Japan Increases Its Military Spending Again

Japan Increases Its Military Spending Again

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The Land of the Rising Sun is rising again.

Seventy-five years after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Japan—a nation that was to “forever renounce war as a sovereign right”—now boasts a military that “might be even stronger” than it was in World War ii. And it is set to grow bigger still.

Japan’s defense budget for 2017 is expected to hit a record high of $44.6 billion. This will mark the fifth year in a row that Japan’s defense spending has increased. The budget includes plans to develop land-to-sea missiles; upgrade Japanese missile destroyers with American-developed, Aegis-advanced radar systems; and construct a new type of submarine. The increase is part of a five-year plan by the Japanese government to increase military spending by 0.8 percent each year until 2018.

Japan is currently in the top-10 list of the most powerful militaries in the world. While its pacifist Constitution—imposed after the Second World War—forbids Japan to wage war offensively, it has been free to build up a self-defense force. Japan has been able to establish one of the most sophisticated militaries in the world, thanks to America bearing the primary burden of defending the nation. John T. Kuehn, a professor of military history at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, told cnn, “Pilot for pilot, ship for ship, Japan can stand toe to toe with anybody.”

As time goes on, the stigma of waging war is quickly fading from Japan’s memory. Numerous attempts in the past few years have sought to reinterpret Japan’s pacifist Constitution. Its leaders seem eager to use Japanese forces abroad. In late November, the nation took an unprecedented step in expanding the use of the Japan Self-Defense Force: It assigned 350 soldiers to South Sudan as part of a United Nations peacekeeping taskforce with permission to use force. This is the first time since World War ii that Japanese soldiers are being allowed to fight on foreign soil.

All this comes at a time when Japan feels increasingly threatened by a nuclear-armed North Korea and a belligerent China. To help counter that threat, Japan signed an intelligence-sharing deal with South Korea on November 23. This pact allows the two nations to share key information about threats from North Korea without United States involvement. For years, the U.S. has encouraged these two nations to make this deal to help stymie North Korean aggression.

The deal is an unprecedented move, considering the history of the two nations. Many in South Korea dislike Japan because of the history between the two. Japan ruled over South Korea from the early part of the 20th century to the end of World War ii. During that time, it committed numerous atrocities against the South Korean people.

The Japan-South Korea deal was first scheduled to be made in 2012, but it was postponed because South Koreans were opposed to working with Japan. Four years later, it appears times have changed. While it still faced opposition in South Korea, the deal was able to pass.

Although the U.S. praised the deal, China condemned it. Chinese Defense Ministry spokesman Yang Yujun expressed “serious concern” about the deal: “We will make all necessary preparations, earnestly perform our duties and fulfill our mission, resolutely protect the country’s security interests, and resolutely protect regional peace and stability.”

To China, which is currently locked in territorial disputes with Japan, the agreement has the makings of a military alliance that could counter its regional goals. Both Japan and South Korea are allied with the United States, and China views the deal as a step toward a new, unified power bloc that would prevent it from taking an even more aggressive posture.

However, this deal, together with the increased military spending, could be signs of a splintering relationship between Japan and the United States. President-elect Donald Trump singled out Japan as a nation that needed to pay more for America’s defense aid or prepare to lose America’s military backing. A burying of the hatchet between Japan and South Korea could be an indication that Japan is looking to form its own alliances because it feels that it cannot rely on the United States as it has been in the past.

Aside from Mr. Trump’s rhetoric, there are other signs that America is planning to downsize its presence in Japan. U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced on December 6 that the U.S. planned to return some of the land used by its military base in Okinawa to the Japanese government by the end of the year. It will be the largest land return by the U.S. to Japan since 1972.

The Trumpet has long forecast that Japan would rise from its ignominious defeat in World War ii to become part of a military power bloc now forming in Asia. This increase in military spending is leading to an arms race, and arms races often lead to war. Be sure to watch for Japan to continue on its path of increased military spending.

As we wrote in Russia and China in Prophecy, “Unable to fix its own deflationary economic spiral, might Japan try to revive its economy by taking a more independent approach to security in East Asia? Any separation from the U.S. would require Japan to crank up its defense spending. This could be just what Japan needs to mend its economic sickness.”

