As those of you who follow these wandering pages know I have recently re-aligned my life to turn and face the strange changes that are overtaking Western Civilization with ever increasing speed. Like ripples whose shape and size shifts but never leave the stream, change is the only constant in a society careening towards a cliff.
The descendants of those who built the empire no longer produce enough children to man the walls. The will to win and the desire to excel has been replaced by a complacency bred of bread, circuses, and entitlement checks distributed by a perpetually re-elected legislature designed to keep the marks from catching the con. A series of lack-luster presidents set the stage for collapse. One declares a new world order and then loses his bid for re-election to a saxophone playing party-boy. This surprise president sets the morality bar so low his scurrilous actions and obvious lack of character corrupt the very fiber of our nation. The next two expand the government and spend us into oblivion.
Empires rise and empires fall. That is the way of the world and the lesson of History. From the 15th century through the 20th Western Civilization used a temporary advantage in technology to conquer the world. Where our military conquered we imposed our culture. Where we didn’t gain political control the vision of our seemingly invulnerable strength and our unstoppable progress led local leaders to discard much of what was theirs to imitate what they coveted of ours.
For five centuries Western Civilization ruled supreme. It was our way or the highway so in our pride we decided ours was the High Way. Then in two spectacular bouts of societal suicide, World War I and World War II, we killed, maimed, and butchered ourselves. We wasted the accumulated riches of centuries and showed the millions of colonial subject people who were brought in to help kill whoever the enemy happened to be that Westerners weren’t invulnerable, weren’t unconquerable, and weren’t even smart enough to avoid the slaughter or hide the evidence.
The destruction of the economies and populations of the various colonial powers inevitably led to the break-up of the empires and the rise of a bi-polar world that pitted a world-wide Communism that was inimical to everything Western Civilization stood for against a united West now led by the newest edition to their ranks: the United States.
We had allied ourselves with the Communists to defeat the Fascists. However the victory of 1945 vanished into fifty years of a Cold War that flashed hot enough times to kill many tens of thousands. This epic struggle brought the Communists to their knees and us to the edge of bankruptcy. As we defeated Communism its less threatening little brother Socialism crept in the back door. We adopted the tenants of socialism: equality of outcome financed by expropriation and wealth and re-distribution to pacify our population through the long war. Today we are fast becoming all we have fought against for the last sixty years: a centrally-planned economy, a regimented society, and a totalitarian state.
This century long series of debilitating wars sapped our will to reproduce just as technology gave us birth control and lax morals gave us abortion. This unholy trinity turned into a demographic time bomb that ensures the eventual submerging of the peoples of the West beneath waves of immigrants swarming in to take their place. The moral rot swilled out from Hollywood, and a reality show culture exemplified and condoned by the political elite inspires and reflects a hedonism that would have made Caligula blush. The entitlement mentality foisted and fostered by buy-a-vote-with-benefits governments has sapped people of the drive and desire to do anything more than sit on a couch and dream of their chance at the golden ring of fifteen minutes of fame.
Sounds like a dismal picture doesn’t it? The most depressing part of the whole thing is that it is true.
Empires rise and empires fall and it is our lot to live on the declining end of Western Civilization: the greatest empire of all time (so far).
No one ever gets to live in the world they were raised in. Time moves on and things change. However most generations don’t watch the inversion of the world they grew up in. Today things we thought were wrong are now right. Things we thought were right are now wrong. What made you healthy yesterday kills you today. The wisdom of the ancients was once sought after in a world of constants today obsolesce often proceeds production in a microwave throw-away culture.
The world has been turned upside down.
Just as a British general marched out of Yorktown to surrender to a rag-tag bunch of summer soldiers, so we the children of those who stormed the beaches on D-Day to free Europe and end the darkness that was Nazism will wonder how were we defeated by those we had once so easily dominated?
The answer will be the same as it was for the British in the Revolution and for the Nazis in World War II: we defeated ourselves. Our over confidence and our desire to have it all led us to forsake the values that brought about our success and the principles that made us who we were. While the Socialist Progressives march us off to the shabby future they have centrally-planned perhaps instead of the World Turned Upside Down we should sing a paraphrase of a
line from the sixties, “In tattered tuxedos they face the new heroes and crawl about in confusion. All the hands raised; they stand there amazed at the shattering of their illusions.”
We stand at the edge of the abyss. We know not what will be only that it will not be what it has been. Do not despair. Do not lose hope. Have faith in Christ. Follow Him and He will guide you to a safe harbor amidst the storm. I have found my place. I am preparing every day for the coming crescendo. My best advice is find Christ, find your place, and hunker down.
Keep the faith. Keep the peace. We shall overcome.
Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion for Southside Virginia Community College. He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com © 2012 Robert R. Owens firstname.lastname@example.org Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens