Book 15 of Ovid’s Metamorphoses contains a little synopsis of his epic, and of his Pythagorean philosophy: “nothing in all the world remains unchanged. All things are in a state of flux, all shapes receive a changing nature. Time itself glides on with constant motion, ever as a flowing river. Neither river nor the fleeting hour can stop its constant course. But, as each wave drives on a wave, as each is pressed by that which follows, and must press on that before it, so the moments fly, and others follow, so they are renewed. The moment which moved on before is past, and that which was not, now exists in Time, and every one comes, goes, and is replaced.”
It is beautiful poetry, and a profound truth about life: as Heraclitus says, no man steps into the same river twice. Change happens whether you like it or not, whether you want it to or not.
That doesn’t mean that change is good. Some change is good, certainly. The entire history of science and technology is one of accumulated knowledge. But in other aspects of life—philosophy, religion, culture—things are not always getting better. Progress is not inevitable; it takes work. Liberty is always only one generation away from extinction, as President Reagan said.
The liberals promised us change, and they have delivered it. What was so convenient about President Barack Obama’s slogan of “Change” was that it could mean anything. It made no promise to be good.
And the change has been unmistakably bad. This past week, we learned that the American economy actually shrunk in the fourth quarter of 2012. If it shrinks again this quarter, we will officially be in another recession. After the worst post-recession recovery since the last liberal to get re-elected with a majority of the popular vote, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, we’re ready to go right back into another recession, and another terrible recovery.
We have the largest national debt of any nation in the history of mankind. That’s certainly a change from the booming postwar years, in which we became the wealthiest and fastest-growing nation in the history of mankind. What a change a generation makes.
Even our most basic institutions are changing. Outgoing Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta announced recently, following a disturbingly characteristic leak from the Obama Administration, that it was now policy that women are to be allowed in combat areas.