Skip to comments.America Is Gone
Posted on 10/23/2010 11:07:36 PM PDT by Rashputin
America Is Gone By David Deming
There is a whiff of anarchy in the air this morning. As I sit here writing, a conservative victory in the midterm elections looms. But I find no reason to be optimistic. The midterm elections will solve nothing. The plain fact is that conservatives have lost the battle for America. The country that many of us were born in has ceased to exist. And we have no one to blame but ourselves. Nothing can or will change until we come to terms with the grim reality of moral degeneration. And I have no hope that this can happen, save by some terrible trial.
Last week in Oklahoma City, two pedestrians were run down by cars at the same intersection within a few hours. In one incident, the driver did not bother to stop, but continued driving as if nothing had happened. It was a horrific but perfect metaphor for the self-absorbed entitlement mentality that grips the country.
Every day, the news brings a startling new incident of moral corruption. A few days ago it was reported that an eighteen-year-old geology student at Arizona State University had starred in an online pornographic film in which she performed "explicit and degrading" sex acts for a one-time payment of $2,000. The young woman explained that she needed the money to supplement her scholarship, and then inexplicably proclaimed, "I have morals!"
We are a nation of gluttons. About one-third of adults in the U.S. are obese. To qualify as "obese," the average person has to be not just overweight, but carry an extra thirty-five pounds or more. In the last thirty years, the obesity rate in America has more than doubled. It is the sheerest irony that today, the average person has the choice of a multiplicity of fresh, wholesome, and nutritious foods, all available at the lowest prices in history. But choosing and preparing the best foods takes time and effort. We would rather stuff ourselves with fast food because it's tasty and convenient. The consequences of this slothful lifestyle include hypertension, diabetes, and heart disease. After ruining our health through gluttony, we then go to our physicians and demand a quick fix in the form of a pill. Pharmaceutical companies are glad to oblige. And the government must pay, because free health care is now a "right."
There is no better index for America's moral degradation than television programming. Compare today's shows with those of a generation ago. Every episode of "The Andy Griffith Show" contained a short moral lesson, and "The Twilight Zone" challenged our intellects and stretched our imaginations. But entertainment and instruction have devolved into shock and novelty. The networks are locked in a downward spiral to see who can provide the most outrageous and offensive programming. It's not their fault. They're just giving the American people what they want.
Children are not as smart as their parents. The average child today spends thirteen hours watching television for every hour he spends reading. We blame teachers and schools for failing to educate our children. But what can they do with undeveloped and undisciplined minds that expect to be entertained and rebel at the labor of thought? The decline in intellectual aptitude is so dramatic that the authors of the SAT test have had to add a hundred points to the combined math and verbal score just to make current averages equal of those of a generation ago.
We are oblivious to the fact that our society is intellectually and artistically bankrupt. Modern art is not good enough to be bad. At the beginning of the sixteenth century, Leonardo da Vinci took four years to paint the Mona Lisa. He left the work unfinished because he was always seeking to add "perfection to perfection." Earlier this year, x-ray fluorescence spectroscopy revealed that the way Leonardo created realistic flesh tones was by building up successive layers of pigments that were as thin as a few micrometers. A micrometer is a thousandth of a millimeter.
Compare Leonardo's work with that of the modern American artist Robert Ryman. Ryman began his career working as a security guard at a museum. The guard decided he wanted to become a painter, so he bought some white house paint and slathered it on a canvas. Art critics had orgasms. For decades, Ryman has continued to produced paintings that consist of nothing but monochrome white. The tones and textures vary, but most of Ryman's paintings consist of nothing but a plain white surface. Ryman has explained that he paints only white surfaces because he wants to "reduce visual disturbances." Imagine that the next time you're contemplating Michelangelo's "disturbances" on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.
Our popular music is a painful cacophony of obnoxious dissonance. The eighteenth and nineteenth centuries had Mozart, Beethoven, and Tchaikovsky. We have Snoop Dogg and Lady Gaga. Is that progress? We have advanced technology, but do we use it uplift ourselves? No, we indulge the animal side of our natures. The internet is mostly used for downloading pornography or playing video games.
In America today, everyone is entitled to everything. According to a recent report by NPR, the mentally retarded are now attending college and receiving grants. Professors are being advised (i.e., pressured) to modify their curricula to accommodate the new students. People incessantly demand entitlements and handouts. Every government intervention in the free-market system creates a fresh problem that demands another ruinous intervention with unintended consequences. Nobody is responsible for anything, and no one wants to pay the bills. And believe me, they're coming due.
In this brave new world, everyone has the right to not be offended, and no one can be held accountable for anything. The fundamental unit of human civilization, the family, has been caustically eroded by feminism. The divorce rate is fifty percent. Oklahoma is supposedly a conservative state. Last year, a state legislator introduced a bill that would require parents with minor children seeking a divorce to first undergo counseling. Not only was the bill not passed, but the legislator was derided and mocked. How dare anyone be required to undertake the work necessary to save a marriage for the sake of his or her children? Why, it might interfere with their pursuit of happiness.
We celebrate homosexuality and then wonder why sexually transmitted diseases are exploding. According to the CDC, men-who-have-sex-with-men make up only two percent of the population but account for 53 percent of all new HIV infections and 64 percent of all new syphilis cases.
