Wednesday, August 6, 2008

"Leave the United States" Redux (Wendy McElroy)

Wendy McElroy follows up on her post suggesting it's time to move out of the country, and says the sense of individualism that once permeated this land is now gone:

An earlier blog post “Leave the United States if you can” in which I urge people to move their persons and wealth out of America has stirred controversy and prompted email inquiries. I want to answer one inquiry in a public manner: namely, “why have you become so pessimistic.”

By nature, I am not a pessimist. Nor am I currently pessimistic about my own life or the prospect of freedom in other areas of the world. But I see little reason for any optimism about freedom or prosperity within the US over the next several years; instead, I see the rise of a totalitarianism that is unparalleled in my experience. I know many people think nothing has fundamentally changed State-side; they believe the economy or society is just going through a bad patch. Perhaps people feel this way because they wake up every morning at the same time beside the same person, they eat a customary breakfast with coffee the way they like it and, then, drive well-known roads to work. Thus, life may be more stressful but it is basically unchanged, and anyone who warns them that a slow car accident is heading their way is an alarmist.

By contrast, I believe the United States has fundamentally changed since 9/11. Although many people’s lives follow the same routine as last year and the year before, I believe the political, economic and social framework that allowed Americans to be the freest and richest people in the world is now gone.

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