Sunday, October 23, 2005

Classics of Conservatism - part XII - Robert Ringer - How You Can Find Happiness During the Collapse of Western Civilization

Click here, here and here for previous Classics of Conservatism recommendations.

This month's Classic of Conservatism book is Robert Ringer's "How You Can Find Happiness During the Collapse of Western Civilization."


Imagine the scenarios that confronted the United States in the late 1970's and early 1980's. We had faced double digit inflation and high unemployment for years. We had endured government created energy crises, foreign policy crises and social upheaval. We faced the loss of our basic industries, such as automobiles, steel and other manufacturing sectors. All of the conditions that swept Ronald Reagan into the White House were fresh in our memories.

These events were not mere inconveniences. The loss of our basic industries and the ongoing economic and social collapse caused many of us to doubt whether the United States would survive. Had Reagan not been elected, I shudder to think what further calamities would have befallen the United States in the 1980's.

But recent events prove that Reagan's election, while helpful, did not permanently resolve the issues that have plagued our country for the past generation. We merely forgot about them for awhile as a new generation of Democrats and leftists sought to return us to their paradise known as the 1970's. As Ringer writes on page 171 (hardback edition):
Human beings are a strange lot. They will scream bloody murder when subjected to discomfort, yet, within a short time of being relieved of their misery, will show little or no interest in devising ways to avoid such discomfort in the future.

Ringer goes on to describe how Americans have failed to prepare for shortages, civil unrest and a host of other serious problems.

Since the publication of "Collapse", numerous American cities, including Los Angeles, New York, Washington, D.C., New Orleans, Houston and Toledo have been temporarily paralyzed by civil unrest, foreign attack, natural disaster or some combination thereof. I chose "Collapse" as this month's book recommendation because so many of these events have occurred recently. The television scenes of mass evacuation, chaos and violence are so unnecessary for those who are prepared for government failure and are not afraid to take steps to protect themselves.

Ringer proposes solutions that each of us can undertake without waiting for others to help us or for the government to adopt one policy or another. Ringer discusses everything from investments to choosing where to live to choosing an occupation (or hobby) that will provide a second skill. The book remains relevant even after more than 20 years.

The number one question in our minds as we watched the recent evacuation of Houston on TV centered on the ability of the government to deal with future crises, including the possibility of a nuclear suitcase bomb. A DHS official was asked (on Nightline) what the government would do in the event of a nuclear attack in a major city. He could not provide an answer other than to say that the Department was learning from the Houston crisis.

That is not good enough. Ringer provides many steps for you to protect yourself without relying on the government. The first such step is to read "How You Can Find Happiness During the Collapse of Western Civilization."

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