Suicide is not something with which to trifle–particularly when one is talking about the suicide of a nation. Mark Steyn addresses this topic with the detail and seriousness which it deserves:
Is America set for decline? It’s been a grand run. The country’s been the leading economic power since it overtook Britain in the 1880s. That’s impressive. Nevertheless, over the course of that century and a quarter, Detroit went from the world’s industrial powerhouse to an urban wasteland, and the once golden state of California atrophied into a land of government run by the government for the government. What happens when the policies that brought ruin to Detroit and sclerosis to California became the basis for the nation at large? Strictly on the numbers, the United States is in the express lane to Declinistan: Unsustainable entitlements, the remorseless governmentalization of the American economy and individual liberty, and a centralization of power that will cripple a nation of this size. Decline is the way to bet. But what will ensure it is if the American people accept decline as a price worth paying for European social democracy.
Is that so hard to imagine? Every time I retail the latest indignity imposed upon the “citizen” by some or other Continental apparatchik, I receive e-mails from the heartland pointing out, with much reference to the Second Amendment, that it couldn’t happen here because Americans aren’t Euro-weenies. But nor were Euro-weenies once upon a time.
How true is that. Steyn looks then at the details of the European fall from world power.
Why did decline prove so pleasant in Europe? Because it was cushioned by American power. The United States is such a perversely non-imperial power that it garrisons not ramshackle colonies but its wealthiest “allies”, from Germany to Japan. For most of its members, “the free world” has been a free ride. And that, too, is unprecedented. Even the few Nato members that can still project meaningful force around the world have been able to arrange their affairs on the assumption of the American security umbrella: In the United Kingdom, between 1951 and 1997 the proportion of expenditure on defense fell from 24 per cent to seven, while the proportion on health and welfare rose from 22 per cent to 53. And that’s before New Labour came along to widen the gap further.
Neither Mr. Steyn (nor I, though hardly of his caliber) are attempting alarmism by writing or quoting statements such as these. Rather, we are looking at the information we have (which includes thousands of years of history) and encouraging others to look at it as well–and to learn from it.
The reason history tends to repeat itself? Well, the single common thread through all of history is humanity. Only if we were able to fundamentally change how humans act and react would we be able to ensure that history past does not become history future.
As noted near the very end of the piece “decline is a choice.” But then, so is suicide.
Please read the entire article.