Metaphorically speaking, the United States is sinking. The ship of state is listing heavily to one side (i.e., the left). Many believe we will be under water before another election rolls around. So there are passengers who want off the ship. According to The Daily Caller, the White House website is now “deluged with secession petitions from 20 states.” Of course, these various petitioners are forgetting the words of the Pledge of Allegiance, where it says: “…one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” Likewise, the government may be accused of forgetting about “liberty and justice for all.” And nearly everyone has forgotten the part which says we are “under God.”
After the election results of last week, Donald Trump supposedly twittered, “We should have a revolution in this country!” Such is the slogan of the financially and politically frustrated. At the same time, however, the Party that claimed victory in the election isn’t necessarily the winner of anything; for the White House is now a booby prize, apparently given as a joke in recognition of terrible performance. What remains is to preside over a great down-going. With Europe in crisis and debt piled upon every side, there is nowhere else to go.
As readers of this column know, I’ve been fascinated lately with Gustave Le Bon’s book, The Psychology of Socialism. First published in 1898, Le Bon offered a few tentative predictions relating to our time. He said that the triumph of socialism was inevitable. But he also said that socialism wouldn’t last. The reason for socialism’s triumph can be found in the mass production of maladapted people, and in the coddling of degenerates. Subsequently, socialism’s failure would grow out of the empowerment of these same degenerates.
Curiously, Le Bon believed that the United States was particularly susceptible to what he called “the future attack of the unadapted”; more so than Europe because the causes of envy and resentment are more readily activated in American society through its political machinery. Furthermore, he explained that the United States was racially divided, and this had implications for future socialist revolutionary recruiting. He predicted that an overwhelming majority of the black population of America, due to ill treatment in the past, might be tempted to join a socialist revolution. If such a tragic divide occurred, Le Bon warned, the “Anglo-Saxons of America … will succeed in surmounting the dangers with which they are threatened; but they will do so only at the cost of a more destructive conflict than any history has recorded.”
Every American must shudder at such a prediction when considering recent events and the way race has been used in connection with socialist programs in the United States. Having made such a prediction, Le Bon backtracked by saying that sociology is yet unable to make accurate predictions about the future because it isn’t a science. But there are, he said, a few bare truths that the future must contend with. In general, he explained, “we can have very little influence on the present, because the present is the outcome of a past which can do nothing to change.” He further noted that the careful observer “is justified in saying that those nations which are on the slope of decadence will continue to descend.” The consequence of this descent is socialism and the “complete overthrow of the institutions on which our civilizations repose….” Catastrophe follows this in sequence, as a matter of course. “These are predictions of a very general kind,” he explained, “which have perhaps a little in common with those simple and eternal truths which we call platitudes.”
In other words, the rise and success of socialism follows from the increase of our decadence as night follows day. And if anyone wants to deny the decadence of the present social state, they will not be dissuaded by facts or arguments – which swirl all about them as they stand within the eye of that very storm. As for the future of socialism, Le Bon noted that “most of the Socialist aspirations are in direct contradiction with the necessities which rule the modern world, and their realization would lead us back to lower phases which society has passed through long ago.”
Competition is the chief law of human society and the market economy. You cannot create an alternative form of society by eliminating competition, as the socialists would do. According to Le Bon, “To suppress competition … as the socialists would propose, can only paralyze the chief levers of the present age.” Since socialism is a religion, however, no practical objection will be allowed to stand in the way of its realization. “It is for this reason,” Le Bon continued, “that Socialism constitutes the most formidable of the dangers that have hitherto threatened modern societies.”
A socialist revolution would involve the destruction of wealth, and it would also involve the destruction of people. It should further be remembered that all revolutions are triggered by those in power. “Social upheavals are communicated always from above, never from below,” wrote Le Bon. Socialism, he said, is a mental state which he characterized as “an emotional humanitarianism” that begins with fine feelings and ends “with the guillotine.” It is emotional humanitarianism that makes the “directing classes” lose faith in the old laws and traditions upon which civilization was built. This loss of faith amounts to a transition from one form of religion to another. Elsewhere Le Bon argued, “Statist Providence has inherited Divine Providence….” As he explained, the socialist religion was then still awaiting the arrival of its gods. That was in 1898. Now we have before us a parade of butchers and demagogues, from Lenin and Stalin, Hitler, Mao and Pol Pot. And the parade is not over. Here in the United States, it is just getting started.
I will end with a quote from John Derbyshire’s book, We Are Doomed: “It is more or less understood now that private enterprise exists to feed the public-sector behemoth.”
And so it is.