Book Review: Suicide of a Superpower

Suicide of a Superpower: Will America Survive to 2025?

by Patrick J. Buchanan

Thomas Dunne Books, NY, 2011; 480pgs, $29.95

The popular left-wing pundits are breathlessly weighing-in: Salon.com asserts Pat Buchanan’s new book is “a crazy mashup of stereotypes and paranoia;” DailyKos.com calls it a “racist screed;” and, not to be out-done, BlackVoicesNews.com claims it is “racist, sexist, anti-immigrant, and anti-Semitic.”


So why the fuss? The commentator and political activist’s eleventh book is a best-seller. Suicide of a Superpower: Will America Survive to 2025? is Mr. Buchanan’s toughest assessment of America—and that’s considering his previous titles such as The Death of the West: How Dying Populations and Immigrant Invasions Imperil Our Country and Civilization (2002) and State of Emergency: The Third World Invasion and Conquest of America (2006).

Mr. Buchanan’s premise is that not long ago the U.S. could easily be identified as “a people of common ancestry, culture, and language, who worship the same God, revere the same heroes, cherish the same history, celebrate the same holidays, [and who] share the same music, poetry, art, and literature.” Now, he warns, there is a drastic re-definition in the works:

“Our intellectual, cultural, and political elites are today engaged in one of the most audacious and ambitious experiments in history. They are trying to transform a Western Christian republic into an egalitarian democracy made up of all the tribes, races, creeds, and cultures of planet Earth.”

The author cautions that, “if America is not to disintegrate, if she is to regain the ‘out of many, one’ unity we knew in the Eisenhower-Kennedy era, the first imperative is to re-adopt the immigration policy that produced that era of good feeling, so that the melting pot, fractured though it is, can begin again to do its work.”

“Mexico is moving north” he predicts, and “ethnically, linguistically, and culturally, the [boundary-setting] verdict of 1848 is being overturned. Will this Mexican nation-within-a-nation advance the goals of the Constitution—to ‘insure domestic tranquility’ and ‘make us a more perfect union?’ Or has our passivity in the face of invasion imperiled our union?”

Mr. Buchanan notes that more than 15% of American workers were foreign born in 2010. He cites a Washington Post story which revealed that during the period from 2009-2010, foreign-born Hispanics gained 98,000 construction jobs while white—and black—construction workers lost 511,000 jobs.

Mr. Buchanan advocates radically reforming U.S. immigration laws “to give preference to those from countries that have historically provided most of our immigrants, who share our values, speak English, have college or advanced degrees, bring special skills, and can be easily assimilated. We need more taxpayers and fewer tax consumers.”

However, U.S. elitists are reveling in the transformation of traditional American culture, and Suicide of a Superpower records their glee. Neo-conservative guru Ben Watternberg gloats: “The non-Europeanization of America is heartening news of almost transcendental quality.” Writer Susan Sontag is simply contemptuous: “The white race is the cancer of human history.”

Mr. Buchanan will have none of this:

“Ethnomasochism, the taking of pleasure in the dispossession of one’s own ethnic group, is a disease of the heart that never afflicted the America of Andrew Jackson, Theodore Roosevelt, or Dwight Eisenhower. It comes out of what [political theorist] James Burnham called an ‘ideology of Western suicide,’ a belief system that provides a morphine drip for a people who have come to accept the inevitability of their departure from history.”

He becomes even more forthright in a chapter entitled “The End of White America.” Mr. Buchanan warns that “in 2004, the [Census Bureau] said the crossover year when minorities that identified themselves as Hispanic, black, Asian, Indian, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander would out-number whites would come in 2050.” The author also notes that white teens under the age of 18 will be a minority by 2019.

“What caused this historic decline of white America to minority status,” he maintains, is that “the white birth rate that has been below replacement level for decades [and] a forty-year tidal wave of immigrants had been predicted (before the recession) to surge from 1.3 million a year to 2 million by 2050, almost all of it from Asia, Africa and Latin America.”

Coincidentally, at the same time that Suicide of a Superpower was being set in type, CNN reported that “White children are now in the minority among people under 18 in 10 U.S. states and 35 large metro areas,” while the Pew Hispanic Center released statistics which showed that from 2000 to 2010 the Mexican-American population grew by 4.2 million as a result of new immigrant arrivals—and increased by 7.2 million births.

It is interesting to note that even Pat Buchanan’s critics concede, as did the Washington Post, that: “Buchanan is a muscular writer, fully in command of the English language he feels is under siege. He is adept at linking history, statistics, and the writings of philosophers and economists, to proffer forceful arguments.”

Mr. Buchanan cites U.N. reports, government findings, and news analyses to conclude “peoples of European descent are not only in a relative but a real decline. They are aging, dying, disappearing. And among the peoples of color who will replace them, the poorest in the least developed nations are reproducing fastest.” He cautions that by 2050 only one of the ten most populous nations will be a First World country—the United States. Others on the list will include Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Ethiopia. Africa’s population will double to two billion by 2050—Niger will quintuple its population; Uganda, Guinea-Bissau, and Burundi will triple theirs.

