Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Nations in Decline

Most thinking people think that the West and all its nations, including the United States, are in decline. For liberals and neocons, it seems just the reverse. They see the expanding role of government to be an improvement, a sort of progress. And when social rules and laws change to elevate dysfunctional people to elite status while the normal is pathologized, that's a big step forward. And according to Sir John Glubb, when nations and cultures decline, it's downright spooky how they all decline with the same symptoms. This is from The Irish Savant, here:

A lesson from history

Sweeping generalised interpretations of broad historical trends tend to be suspect especially when used to push a contemporary agenda.  As with the social "sciences" the desired outcome may first be identified and the historical interpretation then retrofitted to conform to Approved Narrative. Sir John Glubb can fairly be excluded from this charge. A former head of the Arab Legion he spent many years examining eleven empires and discovered an astonishing consistency in their trajectory from growth through decline to eventual disappearance. He embodied this in his 1978 book The Fate of Empires and the Search For Survival, a summary of which can be read (here).  It should be read given its uncanny relevance to our own decline today.

Just take these excerpts alone:

The people of the great nations of the past seem normally to have imagined that their pre-eminence would last forever. Rome appeared to its citizens to be destined for all time to be the mistress of the world. The Abbasid Khalifs of Baghdad declared that God had appointed them to rule mankind until the day of judgement. Seventy years ago, many people in Britain believed that the empire would endure for ever."

“When the welfare state was introduced in Britain, it was hailed as a new high-water mark in the history of human development. History, however, seems to suggest that the age of decline of a great nation is often a period which shows a tendency to philanthropy and to sympathy for other races … The rights of citizenship are generously bestowed on every race, even those formerly subject, and the equality of mankind is proclaimed. The Roman Empire passed through this phase, when equal citizenship was thrown open to all peoples, such provincials even becoming Senators and emperors[And Glubb never even heard of Obummer!]The Arab Empire of Baghdad was equally, perhaps even more, generous. During the Age of Conquests, pure-bred Arabs had constituted a ruling class, but in the ninth century the empire was completely cosmopolitan."[And on its way to self-destruction].

The later Romans complained that, although Rome ruled the world, women ruled Rome. In the tenth century, a similar tendency was observable in the Arab empire, the women demanding admission to the professions hitherto monopolized by men. The resulting increase in confusion and violence made it unsafe for women to move unescorted in the streets, with the result that this feminist movement collapsed. 
“When I first read these contemporary descriptions of tenth-century Baghdad, I could scarcely believe my eyes……The resemblance of all the details was breathtaking – the break-up of the empire, the abandonment of sexual morality, the ‘pop’ singers with their guitars, the entry of women into the professions, the five day week......In the second half of the tenth century, as a result, much obscene sexual language came increasingly into use, such as would not have been tolerated in an earlier age.” 
“Neither is decadence physical. The citizens of nations in decline are sometimes described as too physically emasculated to be able to bear hardship or make great efforts. This does not seem to be a true picture. Citizens of great nations in decadence are normally physically larger and stronger than those of their barbarian invaders.  In a wider national sphere, the survival of the nation depends basically on the loyalty and self-sacrifice of its citizens."  [But] "the citizens of such a nation will no longer make an effort to save themselves, because they are not convinced that anything in life is worth saving." [Sweden, or indeed any advanced Western nation today?]
“As the nation declines in power and wealth, a universal pessimism gradually pervades the people, and itself hastens the decline … Frivolity is the frequent companion of pessimism … The resemblance between declining nations in this respect is truly surprising … The Roman mob, as we have seen, demanded free meals and public games … Gladiatorial shows, chariot races and athletic events were their passion. In the Byzantine Empire, the rivalries of the Greens and the Blues in the hippodrome attained the importance of a major crisis … The heroes of declining nations are always the same – the athlete, the singer or the actor.”

“We have not drawn from history the obvious conclusion that material success is the result of courage, endurance and hard work – a conclusion nevertheless obvious from the history of the meteoric rise of our own ancestors. This self-assurance of its own superiority seems to go hand-in-hand with the luxury resulting from wealth, in undermining the character of the dominant race.”

Hegel was correct  once again when he wrote "...what experience and history teach us is this - that people and governments never have learned from history, or acted on principles deduced from it."

Meanwhile, hastening the process of self-destruction along at merry pace is this guy, hiding in plain sight.


  1. Gasp! ... BLASPHEMY! ... HARUHI is God! :)

  2. I am not going to post a history essay to argue with this, and instead ask a question.
    What do you propose for the future? What do you see for the future of humanity? Is it eternal division? Because that will kill us surer then any frivolity or pessimism ever will.

  3. That bit about "feminism" in the Golden Age of Islam (which was the culmination of what Spengler called the Magian culture, which included Jews, Zoroastrians, Eastern Christians, and not just Muslims) really is an eye-opener and a reminder about how civilizations go through predictable patterns. Some form of mass entertainment, democracy, socialism, feminism, loose morals, etc always sets in at the end of a cycle when people get too damned comfortable, civilized, weak, lazy and apathetic.

    Maybe we'll break out of the pattern or at least rally the West and forestall our imminent destruction. Decline is inevitable, but recovery can happen too. China has recovered many times, and renewed itself. The Egyptians expelled the Hyksos. The game isn't over yet.