nosce te ipsum
Culture is taken to be a very high thing, but can one reasonably say, “I will die for my culture,” as men used to say that they would die for their god or their country? Culture is, at least partly, a timid way for halfbelievers to have the advantages of religion without religion. - Allan Bloom
Tyranny is born from weakness. Weakness is born from a failure for one to act with discipline, prudence, and courage. This ineptness has laid the foundation for the weakest people in history. Weak physically, weak mentally, and weak spiritually. People across the globe that will be unable to fend for themselves, not to mention propel humanity to further greatness. Something that is no longer growing is dying.
When one cannot take care of oneself or one’s children the government then becomes compelled to act. Weakness leads to tyranny. Thus tyranny is embraced because one does not know of liberty.
One should consider how society’s “software” (culture, values, attitudes) shapes political destiny as much as its “hardware” (economics, systems, institutions). The software, or said differently, the operating system of a society is imperative to its overall strength and success. For a weak culture leads to weak politics which further weakens society. Fortunately weakness can be overcome through fortitude and strength.
The West is not hopeless, rather it can be saved by great men compelled by great ambition. For a strong culture leads to strong politics which leads to a strong society. So, a strong society starts with strong men cultivating a strong culture.
America is a society with a great deal to admire and respect, a society that has produced the functions of material greatness but also under pressure from growing contradictions that have no apparent method of resolving themselves.
America, as a whole, is primarily forward looking. Progressive. With a short term memory and a lack of knowledge regarding historical events and precedents. Ignorance of the past is a fatal mistake for nations as it dooms them to repeat previous errors.
Ignorance of the past eventually led to American academic institutions introducing Keynesianism and the welfare state which can’t be undone without political instability, but in many cases it exists to solve what are really social problems. No family, no religion, no culture leads to reliance on the nanny state.
Money is the chief motivator of the work ethic for urban professionals, not the collective good. Professors teach - inner feelings, whims, and selfish fancies career rather than worrying about cultivating Americas next generation. American colleges and universities are still the most highly regarded in the world. Their failure will lead to further societal damages.
The allure of American higher education is a soft power play that America must maintain. Whether that be through the strenuous STEM programs at MIT, Stanford and Cal Poly or the liberal arts education one can receive at Harvard and Yale, the fact remains that the power awarded to the nation with the best academic institutions is something America cannot afford to lose.
Education is the decisive factor that separates the rich from the poor and thus getting an education becomes a social dogmatism. Inspirational education transmits a feeling that one can truly create the future. For education is the foundation for a great society.
Examining America in the midst of Globalization, the country is in a state of transformation from an economy of creation to an economy of consumption, while evolving from a religiously oriented culture to a materially oriented culture, and from a community culture to an individualistic culture. Post WWII Americans wanted to make less, consume more, and look inward. It hasn’t taken long for these changes in behavior to lead to widespread societal decline.
We are like islands in the sea, separate on the surface but connected in the deep. - William James
Meanwhile, the westernization of Socialism has effectively left America without any real cultural direction at all. There are no core values in America’s most recent structure, this can serve only to dissolve societal and political cohesion.
This is indefensible. The components of the political culture shaped by individuals personal consumption came to be divorced from the source that gave birth to this culture, as well as from social demands, social values, and social relations and thus the results of the adoption of Marxism are not positive. We are in yet another phase of history where a large enough group thinks that socialism will work because things appear to be unequal. Perhaps things are unequal economically between certain classes, but this is not the root cause for societal decay. Rather, the lack of strong culture and connected families is the cause.
We have criticized the core values of the classical and modern structures, but have not paid enough attention to shaping new core values to coincide with technological advancements and globalization. Therefore, we must create new adaptive core values. Ideally, we must combine the flexibility of Americas traditional values with the modern spirit, in short - Virtuous Capitalism.
