Paul Craig Roberts: The Eroding Character Of The American People

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Paul Craig Roberts,

How can the life of such a man
Be in the palm of some fool’s hand?
To see him obviously framed
Couldn’t help but make me feel ashamed to live in a land
Where justice is a game.—Bob Dylan, “Hurricane”

Attorney John W. Whitehead opens a recent posting on his Rutherford Institute website with these words from a song by Bob Dylan. Why don’t all of us feel ashamed? Why only Bob Dylan?

I wonder how many of Bob Dylan’s fans understand what he is telling them. American justice has nothing to do with innocence or guilt. It only has to do with the prosecutor’s conviction rate, which builds his political career. Considering the gullibility of the American people, American jurors are the last people to whom an innocent defendant should trust his fate. The jury will betray the innocent almost every time.

As Lawrence Stratton and I show in our book (2000, 2008) there is no justice in America. We titled our book, “How the Law Was Lost.” It is a description of how the protective features in law that made law a shield of the innocent was transformed over time into a weapon in the hands of the government, a weapon used against the people. The loss of law as a shield occurred prior to 9/11, which “our representative government” used to construct a police state.

The marketing department of our publisher did not appreciate our title and instead came up with “The Tyranny of Good Intentions.” We asked what this title meant. The marketing department answered that we showed that the war on crime, which gave us the abuses of RICO, the war on child abusers, which gave us show trials of total innocents that bested Joseph Stalin’s show trials of the heroes of the Bolshevik Revolution, and the war on drugs, which gave “Freedom and Democracy America” broken families and by far the highest incarceration rate in the world all resulted from good intentions to combat crime, to combat drugs, and to combat child abuse. The publisher’s title apparently succeeded, because 15 years later the book is still in print. It has sold enough copies over these years that, had the sales occurred upon publication would have made the book a “best seller.” The book, had it been a best seller, would have gained more attention, and perhaps law schools and bar associations could have used it to hold the police state at bay.

Whitehead documents how hard a not guilty verdict is to come by for an innocent defendant. Even if the falsely accused defendant and his attorney survive the prosecutor’s pressure to negotiate a plea bargain and arrive at a trial, they are confronted with jurors who are unable to doubt prosecutors, police, or witnesses paid to lie against the innocent defendant. Jurors even convicted the few survivors of the Clinton regime’s assault on the Branch Davidians of Waco, the few who were not gassed, shot, or burned to death by US federal forces. This religious sect was demonized by Washington and the presstitute media as child abusers who were manufacturing automatic weapons while they raped children. The charges proved to be false, like Saddam Hussein’s “weapons of mass destruction,” and so forth, but only after all of the innocents were dead or in prison.

The question is: why do Americans not only sit silently while the lives of innocents are destroyed, but also actually support the destruction of the lives of innocents? Why do Americans believe “official sources” despite the proven fact that “official sources” lie repeatedly and never tell the truth?

The only conclusion that one can come to is that the American people have failed. We have failed Justice. We have failed Mercy. We have failed the US Constitution. We have failed Truth. We have failed Democracy and representative government. We have failed ourselves and humanity. We have failed the confidence that our Founding Fathers put in us. We have failed God. If we ever had the character that we are told we had, we have obviously lost it. Little, if anything, remains of the “American character.”

Was the American character present in the torture prisons of Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo Bay, and hidden CIA torture dungeons where US military and CIA personnel provided photographic evidence of their delight in torturing and abusing prisoners? Official reports have concluded that along with torture went rape, sodomy, and murder. All of this was presided over by American psychologists with Ph.D. degrees.

We see the same inhumanity in the American police who respond to women children, the elderly, the physically and mentally handicapped, with gratuitous violence. For no reason whatsoever, police murder, taser, beat, and abuse US citizens. Every day there are more reports, and despite the reports the violence goes on and on and on. Clearly, the police enjoy inflicting pain and death on citizens whom the police are supposed to serve and protect. There have always been bullies in the police force, but the wanton police violence of our time indicates a complete collapse of the American character.

