By Tom Rhodes, 4/1/2014
Yesterday in “Ugly History” I asked “Why not compare the size scope and power of centralized government with income inequality here in the USA and abroad?” The answer is clear, the less centralized power the less income inequality and better overall standard of living for more people. History is also clear that less central authority is not the norm, in fact power being concentrated in a few or even one person is the norm. The bigger question would be, what is different about the USA that resulted in a disproportionately powerful country with a relatively high standard of living for just about everybody.
The answer is culture; specifically Modern Western Culture. No not all cultures should be valued or accepted as equal, Modern Western Civilization as a culture is in fact superior to other cultures. Starting in ancient Greece, then the Roman Empire, to the British Empire and culminating in the United States. Western culture has not only been more successful any other culture but superior to 90% of all other cultures. If you emptied the USA of its people and put the people of other cultures, say Venezuela, or Iran, or Pakistan, or any population of a Sub Saharan African nation in the USA it would soon become the backwater third world cesspool, resembling that nation. Western Civilization emphasizes innovation, capitalism, science, technology, Christianity, freedom, individual rights, and individualism.
The biggest aspect of Western Civilization that made the USA greater than even the European nations it originated is our abandonment of aristocracy with the assumption that all individual are sovereign. The USA is a Merit-Based society where even a black man whose foreign father from a third world nation can rise to President. Your tribe, caste, heritage, etc. are meaningless. Consider Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, of yesteryear or Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg of today; you probably can’t name their parents, what school they went to, or (other than European) their heritage, because it isn’t important. What is important is how they made life better for their fellow members of society and were justly rewarded by society voluntarily buying the products and services they provide. By and large the USA is a merit-based society, or at least was. Our culture is changing, we now have our mini-aristocrats like the Kennedy or Bush families. As we move to centralized authority, protect the established from competition, and punish success, the more stratified, stagnant and aristocratic we become as a culture.
Unlike Rome and Britian the USA has not used is awesome power to conquer the rest of the world. Well for a large part of our history we didn’t, but today we “nation build” and take other aristocratic actions thinking we know better how people should live than they do themselves. The reason the USA doesn’t just go and take and conquer other nations (which we could) is fairly fundamental. It is the root of our greatness. We believe in individual sovereignty. We distrust to our very core government and central authority. Nothing is more fundamentally American that a deep seated mistrust of government. Our Forefathers so distrusted a strong central government that when creating a new government it divided it’s powers, and severely limited the powers central government could have.
The fact is that the bigger and more powerful the government becomes, the smaller, weaker and poorer the people become. We used to be fanatical about small, decentralized government. Remember the old cliché “Don’t make a federal case about it”? that cliché is all but gone from modern speech, as the rationale for it no longer makes sense. As we move further away from the principle of limited government, we move in to the expected economic stagnation, militarized police state, massive debt, and tyranny from our government. The idea that the government can dictate what products or services you must, by law, be required to purchase, is so un-American that now implemented, it is tearing our country apart.
We quit protecting our culture, and have allowed failed cultures that grant totalitarian authority to some religious leaders, or autocrat, or oligarchy to infest ours. By granting non-western cultures equal status as our modern Western Culture we are seeding the demise of our culture to demonstrably inferior cultures with centralize authority to dictate how people live. No other culture grants any individual the right to rise to historic levels of wealth and power based on his own merit alone. Of course such a culture is inherently risky, it also allows individuals to fail, even to the point of impoverishment. There is no freedom from privation, starvation, and negative consequences of poor life decisions when you have the liberty to succeed beyond your wildest dreams. As we allow those who value security, safety, and surety of knowing they won’t suffer if they fail to provide for themselves, to garner more voice in how we are governed, we lose the very culture that created an obesity epidemic in our poor. Name another culture where the poor suffer from obesity rather than starvation.
From the great abundance that our culture has produced has also come the most generous people the world ever saw. Earthquake, tsunami, flood, or whatever disaster nature or man may cause anywhere in the world, and the private charity and generosity of the people of the USA will literally flood the victims with food, water, money, and people to help. No other culture produces people so willing to materially sacrifice for their fellow man. This spirit of charity comes from the Christian roots of our culture. The people of no Islamic culture are so generous, nor are the people of a pagan culture so generous, nor are the people of an atheistic culture so generous. Whether an American is a Christian or not, Modern Western Culture is deeply rooted in Christianity. The basis of Christianity is free will, individual choice; the belief that you have a choice to be a Christian and receive all the benefits or reject Christ and suffer the consequences. Modern Western Culture is based on that idea, liberty and libertarian thought are rooted in biblical truth.
The questions are why and what is different about the USA. The answer was the Culture. We must return our culture to the values that made the USA the greatest nation the world ever saw. If we don’t it will turn into another third world tyrannical cesspool where might makes right and rights are granted to some not guaranteed to all. It’s April Fool’s Day, the joke is on us, only fools believes that you can accept massive numbers of people into your country that don’t share your culture and expect to keep and maintain your culture.