William Lind sees a bleak future for Weimerica

Summary: Weimerica is among the darkest visions for America, in which our social and political systems decay so that we take refuge in tyranny. Here Lind describes the trends taking us down that bleak path. But we can still change course.

This is very Weimar (from "Cabaret").

Introduction

My forecasts for America grow increasingly bleak. I wrote Forecast: Death of the American Constitution in 2006 – and today have even darker visions. But I grow optimistic when reading Lind’s columns. Lind and I have radically different backgrounds, perspectives, and beliefs. Yet our analysis of trends in America are converging. This gives me confidence in the likelihood of America taking the only path I see to a better future: an alliance of progressives and populists, as Americans discover their common interests.

I was writing a post, and with astonishment read this column by Lind making similar points. My post will go up later this week.

Weimar America?

By William S. Lind.
From Traditional Right • 21 October 2018.
Posted with his generous permission. Graphics added.

The battle over the Kavanaugh nomination saw the Left take yet another giant step toward unreason. Apparently serious people argued that any woman’s accusation against any man must be believed. Suddenly, three thousand years of history and literature, in which perfidy of women, their lies and plots that brought disaster, loom large are to be tossed aside. In their place we are to believe that today’s women carry a “truth serum” gene that makes lies impossible. Even the (desirable) Victorian elevation of women did not go as far as this. Victorian women, presented with the idea that women cannot lie, would have responded with gales of laughter.

The left’s rejection of facts and reason in favor of romantic faith in “feelings” is yet another sign of our cultural decay. That decay has gone far enough to raise the question of whether we are following the path of Weimar Germany, Germany in the 1920s and early 1930s.

To summarize a complex historical period, the collapse of morals and culture in Germany in the 1920s alienated the German middle class from the Weimar Republic. When the Great Depression hit, that alienation was joined by deep anger at the government’s inability to set the economy right and provide jobs. Adolf Hitler and his National Socialists rode this mixture of alienation and anger to power (legally, by winning an election).

Editor’s note: in the 1932 election, the Nazi Party got 37% of the popular vote and 38% of the seats in the Reichstag, the largest share of both.

They then abolished the Weimar constitution, reaffirmed traditional middle-class morality, pulled Germany out of the Depression, and gave jobs to everyone who wanted one (for which the brilliant head of the Reichsbank, Hjalmar Schacht, deserves much of the credit).

The World of Yesterday
Available at Amazon.

I was in Berlin for ten days in August, where my search for Germany’s history was aided by an excellent guidebook The Companion Guide to Berlin by Brian Ladd. Ladd quotes the interwar novelist Stefan Zweig’s description of Berlin in 1923, during the Weimar Republic’s hyperinflation {in The World of Yesterday, 1941}.

“I have a pretty thorough knowledge of history, but never, to my recollection, has it produced such madness in such gigantic proportions. All values were changed, and not only material ones; the laws of the State were flouted, no tradition, no moral code was respected, Berlin was transformed into the Babylon of the world. Bars, amusement parks, honky-tonks, sprang up like mushrooms. …the Germans introduced all their vehemence and methodological organization into the perversion. Along the entire Kurfurstendamm powdered and rouged young men sauntered and they were not all professionals; every high school boy wanted to earn some money and in the dimly lit bars one might see government officials and men of the world of finance tenderly courting drunken sailors without shame.

“Even the Rome of Suetonious has never seen such orgies as the pervert balls of Berlin, where hundreds of men costumed as women and hundreds of women as men danced under the benevolent eyes of the police.In the collapse of all values a kind of madness gained hold particularly in bourgeois circles which until then had been unshakable in their probity.Young girls bragged proudly of their perversion, to be sixteen and still under the suspicion of virginity would have been considered a disgrace in any school of Berlin at that time ….”

Editor’s note; for more about this history – and us – see Our futures seen in snippets of the past.

Does this sound all too familiar? America now witnesses such behavior not only in one city, but throughout the land. And the Establishment media promote it, bless it, and denounce anyone who rejects it as a “hater”. A large portion of America’s middle class finds it alienating.

So far, the alienation is tempered by the good economy. But the Big One is coming, a world-wide debt crisis that will bring not just a recession but a depression and a long-lasting one. Unlike the Great Depression, I expect this one to be inflationary because central banks will respond to it by creating massive liquidity. At this point, it is all they know how to do.

