To put it briefly, civilizations always die of a drying up of their religious sap, of an antagonism which grows up between the fundamental aspirations of the human soul and the frameworks in which societies seek to confine those aspirations. --Henri Daniel-Rops
Yesterday was one of those days in which I thought to myself -- and said to my son -- Life would be great if it weren't for fucking history.
Conversely, the flowchart which we are proposing must be in but not of history; responsible for change, but itself unchanging:
not in time, but above it, and, far from arresting the progress of history, rather accelerates its course and the progress of knowledge (Maritain).
Naturally, if your map is accurate, you'll get to your destination more quickly. It is at once why the United States progressed so rapidly when it was grounded in such principles, and why it is now well into decadence and decline.
I once comforted myself by saying that What can't go on won't go on, not realizing that what can't go on is in fact the ordered liberty of a nation founded upon immutable principles of natural law; that fallen humanity not only could but did upend paradise, every time.
And that was way before the Bidens got here. Barbarians are not only inside the gates, they are inside every institution and holding all the reins of power against which truth...
They don't need no steenking truth!
Thaaaat's right Petey.
To be a conservative is to understand that man is a problem without a human solution.
Now I have to comfort myself by remembering that
The truth does not share the defeat of its defenders,
Today the conservative is merely a passenger who suffers a shipwreck with dignity.
For under the best of circumstances
Civilizations are the summer buzzing of insects between two winters.
I don't hear any buzzing, and if this is global warming, why is it freezing in here?
In place of the vertical cosmic flow chart, we now have the static two-tiered leftist system in which
Leveling is the barbarian's substitute for order.
Now, it's not just the news of the day, year, or millennium that has me reaching for the black pill. I also happen to be reading a history of The Church of the Apostles and Martyrs, which takes place during the transition from a 200 year period of unprecedented peace, order, and (relative) tranquility, to an eerily similar period of cynicism, decadence, and decline.
Yes, people are always comparing every period to the end of the Roman Empire, but someday someone will be right. Let me find a couple of passages that made my ears perk up.
One paradoxical point the author highlights is that -- I'll paraphrase here -- we usually think of a revolutionary situation occurring during times of tumult, chaos, and uncertainty.
However, the seeds of revolution require stability in order to be sowed and nurtured. Think of our own recent period of unprecedented stability, and the destructive ideas that were being propagated and imbibed right under the surface. A
doctrine needs a certain period of stability in which to permeate society thoroughly.
Here is one of the paradoxes of human government: by establishing order and peace within its boundaries a society makes it easier for forces within its bosom which are attempting its destruction to act, despite all the precautions it may take to prevent this (Daniel-Rops).
In hindsight, obvious. Liberal democracy, insofar as it remains liberal, sows the seeds of its own eventual destruction by its liberality toward the progressive and tyrannical enemies of liberalism. Should have seen it coming, but it's too late now.
I was one of those people who scoffed 15 years ago, when we first heard rumblings about the left's assault on the first amendment. "Never happen," I said. "Stop sounding so paranoid, you're just giving ammo to the left to depict the right as a bunch of unhinged conspiracy theorists."
I don't know enough about history to know about the inevitability of these things, but this guy writes with a great deal of authority and confidence. He's clearly smarter than you -- just look at him:And he says
the fundamental causes which, later on, from the beginning of the third century onwards, were to push Rome more and more rapidly towards the abyss were already present in the Empire's Golden Age.
History is obnoxious enough, but does it happen faster in our day? This is what Terence McKenna thought in his chemically aided visions, and it sounds plausible.
Certainly affluence cuts both ways, and not just today, for it
was to cause the disintegration of Roman society in exactly the same way as, fifteen centuries later, it brought about the collapse of Spain, after the American expeditions of the Conquistadores.
All that gold flowing in merely enabled people to stop working and
the idle rich to spend riotously on dwelling-houses, food and drink and material pleasures of all kinds.
But enough about the Bidens.
Well, a little more:
Cowardliness and cruelty went hand in hand.... Men no more wanted to defend their frontiers than to till their soil.... Roman society was attacked in its most vital spot, at the source which sustains all societies; the structure of the family was shaken to the roots, and the birth-rate began to fall.
Fourth trimester abortion was rampant, "the 'exposing' of new-born babies acquired terrifying proportions," and divorce "became so commonplace that no one attempted to provide reasonable justification for it anymore: the simple desire fore a change sufficed."
This French snob makes rather sweeping claims, but again, I don't know enough to refute him:
States have always shown themselves completely incapable of restoring their moral foundations once they have allowed themselves to weaken. The Roman authorities were far from being unaware of the peril, but their good intentions were absurdly useless, in view of the forces which were driving their society to ruin.
With good humor and pessimism it is possible to be neither wrong nor bored.