The failure of the American character has had tremendous and disastrous consequences for ourselves and for the world. At home Americans have a police state in which all Constitutional protections have vanished. Abroad, Iraq and Libya, two formerly prosperous countries, have been destroyed. Libya no longer exists as a country. One million dead Iraqis, four million displaced abroad, hundreds of thousands of orphans and birth defects from the American ordnance, and continuing ongoing violence from factions fighting over the remains. These facts are incontestable. Yet the United States Government claims to have brought “freedom and democracy” to Iraq. “Mission accomplished,” declared one of the mass murderers of the 21st century, George W. Bush.

The question is: how can the US government make such an obviously false outrageous claim without being shouted down by the rest of the world and by its own population? Is the answer that good character has disappeared from the world?

Or is the rest of the world too afraid to protest? Washington can force supposedly sovereign countries to acquiesce to its will or be cut off from the international payments mechanism that Washington controls, and/or be sanctioned, and/or be bombed, droned, or invaded, and/or be assassinated or overthrown in a coup. On the entire planet Earth there are only two countries capable of standing up to Washington, Russia and China, and neither wants to stand up if they can avoid it.

For whatever the reasons, not only Americans but most of the world as well accommodate Washington’s evil and are thereby complicit in the evil. Those humans with a moral conscience are gradually being positioned by Washington and London as “domestic extremists” who might have to be rounded up and placed in detention centers. Examine the recent statements by General Wesley Clark and British Prime Minister Cameron and remember Janet Napolitano’s statement that the Department of Homeland Security has shifted its focus from terrorists to domestic extremists, an undefined and open-ended term.

Americans with good character are being maneuvered into a position of helplessness. As John Whitehead makes clear, the American people cannot even prevent “their police,” paid by their tax payments, from murdering 3 Americans each day, and this is only the officially reported murders. The actual account is likely higher.

What Whitehead describes and what I have noticed for many years is that the American people have lost, in addition to their own sense of truth and falsity, any sense of mercy and justice for other peoples. Americans accept no sense of responsibility for the millions of peoples that Washington has exterminated over the past two decades dating back to the second term of Clinton. Every one of the millions of deaths is based on a Washington lie.

When Clinton’s Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright, was asked if the Clinton’s regime’s sanctions, which had claimed the lives of 500,000 Iraqi children, were justified, she obviously expected no outrage from the American people when she replied in the affirmative.

Americans need to face the facts. The loss of character means the loss of liberty and the transformation of government into a criminal enterprise.

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benb's picture

The American people have been scientifically mis-educated, propagandized, and beaten down. A disproportionate number of the under 30's are societal DOAs thanks to the poisoned food, water, spiked vaccines, and weaponized TV. But I am being too optimistic...

847328_3527's picture

<< poisoned food, water, spiked vaccines, and weaponized TV >>


All part of the Gruberization process, I suspect.

PrayingMantis's picture



... Americans are "intentionally ignorant" of other countries' rights and sovereignty while other countries had been well-informed of America's malicious intents of destroying other countries' rights and sovereignty ...

BarnacleBill's picture

No, I don't think Americans are intentionally ignorant, any more than other nationalities. What they are is tribal. Tribal peoples don't care whether their policies are right or wrong; they are instinctively loyal to them and to those who formulate them.

Also, I have to say that I believe the US empire is a long, long, way from collapse. It is still expanding, for goodness sake. Empires collapse only when the shrinking process is well under way. (The recent Soviet Empire was exceptional, in this regard.) It will take several more generations before the darkness lifts, I'm afraid.

Kprime's picture

It may be several generations before the darkness lifts, but it will not be a single generation before the rest of the world decides the USA needs to be bombed back to the dark ages.

macholatte's picture

The only conclusion that one can come to is that the American people have failed.

It's now official, PCR is a complete dipshit.

Hey Paul, how about you get your head out of the clouds and stop looking down your nose at everyone long enough to read a couple of books about brain washing and then get back to us. Maybe you start with this:

“The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. ...We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of. This is a logical result of the way in which our democratic society is organized. Vast numbers of human beings must cooperate in this manner if they are to live together as a smoothly functioning society. ...In almost every act of our daily lives, whether in the sphere of politics or business, in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons...who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind.”

