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When vices become values
22 mar 2006
America's moral decline
When Vices Become Values
by Stojgniev OâDonnell

Once they start the downward spiral, civilizations cannot reverse the chain of history. Once a state (or an individual) becomes consumed in its own self-righteousness, only rarely then does it correct itself. Knowing where America stands today, one can predict easily where America is going.

I suppose that, of all its negative qualities, it is Americaâs in-yer-face self-righteousness that most offends me. Americans are so aggravatingly self-righteous, even when it comes to espousing wildly contradictory values, for example the opposing sides of the issue of homosexuality. Whatever position they take on that issue, Americans see themselves as more moral, more decent than everyone else who doesnât agree with them.

Not that Americans have a monopoly on self-righteousness. We see it in other societies as well, for example among radical Muslims. But there is a crucial difference between America and the Muslim world. Radical Muslims share a relatively simple, clearly defined system of values and beliefs (even though animosities divide the various Muslim groups). Tradition plays an important role in Islam. America emphasizes radical individualism, while Islam represents a collective united by common values.

Why should an American today agree to join the U.S. army and go fight in one of Americaâs wars? Or why does an American bother to display the American flag on his porch? Those Americans believe in what they imagine to be American values. But what are American values today? Americans, in fact, espouse and believe in a multitude of incompatible ideas and philosophies.

There are first of all the ideas of pre-1960s America, inspired by the early republic and embraced by generations of immigrants who experienced the American melting pot. Then also there are the ideas of corporate American capitalism, originally inspired by strains of American Protestantism and now morphed into a global food chain, atop which sits obese, gas-guzzling, energy-popping America. There are also pockets of idiosyncratic beliefs and practices, such as Mormons and the Amish, without any Old World reference. But since the 1960s, the REAL ideological momentum is with political correctness and Americaâs sham âmulticulti.â? According to the new ideology, the newly privileged minority society has always been discriminated against and, therefore, deserves to enjoy definite (permanent?) privileges over European Americans. After the 1960s, the whole system of American values was scrambled. The senselessness of contemporary American culture is seen in the American cult of Martin Luther King, Jr., canonized as a secular saint, despite his character flaws, simply because he had black skin. America after the 1960s institutionalized a new official racism.

The ideology and positive benefits of victimhood are now deeply ingrained in the consciousness of Americaâs privileged minorities, for nearly all their privileges have been acquired since the 1960s, not through hard work and virtue, but solely through asserting their victim status. We donât expect that Americaâs contemporary victims will ever reject their current privileged status (even though such denial would surely improve their solidarity with European America).

While it is a taboo topic, it should be self-evident to all that American Jews played a major role in installing the new ideology which privileges non-whites and those not of European background. The Jews themselves went from the margins of American society to the very center of power, today profitably mediating between the various American ideological groups. The scrambling of American values and the preeminent role of Jews in that process is seen with the American Civil Liberties Union.

There are, periodically, violent flare-ups between the minority society and white America (with Jews always strategically refereeing on the sidelines, supporting first one side and then the other), although in the twenty-first century one observes growing numbers in America who simply refuse publicly to argue ideology. Racial issues are, simply, too divisive for comfort. Incidents such as the O. J. Simpson verdict demonstrate that it would take, minimally, centuries for a common black-and-white culture and ideology to take root in America. WASP and Black America are indeed two different Americas. And thus America, in its proud individualism, is not a collective, despite Fourth of July parades and fatiguing Star Spangled Banners at baseball games. America is millions of individuals with conflicting, contradictory beliefs and values.

Many live in a vacuum without morals, tradition or culture. Most of the âvaluesâ? promoted by the new ideology are not true values. Those are rights, âinalienableâ? rights if you will. Today, Americans not only promote abortion and homosexuality, but they do it proudly, defiantly, and with self-righteousness, claiming moral superiority over the âintolerantâ? who oppose them. This is not to cast stones at individuals who practice abortion or homosexuality, but merely to point out the divisive influence of their ideology. Looking at those two values, one understands the hedonism of contemporary America (since the 1960s, America is about celebrating sex, drugs and rockânâroll). But for centuries, abortion and homosexuality have been considered aberrations. Even animals understand that life depends on guaranteeing the welfare of future generations, something hard to achieve when there are no offspring. Anyone who has ever really pondered the significance of procreation and the mission of human existence has to question the wisdom of a society that regards homosexuality and abortion as a right and considers the defense of that right a priority of society.

If there is a symbol of contemporary decadence, it is Americaâs outrageously and publicly flaunted homosexual culture. Has any other human society ever promoted the current American idea that young people benefit from blatant exposure to homosexuality (in school, in the media, in public life, in parades through the centers of major cities) as a normal, desirable lifestyle? But one fully expects Americans to practice their homosexuality in typically American, self-righteous, in-yer-face fashion. Considering that phenomenon in light of the true significance of rights and values, we see that radical Islam is far superior to America, as Muslims (like most other societies) understand clearly that the promotion of homosexuality (or abortion) can never benefit society as a whole.

The more civilized world to the East historically has tried to make some accommodation with the inevitable historical fact of homosexuality. That policy resembles the âDonât ask, donât tellâ? policy of the U.S. Armed Forces and the Christian principle of loving the sinner and hating the sin. In Russia, for example, homosexuality has not yet been politicized. Homosexuals there show the common sense not to flaunt a behavior that is often offensive to non-homosexuals. Thatâs probably why Russian society exhibits less hostility towards homosexuals than America does. If Russian homosexuals in the future politicize their sexual identity and adopt the American style, then homosexuality likely will become a divisive issue in Russia. But what sane person really believes their society would benefit from that confrontation of values?

Another false American value is âtolerance,â? which is, in effect, a refusal to acknowledge tradition and traditional values. It relates to the relativism which claims that all human beliefs and cultures are of equal worth. Such tolerance does provide Americans, firmly convinced that they are superior to the ânon-tolerant,â? with a great deal of self-satisfaction. Politically correct Americans pride themselves on their âdecencyâ? and moral âsuperiority.â? Such values, of course, have nothing to do with intellectual or historical analyses, as anyone who knows history knows that not all beliefs and cultures are inherently equal. Among the most intolerant and narrow-minded people I have ever met are politically correct Americans who vocally proclaim their âtolerance.â?

Americaâs politicians know no values. An American politician, obligated to bow to all the contradictory ideological nonsense of contemporary America, by definition has to be a buffoon. Just look at George W. relaying his sincere wishes for a Happy Kwanzaa (whatever Happy Kwanzaa is). Or take Bill and Hillary, Dick Cheney, Al Sharpton. I shudder when I think what their core values might be.

America today exists in the minds of Americans who are deeply divided by their ideologies. Americans still cling to their kitschy symbols, like Old Glory and their anthem sung before baseball, but those symbols no longer represent definite values. Concerning abortion and homosexuality, I am not advocating any specific government policy. At this point in history, it probably doesnât matter what policy Americans adopt. What is significant about abortion and homosexuality is that Americans have no shared tradition which guides them as a community. Americans have drowned in their individualism, and they have no understanding of a compassionate happy medium which serves society as a whole. As with American multiculturalism, which ultimately distorts real cultures, Americaâs diversity of ideology implies that there are no real values.

20 March 2006

This work is in the public domain
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