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.
Fifty years into this egregious bout of cultural devolution it is probably worth analyzing what we’ve learned. What seems clear is that the leaders of the supposed pillars of the old regime have proven themselves almost completely useless at withstanding the onslaught of the forces of dissolution. A closer examination of how this conflict proceeds demonstrates that these supposed leaders don’t actually care about the values of their institutions. Their primary motivation is maintaining their positions and prestige. They are completely comfortable with compromising their morals and even the legitimacy of their organizations if doing so will extend their places in the hierarchy. This has allowed almost unlimited damage to be done to the structure of human culture. It has been responsible for plummeting birth rates, widespread divorce and the crumbling of families. It also has contributed to an enormous increase in mental illness and depression. It is hard to imagine that the continuation of this trend for even a very short time won’t prove fatal to our people and way of life.
Looking around I see that several groups and individuals have begun to produce strategies and tactics to allow both offensive and defensive activities.
- Right wing blogs provide articles and discussion on who the enemy is and what tactics work best against them. A good example is Vox Day’s excellent book “SJWs Always Lie.”
- These same websites also act as news sources that allow you to bypass the mainstream media.
- On the religious side Rod Dreher wrote his book “The Benedict Option” to awaken orthodox believers to the severity of the problem and provide information on support organizations and tactics to protect families and educate kids on what it means to be a conservative Christian.
- Donald Trump provided us with a concrete example of what it means to expose the sell-outs in the republican party and call out the liars in the main stream media and get your message out there by social media and your own websites.
- Grassroots activism coordinated by some of the right-wing pundits and more prominent individuals can push back against thugs paid for by Soros and other progressive bankrollers.
- And finally, it becomes important to start building alternate structures to bypass the ones completely infested with progressives. Once again Vox Day has taken the lead with a publishing company that seeks out non-progressive authors. In addition to the science fiction and fantasy books that are the staple of Castalia House his company also produces books of interest to people on the right wing. He started up Infogalactic as an alternative to Wikipedia. And other individuals are building non-progressive structures too. Gab was started as an alternative to Twitter and Brave is an alternative browser that isn’t slanted to the left like Google.
Looking at this situation gives a mixed impression. Something like Trump winning the presidency and possessing majorities in the House, Senate and Supreme Court should be a reason for great hope and enthusiasm. But progress is sporadic and push back from the Deep State and the press is insanely vicious. The contrast in strength between the rich and powerful progressive institutions like the colleges and other schools, Hollywood and the Media against the tiny fledgling conservative websites and other businesses is staggering. And yet, being able to read free thoughts and express your own opinion is intoxicating.
What seems apparent is that the odds are daunting. But what also seems true is that the news black-out against our side is no longer as effective as before. Word is starting to get out. When Steve Bannon goes from Breitbart News to the White House change is definitely happening.
So, what I think can be said is that the road is a very long one. But the first few steps have been taken and the direction is known. My advice is link up with the others out there who are against the progressives. Remember that the enemy of your enemy is your ally. Don’t get into battles over our differences. Look to form ties to like-minded folks. But beware those in the republican party who attack Trump and say we must be “fair.” What they mean is kowtow to the politically correct nonsense that gives the progressives the whip hand.
And support any of these alternative structures that are formed. They need your help, patronage and encouragement. And if you can build anything of your own do it. If you have a talent or a knowledge base use it. And don’t get discouraged. It took half a century to get us in this mess. We won’t clean it up in a year or even a few but we can start to build a new foundation for a better world. And we can annoy the hell out of a lot of snowflakes, so there is that.
Two weeks ago I was watching Andrew Klavan’s podcast on the Daily Wire ( http://www.dailywire.com/podcasts/16856/ep-320-death-stupid-andrew-klavan ) and he had an interview with Rod Dreher who has a book called “The Benedict Option.” I had heard the title before but thought it had something to do with Pope Benedict abdicating. But the Benedict of the title is Saint Benedict who founded the Benedictine Monastic Order. The sub-title of the book is “A Strategy for Christians in a Post-Christian Nation.” The thesis, as he explained it, is that America is no longer a Christian nation and in fact is now a place inimical to Christians trying to live their faith and raise their children in it. He drew the analogy of Benedict coming from an Italian town to the city of Rome about twenty five years after the last emperor was deposed by a Germanic King. Benedict found it a hollowed out and corrupt place. He decided that the only way to live a Christian life was to separate from the dominant culture and set up a separate society. According to Dreher this was the basis of the survival of Christianity and the remnants of roman culture in the Middle Ages.
Needless to say, I ordered the book. I’ve only started it but the introduction basically states that the majority of Americans are not Christians and do not support the traditional concepts as illuminated in the Bible. He believes that there is no chance that the culture will return to where it was even twenty five years ago but will instead continue down the progressive slope to Gomorrah. And in fact traditionalist beliefs will be criminalized.
Sounds pretty depressing. But instead, he says it’s an opportunity. He thinks this will be the start of a revival. And we should, like Benedict, gather the faithful and build a New Jerusalem.
When I finish the book, I’ll give you my opinion on his idea. For now, let’s just say I’m intrigued and I think this idea has relevance for even those who are not Christians but feel that all traditional values are disappearing from the Western world. After all it’s not that hard finding analogies between the present era and the Late Roman Empire. Perhaps this time instead of Attila the Hun being the Scourge of God it will be Lady Gaga.