November 13, 2008
To the reader:
Welcome. What is USA Death Watch? It is designed to be a journal that will chronicle the sad but likely future downfall of the United States of America over the coming years, including the likelihood of a collapse or breakup of the Federal Union. I define likely in this case as a greater than 50% probability within the next 20 years, with the chances increasing beyond that point. The reason I think it first becomes likely in 20 years is that this is when all of the Baby Boom generation will have retired under current law, and the economic stress on America will become constant and severe. But this isn't the only reason, and while there isn't one reason in particular that could lead to this, a major concern of mine is the slow but steady transformation of America's citizenry from one that was productive to one that is dependent.
Sociologists say that there are traditionally three "classes" in a society, an upper class, a middle class, and a working class. I no longer see this as valid. First, it's the middle class that is doing most of the work now, and the "working class" is really now better referred to as the "dependency class", thanks to the modern welfare state. In essence we still have a three class system, but I would rename them the Productive class, the Bureaucratic class and the Dependent class.
The Productive class doesn't need government's help, it is self-reliant as much as possible. It produces most of the real wealth of the country.
The Bureaucratic class is basically the Government, at all levels from local to Federal, plus some private non-profit organizations.
The Dependent class is basically anyone who relies on government, or any other groups handout for their existence, and that can include institutions as well as individuals.
Traditionally, (and ideally) the Productive class is the largest of the three. America up into the 1960's would be a good example, with a few brief exceptions. Since then, however, the Productive class has shrunk while the Bureaucratic and Dependent class have grown. At present we have a system where the Bureaucratic class now manages the Dependent class, while relying on the Productive class to provide the costs.
For example, decades of mass 3rd world immigration, with the ideology of Multiculturalism supporting it, has given us a large number of poor people along with excessive Diversity, which has lead to group conflict. This requires a large & growing Bureaucratic class to manage the conflict, as well as redistribute wealth & power amongst the groups.
It is my belief that should the Dependent class become the majority, its demands and needs will overwhelm what the Productive class can contribute, and the system will fail, along with the Government.
I now refer the reader to the following quotation (falsely attributed to the Scottish late 18th century writer Alexander Fraser Tytler):
Democracies are temporary in nature; they simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government. Democracies can exist until voters discover that they can vote themselves generous benefits from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the treasury, with the result that democracies finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy and deficit spending, which is followed by an economic depression and a period of political anarchy or despotism.
Does this sound more and more like what's happening in America today? I believe it does!
Here's another quotation with the same theme:
The average age of the worlds greatest civilizations from the beginning of history has been about 250 years. During those years, these nations progressed through the following sequence:
From bondage to spiritual faith;
From spiritual faith to great courage;
From courage to liberty;
From liberty to abundance;
From abundance to complacency;
From complacency to apathy;
From apathy to dependency
From dependency back to bondage.
Again, doesn't this read a lot like the route America has taken over the years? The time it takes isn't as important as the steps taken to complete the circle. America broke free from its bondage under King George the 3rd, only to become so re-dependent on its own government to the point that the dependency really is bondage.
Finally, adapted from the blog of Mencius Moldbug's unqualified reservations:
"If there is one pattern we see in the public policies the government produces, it's that they tend to be very good at creating dependency. We can observe the dependency system by imagining what would happen if Washington, DC, out to the radius of the Beltway, were to suddenly disappear. What would happen? Many, many checks would no longer arrive. Children would go hungry - not just in North America, but around the world. Old people would starve. Babies would die of easily preventable diseases. Hurricane victims would squat in squalor in the slums. Drug companies would sell poison, stockbrokers would sell worthless paper, etc."
"Washington has made itself necessary. Not just to Americans, but to the entire world. Why does Washington want to help, say earthquake survivors? Because helping is what it does. It dispenses love to all. Its mission is quite simply to do good, on a planetary basis. Why then turn down free help, including plenty of free stuff, and possibly even some free money? Because dependency is another name for power. The relationship between dependent and provider is the relationship between client and patron. Which is the relationship between parent and child. Which also happens to be the relationship between master and slave."
In future posts I will try to list and discuss the many reasons I have come to conclude that the USA is indeed on a long slow deathwatch. Comments are welcome.
Posted by AndyK at 10:11 PM