Western Arrogance and Decline

Bruce Thornton is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, a Research Fellow at Stanford's Hoover Institution, and a Professor of Classics and Humanities at the California State University. He is the author of nine books and numerous essays on classical culture and its influence on Western Civilization. His most recent book, Democracy's Dangers and Discontents (Hoover Institution Press), is now available for purchase.


AmericansWeAreYourDeathFor three centuries the West built up enormous economic, cultural, and military capital that dwarfs and dominates that of the rest of the world. Other countries may hate and resent Europe and the United States, but they still have to imitate, adapt, or steal the technology, financial systems, and even popular culture of the West. Yet this dominance has come at a price for Westerners, one that contains the seeds of our decline.

One baleful effect of this achievement has been the erosion of the virtues and ideals that created Western dominance in the first place, a phenomenon long recognized as the cost of national success. Two thousand years ago the Roman historian Livy, surveying the wreckage of the Roman Republic, invited his reader to contemplate the “life and manners” of his ancestors that led to their dominance, and “then, as discipline gradually declined, let him follow in his thoughts their morals, at first as slightly giving way, next how they sunk more and more, then began to fall headlong, until he reaches the present times, when we can neither endure our vices, nor their remedies.” Livy specifically linked this decline to the vast increase of wealth that followed the success of Rome, and that “introduced avarice, and a longing for excessive pleasures, amidst luxury and a passion for ruining ourselves and destroying every thing else.”

Clichés, one might say, but no less true for that. The astonishing wealth of the West, more widely distributed than in any other civilization, the abandonment of religion as the foundation of morals and virtues, the transformation of political freedom into self-centered license, and the commodification of hedonism that makes available to everyman luxuries and behaviors once reserved for a tiny elite, have made self-indulgence and the present more important than self-sacrifice and the future. Declining birthrates, a preference for spending on social welfare transfers rather than on defense, and a willingness to beggar our children and grandchildren with debt in order to finance these entitlements– all bespeak a people whose wealth deludes them into thinking that they can imprudently ignore the future and indefinitely afford these luxuries that in fact insidiously weaken the foundations of our social and political order. This process is more advanced in Europe than in the U.S., but we in America have been steadily moving towards the same mentality.

Yet we Westerners have a vice peculiar to ourselves–thinking the rest of the world is just like us and wants what we want because we are the destination towards which historical progress is inexorably moving. Because the rest of the world does imitate us in certain respects, desires our technologies, even enjoys our popular culture, we think that they have the same attitudes we have toward religion, or social relations, or violence, or the supremacy of ideals like peace, tolerance, cooperation, openness, equality and the like. This arrogant assumption lies behind the whole edifice of international law, and the diplomatic processes and institutions that administer it, that we think can provide global order, peace, and prosperity.

But any law must rest on a consensus about what behaviors are acceptable, or what ideals are more important than others. Given the great global variety of belief about these issues, such a consensus that accepts Western notions as the norm is difficult, if not impossible to genuinely achieve. Lip service is indeed paid to the Western consensus, particularly by the global elites with whom our own elites are familiar, but that is a result of Western economic and military dominance. Behind the soothing talk of human rights, peace, and the diplomatic resolution of conflict, across the globe very different aims and beliefs continue to drive behavior that clashes with our own aims and beliefs. Yet blinded by our arrogant assumption that we are the vanguard of the future, we ignore those values and beliefs that contradict our own, or patronizingly explain them away as the consequence of ignorance, superstition, poverty, or the machinations of malignant elites and psychopathic dictators.

Survey foreign policy just in the years after 9/11, and we see the dangerous consequences of our narcissism. The whole “war on terror” has, under both parties, been compromised by the failure to understand historical Islam in its own terms, particularly its doctrine of violent jihad against the infidel. Numerous passages from the Koran, Hadith, and Islamic jurisprudence for 14 centuries have made explicit this religious imperative. During that same time, Europeans victimized by the invasions, raiding, occupations, and slaving justified by this doctrine understood that these depredations expressed the violent intolerance at the heart of Islam. Alexis de Tocqueville in 1838 wrote, “Jihad, Holy war, is an obligation for all believers … The state of war is the natural state with regard to infidels … The violent tendencies of the Koran are so striking that I cannot understand how any man with good sense could miss them.” Sixty years later Winston Churchill wrote of the Taliban’s ancestors, “But the Mahommedan religion increases, instead of lessening, the fury of intolerance. It was originally propagated by the sword, and ever since, its votaries have been subject, above the people of all other creeds, to this form of madness.” Surveying the global conflicts waged by Muslims, Churchill concluded, “The forces of progress clash with those of reaction. The religion of blood and war is face to face with that of peace.” 

