Planet Of The Humans, Part 0

I spent a lot of time thinking about this scene last week:

I first started paying serious attention to politics in about 1980. Like a lot of high school kids, then and now, I was somewhere out on what would be called “the left”; I wrote a platform for North Dakota Boys State (a statewide mock government program put on by the decidedly conservative American Legion) that called for systematic redistribution of wealth, abolishing nuclear energy and nuclear disarmament, and a whole bunch of stuff that would be pretty mainstream among the Bernie Bros today.

Three years later, due to the good graces of my English professor, Dr. Jim Blake, I had re-evaluated most of my assumptions. I voted for Ronald Reagan in 1984, and never really looked back.

And I had no reason to. None of us did. Although the history books, all being written from the perspective of the Left, will never admit it, the two decades from 1980 to 2000 were, objectively, the last American Golden Age. I’ll squeak out an optimistic coda and add “so far”, but I’ll be honest – I haven’t been feeling it, but I’m a firm believer in acting like you want to feel, and so there is is. “So far”.

I’ll come back to that.

There’s no denying it was one of the high points of American history. We led an economic surge that brought more wealth to more people than any in history. We, as a nation, led a political surge that led to the collapse of one of the most evil regimes in history (although not the other one – so far).

Maybe it’s just the perspective of one guy’s lifetime – but I suspect you’d have to look long and hard to find a place and time when it was generally better to be a human.

Not just in material terms, but in terms of the tension between freedom and order, one of the hardest things about running a self-governing society, being in relative balance – and, more importantly, the general commitment to the system and process that kept all those moving parts in balance.

And it’s been downhill from there.

The arc from Morning in America in 1980 to last week’s skirmish at the Capitol – which, loathe as I am to come even close to Democrat chanting points, was a form of coup, not against President-Elect Biden, but against the states’ constitutional power to select electors – peaked…somewhere in the late ’90s – when one of the glories of the American system, gridlocked government, combined with a Peace Dividend brought about by the end of the Cold War (thanks, President Reagan), led to an outburst of technological, entrepreneurial and market power that brought so much wealth, and security, and general well-being, to so many people that it may have been as close to a uptopia, in some ways, as humanity can get. Because of the gridlock in government.

Somewhere between 1998 and 2005, things started to turn back south again. It’d be easy to point to the polarization of American politics, starting with the various Clinton scandals, through the fiasco of the 2000 election, the near-decade of squabbling over the War on Terror and the 2008 government-caused financial meltdown, as the cause – but it went in parallel with a lot of other changes in our nation’s political, moral and social lives that have led to their…

…I was going to say “culmination” last week at the Capitol. But of course, that’s not true. Last week’s sorry episode was, like last summer’s riots, and the social back and forth that gave us Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Trump himself, and the movements that supported them all in a way that was increasingly “un-American” (I’m still claiming a meaning for that term), and if you think that was the peak, or trough, or any sort of ending to the story, you just haven’t paid attention to 20,000 years of human nature.

So let’s not call it a culmination. Let’s call it a checkpoint, on a path that may be going up, or down, but control over which We The People need to take before the phrase “We The People” is forever relegated to the museum.

How have we gotten from the peak of Western Civilization to…this, in my adult lifetime?

Let’s talk about it.

We’ll start with President Trump, next.

But we’re damn sure not going to finish with him.

9 thoughts on “Planet Of The Humans, Part 0

  1. How have we gotten from the peak of Western Civilization to…this, in my adult lifetime?

    1. Abandoning the public schools to the degenerate left.
    2. Allowing millions of uneducated, unskilled, low IQ citizens of 3rd world countries to enter our country illegally, and allow them to vote.

    Many do not realize that a plurality, perhaps 1/2, of the illegals crossing our border cannot read or write in Spanish, much less English. Many want to work, but they’re not qualified to do anything but the simplest manual labor….how many roofers and landscape workers do we need?

  2. I remember my time in college, when I was given a pile of “Impeach Rather” bumper stickers to illustrate the excessive bias Rather exhibited, to the point of trying to mount an ambush on President Bush–an ambush he’d been bragging about enough so that Bush heard and evaded it, and later made fun of Rather for it.

    It wasn’t an utter stranglehold on MSM, as high school debaters all knew that U.S. News was (and is) far more reliable than Time or Newsweak. The Economist was good back in the day, too. And then we had things like Rush’s show, where Rush showed (with flourishes and such, yes) a great habit of simply displaying the left as they were.

