John Derbyshire has a review of Pat Buchanan's new book Suicide of a Superpower: Will America Survive to 2025? in Taki's Magazine. [The Melancholy Roar of Retreat, October 20, 2011. Derbyshire is, of course, the melancholy author of We Are Doomed, well as an article titled Will the United States Survive Until 2022?, which makes him slightly more pessimistic than Pat.
"Pat is a great reactionary. He came of age in the late 1950s, the very peak of the USA’s Golden Age. In the world at large, our nation was undisputed Top Dog. Our navies patrolled the seas unhindered. Our armies guarded the frontiers of what we unashamedly called—because it was—the “free world.” Our nuclear forces threatened utter destruction to any challenger. Our culture, from movies and novels to pop songs and comic strips, was eagerly consumed everywhere it was allowed entry. When my family in provincial England acquired our first TV set in 1957, the first thing to emerge from the screen snow, after half an hour of dad’s fiddling and muttered cursing, was an imported episode of Adventures of Superman—“truth, justice, and the American way!”
The USA was unified as never before. Thirty-five years of very limited immigration, mostly from Europe, with an assist from economic depression and war’s shared hardships, had thoroughly “cooked” us into a coherent nation with a single language and culture. Demographically we were 90 percent white and 10 percent black, with other races at trace-element levels. Racial persecution was declining fast, capable black citizens were rising into the middle class, and equality of opportunity seemed to be just over the horizon. There was well-paid work for anyone willing to punch a time clock.
It is hard enough for any of us to progress in outlook from the viewpoint of our salad days—how much harder for someone such as Pat, whose social and political awareness emerged into daylight at high noon in that glorious summer! "
Then it gets back to the part where we're doomed. I'm not happy about doom—I prefer the "Say Not The Struggle Naught Availeth" attitude. But these days I have to admit that the doomsaying business is looking up.