Is the collapse of American society inevitable? Have our economic, political and governing systems lapsed into a permanent state of decline, the likes of which are irreversible? An increasing number of us believe so, and for good reason.
While Americans, from the very founding of our nation, have criticized lawmaking, Congress and presidents, many believe that the level and tenor of criticism directed at our representatives, as well as the White House and the federal judiciary, has never been worse. They point to figures like a 16-percent approval rating for Congress and a low trust of government overall.
Meanwhile, the issues we’re told to care about – like so-called climate change and global warming – are only important to those same self-anointed elitists who hold so little sway with the public (you can only be told so many times that because you drive a car and use electricity in your home, you’re destroying the planet – especially when planetary destruction never actually happens).
In short, Americans are generally about as fed up as they have ever been, which does not bode well for the long-term survival of the country, should some event, some spark, a pandemic or unnatural event, cause widespread fear, loathing and panic.
A social media generation
In the 1960’s, America was nearly torn apart by the younger generation’s refusal to accept the lies being perpetrated by its government with regard to supporting the immoral Vietnam War. If these “hippies” had taken the moral high ground with regard to personal behavior and morality, they very well would have toppled the two administration that perpetrated and maintained the war. But when your battle cry “Hell no, we won’t go”, is accompanied by the mantra of “drugs, sex and rock and roll”, the legitimacy of the message becomes obscured. However…that generation had the intestinal fortitude to take to the streets. In the face of dire danger today, this generation of Americans takes to its electronic devices.
Hodges believes the reason why so many Americans are docile in the face of rising unrest and threats to the civil society, is because they have already acquiesced to their fate and the fate of the country. Making a “statement” on social media is much easier – and far more anonymous – than actually showing up to an event and making their voices heard.
The micro-movements aside – like “Black Lives Matter” and “Occupy Wall Street” – are far too narrow in scope and specialized to effect much change. And though they do involve groups of people who assemble to speak out, in the great scheme of things they are too small, too specific and, as such, not very popular.
However, one thing that does have the potential for mass unrest is terrorism. As a series of reports on Bugout.news here is (Part V; part IV – not linked – is here, if a series of terrorist attacks, while small in nature but frequent and widespread in occurrence, come to the U.S., the loss of freedom and liberty will be substantial. That, finally, could trigger the end of docility on behalf of the American people, for it is likely that the government would find widespread opposition to curfews, repeal of gun rights, limits on speech, curbs or bans on travel, etc.
As for Hodges, he believes Americans, by and large, have been conditioned into accepting helplessness – that is, “learned helplessness.” He cites psychologist Martin Seligman, who documented the phenomenon in the 1960s:
“’Learned helplessness’ occurs when an animal, or a person, is repeatedly subjected to an aversive stimulus that it cannot escape from. Eventually, the animal will stop trying to avoid the stimulus and behave as if it is utterly helpless to change the situation. Even when opportunities to escape are presented, this learned helplessness will prevent any action.”
That fits most of American citizenry today, Hodges says.
He may be right. Gradual encroachments on civil and constitutional liberties, by various administrations, congresses, judicial decisions and by the growing federal bureaucracy, have elicited much disdain (as evidenced by the polling data above) but not much in terms of real action and pushback.
“When ISIS launches its version of the TET Offensive in the near future, my fellow countrymen will likely cower in the corner and let nature take its course,” Hodges concludes.