A second fall of civilization? 59

A disaster far more devastating even than universal economic collapse is underway, and our governments, our pundits, our professoriat, the most powerful of our movers-and-shakers, are averting their eyes from it, pretending it is not happening.

Europe is dying. Unless it is prevented by some as yet unproposed and almost unimaginable means, its greatness is coming to an end. The shadow of Islam, an ideology out of the Dark Ages, is advancing over it day-by-day, mile-by-mile, state-by-state. The European nations are dwindling and Islamic peoples are replacing them.  Perhaps because the disaster is too dreadful to contemplate,  we distract ourselves with imaginary urgencies like climate-change, racism, feminism, gay marriage, and, with the loudest hullabaloo, the zealous promotion of the very cause that is destroying us: ‘multiculturalism’, the pretence or fatal illusion that there are other civilizations not just equal to but worthier than our own, and that to them we must give way.

What is threatening is nothing less than the Second Fall of Civilization.  European governments are doing nothing to stop it happening.  In various ways they are expediting it: admitting millions of Muslims as immigrants; permitting the establishment of sharia courts, sharia-compliant finance, Saudi-supported madrassas that teach the fundamentalist Wahhabi creed, and the building of thousands of mosques; bestowing tax-payers’ on Muslim groups without control over how it is used; all-too-easily accommodating Muslim demands for footbaths or prayer-rooms (even in Buckingham Palace); knowingly sheltering terrorist leaders and supporting them and their families; policing those who expose Muslim sedition rather than the seditious themselves; laying down Newspeak rules for official commentators so that Islam cannot be associated with the terrorism that Muslims carry out – and so on. The list could be very much longer.

In the late eighteenth century Edward Gibbon wrote, in The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire: ‘The system of arts, of laws, of manners … distinguish, above the rest of mankind, the Europeans and their colonies. The savage nations of the globe are the common enemies of civilized society; and we may inquire with anxious curiosity, whether Europe be still threatened with a repetition of those calamities which formerly oppressed the arms and institutions of Rome.’ 

Rome fell. It was arguably the greatest disaster in history. Darkness descended over Europe for a thousand years. Like a mansion decayed, deserted by its owners, half buried by an encroaching wildness, it sheltered precariously under its broken roof tribes of lawless and illiterate barbarians restrained only by the terrible would-be-totalitarian power of the Catholic Church. 

But the essence of Rome never died. Light broke again, eventually. Europe rediscovered its Roman heritage. Our culture is fundamentally Roman – or to be more precise, Greco-Roman.

The silver age of Rome (no golden age ever existed) was the Republic.  The republican idea – surely one of the greatest ideas that humankind has ever conceived – arose in ancient Greece: the idea that people of different origins and customs could live together, pursue their chosen trades and occupations, bring knowledge and information, inventions and techniques from many sources, contribute in individual ways to the general prosperity, act and express themselves freely, provided only that they accept the rule of the same law; and the law was to be made by the people themselves. It was the innovation of popular self-government, revolutionary and unique.

The citizens of the Greek city-states realized that they could dispense with the autocratic authority of a king, a chief, a headman. They alone in all the world broke the old universal pattern of human organization – adherence of person to family, of family to tribe, of the tribe being rooted in a piece of earth, its cohesion forcefully maintained by the arbitrary rule of an hereditary chief. To this day the old tribal pattern prevails in Africa and the Middle East. It continues among native peoples of all continents, even where European colonists have established themselves as permanent populations. In Europe itself there are traces and remnants of tribalism, persistent in atavistic sentiment, and lately in active political movements for reversion (for example, among Celts in Britain, Basques in Spain, the Flemish in Belgium.) Such political movements are pathetically nugatory in the dying days of the continent.  

The Renaissance was the re-birth of Greco-Roman civilization.  Again, as in Rome and classical Greece, thinkers began to speculate freely, in defiance of the Universal Church. Science and philosophy could flourish there again, and flourish they did. Exploration and discovery opened new worlds. Europe rapidly became the most fertile and powerful civilization of all time. In the most potent and productive states, kings weakened into figureheads; the people ruled.

From Europe and its erstwhile colonies, the science, the technology, the inventions that the world desires, have flowed. The inventions themselves are copied by far distant nations, which grow wealthy on their production and sale. But few of those countries copy the condition of freedom-under-the-law, and the institutions that preserve it, which allow and therefore foster innovation and experiment, those magnificently daring adventures into the new, with all its risks and rewards. So what will the world do if the source dries up?

Now ‘those calamities’ which threatened Rome are again threatening Europe, as Gibbon feared they might. It is not a clash of civilizations, but of civilization with barbarism. If Europe will not raise a finger to save itself, will America be willing once again to save Europe? What could it do? And if it can do nothing, is there any attempt by Americans to prepare for the time when they’ll no longer have any European allies?

The answer may depend on what leadership comes to power in the United States in the near future.  One candidate for the presidency obviously does not recognize the approaching catastrophe, and seems even to have some sympathy with Islam. The other may see and hear it, but will he act against it?  

Whether the darkness descends slowly through change in the demography of Europe, or is hastened through aggression by a nuclear armed Iran, it will be deep and persistent, unless the American Republic resists it. This time Europe will not be lawless. Worse, it will be under a system of law that, far from protecting freedom, ensures oppression. Sharia, the law of Islam, fixed since the Dark Ages and unchangeable, will hold the people   in subjection. Less escapable and even more cruel than the mediaeval Christian Church; utterly opposed to Justice as it is conceived in the post-Enlightenment West; contemptuous of women, forbidding homosexuality, caring nothing for ‘the environment’, unfavorable to figurative art and music; resistant as iron to innovation, is the law of Islam. It proceeds, Muslims believe, from an authority higher than any king or tyrant, and more absolute: their God. To him all must submit absolutely. ‘Islam’, remember, means ‘submission’.  

Western civilization has at present the political, economic, military, and intellectual resources to prevent a second fall. What is missing as yet is the will. To gain it, we must first take pride in our achievements; recognize, believe in, and have the courage to proclaim the superiority of our customs and ideals over the customs and ideology of our enemy. 

The US presidential election of 2008 may be decisive as to whether our civilization resists and survives, or submits and falls. 

Jillian Becker

September 2008


Posted under Articles by Jillian Becker on Wednesday, September 24, 2008

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