    It seems to me that the response of the left since then has been more or less a complete takeover of MSM, including the exclusion of people who are with them ideologically, but whose temperaments will not abide the outright suppression of contrary evidence.

  3. Safety – yes, you read that right, safety. That’s why things are so jacked up. I’d venture that most of us grew up pretty free range (be home by the time the lights are on) on bikes with no helmets, drinking from water hoses, and playing on rusted jungle gyms. Our play was dangerous, or at least had that possibility. I built ramps to jump my bike off. We built things with hammers and saws. I cut wood with an axe (without protective eyewear).

    Everything is safe, to include our play, now. Which led to children growing up without ever skinning a knee or breaking a bone. That gave rise to safe spaces. Which gave way to words = violence.

  4. Tied into the above, OSHA was founded in 1971, It took awhile to get rolling around the mid-80’s. Which is exactly on Mitch’s timeline. I rest my case.

  5. Dang, just posted this on another thread but it seems much more apropos here because it does indeed answer the question “How have we gotten from the peak of Western Civilization to…this, in my adult lifetime?” to the fullest. So again, I apologize for the crosspost.

    This is from 1969. Entire lecture from G Edward Griffin is 1h30ish minutes long. Watch it before it gets banned.

  6. I recommend SitD readers check out anything written by David Horowitz. Not the consumer guy, the Red Diaper ex-leftist who woke up in 1974 when the Panthers tortured, raped and murdered a friend of his, an accountant he had steered their way just to do the books for a school the Panthers ran. Now a cold case, but he’ll tell you who did it.

  7. There’s a group of people out there, that call themselves “accelerationists”. I used to follow a form of accelerationist thinking, in that when reprobates got the upper hand in government, I was hoping they’d get complete control. That way, their insanity, lust for power and control over people would bloom. People would then rebel and vote the whole stinking lot of them out and never vote for them again.

    That thinking relied on their being enough people with the intelligence to recognize a shitshow when they see one. For that reason, I have abandoned that view. Minneapolis was burned and looted; your governor and the Mayor of Minneapolis stood back and watched…did nothing until the looters had carried off all the booze and weaves they could carry.

    In the aftermath, while the piles of rubble were literally still smoking, the reaction of the insane reprobates in charge was to go after the cops with the goal of getting rid of them completely. The city became a running joke nationwide.

    No surprise crime went through the roof, with the vibrant urban community shooting each other on sight, robbing, assaulting, car jacking, and the citizens said….nothing. No heads rolled, or will roll.

    Clearly there is no bridge too far for mentally ill reprobates.

    Today’s accelerationists have a different end game in mind. They are waiting for the reprobates to destroy the country. They figure they’ll hunker down and after maybe 25% of the country kills each other, they’ll march in and restore law and order, and Western civilization.

    I fully expect phase 1 of their plan will come to fruition. Now that the reprobates have the media, and control the levers of power; they’re going mad. They are now acting against conservatives without any pretense of lawful justification; it’s just naked payback. People are being put off planes for being suspected Trump supporters. The rage mob is targeting the employment suspected or proven Trump supporters. They’re shutting down conservative websites, and threatening anyone who dares counter the narrative being put out by the reprobates, themselves.

    People used to living in a nominally free country will put up with a lot; the bat flu lockdowns have proved that. But they are not going to put up with attacks on their livelihood’s, their friends and most importantly their families very long.

    The reprobates are playing right into the hands of the doomsday accelerationists.

  8. Progressives believe that history is, well, progressive. All of humanity is moving to a better place.
    This, however, is not phrased in technological or economic terms, at least not these days. Today’s progressives believe that “progress” consists of greater inclusion of marginalized and oppressed groups into mainstream society, especially into government & other elite institutions.
    There is no intellectual theory behind this idea. It’s all pop-poli-sci & power politics, so in that sense it is not progressive at all. It is just more of the same ol’ thing, a group of people with the power to rule others.
    Many conservatives also are progressives, but of another kind. They believe that humanity will improve, intellectually, economically, and perhaps morally, because free markets promote both wealth creation and virtuous behavior.
    I think it is unwise to believe in either kind of progress. The default form of government, world-wide, in every civilization for the last three thousand years, has been oligarchy: control of the wealth produced by each civilization by a closed social class.
    I am Christian enough to acknowledge that if there is a teleology to human history — a purpose, an end point which we are heading towards — that is reconciliation with God through the redeeming power of the birth, persecution, and resurrection of Christ. It’s not worth putting your faith, effort, and hope into anything else.

  9. Pingback: In The Mailbox: 01.11.21 : The Other McCain

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