As Japan rises, so does its militarism. Today, Japan is seen as America’s ally; 75 years ago, it was a mortal enemy. That may seem like a long time, but can America be sure that Japan has exorcised its militaristic demons? To understand where this trend of militarization is leading Japan, be sure to read “Why We Watch Japan’s March Toward Militarism.”

Galileo and Europe’s Superpower Ambitions

Galileo and Europe’s Superpower Ambitions

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Listen to the Trumpet Daily radio program that aired on December 14, 2016.

Europe’s Galileo satellite navigation system will launch tomorrow, officially entering initial operating capacity. With the launch, Europe joins America and Russia as the only powers with their own global satellite navigation system. In today’s show, Trumpet writer Richard Palmer explores how the project reveals Europe’s dreams of becoming a superpower, and how it badly wants to end its reliance on the United States. Also on today’s show, Europe’s economic crisis once again threatens to boil over. Can Europe make it through 2017 without experiencing a cataclysmic crisis? Such a crisis would force Europe to complete its journey to a superstate.

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When the Debt Storm Bursts It Will Be Too Late

When the Debt Storm Bursts It Will Be Too Late

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With the Federal Reserve raising rates, will the economy sink beneath the waves?

There is a storm building. Not of winds or waves, but of money and debt. The United States is the cumulonimbus of debt. Or maybe the stratocumulus. Debt clouds darken the horizon. Federal debt is nearly $20 trillion. If the sheer enormity does not alarm you, its projected surge should.

A lot of people are going to drown.

As to the storm’s size, the federal debt is now more than $61,000 per citizen. That is $61,000 for each mother, father, baby, grandmother, unemployed uncle, credit-card-happy Aunt Thelma and welfare cousin in America. When the storm’s swell washes in, that’s a lot of weight around the economy’s ankles. Most Americans simply cannot contribute much of anything to pay down this debt. Fifty-six percent of working-age Americans can’t even come up with a thousand dollars of cash in an emergency, according to Bankrate.com.

But don’t be worried about such things, you worrywart. America’s most powerful leaders assure us that debt isn’t something to fear. As Forbes explained: In today’s modern economy, debt is the same as cash. “The correct conclusion to draw is that these people are indeed middle class in a country with a well-functioning financial system. Because of this they don’t need savings because they have access to credit” (emphasis added throughout).

You can be part of the middle class without a thousand dollars to your name!

“[I]f we’re honest about it, credit and savings are economically the same thing,” wrote Forbes. “That most Americans don’t have $500 or so of ‘savings’ as conventionally defined simply doesn’t matter.”

Credit is really the same as savings, according to the experts. “[A]s ever in the study of things economic, it is consumption which is the important point of it all” (ibid).

There you have it! Why bother scrimping and sacrificing to build an emergency fund, or to buy that first car, or to pay for college when functionally speaking, the result is supposedly the same as using an American Express? It doesn’t really matter how you pay for itall that really counts is the ability to consume.

Sounds a lot like Vice President Dick Cheney’s 2004 remark that budget “deficits don’t matter.” He said that just four years before the 2008 economic storm hit.

Back in the real world where credit is not the same as saving, and debts cannot be perpetually paid for by swapping credit cards, analyst Wolf Richter is very worried. “So now we’re burdened with such an enormous amount of debt that I think it is very hard to even breathe for the economy. A lot of people out there are worried about this,” he says (PeakProsperity, October 16).

According to Richter, America’s leaders are still trying to solve the too-much-debt-problem with more debt. “I mean, the Fed is still saying We will make money for free and you just need to borrow more money, and that’s its solution to having too much debt. It’s insane when you look at it.”

America’s federal debt works out to more than $166,000 per income-tax paying citizen.

There is another $3 trillion in state and local debt that must eventually be paid too. That’s an additional $25,000 owed per taxpayer. But Americans have no savings. They do however have a lot of something else—debt! Vortex in personal and corporate debt, and the U.S. debt rotation is $67 trillion in magnitude. And none of this includes the promised benefits to future generations of Medicare and Medicaid recipients.

