Morituri Salutamus

Whence arose the might of Western Civilization? And whither did it depart? The latest essay from JLH supplies some thoughts on these and other questions about our parlous times.

Morituri Salutamus
by JLH

I begin with a quote from The Kafir’s latest essay: “So we are going to see a very painful and brutal death of the finest achievement of man: Western Civilization.” My first thoughts on reading this were:

1)   How did “we” manage this achievement?
2)   Why are we going to watch it die?

A facile answer to question 1) is: The Judaeo-Christian heritage, regarded by T. S. Eliot as the indispensable bedrock of our civilization; leavened by the bright spirit of the Renaissance. A more complicated and less idealistic answer lies in the nature of vigorous civilizations.

Exploration, Discovery, Adventure, Profit

Lest we forget, the Christian half of that heritage did not “drop like the gentle rain from heaven.” Charlemagne/Charles the Great/Karl der Grosse — credited with founding The Holy Roman Empire (famously described later as “not holy, not Roman and not an empire”) out of a riot of fractious Germanic and other tribes — was a Frankish warrior for Christ. Somewhat to his east, the continental cousins of the Saxons who had once invaded (immigrated and infiltrated?) Britain were reluctant to accept the blessings of Christianity — Woden and company were good enough for them. So Charlemagne was forced to mount a number of campaigns — first to convert them, the hard way, and then to remind them forcefully now and then that they had converted and could not un-convert. Which earned him the sobriquet “Karl, der Sachsenschlächter” — “Charles, the Saxon-Butcher.”

Later and further north, the great and successful Viking and then converted Christian Olaf Tryggvason earned the title “Saint Olaf” by his ruthless progression up the coast of Norway, demanding of each municipality that it convert to Christianity and consequently accept him as its king. According to the Icelander Snorri Sturluson, those that resisted had their uses. After their inevitable defeat, some of them were sent on to the next town or city with the adjuration to surrender and avoid unpleasantness. The message was emphasized by the fact that those who brought it were without a nose, an ear, a hand or some other part.

The Vikings have been described by one Scandinavian scholar as “entrepreneurs”, and they did have some of the qualities of an independent, no-holds-barred, small-business capitalist. With the investment of one good ship and a crew of willing shareholders, an enterprise could be launched. They did not just raid for profit, they also traded. (One item prized in Rome was amber with an insect trapped forever inside.) Although often described in horrifying terms by the victims of their raids and depredations, they also exemplify those qualities which explain the later success and expansion of “the West” — Exploration, Discovery, Adventure, Profit.

The Viking Age extended from ca. 793 to 1066. That is, from seven years before Charlemagne received the first imperial crown from the hands of Pope Leo III, to the culminating “Viking” invasion of England, when the Saxon King Harald Godwinson fought off the invasion of the Viking, Harald Hardrada, in the north, then rushed south, only to be killed at the calamitous Battle of Hastings, won by William the Conqueror of Normandy — from the line of Rollo (Hrólfr) the Viking, who had settled and expanded the continental province eventually named for the Norsemen.

The European spirit of adventure and exploration did not begin or end with the Viking Age. St. Brendan’s 6th-century journey from Ireland to Iceland prefaced those of Eric the Red, Leif Ericsson and others in the 10th and 11th centuries to Iceland, Greenland and North America in search of new places to settle. Then the 13th and 14th century journeys of Marco Polo and others in search of the spices and silk of Asia. Then the proliferation of exploratory voyages by the seafaring peoples of the Atlantic coast, beginning in the 14th and 15th centuries. So began the true marriage of adventure and exploration with commerce and conquest. Large and small empires were formed by Holland, Belgium, France, Britain, Portugal and Spain, with tentacles encompassing the Western Hemisphere, much of sub-Saharan Africa and North Africa, portions of Asia and the scattered lands of the Pacific.

