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The End of the West

Last updated on May 11, 2020

When I began this essay, I was going to discuss the takeover of free capital markets by the Federal Reserve and our political establishment.  Digging deeper, I realized this was just part of a larger paradigm shift: the self-induced  deconstruction of free markets and more importantly, the West itself.

Whether one calls it postmodernism or globalism, the ideological assault on the very foundation of the Western nation-state model has been unrelenting; with the greatest threat to the security and survival of the democratic West coming not from Russia, China, or Jihadist terror but from the self-induced deconstruction of Western culture from within.

Today, in the wake of decades of group identity politics and the attendant deconstruction of our heritage through academia, the media, and popular culture, this conviction in the uniqueness of the West is only a pale shadow of what it was a mere half century ago. It has been replaced by elite narratives substituting shame for pride to one’s own heritage for patriotism. After decades of “the long march” through the educational and cultural institutions, Western societies have been changed in ways that make social mobilization around the shared idea of a nation increasingly problematic. This ideological hollowing out of the West has been accompanied by a surge in confident and revanchist nationalism in other parts of the world, as well as religiously inspired totalitarianism.

The growing instability in the international system is not, as some argue, due to the rise of China as an aspiring global power, the resurgence of Russia as a systemic spoiler, the aspirations of Iran for regional hegemony, or the rogue despotism of a nuclear-armed North Korea. The West’s problem today is also not mainly the result of the economic decline of the United States or the European Union whose combined wealth and technological prowess are unmatched. Instead it is simply this:

National communities cannot be built around the idea of ‘collective shame’ and yet that is increasingly displacing a once confident (perhaps overconfident, at times) Western civilization.

The increasing uncertainty has been triggered by the phenomenon of migration and the inability of Western governments to set baselines of what is acceptable and what is not. Over the past two decades Elites have advocated (or conceded) a so-called “multicultural policy,” whereby immigrants would no longer be asked to become citizens in the true sense of the Western liberal tradition. People who do not speak the national language, do not know the nation’s history, and do not identify with its culture and traditions cannot help but remain visitors. The failure to acculturate immigrants into the liberal Western democracies is arguably at the core of the growing balkanization, and attendant instability of Western nation-states, in Europe as well as in the United States.

The nation-state has been arguably the most enduring and successful idea that Western culture has produced. It offers a recipe to achieve security, economic growth, and individual freedom at levels unmatched in human history. This concept of a historically anchored and territorially defined national homeland – the glue that for two centuries kept Europe and the United States at the center of the international system –  is dissolving.  And this is the underlying philosophy so despised by today’s Globalists.  The principles of liberal democracy, the right to private property and liberty bound by the rule of law, has been the core building block of the West’s global success and of whatever “order” has ever existed in the so-called international order.

So, you see, the Fed’s recent takeover of our capital markets is just one more tiny step into the Abyss. What comes next is anybody’s guess. From my vantage point, it doesn’t look pretty. – Jefferson Chase

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