Sometimes a culture disappears with a whimper, not a bang. Institutions age and are ignored, and the complacent public insidiously lowers its expectations of state performance.
Infrastructure, the rule of law, and civility erode — and yet people are not sure why and how their own changing (and pathological) individual behavior is leading to the collective deterioration that they deplore.
There is still a “West” in the sense of the physical entities of North America, Europe, many of the former British dominions, and parts of Westernized Asia. The infrastructure of our cities and states looks about as it did in the recent past. But is it the West as we once knew it — a unique civilization predicated on free expression, human rights, self-criticism, vibrant free markets, and the rule of law?
Or, instead, is the West reduced to a wealthy but unfree leisure zone, driven on autopilot by computerized affluence, technological determinism, and a growing equality-of-result, omnipotent state?
Tens of thousands of migrants — reminiscent of the great southward and westward treks of Germanic tribes in the late fifth century, at the end of the Roman Empire — are overwhelming the borders of Europe. Such an influx should be a reminder that the West attracts people, while the non-West drives them out, and thus should spark inquiries about why that is so. But that discussion would be not only impolite, but beyond the comprehension of most present-day Westerners, who take for granted — though they cannot define, much less defend — their own institutions.
No one claims that such mass immigration into Europe is legal. No one wonders what happened to the fossilized idea of legal immigration, much less the legal immigrant who went through what has now been rendered the pretense of bureaucratic application for legal entry into Europe. Germany, which lectures others on law, is lawless.
In theory, Westerners have the power to stop the mostly young males from the Middle East from swarming their borders, but in fact they apparently lack the will. Or is it worse than that? Without confidence in their own values, much less pride in their accomplishments, are they assuaging the guilt over their privilege by symbolic acts of undermining the foundations of their own culture? Certainly, Germany, which insists on European Union laws of finance applying to its fellow European nation Greece, has no compunction about destroying, for its own particular purposes, the Union’s immigration statutes as they apply to Middle Easterners.
The same is true in the United States. Millions of foreign nationals from Latin America, and Mexico in particular, simply have crossed the border without even the pretense of legality. They assume Americans not only won’t enforce their own laws, but also will find ways to demonize any who suggest that they should. If there is now no such thing as an “illegal alien,” what in theory prevents anyone from arriving from anywhere at any time and making claims on the American state?
Again, the irony is not just that millions of Mexican nationals want into the U.S., but that, ostensibly, no one in Mexico or even the United States knows why that is so (certainly not the National Council of La Raza [“the Race”]) — much less wonders whether Mexico might learn from the U.S. about ways to make a nation’s own people become content enough to stay in their homeland. Only in the West does a migrant fault his host for insufficient hospitality while exempting his homeland, which drove him out.
Sanctuary cities illustrate how progressive doctrine can by itself nullify the rule of law. In the new West, breaking statutes is backed or ignored by the state if it is branded with race, class, or gender advocacy. By that I mean that if a solitary U.S. citizen seeks to leave and then reenter America without a passport, he will likely be either arrested or turned back, whereas if an illegal alien manages to cross our border, he is unlikely to be sent back as long as he has claims on victimhood of the type that are sanctioned by the Western liberal state.
Do we really enjoy free speech in the West any more? If you think we do, try to use vocabulary that is precise and not pejorative, but does not serve the current engine of social advocacy — terms such as “Islamic terrorist,” “illegal alien,” or “transvestite.” I doubt that a writer for a major newspaper or a politician could use those terms, which were common currency just four or five years ago, without incurring, privately or publicly, the sort of censure that we might associate with the thought police of the former Soviet Union.
You are making fair arguments for the states to again secede from a traitorous progressive Federal government that is trying to divide and destroy this nation from within by sanctioning invasion.