This consensus about Islam, the bitter fruit of 14 centuries of aggression and listening to what Islamic doctrine clearly says, today arrogant Westerners dismiss as the fruit of racism, intolerance, and imperialism. Assured of our superior knowledge and morality, we presume to explain to millions of Muslims that they don’t understand their own religion. Just recently CIA chief John Brennan, as Raymond Ibrahim reported, told the Council of Foreign Relations that al-Qaeda’s ideology is “a perverse and very corrupt interpretation of the Qur’an,” and that “al-Qaeda has hijacked” Islam and “really distorted the teachings of Muhammad.” But mysteriously, Brennan continues, despite this presumed heretical misreading of Islam, “that ideology, that agenda of al-Qaeda has gained resonance and following in many parts of the world.” Whether it is the terrorist attacks on 9/11, the misunderstanding of the “Arab Spring,” the Palestinian Arab genocidal hatred of Israel, or the danger of Iran’s acquisition of nuclear weapons, this distortion of Islam has hampered our response to aggression and indulged our delusion that a majority of Muslims want peace, prosperity, and freedom more than they want to obey Allah and live by Islamic precepts. Having reduced our faith to a life-style choice and comforting holiday traditions, we Westerners cannot imagine a religion whose believers take its commands seriously, and see the world as the arena of a long spiritual struggle they are destined to win.

Then there’s the fatuous response to Vladimir Putin’s aggression against Ukraine and the Crimea. Since many of us fancy ourselves internationalists and cosmopolitans too sophisticated for passionate national loyalty, we discount the powerful pull of ethnic and national identity. Believing in the international order as a sign of the human race’s progress and improvement, we sneer at Putin’s pursuit of national interests by violence as “19th century” and contrary to Russia’s true interests, as though we know those better than the Russians do. Meanwhile what we should be doing is calculating whether Putin is going to achieve his aims at the expense of our own interests and security. With similar arrogance, since we are hostile to the power of faith in people’s lives, we brush away Putin’s analysis of a hedonistic, heathenish West as insincere propaganda, forgetting that many Russians have not followed us in our disregard for religion as an archaic superstition. No doubt, those ethnic and religious motives are intermingled with more mercenary and chauvinistic ones, but that messy complexity of human behavior, the ability of people simultaneously to pursue two conflicting or mutually exclusive goods, is precisely what our Western consensus about the progress of human nature ignores. Hence we are vulnerable to the ruthless and the fanatic, since in every conflict we prefer to bring a diplomat to a gunfight.

So here we are, still living off that enormous capital amassed by our ancestors, and doing nothing to restore it. But those cultural and moral resources are dwindling by the day, and outside the West brutal rivals are watching and waiting, exploiting our arrogant delusions and manipulating our bankrupt ideals like “diplomatic engagement” in order to achieve their aims. Meanwhile, like Livy’s Romans, we “can neither endure our vices, nor their remedies.”

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  • BagLady

    Can’t take it all in one gulp,so sip by sip:

    Other countries may hate and resent
    Europe and the United States, but they still have to imitate, adapt, or
    steal the technology, financial systems, and even popular culture of the
    West…

    This may be true now but go back to pre 9/11 and the world was still our oyster filled with strangers wiling to be friends — with the usual exceptions..

    I hope you’re not suggesting that all those minerals, oils, precious metals etc etc that should have benefited the locals have no value in an exchange system?

    • A Z

      Yes, Yes, we went to countries pay $0, cut down all the trees, killed those that objected and left a despoiled land.

      Is that your fantasy?

      • tagalog

        Well, but then of course there’s the example of Saudi Arabia and Iran, where Royal Dutch Shell, British Petroleum, and Standard Oil found the oil, built the oil wells and oil fields, the extraction facilities, and the refineries -at the invitation of the rulers of those places-, and then had those multi-million, probably multi-billion-dollar investments airily nationalized in the 1950s by those countries as they capitalized on the anti-imperialism fashion of the day.

        • A Z

          “In late December 1950 word reached Tehran that the American-owned Arabian American Oil Company had agreed to share profits with Saudis on a 50-50 basis. The UK Foreign Office rejected the idea of any similar agreement for AIOC”

          The problem with Iran was that they were getting as much as Saudi Arabia.

          How much royalties should be paid when you do all the
          work?

        • A Z

          Aramco was a gradual nationalization. Saudi Arabia saw what happened in Venezuela and made ‘threatening’ statements. I believe that there was an agreement where Saudi Arabia could buy the shares of Aramco and around 1970 they had bought it out.

          So it was nationalization but not like what happened in Venezuela, but it was done under duress.

          I do not think most people on the left will ever have a decent discussion on what a fair trade is or what royalties should be.

      • BagLady
        • A Z

          Pretty much. You can protest until your fool head blows up.

          You could do more with a beer, a party invite and a tour/ inspection.

          Bill Gates could take of this if he wasn’t such a dweeb IMO. He makes a phone call, he gets on a plane (which he can afford) and he flies with someone high up from Shell to there.

          Expect what you inspect. No one is inspecting crap. Of course the more crap the have to put up at home the less they have to give elsewhere.

          A broken wellhead? Wow. Sounds like wastage. poor maintenance, etc.

          You realize that Shell is not an American Company right. It is Royal Dutch Shell and you have to say it just right emphasizing the Royal part and the Dutch part.

    • reader

      And – just curious – who do you think made the oil sheiks rich beyond their wildest dreams?

      • objectivefactsmatter

        That’s why she hates herself (her origins) and she hates us even more because it seems like we must have done the same thing with witchcraft stealing from the poor, the sick and the aged. You know, that capitalism stuff.

    • objectivefactsmatter

      “I hope you’re not suggesting that all those minerals, oils, precious metals etc etc that should have benefited the locals have no value in an exchange system?”

      Should have?

      If I buy dirt from you and discover a way to make it valuable, have I then retroactively stolen from you?

      • BagLady

        Depends on the condition you leave my yard in.

        • objectivefactsmatter

          That’s very good as a start. There is hope for you. Now make sure that you have evidence for the assumptions you make about supposed victims when you don’t witness events for yourself.

  • FlyOnTheScrtm

    As a non US person who used to admire the US your analyses is to the point. As I see the decadence and utter lack of leadership occasioned by a licentious society, I am appalled. I have also been an ardent reader of history and Livy’s observations are totally apt for the current situation in the West, therefore by extrapolation, the West is headed the same way as Rome or all the other ancient great civilizations before. The way it is, the downhill roll has gathered too much momentum for anyone or anything to stop and reverse it though it may yet take decades before the full impact becomes obvious to the doubters.

    • Nabukuduriuzhur

      Yes. It’s been inexorable since the 1960s. It’s like the Lord ordered in 1965 that this country was going to decline. Christians in the nation have fought the decline since the 1960s, prayed about it for decades, and the Lord keeps pushing it onward.

      People are getting tired of the constant fighting, with the Lord giving most of the money and power to those bent on making the U.S. a hedonistic international socialist state. It’s like banging one’s head against the wall.

      • Frau Katze

        I think it started with WW I. That did not impact the US so much but had a huge impact on Europe. They’ve never gotten over it.

      • Porkys2istan

        America was SO perfect before the 1960′s.

        It truly was a GREAT time for affluent protestant white heterosexual males. (For everyone else, not so much, but they didn’t count did they?)

        • Shibes Meadow

          Nope. And life was better for everyone.

  • Aurelius

    Churchill would be spinning in his grave if he could see what the egalitarian immigration policies have spawned in the UK. He no doubt would have considered it an act of treason if not war.

    • nomoretraitors

      He probably is spinning in his grave

      • Ibrahim

        No he isn’t.

        • nomoretraitors

          Great rebuttal. Did you think that up all by yourself, or did you get help from Media Matters and Moveon?

          • Ibrahim

            Yes.

  • http://www.clarespark.com/ Clare Spark

    The question is always this: is “decline” reversible or irreversible? One doesn’t know, though I laid out who benefits from “decline” here: http://clarespark.com/2014/03/08/america-is-in-decline-cui-bono/, “America is in decline” cui bono? It makes all the difference in how we cope to know what is at stake. Bad for morale to overstate the situation. And without that fighting spirit, we are doomed, really.

  • Aurelius

    Aside from the requirements of moral restraint and self discipline, a crucial aspect of maintaining a democracy is maintaining the electorate. When a crack addict has the same voting power and authority as a physician something is amiss. When you demographically replace the electorate with those who have no cultural history in democracy and whose ideological and religious beliefs are opposed to democratic principles then the end result speaks for itself. No democracy devised by Western man can withstand such an onslought.

    • SCREW SOCIALISM

      Aurelius AKBAR!

      • Aurelius

        LOL!

    • Drakken

      That is why I am now coming around to the ideas of Robert Heinlein in that only veterans of military service can be citizens, for it would seem the regular populace is to stupid for our own good and continues to vote for our demise.

      • Nabukuduriuzhur

        Don’t forget people who serve in other ways. My health was far too rotten to serve in the military, but until clinton killed infrastructure, I worked in engineering, designing and building things. After that, I worked in endangered species (not an eco, but a genuine conservationist).

        I would exclude every person who has used pot. The reason is that I’ve never met a Socialist, eco, or other radical, that didn’t use pot at some point in their life. Every Democrat Boomer and younger you find out there is either a former pot user or a current pot user.

        The drug causes a person to rationalize EVERYTHING. Lying, cheating, stealing, and murder. During my state’s legalization (73-97) it was common for women my age to rationalize not feeding their kids. Seems like every GenY kid has a story like that in Oregon. Most were raised by their grandparents because their moms were too stoned to do the job right. Or worse, to care about doing it right. Violent crime rates went up by a factor of ten or greater (Portland went from 100 homicides a year to more than 1000 by 1995) and the prevailing attitude was “it’s not hurting anyone”, even as the culture went to h—.

      • Aurelius

        Or maybe mandatory military sservice ala the IDF or some similar public service?

    • Hymie.

      Or an 18 year old.

      • Aurelius

        Amen.

  • 1Indioviejo1

    Excellent Blog., Mr. Thorton. Alexis de Toqueville’s quote from 1838, “Jihad, Holy war, is an obligation for all believers … The state of war is the natural state with regard to infidels … The violent tendencies of the Koran are so striking that I cannot understand how any man with good sense could miss them.” This is so appropriate to the description of what Islam is, that the only thought that comes to mind is a willful acceptance of a conqueror by our leaders. We can blame Obama for all of his treason, but Europe has known Islam since 711 A.D. when they invaded Spain. Four centuries latter the Catholic Church and some European nobility led the 1st crusade to reconquer jerusalem in confusion as to their goals, without really knowing Islam, and Islam has gotten a pass ever since, by the people who came in contact with their brand of totalitarianism and ignored the root. But why are we still ignoring our calamity? I agree that we are in decline because we lack the will to confront this old nemesis in its Ideology.

  • Jake-a-runi

    There may be change brewing. And the change in American attitudes of tolerance
    towards Islam and Muslims may start with the Inspire magazine’s current article on the duty of America’s Muslims to construct and detonate car bombs. The article apparently includes a tutorial on construction and detonation of these devices, suggestions of New York City, Northern Virginia, Chicago and Los Angeles as target areas and admonitions to target not property or buildings, but people, in crowds, to cause the maximum amount of human carnage and satisfy the Islamic divine mandate to murder and maim.
    .
    They should have been expelled from our borders already, Serial atrocities may just provide the needed impetus to remove them. We cannot stop them from killing and maiming in general, but our government is morally obligated, to us, to prevent them from killing and maiming here by removing them. Nothing else will work.

    • Icebow

      Start with Dearborn, simultaneously arresting every member of CAIR.

    • Popeye55

      People who are injured / killed need to start suing the government for millions until they take the necessary steps to stop Islam. Ultimately they are responsible for our countries security.

  • Pepe Turcon

    Churchill also said “a little war is needed once in a while” and it will help avoid a big war so take your pick, dessert, low population…

  • kevinstroup

    The White, Western Civilization culture is being destroyed from within by multiculturalist. Multiculturalism is merely a fancy name for white genocide. There are many prongs to this attack, but the goal is the same.

    • SCREW SOCIALISM

      “white genocide” is a fancy name for national socialist BS.

      All people are under attack by islamofascism and socialsim s you F’n MORON.

      • kevinstroup

        Nowhere do I advocate socialism. Get a clue, tard.

        • SCREW SOCIALISM

          kevinstard,

          naz is called themselves “national SOCIALISTS”. Get a clue, tard.

          • kevinstroup

            Dumbass, where in my writing have I advocated for socialism? Where, show me or stfu.

          • SCREW SOCIALISM

            Your “white genocide” is national SOCIALIST lingo.

            So please, SOCIALIST, FOAD like your “white” furher in his bunker.

  • logdon

    I’ve just watched two dvd sets straight through for about the third time.

    It’s best I find to watch one programme one night, then the next in sequence the following night until reaching the end.

    In other words no yawning gaps but also the space of a day to absorb and avoid the overkill of too much information.

    They are The World at War and Civilisation, both produced in the Seventies before political correctness could inflict its dogmatic censorship and both serious in the extreme regarding subject.

    I say these two particular programme series because at first glance they offer an insight into both mans decent to utter barbarity and alternatively mans ascent into the sublime.

    The contrast whilst stark is necessary in order to explain man’s capability of utter evil whilst on the other hand our passion for creation on an unbelievably majestic scale is clearly demonstrated.

    Was the Seventies Western man’s last hurrah?

    Islam was still just about in its rightful box and cultural relativity a sociologists dream. Political correctness had not emerged and the now fashionable abolition of the concepts of right and wrong would have been laughed out of the room.

    For anyone interested in where we are, the ideas of progress and indeed how hollow that term now is I’d recommend the two.

    They are dense and there is by definition a huge amount to assimilate but the medium of television is perfect and for once an intellectual challenge to reading the books alone.

    The research is phenominal, free of the horrid ideology which permeates today’s so called cultural output and it’s narrative is backed by the actual images there for all to see.

    Both dvd sets offer unchallengable lessons yet I suspect amongst the chatteratti and fey political classes which now infect our hemisphere, both geographically and of thought, they’ll be regarded almost as ancient relics of that was then, this is now.

    We are now at a new phase. Art and culture is washed up and exhausted. Western idealism has been usurped by a Third World dominated UN and the EU is a Marxist paradise.

    Are we worth saving?

    Our so called rulers by their thought, actions and deeds would indicate no.

    Our populations brought up on the dross of extreme popular culture don’t seem to care.

    That leaves a metaphoric me and you in the sphere of the vacuum left by malicious abandonment and the wanton pillage of the West by itself.

    Of course it is cyclical and both World at War and Civilisation prove that we can rise above the horror and the barbarity.

    The difference is that during the epoch spans of both programmes, there were people willing to acknowledge impending downfall and put it right.

    Now I’m not so sure.

    • wileyvet

      I have both series as well. Kenneth Clark’s Civilization is awe inspiring. Like you, highly recommend both.

      • SocraticLibertarian

        Perhaps this is a good time for me to review the first episode of Clark’s Civilization. Entitled, if I remember correctly, “By the Skin of our Teeth.” It may prove to be more a prophetic warning than just history.

    • Sally

      can you please provide more information about these series’. I see Civilisation is from Kenneth Clark but what about World of War? Need a link or something.

    • achantus

      I’m sitting here with the book based on the tv-series. On the last page Clark writes: “…it is lack of confidence, more than anything else, that kills a civilization. We can destroy ourselves by cynisism and disillusion, just as effectively as by bombs.” True words, I believe.

      • logdon

        Not with a bang but a wimper?

        • Drakken

          Well Don, I dare to say that nature abhors a vacuum, and by that, in todays world, our lack of leadership and feckless, weak and apologetic leaders we have in the western world today, will in all likelihood, lead to a very strong leader in the very near future, anyway you cut or slice it, this ends as it always does, with lots of blood.

          • logdon

            ‘a very strong leader’

            He’s there already in Russia, and taking full advantage of Obama’s airless vacuity.

            As one who despises the EU and its anti-western meddling and machinations I don’t object one jot to what he’s doing.

      • logdon

        PS:

        As this?

        ‘sphere of the vacuum left by malicious abandonment and the wanton pillage of the West by itself’.

  • Wolfthatknowsall

    “Hence we are vulnerable to the ruthless and the fanatic, since in every conflict we prefer to bring a diplomat to a gunfight.”

    The best thought in the entire article, and all of it was amazingly good, and sounds a timely warning to us all.

    Although he is rightly remembered for Watergate, Richard Nixon is also remembered for his adroit handling of military and international affairs. Sometime after he left office, he wrote a book called The Real War, in which he described the threat that the USSR posed to the world, but saw the weakness in their state. He then laid out procedures by which the Soviet Union could be brought down.

    In 1980, after winning the election, Ronald Reagan sat on his desk at his ranch for a photo-shoot. There were a number of books on the desk. I noticed one book, in particular. It was The Real War.

    As President, Reagan followed Nixon’s prescription to the letter. It is worth noting that the diplomats did their work as the USSR fell.

    If Putin’s Russia had the strength to fully restore the Russian empire, only then would Obama send the diplomats.

    You don’t debate from a position of weakness …

    • SCREW SOCIALISM

      Obama has made the US dependent on KGB Russia for putting Americans in space. Sad.

      I wonder of Obama bows to KGB Putin has he has bowed to the Saudi king.

      • Wolfthatknowsall

        It wouldn’t surprise me a bit …

      • Drakken

        Putin scares the bloody daylights out of the Saudi’s.

        • logdon

          Which is quite right and proper.

          Someone needs to rather than all the idiot grovelling.

          The OPEC oil crisis following US aid to Israel during the Yom Kippur War was the turning point and from then it’s gone downhill.

          These inbred tyrants need to be taught a lesson they’ll never, ever forget.

          Then boot out all non European/American/British Muslims out of our countries with a warning to the rest of internment.

          Failing that we on course for utter chaos and ultimate destruction.

          • Drakken

            The OPEC crisis should have had us westerners back in there in force taking the oil from these desert savages and calling it a day.

          • SCREW SOCIALISM

            I agree. The US should take over the oil fields of the middle east and lower the price of oil from $100 to $10 per barrel.

            Everyone wins – except OPEC and the Ruskies.

  • A Z

    “commodification of hedonism”

    Like packaging the girl known as “Twerk” for display in TV for the masses?

    Nice turn of phrase BTW.

  • RamonaG

    We are right on time Folks… Read your Bible…

  • NAHALKIDES

    This is a good article by Thornton, strongly resembling Raymond Ibrahim’s (also published on FPM today), and I will make the same suggestion at modification here as I did there: it is not actually Western culture that is guilty of the charges leveled by Thornton (and Ibrahim), but the anti-Western culture of the Left.. One of his own sentences should probably have alerted Thornton to this substitution:

    “Yet we Westerners have a vice peculiar to ourselves–thinking the rest of the world is just like us and wants what we want because we are the destination towards which historical progress is inexorably moving.”

    “Historical progress” is an idea not of the traditional West, nor of the Conservatives who are trying to save it, but of the Progressive movement. Of course in one sense Thornton and Ibrahim are correct: the Left is now in control of the West’s cultural institutions and is proceeding to demolish them. But they are really like the barbarians who sacked Rome: they occupy the same space their betters had, but they did not thereby become Roman. So too today’s Left has not become Western even as they ravage the Western landscape.

  • RevnantDream

    Killing 50,000,000 of our own un-born children, than supporting third world savages as replacements are the actions of maniacs.
    Read the book of Kings in the Bible to what happens to people who sacrifice their children for gain to idols like materialism. Look at England with its Muslim prostitution rings defiling Children while the British police & public shut their eyes to it.
    A people that won’t even defend its future custodians is already dead.
    God is Judging the West. He first makes the rulers of the nation mad.

  • Nabukuduriuzhur

    From National Wave of Foolishness:

    2.1.3 So What Happened?

    The greatest irony of the counterculture Baby Boomers is that so many of
    them, while adamantly refusing to admit their part in the culture’s decline, sometimes are heard to speak wistfully, wishing things were “like they were” as kids.

    Impossible. They had the benefit of a Christian culture, with Christian values
    and Christian respect for the Individual, a Christian value of work, a Christian worldview, a Christian value of marriage and the Christian Rule of Law. A portion of the Baby Boomers disowned all that, but they somehow want a civilization without Christianity, with the all benefits of Christianity.

    Something for nothing. If there was an underlyng principle of the Baby Boomer
    counterculture that was it: wanting something for nothing. From “free love” to “sustainability” to “green” to “free trade.”

    It’s a foolish idea. You can’t have something for nothing! You can’t have the benefits of something good, without actually having that good thing in place! If
    you don’t get anything else out of this book, remember that.

    The foolish idea that you can have something for nothing, is at the heart of what is killing the United States. You can’t have the benefits of something good,
    without actually having that good thing in place. Really simple truths, but the United States in general is ignoring them.

    It’s like wanting to have good roads and bridges without actually building them and maintaining them— like the Democrat Congress decided to do in 1993 when they eliminated most infrastructure spending.

    It’s like some of the Islamic nations wanting all the benefits of Western
    societies without actually putting into place the education, egalitarianism, civic virtue, freedoms and rule of law that creates those benefits. Or those Islamic nations wanting the benefits of western societies without the actual Christianity itself that permitted to start with the tolerance, education, egalitarianism, civic virtue, freedoms and rule of law that Western societies are now losing.

    The same with most third world nations. Mexico is a prime example. Wanting the benefits of the developed nations, without having any of the actual self-discipline and national discipline required to attain those benefits, such as the Rule of Law, education, personal morals, government morals and so on. It’s all about “doing it the easy way” in Mexico since the Spanish were kicked out. The short-cut. If morals get in the way, they just discard the morals! And so
    they’ve never been able to get anything done. Were it not so, the “easy money” that’s killing Mexico from their choice to sell drugs to U.S., Canada and E.U. would have been avoided. They would have said “h–l, no” to the drug money.”

    • tagalog

      If boomers could have things like they were in our childhood (and forget about the mistreatment of blacks and the patronizing of women), they would HATE it. Life when we were kids in the 1950s and early 1960s was fairly strict. Fathers and mothers were expected to lay down and ENFORCE strict standards for their households. Talk about “it takes a village:” your neighbors’ parents could clobber you if they caught you misbehaving outside the house, and your mom and dad were most likely to applaud them for it. Kids were expected to function in the family; they both did family chores and homework. There was TV, but a lot of households enforced TV hours (there’s a cultural reason for “prime time”) and you were expected to actually converse with your family members and go outside to play with your age cohort. In many if not most cases, kids were also expected to get jobs in their adolescence and get a taste of what it’s like to work for a living while in high school.

      Being an adult was something we aspired to, not some regrettable and unavoidable decline from freshness into staleness. Adults could make all those choices that we couldn’t make. Being an adult meant being a person in full.

      In the 1950s and early 1960s most American households had ONE car and mom often didn’t work. People weren’t rich; being middle class was what we all aspired to. The goal for young people was to graduate from high school (NOT a foregone conclusion), either join the service or wait to get drafted while working as a pump jockey at the gas station or as a soda jerk, then do your two or three years in the service, then get a REAL job, join the union, get married, raise a family and work for the next 40 years at that job and then draw your pension and your Social Security. And REAL MEN don’t call in sick, either. And what’s a “mental health day?”

      Some of that life had the trappings of security, but a lot of it was limited. That’s one of the reasons why things changed. Remember, the Pill didn’t come out until about 1960; in those days, you didn’t have sex (or very much of it) until you got married, and if you did and the girl got pregnant, you married her. And you had to have fault grounds for divorce.

      The good news was that our parents and our schools, as well as the “little platoons” of our civil life (Cub/Boy/Girl Scouts, Christian Endeavor, etc.) taught us that the United States is a GREAT place, not some phony evil villain, and that we are virtuous people who will succeed if we work hard and do the right thing.

  • Lujack Skylark

    Europe is in decline. Russia is on the arise. When the forces of Russia and their allies are destroyed upon the mountains of Israel (Ezekiel 39:1-4) the European anti-Christ will then offer the whole world peace and by peace (Daniel 8:24-25) he shall destroy many.
    http://www.raptureforums.com/forum/gog-magog/61824-where-we-towards-ezekiel-chapter-38-39-fullfillment-7.html POST 131 POST 131 Russia intentions are verified in these news articles.

    • Drakken

      Pssst, the Russians join the west in the end, if you follow that sort of thing.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NYRtmMxB5yw CrossWinds

    Even as Sampson, of the Bible, was bound by the philistines for his immorality, then and only then, could they defeat him. America has indulged itself in ever increasing immorality, defying The Lord, and outside forces will afflict them, just as Sampson was…….

    Judges 16:20

    Then she called, “Samson, the Philistines are upon you!” He awoke from his sleep and thought, “I’ll go out as before and shake myself free.” But he did not know that the Lord had left him.

  • http://www.abprosper.com/ ABProsper

    You are slightly wrong on the population issue but otherwise spot on. The problem with population in the West is simply our native homeland,Europe is crowded to the degree that even mass deportation of foreigners wouldn’t really help.

    The elite even the ones who aren’t trying to sell out the West simply assume none of the social conditions that create large families have changed. That is simply false.

    In short the worthwhile poor have come wisely to the conclusion that children are the cause of poverty. Given the staggering unemployment and underemployment in Europe (over 50% in many areas) its in fact a wonder White birth rates are as high as they are.

    This suggests to me that European peoples want children they just (save the ferals) don’t want to bring them up in poverty for essentially what is the benefit of a culture that doesn’t actually care.

    And note this time out social not be free or provided by Christianity, it will require a sense of being a people and will require the ability for gain by remunerative work.

    Counting on another imported Middle Eastern meme is also very unsafe, it will get the population up a little for a while but not long. Many Middle Eastern areas are as sick or sicker than the West. More importantly a European Caliphate will never be prosperous or stable even if it was 100% European stock.

    I’d suggest smaller more homogeneous polities to start regardless of what the greedy elite want. Not just European or even White but Scottish or Dutch or Flemish or some small group with shared history and enough tolerance of the neighbours that no European blood gets shed by Europeans and that a mutual defense pact is possible.

    How we get that and a sense of being a folk and remunerative work for people
    with the current technology is well a tough question but its what needs
    to be done IMO

  • delm31_nabla@yahoo.com

    Western values and virtues are just that-Western-not anyone else’s. We are not all the same even though we are all human. What we as Westerners cherish and value isn’t necessarily what the Western world does. We need to remember that.

  • delm31_nabla@yahoo.com

    The West has been in the driver’s seat for so long around the world we have made the mistake in assuming we alone are the future of planet Earth-to the exclusion of all others cultures and value systems. The West’s ruling classes are clueless as to how real people around the world live and think. They don’t even grasp the everyday lives and values of their own people. They live in their own universe. with their own condescending viewpoint of moral and intellectual supremacy. What they fail to realize is that the West is not absolute. Only Heaven above is.

  • camp7

    Well expressed Mr. Thornton. Your article rings the bell.

  • herb benty

    Lefties squandering what the Right built, all while vilifying, ridiculing and demonizing the very Foundation of their bully pulpit. God hates hypocrisy and arrogance.

