Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Keeper of the Flame

Keeper of the Flame
Robert A. Hall
January 7, 2013

Jehovah of hosts had left unto us a very small remnant. – Isaiah 1:9

Will you be a "Keeper of the Flame"? (A “Keeper of the Flame” was someone in ancient cultures who kept alive the fire or candle flame for religious or ceremonial reasons. The expression now means someone who preserves beliefs, traditions or important cultural practices.)

It is no secret to readers of my Old Jarhead Blog or my book, The Coming Collapse of the American Republic, that I think our nation is going to go through the fire over the next twenty years. Consider this partial list of the challenges that face us:

1. An acknowledged public debt that is over $16 trillion, above the national GDP. This is projected to grow by over a trillion dollars every year in the foreseeable future. The promised, but not guaranteed, budget cuts in the so called "fiscal cliff" deal were about $15 billion, compared to $641 billion in new taxes. The fiscal situation in many of our states and cities is as bad.

2. Estimates of the unfunded liability for Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Public Employee Pensions and now ObamaCare, range from $83 trillion to $234 trillion, depending on who you believe. These are not considered part of the official debt because, while they have been promised, they are not guaranteed by contract. But even modest reforms are howled down by anyone who would be hurt in any way—or by anyone cynical politicians can convince is threatened by a proposed reform, and that no change is necessary. There is no possible tax-increase bill that will cover these expenditures. The last election guaranteed their destruction, but ruling out reforms.

3. An economy that is tied to the slow-moving collapse of the socialist experiment in the Eurozone, as mathematics and demography destroy their dreams of utopia.

4. An economy with official unemployment locked into the 8% range, though it’s far higher if you include those who took part-time or low level jobs, those whose benefits have run out and those who have given up looking. The current US workforce is at a lower percentage of the population than in decades.

5. The increasing isolation of our elites, liberal and conservative, from the average citizen, in their gated communities, protected workplaces and upscale vacation resorts. Nothing illustrates this better than elitists sending their kids to schools protected by armed guards, but calling you crazy if you want the same protection for your kids.

6. The increasing determination of the power elites to draw all the means of coercion under control of the government. A disarmed citizenry is by necessity a docile citizenry.

7. The rise of China as an economic and military power, determine to bring all of Asia under is control, coupled with our increasing inability to resist the coming hegemony, due both to lack of will and lack of resources.

8. The malignant growth of Jihadism and Islamic Supremacism not only in Muslim majority lands, but in Islamic communities in the developed countries, with a pitiless determination fueled by their interpretation of the Qur'an and Haditha to impose Islam and Shari'a Law on the entire world by force. It is true that the majority of the victims of Allahmurder are Muslims killed by Muslims. That does not make them less dangerous to us. It is also true that a majority of Muslims would like to lead peaceful lives, to do the best for their families and to let the rest of us do the same, just as the majority of Germans and Japanese in 1939 were decent, peaceful people. But that is just as irrelevant now as then, as the evil, violent ones have the guns and the ruthlessness to slaughter anyone, Muslim or infidel, who dares oppose them.

9. The demographic collapse in the US, with native born American women giving birth well below the replacement rate of 2.1 live births per women. This not only makes us economically  and politically weaker, but destroys the ability of the country to support the above entitlement programs long term. In 1945, there were 41.9 workers supporting each Social Security retiree. Now there are 2.9 workers, and it will eventually drop to one to one--but will collapse before that point is reached.

10. A soaring non-marital birth rate, and this is true for whites, not just minorities. Nothing is more correlated with poverty than this trend. Couple this with a declining marriage rate, and you face demographic disaster.

11. Other disturbing trends: the drop in church or temple attendance, the decline in participation in civic organizations and the decline in full-time employment rates among young male adults of all races.

12. The open boarder policy that encourages illegal immigration. Given our declining birth rate, we need more immigrants, including Hispanic immigrants. That is, when you define an "immigrant" as someone who wants to join your culture, adopt its values, learn the language and participate in the political and economic life of the nation. But we are being destroyed by illegal colonizers, who want to impose separate, failed cultures here, with separate languages and values, while feeding off our culture, economy and political benefits. Yes, the Obama Economy has temporarily reversed this trend, the small silver lining in that disaster. But as Mexico spins down into a failed state, and Mexicans continue killing each other at Chicago-level rates, often with guns supplied by the Obama administration, I don’t expect that decline to continue.  The inability or willful refusal of many politicians to understand this distinction is cultural treason. Race doesn't matter at all, but culture matters more than almost anything.

13. The growth of a violent subculture in our cities that will create "no-go" areas, off limits to both decent people and emergency personnel, in the next decade, as politicians refuse to deal with this problem, for fear of being called racists. But according to the FBI, the 13% of the population that is black commits 53% of the murders. Since upwards of 80% to 85% of the victims are also black, not dealing with it is the true racism.

14. The increasing lack of civic, economic and historical knowledge in the population, especially among college graduates. Jay Leno's "Jaywalking" humor pieces are now too easy to do--and more frightening than funny. I had a retired educator tell me she didn't worry about the debt, because "the government can just print money." When I sent her an article about how debt had destroyed other countries, she wrote back that she "doesn't do economics" because it makes her “eyes glaze over.” She not only has a college degree, but has been involved in educating the next generation of ignorant leaders.

