Right around 380 AD, the Roman Ruling Class thought everything was going well. Oh, sure, there were some problems. It was getting harder to collect revenue even as taxes rose. For some reason, even with a vastly increased bureaucracy, government business was taking longer and longer to get done. They didn’t seem to have enough money to do any really big construction projects. There was a persistent lack of recruits for the Army. But, you know, things were fine. Emperor was ruling, bureaucrats were bureaucrating, peasants were peasanting. What could possibly go wrong?
Thirty years later, Alaric sacked Rome.
Here’s something interesting for you to think about – I wanted to check my dates on all that, so I went to Wikipedia. When I searched “barbarian invasions”, I got an entry entitled “Migration Period”. It does note that it was called “Barbarian Invasion” by, you know, the people destroyed by the Migration…but the main title is Migration Period. Gotta just love how PC is infecting everything. We’re not even allowed to call things what they were – because the “Migration Period” was a social, political and economic catastrophe where civilization was destroyed by barbarians who wanted the wealth of civilization but who hadn’t the slightest idea how to create and maintain wealth.
And that is why I sat down to write today – because I want to talk about civilization, its defense and its destruction. There are many parallels between ancient Rome and ourselves, but don’t stretch the point too far. Rome, at least, never had anyone in Rome arguing that the Barbarians are better than the Romans. It takes a bit of modern stupidity to deny the obvious and claim that barbarism is better than civilization. The Romans never got that sophisticated. But make no mistake about it, the barbarians without and the barbarians within are seeking the overthrow of our civilization. We are, I think, just shy of a new barbarian flood – but I still think we’ve got enough time to stop it.
And I think a good place to start is if we stop denying the value of civilization.
I started rolling this around in my head this past Columbus Day when we were treated to the usual round of “Sailor Man Bad” stories about Columbus. So, now I’ll say something that most people simply won’t: it was good that Columbus arrived in the Americas. He set of a chain of events which rescued the Americas from pagan savagery. It is not good that people continue to wallow in ignorance. To be sure, there are better and worse ways to bring civilization, but if the end result is civilization, you’ve done an overall good thing.
Civilization is ordered liberty which allows people to build the means whereby they can live their lives without fear. If you’re unsure if you’ll have food the next day or feel impelled to rip out a beating, human heart to propitiate the gods, then you are living in fear. Things are bad if they are like that. Just about any sort of event which will end fear is a good thing. To say that savages wandering the Great Plains in hope that, maybe tomorrow, they’ll be able to kill a buffalo and so not starve, or that superstitious Aztecs slaughtering people by the thousand was a good thing is to simply deny the plain facts. It was horribly bad how people were getting on in pre-Columbian America. It was better – for them – that Columbus arrived.
The proof of this is that there isn’t a single person – not the most dyed in the wool Native activist – who would trade even the most impoverished life on the Reservation for the life of their pro-Columbian ancestors. Remember, if a Native got an abscessed tooth in 1491, it was weeks of agony and possible death. His descendant just has to spend a few hours in a dentist’s chair. And that is just one of ten thousand things that are better. If anyone is reading this and getting angry, I suggest maybe opening a bag of chips and eating a few to calm down…and then realize the man-hours you’d be expending to just get a potato in pre-Columbian America.
We have to start defending civilization if it is to survive. By refusing to defend it, we’ve allowed the barbarians to gain many footholds in our society. If you see some youngster nearly covered with tattoos and pierced all to heck and gone, go and say hello: you’ve just met a barbarian. That such person might have ancestors going back to the Mayflower doesn’t matter…pagan savages paint themselves blue for a variety of reason, but none of the reasons are because they are civilized. Meanwhile, a civilized person might get one or two tattoos as an interesting eccentricity, but they never paint themselves blue. But that, of course, is a small thing. It is a pity that so many of the young are doing that, but it isn’t the crisis. The Crisis is in the civilized being unwilling to defend civilization…that in the face of barbarians, they cower in fear.
And that is the only way barbarians win – because the civilized are too afraid to fight. Alaric’s army in 410 AD is estimated to be about 40,000. An impressive number of warriors. But the Roman garrison is estimated at only a few hundred…when the population of Rome was many hundreds of thousands! To give you an idea about how that should have come out, take a look at the Siege of Constantinople in 1453: 50,000 Turks were held off for seven weeks by a mere 7,000 defenders…but defenders willing to fight! And the total population of Constantinople at the time was about 50,000. If the Romans of 410 had just decided to fight, they would have put on Rome’s walls at least as many soldiers as Alaric had…he would have had no chance. But, the Roman’s didn’t fight, so the barbarians won. Never do barbarians win in the long run as long as the civilized fight.
