“Isn’t it a strange thing that in every period of social unrest men have the notion that they can pass a law and suspend the operation of economic law?”
— Calvin Coolidge, as quoted in Amity Shlaes’ new biography.
If you ever wanted to destroy America from within, Dr. Ben Carson has assembled a handy four-point plan to accomplish just that, which he discussed at CPAC this past weekend:
Dr. Ben Carson’s address to CPAC 2013 included his thoughts about how, if he were an enemy of America, he would set about destroying her. His plan had four points:
1. Create division among the people.
2. Encourage a culture of ridicule for basic moral principles.
3. Undermine the nation’s financial stability with crushing government debt.
4. Weaken the morale and funding of the military.
“It appears, coincidentally, that those are the very things happening right now,” Carson noted ruefully, although he went on to say it would be a mistake to pin this entirely on Barack Obama, or any other individual.
Immediately after the 2012 election, a number of conservatives decided it was time to essentially “Let It Burn,” as Ace would say. You want to go full Cloward-Piven? Be careful what you wish for, lefties. In a November 15th post, blogger Nice Deb rounded up the tenor of the immediate post-election attitude on the right.
Of course, if you ignore the mounting debt and declining opportunities, life in the midst of a socialist nation winding down* or even one tearing itself apart can be exceedingly agreeable from certain vantage points, until the Reich hits the fan. As Mark Steyn wrote in 2011’s After America: Get Ready for Armageddon, “In some ways, the most pleasant place to live is a colossus in gradual decline”:
Great powers aren’t Sudan or the Congo, where you’re sliding from the Dump category to the Even Crummier Dump category. Genteel decline from the heights can be eminently civilized, especially to those of a leftish bent. Francophile Americans passing through bucolic Provençal villages with their charmingly state-regulated charcuteries and gnarled old peasants wholly subsidized by the European Union’s Common Agricultural Policy can be forgiven for wondering if global hegemony is all it’s cracked up to be. Okay, the empire busted up, but the capital still has magnificent architecture, handsome palaces, treasure houses of great art, a world-class orchestra, fabulous restaurants, stylish women…. You still have the opera house, but it’s easier to get a parking space. Who wouldn’t enjoy such “decline”? To be sure, everything new—or, anyway, everything new that works—is invented and made elsewhere. But still: you benefit from all the cultural inheritance of greatness without being troubled by any of its tedious responsibilities. Much of Europe feels like that: a sidewalk café, chestnuts in blossom, have another coffee and a pastry, and watch the world go by. Life is good, work is undemanding, vacation’s coming up, war has been abolished. Somewhere beyond the horizon is a seething Muslim ghetto of 50 percent youth unemployment, whence the men swagger forth at sundown to torch the Renaults and Citroëns of the infidels. But not in your arrondissement. And not even on the Friday afternoon drive to your country place. What’s to worry about?
Heh, indeed. Much more after the page break.