If you take widespread cultural alienation, economic collapse, massive unemployment, and inflation and wrap them all up together, you get Weimar America. Someone will take political advantage of the situation. I expect that as in Germany under the Weimar constitution, you will have a faceoff between a populist, extreme Left – we’ve certainly seen enough Leftist extremism in the Kavanaugh confirmation battle – and a populist Right. At present, only a small slice of the populist Right is extreme. Most of it is well represented by President Trump, who is a very long way indeed from Adolf Hitler. President Trump is anti-establishment, but his agenda lies well within the historical mainstream of American politics. After all, for most of its history the Republican party was the party of high tariffs.

As in Weimar Germany, the initial push to the extremes has come from the Left, which seems to imagine it can go as far as it wants without eliciting a reaction from the Right. In Germany, the SA arose largely to counter violence from the Communists. Here, the Left thought it could raise racial consciousness among blacks and Hispanics without creating a similar rise in racial consciousness on the part of the whites. It was wrong. Now, it is openly advocating violence against Republican Party leaders and other prominent conservatives, harassing them in public places, vandalizing their property, and threatening their families. This too will bring an equal reaction from the Right, and the Left will find to its sorrow that the Right fights rather better than the Left.

Conservatives do not want to see our public life move in these directions. The first conservative principle is order: safety of persons and property. But as in Weimar Germany, the combination of cultural decadence and economic collapse will drive politics to its extremes. Conservatives should work with moderates and such liberals as dare defy the extreme Left to preserve order. But if that fails, then only one thing will matter: winning.

—————————————-

Editor’s comment

I disagree with Lind’s belief in the Right-wing obsession with a debt cataclysm. These kind of “everybody knows it” threats seldom occur, because they are obvious and so people prepare (to avoid or mitigate).  Complex and large systems tend to fail from unexpected causes – or multiple unexpected causes (a dozen mistakes killed 1,503 passengers and crew on the HMS Titanic). (Also, Lind’s economic analysis is inaccurate.)

But that’s trivia. I agree with Lind about the important and larger point: eventually something will produce massive stress on US society. The growth of political extremes on Left and Right are eroding away the Republic’s legitimacy, as is our collapse of all values (predicted by Nietzsche). At some point our society will be unable to withstand the stress of major crisis. The rising incidence of political violence is a clear indicator of this process, and deserves close attention.

William Lind

About the author

William S. Lind’s director of the American Conservative Center for Public Transportation. He has a Master’s Degree in History from Princeton University in 1971. He worked as a legislative aide for armed services for Senator Robert Taft, Jr., of Ohio from 1973 to 1976 and held a similar position with Senator Gary Hart of Colorado from 1977 to 1986. See his bio at Wikipedia

Mr. Lind is author of the Maneuver Warfare Handbook (1985), co-author with Gary Hart of America Can Win: The Case for Military Reform (1986), and co-author with William H. Marshner of Cultural Conservatism: Toward a New National Agenda (1987).

He’s perhaps best known for his articles about the long war, now published as On War: The Collected Columns of William S. Lind 2003-2009. See his other articles about a broad range of subjects…

  1. His posts at TraditionalRight.
  2. His articles about geopolitics at The American Conservative.
  3. His articles about transportation at The American Conservative.

For More Information

Ideas! For shopping ideas see my recommended books and films at Amazon.

If you liked this post, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. See all posts about the Kavanaugh hearings, about Reforming America: steps to new politics, and especially these about our adventures in Weimerica …

  1. Fear the rise of political violence in America. We can still stop it.
  2. The Left helps bring us Weimerica, a prelude to big changes.
  3. Alert! Our institutions are hollow because we don’t love them.
  4. Misadventures of a young woman in modern America.
  5. Red Robin recruits for the alt-Right (unintentionally).

A great book about Weimar Germany’s fall into fascism

Before the Deluge: A Portrait of Berlin in the 1920s
Available at Amazon.

Before the Deluge: A Portrait of Berlin in the 1920s.

By Otto Friedrich, journalist and historian (1972).

“A fascinating portrait of the turbulent political, social, and cultural life of Berlin in the 1920s.”
— By the publisher.

“Before the Deluge recaptures in an eerie but only too authentic manner the tawdry, dangerous, and undeniably exciting story of the sickness which overcame Germany in the ’20s. ….No place in the world was so creative and decadent, so despairing and exhilarating…. What “Cabaret” did in musical form Friedrich has captured here.”
— Harrison Salisbury.

