“When I am weaker than you, I ask you for freedom because that is according to your principles; when I am stronger than you, I take away your freedom because that is according to my principles.”Words of an ancient philosopher (Attributed by Harq al-Ada to one Louis Veuillot). From Children of Dune, by Frank Herbert
This may have been written for a fictional work, but it sums up what has happened to the West very succinctly.
How was the West lost? Here it is in a nutshell. The West allowed all sorts of subversive ideologies and foreign ideologies to enter into its open society, because freedom is one of our values.
But now that those idealogues and foreigners are in positions of power, they are starting to remove those freedoms, because many of them do not have the same principles. They come from very different traditions with at times very different principles.
If you want to know why our freedoms are disappearing this is the heart of the matter.
You can point to many different reasons this has happened. But it is more important to acknowledge that if you want to retain your freedoms you must maintain a closed position towards people coming in and an open society for all within your borders.
If you have open borders, which in effect every Western country does, then you will eventually lose your ability to maintain the openness of your own people. Because some will take advantage of your people’s openness to take over, and others will cause divisions that need to be policed by stronger powers, both these things will etch away at your own people’s freedoms.
It’s a very simple concept that many people seem to be not capable of grasping. Frank Herbert, of Dune fame, appears to have understood it perfectly.
Hopefully, future Western nations will learn from the mistakes of those of us living today.