  -- Edward L. Bernays, Propaganda

OldPhart's picture

"Americans need to face the facts. The loss of character means the loss of liberty and the transformation of government into a criminal enterprise."

I think that happened August 13, 1971, but didn't get fully organized (as in Mafia) until 2000.

invisible touch's picture
invisible touch (not verified) OldPhart Jul 25, 2015 3:08 AM

The American people have been scientifically mis-educated, propagandized, and beaten down. A disproportionate number of the under 30's are societal DOAs thanks to the poisoned food, water, spiked vaccines, and weaponized TV. But I am being too optimistic...


no, you are correct, and your model has been exported worldwide, problem is as long others nation consider usa as a model nothing gonna change.

to me the only way to fix all this is a decade without electricity, major off grid solar shit. would be the brain cleaning that the world needs.

PT's picture

The majority have their nose to the grind stone and as such can not see past the grind stone.  They rely on "official sources" to put the rest of the world in order for them, but have no time to audit the "official sources".  Would public education suffer if mothers and fathers were monitoring what the children were learning?  But who has got time for that when both parents are working?  How many non-work organizations were your parents and grand-parents involved in (both the wage-earner and the housekeeper)?  How many organizations are you involved in?

Do you constantly hassle your local politicians or do you just say, "I'll vote 'em out in four years time"?  (Yes, I know, you just don't vote.  Fair enough, this question is for the voters.)

Yes, some of us are guilty of not fighting back.  We had "Shut up and do as you're told" and "Well, if you're not happy with what you've got then work harder" beaten into us.  Some of us are a little awake because, despite all our efforts, the grind stone was removed from us and then we got to see the larger picture of what lies behind the grind stone.  Others are still busy, nose to the wheel, and all they see is the wheel.

And that is before we even consider HypnoToad on the Idiot Box.  Some "need" the idiot box to help them wind down.  Some can no longer enjoy the silence.  (Remember Brave New World?  It's true.  Many people can no longer stand to be around silence, with nothing but their own thoughts.)  I tell everyone that TV is crap.  Radio is crap.  Newspapers are crap.  Turn that shit off for six months to a year, then go back to it and see what you really think of it.  But they can't handle the thought of being away from "the background noise".

Ever spoken to grandparents who remember wars and depressions?  And even amongst the rations and the hardships they still find positive memories?  Time to talk to them again.  Or not.  I guess we'll get first-hand experience soon enough.

Keyser's picture

Well, we already have President Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Herbert Camacho... Pass the Brawndo, cause it has electrolytes...

AlaricBalth's picture

Allow me for a moment to share a brief anecdote about the new "American Character".

Last Sunday I was at the local supermarket. I was at the bakery counter, when suddenly a nicely dressed, Sunday best, non-Caucasian woman barrels into my cart riding a fat scooter. She rudely demands from the counter person a single cinnamon bun and then wheels off towards the front. Curious, I follow her up the aisle as she scarfs down the pastry in three bites. She then proceeds to stuff the empty bag between some soda bottles and scooters through the checkout without paying for her item. In the parking lot she then disembarks from her scooter, easily lifts it into the trunk of her Cadillac and walks to the drivers side, gets in and speeds off with her kids, who were in the back seat.

Amazed at what I had just witnessed, I went back into the store, retrieved the empty bag, included it in my few items at checkout and then went to the manager to share this story with him. He laughed and said there was nothing he could do.

The new "American Character" is that of a sense of entitlement and apathy.
I weep for the future.

Rubicon727's picture

We educators began seeing this shift towards "me-ism" around 1995-6. Students from low to middle income families became either apathetic towards "education" or followed their parent's sense of "entitlement." Simultaneously, the tech age captured both population's attention. Respecting "an education" dwindled. 

Fast forward to the present: following the 2007-8 crash, we noted clear divisions between low income vs middle/upper class students based on their school behavior. Low to slightly middle income students brought to school family tensions and the turmoil of parents losing their jobs. A rise in non-functioning students increase for teachers while the few well performing students decline significantly. 

