"Christendom is honor and the fatherland and man with his back to the wall. It is the glory of lost causes and the splendor of certain defeat." - Frederick D. Wilhelmsen
I find myself returning to Wilhlemsen again. About the man, I know nothing, yet his succinct quote seems to capture perfectly the mood of the moment.
My preternatural pessimism has been confirmed by a recent reading of Strauss and Howe's book The Fourth Turning. The authors posit a generational theory of history that repeats its cycle every eighty to one hundred years. According to their calculations, we have passed into a crisis stage, during which Americans will need to band together to cast aside our broken institutions and go about the arduous task of rebuilding new ones.
I shall pause here to allow the reader time for laughter.
A crisis is certainly upon us, but I see no indication that either the people or our foolish leaders possess even a fraction of the virtue needed to steer us through these tumultuous times. Instead of frankly admitting that our nation is insolvent, and going about the thankless task of cutting inessentials, we're pondering another war, this time in Syria. Rather than recognizing the multitude of problems that confront our growing underclass, we are seriously considering granting amnesty to some twelve million Mexicans, many of whom will merely join the fraternity of the left hand of the bell curve beneath the poverty line.
Meanwhile, having redefined marriage, the progressive forces march onward. The most pressing social issue of the day--now that the bigoted traditionalists are all but vanquished--is to normalize transsexualism. No longer will a man or a woman be constrained by biological reality. In our triumphant future--which one can almost taste, we are so close--one can be whatever one feels.
Mencken would have loved all of this, and perhaps Swift could use his genius to find a way to satirize it. But I grow weary. It is all far too stupid for words.