The Thinnest Veneer of Civilization

Source: PJ Media.

Were I to fault the writer, it would be for seeming too calm. If one is going to show that America’s civilization is ending, one is expected to be loud and furious about it.

On the other hand, there are probably very few Americans who suspect America is collapsing, and being loud and furious might only put them off the message.

34 thoughts on “The Thinnest Veneer of Civilization

  1. Excellent read Mr. Roberts. The one word that stood out was “self-inflicted”. Now I anticipate the liberal attempt to explain why the negatives in the piece are in fact good for America. Can’t wait…..


    1. RE: “Now I anticipate the liberal attempt to explain why the negatives in the piece are in fact good for America.”

      Maybe. I’ve noticed that liberals see the same evidence of empire’s end that conservatives see, but instead of contemplating root causes, they blame Trump (and conservatives).


  2. It’s cyclical,

    “Hard times create strong men. Strong men create good times. Good times create weak men. And, weak men create hard times.”

    ― G. Michael Hopf

    We are currently governed by those weak men, and endure their virtue signaling and wokeness. But we will shortly have no use for them. The consequences of their folly will have us seeking strong men again.


    1. RE: “It’s cyclical.”

      I’m inclined to agree, except for one factor: The technology of mass psychological manipulation.

      In an evolutionary context, that, too, might be the province of weak men, but it is hard to be certain because the technology is so new.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Hungary may be a litmus test for your theory. Orban has assumed and solidified power by appealing to anti-immigrant and anti-gay sentiments, with a strong dose of Christian nationalism among the nation’s conservatives.

      He is a favorite of MAGA. Pilgrimages by our conservative voices, like Carlson, to Hungary combined with CPAC’s invitation to be a keynote speaker seems to seal the deal.

      The obvious question is whether Orban was a result of a real national sentiment or did he create it himself to gain power and wealth.

      Liked by 2 people

          1. Agreed. The demagoguery he practices is just a populist appeal to baser instincts.

            We have some issues here, no doubt. But few are dire, some are improvements over the past, recent and distant.

            I think some of our biggest challenges are addressing the apparent shifts in water distribution in our agricultural belts. No matter the cause, people need water more than anything else.

            The opinion called for more dams and reservoirs. Great, but without water that means little. And such projects, if feasible, take decades to fruition.

            Liked by 2 people

          2. Water use is a good example of weak leadership.

            I California rice fields are drying up while water is diverted to grow almonds for “almond milk” possibly the most frivolous products in existence.

            The best way to allocate a limited supply of water is to sell it in an open market.


          3. There is little water to sell. Millions of residential customers live in the SW. Reservoirs are drying up and the Colorado River is diminished. Wells are dry. Snowpacks are less.

            We may have our own climate refugee problem in a few more years.

            A desert is not a good place to live and grow crops except for long distance irrigation. And that is unreliable now.

            Liked by 2 people

          4. The Paleoclimate record tells us the SW has had cyclical periods of drought, often lasting 40 years or more, for as long as the record exists, tens of thousands of years.

            Driving electric cars isn’t going to change that.

            Political allocation of scarce resources never works out well, the marketplace prioritizes better.

            But overall, it may well be that agriculture in the SW may have to be scaled back and replaced with grazing or other less water intensive uses.


          5. 40 years would making living and working in the deserts impossible at anywhere near the scale of development and agriculture we have now.

            Liked by 1 person

          6. Yup.

            Some places are not meant for large numbers of people or intensive agriculture.

            Mining groundwater is not sustainable,

            The Southwest would best adapt by switching to less water intensive crops and grazing. Long periods of drought have been around there as long as the mountains and is unrelated to CO2.


    3. As an aside, how do you define “strong” and “weak” in the context of national well being.

      Strong men can protect the rights of the weak or destroy them as proof of dominance. Which is civilization?

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Context matters

        On the individual level, strong men provide for their families before themselves. They accept their responsibilities and learn from their mistakes.

        On the leadership level, strong men state their principles and stand by them. They do not engage in frivolous causes or petty retaliation. They do not place others at risk that they will not accept themselves.

        Note that it is rare for strong men to rise to leadership in a nation of weak men.


        1. ” They do not engage in frivolous causes or petty retaliation. They do not place others at risk that they will not accept themselves.”

          Who comes to mind when YOU say this?

