In a review of Mark Steyn’s latest book, After America: Get Ready for Armageddon, Anthony Daniels tells National Review readers that he used to consider himself a pessimist until he encountered Steyn’s predictions of a future world of Western civilizational collapse.

Among Daniels’ most compelling points is his description of the growing role of high-salaried government officials, equivalent to the Soviet-era Nomenklatura:

The members of the Nomenklatura are the warriors who come in the Trojan horse of sweet-sounding government promises: those of universal protection of the population from the vicissitudes of life, from flood to marital argument and toothache, a protectionism that, as Steyn points out, is antithetical to the founding principles of the United States, or even to the notion of free-born Englishmen. The protection offered is like insurance in reverse: The payouts come first, while the premiums are left strictly to the future. Only a Nobel Prize-winning economist is capable of failing to see that this is not viable long-term, that it is in fact a Madoff scheme with powers of coercion. Such schemes are liable to alarmingly sudden collapse, and Steyn even foresees the breakup of the United States as a result, as the more provident parts of the country repudiate the debts of the improvident parts (the Greece and Germany problem).