Gabriela Calderon de Burgos writing at Cato gives us the details, and this quote that appeared on the front page of Ecuador's largest newspaper:
When you see that trading is done, not by consent, but by compulsion–when you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing–when you see that money is flowing to those who deal, not in goods, but in favors–when you see that men get richer by graft and by pull than by work, and your laws don’t protect you against them, but protect them against you–when you see corruption being rewarded and honesty becoming a self-sacrifice–you may know that your society is doomed.Yes, that quote does remind me a lot of contemporary America. No doubt it reminds a lot of you lot in NZ of New Zealand.
But its presence in an Ecuadorian newspaper also gives me some hope and reminds me of something Nathaniel Branden said in the original Basic Principles of Objectivism course way back in the early '60s. He was lamenting the loss of 75% of Aristotle's works from the fire in the Library of Alexandria. (I, too, mourn that event still.) But he noted, referring to the remaining 25% aiding the birth of the Renaissance: "A little reason goes a long way."
Indeed it does. Whether that little will be enough in our present circumstances, it is too soon to tell.