  • Ellman48

    “Hence we are vulnerable to the ruthless and the fanatic, since in every conflict we prefer to bring a diplomat to a gunfight.”

    Obama has sent John Kerry to the gunfight in the Ukraine. Kerry has his words and threats and Putin has his troops and weapons. While Kerry wonders how Putin could regress to 19th century aggression, Putin is contemplating how to seize the eastern parts of the Ukraine. He knows that the US will issue its usual condemnations and sanctions but what he really worries about is whether the Ukrainians will be willing to fight Russian soldiers to prevent further territorial seizures.

    He seems to be humoring Obama and Kerry into thinking that there may still be a diplomatic resolution to this crisis, while he mobilizes his troops and propaganda organs for the final assault (assuming Ukraine does not capitulate entirely). He may be thinking that there will never be a better opportunity to regain lost territory than while Obama is the POTUS. He’s probably right.

    The parallels with the appeasement of Hitler by Chamberlain are remarkable!

  • http://islamsfatalflaw.blogspot.com/ BobSmith101

    Fantastic analysis.

  • Porkys2istan

    Religion is phoney morality. People only do the ‘right’ thing because they are afraid of angering their imaginary sky friend, or eternal hellfire and damnation. Real morality comes from within not from without.

    That’s why we LIBERALS hate you Christo-Fascists Dominionists so much. You all reek of PHONEY morality. You are more interested in making sure the homos can’t get married than feeding the poor. You are more interested in banning abortion than helping the children that YOU FORCED into this world. And you are more concerned with helping the rich get richer than helping the poor not die.

    Jesus would look at you and turn his head in disgust.

    As a Liberal Counter-Jihadist, I often get the feeling Christians hate islam NOT for the innumerable evils that islam spreads across the world. but rather, because muslims ‘get away’ with all the things that Christo-Fascists Dominionists WISH they could do with impunity.

  • nomoretraitors

    “this distortion of Islam has hampered our response to aggression and indulged our delusion that a majority of Muslims want peace, prosperity, and freedom more than they want to obey Allah and live by Islamic precepts. Having reduced our faith to a life-style choice and comforting holiday traditions, we Westerners cannot imagine a religion whose believers take its commands seriously, and see the world as the arena of a long spiritual struggle they are destined to win.
    Then there’s the fatuous response to Vladimir Putin’s aggression against Ukraine and the Crimea. Since many of us fancy ourselves internationalists and cosmopolitans too sophisticated for passionate national loyalty, we discount the powerful pull of ethnic and national identity…. With similar arrogance, since we are hostile to the power of faith in people’s lives, we brush away Putin’s analysis of a hedonistic, heathenish West as insincere propaganda, forgetting that many Russians have not followed us in our disregard for religion as an archaic superstition”

    Very succinctly put

  • Porkys2istan

    I don’t respect or fear islam. Islam is like everything bad (and nothing good) about Christianity x 1000. Muslims kill more people EVERY DAY than the anti-abortion wackos have killed in 40 YEARS.

    But most liberals have to deal with 50 to 100 MILLION conservative Christians every day, and muslims very rarely so they don’t see the true nature of the beast.

  • GODGUNS&COUNTRY

    America has turned her back on the (Judeo-Christian Holy) GOD of the Bible. We (as a nation) are reaping what weave sown for the last 150+ years.. This nation has a big part to play in bringing about the (Biblical Prophecy) end of the world as we know it. There is nothing we can do about it.. It is written… For the folks who don’t believe there is a GOD, you’ll see.. the same for the folks that believe in other gods.., they will find out, but it will be too late . . . . . . .

    The Founding Fathers knew this would come to pass . . . . . .

    “A Republic, if you can keep it….”

    “The individual is handicapped by coming face-to-face with a conspiracy so monstrous he cannot believe it exists. The American mind simply has not come to a realization of the evil which has been introduced into our midst. It rejects even the assumption that human creatures could espouse a philosophy which must ultimately destroy all that is good and decent.”– J. Edgar Hoover​​

    “If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy.” – James Madison

    I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country. Corporations have been enthroned, an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money-power of the country will endeavor to prolong it’s reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until the wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed. – Abraham Lincoln 1864

    “The issue is not war and peace, rather, how best to preserve our freedom.” – General Russell E. Dougherty

  • Dark Age Fire

    The greatest threat to the West is unlimited non-white immigration and forced assimilation. Diversity is just a code-word for white genocide. Once whites become a minority in their homelands, the West is over.

  • John

    This is bunch of bullshit. Islam doesn’t want to dominante any countries. It is actually the West that wants to dominante Asian , Latina, Islamic, Russian, and Japanese cultures.
    The Muslims just happen to be the ones with higher resistance against Westernization.