“The secret of happiness is freedom. The secret of freedom is courage.”
— Thucydides

“A civilization that feels guilty for everything it is and does will lack the energy and conviction to defend itself.”
— Jean-François Revel

Victor Davis Hanson's "Thoughts of Our European Future to Come"

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

This is so important — a true must-read, from a man who has produced a great deal of deeply insightful writing. “On Becoming Europe” is among Victor Davis Hanson’s best, and its message is acutely and urgently relevant:

After concluding another 16 days in Europe. I am again reminded how different their form of socialism is, and yet how closely it resembles the model that Obama seeks for America. The vast majority of citizens lives in apartments, even in smaller towns and villages. Cars are tiny. Prices are higher than in the states; income is lower (The government taxes you to pay for things like “free” college, so you won’t have much to spend on antisocial things like your Wal-Mart plastic Christmas Tree or your second K-Mart plasma TV.)

Mass transit is frequent and cheap, but often crowded and occasionally unpleasant. The stifled desire to acquire something — large house, car, deposit account — is of course not quite destroyed by socialism, but rather is channeled into a sort of cynicism and anger, often leading to a hedonism of few children, late and long meals, and disco hours until the early morning. The number of Gucci like stores selling overpriced label junk like 200 Euro eye-glass frames and 1000 Euro leather bags to socialists is quite amazing.

My point? The more Europe professes to be egalitarian, the more cynical and conniving the people have become — almost as if the human craving for one’s own property and to make one one’s destiny cannot be denied by the state, but by needs will be channeled into what the state mandates as anti-social for most, but quietly a perk for a few.

Read the whole, very worthwhile 2-pager. There’s too much good insight in it to quote. Think deeply about it until the lessons sink in. This is our future-to-be, America, if we keep to our present course.