International Man: Is There Hope for the US?

Here’s another article from Jeff Thomas at International Man – Is There Hope for the US?

For the entire lives of anyone under the age of seventy-five, the US has been at the top of the heap in almost every way. For decades, it had greater freedom, greater prosperity and higher production than any other country in the world.

America was a cornucopia – the centre for innovation and trends in technology, the arts and social development. And today, many Americans, even if they complain about changes for the worse in their country, come back quickly to say, “This is still the greatest country in the world.” Or, “Everybody is still trying to come here.”

Well, truth be told, neither of these knee-jerk comments is accurate any longer. But even those who have come to that realisation tend to resort to the inevitable fall-back comment: “Well, whattaya gonna do? It’s just as bad everyplace else.”

And yet, this is also inaccurate. Throughout the history of the world, whenever a country had entered its decline stage, others were in the process of rising up.

And this is just as true today. There are countries where prosperity and production are far greater than in the US and, increasingly, countries where the key ingredient that made America great – Liberty – is present to a far greater degree.

In fact, this is the one characteristic of America that’s most rapidly in decline. This is especially true in 2020, when a virus has been used as a justification to dramatically increase governmental dominance of the populace.

It matters little whether the US had a hand in creating the virus, or whether it was merely co-opted as an opportunity to expand control.

The result has been heavy-handed governmental meddling in medicine, business and personal freedoms.

As regards the latter concern, the odd halfway measure of personal movement control is not great enough to keep a virus from spreading, but it has been sufficient to collapse businesses, create record unemployment and make it impossible for some people to feed themselves.

In the bargain, it has served as an ideal cover story for an economic collapse that had been inevitable. The government can say, “Don’t blame us for the collapse; it was those naughty Chinese and their pesky virus that did it.”

The decline is not an accident. It’s a planned demolition. And it’s going well. For those who actually pull the strings, profit will be made from the unfolding crisis. Not for everyone, of course, but most certainly for those few who are creating it.

But many say that the US is waking up, that its citizenry are coming to the conclusion that the Deep State – that corporatist ruling class that are made up of governmental and big-business leaders – has increasingly destroyed the prosperity, production and liberty that once existed and replaced them with massive debt, an exit of production to other countries and a vanishing middle class.

And they’d be entirely correct. The endgame for the once-great US Empire is now underway, and over the next few years, we shall bear witness as it tumbles downhill.

So, what are Americans to do?

Well, my belief is that – as is always the case when a country declines – the populace will divide into several groups.

The first group, which will be by far the largest, will increasingly grumble, but ultimately do little or nothing to save themselves. They will go down with the ship.

The second group will say, “We don’t have to accept this.” They’re the preppers, the ones who have a store of food and have been stashing away guns and ammunition. They’re the folks who are seen at the corner bar, saying, “If they come for me, I’m locked and loaded.”

Their friends nod in agreement, but in fact, if a trained and outfitted SWAT team were to arrive on their porch, there would be very few who would succeed in getting off a single shot, and for those who did, their remaining life would be brief.

On the more thoughtful side of this group would be the third group. They would also say, “We don’t have to accept this,” but their choice of a solution will be to “work within the system.”

This is a much larger group – the ones who wait for each election as though it holds a solution. Each time, they’re disappointed. If the party they supported is elected, the winners somehow fail to return the country to the free society it had once been. If the other party is elected, the decline only accelerates.

Incredibly, the lightbulb never seems to go on for this group. They never get to the point of realisation that, “Oh, I get it: neither party has any intention of returning the country to a state of liberty. The only question is which group of pretenders gets to be in charge of the decline this time around. Either way, I lose.”

It could be said that this is the most tragic group. They’re sincere and dedicated. They endlessly hope that a solution is just around the corner, without there being any actual substance for their hope.

The commonality in all three of these groups is that they all end up as casualties. They may differ in their approach to the decline, but they’ll share in the loss of their wealth (however large or small) and their liberty.

But there’s also a fourth group – those who leave. Their numbers are small and they tend not to make a large impact on the consciousness of the other three. In fact, they’re never even mentioned by the media. It’s as though they don’t exist.

So, let’s step back a few centuries. America was founded by a hardworking assortment of settlers who came from several countries in Europe. In their home countries they witnessed oppression – limitations to both their liberty and their ability to create a good life for themselves and their families.

They were independent-minded and self-reliant. They carved out lives in the wilderness and later built towns, then cities. But all the while, they hung on to their core belief of independence and liberty.

Today, they’re still revered as being the backbone of what made America great. And this view is accurate. Yet, today’s Americans are nothing like them. None of the three groups above thinks like them, although the middle group would like to believe they do, merely by owning guns. They’re not independent-minded. They’re not self-reliant.

The key here is that the founders of America recognised that there was no chance that they could change the corrupt and controlling systems they were born into in Europe.

So they left Europe and started over elsewhere.

The fourth group are following a similar path: Seek out a destination where the government does not yet have the power to rob you of your wealth and freedoms.

The choice is a simple one. If you value your liberty – the ability to make your own decisions and to keep more of what you’ve earned – pack your bags and go.

