As the empire declines, the wealthy are feasting, buying Rothkos at auction, gloating over clever investments, amassing offshore bank accounts. They do not seem aware that when the American hegemony collapses, Western Europe will inevitably follow, inextricably linked by countless ties, values. After the fall of Western civilization, and it need not be sacked by barbarian hordes, just dwindled to poverty nations, struggling to survive in a harsh world, most of whom hate America.
Where do privileged Americans hope to withdraw to? Asia, Africa, Europe and the Mid-East are too dangerous. South America, with envy, anti-Americanism, and nationalism as a prevailing attitude, make the climate inhospitable. The Caribbean is the remaining illusion, and unless the émigrés have a large, sophisticated, well-equipped, well trained, well-paid, private army, island life will at best be insecure, at worst, a place of constant threat of attack, looting, murder.
Unfortunately for all of us, the wealthy suffer from political blindness and historical ignorance. They do not realize that they still live in the most secure country in the world. Yet they sit back as it declines, unknowing, unwilling or unable to apply resources to prevent the fall that would insure their future demise. If they are just a cabal of old men, with little concern for tomorrow, there is little hope for their understanding that our fate is bound together. Wealthy families with children should realize the future well-being of their children is completely dependant on the well-being and stability of the nation.
The privileged apparently do not see that when the police cease to function, no one is safe. The private estates, guarded compounds, protected enclaves are only preserved by the rule of law. Angry, hungry, frightened mobs, ruthless gangs, will inevitably select targets of luxury, whether in city or countryside. When they can’t summon law enforcement, the National Guard, invoke martial law to protect their possessions, they will not survive the inroads of violent, desperate people.
Some brighter wealthy persons learned one lesson from the past. In times of disaster, the wealthy fled with what they could carry, jewels, rolled up paintings, other easily transported valuables. So they diversified their wealth, much of it abroad, presuming they found safe havens. But when abroad becomes unreachable, and international law and order abandon legalclaims, those holdings are at best vulnerable.
Unlike the brave blind, who venture out into the hazards of a dark world and build a viable life, the privileged are deserting the nation that nurtured them and their children by obstinately personifying “Aprés moi, le deluge”.