Significant societal, financial shifts in America can always be observed in the student population.


HamFistedIdiot's picture

"a nicely dressed, Sunday best, non-Caucasian woman "


The enabler-in-chief might say, if it was to his advantage in further dividing this country, "If I had a mother..."



Kayman's picture


Oddly, you failed to see your character.  In that, there is hope.

DrLucindaX's picture

Meh. There have always been thieves. That obese woman's life is misery, I've little doubt, whether she realizes it or not. It's her children we should weep for. 

Never One Roach's picture

Joe McMahon was killed in front of his home in Pasadena, California. He was just 25-years-old.

Joe McMahon, who used to produce the Discovery Channel reality series Deadliest Catch, was killed by multiple bullet wounds. According to family members, McMahon had stepped outside to check on some noise outside his home when unknown assailants pumped multiple bullets and fled.


Merika; we're "exceptional!"

ThroxxOfVron's picture

"The loss of character means the loss of liberty and the transformation of government into a criminal enterprise. "


"I think that happened August 13, 1971 "


The entirety of the Western Hemisphere, not just 'The United States', was seized by invaders from Europe.

It is not an 'American' disease: it is a European disease and always was.

The indiginous populations of the Western Hemisphere were suystemaically and with forethought expropriated, ensalved, and slaughtered.  The indiginous persons that dwelled within the geographical domain that presently comprise the USA were still being margialized, forcibly relocated, and murdered, long after the so-called 'American Civil War' had been decided.

...& As much as it is fashionable and/or politically expedient to vilify and blame the 'white' Europeans both for this history and extenuate that history to inform the present state of affairs, the Dutch, the French, the Portuguese, and the Spanish ( most eggregiously IMHO) were brutal and savage.

Look at the demographics of the Western Hemisphere.  

If you have a shred of honesty you just can't hang the blame on 'whites', put it on a bumper sticker or a #shittyhashtagmeme and go back to fucking off.

The disgusting fraud of Manifest Destiny was a fig leaf to hide the enormity of these crimes; but, they are most obviously European crimes.

...& has Europe changed since the West was settled?  Did Europeans even stop their warring amonsgst themselves?

See for yourself:

That would be: Hell NO.   

Neither in Europe itself, nor in the settled West.

The Pacific Ocean wasn't named for calm waters.  

It was named thusly because it is the natural geographic boundary where the mayhem and brutality and genocide ceased, if only because the greedy and ruthless Europeans had run out of land in the Western Hemisphere with people upon it to plunder and murder...

Took Red Pill's picture

Slightly off topic, but this is a law most people are unaware of; Police have the right to make you get out of your car for no reason!

Jumbotron's picture

Yep...tis true

You can keep up with the U.S.S.A's Para-Militry force (Police) here....


nc551's picture

There are only 2 things a cop can make you do at a traffic stop, supply your drivers license and insurance, and get out of the car.  Always lock your doors when you get out.  If they demand you unlock the car for them to search it, tell them if they are going to illegally search your car without your consent they are also going to have to illegally break into it.

conscious being's picture

Maybe the WhiteMan just brought better weapons? Check this out.

Lakota Sioux Massacre of Pawnee Indians Maybe its something about the human condition?

overmedicatedundersexed's picture

throxx, you post:" As much as it is fashionable and/or politically expedient to vilify and blame the 'white' Europeans both for this history and extenuate that history to inform the present state of affairs, the Dutch, the French, the Portuguese, and the Spanish ( most eggregiously IMHO) were brutal and savage."..

Jefferson had slaves, I say so what? in his time that was common practice, yet we see him from a "modern era" tribes and arabs across africa had slaves and many still do. war and slavery and tyranny are common thru out history across all areas of the world..that a man could overcome his time and produce" the bill of rights" is enough for me to say he was a great man.

the left is always ready to throw out the good for the perfect if it fits the agenda of control thru .gov

brightdayfin's picture

the fed took ownership of the country after they created the great depression.