Depending on how you calculate it, America has liabilities of greater than $100 trillion. Boston University’s Laurence Kotlikoff says it is closer to $200 trillion.

That’s a potential debt storm so big it is virtually impossible to fathom. Forget those promises made because they won’t be paid. Not in full. That in itself is going to hurt a lot of people who are relying on the government for shelter during retirement.

But even the part of the debt that analysts think the government could pay is quickly blowing out of proportion to America’s ability to sustain. The total size of the U.S. economy is under $18 trillion, which equates to a government debt-to-gdp ratio of over 110 percent. That is up from only 100 percent of gross domestic product in 2011.

Just eight years ago, the federal debt was only about $10 trillion. It has almost doubled during the tenure of America’s current president. And it doubled during the previous administration too. Is that rate of growth sustainable?

No.

Does that mean politicians will come to their senses? That the debt storm will abate?

No.

In fact, the debt storm will probably intensify before making landfall. Total U.S. household debt hit a whopping $12.25 trillion in March, but that is still 3.3 percent below the peak preceding the 2008 subprime mortgage crisis. It has room to run. Student loan, auto and recently credit card debt are growing. Call them the three trillion-dollar-triple-threat.

America’s leaders think debt is good. Today, the Federal Reserve is considering raising interest rates a quarter of a point from 0.5 to 0.75 percent. The minuscule increase would be only the second one in 10 years. The Fed’s unstated purpose is to support consumer spending. Do you really think the Fed is serious about raising rates and reducing borrowing?

President-elect Donald Trump thinks you can’t lose with debt. He said on cnbc May 5:

Yeah, I think—look. I have borrowed, knowing that you can pay back with discounts. And I have done very well with debt. Now, of course, I was swashbuckling, and it did well for me and it was good for me and all that. And you know, debt was sort of always interesting to me. Now we’re in a different situation with the country. But I would borrow, knowing that if the economy crashed, you could make a deal. And if the economy was good, it was good. So, therefore, you can’t lose. It’s like, you know, you make a deal before you go into a poker game, and your odds are so much better.

On August 11, he said on cnbc, “[T]his is a time to borrow, and to borrow long term, so that we can have money to rebuild our infrastructure.” According to Mr. Trump, nobody knows how to use debt like him. “I’m the king of debt. I love debt,” he said (cnn, May 4).

He told cbs This Morning in an interview on June 22:

I’m the king of debt. I’m great with debt; nobody knows debt better than me. I’ve made a fortune by using debt. … And if things don’t work out, I renegotiate the debt. I mean, that’s a smart thing, not a stupid thing.

And what if America borrows more than it can handle? The president-elect has that inevitability covered too (cbs, June 22):

You go back and you say, “Hey, guess what? The economy just crashed. I’m gonna give you back half.”

According to the Brookings Institution, the national debt may grow by almost as much under President Trump, as under President Obama. Brookings estimates $9.5 trillion in additional debt over the next 10 years.

Those estimates will rise. If there is one thing America has proven during recent history, it is that it knows how to underestimate spending.

And while America embarks on its greatest debt binge ever, a storm of epic proportions will be developing offshore. On land, all may appear sunny and tranquil. Debt will buoy the stock market; consumption will give the appearance of prosperity; temporary jobs will be created.

And then one day the storm will roll in. Suddenly the skies will darken. The wind will blow. The rain will fall. And a tidal surge of epic proportions will wipe America’s debt-based economic system right off the map.

Until then, you have a choice. Join the majority of Americans who build their financial houses on sand. Or build upon a sure Rock foundation. Begin by reading this.

Can Air Strikes Prevent War With Hezbollah?

Can Air Strikes Prevent War With Hezbollah?

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Israel continues to work to deter conflict with the terrorist organization.

Twice in as many weeks, Arabic media has accused Israel of carrying out air strikes in Syria. Israel has neither confirmed nor denied the attacks—though Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu openly admitted in April that there have been dozens of such Israeli air strikes over the course of the Syrian civil war.

