Those born in Europe to parents who survived the horrors of the last world war have no trouble recalling the genuine admiration, and perhaps even reverence, that their parents held for the United States of America. A mere sixty seven years ago, at the war’s end, America possessed not only an unparalleled economic advantage but, more importantly, national virtue—the moral capital that fueled its great bourgeois culture of individualism, laissez faire and liberty. Lamentably, this is no more.
“The truth is that we simply no longer understand America,” writes Jakob Augstein in Der Spiegel. He explains: “Looking at the country from Germany and Europe, we see a foreign culture. The political system is in the hands of big business and its lobbyists. The checks and balances have failed. And a perverse mix of irresponsibility, greed and religious zealotry dominate public opinion.” He is not alone in such assessment. Most intelligent admirers of that old America who have witnessed its deliberate march on the road to ruin over the last few decades would readily admit that something, somewhere, has gone terribly wrong.
The “freedom” about which the American political class babbles incessantly is not even a distant cousin to the freedom from government coercion that its Founding Fathers sought to enshrine in the Constitution. To the modern Yank, the word has degenerated into a decadent demand to possess freedom from responsibility and freedom from the consequences of folly. It is no wonder that Americans had no real choice for their President. They had to choose between an intellectually vacuous neo-conservative charlatan and a Marxist demagogue committed to destroying whatever is left of the American way of life through divisiveness and radicalism. And in the end, we can be certain that Mr. Obama’s victory was not the result of some demographic change as much as the unavoidable consequence for any degenerate democracy: the rise and prominence of an unproductive and parasitic tax-eater class.
“Our Constitution, which was intended to limit government power and abuse, has failed,” said Ron Paul in his recent farewell address to the House of Representatives:
The Founders warned that a free society depends on a virtuous and moral people. The current crisis reflects that their concerns were justified. … If it’s not accepted that big government, fiat money, ignoring liberty, central economic planning, welfarism, and warfarism caused our crisis, we can expect a continuous and dangerous march toward corporatism and even fascism with even more loss of our liberties. … Restraining aggressive behavior is one thing, but legalizing a government monopoly for initiating aggression can lead only to exhausting liberty associated with chaos, anger, and the breakdown of civil society. … I have come to one firm conviction after these many years of trying to figure out the plain truth of things. The best chance for achieving peace and prosperity, for the maximum number of people worldwide, is to pursue the cause of liberty.
To that, we can only say “Amen.” But in the meantime, we shed a tear for America.
This article was previously published in Edelweiss Journal, Issue 10 (23 November 2012)