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American Jenga

April 4, 2011

Did you ever play the game Jenga®?  It starts with a tower of wooden blocks where the object is to pull out the lower blocks and stack them on top without toppling the entire structure.  It seems to me that there are forces in our country that have been playing a game of Jenga for quite some time, albeit one with a twist.

In this game of American Jenga the tower represents our civilization, with the lower blocks being the foundational principles and values upon which our particular society has been built. Values and principles rooted in the Judeo-Christian tradition such as all men are created equal, each individual being endowed with God-given rights, federalism, free markets, capitalism, limited government, state’s rights, free speech, freedom of religion, freedom of assembly, a free press, the right to bear arms—to name just a few.

As in physical matter, the Second Law of Thermodynamics “commonly known as the Law of Increased Entropy,” appears to apply in human matters as well.   While the nature of our foundation remains the same, the quality of our remembrance of it and our diligence in passing it on to the next generation has gradually deteriorated over time.  As the universe had a beginning and seems destined to end, so too, does a civilization.

The list is a long one: the ancient dynasties of Egypt and China, Mesopotamia, Persia, Babylon, Inca, Aztec, Greeks, Roman, Ottomans, Prussia, USSR, and on it goes—the inexorable rise and fall of empires, cultures, and nations.  Why, do you think, there exists this impression that it can’t happen here? Is it merely a matter of each generation taking for granted that what they have has always been there, as the normal course of human adaptation?  Is it arrogance, hubris, or ignorance?  And what causes these civilizations to cease to exist?  Of that, libraries are replete.

Our civilization has been basking in the glow of our founding for over 200 years—not long in the course of history.  However as with all entropy, “as usable energy [or knowledge and experience] is irretrievably lost, disorganization, randomness and chaos increase.”  I believe many Americans intuitively sense this.  We can even witness it in events that are becoming more prevalent each day.

Take for instance the rise in police killings—up 40% in 2010 with a 20% increase so far this year—or how about the ongoing practice of picking and choosing which laws to enforce and when, as in immigration, sanctuary cities, Black Panther election intimidation, etc.  Apparently Lady Justice’s blind has been slipping for some time now, along with her scales being shifted based on who is in power or how much cash is piled on.  Not exactly the “liberty and justice for all” we aspire to.

Our failing educational system— “According to one study, only half of the high school students in the nation’s 50 largest cities are graduating in four years, with a figure as low as 25% in Detroit.”  In the 2009 PISA, the US ranked 14th in reading, 17th in science, and 25th in math.  This in spite of, “spend[ing] more per student than any nation in the PISA study except Luxembourg.”

The undermining of the family through the ease of divorce, over sexualizing of our children through media and entertainment, advancement of the radical homosexualist agenda to render the institution of marriage meaningless, abortion on demand, and on and on it goes. Along with an unrelenting assault upon our natural rights codified to limit government power in our Constitution, which as the ink fades, so it seems does our freedom.

Do we really believe we can radically alter or even destroy these foundational building blocks of our civilization and have the structure continue to endure? Only a fool—or a Progressive—could be so blind.  Lacking a serious and concerted effort to reinvigorate the principles and values of our founding, I believe we will inevitably suffer the same fate as so many who have gone before.  So let us end this game, before it ends us.

Copyright 2011 Julie Schmidt.

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