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Features

January 2012

Pax Americana

by Keith Windschuttle

On what the world would lose with the decline and fall of the United States.

The specter of decline and fall has long haunted the Western mind. For fifteen hundred years after the fall of Rome, the causes of its collapse have been examined. The most common lesson was that decline was integral to the system, just as death is integral to life: the responsibilities of a great power ultimately generate its own collapse. Edward Gibbon wrote:

the decline of Rome was the natural and inevitable effect of immoderate greatness. Prosperity ripened the principle of decay; the causes of destruction multiplied with the extent of conquest; and as soon as time, or accident, had removed the artificial supports, the stupendous fabric yielded to the pressure of its own weight.

Immanuel Kant agreed: “the laws progressively lose their impact as the government increases its range, and a soulless despotism, after crushing the germs of goodness, will f ...

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Keith Windschuttle's latest book is The White Australia Policy (Macleay Press). His website is www.sydneyline.com.


more from this author

This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 30 January 2012, on page 17

Copyright © 2014 The New Criterion | www.newcriterion.com

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The Walter Duranty Prize for Journalistic Mendacity
On May 5, 2014, The New Criterion and PJ Media presented the second Walter Duranty Prize for Journalistic Mendacity. The award is given to highlight egregious examples of dishonest reporting. Also awarded this year was the Rather, a new award for lifetime achievement in mendacious journalism.
The Duranty Prize is named after Walter Duranty, the New York Times Moscow corresponded in the 1920s and 1930s who whitewashed Joseph Stalin’s forced starvation of the Ukrainians (the Holodomor) and many other aspects of Soviet oppression. Duranty was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1932 for his efforts. It has never been revoked.
Audio copyright Ed Driscoll, www.eddriscoll.com.


Introduction to The Kennedy Phenomenon
Roger Kimball introduces The Kennedy Phenomenon, a conference presented by The New Criterion on Tuesday, November 19.


The Kennedy Phenomenon: "Watching the Kennedy Train-Wreck"
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