The Fatalism of Empires

Bryce Laliberte has an excellent piece I’d encourage my readers to check out over at his more digestible residence ‘Unterrorist’, concerning the stages of Empire and how what we are facing now on a macro level is in line with what has been observed and recorded at the micro level for countless generations. These are the final days of the Age of Decadence, the black Age of Kali.

(Bryce Laliberte scrubbed his blog and everything with it. Here is a direct copy of his article, I’m sure he won’t mind it being posted)

“It should be considered core doctrine of neoreaction that the outlines of history witnessed in societies are the logical result of endemic processes. Civilization is, in general, only another of Nature’s latest attempts to stave off entropy and appease Gnon. Eventually the ability for a unified order to displace its entropy falters, and disorder accumulates at increasing rates. This is the same across all ordered phenomena, whether it is stars, humans, or societies.
There are, of further note, regularities in the growth and decay of these systems. Because they are subject to the same constraints under which they can grow, in effect solving the same engineering problems across time and space repeatedly, this leads to similar modes of failure in the long run. This article by Sir John Glubb details the salient features observed across empires. This is significant because empires reveal to us how societies fall apart from within, rather than only due to external forces. Reading the article, it is impossible to avoid the impression that this history describes the modern day as much as, if not more than, it describes the features of past empires.
Glubb notes that each empires lasts approximately 10 generations of humans, from the initial establishing of the society until its decline and collapse. This comes to around 250 years. Further, there are 6 stages which each society passes through from its rise to its fall. These are the Age of Pioneers, the Age of Conquest, the Age of Commerce, the Age of Affluence, the Age of Intellect, and finally the Age of Decadence. These general features are shared by the societies Glubb studies, regardless of demography, religion, or ideology underpinning the empire. The whole piece is worth reading, but some selections are especially evocative of the modern situation, evidencing that we are in the Age of Decadence, which precedes the collapse, assimilation, and/or subjugation of the empire.
On the subordination of education to the demands of commerce:
Education undergoes the same gradual transformation. No longer do schools aim at producing brave patriots ready to serve their country. Parents and students alike seek the educational qualifications which will command the highest salaries. The Arab moralist, Ghazali (1058-1111), complains in these very same words of the lowering of objectives in the declining Arab world of his time. Students, he says, no longer attend college to acquire learning and virtue, but to obtain those qualifications which will enable them to grow rich.
The omnipresence of educational institutions:
In the eleventh century, the former Arab Empire, then in complete political decline, was ruled by the Seljuk sultan, Malik Shah. The Arabs, no longer soldiers, were still the intellectual leaders of the world. During the reign of Malik Shah, the building of universities and colleges became a passion. Whereas a small number of universities in the great cities had sufficed the years of Arab glory, now a university sprang up in every town.
The increase in political polarization and factions:
Another remarkable and unexpected symptom of national decline is the intensification of internal political hatreds. In the fourteenth century, the weakening empire of Byzantium was threatened, and indeed dominated, by the Ottoman Turks. The situation was so serious that one would have expected every subject of Byzantium to abandon his personal interests and to stand with his compatriots in a last desperate attempt to save the country. The reverse occurred. The Byzantines spent the last fifty years of their history in fighting one another in repeated civil wars, until the Ottomans moved in and administered the coup de grâce.
The influx of foreigners to the capital:
One of the oft-repeated phenomena of great empires is the influx of foreigners to the capital city. Roman historians often complain of the number of Asians and Africans in Rome. Baghdad, in its prime in the ninth century, was international in its population—Persians, Turks, Arabs, Armenians, Egyptians, Africans and Greeks mingled in its streets.
How fame and celebrity status  is accorded:
The heroes of declining nations are always the same—the athlete, the singer or the actor. The word ‘celebrity’ today is used to designate a comedian or a football player, not a statesman, a general, or a literary genius.
There is included a dire warning on the supposition that our situation might be saved through cleverness:
Perhaps the most dangerous by-product of the Age of Intellect is the unconscious growth of the idea that the human brain can solve the problems of the world. Even on the low level of practical affairs this is patently untrue. Any small human activity, the local bowls club or the ladies’ luncheon club, requires for its survival a measure of self sacrifice and service on the part of the members. In a wider national sphere, the survival of the nation depends basically on the loyalty and self-sacrifice of the citizens. The impression that the situation can be saved by mental cleverness, without unselfishness or human self-dedication, can only lead to collapse.
Where does the evidence of inevitable social cycles  lead us to, if not a fatalism? What is there to do? Each society imagines itself to be different, and therefore this time must be different. In the midst of each decline was the sense by a minority that “something must be done,” yet each failed to rekindle the spirit that brought the society to a rise. If something is to be done, a spiritual awakening among a few and the establishing of new communities which formally exit the system is a possibility. However, there is no reanimating the dead, or at least there is no saving a terminal patient. Much that is good and worthy of being preserved cannot be saved; no matter how one might rage and scream and cry, a romanticism for the past and for things lost to time will never make a lost cause more than a lost cause.
Some will undoubtedly contend that this is to turn my back on Western civilization. It is. To preserve what we can, what cannot be brought with us shall have to be jettisoned. It is our place to cut ties with the past to find a future; spiritually, it is our fate to observe with sorrow the death of our heritage, but from this death will arise new life. Tone policing, delusional optimism, these will restore neither the West nor the “white race,” which was doomed at its start.
We may reach the conclusion that the successive rise and fall of great nations is inevitable and, indeed, a system divinely ordained.
There is, however, a hope in the future, the seeds which can be sown now:
At the height of vice and frivolity the seeds of religious revival are quietly sown. After, perhaps, several generations (or even centuries) of suffering, the impoverished nation has been purged of its selfishness and its love of money, religion regains its sway and a new era sets in.”
– Bryce Laliberte


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