I've written here many times about a potential national collapse if we continue down this road of government central planning and social engineering, but the collpase could be a century away, or it could never happen. America could simply transform into a country governed by tyrants lording over Americans who grow accustomed to a lower standard of living and very little liberty.
I've also written about my hope that people will wake up and realize that progressivism and government interventionism are destroying our economy and bogging us down in foreign entanglements. Some libertarians and anarcho-capitalist types comment that our government will not change, and that it'll take a complete breakdown for things to change. I understand where they're coming from, but I also think that expecting a collapse can be an excuse for inaction. One of the problems I have with Albert Jay Nock's writings is that he was certain government would not change from its original merchant state system of interventionism and control -- for Nock, his criticisms, even though they were enlightening and powerful, were little more than an intellectual hobby.
I believe we have to do everything we can to affect political change, because even if a libertarian paradise is highly unlikely, we can keep progressives from having their way and being in the driver seat when there's an economic collapse, if there is one. One belief is that after a collapse, Americans will be ready for a libertarian society, but that is only one possibility. It's more likely that progressives will blame the collapse on lack of control over the economy. I hate to refer to Hitler, but it's how Nazism was chosen by Germans over socialism or the Catholics's solution to economic collapse. Read Mises' Omnipotent Government. The Nazis convinced the German people Nazi solutions could make things better by contolling more of German enterprise so that everyone was employed one way or another.
When people are desperate they look for solutions, and this is when the Authoritarian Solution is most attractive. Some Strong Leader comes along and says that he or she will make things happen, that rules are suspended because the welfare of the people is more important than rules. Extreme problems require extreme solutions, and, if the people want stability and security, they'll abide by the commands of the One who can provide stability and security. This is more likely than people craving a free market, especially when so few with a prominent, public voice are promoting the principles of limited government and a free market.
The problem is that while we wait for a collapse kids are being taught daily that a free market is an evil, that it's a jungle in which the strong destroy the rest. Kids are taught that government intervention is necessary to achieve equality and social justice. Capitalism is a system of theft, a rigged game that favors the rich and powerful at the expense of the poor and middle class. This is beat into the skulls of kids from an early age by teachers, media, movies, politicians, and, often, the parents.
This is why I believe we must do all we can to keep the language of liberty and the principles of a free market alive. Working for political change along libertarian lines will assure that these ideas are lost forever.