Death to America?

Death to America?
by Sean Gabb
22nd January 2016

Talking about the future is often a sure recipe for looking like a fool. However obvious it may seem to us, nearly everything that happened in the past was unexpected at the time. I am not aware of anyone in 1639 who believed the Stuart State was about to collapse. Nor do I think anyone in 1788 predicted the occurrence and course of the French Revolution. The course of the Great War repeatedly took all the clever men by surprise. The difficulty with looking ahead is partly that most of the facts are unknown, but partly that the facts already established will be seen out of focus. We always tend to see the world through the twin lenses of unreasonable fear and of wishful thinking. For the world as it is, facts already established provide some correction. For the world as it may be, the only correction is to wait and see.

I will, therefore, not predict the decline of American world power. On the one hand, the country does appear to be in decline. It suffers internally from an increasingly predatory and freakish system of government, and from a national culture that is malign in its values and intrinsically worthless. None of its military interventions in the past quarter century has achieved its stated purpose, and all have been disastrous for the foreign peoples they were supposed to help. The military and diplomatic power of American has declined. It is no longer even clear that the Dollar will keep its hegemony. To put it mildly, the demographic changes now taking place are undermining the equilibrium and cohesiveness of the United States as it has been known since the 1870s.

On the other hand, the bulk of scientific and technological and economic progress remain concentrated in the United States. No other country approaches America in these respects. Nor is there any reason to suppose that any other country will. Also, every country that ever rose to greatness has combined tendencies to further progress and to disintegration. Until the very end, these forces have risen and fallen against each other. It may be that America has passed what will, in retrospect, be seen as a tipping point. Or it may not. I do not know, and I am sceptical when others claim they do know.

Rather than say what I think will happen, I prefer to say what I would like to happen. In doing this, I speak primarily from what I think to be the interests of my own country.

My view of America is tinged with a paranoia born from jealousy and resentment. I believe that American self-respect has, for at least the past hundred years, required the destruction of England as a great and independent nation. The Americans speak a language that did not emerge among themselves. They live within a system of law and within a set of constitutional assumptions that are also not co-existent with their nation. If their country were a minor power, they could, like Haiti, or Australia, or America before the 1870s, accept the fact of inferiority. If it were to vanish from the earth, they could look on the originator of their language and institutions with sentimental affection, as the Byzantines did on Athens and Rome.

Their problem is that, before 1940, England was a strong competitor. Since then, it has been generally subordinate, but never with full willingness. Therefore, the Americans have mixed occasional humiliation, as at Suez, with continual meddling in our politics. Our foreign policy has, since 1945, been largely set by Washington. Our leaders are mostly American Quislings, and these have systematically promoted American culture at the expense of our own. It may be that the accumulation of blocking powers by our new Supreme Court is an imitation to be welcomed. But the importation of American political correctness is not to be welcomed. Nor, I suggest, should we welcome the official replacement of English with American words and expressions – see, for example, the use of “train station” for “railway station.” This may appear, in itself, a trivial complaint. Repeated across the whole administrative and educational machinery, it has the effect of making our own recent past into a foreign country.

What the Americans want is for England to be discussed mainly in the past tense. They will study our literature, and sometimes our history. Some of their higher classes will put on Anglicised airs and graces, much as the Romans did after they had plundered and enslaved Greece. But to see their preferred model for living Englishmen, look at the characters played by Wilfred Hyde-Whyte, or the character of Alfred in Batman – polite, reliable, elderly, and, above all, ineffectual.

Though I dislike the European Union, I believe that the long term interests of my country lie in a close relationship with France and Germany, and in an amicable working arrangement with Russia. We have an obvious commonality with France and Germany of economic and strategic interests. We are of approximately equal weight. None is able to dominate the others. Each must work in compromise with the others. Any talk of “hands across the Atlantic” is either self-deception or a lie. Except perhaps between 1922 and 1940, there has never been an equality between England and America. Any close relationship between these countries has otherwise rested on the domination of one by the other – a domination with at best a limited overlap of interests. Though roles have changed, so it was at times before 1914, and so it has been since 1940.

