PostHeaderIcon The Trend Is NOT Our Friend

In a number of articles in this space, I have implied – or outright stated – that I think it is too late for the United States to recover from its current ills and that, instead, we should focus on trying to rebuild as quickly as possible after what I consider the inevitable collapse. I have often made these statements as if they were common knowledge. In all fairness to the few people who are kind enough to read what I contribute, I realize a more in-depth explanation is overdue. I will attempt that now.

It is human nature to concentrate the hardest on the current circumstance, usually at the expense of any broader or long-term view. I propose now that we take such a view – in fact, views.

I propose that, while there is plenty to complain about in the current administration and the current congress, the ills that are bringing us down are actually long-term trends. I further propose that any real recovery would, therefore, necessarily require a reversal of those trends.

First, let me cite the three trends I think most responsible for our national condition:

→ The trend toward a concentration of power and authority at the federal level, and at the expense of the States, ergo of the People. This trend began in earnest during the Civil War for obvious reasons – that war having been a contest for power between the States and the federal government. My claim that the concentration of power at the federal takes power away from the People (as well as the States) is based on my firm conviction that each individual has the most power and influence in that portion of government that is nearest him. Conversely, the greater the distance from the individual to the concentration of power, the less influence a “normal” individual can bring to bear on that concentrated power.

→ The trend toward an “entitlement mentality” among the People. This trend started with the coming of the progressive movement to our shores and was greatly accelerated during the near-dictatorship of FDR. One of the basic principles of our founding, and, indeed, a concept that was being advanced by thinkers throughout the western world is that each individual possess certain natural rights, among which are life, liberty and property. In the original, classically liberal mindset, it was taken for granted that the property in question was property legally and ethically obtained by its owner. With the advent of progressive thought, the notion of the right to property was bifurcated such that it is now seen from two opposing viewpoints. The result is that some people should enjoy full rights to property legally and ethically obtained while others should enjoy some rights to property that was not obtained legally and ethically but, instead, was seized from its rightful owners by the power of government then redistributed to others who are somehow “less fortunate”. This aberration of the notion of the right to property has been used to build a growing underclass in America who are dependent of government plunder rather that their own abilities, ingenuity and willingness to take risks and work hard.

→ The trend toward what is called “crony capitalism”. Basically, this is a condition where what should be private businesses find it more profitable to create their revenue by unsavory, unethical partnerships with those who wield political power, rather than earning their revenue through the production of superior goods and services as in done in true free-market capitalism.

These three trends do not stand alone. They are intertwined such that they help each other to advance. And, they have served to bring our nation to the brink of collapse. A collapse, I repeat, that I consider inevitable.

Why do I consider it inevitable? Simple. If one were to chart each of these trends from the time each began in earnest, up to the present moment, one would see trend lines that move steadily upward. Small rays of hope, such as occurred in the 20’s under Coolidge and again in the 80’s under Reagan are only small blips in the upwards trends.

Many of our uneducated, uninformed citizens today have been convinced by the constant barrage of misinformation from the government, from the mainstream media, and from the educational institutions that should be teaching them the opposite, convinced, that is, that capitalism has failed. That free markets don’t work. That only the constant growth of government can save us. So, we now find ourselves in an insane conundrum where the damage done by each failing government program can only be fixed by an even larger failed government program.

As the enlightened well know, free-market capitalism did not fail us. While it was allowed to even partly function as intended, it created more wealth for more people that any other economic approach in the history of humanity. Indeed, I submit that part of our problem is that, in a way, it worked too well – to the extent that it allowed most anybody who was willing to work hard and take a few risks to become very prosperous, without any real education about the nature of things. Thus, our system literally created millions of really prosperous people who are intellectually unable to understand the real basis for that prosperity. This leaves them easily duped into helping destroy the very condition that allowed them to become prosperous. Then, as that prosperity recedes, they are further duped into believing that those who have achieved even greater levels of prosperity were somehow to blame for the result.

Which brings me back to those trends. History should have taught us by now that the only path to salvation is to reverse the trends themselves. The Reagan administration proved that no single leader, no matter how skilled in connecting with the people, can change things in the short time they have available.

The only hope for changing the direction of those trends is to understand their root causes, then make changes at that level. This means changing the attitudes of the people. This, in turn, means meaningful, real education of the masses. As I have stated previously, even if we knew how to do this, it would take far longer than the time we have left before we implode.

This is the long version and thank you for staying with me to the end. The one question remaining, which I currently lack the will to clearly explain, is why hopes for recovery after a collapse are greater than hopes for preventing the collapse to begin with. I am certain some of you will figure it out for yourselves. At the moment, I simply decline to explain it myself.

My friend and mentor Dave, who generously allows me to share this space, has asked me to take it easy on Speaker Gingrich. Sorry, but I can’t do that. There is no doubt of his intelligence, his grasp of history or of his ability to articulate during the debates and other public appearances. The problem is that he has been an integral part of the “establishment” for much of his adult life. To assume that, if he was elected, he would suddenly turn around and bite the hand that his fed him all these years is just a bit more than I can swallow. Whether you like them or not, there are only two GOP candidates who suggest something other than business-as-usual. These are Johnson and Paul. In all honesty, I do not expect that either could get the nomination or win the general election if, by some miracle, one of them got it. Nevertheless, I give what I can afford to Congressman Paul to help keep his campaign alive simply to keep his message part of the overall conversation. I would support Mr. Cain as well were it not for that troubling association with the Federal Reserve.

Think about it.

Troy L Robinson

3 Responses to “The Trend Is NOT Our Friend”

  • he has been an integral part of the “establishment” for much of his adult life.

    Agreed and the only peaceful way out of this is the unlikely election of Ron Paul.

  • Sliloh says:

    Being the pessimist that I am, I have serious doubts that we can reverse it. And I begin to wonder why I care. My liberal-oh-so-smart kids think I’m a fool. I wanted a free country for them, but if they don’t care, why should I?

  • IS says:

    I totally agree with your observations of the trends that will lead to our country’s collapse. Especially the first one regarding federal power over that of the people. Reversing these trends is the key, but will it every be allowed? With as many liberals in power as there are now, I sincerely doubt it.

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