          Yeah, that’s what I thought.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Did you not see that I pointed out that we have been governed by weak men?

            Certainly that includes Trump as well as Biden and Obama, and much of Congress.

            Trump less so, but still, no Bush the Elder.


          2. “Did you not see that I pointed out that we have been governed by weak men?”

            I have tried to ignore your very silly and very pompous analysis of “weak” men vs “strong” men. I had nothing particularly polite to say but now you have jumped the shark.

            It is obviously complete nonsense. And that is made more than clear when you put Obama in your “weak men” category and Trump somewhere closer to the “strong” man box. And what makes it truly laughable is your casting it to be about standing by their priniciples while managing to ignore that your “stronger” man, Trump, does not have any.

            You may not like Obama’s or Biden’s principles but that does not mean that they do not stand by them. Your not liking them does not make them “weak,” any more than your liking Trump’s (whatever they are today) makes him “strong.” Your confusion on this point is typically solipsistic.

            Liked by 1 person

          3. What principles would those be?

            “I will steal the just earnings of others on your behalf to buy your vote” is not a principle.

            As Senator, Obama made a good speech about the responsibility of fathers and the value of intact families. And he appears to be an engaged father himself.

            But as President he did nothing at all to correct the policies that enable fathers abandoning their families. You cannot be a strong, responsible man and tolerate irresponsibility in others.

            Obama certainly came closer than Biden, who succeeded in being worse for his children than not being there at all.

            Trump, for all his faults. produced strong children,


          4. “What principles would those be?”

            As I thought, you are using this phony distinction between strong and weak men as a way to express your hatred for Obama and your admiration of Trump. “Obama does not agree with me” does not convey your drooling hatred nearly as well as “Obama is weak.”

            Absurdly, you present your argument in terms of family and children and STILL decide that Trump is “strong” and Obama is “weak.” Maybe the number of families – legitimate and illegitimate is your measure of a “strong” principled man?

            The “principles” that matter in politics are set out in the party platform. Obama did NOT betray those principles (your initial definition of “weak”). And under Trump, the GOP has given up presenting a platform. But they are “strong.” Ridiculous in the extreme.

            Liked by 1 person

          5. “Well, for a start they aren’t drug and sex addicted drunks.”

            Well, if that is the standard you have in mind, Obama is a VERY “strong” man! And Trump is VERY “weak.”

            Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks for the link.

    I read the piece. It is laughable nonsense – a smorgasbord of MAGA-Republican “alternative facts” desperately trying to gaslight the body politic before the election. The Republicans who were poised for a decisive victory in November have blown it. As the saying goes, be careful what you wish for. Overturning Roe was the culmination of decades of effort and it will put a stake through the heart of GOP hopes. Then there are the crimes, lies, and outright stupidity of Dear Leader. Thanks Trump!

    Whatever problems this country has, none of them were solved nor even addressed when Trump and the GOP had full control in 2017 and 2018. What did they do. (1) Try to kill the ACA (which they are silent on now) and (2) Force through massive, inflationary, deficit-inducing tax cuts benefitting mainly the wealthy.

    And what do we have now? A party running on imaginary “culture war” issues, immigrant-bashing, and celebrity (looking at you Oz and Walker). And not much else.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The opinion is a bit hyperbolic in its efforts to forecast doom.

    Our crime rates, though bumped by the pandemic and its aftermaths, is still low for the US. Embarrassingly high compared to our contemporaries, however. And that has been the case for decades.

    Immigration reform…never happened and without GOP support, probably never will. We are stuck with having to observe our own and international laws regarding refugees.

    Fuel prices, adjusted for inflation, are lower now than just a decade or two ago.

    Hyperinflation? Hardly. Venezuela had hyperinflation. We have inflation, but less than most other industrial nations.

    Misery sells votes, but we are not that miserable.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. “Misery sells votes, but we are not that miserable.”

      I wonder if those who right the GOP backing ads understand that? Or better yet, they know how to take advantage of the POTENTIAL misery. Or play up misery that isn’t as bad as they make it out to be.


      1. Outrage and fear sells ads and buys votes, so outrage and fear it is.

        Fear of immigrants, Jews, Muslims, gays, transgenders, history, books, vaccines, masks, education, urban voters, gun laws…

        It’s a miracle many of them still leave the house.

        Liked by 2 people

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