America Needs a Transfusion, Part II

America Needs a Transfusion, Part II
Russian President Vladimir Putin and China’s President Xi Jinping make a toast during a reception following their talks at the Kremlin in Moscow on March 21, 2023. (Pavel Byrkin/Sputnik/AFP via Getty Images)
David Parker
In Part I, I said China should not wake a sleeping elephant, that democracies are slow to react, but once aroused, their citizens united, those who attack them, Germany and Japan during WW II, soon wish they hadn't. To this day the Persians wish they hadn’t attacked the Greeks at the plain of Marathon in 490 BC. Fearful of losing what they had just given birth to, Western civilization, the notion that the individual, not the community, is the focus of society, that rights of the citizen precede rights of the state, the Greek army, half the size of the Persian army, awakened, with extraordinary bravery, and defeated an enemy that came for no other reason than to conquer and plunder.

China is the new Persia. With no respect for human rights, a population conditioned to obey orders, technologically savvy, educated and with an arsenal of weapons, China has that same megalomaniacal plan to conquer. America, wake up. Having lowered the entrance requirement to 4th-grade reading level, the level at which most American high school students graduate, the U.S. Navy might well be defeated.

World War III: East versus West, China, Russia and the Middle East versus the English-speaking nations (and some parts of Europe). Working 10 to 12 hours a day, six days a week, mastering technology, factory production, and military strategy, China will not physically occupy the world, but it will certainly control the world’s economy. Preoccupied with making colleges a safe space for its sensitive youth (the new Left), the U.S. will be no match. The old Left, UC Berkeley 1964, screamed at the university not to do that, that students wanted to know about the war in Vietnam, about violence in the Jim Crow South. They wanted to be prepared.

Competing against Asian and European high school students who graduate at our third-year college level, sleeping dog America is on the road to becoming militarily, educationally, and psychologically unfit for power. In 2018, China ranked first in the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) in reading ability, mathematics, and science proficiency. Singapore, second. The U.S., 25th.

Autocracy is probably the future: benevolent dictatorship. Lee Kuan Yew (Singapore), the 20th century’s second greatest statesman (after Winston Churchill), was correct: Nations with no history of democracy, no history of settling their differences nonviolently—voting, compromising—can never be full democracies. Africa, Latin America, the Middle East, South and East Asia, large swathes of Europe—social, political, and economic freedom is not for you.

Since 1945, yes, Germany and Japan have been democracies—but only because the United States imposed it. Can the West really count on an imposed democracy? Will Europe and Japan really come to our defense?

Take France. Until the 20th century, its Napoleonic Code stated that citizens were guilty until proven innocent. And then, in the mid-20th century, Charles de Gaulle agreed to be president only if he could, at any time, override parliament. Democracy does not predominate the history of France:
987 Hugh Capet chosen as King—by the nobles, not the people. The history of France as a separate kingdom is generally acknowledged as of this date.
1643–1715 Louis XIV, absolute monarch.
1789 French Revolution. Change of government through mass murder and confiscation of private property.
1792–1804 1st Republic. Reign of Terror. Thousands guillotined: men, women, children, priests.
1804–1814 1st Empire. Napoleon Bonaparte, dictator.
1814 1st Restoration of the monarchy.
1830 2nd Restoration.
1848 2nd Republic. Louis Napoleon Bonaparte (nephew of Napoleon) elected president.
1852 2nd Empire. Louis Napoleon Bonaparte, dictator.
1870 3rd Republic. Early years heavily monarchist, Bonapartist, Catholic, and conservative. Republicans viewed as socialists.
1940 Vichy government. Nazi-controlled.
1944–1946 Provisional Government. Charles de Gaulle, president.
1946 4th Republic.
1958 Parliament adjourns from June to October. De Gaulle given powers of decree for six months. Legislative power effectively transferred to the president.
1958 5th Republic. Charles de Gaulle, president. Future presidents retain the extraordinary right to override the legislature and the courts.
At least the French know themselves. They know they have the best of northern and southern culture: hardworking, efficient, democratic, protective of their social and political freedom, of their culture, leisure, family and art, yet, at the drop of a hat, the French will riot, destroy public property, shut down all commerce (a national strike), and the most fun, “mount the barricades.” Proud of this rite of passage, French parents can’t wait to tell their children how they were “engagés.” Knowing themselves, namely, that France also has the worst of northern and southern culture, and, as their history proves, the French will always follow a strong leader, even a dictator. When the Nazis walked in in 1941, half the nation said, “Yeah!”

