Thursday, June 15, 2006

The Fall of Rome, again

This article considers the possibility of the collapse of Western civilisation not dissimilar to that of the Roman Empire in the 5th Century.

The causes:

  • large immigrant groups with little allegiance to their host countries — a "reverse colonisation"

  • a security breakdown brought on by environmental destruction and a population boom, coupled with technology and radical Islam

  • the competition for resources

  • mass population movements
He pinpoints 2012 to 2018 as the time when the current global power structure is likely to crumble. Rising nations such as China, India, Brazil and Iran will challenge America’s sole superpower status.
This will come as "irregular activity" such as terrorism, organised crime and "white companies" of mercenaries burgeon in lawless areas.
The fall of Rome was not a cataclysm resulting from one lost battle or campaign, but occurred over seven decades. There were many purely military invasions, but it can also be seen as a large scale migration that the imperial authorities were powerless to contain. Many peoples participated: Vandals, Goths, Sueves, Alans often chased out of their own lands by the Huns. They did not come to destroy, but to gain control over the fertile lands and efficient governance of a far more socially advanced system. The Romans of the centre as much as of the provinces no longer had the means to hold them back and so reached accommodations with them, arrangements that soon were tipped upside down as the barbarians took over the top posts.

It has become fashionable in academic circles to heap scorn on the idea that Rome fell; we should see it, they say, as a gradual transformation into the Middle Ages, of one civilisation into another. The thrust of this is obvious. If talk of collapse is meaningless, therefore it is equally meaningless to speak of a 'civilisation' falling. One civilisation merely became another civilisation. And since it is clearly just typical Western arrogance to prefer the earlier civilisation to the later, it is absurd to speak of a catastrophe in the West.

Same old nonsense. The article quotes some similar rubbish. Terry Jones:
We actually owe far more to the so-called ‘barbarians’ than we do to the men in togas.
Really? Then how come no-one noticed? Black is white and 2 + 2 makes 5. If you keep saying it long enough, everyone will eventually believe it.

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(via Ninme)


homer said...

Terry Jones has produced a crude piece of anti-Roman propaganda. The Romans did not call all foreigners "barbarians": this term was seldom applied to the Jews, Carthaginians or Parthians. The barbarians were typically northern tribes who were continually fighting amongst themselves and little concept of the rule of law.

His account of Trajan's conquest of Dacia is a travesty, leaving out prior raiding of Roman provinces by King Decebal and his subsequent treachery after accepting a peace treaty.

His scorn poured on Roman historians like Tacitus is also an outrage, given that he uses them as sources for Roman misdeeds. He believes Tacitus when he tells us that Roman officials raped Boudicca's daughters, but not when he tells us that the Druids practised human sacrifice!

Jones is an emotional neo-Druid riding an anti-imperialist hobby-horse because of his dislike of modern-day America. Those who have a serious interest in this subject should read Romans and Barbarians by Derek Williams.

NoolaBeulah said...

Thanks for that, homer. It is extraordinary the nonsense people will produce because of their dislike of the US. What is good, however, is the passion the Classics arouse now after years of popular neglect. The Greeks and Romans are important again.