Over the past three decades the culture has morphed into a vapid, shallow backwater of mediocrity. Ignorance is the order of the day
The Culture is killing us
One of my college professors, told me the penultimate difference between capitalism and socialism was that under capitalism man exploited man, while under socialism it was exactly the other way around.
I personally couldn’t have defined the difference any more succinctly than my late prof, but I am given to wonder how any sentient person could still believe that socialism is the salvation of man.
Interestingly, most socialist regimes of the past were imposed on countries through violent revolutionary actions that entailed significant numbers of deaths and near endless human suffering in order to someday create a ‘workers’ paradise. Think the Soviet Union, China, Cuba, North Korea, Vietnam, etc. Fairly each and every nation that has ever adopted socialism as its economic model has failed to advance the fortunes of its citizenry. Indeed, the exact opposite has happened. Hence the total collapse of the Soviet Union and its subservient satellites, the failure of the Cuban economy, where the average income is between $12 to $25 per month and the misery now plaguing Venezuela, where socialism was imposed by Hugo Chavez’s revolution in 1999.
One thing for which socialism is famous is its penchant for lowering the standard of living for everyone, save and except those of the ruling class, or nomenklatura, as it came to be called in the old Soviet Union. Hence the leaders lived like the Czar they overthrew and the rest of the population shared equally in misery, a fact that bespeaks my old prof’s sardonic definition of the difference between the two systems.
America is currently undergoing a revolution in efforts to turn its own economy from capitalism into socialism. And while this is not a particularly remarkable development in and of itself, what makes it remarkable is that for the first time in history socialism is being imposed on the people by its existing ruling class. The process to achieve this isn’t necessarily one involving violent revolution, but the end result will undoubtedly be as if it had.
Take for example the imposition of a draconian national healthcare regime. Designed to provide coverage for some 10% of the American population that did not have healthcare coverage, the regime was imposed on the other 90% that did. And while the administration crows hollowly about this Brobdingnagian victory, evidence of its harm is everywhere.
No rational individual could possibly believe that 7 million Americans actually signed on to this outlandish and expensive scheme, but it was necessary for the administration to postulate this lie, if for no other reason than to offset the over 6 million Americans that were documented having lost their existing healthcare coverage because of the new healthcare law.
But healthcare isn’t the only area in which socialism is being imposed on the nation from the top down. In other areas, such as finance, industry and agriculture the socialist hordes in the form of government regulators are running rampant and wreaking havoc in their wake.
It’s fashionable to blame George W. Bush for the housing crash, but few understand that this economic disaster had been 30 years in the making and was made inevitable by George W.’s predecessor, Bill Clinton. Clinton’s strengthening of the Community Reinvestment Act (which was initially instituted by the hapless Jimmy Carter) and its enforcement through Janet Reno’s intimidation of American mortgage lenders created the conditions that resulted directly in the collapse of the housing market and the Great Recession of 2007.
To date none of the policies the Obama administration have imposed on the country have resulted in good economic news. On the contrary, any economic gains in the US economy were in spite of the administration’s policies, not because of them. What’s more, it’s difficult to ascertain if the economy is any better off today than it was in January 2009, given the administration’s mendacity. Is the unemployment rate really at 6.7% as claimed by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, or is it closer to double digits, when considering that there are over 93 million Americans not participating in the labor force?
Then there’s the global warming/climate change boondoggle, which the administration is once again pursuing with total disregard to the economic damage its policies will impose on the nation. And what’s remarkable, as more and more people see these policies for what they are, i.e. a massive wealth redistribution scheme, its proponents are doubling down their efforts to impose their dubious policies. Now they’re calling for the incarceration of prominent individuals who argue that climate science is still open to debate and they’re legitimizing lying about their claims in the interest of the common good. But it’s all to accomplish a positive outcome.
Where have we heard this before? The Soviet Union? Nazi Germany? Fascist Italy? These are all states whose ruling classes justified their actions because they were working for the common good, much in the same way that our political elites and their intelligentsia are arguing the same.
Saddest of all is my realization that this phenomenon has little, if anything, to do with politics and everything to do with culture. Over the past three decades the culture has morphed into a vapid, shallow backwater of mediocrity. Ignorance is the order of the day. Being smart is no longer desirable. Working hard is for suckers. Honesty is for the naïve. Patriotism is a form of racism and being heterosexual is so yesteryear.
It’s in a culture such as this that diseased philosophies, like those espoused by Barack Obama and his acolytes, find root and blossom. I see very little hope for meaningful change within my lifetime and likely not within the lifetime of my children.