Building on my previous post “The Decline and Fall of Western Civilisation”, I firmly believe that it is no mere coincidence that the more secular a civilisation becomes, the more it tears itself up in a nihilistic panic and a hedonistic rage.
There are a few terms that I will be using here quite deliberately and specifically, so I will explain what I mean by each.
When coupled with peace, the term “political” covers politics, government, corporate sector, and military-related exercises.
“Philosophical groundwork/landscaping” is a term of my own invention that best described what I am describing. It refers to the writing or rewriting of philosophical views.
A pseudo-virtue is either a virtuous act performed for selfish reason, or a virtue performed without any supernatural aspect, or some act that is considered good but is in fact lacking.
Edward Gibbon claims in his “Decline and Fall of the Western Roman Empire” that Catholicism was one of the main causes for Rome’s collapse. To an extent, I am inclined to agree with him. The virtues espoused by Rome included many Christian virtues. However, most if not all of these virtues had not been elevated to the level that they hold in Christian life and were merely earthly virtues. Thus, with the advent of Christendom, the virtues found an elevated status and began to become more than the Romans treated them, and more virtues began to be practised. These virtues included frugality. The Christian understanding of frugality was found to be incompatible with the Roman view of finance and led to less private spending. As the population stopped spending money as it had, the amount of money collected by the silver mines far out-stripped what was needed, which led to inflation.
At this time, inflation could be managed only by throwing away excess coins and closing the silver mines, and this is what happened. This wasn’t, however, the only thing that happened. The Roman Emperors determined that the Christians were public enemies and authorised their persecution. The number of Christians and their sympathizers, however, was significantly larger than was officially estimated, so when the Christians vanished, the amount of money in the treasury dropped. The cost of war, too, meant that Rome was in debt. This led to a cycle of throwing too much money away, not having enough money, making too much, and so on and so forth.
In an attempt to balance this, Rome began to make vassals and settlements in its conquered lands. In the world today, we have struggled through the Industrial Revolution, the Napoleonic War, the First World War, the Second World War, the Cold War, Global Credit Crunch, et al… In fact, the last 150-200 years have seen very little peace either politically, financially, or spiritually. In fact, the West (especially those countries that made up the League of Nations and Allied Forces) hasn’t lain down its arms since the end of the Second World War.
The West has ceaselessly battled forces both internal and external for the last 70-odd years. The result is that her finances are unable to recover. However, if she stopped fighting, her finances would far out-strip demand. In an effort to stabilise her economy, the West is calling for mass immigration to bolster her population. At the same time that she is doing this, the West is calling for a lesser native birth-rate. The natives cost the West more, and so they must be reduced. The reduction in birth-rates was prepared for by a process of “philosophical landscaping”. The generally accepted view prior to the French Revolution and Enlightenment period was that there had to be some Supreme Being. Following these two events, however, philosophical relativism reared its ugly head and that view began to diminish as the number of atheistic philosophies began to increase.
By the mid-nineteenth century, nihilism and hedonism had begun to dominate mainstream philosophy to the extent that when Friedrich Nietzche put forward his nihilistic philosophy, the public was so open to the idea of atheism that his claim of God’s being dead was palatable and his claim that life was about being individualistic and for our own glorification went by on the nod and sparked a discussion on the role of God in contemporary philosophy.
This discussion, ultimately, led to the conclusion that self-satisfaction was the order of the day and so it ought to be promoted. This led to the no-fault divorce laws, legalised contraception, the breakdown of marriage, and the legalisation of abortion and euthanasia. Alongside this arose the view that God was as relative as everything else we might choose to name, and if we named everything relative to something else, then we could choose to have a God or to have no God.
Having relativism as an underpinning philosophy, however, had some unforeseen side-effects: if everything was relative, then there can be no law since the law is both valid and invalid. The government can no longer legislate safely since it is forced to hold to two or more contradictory positions at the same time, acknowledging them all as being true and false.