“A fascinating portrait of a city where art and riot flourished side by side and incredibility was the normal state of things.”
— Atlantic Monthly.

“Friedrich’s study of Berlin in the pre-Hitler years is so full of lessons…that one has to put it down from time to time to take a breath.”
— Esquire.

25 thoughts on “William Lind sees a bleak future for Weimerica

    1. info,

      That’s an important observation. Cross-dressing is a common element in stories going back to the ancient world. The great warrior Achilles dressed (unsuccessfully) as a woman to avoid going to the Trojan War. Hercules was dressed like a woman while a slave to Omphale (Queen of Lydia). In both stories and fact, women and men cross-dressed for instrumental reasons — to deceive or fool others (including women dressing as men to join armies).

      In the theater, men often dressed as women since there were no actresses (e.g, Elizabethan era, Japan Noh opera).

      But the current desire of so many men to be like women is a rarity in history, and perhaps the present scale of the phenomenon is unique (in western history, at least). My guess (guess) is that it is a manifestionation (or symptom) of the decay of masculinity — which contributes to so many of our problems today, and against which women are rebelling (among other things, by recruiting real men to come here from other lands).

    2. One can look at least three aspects of that:

      1. Under puritans and conservatives everyone has to restrain one’s “nonconforming impulses” (in any direction) and when the society “opens,” some people may “come out of a closet,” or, just to revolt…

      2. Unusual sexual desires may have been very much underrated in the standards of (middle-class) society and therefore these “deviation” may be more striking to the general observer.

      3. Decadence of many faces may not be related only to the above and/or as a sign of a decaying society, but also to the decaying gene pool — the “mainstream science” has outright rejected eugenics, but the fact that so many “problematic” genes have been propagated into the recent human gene-pool by “improving” health care had not been addressed and the genetic “engineering” may be just an illusion ready to blow into our faces.

    3. Jako,

      That’s quite a thought provoking comment!

      (1) “Under puritans and conservatives everyone has to restrain one’s ‘nonconforming impulses'”

      I don’t understand. Today the Left is in the driver’s seat with respect to social mores. People are shunned, or fired from work (often blacklisted), for giving vent to the mildest form of “nonconforming inpulses” – speech. A friend of mine on Wall Street, a long-service upper-tier middle manager, was out drinking with work-friends. He told a racist joke. The next day, one of them dropped a dime on him. He was gone that day. No warnings, no counselling, no mandatory time at a re-education camp. Mao would have said that’s pretty tough action.

      (2) “Unusual sexual desires may have been very much underrated in the standards of (middle-class) society and therefore these “deviation” may be more striking to the general observer.”

      Isn’t that the point? In standard western culture, heterodox behavior is suppressed or hidden, to maintain a viable social order and discourage its propogation (normalization makes it more common in both incidence and expression).

      (3) “but also to the decaying gene pool”

      That is a scary heterodox thought! It’s over my pay grade to evaluate its plausibility. Any readers are invited to post citations from experts about this!

    4. “That is a scary heterodox thought! It’s over my pay grade to evaluate its plausibility. Any readers are invited to post citations from experts about this!”

      I don’t know your standard for veracity, but several recent IQ studies have noted a near-universal drop since the 1990s in a reversal of the Flynn effect. Since we know IQ is partially heritable and epigenetics plays a role in its expression, it might speak to the paucity of children in the UMC + UC as compared to the lower classes. The merit of the dysgenic fertility theory is still in question, but the evidence is highly disturbing to say the least.

      Here is the most famous one by Bernt Bratsberg and Ole Rogeberg:

      http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2018/06/05/1718793115

    5. NEET,

      IQ is imo one of the most fascinating areas of study today. And, as so often the case — it is socially red lined. We don’t understand why IQ scores rose, or why IQ scores are falling.

      Another factor, very much thoughtcrime: IQ scores in underdeveloped nations are really low. For example, in much of sub-Saharan Africa the average (average!) IQ score runs at 75 – 85 (that’s from memory). These people cannot function well in a developed western nation. Their kids or grand-kids might be able to – or not. Who can say for sure?

      But we will eventually know, thanks to the Leftist Social Engineers running western nations! All that we know for sure, is that we will pay for their experiments. Whatever the cost.

