The Dissolution of the American Dream

It is not easy to write about the dissolution of the American Dream, yet evidence of its demise is all around us. Believers in an earthly paradise with no police, pristine nature, peace and love would see, if they open their eyes, that their demands have made large parts of our country unlivable. Their belief that it is possible to create heaven on earth justifies the creation of an earthly hell along the way. This, indeed, has been the philosophy of every revolutionary leader and intellectual in the modern era — from Marx, Hitler and Mao to the founders of BLM. Much of conservative thought — in which I include myself — recognizes the imperfection of human nature because it embraces ideas of natural law and individual responsibility that set the standard under which imperfection is recognizable. We do not expect or aspire to heaven on earth, and we certainly do not believe it is necessary to destroy what we have in order to make gradual improvements. Yet unfolding before us is evidence that America is not as exceptional as it seemed to be and is no exception to the general rule that countries and civilizations rise and fall. ... Read More

Thinking about things The Political Industrial Complex: a Positive Path Forward

We live in a perilous political time. Everywhere we look, most especially in the media, we are confronted with conflict between and among identity groups, political groups, and especially these days ambiguous groups defined by words that obscure their purpose or intent. Words have lost much of their obvious or clear meaning. Social justice combines two words each of which has a clear meaning to create a phrase that with each passing year has become increasingly Orwellian. Nobody really knows what the words now mean and what they mean depends on who is saying them in what context and in what circumstances. The seeming breakdown of civil society and the growing dysfunction of our political system are all amplified by a pandemic that has no end in sight. Yet in the midst of this most depressing set of circumstances in the middle of this most depressing year, I have just read a book that spends its first-half presenting the darkest imaginable picture of our country and our political system, and yet which ends with a sense of powerful optimism that we can put ourselves back together again with some relatively simple and achievable solutions that could re-create the political system to which our founders aspired. This article is a cross between a review of the book and a Hymarx Outline. ... Read More