You’ve heard the old poem that acts as a warning to any society who hears it:
Hard times create strong men,
Strong men create good times,
Good times create weak men,
Weak men create hard times.
It’s pretty easy to understand. When the times are tough, the people of the nation adjust accordingly. They become tougher, smarter, more logical, and focus more on what works than what’s comfortable. This kind of population accelerates growth and advances. It creates and prospers.
Those born into that prosperity created by their parents don’t experience these same hardships. They don’t know them and thus are made weaker for it. These softer people give birth to even softer children who become so far removed from the difficulty that their values become perverted. They don’t know true hardship and as a result, feel minor inconveniences or imagined slights are worth going to extremes over. Society begins to regress as these soft people create more soft people who learn their soft ways. Soon, society begins to collapse from within. Economies are destroyed by wastefulness and ineptitude, self-destructive tendencies aren’t just adopted through ignorance but actively taught, and before you know it, a once-great nation of doers and creators devolves into a cesspit of degeneracy and uselessness.
What happens from there is up to the hard men these times create.
It’s C.S. Lewis’s “law of undulation” made manifest on a national scale and it is, sadly, an unavoidable consequence of good people creating good times. Every society goes through these ups and downs.
For the United States of America, it’s pretty easy to see where we are on this timeline. Gone are the days of great wars that made us sacrifice blood, sweat, tears, goods, and lifestyles in order to achieve victory over great evil. Over are the great civil rights battles that would see men become equal under the eyes of the law. Better men than those who came before my generation wanted to create a better world free of the hardships they had to experience, and they did.
My generation and the generation after mine are reaping the benefits of a society crafted by hard men, and because of this, we’re spoiled. Our values are misplaced, and what we define as “hardship” is laughably ridiculous. That’s not to say we don’t have to deal with demons. Millennials, for instance, are the first generation to have to live in the new digital world and adjust to the kind of society online life created, which gave birth to untold amounts of radicalism that exists out in the open and is approved of by politicians, activists, and the media. It’s a world of high amounts of scrutiny, depression, and pressure and it shows. Mental instability plagues my generation. It’s high in suicides and prescription drug use.
But we have access to technology our species has never had before. With a few presses of a button on our advanced communication devices, we can make food show up at our door. Our safety has never been more assured. Even the carnal need to mate can be fast-tracked with a simple swipe to the left or right.
We are spoiled, and Gen Z has it even worse. We’re so far removed from the evil dictators of old, the wars that destroy millions of lives, the starvation and disease that comes with massive market crashes, and more, that our definition of difficulty is nearly infantile.
In fact, we create more problems for ourselves than we solve. Humanity tends to find meaning in strife and in a world where it’s fundamentally lacking, we create sleights and create conflict over them, actually destroying ourselves and others in the process. So far down this hole have we gone that we’re even full-on denying reality to create these issues.
The sudden arrival and reign of the transgender movement is such an indicator. Our society declared that men and women are no different and interchangeable, and despite this being an obvious falsehood, too many in our society went along with it to the point where they were willing to punish those who didn’t.
The infection spread to the official level and now these non-binary people can have international passports that list their status as “Gender X.”
We used to create the latest and greatest in vehicles, weapons, and goods. Now our primary export is reality-denying nonsense born out of bored radicalism.
It reminds me of a video I once saw where western “art” was introduced to a room full of Afghani women. The western woman was explaining to these women why someone putting a urinal in an art gallery was “important” to the artistic world. One of the women in the video is seen shaking her head while the others looked absolutely perplexed.
All that our society has accomplished and this is what we’re holding up as our accomplishment to the rest of the world. The most advanced nation Earth has ever seen and we’re slapping mental illness on a passport and calling it enlightenment.
We are the soft men created by good times and many of us don’t even know it.
It sounds like I’m just lamenting my culture (I am) but I think it’s important to know where you are when you’re there. I’d like to tell you that things are going to get better after this or that election and that new developments in our society’s thinking will turn the tide but Lewis’s law is absolute. History has proven that.
We’re heading toward hard times. Maybe it won’t be tomorrow or even a decade from now, but this ease in or society will create absurdity where sense should prevail and our society will give birth to hard times as it self-destructs. It’s inevitable and possibly deserved.
The question is, who will be able to survive it and what will these harder men do with the broken country they inherit? Will they dominate and dictate it like other failed states have done or will they create something new and better as our founding fathers did?
Hopefully, those who prepare these men for the oncoming hard times will be of the latter mind.