According to a November 30 report in the Times of Israel, the first attack was dual, targeting the al-Sabboura region—though Syria has not confirmed the alleged target—and a Hezbollah convoy on the Damascus-Beirut highway.

Then on December 7, Syria’s sana state media reported on another attack in which “the Israeli enemy launched at 3:00 a.m. Wednesday a number of surface-to-surface missiles from inside the occupied territories to the west of Tall Abu al-Nada that landed in the surroundings of al-Mezzeh Airport west of Damascus.” Hezbollah claimed the attack was another air strike.

Adding weight to the reports, Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman also “came clean” about Israeli attacks to keep weaponry out of Hezbollah hands.

Delaying the Inevitable?

Regardless of the validity of these or previous claims, Israel clearly has a goal in mind. It is not—as the Syrian government proclaims—to overthrow Bashar Assad. Israel is focusing on the possibility of a future conflict directly involving the Jewish state.

As Netanyahu said in February, “We will not agree to the supply of advanced weaponry to Hezbollah from Syria and Lebanon. We will not agree to the creation of a second terror front on the Golan Heights. These are the red lines that we have set and they remain the red lines of the State of Israel.”

But red lines or not, can Israel prevent Hezbollah’s rise? There are a number of factors to consider.

First, recruits. Haaretz released a report in July with updated figures on the size and scope of Hezbollah. The terror group, while lacking tanks and planes, is a medium-sized army. It has some 45,000 fighters with 21,000 in regular service. Comprised primarily of Shiites in southern Lebanon, Hezbollah has an ample fighting force.

Then there is training. Aside from experience gleaned in the 2006 war with Israel, Hezbollah fighters are gaining experience in the Syrian arena. Unable to prevent Hezbollah’s involvement, Israel has no choice but to watch as Hezbollah’s fighters are trained and battle-hardened for a future conflict with the Jewish state.

One of the few aspects Israel can influence is weapon shipments. Hezbollah has long sought missiles and arms from Syria and further abroad. Israeli air strikes have waylaid many such convoys, but the convoys that run the gauntlet successfully are unknown.

While Netanyahu and the military do all they can to contain Hezbollah, there is little doubt that Israel’s efforts are not stopping Hezbollah’s rise, only slowing it.

According to the Israel Defense Forces (idf), Hezbollah now has the ability to fire up to 1,500 missiles per day in the next war. In 2006, the number was just 200.

These rockets are also more sophisticated. Hezbollah has acquired rockets capable of hitting the Red Sea area to Israel’s south. It is also equipped with a plentiful stock of antiship, antitank and antiaircraft systems.

Going off these facts, Israel appears near powerless to keep advanced technology such as the SA-22 Russian missile system or the Kornet antitank missile out of Hezbollah’s hands.

Then there are the military installations. Hezbollah has been busy since 2006, turning southern Lebanon into a fortification.

The idf recently tweeted an image of Hezbollah’s military infrastructure in Lebanon. Times of Israel called this “an apparent calculated move by Israel to build a case for any future military action. It could also serve as a warning to the terror group itself, demonstrating Israel’s intelligence gathering capabilities as a deterrent.”

But only days later, an idf spokesperson admitted the image was a fake. While the map was a shallow ruse, the point still stands that Hezbollah is well at work in southern Lebanon. Numerous reports corroborate Israel’s fear that southern Lebanon has become a Hezbollah fortification.

And Israel is almost out of time. With the rebels almost driven from Aleppo, Hezbollah’s role in Syria will likely diminish and its attention will again turn to Israel.

Trust Not in Air Strikes

To go to war now might seem a tough choice for Israel. But to wait only gives Hezbollah time to grow stronger. So is there anything we can to do avoid another Israel-Hezbollah war?

Individually, yes there is. And it doesn’t involve air strikes or armaments.

The solution comes straight out of the pages of the Old Testament book of Hosea.

As many Bible scholars will note, the book of Hosea contains some frightening prophecies concerning Israel and the impending war that lies still in the future. But notice how it ends.

“Yet I am the Lord thy God from the land of Egypt, and thou shalt know no god but me: for there is no saviour beside me” (Hosea 13:4). Eventually Israel will turn back and trust in God, but not before the fulfilment of the prophecies laid out in the earlier chapters of Hosea. It will take some tough times for the nation as a whole to come around!

