The Journal


Serving the Metropolitan Area


Since 1872


January 1, 2024




By Jack Parnell - retired Congressman and Independent Presidential candidate


Syndicated by Acme Features


          What is the architecture of a national decline? History proffers diverse, dizzying panoplies of destinies... whole civilizations like the Celtic or Native American swiftly and brutally exterminated by military conquest or, perhaps, plague… famine… vulcanism?  Quarrelsome principalities... like the Greek city-states, exhausted by fraternal or civil war, absorbed by Macedonia under Philip and Alexander which (as that movie tells us) was one of them flash-in-the-pan empires, undone by unworthy royal progeny!  (Perhaps a murder of Andrews!)  Them Mongol Khans were another, so was Charlemagne – though he did have the sense to partition his holdings and so avoid the sort of familial infighting that, to give one example, has made Sunni and Shiite Islam the unholy mess it is today.

          Then, there are famous instances of self-destruction... Afghanistan's arrogant Taliban mullahs and ISIS in Iraq, Sadamned and Muammar dragged out of their holes and terminated; Osama, sleepin’ with the fishies.  Napoleon (whose folly of winter invasion of Russia was repeated, to the world's relief, by Adolf Hitler). The Clinton/Bush regimes!   Richard Nixon.  Our former President, a bewildered would-be King of the World on the bow of a Titanic misadventure, bookended by a salt and pepper dynasty of duh … wallowing in self-pity, dithering in the face of disease – yet still plotting restoration, like one of those 16th and 17th century inbred Europotentates.  And waiting in the wings as America juices up for 2024 – the mindless hordes striving to succeed them!

          Finally come the few rare examples of mature civilizations whose epochs of consolidation and content are succeeded by a lengthy process of internal dissolution, though often not without occasional intervals of revival; each, however, weaker than the last.

          Rome is the paramount example, but there are many others... once one knows where to look for them.  Dynastic declines and rebirths in China and in Egypt, the fiery genesis and ultimate fizzle, over less than a century, of Soviet Communism, twisted into anti-Communist neo-fascism. Even, it may be said, the British Empire... though London abides, still, and is a pleasant place, like Amsterdam and Venice; like Samarkand, Babylon (if not Baghdad), Tenochtitlán (if not for the smog and the grime  and the crime). All remain presences in this modern world, yet overrun with ghosts... ghosts who will speak to us, caution us, if we will but listen.

          To scientists, such slow decline is known as "entropy"... that term first encountered in Mister Newton’s  Second Law of Thermodynamics, representing the tendency of all states of matter (and, as I contend, extra-material entities like nations, cultures and systems of belief) to disintegrate, sooner or later, unless kept to course by the application of a stern and visible… yet judicious… guiding hand.

          Today, I believe, the United States of America stands at that crossroads wherein its institutions... its political bodies and economic foundations, its churches, schools and military... stand at grave risk of irreversible decline, unless some strong hand steadies their increasingly random orbital peregrinations, reversing a gradually-ascendant national slovenliness in our works, our culture, our economy, our ambitions and our faith.

          Healthy societies thrive because rules are justly prepared and promulgated, understood by all, and followed (except for those few outliers that are known, hunted down and punished as criminals). Most people work to earn their daily bread... over them loom elites, as dictate and allocate national resources and, of most importance, earn their privileges by providing that proper balance of liberty and security that is veritable poison to entropy. It's the way of this world... indeed, it may be argued that every government (even those proud Swiss and Swedes and other soldiers of the United Nations' so-called "peacekeeping" occupation of America's cities) is built upon ancient systems of extortion. Pay off the local warlord and he'll provide protection from those other guys there, over the hill. He might even make the trains run on time! So we come to call those societies in which the majority… too stupid, meek or beaten down, too satiated with crumbs from their masters' table to object to the undertaker's profit or occasional late train (or Southwest airplane)… civilizations.

          That paramount Roman example of entropic civilization, devolved, over the course of several centuries, to a miasma of disgruntled slaves, cruel and indolent masters outsourcing the necessities of empirical survival to barbarians within the gates and heedless of those other, opportunistic barbarian mercenaries beyond the frontier. When its Senate grew unable to finance the bread and circuses that kept increasingly impoverished nativist citizens distracted and its Legions became a den of foreign-born conspirators, realization dawned upon the rest of the Western world that the accumulated wealth of centuries awaited plundering. An indifferent capital was finally vandalized by Vandals, sacked by Saxons, gobbled up by Goths and the Roman adventure was snuffed out like... well... a Roman candle.

          Over the past several decades, it sometimes seems America has chosen this Roman path to eventual ruin... skipping along, as it were, in sneakers sewn not by Americans, but by children in the gulags of Beijing or the favelas of Sao Paolo to piped-in music fashioned from the creeping chitterings of robots.  And now Don Jones... the average working American (as opposed to the parasitic Dow Joneses) is at risk of being offered the electoral choice of weakness or insanity at the Presidential level... and even worse, down ballot!

          When entropy is forcefully countered, however, the consequence is Renaissance. This is no mere nostalgia for hazy, golden pasts... real or imagined. Those wise men of Italy who gave us the word were, by no means, devoid of flaws or selfish aims... but they exercised discrimination. The Medicis and Borgias, not to mention the occasional daVinci, Michelangelo, Machiavelli, even, plucked what was useful from the Greek and Roman flowerings, discarded what was not and so, in their time (and for a time), made a brave and principled stand against entropy. Ferdinand and Isabella did the same for Spain, Peter and Catherine in Russia, Gandhi and Juarez and Mandela later and elsewhere. I could name Washington and Jefferson and Franklin among the founders of American Renaissance… if now reviled as tyrants, libertines and slaveholders... Lincoln, of course, the Roosevelts and, behind these, the millions beneath who, with mind and breath and muscle, steered our nation away from such shoals as, time and again, threatened to shipwreck the American promise, leaving only debris, adrift on the entropic tide.

          A calico cat-fearing former Attorney General and prospective Presidential candidate exercised the privilege of deriding these now, as "phantoms of lost liberty"... spitting upon their stand, and their sacrifices... and now our Congress of magpies and Malefi-cants disdaining duty to obsess upon investigating and taking revenge upon their rivals, so…

          Consequently, having myself taken the extraordinary step of resigning both position and membership in a fraternity of party whose antecedents are some of these same great (and other not-so-great) men, I have determined to combine with others to form the Coalition for a New Consensus, a privately-funded association of and for persons of independent thought and patriotic sentiments.  The cynics will say that I have written these words because I seek public notoriety, even higher office.  On this occasion, like the broken clock that tells the correct time twice daily, the cynics are probably right!  

          I welcome your attention and pray that readers who find, in these humble paragraphs, some resonance of truth and, further, of necessity, endeavor to join this Coalition as chapters are opened in your various communities. Let us follow the example of that humble Catfish sweeping America's riverbottoms, removing from its environment such decaying toxins and pollutants that, otherwise, would eventually overwhelm and eventually suffocate all semblance of marine life.

          It is not so much to the detriment of a culture that a few men (or women) do evil; rather, it is that the greater majority do nothing.