Mencius on the Fall

Mencius addresses the question:  Does today’s US resemble the late Roman Empire in the west, or the late Roman Republic, in his usual wonderfully cryptic, long winded, and obscure fashion.

Mencius’s proposed solution to our crisis, oligarchy or military dictatorship, assumes that America is analogous to the late Roman Republic.  The people have become too degenerate to rule themselves, and so must be ruled by others.   In his latest post, however, he considers the possibility that there really is no solution.

Mencius gives us lengthy quotes from Prudentius, 403 AD.  Prudentius is confident in the immense military superiority of the US Rome, the pacific nature of Rome’s largely Christian enemies, and that the gigantic horde of idlers on welfare is a sign of economic strength.

Mencius neglects to mention, but assumes that we will know, that Rome was sacked, but not raped, in 410AD by Goths.The Goths left after looting the place for three days, but Rome never recovered.  Law and order, long declining, collapsed, ending commerce. The state revenues that had supported the idle poor and the decadent rich, long declining, collapsed.  Rome’s enemies ceased to fear Rome, and over time many of Rome’s subjects fled Rome because there was no money, no food, and no way to make a living.  In 410 AD, Rome did not fall in the sense that France fell to Germany in 1939.  It fell in it that it lost the will and ability to maintain order, and perhaps forgot that order is something that needed to be maintained, forgot what order was.

Prudentius’ happy, confident, and blatantly deluded view of enemies and economics is strikingly reminiscent of today’s Cathedral, but history does not repeat itself in collapse. Just as all happy families are alike, but each unhappy family is different, or, as we would say today, diverse, each collapse is different. Press hard on a pane of glass till it shatters, and each will shatter differently.  The rise of each civilization is much the same as all the others, the fall is always different.

Still, if you walk around with your eyes closed, you are bound to walk into something, and if you have your eyes closed against enemies and economics, you will walk into war and economic collapse.  War, lack of cohesion within the army, and economic collapse, are apt to result in shocking and surprising military defeat.

Although the large, overpaid and overpensioned logistic part of the US army is satisfactorily diverse, post Christian, and post marriage, satisfactorily to the Cathedral, the underpaid and shrinking part of the army that actually fights is still white, male, married and Christian.  The Cathedral attacks their culture, by such measures as gay rights, which undermines unit cohesion.  This may explain the startlingly poor recent performance of European forces.

You could integrate gays into the military by having all hetero units in which sodomy was subject to the death sentence, and lack of traditional masculinity was subject to severe punishment, and having all gay units in which normal sex was subject to the death sentence and the presence of traditional masculinity subject to severe punishment, but integrating gays at the unit level is an attack on unit discipline, morale, and culture.

Multiculturalism and diversity leaves everyone feeling like strangers and outsiders, which is bad for society in general, causing everyone to trash stuff and everyone to prey upon each other, and particularly and extraordinarily bad for unit cohesion.  Muslims in Britain are markedly more criminal than in their homeland, and blacks in racially integrated suburbs are markedly more criminal, and suffer higher rates of imprisonment and deaths from tension related diseases, than blacks in all black suburbs – because they feel like outsiders, and view themselves as preying upon outsiders.

Segregation disadvantaged poorer blacks by protecting white working class jobs from black competition, but it advantaged middle class blacks by protecting middle class black jobs from white competition. This created a homogeneous black society dominated by the black middle class, in which the black middle class imposed middle class values, hence less black crime, less black on black crime, less danger, less stress, more black marriage.  Integration and multiculturalism is immensely hurtful to everyone, and especially hurtful to the fragile, to members of inferior groups. Nowhere is this damage more apparent than in the army.  If we are going to have gays fighting, they should be in gay battalions, and if we are going to have blacks fighting (which, in practice we mostly do not, they generally wind up doing logistics), they should be in black battalions.  Military will comes from unit cohesion, and the more diverse the group, the harder to achieve cohesion.

A different culture, a different kind of society, could have gays integrated in the military and it would be no big deal.  The Cathedral is trying to convert us into that kind of society, but as with the Arab Spring, they are going about it in entirely the wrong way.  Gay Marriage, and teaching gays to hate and that they are hated, is exactly the opposite of the kind of measures that would be effective.  Similarly, if you want to integrate Muslims into Britain, you would have to make them believe that they are Englishmen first, and Muslims third or fourth, you would need a self confident culture that proceeds with cultural and social domination – pretty much the way segregation imposed white middle class culture on the black middle class that segregation created, who then proceeded to impose it on working class blacks.