What was it that made these intrepid adventurers so irresistible? They had large and powerful sailing ships, loaded with the armaments necessary to defend themselves against their European competitors. The initial armed clash with an African or American or other indigenous people may have had some of the quality of Hitler’s panzer corps confronted by the valiant and futile charge of the Polish cavalry. Not that the natives were necessarily meek and peaceful. They just did not yet have a parity in armaments. For instance, the Afro-wearing Hedandoa warriors of the Sudan, toasted as fearsome fighters by Rudyard Kipling:

So ’ere’s to you, Fuzzy-Wuzzy, at your ’ome in the Soudan;
You’re a pore benighted ’eathen but a first-class fightin’ man;
An’ ’ere ‘s to you, Fuzzy-Wuzzy, with your ’ayrick ’ead of ’air—
You big black boundin’ beggar—for you broke a British square!

European nations intruded in many places in search of profit — treasure, slaves, exclusive trade agreements, mining rights, safe ports of call, trade routes to the interior. They were in their own way as entrepreneurial as the Vikings. (Could we call this ”state-sponsored capitalism”?) But sometimes continuing profit is only possible with control. With control comes a necessity to administer, and with administration comes an injection of the ruling culture into the subject culture, and often an osmotic effect in the opposite direction. Any such structure requires mortar to hold the bricks of the new structure in place, just as Charlemagne and Olaf demolished the diverse pagan cults and substituted a unified structure bound by the mortar of Christianity.

All charitable intentions notwithstanding, the effect of substituting one system of values for another is far beyond the moral benefits perceived by the dominant culture. One concerned English aristocrat tried to explain this by creating a short fable. Imagine, she said, that a mother elephant is walking carelessly through the jungle and inadvertently steps on a mother partridge, killing her instantly. She is so plagued by guilt that she feels the need to make restitution for her careless act, which has left the partridge’s eggs orphaned. So to make up for the loss of their mother, she sits on them. That is, even the best-intentioned imposition of one morality or tradition on another can be destructive.

A prime example may be found in a play — based on an actual incident in Nigeria — that had great success on Broadway: Wole Soyinka’s “Death and the King’s Horseman,” in which the interference with a ritual suicide by a horrified British official accomplishes not only the death of the original intended suicide, but also of his Westernized son, to say nothing of the cosmic damage wrought both on native beliefs and on those struggling with the pangs of Christian conversion.

Honesty requires us to admit that the motives of “our” colonialism were not simply to bring civilization and the one true faith to the “pore benighted ’eathen,” but to control resources, to monopolize trade, that is, to turn a profit. Perhaps the indigenous peoples would have been better off if we had left them alone. They could have gone on killing and conquering each other with the same enthusiasm, but somewhat less efficiency. And, as the history of Shaka Zulu suggests, even without gunpowder, they would have improved on that, too. Perhaps they also would have found a cure for typhoid, malaria and AIDS, and created their own version of the Industrial Revolution, and perhaps not.

What drove our predecessors to these voyages was, admittedly, a spirit of adventure and a “capitalist” impulse to find something, or somewhere, better, and bring it home. It was in that respect different from the impetus for the fearsome incursions of Genghis Khan or Attila the Hun, in that its main motivation was not conquest for conquest’s sake. That does not excuse their excesses, but it separates them from a single-minded drive to dominate and destroy, with less than no regard for the humanity of the enemy — one exemplified most recently by ISIS. Ruthless and bloody-minded though they could be, our ancestors at least aspired to human sympathies, ergo the aristocratic lady’s elephant story and the reception of Wole Soyinka’s play.

That same, restless spirit of inquiry and quest for more also percolated through Europeans at home in Europe, creating both wealth and energy, leading to the Renaissance, the Reformation, and the Enlightenment on which we place so much emphasis as the foundation of a free and just society. The transformation wrought by an up-swelling of musical, artistic, literary, philosophical and political creativity was just as unplanned, inevitable and massive as the transformation of Europe’s relationship to the greater world wrought by its adventurous sallies into the unknown. And ultimately even more universal in its reach.

