Can you feel it? Do you feel fear? Institutions are failing. Cohesion has frayed. As the poet wrote, the center does not hold, the best lack conviction, while the worst are filled with passionate intensity. Our country is becoming the United States of social anarchy.

Why does this happen? Blaming a hyper-focus on individual rights and a concomitant disregard for personal responsibilities. We “feel” much more than we “think”. Principle of winning asset. Style trumps substance. “I want”, eclipse, “I should”.

This is reflected in the confusion we see all around us. For example, take the unleashed transgender moral panic currently rocking the country. Scientific truth has been trampled on by gender ideology, which insists that our inner emotional state matters more than objective reality. Things have become so irrational that we are told that men and women are just social constructs rather than actual states of biological being.

Our children are the most exposed to this social contagion. Over the past few years, the number of boys and (more often) girls saying they are not their gender has multiplied exponentially. This heartbreaking trend is exacerbated by federal and some state governments, medical associations, and schools that insist on teaching gender ideology and giving dysphoric children immediate “gender-affirming care”—which ranges from “social affirmation”, for example, using preferred pronouns and not calling a child by its “dead name”, to “medical affirmation” such as puberty blocking, and even “surgical affirmation” – which may include teenage girls undergoing mastectomies, radical feminizing or masculinizing facial surgeries and, occasionally, genital ablation and reformation. No wonder so many of our children are angry, confused and depressed.

Or look at our catastrophic open border policy. This year, some 3 million people will enter the country illegally or seeking asylum, often under false pretenses, knowing that they will be released into the country and never be held accountable. Not only do we not know who most of these people are, but some states even reward this illegality by paying for aliens’ health care, giving them driver’s licenses, and offering sanctuary from federal law enforcement. in matters of immigration.

Then there is the national homelessness crisis. Vast swaths of some of America’s (once) most beautiful cities have been reduced to squalid squatter camps. Visit San Francisco, Seattle, Los Angeles or Portland and you’ll see miles of tents housing homeless people – many of whom are neglected and mentally ill or openly drugged – littering the sidewalks with used needles and human waste. It has become a national disgrace.

Amid this mess, crime is increasing at an alarming rate. But rather than tackling the toxic tide, some states and cities have implemented public policies that exacerbate the danger. For example, the city government of Washington DC just reduced penalties for crimes such as carjacking and robbery. Meanwhile, “no cash bail” laws in New York and other places allow those charged with violent crimes to be immediately returned to the streets where they sometimes strike again. Politically progressive district attorneys refuse to vigorously prosecute violations of the law, especially property crimes such as shoplifting, resulting in police making fewer arrests because, well, What’s the point ?

Predictably, such lax enforcement has led to a sharp increase in retail theft, to the point that some stores are now displaying their products in locked cases. Some retailers have even closed their doors rather than fight to stay open amid rampant thefts from which the police do not protect them and against which they have no defence.

Unsurprisingly, our political estrangement from each other is worsening to the point that political violence is a major concern. The risk of assassination seems to be growing. There was the shooting of Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) in 2017, the recent assassination attempts on Supreme Court Justice Brent Kavanaugh and Republican New York gubernatorial candidate Lee Zeldin, as well as the home invasion and hammering of Paul Pelosi, not to mention the Capitol Riot of January 6, 2021. How long will it be before one of our leaders is killed?

This chaos has a more direct impact on people’s lives. Almost a hundred thousand people die each year from drug overdoses, as fentanyl from China and Mexico floods the country with little government hindrance. Suicide has become a public health crisis. Pornography is a scourge that destroys families and corrupts children. We are threatened with wild inflation, and yet millions of people refuse to work. Celebrities get rich modeling dissolute lives for their fans, promoting destructive hedonism. Loneliness is endemic. Social media replaces personal intimacy. Civic organizations are failing. Faith is at its lowest.

But here’s the good news. As responsible individuals, we have the power to turn the tide by leading stable and productive lives, regardless of the turmoil around us. We “simply” need to practice the “seven virtues”: chastity, temperance, charity, diligence, kindness, patience, and humility.

This means, among other life practices, avoiding pornography and refusing the temptation to adultery. Don’t consistently become intoxicated. Avoid addictive substances. Help those in need. Keep his promises. Complete tasks. Go the extra mile. Don’t go into debt. Take pride in your appearance. Don’t throw away. Do not lie. Visit the sick and prisoners. Spend time with your children and pay attention to what they learn in school. Lily. Exercise. Think more. Feel less. Sacrifice for others. Try not to judge. If you are wronged, forgive. Apologize when you offend. Do not chat. Focus on community and family. Give time to good causes. Vote. For those who have faith, practice its precepts. And above all, love the sinner even if we reject the sin.

These things are not easy. We all stumble and fail. But by pursuing lives of individual righteousness, we are likely to achieve personal fulfillment. and dampen the raging conflagration of social anarchy, which is the ultimate solution to restore our nation.

The opinions expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of The Epoch Times.


Award-winning author Wesley J. Smith is host of the Humanize podcast (, president of the Discovery Institute’s Center on Human Exceptionalism, and consultant to the Patients Rights Council. His latest book is “Culture of Death: The Age of ‘Do Harm’ Medicine.”