Should we accept that the existing order of the West cannot survive?

Fjordman has a piece at Gates of Vienna in which introduces ideas he says he will write about at more length in an upcoming article. Here’s the key passage:

I think we need to be realistic and realize that the current political-ideological order is completely broken and beyond repair. Instead of wasting time and energy on attempting to fix what cannot be fixed we need to prepare as best as we can for the coming crash and hopefully regroup to create something new and stronger afterward. There will be a pan-Western and perhaps international economic and social collapse in the not-too-distant future. I fear that this is too late to avoid by now. The people who support the ruling paradigm are too powerful and the paradigm contains so many flaws that it cannot be fixed. It needs to crash. We should focus on surviving this crash and on developing a new paradigm to replace the failed one.

Fjordman is speaking to the current crisis in which we seem to feel the West passing some transition point. What he says is provocative and important and I hope he will develop this theme further. However, in the hope that his promised article will be read widely and have the greatest possible impact on people’s minds, may I respectfully make a suggestion to him publicly that I once made to him privately: less is more.

Or, more exactly, in my favorite saying of La Rochefoucauld:

True eloquence is to say all that’s necessary, and only what’s necessary.


November 23

Ian B. writes:

I’m coming more and more to agree with Fjordman. Just the most recent example is this NYT article pointing out that within 10 years, the yearly interest on the national debt will exceed $700 billion, more than the entire Iraq war. It’s impossible to pay that off. It will never happen. And we will individually become more and more enslaved to the federal bureaucracy, and to the foreign bureaucracies to which it is indebted, as it confiscates our livelihoods in its attempts to shore itself up. The only hope for future generations at this point is that our national government will default on its debt and collapse, relieving them of the burden.

In Europe, democracy is already dead. Everywhere in the West, our leaders are too infected by political correctness even to try to protect us from threats, but they have plenty of energy for persecuting anyone who recognizes them and speaks. Their bureaucracies and their power over peoples’ lives have gotten too big and too intertwined ever to be brought down peacefully.

The only way out of the mess we’re in is down, I’m afraid.

Richard W. writes:

Ian B. is exactly right. FedGov is becoming a beast that will never be satisfied. As Lawrence so brilliantly forsaw, having Obama as the master of the beast is paying some nice dividends, in terms of building awareness and resistance to long running problems in our society.

What I think Ian is wrong about is to say that FedGov will default the debt. It will not, as it controls the printing press through the captive Federal Reserve Bank. All debts will be paid, in increasingly worthless script.

This is exactly the scenario that was followed in Zimbabwe. Of course their currency was not the reserve currency for the world, so our misbehaviour will be much more painful for everyone. (And our reserve currency status will be ended soon enough by our trading partners.) Still that’s the road we are traveling down, in my opinion.

The sad thing is that even as society has collapsed in Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe has been able to hang on to power. Even the most fantastic collapse of everything else in society has not forced the government to abdicate.

This, sadly, makes me think that mere financial failure alone will not free anyone. The Thugocracy will become more violent and controlling the worse the financial situation becomes. Certainly our own history is that the largest increase in the size and scope of the Federal Government was in the worst financial times, the Great Depression. FDR, like Obama, didn’t believe in “wasting a crisis.”

November 24

Karen writes from England:

Fjordman is likely to be right and the West will collapse due to liberalism and bankruptcy. The USA is a bankrupt nation and is only allowed to continue trading because the dollar is the reserve currency. The massive level of indebtedness means the USA is dependent upon finance from its creditors to continue to pay its daily Government obligations and imports. The nature of the collapse depends not upon the USA but upon the actions of the creditor nations, particularly China. Will China continue to sit passively by while it is paid for its exports in a worthless currency? It seems unlikely. Eventually the USA—China deal will blow up. The nature of its blow up remains unknown. Chinese are buying American companies and effectively colonising the USA. They are also blocking USA and European efforts at the WTO to block Chinese controls on exports of raw materials. Gone are the lectures from Western politicians to China on human rights and Tibet. The political and economic power has switched from the West to Asia. The Western political elites have no solutions. They are trained to manage systems. When the systems are broken they cannot fix them. Thus the future of the West depends upon the actions of its creditors. War may arise between the USA and China.

It is clear that the current order cannot survive and Western society is going to have to adopt new values and adapt to survive. However there is no movement to do this.

Karen continues:

What do you and your readers think the Chinese will do?

I thought Obama’s ineffectiveness with the Chinese premier was more serious than his silly bow to the Japanese Emperor. He went as a debtor hoping to secure an agreement on Chinese currency valuation, exports, trade and consumerism and walked away empty handed. Nothing, absolutely nothing!

Posted by Lawrence Auster at November 22, 2009 09:49 PM | Send

Email entry

Email this entry to:

Your email address:

Message (optional):