Whether it will happen I cannot say. What I want to happen, however, is a continued relative decline of American power, both military and cultural, and probably in terms of economic output. I want the rise of a purely West European alliance able to dominate the whole of Europe, and to deal, in the light of its own interests, with the rest of the world. I want the re-emergence of my own national culture within my own country. I want this new equilibrium to continue for a very long time. I do not want England to be a satellite of any other country or civilisation.

Do I want America to collapse? Do I want it to break up into squabbling regional blocs on the North American continent? Do I want to see the rise of China or India, or even Russia, to world power? The answer is no. I do not believe any of these countries has the ability to replace America. Even if one could, I would not want it to. Nor do I think an internal collapse is likely.

Here, I come to the difficult point in my view of the world. I am hostile to America. I want to diminish its control over England. But, if the world must be dominated by one big power, it is probably for the best that this power should be America. Without romanticising America as it actually is, I see liberal democratic capitalism as the best human order presently on offer. I benefit from the universal use of the English language. I do not like what I know of the authoritarian state capitalism of the East. What I know of modern Russia is not something I understand or admire. Had I been in charge of England between 1945 and 1990, I would have told the Americans to fight the Cold War without our active help. At the same time, like the Swedish Government, I would have been clear which side I did not want to win. I can sympathise with resentment of America in the Moslem world. I do not regard Islam as in any sense a replacement civilisation.

And so, I wish America to decline, but not to fall. I want a looser world order, but not a replacement for America. I will never call a railway station a “train station,” nor will I cease to regard American popular culture with the contempt it deserves. At the same time, I will continue, without any feeling of inconsistency, to use the Internet and all the other technological marvels of American civilisation. For the rest of my life, I expect to look on America as a safety blanket, variously useful and despised.

In short, Death to America – but not just yet!

16 thoughts on “Death to America?

  1. Pingback: Death to America? « Attack the System

  2. Obama’s time will be up in just under a year, when President Trump is elected, his focus should solely be on the economy and immigration as I would hope he would appoint the following:

    Vice President – Ben Carson
    Secretary of State – Rand Paul
    Treasury – Carly Fiorina
    Defense – Allen West
    Attorney General – Justin Amash

    Other roles can be filled but as you can see, a good mix of Libertarian and Conservatives in the right places. Wouldn’t you agree?

    • But unlikely Mr Paul will get within a million miles of Mr Trump’s Cabinet.

      However, I am, unlike most libertarians, willing to accept that Mr Trump would be good for America in some respects. Of course, on immigration he would be good. As my friend from America, Eric Field, pointed out to me, during one Republican Primary Debate, Mr Trump was the only candidate willing to call the Iraq War unnecessary. He is also smart enough to recognise that détente with Mr Putin is necessary.

      I fear he will be blocked every step of the way. The US Constitution is good at producing gridlock if particularly stupid people are in Congress. The Court has a Hispanic Justice in it, and a number of liberals. He would face numerous obstacles in pushing his legislative agenda through Congress.

      So, most likely, Congress and the Court would block his good policies, the Wall of Trump, repealing gun control, etc. but support any surveillance state measures he might ask for.

      On balance, I’m neither optimistic nor terrified of President Trump.

      • I think it’s fair enough what you are saying. In a way, he is like a half way house to what the likes of me and you want to achieve but it is unfortunate that it is in the States rather than here.

        It would also be very interesting to see how David Cameron would react if Trump becomes President, could it spike a new confidence in conservatives and libertarians as he has shown himself to be a neoconservative/collectivist liberal and he would have a new revived enemy in us.

    • Death to America, as a corporate entity, yes as soon as possible I’d say. So far they cannot stop invading and interfering. First in what is now the USA, conquering the Mohawk, Huron, Cherokee, Sioux, Apache, Nez Perce, etc, etc. Then further afield – the Spanish American War, WWI and WWII, Korea, Vietnam, much of Lain America, Afghanistan, Iraq, Yugoslavia, Libya, Syria, plus special forces and CIA attacks over much of the globe. Despite the vaunted US military global supremacy, it has failed almost all of these assaults since 1945. The US even sent their F16s the wrong way on 9/11.