15. The Extreme Greens are determined to bankrupt the country, destroy jobs and grind the poor in their quest to outlaw carbon-based life forms. Which didn't stop Al Gore from putting $100 M of oil money in his pocket from TNN. (The Terrorist News Network.) They expect you, not themselves, to sacrifice so they can feel all green and fuzzy, like bad meat.

16. The endless growth of government, good times and bad, Democrats or Republicans in power, which inevitably will grow too heavy to function, then too stand at all. That house of cards has to come down, at some point.

The North American Continent will still be here, barring some cataclysmic event from space, but I do not see how any thoughtful, intelligent person reads this list and concludes that the United States will still be America in twenty years. (Excluding those folks whose coping mechanism is to adopt some variant of the "everything happens for a reason," or "things always work out for the best" evidence-free philosophies.)

Our last, slim, forlorn hope went a glimmering on November 6, 2012, when the people voted for no sacrifice at all, and damn the future. I think the "loot the future" voters are now a majority, and will be until after the collapse. Not that I believe a President Romney would have necessarily saved the Republic, but perhaps he might have delayed the disaster a bit.

I now believe that we are almost certainly guaranteed fiscal collapse, economic disruption, depression, hardship, social and governmental collapse, riots, suffering, bloodshed, violence and wide-spread death. (I would have included fire and plague, but I didn't want to be called a pessimist.)

So what are we to do?

You "Go Galt" if you want to, I'm going to fight on!

Why? Well, it's what Marines do in desperate situations, of course, but there are other reasons:

1. As hard as it may be to comprehend, I could be wrong about this. I've been wrong before, and I pray daily I’m wrong this time. I'd hate to give up and discover that I might have made a difference.

2. Every year that we can delay the collapse is a year of relative peace, prosperity and freedom for our children and the millions of decent folk who still call America home, compared to what they will face after the collapse.

3. The longer we can delay disaster, the better the chances that some unforeseen game-changer will come along and save the Republic. What that might be, I don't have any idea. That's why it's unforeseen...

4. And, bad as I fear it is going to get, some people will come through the fire alive. Given my age and my health challenges (I have pulmonary fibrosis, which kills more people than breast cancer), I will not be one of them. What matter that? We must be "Keepers of the Flame," and try to seed the future with as much knowledge of freedom as we can, so the decent folks who survive have the tools needed to try to rebuild a free Republic, based on limited government, checks and balances, individual rights, property rights and sound values and principles.

This is your challenge if you become a "Keeper of the Flame." First, you must work to thwart those policies and politicians who are destroying the Republic, as best you can. And you must seed the future, by educating your children and grandchildren and other young people--including young adults who may have the resourcefulness to survive the collapse.

1. Educate them on the separation of powers, the balance of powers and the enumeration of powers in our Constitution, and why these are vital to preserving freedom.

2. Educate them on the Constitution, especially the Bill of Rights, and the difference between a real, indivisible right, like Freedom of Speech or Freedom of Religion, and a discovered "right," where there can never be equality, like the right to healthcare, abortion or free birth control, because some group wants it. Make sure they have read and there are copies of the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence and other seminal documents of liberty put away where they will be preserved for them.

3. Educate them about economics and the role of free markets in efficiently allocating scarce resources that have alternative uses. Explain why there is no freedom without property rights, what supply and demand means, how debt works and why massive printing of fiat money has always led to economic disaster.

4. Educate them about civics, the role of government in protecting freedom, the branches of government and civic duties like voting responsibly.

5. Educate them about American history and why, with all its flaws, this country has given more prosperity and more freedom to a larger majority of people than any nation in history. Teach them about the heroes who sacrificed to make it so.

6. Educate them in the use of firearms and in self defense. Their lives may depend upon it. Take whatever steps you deem necessary to ensure they have the tools to defend themselves, as best you may.

7. Educate them in, and encourage them to acquire skills in areas that will be valuable in bad times. These would include nursing, gardening, carpentry, raising animals, mechanics and other real-world skills. Social Work and Peace Studies degrees won't be in high demand. Teach them how to barter. Take steps to ensure they have access to the tools to implement these skills when things go to pot.

8. Educate them in the old values: Honor, Courage, Commitment, Integrity, Caring for Others, Selflessness, Generosity. Teach them that there are good and bad people of all genders, races, religions, ethnic heritages, ages, and, yes, sexual orientation. Teach them to look to the value of individuals, not to group identity. Teach them to respect God and each other. Teach them that being too cynical is as dangerous as being too trusting.

9. And teach them that, despite her imperfections, the America we loved was a good place and home to good people, that requires no apology to the world. The world will sorely miss her, more than they, especially the haters, know. We must not let that flame go out.

****

Robert A. Hall is a Marine Vietnam Veteran, a former five-term Massachusetts State Senator, and the author of The Coming Collapse of the American Republic and several other books.
http://tiny.cc/g02s4 (All royalties go to help wounded veterans.) For a free PDF of the book, e-mail him at tartanmarine(at)gmail.com

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