. I really grieve the souls that were lost to post "enlightenment" belief systems.
Things could reverse though, in a number of ways. the center of civilization may end up shifting to other locations, possible hope can be found in missions coming to us from Africa, South America, and Asia, or a single (or a few) persuasive person can and have) changed the course of history. As much as I would like America to remain the exceptional indispensible nation and will continue to work for that, in the cosmic scheme of things it is not absolutely required. We can either reform ourselves or be subject to the big smackdown, either from interior corruption/collapse (reaping what we sow) or from outside agents (Islam or China: I hear that due to one-child forced abortion China and India have vast numbers of extra males, great for combat). So, do we set up parallel social institutions to take over when this collapses, or fight culture to culture, religion vs. religion, morality vs. self-indulgence?
Yes. Will it work here? I don't know. Is the other side equally fervent? I don't think so, because in the long run it will be difficult to rally people to sacrifice and strain in the cause of Hedonistic self indulgence. I just don't know how much damage will occur meanwhilt.
Hey, has anyone heard that they are making the "Screwtape Letters" into a movie?

Larry said...

Borghesius:

I haven't heard that about The Screwtape Letters. But, I wonder who would be making it and if the might screwtape it up.

Anyway, you are spot on. I've said for a very long time that we have the advantage of truth on our side. But, we have to speak it with clarity, conviction and resolve. Republicans who care only about calculating the political winds and speaking what Reagan called, "pale pastels" are going to ose because their effort is a peripheral one to their other personal business.

Liberals are more bold because the socio-political field is their church. They are in with both feet and brass knuckles. They have their own creation myth and sins, and redemption is in a political victory like they just had. Lately, I've even caled global warming the secular apocalypse.

But, I can't see how Obama can live up to their fantasies and their unbending objectives. Congress will pull him but his advisors will warn against imprudent action. So there may soon be tensions.

You are also right about the Lately, I've even caled global warming the secular apocalypse ascendancy of God's plans and people, irrespective of whether America commits suicide.

I recently watched a presentation of Tufts University atheist philosopher Daniel Dennet. He and the other pop-atheist authors/speakers Dawkins, Harris, Hitchens and others, believe they will experience an ultimate triumph over the superstition of "religious belief" that they scorn.

Anyway, Dennet was making this presentation and he put up a slide of a map showing how Christianity is declining. It's true that Christianity is declining in The West, maybe even here. But, the areas he had marked as dominated by Buddhism and Hinduism are actually flowering with a burgeoning Christianity. In China, India, Africa and South America, burgeoning Christianity is growing by leaps and bounds. Those places are already sending missionaries to The West. China is struggling to recognize and legitimate Christianity without it presenting a threat. The West is in crisis (Europe is already largely overrun with Islam). But God is doing just fine. Our only choice is whether we will have a long-term part in it.

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