Fox News host Tucker Carlson created quite the buzz with his Jan. 2 monologue on the cultural, moral, and existential crisis threatening the very future of America. He eloquently expounded on the increasingly undeniable fact that there is something systemically wrong with how our society functions – a fact becoming readily apparent to more Americans with each passing day.Tucker Carlson
Predictably, Carlson’s stirring and intriguing words were quickly denounced by social-engineering progressives on the left and free-market cultists of the so-called “conservative” center, who both correctly see the championing of immutable human truths as a threat to their amoral materialistic sacraments of “equality” and “gross domestic product.”
While stating that the decline of the American male as family breadwinner has had profound consequences for the well-being of our society as a whole was sure to rile feminists, his denunciation of the blind worship of economic “growth” at the expense of all else had Republican globalists steaming as well. By clinging to their rigid market theories, these automatons completely miss Carlson’s higher point. Americans want to live in a country with shared values and common ties – not a mall filled with dozens of cold, impersonal consumer exchanges each day.
Who Are We?
“How do we want our grandchildren to live,” Carlson asks. “The answer used to be obvious. The overriding goal for America is more prosperity, meaning cheaper consumer goods. But is that still true? Does anyone still believe that cheaper iPhones, or more Amazon deliveries of plastic garbage from China are going to make us happy? They haven’t so far.”
Who would deny that we are currently living in an era of unprecedented crass consumerism?
They’re like mercenaries – in it for the money…
“The goal for America is both simpler and more elusive than mere prosperity,” Carlson said. “It’s happiness. There are a lot of ingredients in being happy: Dignity. Purpose. Self-control. Independence. Above all, deep relationships with other people. Those are the things that you want for your children.”
But our elected officials don’t care about any of this. Why would they? Carlson’s evaluation of these empty suits is spot-on. They’re like mercenaries – in it for the money and just passing through with no attachment to the people they rule.
Stuck in the Middle
What Carlson really mourns is the loss of a stable middle and working class in our nation. He cites similarities between minority-dominated urban hellholes, such as Detroit and Baltimore, and the plight of white rural Americans today. Free market critics would argue that we have more rich people than ever before. That’s true. But we also have an awful lot of poor people. From France in 1789 to Russia in 1917, the timeless recipe for a societal bloodbath has been a number of rich people, even more poor people, and nothing in between.
“[S]ocialism is exactly what we’re going to get, and very soon unless a group of responsible people in our political system reforms the American economy in a way that protects normal people,” Carlson concludes.
All this points to the critical urgency of President Trump’s efforts to bring manufacturing jobs back to the U.S. Working class Americans don’t need a 50-inch flat-screen television. They need solid, reliable jobs that will allow them to marry, raise families, and be a part of healthy neighborhoods and communities.
But even those among us who are working today are largely unhappy. The rise of soulless managerialism in the workplace has deadened human creativity and turned employees into mere economic units, valued only so long as they fit within the corporate budget.
A highly cited Harvard Business Review study found that more than nine out of ten Americans “are willing to trade a percentage of their lifetime earnings for greater meaning at work.”
We have less-secure jobs with fewer benefits that provide little personal satisfaction. Yet we are endlessly told we must consume, consume, consume. This is not a sustainable situation.
As a genuine patriotic populism continues to grow, and we the American people firmly reject the twin materialist lies that are the social justice left and the global economic establishment, there will be a need to restore harmony in our society. The best way to begin is to reject the notion that all progress is inherently good and bigger is always better.
German economist E.F. Schumacher’s 1973 book, Small Is Beautiful, is based on the simple yet radical concept of “economics as if people mattered.” It is even more relevant today than when it first came out 46 years ago.
Schumacher makes a crucial point:
“Nature always…knows where and when to stop. Greater even than the mystery of natural growth is the mystery of the natural cessation of growth. There is measure in all natural things – in their size, speed, or violence….
“…[I]t takes a certain flair of real insight to make things simple again. And this insight does not come easily to people who have allowed themselves to become alienated from real, productive work and from the self-balancing system of nature, which never fails to recognize measure and limitation.”
Our entire society today pushes us away from the natural forces that human beings were created to be a part of. If we are going to salvage this nation, it is not just grand, sweeping reforms that must be enacted. There will be millions of small steps taken by millions of people. You want rebellion? Rejecting the soulless construct of modern life is a revolutionary act.