A thought-starter for your Fourth of July festivities — The the post-WWII global order collapses around us, but America seems unable to see this — let alone adapt to it. This post discusses one of the most important consequences, the slow death of the Constitution. It has been revised several times since publication in 2006. This is the most important of the 3700 posts on the FM website. Other chapters in this series appear at the end.
“The first question that offers itself is, whether the general form and aspect of the government be strictly republican. It is evident that no other form would be reconcilable with the genius of the people of America; with the fundamental principles of the Revolution; or with that honorable determination which animates every votary of freedom, to rest all our political experiments on the capacity of mankind for self-government.”
— Federalist Paper #39, James Madison (writing as Publius), 18 January 1788. The experiment is still running. Perhaps soon we’ll have a conclusion.
- Death of the post-WWII era.
- Check the health of the Republic.
- Who killed the Constitution?
- Consequences for the government.
- Consequences for us.
- The cutting edge of Death’s scythe.
- The future of America.
- For more information.
(1) Introduction — death of the post-WWII era
The post-WWII era was defined by…
- America as a model state: a capitalistic republic which values its citizens’ liberty.
- American as a superpower; later the sole superpower.
- The American dollar as reserve currency; “good as gold” for holding the world’s savings
- 3rd generation warfare as the dominant mode of military force.
- Growing American “wealth” through the debt supercycle, continuously expanding debt of government, corporations, and households.
- Cheap energy, largely from coal, oil, and natural gas.
With each passing day these things slowly fade away. The daily newspapers record their passing, although most journalists are unaware of the larger significance of what they report.
This essay discusses the fall of our political regime as its heart dies.. We do not see this since we have change blindness, a flaw in our mental processing where we fail to see clearly visible changes right before us. Here is the classic demonstration. Here are other examples.
(2) A brief self-check on the health of the American regime
“Do not scatter diamonds before ducks. They prefer grain.”
— Chiun, the current Master of Sinanju (from “The Destroyer” series of books by Richard Sapir and Warren Murphy; see book one).
Aristotle said that the political regime of a state dominated other aspects of its society. So it has proved for us. Standing firmly on the foundation provided by our Constitution, we obtained wealth and freedom unknown in human history. But a constitution — written or unwritten — lives only to the degree it is inscribed on the hearts of its citizens. That was true throughout most of our history. That is no longer true today.
History shows that people’s recognition of a regime’s passing usually lags behind the facts. Generations passed before the Roman people recognized that the Republic was dead. So it is today. This is easy to prove. Let’s do a quick test about the health of the American Nation-State. The correct answers are given after the questions.