This leads us back to the idea that Rome fell because Judeo-Christian virtues were incompatible with their society. What happened was that Rome began to incorporate aspects of Christianity as more and more high-ranked citizens started believing in Christianity. But even as they incorporated these virtues, Rome was denying Christianity. The result was that she began to tear herself apart in civil upheaval. The hedonistic tendencies were given free-rein at the same time as they were being discouraged. Frugality was encouraged, as were alms-giving and the accrual of wealth.
Likewise, we are today being told in the West to live and let live but that we are bigots who say we are tearing our countries apart.
So why do I mention Greece, France, and Germany in the subject if I’ve only barely used them in this text? Because they have followed a similar pattern to Rome. I would argue that all civilisations follow the same pattern that I have outlined above.
(We are now at the second part of this, and I feel I should say that there are very few references because outside of those that I mention, I consider much of this to be common knowledge or at least readily acquired.)
The second part is the role that is played by vices and pseudo-virtues in the downfall of a civilisation.
There is a great deal of talk these days about love and charity as though they are necessarily two different things. Whether they are or not, the world talks about them but never actually defined them. For today’s purposes, charity is doing something good for someone else so that they owe you a favour, and love is about physical sexual attraction to someone else for one’s own satisfaction. These two are no longer virtuous in a traditional sense. Like many others, the virtues have become self-centred things. Nihilism teaches that love of oneself is the be all and end all of life and that suffering is bad.
Suffering, however, is a part of life, and so nihilism has to fight against nature. All the while it does so, it attempts to tell us what is actually real in the observable world. So definite are they that theirs is a true world that any concession they make to the Church or to some other philosophy would cause the whole edifice to come crashing down on top of them. World peace has become less improbable and more impossible. If they were to concede that peace can only be achieved through the imitation of Judeo-Christian virtues, then they would be forced to admit that God must exist, because without God, these virtues are replaced by the pseudo-virtues I mentioned above and upon which I shall now expand.
Charity, as far as today’s world is concerned, is done in the true spirit of the Pharisees: you do something good for somebody and make sure that everyone who can know does know that you are a good person. Love is more accurately described as an unbridled, sexual frenzy for self-satisfaction. Neither of these are related to each other at all. And so, when in the Bible we are told “Love God and your neighbour”, we now have to define what is meant by love. We have to clarify that love here has nothing to do with sexual attraction. It is an other-worldly force and a supernatural desire to do something for someone else for no other reason than that person exists and you are in a position to help them. This love is interchangeable with charity.
However, by changing the meaning of these two terms, the world has confused the message of God transmitted through the Bible. The love that Jesus speaks of becomes shallow and earthly. This leads to Jesus becoming the apathetic prophet of tolerance. Tolerance and apathy are pseudo-virtues born of this faux love and do not support the message and teachings of the Christ. Rather, they contradict Him. Christ tells us that He came to bring all souls to Heaven, but not all would be saved. So much, then, for His super tolerant views. He commanded His disciples to preach to and convert all nations and if they remained unreceived, then they were to shake the dust of that town from their shoes. The apathetic Jesus takes on a much more kingly look here: rather than saying, “Oh well, My Father will show them mercy” He has said, “They have not received Me so neither shall I receive them”. An ultimatum is neither tolerant nor apathetic, it is quite the opposite.
How does this play into my theme? The world tries to refashion its history to suit its needs and in doing so hastens its demise. It becomes committed to its lie to the extent that it would build on sand provided it first clarified that as sand is made up of thousands of minute rocks, then what it has actually built upon is a solid rock foundation. Gradually, vices and virtues are conflated, confused, and then redefined to make things more about the self, and the more this happens, the more it needs to be said that what is being done is good and just.
Unfortunately, man has an inherent desire to know the truth and fullness of things, and so this sandy foundation used by the world leads to civil unrest. The pseudo-virtues become hateful as they are realised to be hollow and unfulfilling. The strongest proponents of these lies become either stronger still, blind to everything but the truth they have imagined for themselves or the strongest opponents to these lies (such as RooshV or Joseph Sciambra) when their reality starts crashing down.
