Fred Reed recently wrote an article entitled Going Faster and Faster: The Acceleration Of Decline on the decay of morality in America since 1964. I can't argue with him. Many, many people of our generation have noticed it and complained about it. There doesn't seem to be anything we can do to stop it. Fred Reed lays the blame on our educational system and on our media. I believe he is correct, but I also believe the root cause goes much deeper in our society.
Science tells us that contradictions can't exist, that is, that one thing cannot be its opposite at the same time. Thus, according to the law of gravity, you can't fall up. In human social matters, however, contradictions abound. Thus, while a political government tells society they are there to protect us, the same political government turns around and destroys the society that supports it. That's 100% historical reality. It appears that practicing hypocrites will run into inescapable problems with reality sooner or later. I think our society is colliding with its own contradictions right now.
Like it or not, American culture was rooted in Greco-Roman traditions, in Christianity, and in English Common Law. These roots never were entirely compatible with each other. Without thinking too precisely about who owns what, our political founders wrote these contradictions into our Constitution, which immediately resulted in the Whiskey Rebellion, a tax revolt. Article One, Section Nine protected slavery, one Greco-Roman tradition that contradicts Christianity and one that required hypocrites to defend it in Common Law.
Further contradictions would be exploited as politicians discovered them. So within two generations Lincoln launched the savage war that violated all American cultural heritage. The survivors of that terror had children and their grandchildren went to die in the trenches of France. Survivors of that terror had children who went to die all over the planet. Survivors of that terror had children who grew up with the daily threat of nuclear holocaust and who finally went to die in Southeast Asia. The survivors of that terror had children who can't read, don't care, ingest drugs, kill each other, and generally act like uncivilized savages without any cultural heritage at all. They're right. They don't. Our children have inherited the consequences of two-centuries of contradictions, including slavery, Sherman's civilian extermination, Mustard gas, Dresden, Hiroshima, the Cold War, and, finally, Imperial War, all nicely documented in bleeding color on television, on the Internet, and in news media everywhere. What will come of this?
I don't know. I live by The Golden Rule and I taught my children to live by it as well. I believe that people in any society live by the golden rule, whether they know it or not, in the selfish desire to keep on living and thriving. That purpose itself may not exist inside the corrupt society inside the most corrupt and dangerous Capital on Earth, the society that Fred Reed describes, but I see that purpose still pursued elsewhere. Political governments are bringing about the collision of contradictions against this reality: people want to live and thrive. Political coercion is not compatible with this purpose; political coercion is not compatible with the golden rule; so we've got this problem.
Two centuries of political contradictions have effectively severed our culture from its roots, but no political government can sever the connection between the human desire to live and thrive and the natural way to accomplish it, following the golden rule. What political government can do and has done throughout history, in order to defend its own accumulation of contradictions, is to destroy its own society. Our current political regime is doing exactly that.
What can we do about it? Nothing much that I can see; hope we survive, pray we survive, study alternatives, teach the children who want to learn, and damn the people who brought us to this pass.
June 13, 2002
Copyright © 2002 Robert Klassen