America In Decline: A Society In Denial
An address by Mark Weber, director of the Institute for Historical Review, delivered at an IHR meeting in San Diego, California, on November 13, 2010. (A report on the meeting is posted here. An audio recording of the address is posted here. )
During the 1950s and 1960s, the United States was the richest and most envied country in the world. It was also unrivaled as the world's manufacturing powerhouse. Americans proudly regarded their country is a model, and many people around the world agreed.
Today, the US is still the world's largest economy and pre-eminent military power, and it's still a country of great resources and wealth. But things have changed tremendously over the past half century.
More than ever before in our history, the American people sense that something is very wrong in our country. They are concerned about rising social-economic inequality, an erosion of national identity and purpose, increasing social polarization, and growing contempt for the US around the world.
Polls show that, as a long term trend, ever more Americans think that the US is "on the wrong track," and that this country is "in a state of decline." Surveys also show that Americans now believe that life for their children will be less prosperous and secure than it has been for them.
A popular song of the 1960s, "California Dreamin'," had the line, "I'd be safe and warm, If I was in LA." Los Angeles is still warm, but these days LA County is home to more than thirteen hundred criminal street gangs with 150,000 members. In one recent ten year period, the toll of lives taken by these gangs was nearly six thousand killed. That's more than the number of Americans who lost their lives in the Nine Eleven attacks of 2001, and in the Afghanistan war -- combined.
No one in the world today looks to Los Angeles as a model city. In listings of the world's top 15 "quality of living" cities, not one is in the US. In survey after survey, this country's place in global ratings of quality of life has been slipping. Likewise, the US has been steadily falling behind in education, engineering, science, and basic literacy.
During the 1950s and 1960s, California had one of the nation's best educational systems, with an enviable network of quality elementary schools. Today the achievement level of California schools is near the bottom for the entire United States.
Just a few decades ago, the US was the world's premier creditor nation. Today it's the number one debtor nation.
Perhaps most alarming of all, Americans now see the US rapidly becoming an unrecognizable "third world" country. This is due, above all, to the dramatic transformation of the racial-ethnic character of this country's population, a change that's the result of large-scale immigration from non-European countries, especially Mexico, and a birth-rate among Americans of European origin that has fallen below the replacement level.
Demographics, they say, is destiny. In 1950, every state and every major city in the US still had a majority European-origin population. Today four states -- including Texas and California, the most populous -- and most of our major cities have majority non-white populations.
This change has been especially dramatic here in southern California. It's no exaggeration to say that over the past half century, this region has been transformed more fundamentally than Poland, Hungary and other eastern European countries changed during nearly 50 years of Soviet Russian occupation and domination.
The great demographic trends in our country are forcing -- year by year -- dramatic changes in our culture, our politics, our educational level, our economy, and our quality of life.The comfortable, proud and confident America of the 1950s and 1960s is gone -- gone forever. To imagine that California might return to what it was in 1960 is about as realistic as to imagine that Alaska will once again be Russian, or that Louisiana will return to being French.
The anxiety that Americans across the country feel about the future is much more than worry about the troubled economy. Americans have never been so socially divided, confused about themselves as a nation, and worried about the future.
In this situation, a failure of political and cultural-educational leadership has brought an unprecedented breakdown of trust. Nothing better underscores this erosion of trust than the Iraq war fiasco. In the months leading up to the US attack against Iraq in March 2003, government officials and much of the media -- as we now know -- deceived the public with alarmist falsehoods to justify the invasion and occupation of that country.
Americans are understandably fed up with political leaders who deceive and mislead them. They feel betrayed by politicians who support costly and destructive wars that do not serve authentic American interests, who refuse to halt the massive influx of illegal immigrants, and who approve immense government spending on programs we cannot afford, thereby imposing an irresponsible burden of debt on our children.
And, with each passing year, it is ever more obvious that the leaders of both major parties pander to the powerful Jewish-Zionist lobby -- thereby betraying the principles of the nation's founders, as well as the interests of our people.
