Over at his Miscellany blog, Bruce Charlton points out that after the 2008 economic crash, which was a clear warning of huge systemic problems in the economic affairs of the west, absolutely no meaningful reforms appeared, despite it being absolutely obvious what needed to be done in order to fix the problem and prevent reoccurences. Prof. Charlton states:
“I was thinking about the 2008 economic crisis, which I now regard as less of a profound international crisis and more of a warning. It was a warning that we in the West were spending more than we were producing, that apparent ‘economic growth’ was an illusory mixture of borrowing and inflation, and we were living off capital not income. What should have happened was a recognition and repentance, followed by reform – first to cut consumption, then to decide whether or how much to increase production. But 2008 was a warning which has not been heeded. There was no recognition, and no repentance – but instead there has been denial, lying and wishful thinking.”
I have deep respect for Prof. Charlton generally, but if there is any problem I find with his writings, it is that he vehemently rejects the Spenglerian historical view. If he didn’t, he would recognize the truth of its explanation of what’s happening here.
Simply put, every declining civilization reaches a point at which it becomes incapable of reform, even when the cures for its ills are glaringly obvious. This is a symptom of having become sclerotic; of living off of inertia instead of new ideas and new energies (something that’s inevitable and irreversible once the cultural phase of a society is past its peak); of a society being not only out of new ideas but out of the intellectual capital necessary to create new ideas; of corruption and cronyism having become so entrenched that no one any longer remembers any other way to do things or believes them to be possible. This is true of every declining civilization, in every time and place, under every political system.
Add to this the fact that the west is suicidal and has been for a century, since the calamity of 1914; that it longs for death and does everything it can to hasten it. Why else would it make war against its own children by committing unspeakable genocide against them in the womb? Why else would it willingly swamp itself with millions of dirt-poor Third Worlders who are both inassimilable and not particularly interested in being assimilated (though looking at what they’re being asked to assimilate into, one can hardly blame them)? Why else would it continue along a path that the intelligent and aware in its society cannot help but understand can only lead to financial ruin and societal oblivion?
There is no cure for this and there is no escape from it; as Spengler himself noted, “there is no question of prudent retreat or wise renunciation. Only dreamers believe that there is a way out”. Just so. So no, there will be no optimism here, as the time for listening to dreamers, fools, and death-seekers is at an end. You know what is coming. Prepare yourselves accordingly.