      The American obsession with interference and control continues to extend even into their C21st computer systems. Why does the self-proclaimed freedom-loving Apple require their IOS users to acquire all apps via their Play store, and connect their device via a Lightning connector rather than a perfectly good micro-USB? Why do Microsoft put users through hoops to access all computer files on their own home networks? They manipulate Windows users into acquiring a Microsoft Account then have to use it, via the Internet, to log onto their own PCs!? I know if one is sufficiently ingenious, one can hack around the above (and I certainly make quite a lot of cash doing so for innocently unwary clients), but it shows that these leading-edge US companies are looking upon customers property as their own – scum.

      Arnold Toynbee once observed that great civilisations are not overthrown but rather commit suicide. America is large and powerful so its suicide is likely to be drawn-out considerably, but they have put it in progress. The US is increasingly socially divided as its Negro, Hispanic and Middle Eastern non-European populations rise, and their cities fail. I predict the gradual Balkanisation of the USA into European, Negro, Hispanic and Middle Eastern parts. They hive-off production of much of their products to China. Yes, the US has passed its tipping point. Yes, its technological skills should see it through for some time as the world’s greatest power.

      I agree that US is better than the other choices – China or the Caliphate. However the American state has let us down and helped put Britain is in the firing line because HMG has followed much the same immigrationist multi-culti interventionist activity as the USG. I reckon we and they would be better off with mass repatriation, a cordon sanitaire and militia-based defence. I agree our (hugely delimited) foreign policy should be to seek alliance, but not via the EU, with Germany, France, Italy and other European nations with a fair cultural (and ideally racial) similarity to our own. Ironically Hitler wanted something similar in 1939.

  3. European co-operation on the basis of European identity sounds like a good idea. I’m hoping all the recent news about Cologne etc will foster that sort of shift in politics. Merkel has been quite humiliated by seeing her chosen policies exposed so swiftly. I see the IMF et al have jumped in, commenting on the benefit to Europe of having millions of refugees – they will work and pay our pensions, etc. What Mme Lagarde fails to realise is that that is only the case if they work! Otherwise, they become yet another charge on the public purse. The disaffected Muslims in the Paris outlying districts – how come their presence didn’t turn France into a tiger economy?

    • I hope we don’t see that shift. I agree there needs to be co-operation among Europeans, but I am sceptical about a ‘European identity’. I think it’s a dumbing-down and represents a denial of what should be a recognition of subtle but important differences between different types of Europeans.

      One of the reasons for European success as a meta-culture was the inability to unite much. Diversity really was a strength, because it resulted in competition between different genetic spores, resulting in radically variant expressions of much the same people.

      Sorry to borrow stock leftist terminology, but if instead of competing and being at each other’s throats we had been able to unite, I doubt we would have produced the same competitive, vibrant, expansive, and ambitious societies. We’d probably have spent longer of our history as the sheep-like, dumbed-down societies that we are today, assuming we had survived at all.

      In my opinion, the future is a return to local, organic, ethnic associations which emerge selectively at the optimal effective level. That’s my roundabout way of saying that Europeans need to go back to being at war with each other.

    • Mme Lagarde’s comments are common currency with pro-immigration/ EU people. However, we never hear them explain where all the workers will come from to pay the pensions of those immigrants/refugees. Perhaps they imagine they’re all Peter Pan’s.

      • As I see it, the issue here is economic doctrine: specifically, a rentier doctrine that emphasises growth, which is a theoretically very pure approach to capitalism. Actually we should be looking at this still more radically and identifying that the real problem is capitalism in and of itself, but I suspect a fundamentalist Marxian analysis would be psychologically beyond most people here and anyway is outside the scope of this blog. So I’ll confine myself to critiquing this as a particular model of capitalism – some call it ‘financial capitalism’. It could also be called ‘financial hegemony’. I’m going to call it ‘bubble capitalism’, because as I will explain, it’s a system that depends on increasing the prices of things on the assumption that price increases are underpinned by productivity and are thus profitable, when in reality, for socio-cultural reasons, the mass immigration of labour that supports prices in the long-term destroys productivity and value. So the failure is in the economic model adopted. The result is a deflationary or hyper-inflationary situation in the economy, because there is insufficient productivity to sustain price increases, and there is insufficient demand to support production.

