Stephen W. Browne Rants and Raves

July 4, 2010

Is it the Fourth yet?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Stephen W. Browne @ 9:35 am

“Is it the Fourth yet?”
-The last words of Thomas Jefferson, July 4, 1826; fifty years to the day from the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

Today is the 235th birthday of our country, and because I’m in a dark mood I wonder how many more we will be celebrating. I wonder if someday Americans will commemorate the Fourth in mourning for a lost, great nation. I wonder if those of our descendants who still call themselves “Americans” will be a rootless tribe keeping alive the memory of America as the Jews kept the memory of Jerusalem on high holy days.

“Many clever men like you have trusted to civilization. Many clever Babylonians, many clever Egyptians, many clever men at the end of Rome. Can you tell me, in a world that is flagrant with the failures of civilization, what there is particularly immortal about yours?”
– G.K. Chesterton, The Napoleon of Notting Hill (1904)

Intellectually, everbody with even a smidgen of history knows the truth of Chesterton’s observation. But we seldom expect to see the failure of our civilization in our own time.

I wonder, are we victims of our own success?

Has the United States has been free, powerful, and prosperous so long that we simply can not imagine being poor, powerless, and unfree?

We have a government that is running up a debt of staggering proportions, owed to a nation that gleefully anticipates our fall.

A government which “has erected a multitude of new offices, and sent hither swarms of officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance.”

We have a media establishment which, abandoning their calling as the watchdog of a free people, has taken their thirty pieces of silver to become the “Fourth Estate.” And who now remembers this term, originally French, was a sardonic reference for an unofficial fourth branch of government after the nobles, commons, and clergy?

Indulge me in this for a moment. Our “nobles” are the political class, now virtually a lifetime profession, and increasingly a hereditary one. Consider not-quite-cold Senator Robert Byrd, who died in office at age 92. Consider the names Romney, Gore, Dodd, Kennedy.

And like noble classes throughout history, they care more for their power and privilege than the welfare of their country.

Our “commons” is organized labor, the majority of which are now unionized government employees, many of the rest workers illegally in this country. In the private sector, unions now largely irrelevant and uninteresting to skilled workers, recruit mostly among workers stuck in unskilled and low-status jobs. (Think SEIU.) The kind most easily persuaded to nurse a burning resentment against a free market society.

Our “clergy” are the academic class, once the conservers and transmitters of the heritage of our civilization, now dedicated to indoctrinating a generation with the notion that heritage doesn’t matter – or worse, is pernicious and doesn’t deserve to be preserved.

In the last letter from Thomas Jefferson’s pen, he spoke of American’s beginning a “bold and doubtful experiment.”

That experiment has now run for more than two-and-a-quarter centuries. Consider the Fourth a time to evaluate the results to date.

Perhaps we will have many more such opportunities. And perhaps in the grand scope of history this many is as much as we had any right to expect.

3 Comments »

  1. The republic is becoming an empire – or more accurately, a colony thereof – constantly preoccupied with needless foreign wars to slake the greed of the banksters, munitions manufacturers and cronies vested therein, other workfare bureaucrats and the ever-growing and constantly-advocated “poor” who have more than the genuinely destitute elsewhere: An empire of debt and slothfulness constantly finding more exceptions to the Bill of Rights. Independence Day? When have we been more dependent on foreigners than now!?

    Comment by Ted Amadeus — July 4, 2010 @ 10:42 am

  2. We are not an empire, for one incontrovertable reason – we don’t collect taxes outside our borders.

    The time may come when the world bitterly regrets we did not become an empire when we are cannot afford to maintain our military presence abroad anymore.

    Comment by Stephen W. Browne — July 4, 2010 @ 5:34 pm

  3. Sigh. At least I know I’m not alone. I have had a nagging thought of late. Given the lack of value in a university degree these days (I was ahead of the curve there, having gotten no value from mine in over 20 years), and given the borderline illiteracy of those that do graduate, I begin to suspect a conspiracy.

    Most people I know believe that the medical profession is going to take a dive under obamacare, and it seems that most of the doctors coming out of school are foreign born.

    Finding a good, professional job is getting harder now, or even a good skilled job. Many people that I know are scrabbling for a job that pays more than $20K a year ( the ones who aren’t are being asked to do more work and take pay cuts, and soon pay higher taxes).

    So given the path we’re headed down, to more grunt work for less pay, while the “professional” jobs are being outsourced, doesn’t it seem like it’s a plan? Turn the average middle-class American into a wage slave with an increasing number of overlords who “just happen” to be foreign-born? It almost seems like that is actually the goal of the multi-cultis- not just to do away with western culture, but to take deliberate steps to give other cultures the power, as a payback for our “sins”.

    Sorry, if it’s a tad inelegant, but anybody have thoughts?

    Comment by Bob — July 5, 2010 @ 1:37 pm

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