America the Beautiful

Alan Zendell, June 12, 2017

Mountains and huge institutions rarely collapse all at once. Under constant battering by opposition and internal decay, they erode a little at a time until, when their once-strong foundations have rotted to the core, they come crashing down.

We saw it happen to the Soviet Union almost thirty years ago. In retrospect the warning signs were clear. Despite the seemingly overwhelming power of the Kremlin, the satellite Baltic nations began demanding independence in the late 1980s. In the face of mounting revolutionary pressure at home, the Soviet Union’s resources were insufficient to stop the tide of history. The Berlin Wall came down in 1989, and one by one, subject states broke away. Even with all those portents, when the world woke up one morning in 1991 to find that the Soviet Union no longer existed, most of us were stunned.

Erosion is slow but implacable…

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