The Collapse of Western Civilization, Part IV

Posted on April 4, 2018 by Robert Ringer


As noted in Part III of this article, the premise of the anything-goes society is that people have a right to have their desires fulfilled, which brings to mind Margaret Thatcher’s simple but profound insight, “The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money.”

In the early stages of the moral revolution, people’s desires were fulfilled primarily through direct taxation, but, as the British discovered in the late 18th century, onerous taxes are an invitation to rebellion.  Thus, governments long ago discovered the efficacy of creating paper money with no inherent value as a way of making additional taxes invisible.

While holders of U.S. dollars were no doubt startled when FDR confiscated their gold in 1933, gradualism eventually won out and a new “socially enlightened” generation ignored the fact that paper dollars were supposed to be IOU’s for real money (i.e., gold).  As a result, today’s dollars are really “IOU‑Nothings.”

The devolution of the dollar is quite easy to follow.  The 1928 paper dollar bore the inscription “The United States of America will pay to the bearer on demand one dollar.  Redeemable in gold on demand at the United States Treasury.”

By 1963, however, the inscription on the paper dollar had been changed to read, “This note is legal tender for all debts public or private.”  Translation:  “This piece of paper is money simply because the government says it is.”  Note that when the dollar was backed by gold, it was not necessary for the government to state it was “legal tender,” because throughout history people have always known that gold is real money.

The creation of IOU‑Nothing money is called monetary inflation, which is an increase in the amount of paper currency in circulation.  By injecting ever-greater doses of fiat currency into the economy, more and more money is made available to people on government programs.  These recipients then use the newly created money to bid for the same goods and services as people who actually earn their money.

This bidding causes a chain reaction that forces prices and wages to rise throughout the economy, and it is the increase in prices that most people refer to as “inflation.”  Technically speaking, of course, it is actually “price inflation.”

The slumbering public is kept sedated through a daily stream of intentional disinformation that ignores the distinction between monetary inflation (the cause) and price inflation (the result).  People hear only about “inflation” and follow the government’s wild‑goose chases in search of the evil entity that is causing prices to rise.

The attractiveness of the inflation theft is that, as noted, it’s invisible.  When people begin to get restless because of high taxes, monetary inflation is a way for government to steal from them without their being aware of it.

Best of all, monetary inflation provides the government with endless scapegoats as it frantically pretends to “fight inflation.”  (Are you old enough to remember Gerald Ford’s silly WIN buttons?)

In such a morally bankrupt environment, where government’s use of force and fraud has achieved moral credibility, it’s understandable why a civilization disintegrates.  When people know that the fruits of their labor can be taken from them by force, and that the theft will be accepted as a moral action, the gates to an anything‑goes society swing wide open.

Once the use of force and fraud to achieve one’s ends is not only condoned but encouraged, the moral dominoes quickly begin to fall.  It then becomes easy to give a moral stamp of approval to virtually any other action previously thought to be immoral or obscene.

After all, if one vice is acceptable, why not another … and another … and another?  It’s only a matter of time until all other standards and values begin to crumble.

Thus, it is not surprising that we are surrounded by madness and contradiction.  Encouraged by the might‑is‑right philosophy of lynch‑mob rule, people have come to believe they have a right to be rewarded just for being alive.  The natural consequence of such perverse thinking is a total disregard for the lives and property of others.

As each new generation grows up under the umbrella of the desires‑are‑rights morality, people’s desires, predictably, increase.  From elementary school through college, government‑educated instructors “help” young minds make the transition from desires to needs to rights.

As more and more young adults come to accept desires as rights, and as each person’s desires continue to increase, ever greater amounts of wealth must be taken from productive members of society in order to fulfill those desires.  Obviously, this motivates still more people to become “needy” and less productive, thus the cycle becomes self-perpetuating.

Unfortunately, all the force and fraud government can bring to bear is not enough to appease a society that has reached the anything‑goes stage.  When politicians can no longer satisfy the insatiable demands of voters, those same voters become indignant and proclaim that their “rights are being violated.”

What a remarkable evolution:  People who in previous decades were poor and humble are now poor and militant!

As the situation deteriorates, these people come to realize that there is strength in numbers and increasingly group themselves together.  Each group becomes ever more hostile as it demands that its “rights” be guaranteed — i.e., that the government employ force against other members of society to gain their “cooperation” in helping to fulfill the desires of the group’s members.

At that point, lynch‑mob rule is beyond control, as each group demands that the lynching apparatus be used on behalf of its members.  As productivity rapidly decreases and demands continue to increase, there is simply not enough wealth to go around.

And as people’s desires fail to be met, they become increasingly angry and, ultimately, turn to violence.  At some point, either the existing government has to step in and impose martial law or a new government arises to suppress social chaos.

Unfortunately, there is overwhelming historical evidence that when a social order breaks down and anarchy and pandemonium reign, both citizens and elected officials not only yield to dictatorial power, they welcome it.  History repeats itself, because human nature genetically repeats itself generation after generation.

Austrian economist and Nobel laureate F. A. Hayek explains man’s stubborn attraction to self‑deception this way:  “It seems almost as if we did not want to understand the development which has produced totalitarianism because such an understanding might destroy some of the dearest illusions to which we are determined to cling.”

