Do Not Go Gentle into the Post-American Era

When the U.S. was a developing nation, we expended our efforts and capital in developing the infrastructure for industry. Our government provided incentives for the development and extraction of natural resources to be used as raw materials to build, not just products, but a thriving national economy. — And that’s exactly what China and other developing nations are doing today.

But, today, the U.S. is doing the opposite. Increasingly, over the past several decades, our government has been restricting the extraction of natural resources and dismantling the infrastructure for industry. Overregulation, combined with exorbitant and ever-increasing union demands, has succeeded in driving much of our industry offshore. If we want to recover our economy, we need to reverse that trend.

The recently published White House Plan to Revitalize Manufacturing, which focuses on federal funding for “green” technology R&D, is not likely to have a significant impact on our national productivity. This administration is thoroughly beholden to the unions and environmental lobbies. In true Chicago style, this administration has used the stimulus package to pay off political debts and, from every indication, will continue the trend of dismantling the economy in favor of political correctness and payback.

Every nation has a historical trajectory. This nation has apparently passed its apogee, and is now in decline. We no longer have the drive to overcome. We’ve become complacent and, instead of striving for ever greater industrial innovation and economic strength, we are focused myopically on the niceties that developing nations cannot afford to consider.

The problem is, there’s no such thing as stasis. A nation, a corporation, a species, an individual, must either advance or decline. That’s nature. And, as we sink into complacency, whining effetely about our declining economy, there will be others advancing to take our place as the dominant world power, industrially, economically, and (eventually) militarily. That’s a historical inevitability. The same pattern can be observed throughout nature and the history of civilizations. The only question is when.

At this point, we could still reverse that trend by, once again, becoming a developing nation ourselves — one can always develop further, if one is motivated to keep striving — but we, as a nation, lack that motivation. We’re apparently content to rest on our laurels as we sink into national senescence while other countries, like China, rise up on the international horizon. The world is always changing. It’s the nature of all things. The only question is, will we, as a nation, go gentle into that good night? Or will we rage, rage against the dying of the light?   (Apologies to Dylan Thomas.)

Unfortunately, I believe I know the answer to that rhetorical question. History is being written even as we go about our daily lives. You can see it in our relations with other nations, as we make concessions that cede our sovereignty in so many minor ways. Stepping back and observing from a historical perspective, we see a once-great nation, that no longer has the will to sustain its rank as the leader of the free world, stepping aside and leaving the field open to whoever will step up and take its place. Sadly, there’s no way to choose our successor. Once we step aside, we can only watch and hope for the best. And if we don’t like the way the world is shaping up in the post-American era, we will just have to suffer the consequences.


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5 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Do Not Go Gentle into the Post-American Era…

    When the U.S. was a developing nation, we expended our efforts and capital in developing the infrastructure for industry. But, today, the U.S. is doing the opposite. Increasingly, over the past several decades, our government has been restricting the e…

  2. The January 2010 CCC Blog Carnival…

    Welcome to the January 2010 edition of the Carnival of Conservative Conversations. This edition feature several of our regular contributing writers, but also a number of new authors, each with their unique and fresh look at the issues of our times, inc…

  3. [...] presents Do Not Go Gentle into the Post-American Era posted at Government is not your Daddy., saying, “Every nation has a historical trajectory. [...]

  4. There’s a trend to not say “we’re exceptional.” This discourages the attempt to even try to be exceptional. Perhaps it discourages the desire as well.

    As usual a great blog post NYD!

  5. Every great country has it’s defeats and declines. Even Rome during it’s early and middle years, had it’s defeats. It was sacked by the Gauls in 387 BC. It lost major battles to Carthage, including to Hannibal during the Punic wars. It was embarrassed during the slave rebellion of Spartacus by several military defeats.

    Until the 3rd Century AD. Rome always rose again after every fall to become even stronger than before. It’s decline period and it’s fall were marked by financial crisis’ and corrupt fools for leaders. It lacked the will to get up off the canvas, when it was knocked down. Sounds familiar.

    The USA is currently in decline, marked by the election of President Obama. Hopefully this is merely temporary, as was the Jimmy Carter era. The question is whether a leader like Reagan or Lincoln will emerge again.


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