Democracy, then, is really a British and American phenomenon, historically something only English-speaking nations have stood up for. Sad, then, that America, since 1933, let in socialism. With President Franklin Roosevelt, America completely flipped the coin of liberty, completely flipped what Alexis de Tocqueville most admired about America, how independent and responsible its citizens were, a nation where freedom meant freedom from government. That change, irreversible, is at the heart of 21st-century American political dysfunction, where half the population, progressives, believes in freedom with government—an oxymoron, and the reason America is in decline.

Xi Jinping knows America is on its way out—it’s why he refuses to negotiate. The new strongman axis of China, Russia, Turkey, Iran, and Saudi Arabia (the new Persians) against what’s left of today’s Greeks (socialist America and Europe), neither adhering to principles of unlimited freedom but rather like those autocracies, to progressive lawlessness, the notion of moving “forward” from their constitution, in the case of America, a simple one-page set of rules for forming a government, in the case of Europe, a 254-page document no one understands. That strongman axis is not afraid of a civilization no longer committed to its own principles.

Can the U.S. count on Europe? Spending all its tax revenue on socialism, with no money for NATO, Europe certainly has no money to militarily protect the U.S. Then, as the U.S. limits trade with China—because of China’s human rights violations, espionage, theft of intellectual property, readiness to attack Taiwan—Europeans complain that U.S. foreign policy is hurting their pocketbooks. European real politik would have Europe and the U.S. continue to trade with China. Why? To prevent China from turning within, developing everything it needs on its own, and becoming so resilient that it will never negotiate. Appeasement.

Can the U.S. count on its own citizens? Woke public schools teach American students to mock the Founding Fathers (white misogynist entitled slave owners), teach that America was built on slavery (critical race theory), and teach students to shout down anyone with whom they disagree, especially conservatives on high school and college campuses. Woke citizens repudiate pluralism—which to them is white citizens telling everyone else to forget about their culture. Canceling opposition, telling others what to think, wokeism is fascism.

More than a transfusion, America needs a reboot.

With America in decline, the world’s autocracies have a place. Since World War II, sleeping democracy America, when it militarily countered an autocracy, simply sent a few thousand young men to die: Korea, 36,000; Vietnam, 58,000; Iraq, 4,200; Afghanistan, 2,400, with orders not to win. President Truman recalled General MacArthur from Korea when he discovered MacArthur was actually trying to win. American policy: “We’re not the Greeks at Marathon, forget about democracy. We’re here to stop the spread of communism.” (Henry Kissinger, Real politik.)

Not fighting to win, the West places economic sanctions. Except that autocracies like Russia, China, and North Korea, who do fight to win, know how to get around those sanctions. Laughing at the West, Putin, Xi, Kim, and Iran know there are always countries and private individuals willing to help, willing to drop moral standards for money. When Russia needs to sell oil and gas, India, with a population of 1.4 billion, buys it. And France, according to Emmanuel Macron, “is not going out of business because some other countries can’t resolve their differences.”

Russia and China know the West will not do what it should to stop aggressive behavior. And they know that if bullying is not stopped, it gets worse. They know that dictators can be defeated, that no nation indefinitely supports a psychologically depraved leader. Napoleon. They also know they have in their favor the fact that the West, too, is lawless. Run by “progressives,” people like themselves who believe leaders have the right to circumvent their legislatures whenever they have a “new  deal,” presidential and judicial activism, they  argue that the West does not have the moral high ground.

And they’re right. America, you better reread your Constitution, your Federalist Papers. You need to recommit to your principles.

David Parker is an investor, author, jazz musician, and educator based in San Francisco. His books, “Income and Wealth” and “A San Francisco Conservative,” examine important topics in government, history, and economics, providing a much-needed historical perspective. His writing has appeared in The Economist and The Financial Times.
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