Ever since the industrial revolution, Western civilization has known its most prosperous age. Goods and services in quantities that were unimaginable before. Commodities such as transportation, electricity, water and heat have made living as easy as it has never been.

Technology and all its features have simplified our lives and everyone has more free time than ever… yet with all of the good news, we are most likely doomed.

What I mean is that we live in a paradox. The more we have to make our lives easy the less we are; that is: the less virtuous we become.

Civilizations fall for reasons, though many will deny those facts because they are in “the past”, thus causes today different and are not relevant. This is the relativist argument, that denies our ability to learn from our past mistakes.

The reason why the paradox is true is because of Rome. I will simply bring to light the parallels and let common sense do its own work.

-Wealth.
sym03lefttop Political Culture    The Key to the West   sym03lefttop When the Roman Republic had conquered Greece and Anatolia (Turkey) from the Hellenistic Kingdoms, by the 1st century B.C.E., the vast riches of the silk road, Egypt and the whole Mediterranean combined themselves economically under Roman domination. Trade was free from war and crime under the Empire. Thus, began the most prosperous time in antiquity. (cows would not be this fat again until the 16th century A.D.). Production of everything boomed and cities became the largest and most sophisticated that they had ever been up to and until this point.

Similar to the industrial revolution of our time, demographics, finances, production all exploded under the rule of the Republic and later the Caesars.  Much like the modern West, dominating in power, economy and technology.

-Liberality and hedonism.
In the early republic, Rome was a very traditional and conservative society. But when it became wealthy and powerful, morality was as relative as the gods wishes. Wives would compete among themselves to see who was unfaithful with the most men. Vanities such as fashion and public image became the primary concern and expense; perfumes, wigs, food, houses, money and fame.

I don’t think any  today would have much trouble seeing these similarities in our own society today. How else could people enrich themselves producing gosip magazines and TV shows that speak of every minute detail of celebrities and their lifestyle? Or the colossal entity of the fashion world? What about the usual bragging over the nice car, girl and beach house?

-Democracy and populism.
The fall of the Roman Empire is attributed to barbarians and civil wars. I prefer to say that the Romans committed suicide with the Edict of Caracalla, in 212 A.D., that made every free man a Roman citizen. Thus rendering the term meaningless, there were no more Romans who could ever dream of bringing back a republican rule and ending tyranny. The already unstable legitimacy of the throne and the empire’s institutions became non existent.

I keep hearing, in the youth of the West, the idea that everyone can come and be a part of your country. As if the Western philosophy that erected those states was relative and meaningless. As if the races of the West were evil and should not have their own self-determination. Even if that were true (ridiculous), under pure political terms, to say that anyone can be part of your republic, by being a citizen, renders it meaningless. It would simply have no value to sustain it.

The Romans extinguished themselves and ceased to exist, and the greatest civilization that has ever existed collapsed.

The people who built it were just outnumbered and it ceased to be Roman in any real way.

-Migration and Integration.
62 rome2 300x188 Political Culture    The Key to the West   62 rome2 The Romans were only a city when they began in the 8th century B.C. When they conquered Italy they differentiated themselves from the rest of the Italians for centuries, until they all spoke Latin, lived like Romans and under the same laws. They then became Romans and Italy was unified culturally and politically by the 1st century B.C.E.

The situation in the 4th century A.D. was very different. Germanic peoples migrated to Roman provinces. Under the permission of the Empire they established themselves. Because any free man was a citizen (Caracalla) they did not have to integrate too much, or at all. They could join the army and choose their own emperors under threat of revolt. Thus the late Roman Emperors didn’t even speak Latin.

Today under the ideological flag of tolerance, internationalism and multiculturalism the West has barbarians inside the gates. As insensitive as that sounds, the fact is that migrants are not integrating, living in ghettos, and choose to have their own laws, like sharia.

-Ethno-religious factor.
As more and more peoples lived under the Romans, and more and more religions entered the empire, society changed. This and migration, ended the Romans forever. They could no longer look back and see similarity or resemblance with their society. Over-expansion made integration impossible and a lack of self-observation destroyed their identity.

Tacitus said about the Helvetii:

“The Swiss, a Gallic people once famous for their manly courage in war, now a distant memory” (Histories 1.67)

That is one of the reasons why Christianity became so popular  200 years since its creation and was able to erase the old virtues and traditions of antiquity.

Trying to alienate the peoples of the West from our past will have the same outcome it had for Rome: total civilizational collapse.

Rome decayed and then it was gone. We are decaying as well. Machiavelli said that an effeminate people is weak and will be conquered by a stronger one. Luxury, despite the economic crisis and hard work we do, is strongly present in our modern West.

Whether you are an old style conservative, fighting for morals, or whether you are an alt-right, desperate to save the white race, or even a devout catholic who seeks to save Christian Europe, and you agree is beside the point.

As has been said,  taking as example the Swiss:

” the one thing which has united this nation and its people has been a common agreement and commitment on the preservation, not of some concept of culture, faith or race, or language, but of democracy and the values of a free society “

So when the Romans died out, it was not because there were no true Romans left, as that would be like the “no true Scotsman” fallacy, it is because they allowed their political culture to die out. When Brutus killed the first king of Rome, the senate exclaimed:

“sic semper tyrannis”.

But the Empire arose nonetheless.

I would not like to see the West subsumed by Islam. But to fight for the West’s political culture of freedom and individuality. That is a life worth protecting. A life of reason and virtue.

 

Vergilius Rex

Vergilius Rex

Just someone who remembers the past and sees virtue in it.

3 Comments

  • Alfa says:

    Great article, Vergilius Rex. It would be great if you or someone else provided a list of books for us readers to study about the west and other important issues.

    • Decadent Perspective says:

      For Rome read Tacitus, Titus Livy—as well as Machiavelli’s Discourses on Livy—, Sallust, and Edward Gibbon. As for history and its relevance in general, read Gombrich, Toynbee, Spengler, Samuel P. Huntington, Richard J. Evans, Francis Fukuyama, Fernand Braudel, Timothy Snyder, Mark Steyn. That will get you started off splendidly. Enjoy!

    • VergiliusRex says:

      You can read the original books of the time. Romans like Julius Caesar, Cicero, Seneca, Marcus Aurelius all have good books. Cicero is the prime republican though, so is a personal favorite. Or greeks like Herodutus, Aristotle, Plato. It’s not only philosophy but window into the ancient world. Renaissance writers wrote extensively about antiquity as well, my favorite being Machiavelli, the Prince and the Discourse on Livy.

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