The Thinking 

As Liberalism Leads Us over the Edge

November 8, 2012


KRISTOR writes:

I thought Romney would win comfortably. And because I have been more and more impressed with how decent, normal, upright and generous a man he seems to be (not to mention intelligent, skilled, and experienced), I had begun to feel that he had a real shot at deflecting us from the course toward the precipice, despite his liberalism.

Now, I see that we are going to go over.

I have to remind myself of the time years ago when I slipped into a flume, which I wrote about here. From that entry:

When I was 17 and hiking along the edge of the Cumberland Plateau, I slipped on wet granite and slid down a slippery rock slope into a flume that poured over the edge only ten feet away. I hit the water–only about eight inches deep, but really cooking along over slick smooth rock–and it shot me toward the lip of the waterfall. Desperately I tried to stop myself, but it was no good. I was going over. I would fall 300 feet, and die. So I resigned myself to that–there was nothing else to do–and over I went. I landed 15 feet below in a pool that poured over the real edge 10 feet away. I bounced out of the pool and up onto the bank, about 12 feet in a single bound, and shook myself, incredulous. My life had been given back. I laughed and laughed. Not because it was funny, but because it was impossibly beautiful.

I knew I was going to go over, and die. So I just turned and faced that. And then even though I did go over the edge of the precipice that I could see, I only fell about fifteen feet. I lived, and went on within three years to abandon my liberalism and live a larger, truer life than I might have if I had never slipped and fallen.

It might not be so bad for us to go over the precipice. And, if it turns out that in going over we do all die, and the West dies, well, … it had to happen sometime. The good news there: think of the huge crop of martyrs! Onward, Christian soldiers!

—- Comments —–

Lawrence Auster writes:

Kristor writes:

“It might not be so bad for us to go over the precipice. And, if it turns out that in going over we do all die, and the West dies, well, … it had to happen sometime.”

This does not describe our situation. We are not facing death in the sense of disappearance from this world. We, and those who come after us, are facing losing the good things we have and being dragged down to a vastly lower and harsher state of existence.

Kristor writes:

In response to Mr. Auster, the first option I now view as a virtual certainty. I think the probability that we will now enter a depression on the scale of what happened in the 30s is very high. Recall that after the Crash of 29, there was actually quite a healthy recovery of the stock market – although not of employment – up until about 1934. Then, with the full implementation of the New Deal finally kicking in, the Depression set in with a vengeance. This is what I now expect will happen. The news of widespread layoffs in the corporate world is already beginning.

Curiously, as in the 30s, there is an enemy of the West out there, determined to conquer us. It is a totalitarian system that hates the Jews, the Christians, the homosexuals, etc. As in the 30s, the West has been pretending just as hard as it can that this enemy can be swayed to good behavior by negotiations, concessions, and appeasement, and refusing even to think about the possibility of war. As with our enemy in the 30s, we are terrified of it, even though it is, for now, a paper tiger – as was our enemy in the 30s, even up through the invasion of Czechoslovakia. The parallels are spooky. They go on and on.

So it does not seem unlikely that we could now be setting forth on a five or ten year long Depression, followed by a cataclysmic world war.

This is what I mean by going over the precipice.

And I don’t view it as such a bad thing. It is not the worst outcome. The worst outcome, as I said, is that traditional Christians will be persecuted in the West, and that the West will then vanish from history forever. This outcome is a real possibility now for the first time. But I view it as relatively remote; there are just too many Christians with guns, for this outcome to seem very likely. The precipice, on the other hand, is virtually certain.

Why will the precipice not be such a bad thing? Because when a civilization goes through a crisis on the scale of the Depression and WW II, it has an opportunity to “reboot,” or go through what I have called a “phase change.” When things fall apart, you must put them back together, and the devastation of what came before provides an opportunity to put them back together better than they were before.

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