We begin this brief post with the requisite message of congratulations to our many American friends and supporters. Today is your day—and while there are some among our readers on this side of the ‘herring pond’ who continue to hold on to the monarchist ideals and the worldview of the ancien régime, and who simply cannot understand why anyone would celebrate the birth of a country born of revolution, we have no such reservations. We are more pragmatic. And whatever bloodshed and sins may have resulted from the American Revolution against the British Crown, and regardless of the influence of Enlightenment ideas on the American Founders, we recognize that something … exceptional happened when the United States of America was created ex nihilo, and we respect the efforts it has made over nearly 250 years to establish a Republic founded on principles that uphold what many of us refer to as ‘ordered liberty’.
To be sure, such a phrase no longer means anything to most Americans. Given what we have seen happening on the streets of the principal cities of the U.S. in recent weeks, we wonder if anyone has any idea anymore what “order” even means. Instead, disorder and chaos, in the name of self-expression and protest, reign supreme. What is clear is that the meaning of “liberty” has been twisted and deformed so far beyond recognition, that it now means nothing more than license to do whatever one wants, regardless of consequences—to one’s self, to one’s community, or to the polity. This is not liberty; it is libertinism. And it is not a hallmark of an advanced civilization but of a society in decline, a society on the return path to barbarism.
Despite the depths to which a once great country like the U.S. has plunged—culturally and societally, that is, because we are not making a political argument here—today is a day that we should respectfully recognize the efforts and sacrifices of generations of Americans—both native-born as well as those who were the products of successive waves of immigration.
We hasten to point out that the difference between immigration in previous centuries and immigration today is profound: Those arriving on the shores of the American Republic a hundred years ago aspired to do great things and to become great citizens, in the process making the country great. And the path to such personal and national ‘greatness’ was through the prism of the cultural ideal of ‘the American gentleman’, an ideal now so woefully lost, due to decades of attacks by cultural Marxists, that is has been reduced to a caricature. Today’s new immigrants have no such expectations. The suggestion that people should try to assimilate into a greater national ideal has become offensive, and upon arrival, new immigrants are told by progressives and by ‘woke’ culture that all former cultural ideals were racist and exploitative. The very idea of becoming an American citizen, regardless of race, creed, ethnicity, etc., has thus been completely shattered. And Americans today are living with the consequence of this (witness: the Antifa and BLM riots, and the iconoclasm sweeping the American nation).
But on a day like today, we should not focus on such dark, depressing, dreary facts (though we should certainly keep them in mind, for there is a struggle that is unfolding rapidly before our very eyes, both in the U.S. and in the West in general, and we will have a lot of work to do if we are to conserve anything). Today is a day that Americans and their friends should think about ‘American Greatness’, and should remember what is still possible—as long as American patriots are willing to fight for it; as long as citizens are willing to sacrifice for it; as long as all who think of themselves as ‘conservatives’ are willing to collaborate, regardless of nationality or geographic location. All of us, not just in the U.S. but in the West, have to resist and push back the destructive forces that seem to be upon us now.
So, we heartily extend our congratulations to our American friends, wishing them another century of their experiment in democracy—and hoping for a future in which they, as a vibrant political community and nation, may rebound, rebuild, and perhaps even return to its former greatness as a Republic.
We end this post with a partial listing of a few resources which readers interested in the American Founding and the Declaration of Independence may find useful.
“The Declaration of Independence and the Birth of America”
Jack Miller Center
(Provides links to various resources that explore and explain the Declaration and its history, as well as its theoretical and political legacy)
BOOK / PDF
Roots of the Republic: American Founding Documents Interpreted
Stephen L. Schechter (ed.)
Lanham, Colorado: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 1990
BOOK / PDF
The American Founding: Core Documents
Gordon Lloyd (ed.)
Ashland, Ohio: Ashbrook Press, 2017
DISSERTATION / PDF
“The American Philosophical Foundations of the Chilean Free Market Revolution”
July 25, 2014
PAPER / PDF
“The American Founding and the Culture Wars”
“The Declaration of Independence and American Democracy”
A presentation by Charles R. Kesler of the Claremont Institute
October 16, 2008