        I’m not an economist, let me emphasise that, but based on my reading of Western economics textbooks and the way economic analysts look at things in the mainstream press and media, it would seem that what they are all talking about is labour productivity, but they don’t call it that. Instead, most mainstream economic analysts conceptualise economic challenges in terms of ‘economic growth’, which in very rough and imprecise terms could be regarded as the sum result of increases in labour productivity. They argue that economies must relentlessly ‘grow’, which they usually measure as GDP, and yet growth is not the direct concern of capitalists. When you strip away all the pseudo-intellectual jargon and mathematical gobbledegook, what the financial hegenomic model of ‘bubble capitalism’ boils down to is the rate of return on renting labour (and other variable production factors). It’s the costs associated with this that concern actual capitalists.

        So, in my opinion, the ‘bubble capitalist’ approach to immigration is implicitly Marxian because it is about labour productivity disguised in the vague political language of economic growth. Marx and Engel’s [I think it was Engels, to be fair, who developed the crucial concept of surplus value] analysis is therefore still quite relevant, and in my view, accurate, though it might become more questionable as production methods become more technological, as business structures become more autonomous and mass employment becomes less important. That’s just speculation though. The point is that capitalism is still stuck at the modernist stage of its development. You still need these large workforces in some areas, which results in conflicting priorities for capitalists – e.g. efficiency versus profit, investment versus profit, etc. But the bottom line is that capitalists need workers, but not just any workers. They need workers who are willing to undertake work at a rate lower than local populations and without the associated social costs of native Europeans.

        Here I think we see the limits of the classical economic modelling that great thinkers as varied as Adam Smith and Karl Marx adopted. In reality, the ‘economics’ that we have at the moment seems too rationalistic and insufficiently empirical, and thus can only provide an imperfect model of things. I think what policy-makers are assuming is that the immigrants will have higher reproductive rates than whites, and thus will prop-up ‘bubble capitalism’. It’s also important to understand that the reason Third World immigrants can provide surplus value for capitalists is due to the very fact they are immigrants, and this value continues to an extent into the second generation descendents of immigrants. What the ruling class are of course ignoring is how cultural factors will interplay between the immigrants and the societies in which they are situated, something that will in some ways increase the economic value of immigrants while also causing a ‘growth crisis’ to resurface later.

        1. First, the immigrants and their descendents will change the culture, simply because they are a different sort of people to the people responsible for the host culture. Raw numbers matter in this regard. Leftists who are giving moral and political support to this argue that in the scheme of things, the immigrants only represent a small proportion of Western populations, but what they ignore is things such as patterns of settlement, especially demographic concentration in urban areas, which allow immigrants to rapidly re-engineer host societies socially and culturally so that they resemble their native countries and ancestral cultures. The capitalists might not think to care much about this, as long as the alien, revised Western culture does not undermine property-based legal systems, but I suspect a cleave might open up among the ruling class, between Trumpist/’Red Tory’ types who want to maintain the parent culture and some degree of racial homogeneity in Western countries, not for spiritual or racial reasons per se, but for reasons of stability and to maintain European conceptions of the rule of law, which are important to capitalists.

        2. Second, the culture will change the immigrants and their descendents. As they become settled, they will probably Westernise and adopt middle-class norms, including smaller families. Their women will want to pursue careers, which will reduce their birth rate. Homosexuality, drug-taking, pornography, and what not will spread among their communities.

  4. [quote]”The Americans speak a language that did not emerge among themselves. They live within a system of law and within a set of constitutional assumptions that are also not co-existent with their nation.”[unquote]

    This is an interesting comment, and I would say it is true if you include in the definition of ‘Americans’ those citizens of the United States who do not have European ancestry, but I see no reason to do this historically. The different facets – cultural, commercial, political, economic, and legal/constitutional – of ‘Anglo’ identity should be considered to belong to European-Americans. It is as much their heritage as ours. They are just a different branch of the same tree.

    We could argue that up until the Naturalization Act of 1870, America was a northern European ethnic construct: mainly a mix of Anglo-Saxons, Scots, Ulster Scots, Germans and Scandinavians, with some Irish and other minor European ethnicities thrown into the mix. During this period, the United States had explicitly racial requirements for naturalisation and citizenship, but ‘race’ in an ethno-European context had a more nuanced meaning then. The term ‘free white person’ was used in the 1790 Naturalization Act, but was intended as a reference to people of Nordish, English and Germanic descent. These were assimiliable populations, though they did not become a white melting pot everywhere. They remained separate in many areas of the country and these ethnic differences played some part in the American Civil War.

