Byte-Size History – Part 8

The Oil Crisis of 1973 underscored the environmental movement, down-sizing, and a general retreat from what man once called “progress”. Were the world’s natural resources running out? Many thought so. Or were they simply (in the case of oil) being used by our enemies to jerk us around. Recession, “Staglation”, and a low GNP followed the oil crisis. Lavish mass comsumption seemed to be over along with irresponsible complacency. Must we down-size our automobiles or dump them entirely and ride mass transit or use bikes or horses or walk? Would we drill for more oil in this country or resign ourselves to the lifestyle of our forefathers? Or would we trade blood for oil on the battlefield with OPEC nations? Now some 36 years later, these questions have not gone away.

Spengler’s 1914 book, “Decline of the West” shows history as a cycle of growth, maturity, decline. Spengler assessed western civilization as being in the decline part of the cycle even then. He believed that England and France were heirs of the 18th Century Enlightenment, concerned only with cool rationalization and things outside themselves. Germany, however, appeared to him to have a powerful sense of “We”. Because of that, he projected that in any future conflict, it would be Germany which would win. In fact, Germany lost in both world wars which would seem to prove his thesis wrong.

However, I believe Spengler was wrong only in assuming that France and England did not have a strong sense of “We.” I bring this up in 2009 because I am hoping for a powerful sense of “We” in the (still sovereign) United States. The great American “We” must not knuckle under to socialism, globalism, retreat from our moral values or Constitution. There can be diversity within unity and must be for us to survive this crisis in tact. We must not retreat from the ideals of progress, prosperity, or a strong work ethic rewarded by success. We must take personal responsibility for our faults and attempt to correct them, but we must not call prosperity greed or reward for our endeavors selfishness.

I am still optimistic. As a born again Christian I know that God is sovereign and will always look out for His children. Still there are many in this country who reject God and His principles. That gives me an uneasy feeling about where this country is headed. I do not think we, as a nation, have to go on the condemned list unless we condemn ourselves without realizing we are doing so. I want to see us remain one nation under God in more than just a line in the Preamble to the Constitution. I pray daily for revival, good government, righteous laws (and abominations such a Rowe vs. Wade struck down). I believe God is a rewarder of them who diligently seek him.

That idea flies in the face of many cultural shifts we have seen in the 20th and 21st Centuries (as formerly discussed in these blogs). If there is any doubt as to whether these cultural shifts were good ones, look where we are now. Enough said.