Where did those thousands of French, Russians and residents of other European nations come from — the ones who died like flies on the fields of Napoleon’s battles? How did Spain, with an assist from Portugal, manage to invade, overrun and acculturate nearly two-thirds of an entire hemisphere? How did Britain manage to field armies on four continents at the height of its empire, to say nothing of founding the nation of Australia out of the overflow from the prison hulks on the Thames? And how did it “rule the waves” of the seven seas with a navy mightier than any seen before? Where did all the sailors come from? Please don’t tell me about impressment and other ruthless tactics to fill the crews. I know that. Just tell me how Europe produced the wealth of population that allowed these massive endeavors. Is this the Europe that now looks forward to ethnic suffocation by means of immigration and alien fertility?

After surviving the Black Plague, the unforgiving religious wars and other catastrophes, what was the life force that produced the masses of humanity necessary to go out into the world and wager their lives on a dangerous endeavor? We could use some of that today!


There is also a corollary to Exploration, Discovery, Adventure and Profit. Remember Kipling’s “pore benighted ’eathen”? Well, guess what cause this particular “heathen” was fighting for? He was a part of the army of Muhammad Ahmad, who had proclaimed himself “Mahdi” — the figure whose appearance and reign will redeem Islam and usher in the end of the world. Two of the clashes with this “army of dervishes and natives” resulted in defeats for the armies of the British Empire and its allies, and one in the rare breaking of the British military square. It also emphasized another significant and fateful development for the peoples of Black Africa.

Parallel to and preceding the European incursions from the western and then the southern coast, another penetration was (had been) taking place from the north, in some cases directly across the desert, and along the eastern coast. Arabic and Berber traders, raiders and settlers arrived, bringing the message of Islam: the destined submission to the one, true God. Such proselytizing was the impetus for the so-called “Fulani Jihad” which blazed across the western savannah in the 19th century, killing and converting. Long after the Crusades had failed to reclaim the Holy Land from the clutches of Islamic conquest, Exploration, Discovery, Adventure and Profit was rubbing elbows with Destiny, Conquest, Dominion and Dhimmitude.

Thus, what are now the two largest religious populations of the world were forming up, side-by-side and head-to head. Given a few centuries’ head start, Christianity is still somewhat in the lead world-wide. This must be galling for the militant spiritual-cum-military leaders of the Islamic world. But the problem can be solved — forcible conversions, wholesale takeovers, mass executions, invasive immigration and a burgeoning birth rate. It all cuts down the advantage. And even in a perfect, parasitic, Islamic world, there will always have to be some dhimmis; not because they have a right to exist, but because they are necessary to keep the economy humming and the jizya flowing. Furthermore, Islam has not found it necessary to outlaw slavery, which still exists in at least some parts of the Islamic world.

The actions of the invading Europeans are explained by their drive to constantly find new paths to wealth and commerce, while salving their consciences by referencing the blessings of “civilization” and the message of Christianity. Islamic invaders in every corner of the world offer the simpler, straightforward assertion that, eventually, the whole world must be subject to their God. Who needs profit when you have the Prophet? One essential difference between them is exemplified by their definition of “martyr.” The prototypical Christian martyr’s faith is proven by the joyous affirmation of belief and expectation of an everlasting reward in heaven, even while being burned, beheaded, mauled by lions. crucified or shot full of arrows. The prototypical Islamic martyr, on the other hand, is distinguished by a joyful slaughter of others and the expectation of an everlasting reward from an apparently bloodthirsty deity.

In fact, these differing definitions of martyrdom reflect how adherents of the two religions may perceive their sacred writings, traditions and legends. Christ taught humility, forbearance, forgiveness and turning the other cheek. A teaching that is aspired to, but often honored more in the breach. Mohammed taught revenge, domination and ruthless extirpation. A teaching that is honored literally and unapologetically.

