An Axe Age and a Sword Age: Is Ragnarök Already Upon Us? And if So, Should We Fear It?
Pt. II, the Life Cycle of Rome
The same thing happened in Rome. Rome, just like America, was at one point the most powerful, most quickly advancing, most promising nation on Earth, and just like America, sure, they had immigrants.
Gaul (modern France and Northern Italy) was conquered in chunks over time as Rome expanded, and the Celtic Gauls (of the same Indo-European race as the Romans, albeit a different strain and culture) were over time assimilated into Roman society. After several generations a Gaul would gain citizenship in the Roman Republic (and by that time he had probably already Romanized his family name and the personal names of his children), his descendants would probably marry Romans, and many Gallic-descended citizens ended up being respected and contributing Romans.
Two of the most important ideas in the English language are “to be” versus “to have.” To be represents an idea, to be focused on an idea and wanting everything in one’s life, one’s family, one’s society, to reflect an idea. To have represents material desire, to keep up with the Joneses, no idea behind the want, just want, and over time “to have” overtook “to be” in Roman society.
Three ideas used to be represented in the idea of ancient Rome: Imperium, the idea of power, a Führerprinzip, an idea that Providence, the Divine Order or God that permeates the Cosmos, acts through individuals, movements and even nations to give them authority to make or to affect massive decisions or events that will impact everything else, because these decisions or events will result in the advancement of the Divine Plan and make the world more harmonious.
The other idea was the Pax Romana, the Peace of Rome. Just like American Exceptionalism and Rule Britannia, the idea that Rome was a nation/culture/civilization set separately from all the others that was destined to go to every corner of the world with Roman law and Roman ideals and set itself up as the model for every other nation to follow (and in the grand scheme of things it really did, as I will discuss later).
And finally Aeternitas, the idea of Eternity, that Rome (or at least the idea of Rome) would never die. Aeternitas I believe can be seen as more than just Rome, but the idea that there is an eternal meaning to life and the universe, something to stand against nihilism. I believe this is the core cause of the decline of civilization, because after all, if there is no Aeternitas, no meaning, then why should to be have any sort of priority over to have?
But the Romans, like the Americans and Britons, after generations, dropped their ideals and became more and more focused on the material. Wildness and savagery are the state of the animal, while civilization is a deliberate break from animalism to aspire to something divine and otherworldly. Something not really “necessary,” per se, from an animal standpoint, as far as meeting material needs and pleasures. Just as man raises himself up from animalism at the birth of his civilization, as his civilization declines he starts to re-adopt the dull and brutish traits of his uncivilized ancestors. Only unlike them, who at least had some qualities of the noble savage, free in nature, the man of the civilization in decline is like a spoiled child; with all the urges of the animal and all the conveniences of civilization, but without the hardiness of the natural savage or the idealism of the civilized.
We see that in the increasingly sexualized, Africanesque dancing of modern youth and their embrace of primitive cultural influences to identify themselves. Another fascinating phenomenon is the death cult. As a civilization reaches its end, death becomes more and more, in one way or another, on the minds of its members. The acceptance and perpetuation of violence, not noble warlike violence or chastisement of wrongdoers and enemies, but simple aggression and pointless crime and brutality for its own sake, alongside the other extreme of effeminacy, homosexuality, and promiscuity show that the basic animal desires of violence and sex go along with this consciousness of the coming death of this period in history.
Another theory that could be added to that one is that subconsciously the people living here and now recognize their society as an abomination and want it to die. In his The Myth of the Twentieth Century, Alfred Rosenberg describes how in ancient Greece and in Aryan India, as those societies reached their deaths, sex and death cults became more and prevalent, like the cult of Bacchus, where during lesbian orgies the female followers of the cult, in a drug-fueled frenzy, would rip living animals to pieces and eat them raw. This cruelty and degeneracy was quite different from the more dignified worship of what Rosenberg believed were the Aryan Greek gods Zeus, Apollo, and Athena.
On the topic of death cults, I am also interested and somewhat disturbed that the latest trend for little girls has been a doll line called “Monster High,” about sexualized zombies, and vampires, and whatnot. I’ve heard that interest and sales in the Barbie franchise are beginning to decline as girls’ interest in M.H. becomes more prevalent. Now, while Barbie may not exactly be a Traditionalist franchise, at least not anymore, it still idealized to little girls the concepts of aesthetic beauty and looking after yourself rather than turned their interest to a sexy show about evil mythological entities. Just as in Greece and India, we are turning to cults of sex and death.
As Rome became larger and larger, more and more comfortable, and ideals went on the decline in favor of material, there was less to assimilate to to become “Roman.” The wealthy became much happier to buy hordes of slaves rather than pay a fair wage to their fellow Romans, to the point where unemployment was pandemic while boatloads of mixed African, Semitic, and Oriental slaves were brought in to replace Roman labor, and then the Roman government was forced to deal with the unemployment, weakening the state overall.
Pretty soon citizenship was just granted en masse to whomever, without any need to assimilate (again, because at this point there was nothing to assimilate to), and as foreign born citizens of far alien cultures gained prosperity and “respectability” in the eyes of the greedy and decadent Romans, intermarriage went with it.
There was no more Rome. Just a cosmopolitan Babylon, a system, and this system ended.
What was left of the real populations of Romans and other Europeans living under the Roman system were saved when the Goths, Saxons, Franks, and Vandals burst forth from Germany and Scandinavia to start a new civilization cycle: that of medieval Europe.