"In 1897, troops from the greatest empire the world had ever seen marched down London’s mall for Queen Victoria’s diamond jubilee. Seventy years later, Britain had government health care, a government-owned car industry, massive government housing, and it was a shriveled high-unemployment socialist basket-case living off the dwindling cultural capital of its glorious past. In 1945, America emerged from the Second World War as the preeminent power on earth. Seventy years later . . . Let’s not go there."
Mark Steyn
(1959-) Canadian columnist
National Review Online, Feb 14, 2009
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Reader comments about this quote:
An extremely sad but accurate comparative evaluation. A caveat may be, the here stated later culture is headed for a far more devistating basket
 -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    Why did our ancestors leave Europe? Why today do so many here in America want to be just like Europe?
     -- cal, lewisville, tx     
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    history repeats.....blah blah blah....no one pays attention....
     -- Abby     
    That pretty well sums it up.
     -- jim k, Austin, Tx     
    The rise and fall of the State usually follows the same pattern while the masses for aeons have been but beasts of burden. True liberation is founded upon Truth, and thus it is the mind that needs to be freed from untruth. A slave that does not know he is a slave will defend his slavery -- and yours!.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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     -- A.WOODS, Gloucester      
    Like the plutocrats of all empires they become greedy off the backs of the people and eventually collapse because capitalism cannot continue in a finite world.... It can only continue when there is tit for tat... (and attitude of reciprocity).
     -- Robert, Somewhere in Europe     
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    Robert, to my understanding, capitalism (laissez-faire investment in an at natural law / justice free market with tangible money of intrinsic value = gold & silver coin for example) has not been possible since at least 1912. By, "reciprocity", do you reference an ability to contract because, a lawfully binding contract is an element of capitalism? Is your reference to a false fabrication such as crony-capitalism just shortened by not using "crony"? How are you re-defining "capitalism"? How has capitalism played a role in the U.S.A.'s turn from liberty to socialism and the resulting decline in economic prowess and over-all influence? Robert, your statement plays well in certain theocratic enclaves but, how is it supposed to be received in an audience of knowledge outside that enclave?
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    At the time of Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee, Great Britain was on the verge of all-out class warfare, a direct result of the huge inequities between the working class and the established plutocracy. Mark Steyn is right: Let's not go there. Bring some social justice back in to give our system balance.
     -- L.Hanson, Edmonton, Canada     
    Such are the old nations of kings and queens, and their privileged sovereignty and liberty. Even Stuart Mills apposed capitalism, and leaned toward social liberty. It is through and by capitalism, the individual sovereign in the USA " middle class " Rises. The practice of Honest Economics, given long enough, will maintain their integrity with faithfulness to one another, " A more Perfect Union. Our Secular Republican form of government consisting of individual and state sovereigns, is under siege ! Among the educated and well learned, their is the fear of loss, and that without faith in Liberty, turns to security out of fear of the unknown independence. Hence the growth of monopolies and government. In the middle class lies the heart of independence.
     -- Ronw13, Oregon     
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