Today’s Guest Saturday post is by the author of the A Conservative Teacher blog where it was originally published on Saturday, April 7, 2012.
America Dissolving into Barbarian Tribes? Vox Day Speculates
My world history unit on Rome centers on two questions that I ask my students to wrestle with during our time spent studying Rome- how are great Republics created and why do great Empires collapse.
The students arrive at their own answers to these questions, provoked by a range of material from every direction on the political spectrum and offering a range of social, economic, technological, religious, and weather related hypothesis. But the most interesting discussions in my classroom center on making comparisons between Rome and the United States and investigating if we had those things that make Republics great or have those things that make great empires collapse.
Often I wonder what it was like to be at the end of great time periods in history. A couple years ago someone suggested to me that I watch some of the movies that take place towards the end of the Roman Empire and I always meant to watch to but haven’t gotten a chance yet. I think there was another Kind Arthur set during this time period, and then another one based on a lost legion or something- I haven’t watched them yet but I imagine that perhaps they give a viewer a picture of what the end of civilization might look like.
Vox Day, a Christian libertarian and author of “The Return of the Great Depression” and “The Irrational Atheist” and the blog Vox Popoli, recently wrote an interesting article focusing on this very subject. In it, he suggests that the United States, like Rome before her, has let barbarians come into our nation and settle without absorbing our culture and history or learning the lesson of how to be a great lesson. These barbarians are likely marked by their thuggish attitudes, barbaric behavior in blogs and in politics, and hatred of scientific inquiry. They disdain family and relationships, they hate civil society and charity, and they find themselves more at home understanding power and its uses to advance one group over another.
Here is how Vox’s article DISSOLUTION AND POST-DEMOCRACYbegins:
It is always difficult for those who live through transitional periods in history to recognize that they are taking place.
While we distinguish between the Roman Republic and the Roman empire, and mark the birth of the Byzantine empire with the establishment of its capital at Constantinople, it is unlikely that the average person living under Roman rule understood, much less cared, that he was a citizen of the Roman Republic, the Eastern Roman Empire or the Western Roman Empire. Indeed, although we call them Greeks and Byzantines, the men of the Eastern Roman Empire still called themselves Romans and believed they, and not the barbarian-infested ruins of the city on the seven hills, were the true heirs to Romulus and Caesar Augustus, even though they no longer lived in Italy nor spoke Latin….
Read the whole thing here, and think about what it was like to be at the end of civilization, and what those who recognized the end could do to civilize the barbarians, preserve bits and pieces of civilization as it fell apart, and secure for themselves and family some sort of future in the coming Dark Ages.