February 10, 2012

Whereas the yeoman farmer grew something from nothing, Americans manage things. Whereas the independent businessman figured and calculated and prospered, modern office workers collate automatically generated data. Most know nothing of making anything not pre-patterned or ready to assemble. Lord help you in the checkout lane if the electricity fails during your purchase. No one there will be able to make change mathematically.

At home we are overwhelmingly as lazy. Television, which has been likened to a mass-hypnosis device, provides our morals and our values. These are not static and drift toward greater permissibility with every passing year. Consider what was offensive to America forty years ago, twenty years ago, and today. As we sit in our domiciles, we are being manipulated toward ever more docility.

Our diet is steadily making us the planet’s most morbidly obese creatures. Diseases are scheduled to increase in the coming years and at ever younger ages of onset. This is mostly the result of our own behavior. It is often said that to eat healthily is to eat expensively, yet it is a canard not borne out by either statistics or logic.

As with everything else in the modern mindset, our diet is the consequence of sloth. It is easier to order fast food than to make healthy food. It is easier to buy a bag of potato chips than to cook a bag of potatoes.

In former times, such absolute contrasts in belief led to a parting of the ways. If one truly believes that abortion is “murder” and there is a literal “murder factory” down the road, there is only one course of action an honest man could take. If one is adamant that an armed body is violently invading your homeland with government complicity, why is no one emulating Daniel Shays and his men? If a tyrannical judiciary is actively opposing the people by force or writ, why are the people not on the steps with tar and feathers?

Though they are in no way here encouraged or condoned, why are such extreme acts so rare? If people in the millions are as committed to their sacred principles as they claim, why do almost all of them fail to act?

The sad fact is that even while Americans drift into two separate philosophical nations they coagulate into one mass. Political differences may become louder, but significant action becomes ever less plausible. Doing things of consequence is difficult. Doing anything at all requires effort. Eating donuts on the sofa or mindlessly ensuring compliance with ridiculous regulations at the office is seductively easy.

Even impetuous action requires an impulse, but the American pulse is perilously weakened. In the center—where it counts—is only a void.

Today the popular will is almost always suborned by unaccountable judicial writ. Leaders laugh in citizens’ faces as they ruin them at every turn. Americans are supposedly better armed than ever before at a point when they most vociferously disagree.

Yet nothing will happen. No new “civil war.” No national breakup. Nothing.

Our fortitude is lacking. The autocracy realizes this, and thus there is much worse to come. So sit back and enjoy the donuts.



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