    Between 1870 and 1965, the American civic identity widened formally to embrace other indigenous European ethnicities (mainly Irish, Itallians and Eastern Europeans) and large numbers of Ashkenazim, and so the United States arguably became a ‘white nationalist’ construct in the American sense. Despite the further tensions and problems this widening caused, the country was still largely homogeneous, notwithstanding the African-American population (and admixtures) in the South.

    The meaning I choose to give to the word ‘American’ is as a reference to those descended from the pre-1870 population that qualified for citizenship and anybody else of assimiliable ethnicity. Historically, it is that America that is the true inheritor of the linguistic heritage and constitutional norms that you refer to. It is perhaps telling that in the context of the United States we can speak of difference ‘Americas’: it really is several different countries combined into one, though it is hardly unique in this respect.

    [quote]”Do I want America to collapse? Do I want it to break up into squabbling regional blocs on the North American continent? Do I want to see the rise of China or India, or even Russia, to world power? The answer is no. I do not believe any of these countries has the ability to replace America. Even if one could, I would not want it to. Nor do I think an internal collapse is likely.”[unquote]

    On the matter of the future of the USA, my own answer would be ‘Yes’ to a collapse and break up. I want the United States to break-apart along ethnic lines. My reasons are political, and to do with what I perceive to be the good of the pre-1870 American people I refer to above, and also because I think an ethnically-motivated break up of the USA would have a huge impact here in Europe.

    But I am in two minds about the prospects for a break-up. Logically it should happen, but in reality? It might seem far-fetched, but I think Dr Gabb makes a valid point here about how political relaities can change quickly and unexpectedly. We should also bear in mind there are precedents for ethnic statehood in North American history, and there is also a clear modern precedent: Quebec, which came very close to independent status in a 1995 referendum, and is anyway a model for future ethno-states on that Continent.

    I also think there are a number of factors that should (though they might not) provoke a break-up:

    (i). The US is just too large. I am sure that the early visionaries for European conquest of the Americas would have wished for settlement right across the continent, but I doubt even the Founding Fathers of the country – especially Jefferson – would have intended that such a vast geographical expanse should exist under a single state. They probably had ethno-nationalist states in mind for the Mid-West and Western half of the Continent, that would reflect the folkways of the founding Europeans peoples. Indeed, that is a large part of what the American Civil War was really about. Americans perhaps need to re-examine the founding visions of their country and ask whether a ‘white melting pot’, never mind a multi-racial melting pot, is such a good idea after all. In my opinion, cosmopolitan states cannot work as they cannot be held together, and the sheer vastness of America only serves to exacerbate the problem.

    (ii). That said, the geographic size of the US was not a serious problem until perhaps relatively recently, maybe from the 1980s under Reagan, when it should have become apparent to observers that a plutocratic elite had taken control of the United States. The problem of distance between ruler and ruled has always been a thematic issue in American history, and it is no surprise to me that libertarianism is so popular over there, as it aligns with a political imagination shaped by a vast country to which people migrated to escape claustrophobic European societies and governments. But these political tensions are now exacerbated by mass immigration, which has led to a strengthening of central government and an erosion of republican federalism and representative democracy, to the point where we are now almost witnessing a replay of the pre-Revolutionary struggles that created the country in the first place.

    (iii). I see the United States not as a proposition nation, but not as a completely organic nation either. It might be best to describe it as a ‘pioneer nation’. Unlike Britain, which, while having evolved quite radically through different political structures and national civic identities, is still fundamentally an organic nation whose re-boot button [as I think Dr Gabb once referred to it] can be found somewhere, the United States has no re-boot button. This is not due to accident or inadvertence. The United States was not pointedly palingenetic, as it did not have a common sub-racial ethnicity to unite it. It was, rather, the expression of the European identity in a specifically American colonial context, fusing disparate European heritage traditions: Greek and Roman aesthetics, English government and common law. The absence of an ability to recreate America is purposeful and due to the country’s radical and revolutionary beginnings as a federal union under law of different people, which makes the American identity susceptible to re-invention from one generaiton to another. It is a more fluid and changeable identity than is imagined. If America has a ‘re-boot’ switch, it is an ‘off-switch’ – for secession and break-up, not a re-constitution of the old order.