    1. Dashul,

      I understand perfectly. When raising my kids, we had a TV set – but no input from broadcast or cable. Just videos. As children they saw many of the cartoons from the Boomer era (e.g., Jonny Quest) plus selected modern shows (e.g., the original Star Trek, documentaries).

      I find it incredible that people allow their children to watch whatever garbage Hollywood chooses to make.

    2. Dashui,

      Follow-up note: we have watched some Japanese anime, relying on the English sub-titles. Amazing to see the differences in values and thinking. And I suspect the English translations mute the differences.

  1. Larry you ended with: “The rising incidence” of ??? I could name several “political violence”, “single parent families” “divorce and cat ladies”, perhaps you had just one in mind? Or several.

  2. “the collapse of morals and culture in Germany in the 1920s alienated the German middle class from the Weimar Republic”

    I must take issue with this representation, it was the collapse of the currency, the the resulting evaporation of there savings which alienated the middle classes from the Weimar republic, this was the key event, that, and the signing of the war guilt clause. It is telling that modern Germany is still haunted by the hyper inflation of the early 20’s, fiscal policy 100 years later is still informed by this hugely destructive event.

    ” reaffirmed traditional middle-class morality”

    really? I would not call the enabling act, and all that it would bring middle class values.
    While I agree wholeheartedly that middle classes were the regimes biggest supporters (which is very troubling for anyone who sees the middle classes as the bulwark of democracy). I cannot agree with the above statements, burlesque and Bauhaus were not the reasons for the popularity of the nazi party.

    “As in Weimar Germany, the initial push to the extremes has come from the Left, which seems to imagine it can go as far as it wants without eliciting a reaction from the Right”

    This I agree with, you can already see the counter reaction in parts of Europe and America, if there is a bad recession the middle classes will prove to be fertile ground for extremism to grow.

    1. Gerard,

      (1) “It was the collapse of the currency, the the resulting evaporation of there savings which alienated the middle classes from the Weimar republic”

      That’s the standard right-wing story. It does not match the facts. The hyperinflation was just one of the many large shocks to Germany following its defeat in WWI. It ended in early 1924, and the Weimar republic continued its post-WWI recovery during the remainder of the 1920s. The event which crashed Weimar was the Great Depression, and Weimar’s response: strict austerity. If FDR had followed the same policies, that might have been America’s fate as well.

      Also note that Austria had a similar period of hyper-inflation in 1921-22. It also quickly recovered and sailed on.

      (2) “burlesque and Bauhaus were not the reasons for the popularity of the nazi party.”

      That’s a silly characterization of what Lind said, rebuttal by trivializing. I suggest you read the two books cited here, or more formal histories, to get a more accurate picture of that era.

    2. Gerard,

      Here’s a bit of supporting evidence, showing that the Great Depression crashed Weimar (more specifically, their response to it). See the vote received by the Nazi Party in the last three free elections.

      1928: 2.6%

      1930: 18.2%

      1932: 37.3% – They had the largest share of any party.

    3. I believe I quoted directly from from Linds article, there was no misrepresentation.

      Yes you are correct, the great depression (among many other factors) lead to the rise in of the Nazi party.

      But it was not the “the collapse of morals and culture in Germany in the 1920s alienated the German middle class from the Weimar Republic” as Lind states.

      The German middle classes did not quickly recover from the hyper inflation of the early 20s. There saving were gone by the mid 20’s, they had not recovered by 1929, the depression was another crashing blow.

      May I suggest you read “The wages of Destruction” for a good account of the 1920’s financial problems, and the War economy which revved up in 34, again bemused by Linds characterisation of Schacht as deserving credit for the economy, through the 30’s the German economy was massively overheating due to rearming, the financial schicanary keeping the whole thing going was a titanic case of kicking the can down the road, which Schacht opposed. Schacht did a great job during the period of the Weimar, when Hitler came to power it was emergency mode. “Culture and inflation in weimar germany” gives a great over view of the effects that the hyper inflation had on society as a whole, its years since I read it but I think you might find it interesting.

    4. Gerard,

      (1) “I believe I quoted directly from from Linds article, there was no misrepresentation.”

      You quoted Lind: ”reaffirmed traditional middle-class morality.” You misrepresented this, trivializing it as “burlesque and Bauhaus were not the reasons for the popularity of the nazi party.” He said nothing remotely like that.

