Mark Steyn: “Risk Averse Societies are Societies in Decline”

The great conservative intellectual Mark Steyn was the special guest of the Institute of Public Affairs on October 14, 2020. Steyn appeared via Zoom at the Australian event, due to governmental restrictions on gatherings and travel imposed in wake of the global covid-19 panic.

Steyn gave a grim description regarding the prospects of survival for western civilization, given the widespread submission by citizens under near-total-government control during the panic.

Essentially, modern western governments are now dictating whether modern Americans, Australians and Europeans may leave their homes and under what conditions.

“A risk averse society is a society in decline,” said the noted speaker and writer.

“When you’re young you are fearless.” Steyn gave the example of a 7-year-old boy who climbs a tree repeatedly despite falling to the ground.

“When you’re a 77 year old boy you approach the tree more cautiously.”

It is “not a good sign civilizationally speaking” that so many citizens are now so risk averse that they can’t muster any resistance to government restrictions.

“In Europe,” said Steyn, “they’ve created a Faustian “perfect present tense” in which citizens don’t dare resist the state for fear of facing a different, unpredictable reality.