Secondly, the elements of the army that do the actual fighting should be the most privileged, the part of the army that has high status. Fighting should be where promotions come from.  We need to see a lot fewer high ranking army officers with the “expert infantry man badge”, a badge awarded for expertise in keeping oneself out of military activities that might get one shot at.  Actual fighting soldiers should have higher legal status than ordinary civilians, whereas at present they have lower legal status.  A military husband is at a substantial disadvantage when divorced, compared to a non military husband, which contributes the extraordinarily high divorce rate among white fighting men.   An ordinary civilian woman is rewarded in the short term with cash and prizes for destroying the life of her husband and the lives of her children, but this goes double if she is married to a military man – which is part of the Cathedral program of destroying the culture that they hate and despise, unfortunately destroying the fighting spirit of the army in the process.

But while the US, and the west generally, is cruising for an extraordinary and startling military defeat, this will not, in itself, cause reformation.  It did not cause reformation in Rome.

To reform the US, we need an internal, rather than merely external crisis.  The end of the Roman Republic led to a regime that was, for two centuries, pretty good.  The fall of Rome led only to chaos and despair.  When the Romans fled Britain, the Romano Britons were genocided by the Angles and the Saxons, who in turn were subjugated and raped by the Danes, raped with quite remarkable thoroughness, who in turn were conquered by a remarkably tiny handful of Normans, and only then, after six hundred years of quite extraordinary ruin, did the situation stabilize.

On the mainland of Europe, the situation stabilized rather sooner, under Charles the Hammer, who became a coalition leader among the pirates and brigands that overran the Roman empire, but there were still two centuries of horrifying economic and population decline leading up to Charles the Hammer, so let us hope we repeat the fall of the Roman Republic, rather than the fall of the City of Rome.

It is difficult to say why the failure of Romano-Britain was so stupendously horrible, because its history, buildings, culture and people, were so very thoroughly obliterated.  The only significant Romano-British survival was Wales, which was the least Romanized part of Romano-Britain, in that finds of Roman coins have been least in Wales.  So there was something about Roman social decay that rendered the Romano British permanently incapable of defending themselves.  The legend of King Arthur and the knights of the round table originates from Romano-Britain, though every detail other than that his name was Arthur and the table was round was made up at later times.  The table was round, to symbolize equality, that the table had no head, which, on the face of it, seems an obviously disastrous way to run a military organization, or indeed any organization.  It sounds like the defense of Romano-Britain was run by the Occupy movement, which if so would explain the near total annihilation of the Romano-British.

Now obviously if America is going to fall to its enemies, imitating the fall of Rome in 410AD, which led to utter ruin lasting centuries, rather than the fall of the Republic in 48 BC, which led to recovery and greatness, Europe will fall before the US does.  So how is Europe going?

After Britain’s shocking and humiliating defeats in Basra, the Persian Gulf, and Helmand province, Iran did not occupy Britain and take down the British flag, nor was it ever likely that it would, but Britain has subtly and almost imperceptibly changed from indulging its Muslim minority out of political correctness, to privileging its Muslim minority because Britons are scared spitless of them.  The British flag is not coming down because Iranian troops took it down, it is coming down because Britons are afraid it might cause offense.  If Europe’s economy still functions, it is because European assets are still tolerably secure, and they are secure because of US hegemony.  If the US should suffer the military defeats that Britain suffered, and these defeats were to cause the loss of spirit, soul, and will that Britain suffered, then there would be no US hegemony, in which case assets would need to be secured by some other means.

In the US, which has cultural and legal tradition allowing property owners to use firm measures against intruders and guests who overstay their welcome, the Occupy movement was decisively smacked down whenever it confronted private owners.  It would take one or two generations of victim disarmament before Americans became as passive, helpless, and frightened as today’s Britons.

The end of US hegemony would not necessarily mean economic collapse similar to that of Rome, if there was will and ability to maintain a free economy and security of property rights by some other means, but I do not see that will in Britain, so an age as dark as that following the fall of Rome is possible, though by no means inevitable.  The end of US hegemony is likely to cause economic collapse in much of Europe because a general lack of will and fighting spirit is evident in much of Europe..  There are parts of America where it might not necessarily cause economic collapse.  The problem however might well be that in the US, as in Britain, the government might remain strong enough to stop people from defending what is theirs, but become too weak to defend what is its subjects, as terrible to its subjects as it is becoming contemptible to its enemies.

