Thomas Sowell

This was an enormously important secret, especially during the early days of the war, when Japan had overwhelming naval superiority in the Pacific and was seeking to destroy the remnants of the American Pacific fleet that had not already been destroyed in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

Fortunately for this country, the Japanese did not read the Chicago Tribune or did not believe it. In other words, the secret was out, but it was not out very far. There are degrees of secrecy, as with everything else.

New York Times has spread the secret of American financial surveillance of terrorists around the world, undermining or destroying this method of tracking them, as well as undermining the cooperation that can be expected in the future from countries fearful of political or terrorist repercussions.

Patriotism is not chic in the circles of those who assume the role of citizens of the world, whether they are discussing immigration or giving aid and comfort to the enemy in wartime.

The decline and fall of the Roman Empire was as much due to the internal disintegration of the ties that bind a society together as to the assaults of the Romans' external enemies.

The pride of being a Roman citizen was destroyed by cheapening that citizenship by giving it to too many other people. The sense of duty and loyalty eroded among both the elites and the masses.

Without such things, there could be no Roman Empire. Ultimately, without such things, there can be no United States of America. In neither case have tangible wealth and power been enough to save a country or a civilization, for the tangibles do not work without the intangibles.


Thomas Sowell

Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institute and author of The Housing Boom and Bust.

Creators Syndicate