Distrust has become so deep and widespread that many Americans look to Sarah Palin as a source of hope for the future. Millions regard her simplicity and lack of sophistication as reassuring attributes of a "plain folks" person like themselves -- a person who, they hope, is therefore more trustworthy and able to understand and represent their interests than the slick and educated politicians who, time and again, have betrayed their trust.
While politicians of both major parties loudly promise "change," the blunt reality is that no establishment politician, no matter how eloquent or seemingly sincere, will alter the country's basic direction. That's because for many years America's political, cultural and intellectual life has been systematically skewed to serve alien interests, and in accord with ideological principles that are divorced from reality.
In our motion pictures and television, in classrooms and textbooks, and in government, powerful interests have -- for their own self-serving reasons -- imposed a false and harmful portrayal of society and of history. As a result, our nation can neither understand itself nor direct its sight clearly toward the future.
America today is a society in denial.
The country's political, cultural and intellectual leadership -- both liberal and conservative -- denies social reality and ignores the historical record, and therefore inevitably betrays the interests of the people, leading America down a path that means ever greater anxiety and ever more rapid decline.
The leadership of both major parties, along with the mainstream media and the educational establishment, support and relentlessly promote an egalitarian-universalist ideology, an outlook of wishful thinking divorced from reality that refuses to acknowledge the most elementary truths of society, of heredity, and of history. In accord with our leaders' illusory principles and unrealistic policies, American society is rapidly becoming ever more confused, divided and disordered.
Whether Republican or Democrat, our political leaders lack candor, an informed view of history and the world, and a reality-based vision of the future.
Americans who call themselves conservatives, libertarians or "tea party" people have a simple explanation of why America has gone off track. The problem, they say, is that government is too big, and that it plays too large a role in public life. The solution to our problems, they say, is to reduce the size and role of government. That means, for example, no national health care program. They also say that the US must return to what they say are the principles and policies of the early American constitutional republic.
How valid is this view? How realistic is it?
Consider this: Where would these "small government" Americans prefer to live: in Mexico, or in Canada? Mexico has no national government health care system. Canada does. Taxes are lower in Mexico than in Canada. And Mexico's current constitution, adopted in 1917, has many features similar to the US Constitution. Canada, by contrast, did not even have a written constitution until 1982.
Or consider an even more striking contrast. If "small government" and a basic law like the US Constitution is really the recipe for an ideal society, the Republic of Haiti should be a much better place to live than Denmark, Britain or Norway. Haiti's current constitution, which is based on the US and French constitutions, pledges to guarantee for its citizens "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." Taxes are much less burdensome in Haiti than in the US or in European countries. And Haiti's government plays such a minimal role in the lives of its citizens that it routinely neglects such familiar government tasks as garbage collection, street maintenance and fire-fighting.
By contrast, "big government" countries such as Denmark and Norway have comprehensive government health care programs and relatively high tax rates. And Denmark, Norway and Britain are all monarchies, not republics. Britain doesn't even have a written constitution.
But somehow, and contrary to the ideological outlook of "limited government" conservatives and libertarians, such "big government" nations as Norway and Denmark are consistently at or near the top of the most desirable countries to live in, while the "small government" countries of the world, many of them in sub-Saharan Africa, are among the least desirable places to live.
And how many of those Americans who insist that it's important to "return" to what they say are the "original" principles and policies of the American "constitutional republic" really think that the US would be a better country if it had no national park system or federal interstate highway system? Or how many Sarah Palin fans think that this would be a better country if it were to "return" to the days when women had no role whatsoever in political life?
American liberals and Democratic party activists have an equally unrealistic notion of why things have gone wrong, and where we should be heading as a nation. These people embrace a worldview that was once summed up by President Bill Clinton in the words "diversity is our greatest strength." Those who hold this view believe, or say they believe, that America will be better off with more millions of people from exotic Third World countries.
In fact, if there's anything we should learn from the twentieth century, it's that ethnic cohesion and unity are characteristic features of the most stable, orderly and prosperous societies, and that diversity is not a strength. In our own lifetimes, the Soviet Union, Yugoslavia and even Czechoslovakia broke apart in large measure precisely because they were "diverse" multi-cultural and multi-ethnic societies.
