Thursday, January 20, 2011

At the Risk of Abusing...

... the Fair Use doctrine, here are more than a few quotes from one of Mark Steyn's latest columns.
If I am pessimistic about the future of liberty, it is because I am pessimistic about the strength of the English-speaking nations, which have, in profound ways, surrendered to forces at odds with their inheritance. “Declinism” is in the air, but some of us apocalyptic types are way beyond that. The United States is facing nothing so amiable and genteel as Continental-style “decline,” but something more like sliding off a cliff.


Continental Europe has given us plenty of nice paintings and agreeable symphonies, French wine and Italian actresses and whatnot, but, for all our fetishization of multiculturalism, you can’t help noticing that when it comes to the notion of a political West—one with a sustained commitment to liberty and democracy—the historical record looks a lot more unicultural and, indeed (given that most of these liberal democracies other than America share the same head of state), uniregal. The entire political class of Portugal, Spain, and Greece spent their childhoods living under dictatorships. So did Jacques Chirac and Angela Merkel. We forget how rare on this earth is peaceful constitutional evolution, and rarer still outside the Anglosphere.


Within the next five years, the People’s Liberation Army, which is the largest employer on the planet, bigger even than the U.S. Department of Community-Organizer Grant Applications, will be entirely funded by U.S. taxpayers. When they take Taiwan, suburban families in Connecticut and small businesses in Idaho will have paid for it. The existential questions for America loom now, not decades hence. What we face is not merely the decline and fall of a powerful nation but the collapse of the highly specific cultural tradition that built the modern world. It starts with the money—it always does. But the money is only the symptom. We wouldn’t be this broke if we hadn’t squandered our inheritance in a more profound sense.
My purpose, of course, is to encourage you to read the whole thing.  Steyn hits upon multiple themes in his dark piece but not one single point in this column is anything other than true.  Those of us on the right recognize Steyn's points as the root causes of our perceived decline.  Those of us on the right understand what must be done to reverse course and get us back on track, the outcome of the recent mid-terms seem to suggest that MOST of us "get it."  But the fight will be long and hard... it takes a lot of time and space to turn an aircraft carrier around.  And so it is with entrenched leftists and the institutions they've commandeered.  But we know what to do.

As for me... I'm simply grateful that I was raised in a time when Classical American values were in vogue, when elementary school children were required to read the writings of Dead White Men and when the Anglosphere was acknowledged to be right, good, and proper... if not the very source and essence of all that is good.

Lemme close with a quote from my favorite poet: "So let us not talk falsely now; the hour is getting late."


  1. But the fight will be long and hard... it takes a lot of time and space to turn an aircraft carrier around.

    The left's solution -- stop building aircraft carriers.

    Steyn is indeed a deep thinker and wordsmith, but he's a tough read sometimes. I envy you the patience.

  2. I have ALL the time in the world for Steyn, Moogie. He's one of my faves.

  3. LOVE Steyn. Winston and Dylan, too. Good company all. Thanks for that link, Buck.

    WV: dabugbio? Are they making Word Verification more fun on purpose these days?

  4. My pleasure, Bec. Thanks for the kind words!

  5. Hendrick's version of 'Watchtower" was all the rage during my time in-country 67-68--and one of my favorites also. It really DID feel like we were on the lonely out-post and that "life is but a joke." It was on the juke-box at the MACV Club (the old French Colonial O-Club) in downtown DaNang and I used to listen to it played for hours over drinks up in the bar when there for Sat night "steak-nites." on the lawn.

    BTW, had previously read Steyn elsewhere--he's a national treasure--even if he IS Canadian. :)

  6. Buck, Steyn may be right; he and many others are sounding like Old Testament prophets of doom these days. It's enough to get even an optimist like me down. But one of my favorite political writers, Victor Hanson, takes another view; he says,

    "In short, a nation’s health is gauged not by bouts of recession and self-doubt, but by the durability of its political, economic, military, and social foundations. A temporarily ill-seeming America is nevertheless still growing, stable, multiethnic, transparent, individualistic, self-critical, and meritocratic; almost all of its apparently healthy rivals, by contrast, are not."

    This is the last paragraph of a great essay; I recommend you read it, you'll feel a little better afterwards. I did. Here's the URL

    Thanks for the links; love that Dylan poetry.

  7. And yet not once does he mention Britain or thank our constitutional monarchy and so on. God I loathe Mark Steyn with a passion. Probably more than I loathe George Galloway. Barack Obama and fellow kinsman Ken Livingstone combined and that's saying something.

    Hope you are have a wonderful weekend all the same Buck!

  8. related to this quote btw "We forget how rare on this earth is peaceful constitutional evolution, and rarer still outside the Anglosphere"

  9. Virgil: Jimi's cover is THE definitive version of "Watchtower." It's not often that happens... well, except for Dylan. ;-)

    Dan: Thanks for that link; VDH is one of my faves, as well. I think him, Steyn, and Krauthammer are the three best writers on the right. There ARE a lot of Prophets O' Doom these days, but I believe ya gotta take the rumors of our impending death with a grain o' salt.

    Alison: I have this feeling you didn't read the whole column, coz Steyn goes on at length... and is complimentary... about Britain. Granted, he takes the piss out of the PC crap happening these days in the UK, but so does the Daily Mail, daily. That said, you're entirely free to like and dislike whomever you choose. And I hope YOUR weekend is fine, as well!

  10. Ok fair enough. I still don't like him (or the Daily Mail). He and it run at us all like the horsemen of the Apocalypse but never have any answers!

    Beautiful day today and purple Winter twilight. Ill update my blog later ive been very lapse on that score.

    Every time the no 8 bus passes the Bank of England and I see this amazing cigar shop I think of you. Must stop off there one day and grab you a bunch. Not that I have the first clue on your preferences.

  11. ...I see this amazing cigar shop I think of you.

    That's really sweet, A... and I really appreciate it! I think I've blogged about this before, but I first got "in" to cigars when I wandered in to this amazing cigar shop in Jermyn Street back in the day. I'd never seen a walk-in humidor before and I was mesmerized. I left the store with a hand full of cigars, all recommended by the most-helpful owner as "suitable for beginners." A love affair was born...

    As far as stopping and grabbing a bunch for me... once again, I appreciate the thought. The reality of shipping them would be overwhelming, though. Not to mention it would be ILLEGAL if you were to act on my recommendation for some Cubans. Pricey, too! It's enough that I cross your mind when ya see the shop. Really... it is.

  12. I hear the ancient footsteps like the motion of the sea,
    Sometimes I turn, there's someone there, other time it's only me.
    I am hanging in the balance of the reality of man
    Like every sparrow falling, like every grain of sand.

    My current favorite lines from our favorite poet. I say current because they change so often.

    With regard to your previous post on entrance music, the intro to CCR's Up Around The Bend certainly gets one's attention.

  13. Ah... Emmylou. You have good taste, JR. The same goes for your entrance music, too!

  14. I'm impressed -- not that many people are familiar with Wrecking Ball, produced by Neil Young

  15. I know the shop you mean. I used to work in Jermyn Street. Lovely place :) Illegal? I had no idea.

  16. Illegal refers to Cuban cigars, A. The embargo, yanno?


Just be polite... that's all I ask.