(This article first appeared at The American Thinker on 01/30/2010.)
Barack Obama and his allies a gauche would like to model our national economy after that of the Social Democrat statopias of Western Europe, with the model of France being a particularly attractive model for leftists. A reading of the auto-biography of Thomas Merton, The Seven Storey Mountain (Harcourt, Brace & Company 1948) suggests that the American national psyche has already gravitated toward the francophilic.Merton spent the better part of his life in cloistered monasteries, practicing a mixture of fierce Christian faith and a meditative practice that drew from the ways of Eastern spirituality. As a child, he lived in France and came to revile it and the change in the character of the French people as their sense of cultural smugness blurred their sense of place in both the world and the universe.
"..I suppose the most shocking thing about France is the corruption of French spirituality into flippancy and cynicism; of French intelligence into sophistry; of French dignity and refinement into petty vanity and theatrical self-display; of French charity into a disgusting fleshly concupiscence, and of French faith into sentimentality or puerile atheism." (pg 51 TSSM)If one were to substitute the words "America" and American for the words, "France" and "French," one would have a clear picture of the dissolution of the American character, particularly as represented in the politically correct worlds of academia and journalism.Only a return to a focus on educational principles grounded in the thorough study of history, religion and the humanities can prevent our continued slide into the economic and social morass currently inhabited by the nearly bankrupt, demographicly dead-end states of Western Europe.