Today, the dearest illusion to which citizens of Western countries cling is the belief that they have a right to have their desires satisfied by others.  Which is why it is absolutely imperative the United States begin to dismantle its anything-goes culture.

Will President Trump have the courage to lead the charge?  We shall see.  But until and unless the public is told, in bold, unapologetic terms, that people do not have a right to have their desires fulfilled by others, the collapse of our culture will continue unabated.

America escaped a totalitarian bullet during its eight years of desires‑are‑rights thinking under Obama, but the next time it won’t be so lucky.

Robert Ringer

Robert Ringer is an American icon whose unique insights into life have helped millions of readers worldwide. He is also the author of two New York Times #1 bestselling books, both of which have been listed by The New York Times among the 15 best-selling motivational books of all time.

41 responses to “The Collapse of Western Civilization, Part IV”

  1. Kevin says:

    Robert, I think your analysis is most helpful. Interestingly, Francis Schaeffer wrote this almost prophetic book back in the 1970s:

    Schaeffer places the phenomenon of cultural disintegration within a rather larger framework. Worth reading!

  2. Rick G. says:

    Yes Robert, I do remember those silly WIN (Whip Inflation Now) buttons that were out and circulated during the Gerald Ford administration. As a former button collector, I have one. What a joke! And yes, there are dimwits out there who actually believed that wearing one would make our economic crisis better.

    Currently, we are seeing the results of the disasterous Nobama monetary inflation, commonly referred to as "quantitative easing", which is manifesting itself as today's astronomical prices of goods and services in the marketplace. And the average Joe, "Joe Sixpack" continues to stagger around mentally inebriated through life, thinking that life is a lark, everything is beautiful in its own way, while shelling out mountains of hard-earned worthless paper dollars and getting less and less in return to show for it, proclaiming he got a "bargain" when in reality he got the royal shaft. The government's goal is to keep the populace dumb so its disasterous economic policies continue unabated. And it has done an excellent job in doing that!

  3. larajf says:

    As I've said before, I hope we can tip it back. I hope it's not too late.

    • Peter Guske says:

      My tepid question is: Are there still enough of us? I'm not sure I have the courage to answer

      • larajf says:

        I think yes! I've met enough young folk these days who are tired of the corruption.

        • donde esta says:

          Hopefully, not the same young folk who're currently being cynically herded into demanding the repeal of the Second Amendment, the true reason for which is well explained by this series of articles.

          • larajf says:

            LOL definitely not. As with most thing, the media focuses on a minority rather than the majority.

      • Jean says:

        I agree with larajf. I do a lot of counseling with millennials, and I've found that when they are offered some common sense without any political label attached, they embrace it! This may be the first time they've heard things like, "You own your life, and you are responsible for the outcomes of your choices." And when you explain that their ability to choose gives them power, it's like you've opened a door they never knew existed. We oldsters can re-educate enough people to create that remnant that will appreciate and defend western civilization.

  4. Peter Guske says:

    Governments create the problem(monetary and price inflation) and then they "sell" the cure; totalitarianism. This does sound eerily familiar. In my profession its called "Make up a diagnosis, then sell the cure." hhhmmm…
    Great explanation of inflation being a hidden tax. It is sad that after formal courses in economics, I did not understand this basic premise until after reading Restoring The American Dream, years ago.
    Does Mr Trump understand this? I can only hope so. (But rest assured Mr Kudlow does.) In any case, DJT is all we got.
    Oh…wait a minute… did someone say Trey Gowdy/Tim Scott '20 or was it Tim Scott/Trey Gowdy '24. I can't remember…or maybe I was dreaming :)

    • Rick G. says:

      Restoring the American Dream is a good book for President Trump to read. I don't think it would help the run-of-mill politically expedient Republicans that much. They are more worried about keeping their political seat warm than what is good for the country and its people. As for the Demopublican Party, well, what can I say? Maybe, The Communist Manifesto would be a good choice for them.

  5. Floram says:

    Moving towards socialism is a slow but steady process akin to boiling a lobster that jumps out of hot water but sits still in slowly warming water until he boils and dies. Likewise, societies do not notice the danger of socialism until all are poor and many die. We must learn from History. A recent example is Venezuela where Chavez was elected by promising heaven which all socialists do. Bernie got high votes in his home state. Why do people believe politicians that promise paradise that can never exist?

  6. Gordon says:

    Be careful Robert! Someone is bound to feel that you are engaging in hate speech here. I'm not sure who it's directed toward, but there are a lot of people who would begin to feel faint as they read your words, and would need time in a safe place to recover before they go on the attack.

    • Jean says:

      Those people would never come to this site!!! It's too scary for that kind to imagine a world where people don't march in lockstep with their beliefs.

      • Gordon says:

        Good point. For most who worry about hate speech, Robert's site might as well be part of the Dark Web. They live in their bubbles, and here we are definitely outside them.