RaceToTheBottom's picture

While "they" cause a lot of havoc in the world, I believe his main point was people need to take some responsibility for their position in life, personally, professionally and how they relate to their country.

Bendromeda Strain's picture

I think that happened August 13, 1971

November of '63 was kind of critical too, nice trauma ritual to get us softened up.

conscious being's picture

Leading italics cannot upvote javascript issue.

jerry_theking_lawler's picture

I hate to disagree with you OP, but this started happening in around 1861ish (or sooner). The southern states could see the path the country was going down and wanted out. It excellerated in 1913.


What you see in 1971 is just one of the outcomes of this long process.

RichardParker's picture

The die had been cast WAY before 1971.  Take a look at the circumstances under which the CONstituitional CONvention took place as well as the outcome of it.

OzFan's picture

Lol @ complete incomprehension of PCRs article.


Bendromeda Strain's picture

I dunno... what if Hurricane Carter did do it?


ILLILLILLI's picture

The US will collapse from an exogeneous event outside of its control.

El Vaquero's picture

The US will collapse within the next decade if some serious new technology is not developed and the infrastructure to use it is put in.  There is too much debt and not enough material resources to continue growing the ponzi scheme that is our monetary system at an exponential rate without something breaking.  The question is, will it be at the end of this boom-bust cycle, or the next?   And if you look at what is being done on the financial front, which is the backbone of our neo-empire, that is shrinking.  The USD is slowly falling out of favor.  There will come a point where that rapidly accelerates.  We've been in a state of collapse for 15 years. 

NoPension's picture

One thing that MUST be done. And this is disturbing, even to me.

There has to be some way to control, manipulate, allow, permit, regulate ( I can't believe I'm typing this!) the average humans' ability to procreate.

Too many dumbasses breeding. The least capable seem to breed the most. You need some sort of permission to do every single other thing in life, because it affects everyone else, but breeding is unchecked?

I need a permit to build a house. But 3 kids are ok.
Licences to drive or work as a plumber, lawyer or doctor.

What farmer would let any bull inseminate his herd? It is understood how important this is for the success of the flock.

The problem is,the smartest and most capable do the "responsible " thing, and plan. The least capable, everywhere, breed like rabbits.

Idiocracy, the documentary. I predict Mike Judge will be award the Noble Prize in science. It might be posthumously.

ThroxxOfVron's picture

"There has to be some way to control, manipulate, allow, permit, regulate ( I can't believe I'm typing this!) the average humans' ability to procreate. 

Too many dumbasses breeding. The least capable seem to breed the most. You need some sort of permission to do every single other thing in life, because it affects everyone else, but breeding is unchecked? "


Social responsibility can only be maintained without repression by re-instituting self-responsibility.

We will all take the parenting test when we stop stealing from one person to give it to ourselves under the guise of helping endangered children.

Limiting resources will retard the growth of populations.

IF you are barely making ends meet and can't get free stuff from someone else you are probably not going to churn out more kids and condemn both your children and yourself to poverty and want..

plane jain's picture

I get what you are saying:

IF you are barely making ends meet and can't get free stuff from someone else you are probably not going to churn out more kids and condemn both your children and yourself to poverty and want..

But I think maybe you are overestimating some of these peoples' ability to reason and understand long term consequences for short term decisions.

Bendromeda Strain's picture


Curious, no?

NoPension's picture

Throxx, that last line was a joke, right?

RichardParker's picture

"There has to be some way to control, manipulate, allow, permit, regulate ( I can't believe I'm typing this!) the average humans' ability to procreate.

Up until a little over 100 years ago, this was accomplished by survival of the fittest.  However, The Statists/Progresssives took it upon themselves to pick winners and losers.  Dumbing down the population and enslaving it is the only way they can maintain their power.  What you lament is intentional by design.  Things will probably get much worse.



conscious being's picture

Hang on. Darwin may be making a comeback.

plane jain's picture

1) Mandatory home economics/child rearing education for girls and boys in high school. Seriously, taking care of the annoying doll that cries at random times and "tattles" electronically if it is neglected should be standard for a semester. 

