Many are asking why America is unraveling. The question is not surprising. A long process of polarization has existed between ever more dissonant factions. However, we avoided a breakup. Most people did not want to abandon the idea of America outright. No one wanted out—at least not too far out. As long as something could be gained by staying in the union, most were content to remain and bicker—until now.
Something has changed this election cycle as we face an existential struggle, unlike any seen before. Aided by multiple crises, things are fast unraveling, and this time it seems for real.
The American Cooperative Union
The American system has always been a flexible model of cooperation. It tolerates a lot of variety and viewpoints. This cooperative union is based on a consensus in which everyone agrees to get along, following a few rules called the Constitution. It depends upon a vaguely Christian moral code that keeps things honest and favors economic growth.
This America is built around a narrative, full of imagery and rich in expression. The result is an economic dynamo, unmatched in history, which produces material well-being for the population. When it works, it is like a well-primed machine that delivers the goods.
The problem is that this flexible system tends to conserve the mechanisms that keep it running. It imposes a certain discipline and effort upon the population. In this time of overall decadence, the left finds its moral framework restrictive and imposing. It wants this conservative America to change—to become more liberal and progressive like everyone else.
America has shifted to the left over the years. However, it has not moved fast enough for liberals. Even in its present decadent state, the system remains intact with all its trappings. Too many people are comfortable within the American system and resist the siren song of leftist utopias.
The Left Wants Fragmentation
This impasse is causing an unraveling. The radical left’s program cannot co-exist with the present American system. With each election cycle, the right has defied Marxist determinism and its “irreversible march of history,” according to which a conservative America should no longer exist. This reality has generated hatred and desperation that is now found in the delirium of the present public discourse. An impatient radical left now kicks and pushes the liberal establishment towards its programs.
Thus, the radical left does not wish to replace or reform the American system. Now it wants to shatter, fragment and smash it in all its manifestations. Leftists exploit every heterogeneous point of friction from abortion to gun rights to race. They politicize and weaponize sports, bathrooms and pronouns.
They question the system’s narratives, symbols and certainties. The hypersexualized liberal culture tramples upon the moral code that fragilely survives its cultural offensive. Anything to break the unity of an America is now allowed. Raw emotions explode at the Antifa-led protests in Portland, the cancel culture on campus or the woke discourse of the liberal establishment.
Targeting Structures and Institutions
The left wants to destroy structures, narratives and institutions. For the left, these things are unbearable restraints that undergird the American system and keep it running. Concepts like patriotism must be overthrown. Fixed identity is oppressive and must be made fluid and subjective. Even sports are repurposed to favor this new wave of cultural destruction.
The radical left does not make this effort to influence its militants since they are already camped just outside the walls of the American system they loathe. Radical leftists use the system against itself to further the goals of their revolution. They want to bring down the system.
Thus, the unrest targets those who are still comfortable inside the American system and refuse to move fast enough to the left. The left introduces rage and discontent—formerly, a fringe trademark—making it mainstream. By shattering the system, they employ the best way to destroy a comfort zone: They make it uncomfortable.
A Reign of Uncertainty
The massive post-COVID chaos accelerates the great unraveling. A toxic election cycle, a pandemic, economic upheaval and racial unrest have turned everything upside down. Business is upended, education disrupted, and officials ban religious services. Everything that brought certainty to people’s lives is now in question.
Liberal governors and mayors impose a “new normal,” allowing unrest to reign and terrorize the population. COVID rules and restrictions create chaos and confusion. The fast (and fake) news cycle keeps everyone full of anxiety.
In the old American system, such crises could be addressed by everyone working together. Under the new system, a reign of uncertainty dominates where nothing is defined, and anything is possible. The old American system no longer brings prosperity and comfort but stress and depression.
Indeed, the radical left is taking what is left of the American system and turning it into a hell. They would like to see Americans scattering everywhere, desperate to get away from the inflicted pain. They have prepared and set traps for fleeing Americans and hope to spring them: leftist utopian dreams, anarchist fantasies and survivalist retreats.
The Great Danger
The greatest danger is this induced unraveling. To those Americans who grieve for the nation, the proper response must be to unite, not scatter. We must rally around the remnants of order that remain. We must fight against those who would destroy our institutions, police and love of country.
However, a return to the old American system is not enough to overcome the present dangers. It lacks the dynamism needed to inspire a decadent nation to overcome the problems. The left knows that this weakened system poses no threat to them if limited to human action.
The radical left hates the American system because of its distant links to Christian civilization. Our moral code linked to the Ten Commandments still beckons, if faintly, for people to return to the Christian socio-political order abandoned long ago. The left fears such a return since God’s grace can do all things.
In times of crisis, Americans need to look beyond the comforts of the American system and return to God and His Church. Only a return to this wellspring of our order can regenerate America. A moral regeneration triggered by adversity and suffering is the only thing that will save us from coming pandemonium. Turning to God and His Law must unite us and lead us to that triumph foreseen by the Mother of God at Fatima.