      (2) “The German middle classes did not quickly recover from the hyper inflation of the early 20s.”

      The hyperinflation was just one part of the brutal shocks following WWI, and probably not the most severe – despite its prominence in American far-right faux history. As the Nazi Party’s tiny support in the 1928 election showed, German society had recovered pretty well. As the vote totals show, the Crash and depression put the Nazi’s in power.

      (3) “May I suggest you read..”

      I have no idea what you are attempting to say, nor its relevance to the original question of what put Weimar into power. What Hitler did is not relevant.

    5. “The event which crashed Weimar was the Great Depression, and Weimar’s response: strict austerity. If FDR had followed the same policies, that might have been America’s fate as well.”

      Do you think so? I would have thought that the American system had far more legitimacy in the eyes of its people than the Weimar Republic did, fatally weak and defeated as it was.

      Have you read the Plot against America by Philip Roth? this is a fictional account of how a fasist takeover could have occurred in the 1930s. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Plot_Against_America

    6. Gerard,

      “I would have thought that the American system had far more legitimacy in the eyes of its people than the Weimar Republic did”

      Can you measure legitimacy? Nobody else can. What I do know is America’s leaders at the time were very worried, and I’ll trust their evaluation over yours or mine.

  3. I have been reading about the Weimerification of the US off and on since the mid-80’s. First here: The Ominous Parallels: The End of Freedom in America. I am trying to remember the other instance …
    .
    .
    From Wikipedia:

    The Ominous Parallels: The End of Freedom in America is a 1982 book by philosopher Leonard Peikoff, in which the author compares the culture of the United States with the culture of Germany leading up to the Nazis.

    1. Citizen,

      Thank you for that interesting cite!

      The most detailed warning is Allan Bloom’s Closing of the American Mind (1987). As in this excerpt:

      ———————–

      My insistence on the Germanness of all this is intended not as a … search for a German intellectual under every bed, but to heighten awareness of where we must look if we are to understand what we are saying and thinking, for we are in danger of forgetting. …We chose a system of thought that, like some wines, does not travel; we chose a way of looking at things that could never be ours and had as its starting point dislike of us and our goals. …

      Our desire for the German things was proof we could not understand them. …

      Whether this value relativism is harmonious with democracy is a question that is dealt with by never being raised. The social sciences have dealt with Nazism as a psychopathology, a result of authoritarian or other-directed personalities, a case for psychiatrists …. Social science denies that thought, especially serious thought, even the very thought at its own root, could have had anything to do with Hitler’s success.

      But the Weimar Republic, so attractive in its left-wing version to Americans, also contained intelligent persons who were attracted, at least in the beginning, to fascism, for reasons very like those motivating the Left ideologues, reflections on autonomy and value creation. Once one plunges into the abyss, there is no assurance whatsoever that equality, democracy or socialism will be found on the other side. At very best, self-determination is indeterminate.

      But the conditions of value creation, particularly its authoritative and religious or charismatic character, would seem to militate against democratic rationalism. The sacred roots of community are contrary to the rights of individuals and liberal tolerance. The new religiosity connected with community and culture influenced people who look at things from the perspective of creativity to lean toward the Right.

      On the Left there was only an assertion that Marx would, after his revolution, produce exactly what Nietzsche promised, while on the Right there was meditation on what we know of the conditions of creativity. I shall not comment on the Nazi period of the now de-Nazified Heidegger, other than to remark that the ever more open recognition that he was the most interesting thinker of our century, formerly chastely displaced in admiration for his various proxies, gives evidence that we are playing with fire. His interest in new gods led him, as it did Nietzsche, in his teaching to honor immoderation over moderation and to ridicule morality.

      Both helped to constitute that ambiguous Weimar atmosphere in which liberals looked like simpletons and anything was possible for people who sang of the joy of the knife in cabarets {“Mack the Knife”}. Decent people became used to hearing things about which they would have in the past been horrified to think, and which would not have been allowed public expression. An extreme outcome in the struggle between Right and Left in Weimar was inevitable.

      The great mystery is the kinship of all this to American souls that were not prepared by education or historical experience for it.

  4. Hi Larry,

    LK: Complex and large systems tend to fail from unexpected causes – or multiple unexpected causes

    Yes, but it seems we have put a few potentialities into play. The Iran oil embargo threat has seen oil prices rise as Iranian exports fall. They’ve been hovering around $80/barrel (Brent), but there isn’t excess supply to be had. Any disruption to supply will send prices higher, but who knows how high and what the consequences will be?