Barbarians lose fights because they simply aren’t very good at fighting. This might seem counter-intuitive because barbarians are rated as aggressive: but aggressiveness doesn’t equal fighting ability. At Rorke’s Drift a mere 140 men held off 4,000 for two days…because the 140 were civilized men willing to fight while the 4,000 were barbarians…and in such a situation, it doesn’t matter what sort of men the barbarians are, they are going to lose when faced with civilized men who will fight (another example of this is the Battle of Blood River – somewhat less than 700 against 10,000 to 20,000 and the losses were Civilized 3 wounded, Barbarians 3,000 dead). Barbarians might win a battle here and there, but invariably it is because they not only have overwhelming numerical superiority, but also a Civilized commander who made a terrible mistake. Outside that, the fights are lopsided victories for civilization.
None of this has to do with the moral worth of the men involved, of course. People are people, however they are situated. The civilized don’t win because they are better people, but because they have better organization. The same organization that allows a civilization to rise allows the military force to be effective. The main thing to remember is that if the civilized fight, the civilized win.
And we really do have to start fighting. It is really important because everyone wants civilization. Yes, even that tattooed young savage who just graduated from Wharton and is now at the coffee shop writing her 37th Tumblr post denouncing Patriarchy wants civilization. That is, she still wants someone to deliver the coffee and muffins in a timely manner and has no interest going out and gathering wild wheat and coffee beans to get the ball rolling in the morning. She also wants to destroy civilization, though she doesn’t understand what she’s doing. The barbarians way back when didn’t, either…they loved all that running water stuff the Romans had in their cities, but simply didn’t understand that slaughtering the guys who maintained the aqueducts would have a bad effect as soon as there was a break in the water system. Barbarians, past and present, share that childlike attitude…never being and to quite connect cause to effect. If we don’t fight, we lose it all. And while there might be a bit of satisfaction in imagining Ivy League savages wandering witless in deserted cities as they starve, we really don’t want to go there.
As for me, I’m going to get the ball rolling by remembering to honor Columbus. And Cortez who destroyed the inhuman Aztec Empire. And to really twist the knife, I’ll spare a kind thought for people like Garnet Wolseley, 1st Viscount Wolseley who chastised the barbarian Ashanti when, in the manner of barbarians, they started kidnapping and assaulting people. Sure, you can call Sir Garnet a bad man – but the main thing is that he stood between civilization and barbarism and defended civilization. Civilization is always better. To be sure, the Ashanti today probably curse Sir Garnet’s name. But the fact is that once 3 million Ashanti lived in pagan poverty with slavery, and now 12 million mostly Christian Ashanti are free and increasingly prosperous. And these modern Ashanti owe this transformation to the fact that back in 1874, Sir Garnet burned Kumasi and forced the Ashanti to accept British rule. Maybe Sir Garnet was one of the worst people who ever lived – doesn’t matter: what he did freed a people from barbarism and got them on the path to civilization.
And we have to start being more like that – not apologizing for being civilized. Fighting for civilization. Pointing out that the worst mistakes of the civilized are nothing compared to what barbarians do. We also need to note that even worse than barbarians in nature, as it were, are people who were once civilized and got re-barbarized. Just as the worst predators against Christian ships were once Moorish ships captained by ex-Christians, so the worst barbarians are those who were once civilized but have opted to join barbarism. It is such people who invent an Auschwitz or a GULAG…and even when being on their best behavior, come up with ideas like Planned Parenthood. The formerly civilized are vastly more effective in their barbarism than those who are born to it. After all, a guy who is just a barbarian might actually want something good…but a person who consciously rejects civilization only wants bad things to happen.
But all barbarians, natural and created, have to be opposed. Have to be destroyed, ultimately. No one can be permitted to remain in barbarism, if any way can be found to pull them out of it. A barbarian is bad, in prospect if not immediately. Because make no mistake about it, if we don’t stop the barbarians, they will stop us. It is very much an all or nothing game. Either we win, or they do. There’s no halfway compromise between civilization and barbarism.