The great Roger Scruton, in his autobiography Gentle Regrets, writes about the dishonorable habit of “stealing from churches.” What he meant was the vacuous tendency to treat a church as an open museum without inculcating one’s self in its meaning. “Oh, look at that shining altarpiece, it would look lovely on our dining table!” Or, “What an interesting statue of a dying man, should we get one for Chloe’s room?”
The American ruling class does something similar, yet more sinister. They steal from America.
Our ancestors, beginning in the 17th century, have built a magnificent, immeasurably rich, and incredibly powerful polity. The largest republic to have ever graced the surface of the planet. Such astounding success has bequeathed many assets upon us, both spiritual and material: The confidence of a people living securely, the sense of controlling our own destiny, our conviction at being free, our vast cities and their regal architecture, our serene monuments and statues, and our unspoiled great outdoors.
All these things form our national capital, again both spiritual and material. Yet like all things capital, they can be squandered.
Our ruling class, instead of adding to the general capital for the sake of our posterity, is cashing it out. Our military might, accumulated through courage, technology, and wise application, is being wasted in clown wars and endless bleeding campaigns across Yemen, Somalia, Syria, Libya, and hundreds of useless bases scattered around the globe like the pizza face of a teenager. Most recently, our might was wasted on the catastrophic (yet necessary) withdrawal from Afghanistan, where the incompetent face of a military obsessed with the calculus of race, gender, and “white rage” was exposed to the world.
Our cities, the commercial hubs of the world’s most advanced free market system, are being laid to waste. Rioters, looters, flash mobs, and simple thieves and murderers can wreak havoc unprosecuted. Not a day passes without a major city passing a rule as self-justification for its own idiocy, to stop demanding bail money, to not prosecute thieves, to avoid prosecuting the possession of illegal arms, or to simply ignore looters, rioters, and flash mobs.
For all the talk of “social justice,” such a reality only increases racial and economic segregation. No non-psychotic Chicagoan would ever consider investing in the South Side, or sending his children to a regular public school (if he can afford it).
Our monuments, such as murals of George Washington, statues of Columbus, equestrian statues of Robert E. Lee, and buildings named after the founders of the nation, used to represent the serene pride of a nation confident in its complex history. It produced a people in possession of historic capital, ready to contend with their history while nonetheless embracing it as their own.
We now tear down our monuments, excoriate our history, and teach our children to hate themselves and their forefathers. The confidence once bestowed upon generations of Americans is replaced with neurosis, self-hate, rage, and a Special Olympics of victimhood. Nor do we replace this wasted cultural capital with anything else: There is no African Shakespeare with whom to replace that prolific “dead white male,” so children simply study nothing of substance.
Symbolically, the spending of our cultural capital is accompanied by its blasphemous twin: The spending of our actual capital. Of our riches, of our finances.
The nation’s debt is at a fantastic $28 trillion. Annual spending is at $7T. It is suggested that we pass an “infrastructure” bill of another $7T. Annual tax revenue is only $3.5T. These figures are so otherworldly that one has no idea how to correlate them with reality. If spending is so much higher than our tax revenue, why pay taxes at all? Call it a $10T infrastructure bill, and simply collect no taxes.
The same degradation that is applied against our cultural assets, is applied against our financial well-being. In a dark bacchanal of stupidity, self-hate, vengeance, and frenzy, our ruling class is determined to cash out, discharge, and spend the totality of the nation’s assets.
Ask yourself at whose expense this stealing is done. Then ask yourself for whose benefit.
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