2) Maximum term of public assistance/disability (1 year? 18 months?) then require sterilization to stay on the dole. Because if you can't figure out how to feed and house yourself/your family in a reasonable period then it seems reasonable that you don't add to the burden if you require the state to provide for you and yours.

i_call_you_my_base's picture

Yes, the solution is state imposed sterilization. LOL. Watch how fast it's you.

plane jain's picture

AFAIK government checks/debit cards are not imposed by the state. One has to apply for them and qualify.

And I'm okay with it being me, or mine. Not being able to have a baby at will as a sacrifice for a free ride...seems fair.

And as an added bonus, if children were more rare perhaps they would be recognized as precious, more valued and better cared for.

Milestones's picture

In a word 'POPULUTION'. We as a people are destroying our only home--EARTH. It's also called suicide.         Milestones 

Slave's picture

You answered your own question. Make them buy a permit. It's what the government does best.

I do not support this at all by the way.

englishvinal's picture

But.. but but.... Rabbits survive, multiply further and prosper...

So is it the rate of reproduction.... or something else. ??

Dathedr's picture

What the fuck are you talking about, Muricunt?! You Westerners are not tribal people, you imbecile! In order to be tribal you need to be collectivists in mind and spirit, and that you are not! You hold no priciples, rules or laws which are guiding the life of any collectivist organizations, be it tribes, families or nations! You are individualistic liberal scum for most part. And that is why you are so immoral! Collectivist people must uphold rules of their collective, and from there moral comes from, but you... well, the only rule you are upholding it that which states, "How best and most efficiently I can satisfy my needs and desires." Religion, as another mean of building morals, had somewhat balanced your deviant, queer, perverted nature, but since your vaguard libtards managed to dispel religion practices from your minds and souls, there is nothing constraining your twisted, devious nature anymore!

Dathedr's picture

And I have to add, I often wonder why this twisted, deformed individualistic Western scum has a desire to live in collectivist groups since collectivism is so despised in their retarded cultures? For thousands of years there were people who did not wish to uphold to the morals... rules of collectivist groups (be it family, gatherings of farmers or hunters, gilds, tribes, nations, et. al). They were called hermits. But hermits were very spiritual and moral people, whereas you are noting of the sort! Hermits avoided company of other people, whereas you welcome it. Hermits constrained their desires, greed and passions, whereas you want all the freedom on this planet to freely, lavishly and without hindrance pursue your twisted, immoral desires! You are simply immoral liberal scum!

Refuse-Resist's picture

There are about 3 'tribes' in America. Tribes that advocate for themselves, that refuse to accept any responsibility for the actions of their tribe-mates, always side with their tribe-mates right or wrong, and who get results for their tribe and their tribe alone:

  • blacks
  • latinos
  • LBGT/FEMINAZI/TRANSwhateverthefuck

These tribes have special laws to benefit them and they always claim disadvantage despite the majority of public institutions giving them un earned advantages over people not in those tribes etc.

Notice I didn't inlcude Americans of European descent. We're the only group in America, a majority even, that doesn't identify as a group, doesn't statnd up for our rights, and gets shat upon daily for it. And told by the media that any sort of group identification amongst Euro-Americans would be racist and as evil as the Holocaust, all the while being bombarded by propaganda telling us that these other tribes are better than us and therefore we should accept our new position on the bottom rung because white privilege.

Yeah.  I down voted your ignorant social justice warrior sounding ass. Not because I disagree with the bit about moral decay, but because you either can't or won't recognize the extant tribes, or admit that there might be another tribe, not noted above, that actually owns the money supply, the media, and by extension the government of the United States.

See, white people can never notice tribal behavior in other groups, but also cannot ever act in that way amongst themselves because whites are evil racist sadists and all other tribes are goodness defined.

i_call_you_my_base's picture

What are you talking about? Being white in america is awesome and if you can't take advantage of that, it's your fault. If you're a white male, it means you'll get a job over anyone else and you'll never get stopped or harrassed by the police. This idea that white people are somehow oppressed more is absolute nonsense. Everyone in America is oppressed, but white people have the best. Period.