Causes of America’s Demise

A thoughtful article by Steven Kessler argues that America will go socialist to an even greater degree than already. This means America’s demise as a classical liberal enterprise.

His summary mentions 4 factors that are precipitating the demise:

“America’s size, diversity, and democratic character are precipitating our demise. The emphasis on equity, a moral foundation that causes envy, will surely lead us to a political ideology, socialism, that is widely known as the ‘politics of envy.'”

I do not think that size by itself is a cause or problem. I do not think that diversity by itself is a cause or problem. In my experience in this great country, America and Americans have been united enough to sustain a classical liberal government, even across a continent in which there were many peoples of different heritages.

A mistaken emphasis on equality is indeed a powerful contributing negative factor, but it too by itself isn’t causing our demise as a nation built upon rights.

Democracy is a bad form of government, and that too is a powerful contributing factor. However, it cannot make its negative influence felt unless the government’s power becomes great. When almost any law can be passed and still be “legal”, that is what destroys rights.

The key cause of our demise as a rights-bearing and just nation is the demise of limited government. Once it happens that anything can be voted on and become law, the negative forces are unleashed. There is then a struggle for power among the least moral people. They pander to people’s desires for equality. They stoke envy. They use the power of taxation to bribe whole classes of people and enmesh them in support of the powers of government.

As long as government is kept limited, size, diversity, envy, striving for equality and even democracy play a limited role.

The key to American economic success, based upon rights, has always been limited government and it still is. This is what Kessler misses in an otherwise good article that addresses an important question.

This diagnosis focuses our attention on a key question: Why have we moved further and further to unlimited government?


9:17 am on March 23, 2019