Indeed, Suicide of a Superpower does not just sound an alarm for America, but it is a warning to the West as well. In 1950, as Mr. Buchanan points out, 28 percent of the world’s population came from Europe and North America. By 2050, that number is expected to be 12 percent. Today, among First World countries the birth rate is as low as 1.2 children per woman—well under the 2.1 level necessary just to maintain current population levels.

Mr. Buchanan argues that “the reason the West is dying is simple: children are no longer so desirable … freed from the moral constraints of Christianity, European and American young wish to enjoy the benefits of matrimony without the burdens. Society and science,” he continues, “have accommodated them with contraceptives, the pill, the patch, sterilizations, and abortion on request. And the social sanctions against sexual indulgence and the single life have largely disappeared.”

He reviews the problem specifically in the ominous chapter “Demographic Winter:”

“As the West worships at the altar of democracy, is deeply egalitarian, and has thrown open its doors to a Third World in which ethnonationalism is embedded, it is the West whose destiny will ultimately be determined by demography.”

The author observes that “Germans have been dying out for forty years and this has been covered up by counting Turks, East Europeans and Arabs as Germans. Now, not even immigrants from the Muslim lands, Eastern Europe, and the Third World can mask the reality.”

“Not long after World War II, West Germany boasted the world’s second largest economy. Now a united Germany is on schedule to become a retirement center, nursing home, and cemetery for the Germanic peoples whose origins date back to before the birth of Christ. Today, 20 percent of Germany’s population is older than 65, and 5 percent are older than 80. In 2050, the 65-plus age group will make up 32 percent and the 80-plus group 14 percent.”

Mr. Buchanan writes “fertility in Britain has been below replacement level since the early 1970s … then there are those reports of native-born Britons in the scores and even hundreds of thousands emigrating annually.” He warns that “21 million of the 72 million British subjects in 2050 will trace their ancestry to Africa, the Middle East, South Asia or the Caribbean … English, Welsh, Irish, and Scots will be a minority” by 2066—the millennial year of the Norman Conquest.

Without younger workers to pay taxes, boost the economy, carry the load of pensions and health care, etc., the West’s international debt crises will get dramatically worse. The author cautions that “the riots that tore through Greece, France, and the UK in 2010 are rooted in the demographic crisis of the West and are harbingers of what is to come.”

On the plus side of the equation, Mr. Buchanan notes that “today, a new generation of Europeans that feels besieged by Muslim immigration has begun to shift allegiance from working class and conservative parties to anti-Islamic and anti-immigrant parties that are flourishing now in virtually every country. In some they already share power and the mainstream parties have begun to submit to their demands.”

If Mr. Buchanan hasn’t scandalized the left with the above observations, then the chapter “Equality or Freedom” should drive them over the edge.

He writes that “Americans are taught that, unlike blood-and-soil nations, ours is a ‘propositional nation,’ an ‘ideological nation’ built upon ideas,” continuing, “what makes us exceptional, what gives purpose to our national existence is that America has been dedicated from birth to the advancement of equality and democracy for ourselves and all mankind.”

But Mr. Buchanan quickly dismisses that idea—well, quickly enough in 36 pages.

First, an historic overview: “The Founding Fathers did not believe in democracy. They did not believe in diversity. They did not believe in equality. From what Jefferson wrote and the fathers signed it is clear that the only equality to which they subscribed, as an ideal and an aspiration, was an equality of God-given rights.” He reasons, “Governments, wrote Jefferson, are formed to secure these rights, and when they fail to do so, they render themselves illegitimate and the people have a right to rise up [and] overthrow those governments …” And he notes:

“To extract ‘all men are created equal’ from the context in which it was written and assert it as an endorsement of an egalitarian society is to distort what Jefferson wrote and what the men of Philadelphia believed.”

What Mr. Buchanan believes is that “from birth, America was the Party of Liberty. Egalité, on the other hand, was what the French Revolution claimed to be about. No American war was fought for egalitarian ends, postwar propaganda notwithstanding.” He explains that “the Constitution and Bill of Rights are the foundational documents of the republic and the organic documents of American union. And the word ‘equality’ does not appear in either.”

Moving forward to the U.S. civil rights movement, Mr. Buchanan says “not until 1965 did the goal of the civil rights movement shift from an end to segregation to social and economic equality.” He emphasizes that “the freedom [Martin Luther] King had spoken of was [then] superseded and replaced by ‘equality as a fact and equality as a result.’” Suicide of a Superpower quotes President Lyndon Johnson as taking the cue from King by calling the civil rights movement “the first stage of a revolution.” President Johnson went on to proclaim “freedom is not enough … equal opportunity is essential, but not enough, not enough.” Later, President Johnson opined “to check the growth of inequality, liberty must be sacrificed.”

Mr. Buchanan’s counterpoint is blunt: “It is more true to say that no two men or women were ever born equal. Talents are unequally distributed not only within ethnic groups but within families. To impose an equality of rewards for unequal accomplishments is to nullify one of the goals of our Constitution—‘to establish justice.’ It is to replace justice with injustice.” He makes it clear that “the only way to achieve equality when a free market, free associations, and free competition fail to deliver it is to use state power to forcibly bring about parities of income, influence, rewards, and riches. This is socialism.”

The author quotes historians Will and Ariel Durant: “Freedom and equality are sworn and everlasting enemies, and when one prevails the other dies. Leave men free, and their natural inequalities will multiply almost geometrically, as in England and America in the nineteenth century under laissez-faire. To check the growth of inequality, liberty must be sacrificed, as in Russia after 1917.”

Mr. Buchanan endorses the Durants when they insist:

“We are all born unfree and unequal: subject to our physical and psychological heredity, and to the customs and traditions of our group; diversely endowed in health and strength, in mental capacity and qualities of character. Nature loves differences as the necessary material of selection and evolution.”

The lessons of history have not been missed by Mr. Buchanan: “In revolutions where equality is the enthroned idol—in the French, Russian, Chinese, and Cuban revolutions—the dispossession of the old regime was often a merciless affair.” He writes that “political and propertied classes, priests and poets, were sent to the guillotine, to the Lubyanka, to the gallows, the firing squad, or the labor camp. And as the old order went off to jails, exile, and graves, the revolutionary elite, uglier and more brutal than those they displaced, moved into the palaces, mansions and dachas.” His final take?

“When it’s equality versus freedom, cui bono?—who benefits?—is ever the relevant question. When a new class advances preaching the gospel of equality, who gets the power?”

Mr. Buchanan answers his own query: “Our cultural elite allies itself with those out to overthrow the old Christian order—ethnic militants, feminists, atheists—anticipating they will ride the revolution to power.” He also contends:

“Our elites, who vacation at beaches and ski resorts and send their children to schools that are predominantly white, celebrate a racial diversity that fifty years of white flight, common sense, and social science tell us may make an end of our country. Such is the power of ideology to blind men to the evidence of their own eyes. Whom the gods would destroy they first make mad.”

To put an end to racial set asides, defang powerful ethnic lobbies, and subdue the “Diversity Cult” (the title of chapter seven), Mr. Buchanan has a practical suggestion: “Congress should settle the question with finality by enacting into law [the late] Ward Connerly’s Civil Rights Initiative, which has won the support of the electorate in every state but one where it has been on the ballot.” Connerly, the late political activist and former University of California Regent, crusaded for this wording:

“The state shall not grant preferential treatment to or discriminate against any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity or national origin in the operation of public employment, public education or public contracting.”

“Those “three dozen words, written into the Constitution or federal law,” the author advises, “would bring down the evil empire of reverse discrimination.”

Mr. Buchanan’s views on the culture war (chapter two, “The Death of Christian America”), the Republican Party (chapter nine, which he wistfully entitles “The White Party”), free vs. fair trade (he insists on tariffs where necessary), and U.S. foreign policy jingoism are striking too. He cautions that “our imperial arrogance caused nations to unite to resist our hegemony, and we deliberately antagonized nations like Russia that had wanted to associate with us. People treated like untrustworthy friends and potential enemies often end up becoming so.”

“It is absurd,” he writes, “that the United States, stumbling toward a debt default, must borrow from Japan to defend Japan, borrow from Europe to defend Europe, and borrow from the Persian Gulf to defend the Persian Gulf.” The author wants a cost-cutting, policy-reviewing process to address “an archipelago of 700 to 1,000 bases in 130 countries, our imperial embassies, foreign aid, the military-industrial complex at home, and the hidden billions spread through the government for intelligence work and nuclear weapons.”

Mr. Buchanan’s research and analysis has some reviewers generously praising Suicide of a Superpower for the practical remedies written between the lines of unembellished evaluations. Former Congressman Virgil Goode, writing for DailyCaller.com, states: “Buchanan offers an astute diagnosis of America’s problems and gives constructive suggestions to put us back on track.”

Question: is Pat Buchanan a pessimist or an optimist?

Well, Suicide of a Superpower is a stark and dark reality check: “the crises that afflict us—culture wars, race division, record deficits, unpayable debt, waves of immigration, legal and illegal, of peoples never before assimilated, gridlock in the capital and possible defeat in war—may prove too much for our democracy to cope with. They surely will, if we do not act now.”

“Acting now,” however, is the upside of Pat Buchanan’s important new book. He believes that the elitist agenda “is failing and will continue to fail. For it is based on … an ideology whose tenets are at war with the laws of nature. Like Marxists who were going to create a new man and a new society, our establishment is attempting the impossible.”

Make no judgement per this review: read the book to decide for yourself if you are in fact an optimist or pessimist.


This book review appeared in the Winter, 2011 issue of Britain’s Quarterly Review magazine

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