20 Responses to “Mencius on the Fall”

  1. So there was something about Roman social decay that rendered the Romano British permanently incapable of defending themselves.

    The Romans prohibited the native Briton population from owning swords or weapons (they did this in order to prevent rebellions). When the Roman frontiers began to collapse, the legions were pulled out of Britain back to the mainland. So Britain was left completely undefended, with no military and no way for residents to defend themselves.

    The biggest difference between the U.S. and Rome is the nature of military technology. The barbarians might possess more will to fight and dominate, but wars will be won by air superiority – drones, cruise missiles, and fighter planes. The U.S. still possesses an overwhelming advantage in this type of weaponry, and I see no signs of that advantage disappearing.

    • jim says:

      The barbarians might possess more will to fight and dominate, but wars will be won by air superiority – drones, cruise missiles, and fighter planes.

      The British possessed all that, yet in the last three wars with the barbarians, their faces were rubbed in the dirt till they cried like girls.

      It tends to be forgotten that the British empire was founded by colonialists, and the colonialists did not at first possess substantial technological superiority. It was quite a long time before British steel became better than Indian steel. Clive of India had gunpowder and cannon, but the Indians also had gunpowder and cannon – and had had them for longer than the British had.

      Moral power is to physical as three parts out of four

      • elf says:

        Actually I know something of war and the Army. There is no problem of either getting along due to hue – for we are our own “caste” you see, nor any problem of fighting spirit amongst the soldiers. The problem in Iraq was leadership and “I don’t want to go jail” which I place in quotes for I heard it over and over. For you see prosecuting war as war is a war crime. You may rest assured if this gives you comfort that the end result of the wars in Astan and Arakia is a large, lethal and cohesive body of men have been imbued with contempt for Law itself and contempt for all who are not willing to risk not only life and limb but Liberty [staying out of jail]. If you consider that is some “comfort”.

        The issue with the British in Basra was their leadership attempted to outweave man’s premier rugweavers. There was also an issue of the physical to moral, if fighting spirit and grit were enough the Squaddies would have prevailed. The same things happened in Helmand. If you don’t have the assets no amount of valor can overcome the limitations. Especially when our blessed pols take ruthlessness off the table.

        I think you’ll find your eyes may deceive you on the matter of hue.

        • jim says:

          My understanding of Basra is that the British leadership cut a deal with our enemies, (thereby displaying bad faith). Supposedly our enemies would refrain from humiliating the British if the British left them alone and allowed them to use Basra as a base from which to attack Britain’s supposed allies. Needless to say, our enemies promptly reneged on the deal and proceeded to humiliate the British, while the British continued to leave them alone. The British leadership double crossed their allies, and in return were triple crossed by their enemies.

          The British surrender in the Persian Gulf was simple uncomplicated abject cowardice by the officer class. In Basra the British very cleverly outsmarted themselves, but in the Persian gulf they simply wet their pants in fear.

          In Helmand province, they just failed to fight. It was not lack of numbers. They outnumbered the Taliban and had better equipment. It was lack of aggression. They avoided combat in detail, while the Taliban sought combat in detail. As to why they avoided combat in detail, I don’t know what went wrong. Maybe the officer class was mostly cowards, as the surrender in the Persian Gulf would suggest.

            • jim says:

              The British response to their defeats has been shameful and unmanly. “We were not defeated, and it was the Americans fault that we were defeated, and everyone else was defeated worse, and anyway it was not our war, so there!”

              What happened in Basra is that the British said they were working with local militias, which is standard and correct anti insurgency strategy. The locals know who the bad guys are, the outsiders do not.

              But it soon became apparent that the British were not in fact working with *local* militias, but with outsiders whose long term aim is Islamic world domination, and whose short term aim was to steal Iraq’s oil for Iran, were “working with” their enemies. Further, though the British were working with their enemies, their enemies were not working with the British. The British were just pretending, to conceal their defeat from themselves, though they failed to conceal their defeat from anyone else.

    • AnnoDomini says:

      “The barbarians might possess more will to fight and dominate, but wars will be won by air superiority – drones, cruise missiles, and fighter planes.”

      How is it, then, that the Taliban are back to almost pre-war strength?

      Will to fight is the first and essential requirement to victory. If you will not fight, then you will not win.

  2. Newt says:

    Switzerland still retains its martial traditions so Europe isn’t completely lost. Not yet at least.

    • AnnoDomini says:

      And Russia appears to be doing the old switcheroo with America, in terms of social paradigm.

      So. Better start learning German and Russian.

