Here's my opening rant:
I am concerned about the future of America. I am concerned for these reasons:
* I love the land. This is a beautiful place. Whether God gave it to us, or Science, or Nature -- well, I don't really care. But it's a gift and I love it.
* I love these people, including my people. My kids and grandkids should inherit a functional nation from their ancestors.
* I think America serves an important role. Since the rise of the American superpower, the world has been more stable and prosperous.
I have come to believe that, as Plato suggested in The Republic, civilizations go through a life cycle:
1. Aristocracy: pick the best people, make them kings, and make their offspring kings
2. Timarchy: rule by military honor and rigor
3. Oligarchy: the rich and powerful collaborate to rule
4. Democracy: one person, one vote
5. Tyranny: a selfish autocratic leader
Platos most interesting contribution was pointing out how each of these states led to the next.
For example, Democracy works until the leaders find out that The People aren't paying much attention, so they make big promises and enact silly laws, but take home profits for themselves. We call this corruption.
A good case could be made that America thrived on a short-lived aristocracy of founders, then survived as a military project to conquer a frontier, then was ruled by robber-barons in the 1840s and after a disastrous Civil War, has become more liberal and more democratic.
The next stage is when the people get hoodwinked by a charismatic leader who seizes power and takes control.
We're now facing that stage and need to band together to defeat it.
Here's what will help us:
* Unity of culture, religion and science. If God made it, science tries to understand it. Religion and faith are not incompatible, nor should faith be incompatible with government.
* Preservationism. Let's conserve our natural lands and set as much aside as we can so they don't get developed. Forget about the green light bulbs or buying a Prius -- those actions don't do much.
* Reduce government. The biggest source of tyranny is a self-serving government bureaucracy that's like a big union, working for its own interests at the expense of our competitiveness.
* States Rights. Let each state decide more of how it wants to be. California can legalize weed, and Texas can make machine guns a civil right.
I hope you found my little rant informative; I've enjoyed sharing it with you today.
The rise and fall of civilizations
May it cause tears, sodomy and rancor.