Another difference is the official attitude toward “empire.” The official and unofficial Islamic attitude toward the lands and peoples they have subdued and/or extinguished is “It is our destiny, and yours.” What kind of reaction could a Gandhi expect if he led a peaceful movement to free his people in, let us say, Sudan, whose southern citizens endured 40+ years of genocidal civil war to Islamize and Arabize them? (To say nothing of the “guerrilla war” against the black Muslims of Darfur.) Now declared independent, after prolonged pressure from the “world,” i.e., the West, the people of Southern Sudan live in “peace” with the regime and its supporters. And without the attention of the “world,” they would quickly disappear into the mists of history.

Notwithstanding Gandhi’s success against the British Raj, it is the West that is assumed by its own internal critics to be the worst offender. Everyone is aware of the negative official and unofficial Western attitude toward everything from Columbus’s unethical intrusion into the New World to the invasion of Iraq (excluding, of course, WWII, where the enemy was the Nazis — whose heirs live on as conservatives, Zionists, anti-Islamists and members of the NRA).

Even as the West has backed away from its conquests, leaving them to local control and often offering a helping hand in the difficult business of becoming independent, there is not the slightest suggestion that Turkey might give back a bit of ancient Armenia — let alone admit to genocide; or that Albania or Bosnia might be compensated for the havoc that was wrought by the forcible conversion of their Christian populations. Far from redress for atrocities committed against the once populous Christian settlements of the Middle East, there is an ongoing effort to stamp them out.

Whether we are still “Christian” or just conscious of our past, can we be less tough-minded and determined than the Crusaders who perished in a largely futile effort to preserve the heartland of their religion, and the land of origin of our prized heritage? Can we be less courageous than those first sailors who set off into the unknown, to sail — for all they knew — off the edge of the world?

A Sickness Unto Death

Can we? Well, that depends on who we are now.

In a university somewhere in America in the mid-1950s, a philosophy seminar was offered to a small number of seniors from varied disciplines. Entrance was approved only after a personal interview with the professor. The course was called “War and Peace” and the reading ranged from Tolstoy’s mammoth novel to John Hersey’s Hiroshima. The most memorable session in the course began with the teacher declaring that the topic for the day was “Defend War”.

At first, no one spoke. Then there were a few half-hearted explanations of why it was necessary to go to war to combat evil. But that, the instructor reminded them, was not the assignment. Eventually, an economics major talked with increasing fluency about the technological and economic advances caused by war, and the end benefits to at least some of the participants. After a shocked silence, he was roundly attacked for such a callous analysis. Some of the class debated him vigorously, and others less so. But he never had any defenders.

To some in the class, this was a colossal waste of time. For others, it became a clarifying moment in their thinking about a subject that had seemed to have only one side to it. WWII had engendered a black-and-white view of some things. The years after 1945 had begun to blur the contrasts.

Europe, and its allies and dependents around the globe, had engulfed nearly the entire world in a mammoth conflict that had ended scarcely ten years before this course was offered. A revolutionary view of society had arisen, eventually labeled Marxism, and had been put into practice in various forms. One version of socialism found a home in the Soviet Union as Communism, while the German version chose to follow its own, nationalized path as National Socialism.

What had not long before been a squabbling collection of acquisitive, adventurous and colonizing nations appeared to explode from within. Blitzkrieg tore across the continent, until the powerful reaction set in, after which the homeland of Nazism was defeated, occupied and allowed to rebuild along with its equally devastated neighbors. And where Hitler’s armies had powered across borders with armored columns and airpower, Stalin’s massive military oozed and elbowed its way into occupation of half of Europe, while the “West” looked on. Proponents of democracy around the world faced the realization of a Pyrrhic victory. And the siren song of universal cooperation first sung in the League of Nations was heard again in the United Nations.

