I’ve wondered lately whether the approaching twilight of Western civilization is the inevitable consequence of its success. That with “progress” our institutions would so evolve from their origins that we would no longer be able to discern the basic truth of ourselves. And then we slide back into a state nature, only to rediscover the truth and start over again. As Bane said to Batman: “Peace has cost you your strength. Victory has defeated you.”
The modern Democratic Party stands for what its leader, President Obama, calls “fundamental transformation.” It stands for reorienting nature towards the party’s own ends. It stands for “liberating” us from the rules woven into the fabric of our world and our existence. It stands for dashing the old traditions of community and placing in their stead a society of individuals obedient to “enlightened” governance.
It makes perfect sense, then, that the Democratic Party wins the majority of its support in American cities, where civilization (i.e., the erosion of humanity) is furthest along. Reading the 2012 election returns, Dave Troy spells this out. Our cities are dense with people and their creations. They are like monuments to ourselves, attracting us like moths. Whereas in ancient times the city was a fortress to protect people from invasions, now it serves as a permanent bulwark against confrontation with nature. There’s too little earthly wisdom in the city, because in the city there is no earth.
Take the city slicker out of the city, away from the thousands of people he’s codependent on, away from everyone he pays and votes for to make his life easy, away from his Internet and modern appliances. And stick him in the countryside where he has to make things with his hands to survive, where the sprawling, unprocessed earth beckons him to back-breaking labor. The stark, physical, hardscrabble reality terrifies the city slicker. It exposes the frailty the city sheltered him from. Ironically his way of life in the city wouldn’t be possible without people who lived the hard way.
In the country, it is a daily commune with nature. The sense of community is stronger because one is surrounded by the mortal threat of complete solitude. People are kinder, more helpful, and—yes—dubious of outsiders upsetting the delicate order of things. That order is never perfect, but it is the best that can be done, and most importantly it is self-regulating. That isn’t the case in the city, where the bystander effects reigns supreme, order is imposed from the top, and mutual anonymity discourages neighborliness. The functions of community are better left to various levels of government and disembodied corporations.
Such a system is “efficient,” as Troy points out. This is the party of the Left’s measuring stick: “efficiency.” It sounds good, until it’s used to squelch human enterprise. Troy goes on: “An America that is not built fundamentally on density and efficiency is not competitive or sustainable.” I don’t see how permanent urbanization is in any way sustainable. If specialization is forever the future, we can look forward to being human cogs in a great, inhuman machine, cloistered from the earth God made us to live in.
As the president would say: “Forward.”