This is kind of a speculative and possibly irrational comment, so feel free to find something more relevant to do.
Essentially – in my opinion – what has gone wrong with America is the top of the food chain (the CEOs, the hedge fund managers, the “private investor groups”, Wall Street, the bankers, and the rest of the HNWIs) has seized Ayn Rand’s “If it makes you feel good, do it.” philosophy with both hands and run with it…except they refuse to be restrained by the addendum that modified and modifies the behavior of the Bohemians, the “hepcats”, the “hippies”, and those others who have followed that philosophy over the years – to whit: “If it makes you feel good, do it – unless you might hurt somebody else.”
Now comes what I find to be some interesting coincidences…and what you may find to be indicative of paranoid schizophrenia.
I know the history of communism in Russia; I know of its “coming of age” there. I know how the Soviet Union attempted to export communism throughout the majority of the 20th century. I know the Soviet Union’s Comintern was particularly aggressive in carrying out its U.S. activities in the period 1915 through 1940. I know that in 1926 Ayn Rand came here from the Soviet Union – although those who find her philosophy of greed before all else to be enabling prefer to say “Russia” for its smaller semantic payload.
And I can look around America and see – cannot, in fact, avoid seeing – what her philosophy of satiating one’s greed to the exclusion of all other considerations…whether moral, ethical, or patriotic…has done to America.
I further recall how even as the Soviet Union decayed the communists in the People’s Republic of China picked up the torch of the greed that our few have in so much abundance. I cannot avoid recognizing how the PRC has used that greed to fuel their ascension towards global primacy while burning down our own industrial infrastructure…all while the flames of unsustainable trade deficits consume our economy.
And every time I think about those…coincidental…factors and actors and consider their consequences upon America, I cannot help but wonder if our wealthy few were recognized to be America’s one and only weakness; the one gaping hole which the American people, themselves so difficult to defeat in frontal combat, could not defend.
There is no ignoring the fact that every communist revolution in the world was launched after the wealthy of that nation came to believe that they didn’t have to worry about overstepping their limits because they were above limits. At the root of every single communist revolution lies the belief among too many of that nation’s wealthy few that anything they did to exploit their fellow citizens was justified…because satiating greed and the lust for power were themselves self-justifying goals.
What country that has fallen to communism has not exhibited the symptoms of “Greed is good!” and “Economic oppression doesn’t count!”?
What better way, then, to create the conditions required for the gestation of communism than to enable a nation’s greediest to do what they already want to do…to great excess? What better way to bring about a country’s downfall than to contradict common sense by encouraging the belief that the oppression of the many by the few is a risk-free path to great rewards? And not just risk-free, but “good and proper”?
When I ponder the facts…the events…the actions undertaken by some Americans over this last half-century, I cannot help but wonder if someone somewhere other than America came to understand that the easiest way to destroy America was essentially to pay her – with her own money – to destroy herself through enabling the greed of her wealthiest.
Sometimes I even wonder if the same thinking has ever been the subject of conversation at Oxford? I must perforce recognize that attacks upon multiple fronts are so common in the history of political, diplomatic, and physical warfare that the somewhat unusual term “multipronged” is used to describe the strategy.
On the other hand, I myself may be attempting to justify the unjustifiable…it is possible that I create external drivers rather than accept the possibility that Americans – nominally, at least – naturally exist who see the destruction of America as an inconsequential byproduct of satiating their greed. Unfortunately for my peace of mind, the fact that the very same people so often have a cavalier attitude towards their pollution of the only planet we have suggests to me that either they truly don’t care or they – whether they know it, or not – are the equivalent of “suicide bombers” operating on a nearly inconceivable scale.
Whatever…for as America is crumbling under the assault of their greed, in the final analysis their motivation is moot. Might as well ask why you can’t breath water as you sink below 100 meters.