This was the schizophrenic world outside the seminar room. Free enterprise, free speech, freedom as a way of life in one-half of the Western world, and the consciousness that the other half was living in a cage. Unparalleled prosperity contrasted with schoolchildren practicing duck-and-cover in an age of MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction). The driving, frenetic distraction of rock-and-roll masking a doomsday cult of better-red-than-dead.

And “as we slept,” those who feared everything and loved their comfort and position more than anything bonded with those whose hard-nosed religion was the dismantling of the unjust, capitalist West so that better people might govern better. Free enterprise and free speech were joined by free love and freedom from religion. Departments and schools of education — those havens of mediocrity — sent their emissaries out to transform the unruly education system, from academe at the top to kindergarten at the bottom.

Gradually, the younger generations learned what the older ones never knew: The government loves you — religion and capitalism do not. Being “exceptional” is tantamount to aggressive behavior. If no one else is strong enough to punish us for our arrogance, it is a matter of conscience for us to do it ourselves. We have sinned as no one has ever sinned before — and the proof is that we have too much.

If this is indeed a “matter of conscience,“ then it almost seems as if Shakespeare had peered into the future and heard the mewling of a bewildered, infantilized and suicidal civilization:

Thus Conscience does make Cowards of us all.
And thus the Native hue of resolution
Is sicklied o’er, with the pale cast of Thought.
And enterprises of great pitch and moment,
With this regard their Currents turn awry,
And lose the name of Action.

Is this why the energy has leaked out of us — why “enterprises of great pitch and moment have turned awry and lost the name of action”? Is this really “conscience” calling us to penance? Or is it the malign working of anti-democratic, anti-capitalist, anti-Enlightenment lowlifes in league with immigrating/invading agents of an age-old hijra — both of them shielded by those who will do anything to preserve their lives in their rose-colored bubble? Are we so undone by the overt and covert actions of those three groups that we are prepared to abjure our ancestors in a way no other civilization has done?

Just think, once the Swedish longships provoked terror wherever they went. Now Swedish girls dye their blonde hair black to lessen their attractiveness to the new, Islamic owners of the night. And when did the rest of us lose our mojo? When did the catchword change from: “We have met the enemy and he is ours” to: “We have met the enemy and he is bigger than we are”?

The proto-communists among us, the Good People whose maudlin hope is to assuage the blood-hunger of the piranhas by casting bread upon the waters, the jihadist enablers, and a government composed of all three have brought us to that of state of despair and self-denial analogous to Kierkegaard’s Sickness Unto Death. The cure for which is a leap of faith — be it religious, philosophical, political or just personal.

Faith in what? you ask. Let’s face it, the world our ancestors inhabited, like the one we inhabit right now, has always been a rough neighborhood. It’s not the kind of place where you get a good conduct medal for trying hard, or a badge for smiling nicely. It’s do or die. I say that we can have faith that our ancestors were no worse, and in most cases a lot better, than anyone else’s ancestors. And that goes for us too.

Out of all the mincing do-gooders and weaselly backstabbers and fifth column infiltrators and apparatchik bureaucrats, let one of them show us anyone who has done better, or more, for the world they live in. Enough guilt-trips from people who know no shame. As Popeye liked to say: “I am what I am, and that’s all that I am.” And in a world filled with the misdeeds of the truly evil and the truly venal, that should d–n well be enough.

If anyone finds this disquisition to be “micro-aggressive,” then I have failed. It was meant to be macro-.

Note: Morituri Salutamus, meaning “we who are about to die salute you” in Latin, was reportedly spoken to Caesar by gladiators at the games in Rome. It was made famous by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow as the title of a poem written on the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of the class of 1825 at Bowdoin College, Maine.

14 thoughts on “Morituri Salutamus

    • Absolutely!! A powerful, inspiring treatise and important history lesson which I happened to read on the 796th anniverary of the death of that quintessential medieval warrior, William Marshall, servant of four kings.

  1. Congratulations. A very ambitious piece that is inhibited by its enforced brevity. The various events of history could have been expanded to enhance the points you were making. As it is, you have tried to force a quart into a pint pot but with those reservations, it was still a good effort.