International Man: The American Revolution—The Sequel

Jeff Thomas at International Man writes The American Revolution—The Sequel from his perspective outside of America.

The US is the most observed country in the world. Since it’s the world’s current empire (and since it is beginning its death throes as an empire), it’s fascinating to watch.

Those of us outside of the US watch it like Americans watch TV. It’s like a slow-motion car wreck that we observe almost daily, eager to see what’s going to happen next. We criticise the madness of it all, yet we can’t take our eyes off the unfolding drama. It has all the excitement of a blockbuster movie.

  • The national debt is, by far, the highest of any country in history.
  • The economic system is a house of cards, getting shakier every day.
  • The government has become mired in progress-numbing fascism and increasing collectivism.
  • The government is aggressively creating the world’s most organized police state.
  • The majority of the population have become wasteful, spendthrift consumers who apathetically hope that their government will somehow solve their problems.
  • The media consistently misrepresents international events, prodding the citizenry into accepting that the ongoing invasion of multiple other countries is essential.
  • The most popular candidates for president (both parties) are the candidates that are the most egotistical, out-of-control blowhards who preach provocative rhetoric rather than real solutions.

Still, most Americans retain the hope that, somehow, it will all work out.

Hope Is a Desire, Not a Plan

There are growing numbers of Americans who have accepted that the US is unravelling rapidly and is headed for a social, economic, and political collapse of one form or another.

Some talk of a new revolution (but hopefully a peaceful one, of the Tea Party sort). Some imagine that, if they can store enough guns and ammunition in their homes, they might be able to make a stand against government authorities. Others mull over the idea of organised secession by some of the states. A small, but growing, number are quietly leaving for more promising destinations.

Except for the last of these, most of the “hopes” are understandable, but any attempt at a “Second American Revolution” is unlikely to succeed.

Why? Well, just for a start,

  • The power of the US state is far greater than that of King George III in the late eighteenth century.
  • The present US state would be fighting on its own ground, not some continent thousands of miles across the ocean.
  • The US state is committed to the concept that it dealt definitively (and forever) with the concept of secession between 1861 and 1865.

But, for the sake of argument, let’s say that a breakup of the union, or complete removal and replacement of the government were possible in the US. What then?

Well, unfortunately, here comes the really bad news for those who hope that the US could start over as the free nation it was in its infancy:

  • In the late eighteenth century, America was a largely agrarian collection of colonies. Colonists had to work hard just to survive, so the work ethic and self-reliance were paramount in the colonists’ makeup. They were a brave people who were accustomed to providing for themselves and physically fighting off those who would challenge them.
  • Colonists received no significant largesse from the British or local governments. No welfare, no social security, no Medicare or Medicaid, no benefits of any kind.
  • Colonists made their own daily decisions. They had no government schools or media telling them what to think or what choices to make. They relied on common sense and self-determination to guide their decisions and actions.

Today, of course, the opposite is true. Less than 2% of Americans are involved in agriculture. A mere 9% are actually employed in the production of goods. They are rarely directly involved in their own physical protection (Most, if not all, combat is overseas and fought by defence contractors or those who voluntarily serve the military).

Most Americans receive benefits of one type or another from their government. Most recipients regard these benefits as “essential” and could not get by without them.

Most Americans receive their opinions from the media. Although this is not apparent to many Americans, it’s glaringly clear to those outside the US who can only shake their heads at the misinformation proffered by the US media and the wholesale acceptance of this “alternate reality” by so many Americans.

But what bearing does this have on what the future would be for Americans if they were to become determined enough to either remove their entire government or, alternatively, for some states to secede?

There have been many revolutions in the history of the world, both peaceful and otherwise. In the case of the American Revolution of 1776, the colonists themselves were largely self-contained as a people and possessed the ideal ethos to succeed as a productive country.

But this has rarely been true in history. Whenever a people have been heavily dependent on the State in one way or another, they had become accustomed to receiving largesse at the expense of others. This is a major, major factor. Such a group is unlikely in the extreme to either produce or elect a Washington or a Jefferson. They almost always choose, instead, to fall in behind someone who promises largesse from the State. In choosing such leaders, the people are more likely to receive a Robespierre or a Lenin. Out of the frying pan and into the fire.

The pervasive difficulty here lies in the erroneous concept that there can be a return to freedom whilst maintaining the dependency upon largesse from the State. The two are mutually exclusive. Those who seek a return to greater freedom must also accept that “freedom for all” means an end to the State being empowered to steal from one person in order to give to another.

Or, as stated by Frédéric Bastiat in the mid-nineteenth century, “Government is the great fiction, through which everybody endeavours to live at the expense of everybody else.”

Whether the US continues on its present downward progression, or if it breaks free in a bid for greater freedom, the eventual outcome is likely to have more to do with the collectivist mindset of the majority than with the libertarian vision of a few.

Editor’s Note: Right now, the US is the most polarized it has been since the Civil War.

If you’re wondering what comes next, then you’re not alone.

The political, economic, and social implications of the 2020 vote will impact all of us.