I have a profound hatred for New Year's eve parties and celebrations. I find the whole business about staying up past midnight, and engaging in forced joviality profoundly irritating. I came to have this hatred largely as the result of my many New Year's eve parties overseas where I had to pretend to wish Soviet and GDR representatives a "Happy New Year!" all the while wishing them and their horrid little regimes the worst possible year.
Of late, my New Year's celebrations consist of dodging invites to parties, staying home quietly, and, if awake, going outside to watch my cars depreciate several thousands of dollars at the stroke of midnight. I long ago gave up making New Year's resolutions as I don't recall keeping any. You see, unlike the "theory" of global climate change, such resolutions are falsifiable. You either lose weight or you don't; you stop smoking or you don't; you give up ice cream or you don't. It's all very binary. Unlike the "theory" of global climate change, you cannot claim that a gain in weight means a loss in weight; or cite the cig hanging from your lips as proof you have given up smoking. It's "yes," or "no"; "0" or "1." I don't want to put myself through that.
That does not mean that I don't, at least briefly, engage in a bit of optimism when the clock ticks past midnight on December 31--once I stop fretting about having to collect all my financial info together to get my tax returns ready. This year is no different. As readers of this petite blog know, I tend to the pessimistic side. Pessimism and libertarianism form my default settings. At times, however, I have to attach an asterisk to both, and tweak my outlook a bit--not as much as those global climate change modelers do, but, a tweak nevertheless. On my political beliefs, for example, I am a libertarian except when it comes to foreign policy and national defense. I want the USA and our allies to have the biggest, baddest, most kick ass militaries on the planet so that our mortal enemies--and they do exist--will think twice or thrice before attacking any of us, and if they do, then I want them to find themselves spending the rest of their miserable short lives hiding in caves, sweating through sleepless nights, listening for the drones and the whoosh of death dealing Hellfire missiles, or fearing the arrival of SEAL or SAS shooters with blood in their eyes.
On pessimism. The overall trend line for the West is not positive. Having just a few years ago defeated Soviet Communism, our greatest existential threat since, well, I don't know, the Golden Horde, perhaps, we now find ourselves defeating ourselves. In an effort to "combat" Islamic crazies, for example, we have, for politically correct reasons, refused to focus our energies on the enemy, i.e., the Islamic crazies, and instead destroy our civil liberties and traditions of freedom. Here in the USA, for example, we have moronic TSA agents strip searching blue-haired grandmas while fearing to do anything approaching "profiling" of the people who pose a real threat. We never had this problem before. When, to mention one example, the FBI went after the Italian mafia, they did not feel it incumbent to arrest a few Swedes to balance the arrest stats. For decades, we had restrictions on Nazis and Communists, and survived quite nicely without feeling it necessary to say things such as "ninety-nine percent of all Nazis and Communists are peace-loving and law-abiding."
Demographics are working against freedom in the West, as well. Europe, Canada, Australia, and the USA have insane immigration policies. To argue that, of course, opens one to charges of racism; I reject that, and as I have written many times, race tells you very little useful about any person. I would argue it in terms of national defense. Western society is worth defending and that means controlling how many people come into our societies, and having a means to determine what they will contribute to or cost our societies. A Japanese electrical engineer presumably brings more to our society than do tens-of-thousands of unskilled third world laborers allegedly coming for non-existent jobs and living on the dole. I see nothing wrong with requiring voters to prove they are citizens, but again, demanding that seems to be a sign of racism--except maybe in California where the state now hands out official ids to illegal aliens making the issue moot.
Glimmers of optimism? A few.
In the US, I found encouraging the strong grassroots' reaction to the nonsensical progressive attack on Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty; the verdict in the absurd Zimmerman shooting trial; Obama's dropping opinion polls; the widespread ridicule heaped on the Obamacare roll-out; and a few other events, e.g., the increased willingness of gun owners to fight back against idiotic "gun control" measures, the conservative rebellion against police abuse.
Overseas, the most encouraging development must be the return of a conservative government in Australia. I hope PM Abbott will turn out as good a PM as I think he will. In addition, our northern neighbor Canada is giving us a remarkable demonstration of how you do economic freedom; Alberta and Saskatchewan are now considered the freest areas in North America.
Folks, let's face it, when we talk about the "West" we really mean the Anglosphere. For a variety of reasons, the English-speaking world is the core of the free world. For most of the 20th century, the USA formed the core of the core. That is not true anymore. Both Australia and Canada have passed us in the quest for freedom and in protecting it. We need to catch up--although Canada still has serious problems with hate speech legislation which I pray we do not emulate. I hope we reaffirm our own commitment to freedom, especially to economic liberty which means cutting the size and scope of government.
Without making it a formal resolution, I will try to fight my pessimist tendencies. It would help, of course, to see a massive rejection of the progressive agenda next November--too much to hope for such change?