The only alternative to a Great Divorce between the states is Caesarism

There has been more talk of late of a divorce between the states or, in other words, secession.  What is prompting this is the continuing failure and corruption of the institutions that the country relies on to maintain a constitutional republic.  Congress is viewed as being more representative of big money interests than anything else, and a shadow of distrust and doubt is cast over once-respected institutions such as the Supreme Court, the military, the FBI, and the Federal Reserve. 

Many conservatives hope the 2022 and the 2024 elections will arrest this situation.  Others think the rot is too far gone for meaningful reform even if Republicans sweep those elections.  One of the root problems is that a significant proportion of the population is incapable of self-government.  Generations have been poorly served by the public schools.  They have effectively been dumbed down.  And the whole country is further debased by the popular culture to the point where virtue, manliness, and responsibility are a joke to many.  On top of that, the country is being flooded with swarms of immigrants who for the most part hold beliefs and attitudes that are unsuited for the American form of self-government. 

An even more intractable problem is that the elites who are the shepherds of society are themselves divorced from the American people.  Instead of practicing noblesse oblige as had been done in the past, they scheme to line their own pockets while sneering at the working class for its "outmoded beliefs."  Call it what you will, but this is a form of hatred for one's own country. 

As the author of Ecclesiastes wrote, there's nothing new under the sun.  All this is in tune with the historic "cycle of regimes," as was expressed by Machiavelli this way.

Thus they [societies] are always descending from good to bad and rising from bad to good. For virtue gives birth to quiet, quiet to leisure, leisure to disorder, disorder to ruin; and similarly, from ruin, order is born, from order, virtue; and from  virtue, glory and good fortune.

America had its time of leisure when silliness was the rule of the day.  Now it appears we're on the cusp of a disorder phase.  As to virtue, it is to society as salt is to meat.  It's a preservative.  Once the salt is gone, decay sets in.  One of the hallmarks of virtue is honesty and an abhorrence to lies and liars.  Another trait of virtue is courage — the courage to speak the objective truth despite the consequences.  So where is virtue in today's America?  It's certainly not found in government.  It's laughable to look for it in the mainstream media, in the entertainment world, or in our universities.  A case can be made that these institutions are actually anti-virtuous.  And sadly, virtue is even absent in many places of worship.  By any measure, virtue is a rare commodity in the U.S.

That takes us to an insight from John Adams, who said: "Our Constitution was made for a moral [virtuous] and religious people.  It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other."  Or to put it another way: Only a virtuous people are capable of governing themselves

So if the salt of virtue is gone, what's to keep the country from flying apart?  Are our arrogant ruling class, who have spent decades disparaging national unity and calling the middle class "racist," all of a sudden going to humbly ask those they've trampled on to sit down and sing "Kumbaya" with them?  Doubtful.  Rather, the day is coming when the only thing able to hold the country together will be raw power and force.

At some point, maybe not next year, but five or ten years hence, the country will take one of two paths.  One is the divorce among states or areas of states.  The other is a dictator — a Caesar, an authoritarian who dispenses with the restrictions of the Constitution and law for the sake of "getting things done."  Caesar is a distinct possibility.  If there's any semblance of a societal breakdown, people will support a strong man because they crave security above all else.

Nobody can say which path America will take, but it is clear that the current state of affairs is untenable.

Image: Pixabay, Pixabay License.

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