    (iv). The American Declaration of Independence, and even the U.S. Constitution itself, as the 18th. century version of Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four. The lawyerly and literate Founding Fathers could not predict modernity, but they knew about the flaws of human nature and could extrapolate from this what would likely happen to any man-made governmentl system in the fullness of time, and given unhindered outside influences. That is why, if the Founding Fathers were alive today, they would probably be calling for the ‘off-switch’: a Second American Revolution, the formation of ethno-states. They had anticipated Acton’s maxim by more than a century, which pointed to a natural tendency for all significant polities, not just monarchies, to degenerate into heavily-centralised (and sometimes, corrupt) plutocracies. However, they might not have anticipated just how far things would go: industrialisation and mass democracy, the latter just a form of soft tyranny and a way of masking actual power structures, were not in existence at that time.

    What the American Revolutionaries saw as ‘representation’ was not the same as our modern idea of ‘democracy’, which they would have derided as a rather childish concept, What the Founding Father had in mind was the need to enshrine, protect and sustain liberty, not political democracy, an emphasis that reflects the English influences. Their focus was Socratic and idealistic because they assumed that the biological basis of the United States would be maintained. Their idea of ‘equality’ was a natural state of existence between peoples who understood each other. They could not have foreseen the problems of modernity (and postmodernity): mass immigration, multi-culturalism, Cultural Marxism, feminism, political correctness, culture jamming, ‘big government’, deindustrialisation, mass unemployment, economic depressions, snooping, industrialised warfare, intrusive legislation, attacks on the Constitution, however I think iit would be wrong to assume that the Constitution itself is inadequate to deal with these problems. The constitutional checks and balances – separaton of powers, federalism, presumption of innocence, etc. – were put in place by the European Founding Fathers in anticipation of these very developments, which while not predictable in any specific sense, were broadly anticipated based on the common knowledge about human nature and the basis of civics and government that existed among enlightened men of the time. So the Constitition is the fail safe, because its essentials are above judge-made law and thus beyond political influence, save for a Congressional super-majority. However, it can only act to slow down the destruction of America. What the Founding Fathers would be urging on Americans is that they reach for that off-switch and kill the Leviathan they created.

    • I agree with you that our founding fathers would be apalled at what the US has become. (America is dead, this is amerika.) I blame Lincoln for starting the War against secession. It was not a “civil war”, as the Southern States had no interest in taking over the US government. They wanted out of the Union to determine their own future under their own government. The despicable mass murderer, Lincoln, intentionally re-armed Ft. Sumter as a provocation to the South and started the war.

      As for the current oligarchy we suffer under. Trump is our answer to trying to destroy it without a civil war.

      • Thank you for your comments. An important disclaimer I should emphasise when commenting on this is that I am not American.

        I think the Founding Fathers would be appalled, but not surprised. As I see interpret it, what America has become is more or less in line with what the Founding Fathers would have expected. That’s why part of their design included – as you rightly imply – the right and ability to secede.

  5. “I can sympathise with resentment of America in the Moslem world.” – Sean Gabb

    Wonderful! How fair of you, Mr. Gabb! Yes, “fair” I say because Britain, France and the other European colonialist powers didn’t slice and dice the Ottoman Empire into little disparate pieces that would be continually at odds with each other. A benefit to you thieving Europeans so you could steal their natural resources, and yet you think it is right that the Muslim fascists hate us. (Yes, I lump the UK in with the Europeans. I’m American, deal with it!) You idiots have caused two world wars, countless wars before that, and have only known relative peace since the US finally stepped up and slapped your dumb-asses into order!

    I have no desire for my country to be the policeman of the world. You are absolutely right about the futility and stupidity of our military adventurism since the end of WWII. But the problem with Islam has been brewing for a long time and Europe and the UK have more than enough blame for it. Islam is not compatible with modern Western Culture and should be eradicated where ever it is found because if it isn’t, we will be the ones eradicated.

  6. Pingback: A Predatory and Freakish System of Government |

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s