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Loss of Perspective and the Coming Civil War in America

July 25, 2011

Perspective is an action by which objects are viewed at a distance from the viewer. Objects farther away are seen as smaller than objects closer.

From the historical perspective of the last eighty years, the Great Depression, New Deal, World War II, post-war recovery, Kennedy assassination, and Great Society are less present in our consciousness of current events than the election of Jimmy Carter, the Reagan presidency, and the imperial presidencies of George W. Bush and Barack Obama. That loss of history can be attributed to the rejection of required courses in the history of Western civilization by America’s colleges and universities.

Having no grounding in history, Americans judge the presidency of President Obama from the perspective of the immediate past, not from the distant objects along the road that led us to this condition. As a result, we fail to see these past eighty years in historical perspective and lose sight of the imminent dangers we face.

Those dangers are not limited to failure of confidence in financial markets, if the federal budget ceiling is not raised. Unfortunately, they include the danger of Weimar-level inflation, political instability greater than that which caused the fluke election of a committed socialist president, Barack Obama, and, ultimately, civil war.

Last weekend Civil War reenactors celebrated the first battle of the American Civil War at Bull Run. In 100-plus degree heat Americans wearing authentic uniforms, carrying replicas of weapons used in that engagement, followed the actions of men one hundred and fifty years ago. America was divided into two worlds and major battles between them divided the nation and shaped the America of the 20th century.From the perspective of one hundred and fifty years, can we expect another Civil War?

Though younger Americans when polled indicate that they believe more in flying saucers than the Entitlements their grandparents enjoy, the majority of Americans assume that the government they grew up with will continue along the same path of the last eighty years.

If that were the case, we could safely ignore what a longer perspective warns us that we face the imminent collapse of civil society and the division of the nation into camps of resisters versus defenders. The “defenders,” located in our poorly governed major cities—and supported by major media— will move into the immediate suburbs and then the farmlands surrounding those cities to forage for food.

From the perspective of the breakdown of civil authority when every man is against every man, a “leader” will ultimately emerge who brings order to a divided America. While awaiting our leader, millions may starve; other millions may be killed in savage battles waged with modern weapons, drones and missiles.

And all this may occur because college-educated Americans have been denied historical perspective.

One Comment leave one →
  1. August 11, 2011 1:15 pm

    And I am an extremist because I have been saying this. Here’s a university president saying the same thing!

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