In the past one spoke of the bad habits of children. Now we speak of youth culture. The former authorized the supervision and education by adults who hoped to correct them; the latter inspires attentive admiration and expectant observation, which disarms criticism. This suits the wish of all the tawdry commercial interests who pander to the youth culture. - Allan Bloom
We should be against the imaginary America and expose the factual America. America faces an unstoppable undercurrent of crisis produced by its societal contradictions, including between rich and poor, white and black, democratic and oligarchic power, egalitarianism and class privilege, individual rights and collective responsibilities, cultural traditions and the rise of liquid modernity. Americans are anxious due to constant change.
But while Americans can perceive that they are faced with intricate social and cultural problems, they tend to think of them as scientific and technological problems to be solved separately. This gets them nowhere, because their problems are in fact all inextricably interlinked and have the same root cause: a radical, nihilistic individualism at the heart of modern American liberalism.
The real cell of society in the United States is the individual. This is so because the cell most foundational (per Aristotle) to society, the family, has disintegrated. Meanwhile, in the American system, everything has a dual nature, and the glamor of commodification abounds. Gambling, sex, knowledge, politics, power, and law can all become the target of commodification.
Here we see the signs of today’s more apparent transhumanism and sexual identity politics.
This commodification, in many ways, corrupts society and leads to a number of serious social problems. In the end, the American economic system has created human loneliness as its foremost product, along with spectacular inequality and innumeracy.
As a result, nihilism has become the American way, which is a fatal shock to cultural development and the American raison d’etre.
There is a growing tension between Enlightenment liberal rationalism and a younger generation that is ignorant of traditional Western values and actively rejects its cultural inheritance. If the value system collapses, how can the social system be sustained?
Unfortunately, when faced with critical social issues like drug addiction, America’s atomized, uprooted, and dispirited society has found itself with an insurmountable problem because it no longer has any coherent conceptual grounds from which to mount any resistance.
America needs to resist global liberal influence and become a culturally unified and self-confident nation. A blend of moral capitalism with traditional American Pragmatism’s values and maximalist Western ideas of state sovereignty and power, along with nationalism are needed in order to synthesize a new basis for long-term stability and growth immune to misguided Progressive liberalism.
The great use of life is to spend it for something that will outlast it. - William James
Many believe that human nature is inherently evil. So, while Western modern civilization can bring material prosperity, it doesn’t necessarily lead to improvement in character. For if one is born evil one must learn how to live a good life.
Americas dissolution was telegraphed for decades. When one looks to the U.S., they no longer see a beacon of liberal democracy standing as an admired symbol of a better future. Instead, they see the real America: deindustrialization, rural decay, over-financialization, out of control asset prices, and the emergence of a self-perpetuating rentier elite; powerful tech monopolies able to crush any upstart competitors operating effectively beyond the scope of government; immense economic inequality, chronic unemployment, addiction, homelessness, and crime; cultural chaos, historical nihilism, family breakdown, and plunging fertility rates; societal despair, spiritual malaise, social isolation, and skyrocketing rates of mental health issues; a loss of national unity and purpose in the face of decadence and barely concealed self-loathing; vast internal divisions, racial tensions, riots, political violence, and a country that increasingly seems close to coming apart. Do I need to go on?
Individualism breaks up social units like the family, perhaps more than any other feature of potential American crisis. As young people flock to urban areas to search for employment, rural regions have been drained and left to decay, while centuries of communal extended family life have been upended in a generation, leaving the elderly to rely on the state for marginal care. In the cities, young people have been priced out of the property market by a red-hot asset bubble.
While America admirably surpassed many of the problems of the Soviet Union, like creating enough abundance to avoid a crisis, especially in its capacity to produce food, it is the spiritual consequences of material progress via individualism that constitutes the unstoppable undercurrent of crisis detrimental to a harmonious society.
Thus, the era of tolerance for unfettered economic and cultural liberalism in America needs to end. If we allow our youth to lose their toughness and virility then we will fall… I am interested entirely in the improvement of American society, so much so that it hardly needs to be said. Every problem is a puzzle to be solved, as a way of learning lessons that might benefit the people and society of America. A collective revival is what America needs. Not to build back better or make America great again. America simply needs to revive the principles that lead to its original glory - strong values, strong families, and strong education.