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Where is Our Nation Headed?

November 11, 2012

In our last Foundation of Liberty seminar, teacher and mentor Dr. Shanon Brooks made a statement that he throught it would be better if Barack Obama were re-elected.  I couldn’t believe what I was hearing!  But, as we discussed it more, it brought us back to the Tytler Cycle of Democracy that we learned about early on in the seminars.  The Tytler Cycle shows now nations go through set phases each 250-300 years.  While you must go through every phase of the cycle at some point, the amount of time that a people must be in any given phase varies.  The first phases where public Virtue runs people, and we are focused more on principles and forms:  Spiritual Faith, Courage, Liberty, Abundance.  The second half of the cycle is when business and government run the people:  Selfshness, Complacency, Apathy, Dependence and Bondage.

I believe that we as a nation are currently in the advanced stage of Bondage.  No, not the “chains” that Joe Biden spoke of.  But bondage in the form of massive debt, both personal as in the mortgage crisis that brought our country to it’s knees, or government debt that is piling on with no end in sight and crippling our economy and status as a great nation. We also are in moral bondage, by our addictions to drugs, alcohol, sex and simply “things” in general.  Our Congress is full of people who we elect not because they do what is best for our country, but for the amount of pork that they can bring home to the district. Our political parties, which while having good people in them, have become institutions of corruption and power grabbing.  Dr. Brooks’ comment about electing Obama was in the belief that it would hasten the breakdown of the America of today, and speed us into the new cycle beginning with the spiritual faith as shown by the colonists who settled here over three centuries ago.

Our government leaders do not follow the principles of our founding documents the Declaration of Independence and Constitution.  In fact the authors of these documents would hardly know that they were in America if they came back today.  As Ayn Rand predicted in “Atlas Shrugged”, we have become a nation with more takers than makers, and this is not  sustainable but will only end with the takers destroying any and all creative ability of the makers.  In the end, the takers can not survive on their own dependency and greed.

What ails our nation cannot be blamed on Obama, Bush, or even Johnson and the “Great Society”.  The start of the  fall goes back a century to around 1913, with the progressive age of bigger government and more power in the hand of the federal politicians.

Much is being said about the way American demographics have changed.  I believe that what makes America what it is has nothing to do with skin color or age.  The fountain of power comes from “we the people” who can only give power by the consent of the governed.  We get the government we deserve, and I’m afraid that is true in this era of “bread and circus” and “where’s mine? attitudes.  Until we start to look inward to fix our own moral failings and take responsibility for our own fate, we as a nation will only continue the trend of decline.  The next book on my reading list is Gibbon “Decline and Fall, and we all know how that turned out.  God help America.

10 Comments leave one →
  1. Mike permalink
    November 11, 2012 4:08 pm

    Good comments. Though I am not ready to accept that we are in a cycle that cannot be broken, as I believe it is possible to sever it and bring it back by Faith and Courage to restore Liberty. Our mission has not changed. We must continue our work to restore constitutional limited government as our founding fathers created and envisioned us to defend and protect.

    • Robert permalink
      November 12, 2012 7:09 am

      Silver lining for who? We are all going to have to live through this decline, and any rebirth of the type mentioned will not happen in our lifetimes. Most dangerous is that as this nation declines, the rest of the free world goes with it. Unlike all of the other social-democratic states around the world, we won’t have the luxury they have enjoyed: That of the United States keeping the peace

      • November 12, 2012 11:59 am

        Agree. We have further to all than any other nation, and when we do, we may precipitate the end of other nations power. We’ve been propping the rest of the world up for a long time.

  2. Mike A permalink
    November 12, 2012 10:20 am

    I understand your point, but I’m not sure we can say we are in the advanced stage of bondage when you consider that Obamacare alone has not been fully implemented (if fact it’s yet to get barely off the ground) and we haven’t even seen the effects of energy regulation and or the debt imposed upon us. The obvious fear is we won’t see an improvement in our lifetime, but rather a further decline.

    • November 12, 2012 11:51 am

      Everyone might have a different view of where we are in the cycle. Keep in mind that a “phase” could last a day or a century or more. It’s very possible we may not live to see the end of the decline, and the rebirth into “spiritual liberty” I fear it’s gonna get much worse before it gets better. The broker Paine (can’t remember first name) who is a FOX pundit was speaking of this very thing…he felt that we are ending the time of “big empires”, and socialism will take over, and that we in the US might have to go through that first before completely hitting bottom to start to rise again.

  3. Me and a lot of others... permalink
    November 12, 2012 3:15 pm

    Our founding fathers were “realistic optimists.” We must be, too.

    I heard someone (most everyone knows) on the radio say (greatly summarized) that historically it is unlikely that our nation will survive much longer. But it was failed to mention that, historically, it was VERY unlikely that this nation was even founded. We are a nation of the people, the most different government in all the history of man.

    We must be realistically optimistic. Don’t give up or give in! This may just be a test of our commitments and convictions. As with our founding over 200 years ago, “with God, all things are possible!”

    • November 12, 2012 3:36 pm

      While I think we have dark days ahead, the idea of these cycles actually helps me get through. It doesn’t mean we are giving up or giving in. It just helps put all of the political garbage in perspective….and shows how, in the end….if the people themselves become corrupted, it doesn’t matter who is President or what party is in power.