  7. Ellis Baxter says:

    /Users/efbd27/Desktop/Scan 42.jpg

    I hope the above is viewable it is a scan of a 1923 large style one dollar bill that says' This certifies that there is on deposit in the Treasury of the United States of America one silver dollar payable to the bearer on demand."

    A Silver Dollar at the time Had 77.0440 of an oz of silver. and it was 90% silver and 10% Copper. This was based on the value of Silver was at the time at $1.29 per oz.

    Understand that the way in 1923 that money was injected into the economy was to print the money and use it to purchase Silver or Gold. This meant that all money had to pass through the mining industry. It, of course, does not matter in theory how much silver and gold you buy this way. The reality was that with Gold at $20.69 per oz the country had the worst shifts in inflation ever! Some as much as 18% in a year. This was reduced when the value of Gold was set at $35.00 per oz. It is a shock to many that this was set and institutionally set the international gold standard by John M. Keynes. The lowest inflation was after the international gold standard was revoked in 1971, it was retired in 1971, & 1972 but never slowed down the drain on US gold supply. So there is the end of the gold standard. Also, there was never enough gold to cover the outstanding dollars. At best about 40% was the most gold to back the dollar. The most gold ever held by the US Treasury was about 750,000,000 oz. Today there is about 380,000,000 of gold held by the FRB.

    • Scott Theczech says:

      If I may please rephrase part of your third paragraph; This was based on the value of a silver certificate denominated $1 was, at the time, at 1 oz silver coin.

  8. RealitySeeker says:

    Now that Bitcoin and other digital "money" have been discovered there's no need to worry about finances anymore, because money is created out of thin air…. We can pay for everything. Amazon's drones will deliver it right to our door. We won't even need to drive ourselves anymore, because self-driving card will do that for us. Soon, we won't even need the Mexicans for cheap labor, because robots will work for us. We can all stay home and play videogames all day long… Playing videogames is also a "right"…… So just pop a few more opioids, and relax….

    It's a "Brave New World".

  9. kauai_mike says:

    Grow those tomatoes folks and get yourselves a big dog cause s*** is about to hit the fan!

  10. Stephan F says:

    “Will President Trump have the courage to lead the charge?” Perhaps.

    But the more relevant question we should ask is, does he have the ethics & moral values to lead the charge? Answer: Of course not.

    People are simply deluding themselves if they actually believe he has more than a tiny inkling of these traits. You see the Donald is really just another typical hybrid idiot savant we find so common operating in the modern corrupt economy. He’s cut from the same cloth much like those other great crony-capitalists of our day, those pillars of morality like Musk, Gates, Imelt, Blankfein & Dimon. It’s true they all possess a semblance of genius for making lots of money, but then so did Bernie Madoff. Do we really want these types of people “leading the charge?” I think we need to be careful what we wish for.

    I really had hoped that Trump would be more than a typical two-faced political scoundrel that freedom loving folks had grown so agonizingly tired of all these years. Ahh but as usual it turned out he was nothing but a Trojan Horse marching off to Wash D.C. to continue the very same policies as Clinton, Bush & Obama. He has become exactly what I feared & suspected all along, just another corrupt soulless hypocrite.

    Btw, this 4-part series is just outstanding, & refreshingly nostalgic. Well done Robert.

    • Peter Guske says:

      …maybe I missed it, but you would suggest who for president?
      your words about DJT ring true, especially when comparing him to a theoretical ideal man (who does not exist).Capitalism/free markets are not perfect either, but I would ask: "compared to what?".
      This same question is a richly deserved one with regard to DJT. By contrast, acccomplishment and yes—even morality (as judged by "doing what you promised in the campaign"–what a "quaint" concept), he stacks up pretty good in my book.

  11. Jim Hallett says:

    The Federal Reserve Act of 1913 continues to be the worst disaster for America, and allows the criminals in DC and the European elites to fleece the poor chickens in the hen house. It alone does not answer the moral decline of our culture (the spirit of the 60's was a major contributor to that), but the progressive mantra of everybody is equal and has the RIGHT to anything they desire, even if stolen from a productive person, leads to no values, no code of civil behavior, and surely no responsibility for one's actions or station in life. The fairly recent expressions of hatred toward Western Civilization, the greatest ever, should cause us all to be on gguard for the collapse, and to do all in our individual power to reverse the tide. Neither DT or any outside force is going to rescue us, but as individuals we CAN make a difference, and take a stand for liberty and moral behavior, NOT aggressing against others, but staunchly defending what is ours to defend!

    • Rick G. says:


    • Ellis Baxter says:

      I gave up trying help people understand that the FRB was a one-way trip we need to remove the dual mandate and that would help. I understand that many think it is controlled by black forces. This is not the truth. I have spent 20 years working on the issue of USA Money Issue. The worst disaster was the 17th amendment!

  12. Rick G. says:

    Totally agree!

  13. Rocketman says:

    Gold is the currency of kings, silver is the currency of gentlemen, copper is the currency of the worker and debt is the currency of slaves.

    • Scott Theczech says:

      You may be referring to the quote by Norm Franz:
      Gold is the money of kings; silver is the money of gentlemen; barter is the money of peasants; but debt is the money of slaves."
      Norm Franz

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