“O Israel, thou hast destroyed thyself; but in me is thine help” (verse 9). These verses show that the people of Israel will learn that God is willing to help them.

But you don’t have to wait until after God’s prophesied Tribulation actually hits! If you and I look to God now instead of trusting in military or intelligence services, we can avoid disaster. That is why the Trumpet continually points back to the significance of God’s Word in modern geopolitics. God is offering an escape from looming catastrophe for any who are willing to turn back to Him today.

Request our free booklet Hosea: Reaping the Whirlwind. Chapter 3 offers the solution Israel needs. It is titled “God’s Love for Israel.”

Military intervention cannot solve the problems Israel or any other nation is facing. But God offers a permanent solution for you and me—and it isn’t air strikes.

Pandora’s Box Opens in Europe

Pandora’s Box Opens in Europe

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Listen to the Trumpet Daily radio program that aired on December 13, 2016.

Der Spiegel recently published a piece titled “Europeans Debate Nuclear Self-Defense After Trump Win.” Donald Trump continues to undermine nato, which has been Europe’s main source of defense. He has also encouraged America’s allies to seek their own nuclear deterrent so they don’t have to rely on the United States. As Europe sees the American defense umbrella fold up, what can we expect to see with the rise of a European superpower? Stephen Flurry discusses this and more on today’s Trumpet Daily Radio Show.

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The War on History

The War on History

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Deficiencies in historical education endanger American democracy.

Populism is on the march. More and more leaders who support globalization and liberal agendas are falling out of favor with their peoples. This pattern is spanning the globe. Many societies have reached a tipping point where fundamental social change or inclusion in federal organizations (like the European Union) must be either fully embraced or rejected. United States President-elect Donald Trump’s electoral victory, for example, has caused many to be fearful of American democracy. It has also stirred fears of populists being elected in other democracies.

The threat to democracy is bigger than one election cycle. Evidence shows that a growing number of today’s youth have a diminished view of democracy as a viable form of government.

In a July report titled “The Danger of Deconsolidation,” Harvard University researcher Yascha Mounk and University of Melbourne political scientist Roberto Stefan Foa explored some dangerous trends among American millennials. The researchers drew their data from World Values Surveys of Europe and America between 1995 and 2014. The data showed that many millennials (those born in the 1980s and 1990s) are increasingly supportive of political radicalism and autocratic alternatives to democracy.

The study showed that while 43 percent of older Americans object to the idea of a military coup, only 19 percent of millennials do. In Europe, 36 percent of millennials object to coups, as opposed to 53 percent of older citizens. Mounk and Foa wrote in their report:

In the past three decades, the share of U.S. citizens who think that it would be a “good” or “very good” thing for the “army to rule”—a patently undemocratic stance—has steadily risen. In 1995, just 1 in 16 respondents agreed with that position; today, 1 in 6 agree. While those who hold this view remain in the minority, they can no longer be dismissed as a small fringe, especially since there have been similar increases in the number of those who favor a “strong leader who doesn’t have to bother with parliament and elections” and those who want experts rather than the government to “take decisions” for the country. Nor is the United States the only country to exhibit this trend. The proportion agreeing that it would be better to have the army rule has risen in most mature democracies, including Germany, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

A disturbingly high number of millennials in America and in Western Europe look more and more favorably upon undemocratic governments. It appears a high minority would rather have Julius Caesar or Benito Mussolini reign in the land of the free.

The study also points out that only around 30 percent of millennials see the civil rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution as “absolutely essential” in democracy (compared to 41 percent of older Americans). Around a quarter of U.S. millennials believe that free elections are not important to a democracy.

Nearly 25 percent of young Americans, millennials and teenagers, believe that democracy is a “bad” or “very bad” way to run the United States. That is significantly higher than most other age demographics. In 1995, 16 to 17 percent of young Americans thought democracy was a poor way to run the country.

Having rejected some of America’s fundamental political values, more and more millennials are becoming susceptible to being swayed into radicalism. Politicians and corporations are looking to empower the youth—yet they may do so at our own peril.

