What the New Year Will Bring
Time has a habit of passing, and here we are at the cusp of another year. In his Meditations, the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius wrote, “Time is like a river. As soon as a thing is seen it is carried away and another takes its place….” Arthur Schopenhauer said, “Time is that in which all things pass away.” Tonight we mark the passage of a year; and so we ask, what will the New Year bring?
President Obama says he will put his “full weight” behind gun control measures as he blames Congress for the impending financial cliff; Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) is offering a bill that supposedly “softens” the impact of going over that cliff; and House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) has released a statement in response to President Obama, which reads as follows: “Republicans made every effort to reach the ‘balanced’ deficit agreement that the president promised the American people, while the president has continued to insist on a package skewed dramatically in favor of higher taxes that would destroy jobs.”
A number of things can be said about the coming year. First, a significant portion of U.S. budget cuts are going to come out of defense spending, so the United States is going to be less secure – no matter what anybody says to the contrary. It is projected that $54.7 billion is coming out of the Pentagon budget for fiscal year 2013 alone. In addition, vital defense programs are going to be eliminated because they will be placed in direct conflict with “necessary” social programs. For example, it will be alleged that Washington must cut $11.1 billion from Medicare in order to pay for the overhauling of our rotting nuclear arsenal.
Given the mentality of the United States today, Medicare is going to trump nuclear weapons. So get ready for a world without a reliable American nuclear deterrent (which has already been unreliable for at least three years). Meanwhile, Iran and China are working to crank out nuclear weapons like sausages as Russia deploys “noiseless” submarines. America isn’t going to keep up with Russia or China. It is a question of financial and political reality. It is a reality that leaders in Japan and Germany should take to heart.
In the Far East, China and Japan appear as enemies. The Sino-Japanese battle for Asia, interrupted in 1945 by the atomic bombing of Japan, is now refreshed and ready to begin anew. American power is already being disregarded, as if America isn’t even there. Here we find an expectation, a prediction, and a thought. The fiscal cliff signifies, above all, that Pax Americana is coming to an end. Therefore, Asia and Europe are bound to revert to old rivalries.
At the same time Europe’s financial crisis paves the way for a revival of nationalism, fascism and hard-core socialism. What has happened in Greece is merely a foretaste – economically and politically. The astonishing electoral progress of the Greek Golden Dawn movement, with the slogan of “Greece for the Greeks,” gives us a glimpse into the future. With the death of Hitler’s imprisoned Deputy Führer Rudolf Hess in 1987, Golden Dawn members distributed proclamations that said “RUDOLF HESS IMMORTAL.” Today the Golden Dawn has 18 seats in the Greek Parliament. It is inevitable that their numbers will grow. But why, you ask, is this inevitable? Because the economic situation is going to worsen in 2013 as the wrong solutions are repeatedly applied; for it seems that the leaders of our civilization do not know how to keep their inheritance. They are equipped with a shallow ideology, shallow slogans, and (may God help them) they are out of money. As with the French Revolution, default is not merely a financial question.
Those who expect the political formulas of the hour to remain in vogue have failed to read their own history. No ideology remains in power forever. Today’s political correctness will be reviled tomorrow. All things run down, all systems grow senile. “Time is like a river,” wrote Marcus Aurelius. “As soon as a thing is seen it is carried away and another takes its place….”
Cicero said, “There is nothing done by the hand of man which … time does not destroy.”
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