Hat tip to Vox Day as he links to and quotes a very interesting article about the decline and fall of the Roman Empire by one of its modern descendants, an Italian chemist named Ugo Bardi. Vox is referencing in his title the science fiction story “A Canticle for Leibowitz” where a future world forms monasteries to preserve knowledge through a new fictional Dark Age as the analogy of us recognizing the coming Dark Ages after ours. Which also hearkens to Rod Dreher’s book “The Benedict Option: A Strategy for Christians in a Post-Christian Nation,” where he compares the present societal decay with the post Roman age that sparked the monastic age. Bardi in his article goes into the extant texts of Romans from the beginning of the Roman crisis under Marcus Aurelius all the way to end of the Empire in the Fifth Century to argue that the Romans never figured out either what was happening to them or that the Empire could end.
I’ve been fascinated by the spectacle of the Roman Empire since I was a schoolboy hearing about Rome from my Catholic grammar school nuns. Thinking that we are in an analogous situation is equally fascinating and depressing. But maybe there is still time to avert such a collapse. Vox thinks it’s probably too late for the US. I try to be more optimistic. If you find the current societal situation at all analogous to that other example of civilizational collapse then you might be interested in looking at both posts.