    There is the hot mess that is Syria, with Syria, Russia, Turkey, Iran, and Hizbullah on one side, the US with its regrettable Saudi-backed al Qaeda affiliates on another (e.g., Jabhat al Nusra). Throw in some ISIL detritus, the Kurds, and the occasional Israeli bombing run. Not many good outcomes possible, but a lot of bad ones.

    Africa doesn’t seem to be settling down and as folks from there and the Middle East continue to stream into Europe legally and illegally, it will be interesting to see how countries continue to keep a lid on things, especially in places like Spain and Italy with high debt levels, generous welfare states, but no monetary sovereignty. Will Spain re-issue the peseta or Italy the lira? Can (or will) Germany, and to some degree France, just carry the rest of Europe through force of will and industry? What does it mean if they can’t, or won’t?

    All messy, all interrelated. No guarantee of bringing on the Big One by any stretch, but it seems like needless risks with potentially large consequences with very little upside.

    Regards,

    Bill

    1. Bill,

      I’ve seen such lists in the comments on the FM website since we opened in 2007. I’ve seen such lists the newspapers since I began reading them several geological ages ago (or so it feels). What you are describing is life. None of those things are remotely as serious as the hot points in the Cold War, or the massive race riots that brought troops into US inner cities each summer for a decade.

      “Any disruption to supply will send prices higher, but who knows how high and what the consequences will be?”

      We’ve been here before. The average price of gasolene in 1978 was $2.66 in 2017 dollars. As of today it is $2.84. Oil prices could rise a lot, with little effect.

      Food and energy prices are volatile, but have little effect unless they move to extremes.

  5. “I find it incredible that people allow their children to watch whatever garbage Hollywood chooses to make.”

    And now an amusing true story. There was this guy (No names here) who came home from work at the end of a long day, and decided to watch a little TV. he turns the TV on, and it;s set to the last channel the kids were watching watching which was Showtime, and he just happens to find himself looking at Showtime’s Queer As Folk. And the first thing he sees is two men having sex in the bathroom.

    So a couple of weeks go by, and he comes home from work at the end of a long day, and he turns on the TV, and it’s set to the last channel the kids were watching, which was HBO. And he happen to find himself watching HBO’s Oz. And the first thing he sees when the TV comes on is two men having sex in the bathroom. “And that,” he said “Is when I realized I could live without cable.”

    I agree with you that we are probably one major stress event from some kind of hard breakup or serious backlash. I don’t know if that means an economic event. I won’t debate economics with you or Professor Lind. It’s not my strong subject. But a stress event. As for political violence, we’re going to see more of it, because the Left is actively inciting it. (What the Hoover FBI would have done to Antifa and its backers doesn’t bear thinking about). I don’t expect to see an 1861 style civil war, but some states are refusing to enforce Federal law. (Sanctuary cities, for example.) I expect to see more of that, and it might not always be the Left doing it.

    One event that might stress the system badly is a major military defeat overseas. I don’t mean as in we walk away from a lost war and pretend we won all the battles. I mean we have major ground unit or naval task force wiped out, and we have a bunch of people being herded into POW cages.

    1. The Man Who Laughs,

      Thanks for sharing that great story!

      “I agree with you that we are probably one major stress event from some kind of hard breakup or serious backlash.”

      That’s Lind’s view. I don’t share his certainty about that.

      Much of this talk about “breakups”, “backlash”, and civil war is similar to the usual bold talk of pleasant peasants: wait Until the Big Day in the Indefinite Future When We Rise Up and Smite our Oppressors. At most these result in peasants protests. Even the largest of those do little but remove the few goats from the flock of sheet. Such as the English Peasants Rebellion of 1381. Fierce uprisings brought the peasants horde to London, where they mindlessly destroyed things and killed. On June 15, Richard II met with their leader, Wat Tyler. He listened to Tyler’s demands, thanked him, and had him killed.

      Unless Americans change, any decay is likely to result from our passivity and apathy – which allows strong men to take power. From the Left or Right will depend, I suspect, on the usual contingencies of history. A crisis of some sort might spark this change of regime. Or it might happen slowly. Perhaps that should be “it might continue to happen, slowly.”

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