(We now reach the final part, where I try to tie this thing together. The time I have spent writing this is now hitting 4 hours and I’ve yet to collect my references, thanks for reading this far.)
Part three is drawing the previous two parts together to show my conclusion that Greece, Rome, France, Germany, and any other civilisation you care to mention will follow the same inevitable pattern of rise, stagnation, and collapse.
With all this in mind, let us return to the present situation of the world. I posit that where we are today, with marriage about the individuals getting sexual pleasure, children being a tax-burden, the sick and elderly being impediments to our happiness, abortion and euthanasia are viewed as liberations, and so on. Where you are open minded for wearing a strap-on dildo in public parades but bigotted for crying “Do children really need to see this?”, where you are inclusive for suing people who won’t do something that contradicts their religious beliefs but intolerant if you recommend someone else who would happily do it for half the price. Where you are brave for mutilating your body in a grotesque parody and mirror of the opposite sex but brainwashed if you hold to biological realities.
In this world, the virtue of frugality, as raised in my example case of Rome, is hateful as it means you may end up with something your neighbour cannot countenance: self-control over your expenses. The virtue of humility is jeered at and called cowardice and sheep-like behaviour. The virtue of right-judgement is, ironically, condemned as a contradiction of Matthew 7:1 by people who do not believe in the Bible. The virtue of fortitude is sneered at as foolishness that you haven’t tried to improve your situation using modern technology. The Three Theological Virtues are spat upon and trampled as slavish, blind obedience to a non-existent deity by people who are unable (at this time) to fully countenance what it is to have Faith, Hope, and Charity solely because we were asked to.
The current era of civilisation has had changed leadership, it’s had wars, economic collapses, civil upheaval, scholastic rebellions, and even the odd period of peace, but it’s time is drawing to a close, slowly but surely. Just as Greece and Rome before her. The difference between now and then is the tri-country support upon which this civilisation stands: France and mainland Europe, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Island (also Australia), and the United States of America. These three supports make up the modern West, but if any of them should collapse, they pull the others down with them. The united world will be united even unto its collapse, but the West is blind to this and spreads her resources more and more thinly in a vain attempt to steady the supports and continue. Mayhap she can do so for a time, but she will be as the Roman Empire when it was so large that it was deemed best to split it in two.
Each of these countries has already changed leadership styles a few times, and so their heyday is past, their next move is civil war. This war may result in a new leadership or it may not, but in either case it results in the next stage, which is a resurgence of virtue, but it is no more than a fleeting calm before the final collapse. Whether anything is left or not is anyone’s guess, we have nuclear weapons now, which Greece and Rome lacked in their ultimate collapse, and all it takes is one trigger-happy reactionary to kick off global suicide.
(N.b., this isn’t supposed to be black-pilling, I’d like to hear your responses.)
- Edward Gibbon, "Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire": https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_History_of_the_Decline_and_Fall_of_the_Roman_Empire, sorry I don't have a reference to specific pages, I read the book several years ago having borrowed it from my university library.
- RooshV's God-pilling: https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2019/05/rooshv-bans-pickup-artist-talk-after-religious-awakening.html
- I consulted Wikipedia for some ideas, so searching for Greece, Rome, France, and Germany is recommended.
- I'd also note some of the books I used in school and university including: "Christ Our King, Lord of History", "Famous Men of Rome", "Famous Men of the Middle-Ages", and "Egypt, Greece, and Rome: Civilisations of the Mediterranean" by Charles Freeman.
- Lastly, some of what I have learned is original as far as I am aware, so if something I've had looks like plagiarism and does not appear in any of the places I have (very poorly) cited, then it is likely an accident, however I will happily add references if that is desired.
If there are any terms that you feel I should define, let me know and I’ll define them in a comment and add that definition to the text in an edit.