It's true that the "good old days" weren't always good, but we should also remember that our belief that we're completely superior to previous generations of Americans doesn't even remotely square with reality. It's fine to pat ourselves on the back for being wealthier, more educated and considerably less racist than we used to be, but we shouldn't lose sight of the fact that those less educated, backward people in their antiquated clothes were head and shoulders better than we are in a myriad of other ways. We should remember that the real problem isn't having a problem; it's having a...
and outgo get out of balance and stay that way - even though there are always endless attempts to wish it away by legislation. But I started looking for little signs and what some call silly-season symptoms. I want to mention one of the obvious symptoms: Violence. Muggings. Sniping. Arson. Bombing. Terrorism of any sort. Riots of course - but I suspect that little incidents of violence, pecking way at people day after day, damage a culture even more than riots that flare up and then die down. Oh, conscription and slavery and arbitrary compulsion of all sorts and imprisonment without bail and without speedy trial - but those things are obvious; all the histories list them.
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