Can Freedom Die In One Generation?

Jonah Goldberg writes in his new book, Suicide of the West, “how many millions have died in a quest to find a perfect society that does not and cannot exist?” In many ways chalk this up to what Russell Kirk calls the Neoterist, the man who has the better idea and without even a nod is ready to destroy what has been accumulated over the centuries, no matter how many must suffer to do it. He is willing, it seems, to follow any newly devised path that leads to escape from “the Miracle” of liberal democratic capitalism. Of course, force will have to be used, but that is what one does to bring about utopia. Those who stand in the way of perfect peace, equality, and fair distribution of wealth are enemies of the people. They are not only wrong. They are evil. The power of the State has to be used against them, for the State speaks for the people.

This phenomenon is what the 20th century exposed as a dangerous mirage. Though the overwhelming progress of humankind has happened in the last 300 years with democratic republicanism and capitalism in its center, the Neoterist stands up and cries, “Not Enough.”

Be very leery of those who cannot identify nor be thankful for the miracle.

Remember when Ronald Reagan said freedom can be lost in a generation? I don’t think most Americans believe that. Churchill believed it. For believing it, he was cast for a time into what has been called his “wilderness years.” His political viability was nil. But he never changed his tune. He saw the rising force of socialism metamorphosing into fascism. Within a decade!!

Perhaps the boredom of abundance has deadened our nerve endings so that we assume that what is must be the way it will be. This is the deadliest of illusions.

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