  3. anon says:

    “It is difficult to say why the failure of Romano-Britain was so stupendously horrible, because its history, buildings, culture and people, were so very thoroughly obliterated. The only significant Romano-British survival was Wales,”

    Brittany was pretty significant too (across the channel in that corner of Gaul formerly known as Armorica), founded by Romano-British refugees. And there were Romano-British kingdoms in what was to become northern England and southern Scotland (ie the kingdoms of Gododdin, Strathclyde, Rheged, etc.), who were eventually conquered by the Anglo-Saxons and/or the Irish (ie, Gaelic Scots) but whose kingdoms did last for several centuries beyond the initial Anglo-Saxon conquest (and their North Welsh language lasted even longer into the early middle ages). Lastly there was Cornwall were the native Celtic language (closely related to Welsh and Breton) lingered on well into the modern era.

    “which was the least Romanized part of Romano-Britain, in that finds of Roman coins have been least in Wales. So there was something about Roman social decay that rendered the Romano British permanently incapable of defending themselves.”

    Alternatively: Wales was the least desirable part of Britain (along with the highlands of Scotland), less suitable for agriculture and able to support less population. The natives basically held on the land that wasn’t worth conquering (both because it was more rugged terrain and thus difficult to fight in, and less valuable to Anglo-Saxon settlers and thus not worth their trouble).

    Also, being farther away from the initial areas of Anglo-Saxon colonization, Wales (and the North) would have been land for the natives to retreat into while they re-acquired the habits of warfare. Though the initial conquest of Southern and Middle Britain was swift, the West and the North took much longer for the Anglo-Saxons to subdue. After the initial invasions the natives probably got to be pretty good at fighting, but by then they had already lost most of the best (ie, most productive) land of Britain.

    I doubt that the Romano-British were totally disarmed under late Roman rule since by the time of the withdrawal of the legions, the tribal era was long over and the population was loyal and assimilated; at the very least the elites would have been armed. But I suspect that centuries of easy living as a Roman province protected by Roman troops would have given them habits not conducive to self-defense. Roman citizens elsewhere in the Empire didn’t put up any kind of a fight against the Germanic invaders at all; but where the Britons were enslaved or expelled by the Anglo-Saxons, the Roman citizens on the continent simply exchanged Roman rule for the rule of Barbarian kings, and seemed to actually welcome the barbarians as a relief from Roman taxation by what had become a totally useless and parasitic Roman bureaucracy that consumed the wealth of the citizens without producing anything worthwhile, including being unable to provide defense. The barbarian kings taxed less and provided actual protection (but the other aspects of civilization in the West – learning, roads, cities, aqueducts, industrial production and long distance trade, etc. – withered under the new arrangement as the Imperial system was abandoned).

    Perhaps if the legions had remained in Britain, the highly Germanized legions would have simply taken over Britain the way they took over Gaul, Spain, Italy, etc., not by sudden invasion but by gradual infiltration and assumption of the military and other leadership roles that Roman citizens were no longer willing to assume themselves. But since Britain was defenseless and there were no legions to either fight against, or hire the Angles, Saxons, Jutes, Frisians, etc., they simply decided to show up one day and help themselves. There was no Roman administration for them to infiltrate and no Roman army to acquire their services. So they took the more direct and brutal route to acquiring ownership of the land.

    Also the Angles, Saxons, Jutes etc. were not Christian and had not had any significant exposure to Roman civilization when they invaded Britain (being further away from the Roman frontier in what is today Jutland, for instance), whereas other German tribes (the Goths for instance) who initially conquered the other Roman provinces tended to be already Christian and had already experienced several generations of assimilation into Roman culture, and thus had no desire to destroy it.

    “The legend of King Arthur and the knights of the round table originates from Romano-Britain, though every detail other than that his name was Arthur and the table was round was made up at later times.”

    I’m pretty sure that the round table was also an invention, whether of the Welsh bards or later writers I don’t recall. Even the earliest Welsh writings are many centuries after the Anglo-Saxon conquest. We know almost nothing about the pseudo-historical “Arthur” (assuming he was the source of the legend) and it’s highly doubtful he had any formal seating arrangements like that. The round table was one of those fanciful later inventions designed to show that Arthur’s reign was different from the chaos of the age and reflected elevated ideals (no matter how impractical); it’s a Golden Age myth.

    “he table was round, to symbolize equality, that the table had no head, which, on the face of it, seems an obviously disastrous way to run a military organization, or indeed any organization. It sounds like the defense of Romano-Britain was run by the Occupy movement, which would explain the near total annihilation of the Romano-British.”

