Lately I’ve been tired. Too much going on. Not enough time to get everything done. And when I’m tired, I think of the strangest things. Probably disorganized thought processes. Probably just free association rattling around in my head.
But I seemed to see a parallel between the way I am feeling and our world. Our civilization is tired. It’s slowing down. It’s like a pendulum that’s run out of momentum. The original impetus that got it going has been worn away by frictional losses and its motion is ebbing away. Soon it will stop. And once it stops something different and much less satisfactory will take its place. We won’t be marking time with the Newtonian clockwork precision of the pendulum. We’ll measure it by the frantic beat of our hearts as we run in panic from one disaster to the next.
All signs point to decay and the law of the jungle. The breakdown of law and order in the cities seems to be the new model. The weak will be at the non-existent mercy of the savage and ugliness will be the norm. This all follows the same pattern as past iterations. Rome had its Marius, Sulla, Caesar, Antony and Octavius. We have Clinton, Obama, Biden, Trump and DeSantis. These strange monsters appear around the landscape and strut their hour before being replaced by the next monster. The only thing that’s certain is that the progression is a devolution. Each character outdoes its predecessor in weirdness and in the amount of damage it will do to its surroundings.
Look at the absurd cast. We have the game show huckster. We have the richest man in the world. We have an ancient senile grifter whose bagman son is a drug-addled pervert. Soon we’re sure to have a man dressed as a woman running the world. And finally, we have the prospect that a superhuman artificial intelligence will commandeer our whole human enterprise and possibly pull the plug on all of us.
The more I look at all this the more certain I am that something has got to give. Somehow, somewhere, a portion of this dying world will break loose and make a new start. It’s just not reasonable to think that all the progress and energy that existed a generation ago has all been snuffed out. A civilization that could harness the atom and send rockets to the outer planets couldn’t just lay down and die, leaving nothing behind. Something will survive.
But I’m also very certain that the wreckage will be horrendous. For instance, the American cities look to be an almost total loss. Chicago is leading the way in rushing to meet its fate. They’ve recently chosen a new mayor who ran on a defund the police subtext. The recent murder of a policewoman by a couple of teenage thugs just highlights the new power structure in that city. The criminals have the upper hand and the city government won’t challenge them.
So, the death spiral continues apace and it will get much, much worse before it can even begin to get better. The only part that is difficult to predict is where and how a new civilization will appear. Maybe it won’t even be a western culture. China, India and a few other countries in Asia might hold the seeds to a future renaissance. But in the short term we will have to go through the whole passion play. Next up is the tyrant. Who will be our Caesar? Our Brutus? Or maybe we’ll skip ahead and Hunter Biden will be our Caligula. Only time will tell.
Not just us. Western civilization as a whole is going to hell in a handbasket. Just the other day in Cincinnati, Ohio a handyman was doing some gardening for an apartment complex when another male walked up, pointed a revolver at him and demanded money. When the handyman had no money to be robbed of, the criminal casually shot him through the head, pocketed the revolver and calmly walked away, leaving the body behind rather leisurely. He has not been found or even identified yet. Not a gun problem, an insanity problem.
War Pig, the people running our society are unfazed by the complete breakdown of order. Their bonuses and stock options keep rolling in. From a global point of view the immiseration of the American people is just a minor factor to consider as they casually reshape the planet to their liking. Random destruction is beneath their notice.
for all of human history it was the nomadic herdsman that penetrated the empire, sacking its cities and then become softened and absorbed by the richness that was their booty. In Egypt, Rome, France and Germany. Only Britain found a way to arbitrage its imperial demise with the colonies. America is a manifold of that demise. A stunning coincidence. Maybe our luck has run out. Let’s hope not today.
In my opinion we’re approximating what the empire was like in 362 A.D. The decay that exists can still be resisted by a forceful leader but the rot has stripped away the sense of settled order. And the emperor and the landowners are just only slightly more powerful war lords. The idea of reforming the system is already an impossible mission. Everyone just looks for a corner where the hordes haven’t destroyed the ancient infrastructure. We’d all just like to have running water and indoor plumbing.