I'm beginning to acquire an appreciation for Paul's doctrine of Original Sin. The nation that began with freedom of religion has progressed to freedom from religion, freedom from moral constraint, and freedom from responsibility. Just as Plato described in the Republic, the "horses and asses" are "marching along with all the rights and dignities of freemen," and the ultimate result can be only that "tyranny will spring from democracy."
Elections matter only in the short term. Every long-term social index I am aware of is negative. The plain fact is that the American people are too morally degenerate to be capable of effective self-government. The Roman satirist Juvenal understood. "The people that once bestowed commands, consulships, legions and all else, now meddles no more and longs eagerly for just two things -- bread and games!" I can find no reason to be optimistic. It is only our blind vanity that lets us pretend that the United States can endure forever. Rome fell, and so will America. For all intents and purposes, it is already over.
David Deming is an associate professor of Arts and Sciences at the University of Oklahoma and the author of Science and Technology in World History: The Ancient World and Classical Civilization.
Like I told someone earlier this evening, the left has been preaching that we need a huge national confrontation ever since the sixties and trampled on everything uniquely American or honorable the whole while. Tens of millions have smiled, played by the rules, and done all they could to try to avoid the sort of national trauma those like Alynsky have preached and tutored the likes of our current usurper in. Well, it's payback time and they're going to get what they've asked for, and they've been begging for a lot more than some election reversals. Decades of laws, regulations, and massive departments need to be repealed right along with the massive Obamacare insult. Do less than eliminate what has been shoved down our throats, layer upon layer, ever since LBJ and the author of this piece will be proven right.
I agree with your post. The Deming’s conclusions are excessively bleak. I do think we are in for a churning though.
I like your post better than the article. Well done.
Sorry, I disagree. It isn’t gone. It’s certainly hurting and there are certainly people at work trying to make it gone. But it is not gone.
America is not gone because We the People are still here.
I agree with what he’s saying, but disagree with the outcome. I pray that God would send us a revival, and through it, prosperity to the land.
I do not agree that the government should force couples with minor children to undergo counseling before getting a divorce. I wish there were a 0% divorce rate, but the government should stay out of the lives of people.
Not always. The catastrophic effects of the 1932 election have reverberated through the subsequent decades.
As the author of the article points out, that isn't going to solve the root cause of the decay of the nation.
Winning elections and scaling back government isn't nearly enough. At minimum, conservatives have to seize control of the judiciary and end the public school monopoly in addition to resolving the economic woes and size of government.
That's rubbish. I am not my countrymen. I'm an individual.
“America is Gone”????? Not while I and millions like me draw breath.
Look, entitlement programs will never be stopped. Essentially that pays people to fail or do nothing at all. We tax and penalize anyone that is successful. For all you optimist posting here, please explain to me how that leads to anything but a collapse.
America, forget the polls, forget the media spin. Get out and vote to totally destroy the Dem Party on November 2, 2010.
The Rats are shovel-ready for the dust bin of history.
Life's tough... it's even tougher if you're stupid. -- John Wayne
We are Americans. We will overcome our problems. We will defeat our enemies and in the end we will show them mercy. This country was created for THE PEOPLE, to be ruled by THE PEOPLE, for THE PEOPLE. WE are more powerful than any other nation before because the genius of the citizens of this country is always at work, not hampered and imprisoned by tyrannical leaders. It may be painful, but WE shall endure this and be victorious because America promotes the limitless potential of the individual.
And let's be honest. How much "scaling back" do you really expect? I don't expect any. The spending will go to other things. The taxes may go down a bit, but the debt won't. Government will never willingly get smaller.
At minimum, conservatives have to seize control of the judiciary
Even that won't really help. It won't UNDO what has been done. When you've got Scalia affirming Wickard, you have to realize that a conservative judiciary is not going to be that big a help.
On the one hand, I’d like to see the collapse. This country’s got it coming. But the outcome won’t be pretty. There is no one ready to build something better upon the ruins. And anyway, I’m fine with the long, slow, slog towards oblivion. I can live out my days in peace.
I agree..unfortunately when people throw off all moral constraints...Wallstreet robbery, Fannie MAe...etc.etc. continues unabated....these are people with no basic morals.
Same with our Government....Conservative values have been spoken but few who actually practice. We have BO because "people" hear what they want to hear not what is. The ability to discern right from wrong has so long been blurred that there are no longer lines to cross nor the wisdom to know where they are suppose to be.
Therefore it is "the people" who have today exactly what the majority want. This election may be a win...but I question if it will be a landslide on the side of that which it will take to actually turn this ship around. Time will tell and I'm not so sure there is that time which will be available with the International Move to consolidate it all.
We are in a very tight place overall.
WE are not gone, I cannot believe that God would allow the USA to fall to a liberal tyranny. However, I do think that he is teaching us a lesson we will soon not forget.
I do not agree that the country has it coming, you sound like a Obama and other liberals. We are a God believing Christian nation. That is being ruined by a small cult of mentally ill liberals. THEY DESERVE TO PAY FOR WHAT THEY HAVE DONE, NOT THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.