The cheerleaders of "diversity" and multi-culturalism would be more persuasive if they lived their own lives as if they really believed what they tell others. But the supporters of "diversity" are conspicuous in their refusal to live as if they really believed their own slogans.
What's decisive in determining the level of prosperity, stability and order in a society is not whether it has a well-written constitution, or whether its tax rate is at this or that level. As history shows, what's crucially important in a nation is the character, quality, customs and culture of its people, and the character, courage and quality of its leaders.
The unrealistically egalitarian outlook that prevails in this country has been translated into policy. A good example is the so-called "No Child Left Behind" Act, which became law in 2001 with overwhelmingly support from both major parties, including Republican president George W. Bush. This law, and the policies it established, are based on the notion that how well children do academically in school is entirely the result of environment and socialization, and that heredity is irrelevant in determining the level of achievement. Not surprisingly, the "No Child Left Behind" program is proving to be a failure.
The former Soviet Union eventually fell apart as an inevitable consequence of trying to organize society on the basis of an ideology and principles unrooted in historical, social and biological reality. In much the same way, American society will continue to decline as it tries to force nature and reality to conform to wishful thinking based on an unsound worldview.
A society based on an ideology of denial, falsehood, wishful thinking and self-deception cannot be saved. In fact, it does not deserve to survive.
There is no better and more important example of the entrenched denial and lack of reality in our society than the refusal of our political leadership, and of those who run our mass media and our educational system, to confront, or even to acknowledge, the enormous power of the organized Jewish community.
Bishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa, who was awarded the 1984 Nobel Peace Prize, spoke about this during a talk he gave in Boston. He said: "But you know as well as I do that, somehow, the Israeli government is placed on a pedestal [in the US], and to criticize it is to be immediately dubbed anti-Semitic ... People are scared in this country, to say wrong is wrong because the Jewish lobby is powerful -- very powerful."
Bishop Tutu spoke the truth. Although Jews make up only two or three percent of the US population, they wield immense power and influence -- much more than any other ethnic or religious group.
One Jewish writer who has been candid about this is Joel Stein. In a column that appeared in the Los Angeles Times, he wrote: "As a proud Jew, I want America to know about our accomplishment. Yes, we control Hollywood ... I don't care if Americans think we're running the news media, Hollywood, Wall Street or the government. I just care that we get to keep running them."
This intimidating power is not a new phenomenon, but has long been an important factor in American life. In 1972, during a private White House meeting, President Richard Nixon and the Rev. Billy Graham, the nation's best-known Christian evangelist, spoke together frankly about the Jewish grip on the media. Graham said: "This stranglehold has got to be broken or the country's going down the drain." The President responded by saying: "You believe that?" Graham replied: "Yes, sir." And Nixon said: "Oh, boy. So do I. I can't ever say that, but I believe it."
Even though President Nixon, supposedly the most powerful man in the world, believed that America is "going down the drain" unless what he regarded as the Jewish "stranglehold" on the US media is broken, he was afraid to speak publicly about this matter. As powerful as he was, President Nixon feared a power greater than his own.
If Nixon and Graham -- these two influential men -- were afraid to speak out themselves, just who did they expect would speak openly and truthfully about this critically important matter?
The crying need in our nation today is candor, courage and truthfulness -- not childish slogans, simplistic nostrums, or wishful thinking about a mythologized past or a utopian future, presented by media personalities who are little more than entertainers.
The great English writer George Orwell once said that in an age of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.
That's why the work of the Institute for Historical Review is important.
Through meetings, lectures, interviews, online outreach, websites, and distribution of books, discs and flyers, we work to inform the public -- factually and forthrightly -- about distortions of American history, World War II lies, myths about the Israel-Palestine conflict, the Jewish-Zionist grip on our cultural and political life, the corrosive impact of Holocaust propaganda, and more.
What we accomplish depends on support from men and women like you who understand what's at stake, and who care about justice, truth, our nation, humanity and our common future.
If you share this concern, I urge you to learn more about the IHR, to tell others about our work, and to give us your support.