It is an unusual privilege to witness the declining days of a civilisation – ours. It doesn’t happen often in history.
The first necessary condition for a civilisation to flourish is peace and that’s gone right out the window. The Russian invasion of Ukraine has shot us right back to 1938 with the spectre of nuclear doom thrown in. For all the condemnatory platitudes and sanctions there’s nothing we can realistically do to stop Russia or save the Ukrainians. If we try we risk the Armageddon of World War III. And if the Russians get away with their invasion that’s an open invitation to other aggressors to have a go. Cue China and Taiwan.
The fragile peace we in the West thought we had is at the mercy of the megalomaniacs and psychotics who control so much of the world. And the one power we thought could guarantee peace has descended into such a parlous state politically as to be of dubious value as an ally. Once China decides to move from theory to action in its territorial pretensions it’s unlikely, as things stand, that the US will be much help. True, we now have Aukus but under Biden the US is renouncing its self-imposed post-war commitment to police the world, just as the British, who we previously relied on, had to do. The US will be careful not to find itself again in the military quagmire of an Afghanistan, which it only just managed to scramble out of by leaving its boots behind and which shows that the concept of Pax Americana has already crack’d from side to side, like the Lady of Shalott’s mirror. Would the US go to war over Taiwan? And if it did, would that achieve anything but a re-run of Nevil Shute’s apocalyptic vision in On the Beach?
Like the Roman Empire, the United States has declined mainly from within. Its patriotic energy, its zeal for spreading democracy, even if mistakenly applied in many cases, have been cut away at their roots, tossed on the scrap heap as ‘white supremacy’.
How did it get to this? How did this happen after the post-war years of Western ascendancy? The rot set in when schools and universities departed from their proper function and became incubators of Marxist and quasi-Marxist dogma. It began in the 1940s in academic humanities departments and seeped down into schools so that anyone who had a secondary or tertiary education was likely to be infected. It was not a revolution in the sense of a programmed ‘long march through the institutions’. It was more the result of an intellectual fashion.
The Left became glamorous. For years a Manichean dichotomy hung over universities like a cloud: intellect and creativity were of the Left; the rest was middle-class repressive mediocrity. Then the contagion broke out into the wider community. Graduates were the Trojan horse. Nothing illustrates the victory of the Left more clearly than that, several generations later, its attitudes are parroted in the very citadels of capitalism, the banks and commercial corporations.
The treason of the educators has produced the worst possible thing for the West: a cynical American government in thrall to a kaleidoscope of leftist idiocies, with a senile and mendacious opportunist as puppet-president.
Defence of the nation is something the Left has no time for. Nations are seen as obstacles to the leftist goal of ‘global governance’. They are dismissed as merely the cause of wars.
Put colloquially, our civilisation has lost the plot. The most obvious sign of this is that we have lost interest in perpetuating ourselves. Not only have birth rates in the West fallen below replacement level but millions of potential new lives are deliberately destroyed. A society that kills its young is doomed morally and demographically. At the same time we have developed the obsession with sex common to decaying cultures. In what healthy culture would you find people who subordinate their whole personality to their sexual ‘identity’? Their ultimate loyalty is to themselves, not to the civilisation which has nurtured their privileged lives. How many trans activists will be enlisting to defend our nation when the need arises? How many feminists? Let it collapse is their attitude – though how exactly that would improve their own lot is hard to see.
True, Cassandras have declared civilisation dead before and it’s survived. But ours is the first civilisation which is not being handed on. Its beliefs and values stop with us. They are either not imparted to the next generation or mocked and dismissed as evil.
How can a civilisation that hates its past survive? We have been taught by those same universities to hate ours and to feel ashamed of past achievements. In abandoning our religion we abandoned not only our morality but the belief in the unique value of our culture with its responsibility to bring the benefits of Christian civilisation to others. That phrase would raise a sneer in ‘enlightened’ circles today.
Economically we are becoming vassals of China. We have handed the Chinese much of our manufacturing and hamstrung what’s left by subservience to a new pagan religion of earth-worship. And that’s without talking about Covid, and the colossal debts it has forced us to accrue, and for which we are too pusillanimous to demand indemnity from China, the source of it all.
Culture is a hallmark of civilisation. Our ‘culture’ has become a pathetic joke. When was the last time you saw a painting or a play or a piece of architecture and thought ‘that is a product of genuine talent’? We have lost the criteria of excellence. We elevate the vulgar and trivial to the status of art and ascribe merit to the race or sex of the ‘artist’ instead of to the artifact.
In privileged Australia we are like first-class passengers on a cruise ship in a typhoon, ignoring the elemental fury around us as we distract ourselves with inane deck games about gender and race while supposing the ship to be unsinkable. It’s not.
Putin’s obscene war is the immediate cause of our having our face rubbed in our impotence. In 1938 recognition that, despite illusions of peace, Hitler was intent on aggression gave the British time to re-arm. If against all internal odds we could find the clarity of vision to recognise the Ukraine invasion as a positively last alarm call to strengthen our defences against a dangerous world we might have a chance, even if we can’t save the Ukrainians, of saving ourselves. If not our future is the Dark Ages overlaid with technology.
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