Michael S. Rozeff is one of my favorite contemporary libertarian writers and thinkers and his current essay, (The Living Dead) published today, seemed to hit the nail on the head for me with what I've been struggling to give voice to of late concerning the society I live in. I here reprint an exerpt that I think summarizes my feelings in a way that I wish I had the ability to say as eloquently myself. Thank God for others who can say what we can't yet articulate but know deeply in our soul.
"A hundred or more years ago, when philosophers declared God dead; when science shook faith; when socialism postulated new ideals; when the U.S. pursued national power; Americans turned away from the beliefs, ethics, and practices that had brought them bounty. And now, after many years, we can see clearly, if we would or could, that we made a wrong turn. That wrong turn cannot be dismissed, as the young and naïve are wont to do, by pointing to the reduced time it takes to travel from Los Angeles to Toronto or to the breaking of color barriers. These things or others like them in even more bounteous quantity would have occurred had we stayed on and extended the proper ethical course of a limited and just government that minded its own business at home and abroad. That wrong turn is measured by such things as near-continuous warfare, broken lives and families, a dependent and dumbed-down population, static standards of living, ever-deteriorating money, humongous debts, greater cruelty, greater indifference to suffering, a greater use of violence, less liberty, less freedom of choice, increasing authoritarianism and militarism, greater welfare, more crime, less justice, less innovation, less civility, deteriorating art and culture, and less civilization.
The ethical underpinnings, however slight, that girded the myth of the U.S. as a beneficial international power have dissolved. The mistaken ideals that launched the U.S. into World War I and further overseas misadventures have proven empty and false. The ill-considered ideas that entangled the U.S. in the international machinations of the world order of states have backfired.
Domestically and internationally, the machinery of state surrealistically clanks on, but it is hopelessly clogged up. Its rhythm lacks measure and cadence in its chaos of nervous exhaustion. It goes through the motions, incanting the tired slogans and spells of its once-powerful magic. The bizarre atmosphere dispensed by the strange and unbelievable practices of the American Empire contains no life-giving oxygen. It suffocates whatever it envelops with a poisonous gas of laws, pressures, and regulations. Morally and ethically dead, dispersing ever-more utterly outlandish emanations, the machinery of state deals death upon whatever it touches.
Having gutted the ethical foundations of life, we have instituted policies of death. More and more we come face to face with our own madness. Today, people constantly refer to things as "crazy." Yet they do not fully realize what they are saying, how deep this craziness goes, or why it is so prevalent.
Political modernity in America is irrational and senseless. The domestic political machine is geared to produce truly incredible wares that did not exist 50 years ago: thousand-mile walls at borders, denuded travelers at airports, 57 varieties of higher-priced and less efficient fuels, know-nothing graduates, asset seizures, uncaring doctors, dirty hospitals, inflating abortions, inflating money, political correctness, money and speech-controlled political campaigns, jigsawed political districts, food and pesticide bans, deteriorating infrastructure, dependency, irresponsibility, clogged courts, women soldiers, grade school sex education, rampaging prosecutors, thought crimes, asbestos insanity, protected insects and swamps, broken families, murderers freed and drug users imprisoned, class action lawsuits, eavesdropping, wiretapping, books of labor laws, unopenable bottle closures, arbitrary environmental regulations, moon bases, and destruction of the rule of law. Aren’t all these products of our society simply madness?
But, you say, I exaggerate. Are we not healthier, wealthier, and wiser? Where’s the chaos? All is in order, is it not? Appearances deceive. Bela Lugosi’s Dracula was suave and urbane. The American inmates are indeed under control, but they are gobbling anti-depressants and other such drugs at a very high rate. Houses are bigger than ever, but meanwhile so are debts and millions of two-earner families run to stay even. Where is the wisdom? Certainly not in Washington or state capitols.
We have only the appearance of a lawful social order. Rigidity combined with outlandish bureaucratic regulation made good by blind obedience are not law but its absence. Chaotic and mad results signify a lack of stable guiding laws of life, not their presence.
The absence of law means an absence of a moral and ethical basis for the products of the American political machine. Those who think there is and defend this insane machine delude themselves as they attempt to delude others. I challenge anyone to show that American political life does anything except constantly flout the Ten Commandments, which are what should be the true source of law, justice, and order. Instead, madness, which is a variety of death that disregards truth and reality, spreads like an infection.
Madness has its own cleverness and intelligence, mind you. It feigns sanity. It accuses the sane of being mad; it makes the sane wonder if they are the ones who have lost their minds. The demon vampire promises everlasting life."
The full text can be found here: http://www.lewrockwell.com/rozeff/rozeff133.html