Hey! Randy

Hyphen-Nation

Posted by heyrandy on January 11, 2012

Suicide of a Superpower Will America Survive to 2025? Patrick Buchanan 2011

America is rapid becoming a fractured state divided along the lines of ethnic identity. This is Buchanan’s thesis. Identity politics, as it is called, will turn us against each other. He cites many examples of what is dividing us. It is mostly about who gets what from whom. This is not in dispute nor is it new.

The Balkanization of America is a real problem. A lot of very stupid government enforced policies are fueling it. Buchanan criticizes all the usual offenders. The difficulty is the expectation culture that has grown up because of the attempts to make us equal with each other.

The author points out that equality is a new idea, that it is impossible, and that it only leads to bitter divisions. It is also totally unenforceable. This is not going to stop its proponents from averring its merits. Buchanan does us service by showing that there are no merits to artificial equality.

Buchanan has his list of fixes. They are as bad as the problem. “Congress should enact a constitutional amendment…making English the official language of the United States.” (p422) Define English. Who makes whom the judges of English?

Other fixes rely upon statistics for enactment. Whose statistics? We have learned that the government’s numbers are politically derived. Privately generated numbers are always disputed.

Buchanan has good objections to many of the social evils that beset us, but he offers no adequate solutions. He fails entirely to think outside of the Government-can-do-it box. He wants a small government, but doesn’t realize that he is also calling for a larger government. Buchanan is a right of center statist. He wants a free market but protective tariffs. He wants freedom but government to control what he doesn’t like. He wants low-skill manufacturing jobs that pay high wages. These contradictions make the book little more than a complaint. Buchanan comes across as petulant.

I did not spend a lot of time reading this book. I just skimmed it. I recommend you stop with this review. America will survive well beyond 2025 even if this book does not.

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