IS OBAMA CHOOSING DECLINE?

Is America under President Barack Obama accepting a psychology of decline? Conservative author and columnist Mark Steyn (see Tattered Liberty, National Review Online, March 23, 2010) is comparing the fate of Britain with the United States. In 1897 Great Britain, the greatest empire in the world at the time, was at the height of its glory. It was gone in 1997, 100 years later.

Could America under Obama be Declinistan: unsustainable entitlements, a remorseless governmentalization of the economy and individual liberty, and a centralization of power. Remember The Road to Serfdom by Friedrich Hayek: ”

There is one aspect of the change in moral values brought about by the advance of collectivism which at the present time provides special food for thought. It is that the virtues which are held less and less in esteem and which consequently become rarer are precisely those on which the British people generally agreed to excel… The virtues possessed by Anglo-Saxons in a higher degree than most other people…were independence and selfreliance, individual initiative and local responsibility, the successful reliance on voluntary activity, noninterference with one’s neighbour and tolerance of the different…, respect for custom and tradition, and a healthy suspicion of power and authority.

In the case of Great Britain one can ask if not a determined state can change the character of a people in the space of a generation or two. In a geopolitical sense, so Steyn, it can be liberating. One has little responsibility and can still have a seat at the top of the table. Why is decline in Europe so pleasant. Because it was cushioned by American power. (Emphasis made on this blog). Defense is not any longer a problem. The Yanks are taking on the responsibility. The proportion of defense costs has fallen in the case of Great Britain from 24 percent to 7 percent while health and welfare rose from 22 percent to 53. One can have Euro-sized entitlments or a global military, but not both.

Will America soon be a large Sweden? Big Government works best in small countries with a homogenous population.

What happens if America would turn into Europe with its geopolitical decline, then who would be America? China? Russia? Or a new Caliphate with nuclear weapons? Most likely there would be no new order, but a world without order.

With another administration America would be much stronger, with a positive demography and with economic strength. As Charles Krauthammer has expressed it, “decline is a choice”. The Democrats are offering decline to America. Are there enough Americans to accept this offer of retreat and decline? More than ever an orderly world where freedom an democracy are respected depends on the United States. It is time for the West to rise to the challenge. A United States that voluntarily seeks decline must be supported by the rest of the West. The United States cannot do it by themselves.

We live in dangerous times. European and Japanese civilizations depend on American civilization. The strength of the West is there but is there the will. Hope now rests with a responsible American electorate in 2012.

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