BOOK REVIEW

Architects of Decline

New York Times bestselling author Dinesh D’Souza has written a chilling book, which is also a major motion picture, revealing how the left is deliberately diminishing America’s status as a superpower by undermining it from within. As America is declining, other countries are increasing in prowess, most notably China, Russia, India and Brazil. The spirit of 1776 has been replaced by the spirit of 1968 – the progressive spirit.

D’Souza warns in America: Imagine a World Without Her, that it is imperative that America remains a superpower, because unlike other countries, it is inherently good; the “kindest, gentlest superpower in world history.” America never engaged in colonialism as did European powers. America is the one country that helped successfully rebuild destroyed nations after the World Wars; it engages in philanthropy not theft, successfully turning Japan and German into free countries. America doesn’t exploit the poorer countries. Employing the Chinese at low wages in that backward economy is actually gradually bringing them up out of poverty and into the middle class, and reduces the need for them to flee to more prosperous countries.

D’Souza thoroughly refutes the notion that the U.S. stole land from the Indians and Mexicans. He speculates, “if America stole the land from the Sioux, didn’t the Sioux steal the land from the Cheyenne and other tribes?” Although Indians died in great numbers after exposure to Western diseases, it wasn’t genocide because it wasn’t intentional. He notes that the Indians, Mexicans and blacks are better off today due to the arrival of Columbus and Western civilization. The Incas and Aztecs were bloodthirsty and made human sacrifices of themselves. He discredits the “myth of Aztlan,” observing that the Aztecs didn’t even live in the southwestern U.S., but farther south, in present-day Mexico.

As for slavery, America is unique in that it successfully ended the practice, due to the influence of Christianity. D’Souza explains why the Founding Fathers couldn’t end the practice immediately, but were forced to take piecemeal steps in order to keep the country together. He quotes sociologist Orlando Patterson on how that shaped America today, “America, while still flawed in its race relations, is now the least racist white majority society in the world…” D’Souza observes that WWII largely discredited racism due to Hitler, and so the “Civil Rights revolution” wasn’t really a revolution – almost no one died; society was moving in that direction at that point. D’Souza contrasts two leading early black activists, “If [W.E.B.] Du Bois’s motto could be summed up as ‘agitate, agitate, agitate,’ [Booker T.] Washington’s could be summed up as “work, work, work.” He goes further into the differences between the two approaches, revealing how DuBois’s beliefs eventually led him to support  Stalin.

Originally from India, D’Souza is able to offer an “Alexis de Tocqueville” type of perspective on the U.S. He also brings a deep knowledge of India which provides useful contrasts. D’Souza believes the key to America’s success is the ability to create wealth, particularly through making new technology; anyone can come to America and become a Horatio Alger. He refutes the notion that the Founding Fathers were racist and elitist, noting that their descendants have disappeared into relative obscurity instead of remaining high and lofty. He defends the government the Founders set up as the inversion of a monarchy, where those on the bottom can rise to the top. Consequently, today “even the unimpressive and the lazy – have nice homes and nice cars and take annual vacations.” The poor people are fat in America. The rich actually pay the upfront cost of new research and development, which then later expands to the masses.

He includes a devastating critique of the French philosopher Michel Foucault, who hated America. This makes one reconsider whether Foucault has been overrated all these years. D’Souza explains how the 1960s hippies never grew up, remaining “perpetual adolescents.” This occurred because unlike their parents, the greatest generation, they grew up with affluence. He attacks the radical activist Saul Alinsky, noting his hypocrisy: “He liked good food, good wine, good cigars and golf.” However, he credits him with convincing those on the left like Hillary Clinton to “not look or act or smell like a revolutionary,” in order to sneak through a radical agenda. He shows how Alinsky really got his playbook from Satan, to whom he dedicated his book Rules for Radicals. Alinsky taught the left to “create a sense of entitlement by making promises that cannot be delivered and then use the resulting frustration to mobilize the people into action.” Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama both follow the Alinsky method of aggressively pursuing power, while pretending to be motivated by pure altruism.  In fact, Hillary Clinton was once an Alinsky protégé.

D’Souza decimates the argument that gifted entrepreneurs didn’t create things themselves and were aided by the help of roads and other factors. He mocks that notion by pointing out that no one could have accomplished anything without oxygen, the sun, etc. Obama likes to point out that everyone should pay their “fair share,” but what is that? Athletes and entertainers earn much more than professions that provide indispensable services.

One of the best parts of the book is how D’Souza addresses greed as a motivating factor. For those who have felt a little hesitant about embracing Ayn Rand’s “Virtue of Selfishness,” here is an alternative. D’Souza looks to Adam Smith, who defended capitalism in his 1776 classic book, The Wealth of Nations. Smith said that the more precise term is “self-interest,” and it’s not that it’s good, but neither is it bad; it simply works. D’Souza even goes so far as to lay out how entrepreneurs are actually motivated by empathy, contrary to communist myths. He explores the parallels between Marxism and Obama’s beliefs, observing, “The biggest thieves – they [Americans] are beginning to suspect – is not America or capitalism but the suave scoundrel in the White House.” Obamacare is theft because it forces a cost upon everyone, it’s not just about helping the poor with health insurance.

D’Souza calls out Obama for massive privacy invasions using the ruse of fighting terrorism, and defends Edward Snowden for exposing the NSA surveillance of Americans. The level of spying in George Orwell’s 1984 is already technologically available just 25 years later. I was pleased to see D’Souza discuss Harvey Silverglate’s book Three Felonies a Day, which argues there are so many laws now that the average citizen likely commits felonies every day, making it easy for the government to target anyone.

In his chapter on foreign policy, D’Souza refers to American diplomat George Kennan’s so-called “long telegram” meant to deal with Soviet expansionism by proposing a strategy of “containment.” He writes, “empires require expansionism in order to survive; contain them and they will collapse. Kennan urged America to ‘choke’ the Soviet empire and, by doing this, to cause the empire to implode. And this is exactly what happened.” The author compares Kennan’s strategy of containment to the internal application of this very strategy by America’s own president. “Now containment is being tried again, by President Obama,” D’Souza writes. “Only this time the country he is attempting to contain is his own. Obama’s foreign policy may be neatly summariezed by the phrase ‘self-containment.’” In so doing, Obama is seeking to reduce the power and influence of the United States of America; something that we have never before experienced as a nation.

The number of fascinating insights D’Souza provides is mind boggling, too many to list here. I’ve never underlined so much of a book before, it is full of lines like “Unequal prosperity is better than shared poverty.” He eerily predicts what the world will look like with other superpowers instead of America. Everything Chinese, Indian, etc., will become cool, as American things fall out of favor.

D’Souza is currently the subject of federal prosecution for alleged violations involving two small donations to his friend’s Congressional campaign. D’Souza believes he was deliberately targeted as part of the left’s strategy to silence the right. After reading his book, and watching his documentaries, it is easy to see why the Obama administration went after him. He is brilliant and his Indian heritage gives him broad cross-appeal. D’Souza humiliated Obama in 2008 by giving Obama’s half-brother George $1,000 when he needed it for urgent medical help, a request that Obama had ignored. Consequently, the left sees him as one of the biggest threats in the country to accomplishing their agenda. He is very brave to continue exposing the left with this book and makes one eagerly look forward to what he will do next.


Rachel Alexander is the founder of the Intellectual Conservative, editor of Western Shooting Journal and an attorney. Ms. Alexander is also a contributor to SFPPR News & Analysis.