  4. November 16, 2012 11:08 pm

    You say– > We also are in moral bondage, by our addictions to drugs, alcohol, sex and simply “things” in general. Our Congress is full of people who we elect not because they do what is best for our country, but for the amount of pork that they can bring home to the district. Our political parties, which while having good people in them, have become institutions of corruption and power grabbing. Dr. Brooks’ comment about electing Obama was in the belief that it would hasten the breakdown of the America of today, and speed us into the new cycle beginning with the spiritual faith as shown by the colonists who settled here over three centuries ago.<

    I have to say, I find this a-historical and largely wrong.

    Before 1914, Americans drank much more alcohol per head than they do now. They also consumed large quantities of opiates in patent medicines. In fact, they didn't bother their heads with any "War on Drugs" and just consumed them as they wanted. Beer and Whiskey flowed
    through the veins of the nation in a way that is pretty much unimaginable today.

    Congress then, was much more obviously corrupt than it is today. Ward heelers, Tammany Hall style machines, payments for votes, it was all just "out there." Again, to a degree that we can scarcely imagine today. "Pork Barrel" derives its name from the practice, then, of distributing real pork to real voters in one's district. The parties were also completely in bed with giant companies and banks who bought and sold politicians more or less openly.

    Media then was also highly partisan. Papers didn't even pretend to report the truth, they were simply vehicles for opinion,
    misinformation and party political vitriol. In other words it was all Fox News.

    In addition, talking of moral bondage! In that era open racism and hatred towards blacks, jews, Irish, catholics, mexicans and French Canadians, was more than widespread, it was virtually universal. All sorts of unpleasant terms that have gone by the wayside were in daily use, wop, kike, wetback, nigger, the list is a long one. The african american population of the Southern States existed in a weird and ugly state of unofficial subjugation. "Jim Crow" rules and laws kept them from voting, from owning property, from legal claims in contracts, from education, and even from freedom of movement. Backing up the laws and restrictions was the constant threat of murderous violence, whether from the Ku Klux Klan, or from local mobs.

    You might perhaps, have a point concerning an addiction to things. Materialism is the flavor of the age, and it can be ugly. But, surely this is a quandary for a capitalist society. What's the point of working so hard, if there aren't to be material rewards? If we're to value spiritual things above the material, then you can be assured, we're not going to work very hard. Our work ethic will decline to that of the medieval peasant.

    More than these specifics, on the general point. The theories of "Cycles" and decline have been knocking around for more than a century. I would say they have had their day and they have been found wanting. See Spengler's "Decline of the West," published 1917-23. Spengler's work was infused with the gloom of a defeated Imperial Germany, but the concept came to him before 1914. Others have promoted a similar set of ideas. Perhaps we can blame Arnold Toynbee for setting this ball rolling with his "Study of History" (1889.)

    But, despite savage wars, and relative economic decline (not absolute decline, please note)
    Western culture has continued to thrive in a hideously active and aggressive way. It has flowed out to enliven China and India, while driving strict reductionist Arab Muslims completely bonkers with rage. Even as they use cellphones and watch DVD porno in secret. You probably observed the lineup of new leaders of the Chinese Communist Party this past week. All wore matching black, western style suits, red ties, white shirts and I bet, black shoes and socks. The uniform of western business. Indeed, whether it's jet planes, pop music, movies, video games, I-phones, Windows, Google, soft drinks, comic books, or Harry Potter (or even 50 shades of Grey!) it is western cultural artifacts that rule.

    It has not been entirely one way traffic. Along the route, the west has cheerfully absorbed chinese cuisine, curry, sushi, Eastern religion, Yoga, oriental martial arts, and the thoughts of Chairman Mao. But, please note, Chinese musicians play Beethoven, Japanese billionaires bid millions for French Impressionist paintings, and India and Pakistan play Cricket, a game that developed in the county of Kent, circa 1730.

    In every conceivable way, Western Culture remains the most dynamic, aggressive and disorganized of all earthly cultures. It grows like yeast, it pervades the cultural atmosphere like yeast, and it ferments madly whenever an opportunity is provided.

    What's really missing from the Cycles argument is an understanding (or acceptance) of the way Technology and Science have broken earlier socio-economic patterns and pushed us, and our culture, onto a faster track, rising either to the stars, or to an ultimate collapse on a global scale, as we exhaust our planet's finite resources.

    • GardinersRight permalink
      November 18, 2012 11:26 am

      I didn’t mean to imply that pre 1913, we were a nation of saints, and have gone, relatively, downhill ever since. The founders knew, through history, that humans are inevitably corrupt when it comes to power, as a fact of human nature (Adam & Eve). This is why they framed the Constitution the way they did, with all of the checks and balances. Human nature and the struggle for power need to be checked. “Western Culture” is less about how we live, than who we are as a people in America. The following apt quote from John Adams, Second president of the United States, was recently sent to me: “The revenue creates pensioners, and the pensioners urge for more revenue. The people grow less steady, spirited, and virtuous. the seekers more numerous and more corrupt, and every day increases the circles of the dependents and expectants, until virtue, integrity, public spirit, simplicity, and frugality become the objects of ridicule and scorn, and vanity, foppery, selfishness, meanness and downright venality swallow up the whole society.” More takers than makers, and that’s where we are headed, technology, science and all.

  5. January 22, 2013 12:15 pm

    I would agree that we started down the slippery slope at the turn of the Century. What is occurring in Washington is only a reflection of our desires to take and not give back. Our Federal Government has so many give me programs that the unwilling to work in numbers elected our current President.

    Soon Russia, China, and now us, America shall be on the same playing field. We are one now, says those who are leading this Country down the path of total Government control.

    Then those who take shall seek to take from those who saw this coming. Great plan our Government has for our Country.

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