    Which is another reason why the round table is most probably a later invention. The chivalric nobility of medieval Europe were constantly fighting amongst themselves – even when on the same side – over points of honor and precedence. Medieval military campaigns weren’t very efficient by modern military standards and chain of command was chaotic to say the least. Given that fact a round table might seem like an ideal solution to feudal chaos (though as you point out, not really practical). It’s high minded idealism, and fictional.

    Basically you can’t trust the Arthur legends for any detailed insight into what happened during the Anglo-Saxon conquest of Britain. Most of the “Matter of Britain” was written in the Middle Ages and even the bits that were based on earlier Welsh bardic traditions are fictions dreamed up centuries after the alleged events. We know that the invasion happened; more detailed information is very scarce and/or legendary.

  4. anon says:

    “Mencius neglects to mention, but assumes that we will know, that Rome was sacked, but not raped, in 410AD by Goths.The Goths left after looting the place for three days, but Rome never recovered. Law and order, long declining, collapsed, ending commerce. The state revenues that had supported the idle poor and the decadent rich, long declining, collapsed. Rome’s enemies ceased to fear Rome, and Rome’s subjects fled Rome because there was no money, no food, and no way to make a living. In 410 AD, Rome did not fall in the sense that France fell to Germany in 1939. It fell in it that it lost the will and ability to maintain order, and perhaps forgot that order is something that needed to be maintained, forgot what order was.”

    That isn’t quite accurate. What gave the death blow to the city of Rome was not the looting by the Goths in 410; Rome remained intact and was in fact looted a few more times in the following century and a half. The city of Rome continued on with its bread and circuses after 410 under the rule of the Ostrogoths, though the city’s size and economic importance slowly shrank and its political importance waned as the Western Roman capital had been moved to Ravenna.

    What permanently destroyed the city of Rome, and destroyed what was left of classical civilization in Italy, was the Gothic War (535–554) between the Eastern Roman Empire and the Ostrogothic Kingdom of Italy. Almost 20 years of war ruined the infrastructure of Rome and of Italy, destroyed the aqueducts servicing the city, ended the dole, and dispersed what was left of the population of the city of Rome. After the war, Rome was a ghost town and Italy was ruined. The Lombards then invaded Italy in 568 and finished off whatever was left.

    It’s all rather depressing:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gothic_War_%28535%E2%80%93554%29

    L. Sprague de Camp wrote “Lest Darkness Fall” about an accidental time travelling academic who gets thrown back into Rome on the eve of the Gothic War and decides to try to avert the oncoming catastrophe.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lest_Darkness_Fall

  5. anon says:

    Sorry to quibble; I understand that you meant that 410 was a symbolic turning point, but your phrasing gave me the impression that you meant that the city of Rome itself was ruined by the looting of 410, when in fact the city of Rome declined but was still a major city right up through the end of the Gothic War, and was considered worth fighting for.

    If the native Romans in Italy “lost the will and ability to maintain order”, the Ostrogoths and the Eastern Romans certainly did not. The Ostrogoths were assimilated to Roman civilization and did a fairly decent job of ruling Italy; the tragedy of the Gothic War was that neither side could win a quick and clean victory and thus what was left of civilization in Rome and in Italy was effectively wiped out.

    • jim says:

      My intended point was that the decline became abruptly visible. We read of Roman noblewomen who became refugees and begged for a crust of bread, even though the Goths left the city after three day and the Roman empire theoretically continued. Something dramatically changed, even though a three day occupation is a symptom, not a cause.

    • jim says:

      On reflection, I have rephrased to make my point a little clearer.

  6. elf says:

    For my Arakia observations at the time..

    http://free-our-fobbits.blogspot.com/

  7. Elf says:

    One who Professes Constitutional Law Confesses we should “Get Rid” of it…

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/31/opinion/lets-give-up-on-the-constitution.html?pagewanted=all

    • jim says:

      He is late. We got rid of the constitution under the Roosevelt dictatorship. When people say that it silly to doubt Obama’s citizenship, what they actually mean is that it is silly to suppose we still have a constitution.

      That Obama was born in Kenya was an important and prominent part of his identity and website until he started running for president, and his alleged birth certificate is a crude and poorly done photoshop job. No one really believes he is actually a citizen, any more than they really believe that women are equal to men.

  8. […] Mencius on the Fall « Jim’s Blog […]

Leave a Reply