Identifying the Cause

Mounk and Foa point to the problem of deconsolidation, or the breakdown of support for democracy, which historically has led to sudden collapse. They point out three fundamental issues in their report:

In the famous formulation of Juan Linz and Alfred Stepan, democracies are consolidated when they are the “only game in town.” This metaphor is as elusive as it is evocative. What does it mean, in concrete terms, for democracy to be the only game in town? In our view, the degree to which a democracy is consolidated depends on three key characteristics: the degree of popular support for democracy as a system of government; the degree to which anti-system parties and movements are weak or nonexistent; and the degree to which the democratic rules are accepted.

When a democracy becomes deconsolidated, it leads to a breakdown in popular support for democratic institutions, strengthening of anti-system parties, and increasing lawless attitude among the elected and the electorate. In America especially, we see all three of these conditions. Approval rating for Congress was at an embarrassingly low 13 percent early this year. Many anti-American forces have been at work in the government for decades, and a populist won the presidential election. Above all, there is an attitude of lawlessness and resentment toward the U.S. Constitution, especially from academia and the Obama administration. But this attitude has also been increasingly apparent in the average American citizen.

What caused this shift toward radicalism? These sorts of issues are never monocausal; family breakdown, economic woes and progressive social trends have all contributed. But there is another cause that directly correlates with these undemocratic trends in our young people: the decades-long decline in teaching history in American public schools and universities.

The millennial generation has become a victim of ignorance and distortion of truth. History instructs us on the failures and triumphs of the past so we can avoid the bad and repeat the good. The finds by Mounk and Foa suggest that young people do not understand the basics of their own history or the warnings trumpeted by the sands of time.

The War on History

The American Historical Association (aha) released a report showing that between the 2012–2013 school year and the 2014–2015 school year, there was a 7.6 percent decline in undergraduate enrollments in history. The survey asked 123 history departments about their enrollments; of those departments, 96 reported decreases, 55 of which had decreases of 10 percent or more.

The decrease in history degrees conferred over the same period is the greatest change, up or down, over the past 15 years. Millennials showed a marked disinterest in learning about history at the secondary level. Fewer young people learning from the past may explain why a rising minority are more accepting of military coups and authoritarian regimes. It is easy to believe an alternative to democracy is better when you don’t understand it.

However, even if someone is interested in learning history at American universities, what sort of courses can they find?

The aha pointed out in another report published in December 2015 that over the past 40 years, classic intellectual history is losing ground in the composition of history faculties.

Between 1975 and 2015, history studies regarding women and gender increased 797 percent, and the faculty share of those studies also increased from 1 percent to nearly 10 percent. In the same period, environmental history grew from 0.2 percent to 2.7 percent. Race and ethnicity studies grew from 0.7 percent to 2.1 percent—a 220 percent increase! At the same time, faculty specializing in legal and constitutional history declined from 3 percent to 2 percent. Faculty specializing in intellectual history have declined drastically from 10.3 percent to 5 percent. Diplomatic and economic history also declined about 5 and 3 percent respectively in faculty composition. One core history subject that increased over the past 40 years was military history.

These increases in specialized history have been accompanied by a decrease in the education of fundamental, core subjects vital to national well-being, such as the Constitution, the Civil War, and general history of Western civilization.

In an October 28 speech titled “The Decline and Fall of History,” historian and professor Niall Ferguson addressed the unimportant and overspecialized history being taught in American universities. After referring to the December 2015 aha study, Ferguson related several of the specialized history courses that are available at the most prestigious universities in the U.S. These classes are taking the place of content covering the lives of great leaders such as Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln and Roosevelt.

A small sample of such classes include Harvard’s “Emotions in History.” Yale offers “Indigenous Religious History,” “Witchcraft and Society in Colonial America,” “History of the Supernatural” and “Sex, Life and Generation,” to name a few. Stanford provides a study on “Mad Women: the History of Women and Mental Illness in the U.S.”

While studies into such subjects have their own time and place, they should not be the focus nor the majority of the content being taught. Other specialties, such as the history of race, gender and the environment are important to understand, but they should never replace the teaching of what America is, how it became a nation, and the key institutions of freedom.

