It was a great country while it lasted. Nothing tangible lasts forever, not stars, or planets, or people or flowers or birds. Certainly not political systems. We can be certain that the American Republic will have an ending as surely as it had a beginning. But when?
Predicting the future is fraught with risk. In the hundreds of opinion pieces I’ve published over the years, I’ve had some notable success doing so. In 1998, three years before 9/11, I published a column headed, “America’s War on Terror will be long, slow and cruel.” In that column I wrote that terrorists now had the power to destroy large buildings. Pretty prescient, yes, but I’ve made my share of predictions that were completely off the mark.
Emerging trends or sudden events can completely alter what looked to be inevitable. The death of a key leader, a new technology, a natural disaster striking your country—or your opponent’s—all can alter the seemingly-inevitable future.
Certainly the American Republic has been both resilient and flexible since its improbable emergence from the fire of revolution. It survived a terrible civil war, an outcome that seemed highly unlikely at the time. It survived the Great Depression. It led and won the fight against global tyranny in WWII, a victory that may appear inevitable now, but was a damn near run thing at the time. And it faced down the monster of soulless Communism, despite the infatuation of large numbers of our vapid intellectual class with the joys of collectivism, as seen from afar.
And yet, despite this history of resilience and triumph, I think that there is about an 80% certainty that the American Republic will collapse within the next twenty years, and be replaced with something else—perhaps several entities. They will not be models of classical liberal democracy. That this will be accompanied by economic privation, great violence and mass suffering I consider inevitable. That the surviving citizens of the new entity or entities will enjoy anything close to our freedom or standard of living I believe highly unlikely. The Jamestown rule—no work, no eat—will be rigidly enforced.
Each of several challenges facing us is both complex and over-whelming, and we no longer seem to have “the right stuff” to deal with any of them. While we might successfully, though not painlessly, face down each of them individually, their convergence makes the Republic’s survival highly problematic. Americans want the benefits of the good life, but far too many want someone else to pay the costs and make the sacrifices for them to have it. Few are willing to sacrifice their comfort, their cash or their standard of living—never mind their lives—to protect the Republic and the system of political and economic freedom that created the material wealth that is the envy of the planet, far beyond what our grandfathers could have dreamed. Just one example: In WWII, our forces were led by graduates of Harvard, Yale and other leading institutions. Since Vietnam, military services is disparaged and shunned by the elites who benefit the most from our system.
We are victims of our economic success. Fat and comfortable Republics have ever been pray to wolves and barbarians, and, in our case, there are as many inside the gates as outside.
Here are the convergent forces that I believe are likely to destroy the Republic: ...
Read the rest here. Mr. Hall predicts a twenty year timeframe for destruction of the Republic. I don't think it'll take that long.