This lack of education may be a key reason why so many millennials would tolerate a military coup or the removal of all checks and balances in the U.S. government. If young people do not realize how the American government has been a blessing to its citizens, or how American institutions of freedom have changed the world for the better, they will reject these fundamental tenets of American society. What is more, ignorance of world history leaves an individual without any guide by which to make decisions. A strong autocratic leader may appear attractive unless he is compared to the historical facts of Mussolini, Hitler, Stalin and Mao.

Furthermore, these specialized classes usually carry a politicized message. The study of subjects such as race, gender, religion and the environment are popular because they are social issues. If the focus of the course is too narrow, how the subject matter fits into the arc of history will be lost and wrong conclusions can be drawn. The forest can easily be lost through the trees. It also can create an unfair bias in which the truth and the past are distorted.

History Hijacked

There is one more question to ask: Why would American history instructors neglect teaching the most essential parts of history? Not only are less millennials enrolling in secondary courses, the kind of history being taught is also deteriorating. The problem lies in the ideas of those teaching history.

Between the 1950s and 1970s, American politics became much more liberal. The various civil and social rights issues sparked a wave of change. It also opened the door for far more radical ideas to be accepted into the mainstream of American academia. American education readily adopted the liberalism of German rationalism at the beginning of the 20th century. This provided the foundation for American universities to shift even further left during the Cold War. Communism became very popular among professors, and this bias was introduced into the classroom. In his booklet Great Again, Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry writes:

In the 1960s and ’70s, America had many problems with rioting and violence on college campuses. Educators would ask who was in charge, and in almost every case, there was nobody in charge except the people who were rioting.Soon, the New Left began to get into those institutions and gain control. It was in the education system that the left got its foothold into the nation: first in colleges, then high schools and even elementary schools. It is from the education system that a nation gets its leadership. Where did the ideas of America’s leaders today come from? From our educational institutions.

Further proof is in the revisionist movement that occurred during the Cold War era. This is once again becoming a persistent problem, especially as social justice warriors seek to justify their political beliefs by using history. John Lukacs wrote in his book Remembered Past:

The third, and much larger, wave of revisionism came not from the New Right but from the New Left. These were the historians who during the fretful 1960s attempted to rewrite the origins of the Cold War with Russia, arguing and claiming that American foreign policy and aggressiveness were at least responsible, if not more, for the coming of the Cold War than was the Soviet Union. … Unlike the revisionists of the 1920s and 1940s, these authors had little opposition from most of their historian colleagues: for such was the, generally leftist, intellectual tendency of the American 1960s.

The students who rioted on university campuses against the Vietnam War or protested over civil rights are now the instructors. Individuals with radical political views, and especially those who espouse communism, have become very powerful voices in the American educational system. Many view communism as an alternative to the U.S. Constitution. President Barack Obama is a product of such radical instructors (read America Under Attack for more background on the president’s education).

Juan Linz and Alfred Stepan stated that democracy must be the “only game in town” if it is to be secure. Why isn’t democracy the only game in town? Have millennials, scholars and educators found a better alternative to democracy? There is a twofold problem. First, the right kind of history is not being taught. Second, an antidemocratic, radical-left worldview is being taught at most universities. The fruits are plain to see.

A Law of History

The statistics reported by Mounk and Foa do not portend a revolution against the American government, but they do show a disturbing trend among a minority of millennials. Democracies die at the hands of those they govern. While there are many causes for this discontent, ignorance of the alternatives may very well be a major explanation. Unless the deficit in historical education is fixed, these statistics will only become worse.

The war on history is being waged by our own educational system to the detriment of our people. This self-defeating trend can only lead to terrible consequences. Do we not owe it to our forefathers—whose strength of character led them to dare the odds to forge this great nation, those whose deeds were noble and worthy—to change our wretched state? Do we not owe it to all of those who lived and died for us, and who through prayer, blood, sweat and tears changed the course of history?

A law of history is that those who do not learn from the past are doomed to repeat it. We may well add, those who fail to teach history are doomed to become history.