  2. “The wealth of population” was the key to our previous Western European dominance. Our people were simply better than those others we encountered outside of Europe.
    But Western Europe’s successes stretched itself too far when its resources were destroyed by the internecine world wars I and II. These resources were the majority of our best people who died brave and relatively futile deaths in their millions.
    Those people would not have stood idly by watching our Western civilisation being cunningly destroyed by the intrinsically colonising Islam.
    It is all too easy to forget the benefit of possessing something of immeasurable value until it has gone. Western Civilisation, however it can be described is and has been the most benevolent gift to humanity. It has enabled our species to improve technologically, individually and socially as never before.
    It is not just the Western European way that is in danger of being lost but a lessening of humanity itself.

    • Western civilization, which began at Mount Sinai 3300 years ago and sent its emissaries to walk on the Moon in the twentieth century, is the result of so many factors coming together at the right time that the person of faith cannot but see the hand of God in its making. If we allow it to be destroyed it can never be re-created. And your statement of how the best of its men were sacrificed for no good reason during the past century’s internecine wars is absolutely correct. But the obvious question remains: What do we do now to save it before it’s too late?

    • Warriors and heroes were replaced by guilt-ridden, brain-washed self-abnegators casting pearls at the flotsam of the earth

  3. The very first thing that came to my mind in reading this was the genre of 4X strategy games which depict the building and management of an empire under the player’s control. I admit that this was a facetious reaction, but I also think that there is something to be gleaned from an analysis of the essential paradigm. The four X’s stand for “eXplore, eXpand, eXploit, and eXterminate”. They are sometimes called (or are inclusive of, depending on your perspective) 3E+C games, with “eXterminate” being replaced by “conquest” (the “eXterminate” mechanic is more common in SF-themed games which feature different species with fundamental incompatibilities limiting the possibility of co-existence). The motives for this depend on your perspective, since many higher quality empire-building games do not feature extermination as such, following the historically more realistic model of imposing conquest and forcibly assimilating the local populations (which usually takes time), and emphasize rewarding one of the other game aspects (usually “eXploit”) to a degree which makes extermination or even total conquest a waste of time and resources.

    I think that, as a primer, I’ll go ahead and explain each term (taking the 3E+C model, which is more relevant to historical empires competing against human opponents). “Explore” refers to sending expendable elements of the population out on risky voyages into the unknown from which it is hoped they may return with valuable information (and evidence for further research). The investment in terms of manpower and resources is minimal and such expeditions are not expected to yield immediate economic returns in the form of material wealth (though of course this is not discarded as a possibility). The primary yield is knowledge about formerly unknown regions, making them available for the next step.

    “Expand” focuses on sending out colonization units to enlarge the territory which is under the control of a nascent empire. This colonization is a mix of both civil and military elements and purposes, but the key distinction is that they are sent to colonize areas which have already been explored and they are expected to stay and make a living in the colony rather than return. They are much more heavily manned and supplied than exploration units, and necessarily include women and other non-expendable personnel, making the loss of a colonization unit much more significant. Although they may produce some economic surplus which might be sent back to the empire, the main purposes they serve are to alleviate population pressure both directly and indirectly by providing hope for social elements with limited economic opportunities in the established empire.

    “Exploit” refers to increasing the efficiency and scale of the empire’s economy by developing commerce among the capital and surrounding colonies (taking advantage of regional differences in efficiency of production of various types of resources) and by improving the technology used in production (often facilitated by local economic specialization, which allows locals to focus on the regional “cash crop” and just buy whatever else they need from elsewhere). Improvements on the transportation of goods from where they can be most cheaply produced to everywhere they are in demand, increased capitalization (investment in means of production), discovery and implementation of better technology for both producing and efficiently utilizing resources, and so forth allow the diversity of specializations to efficiently be balanced so that individuals can reap the maximum benefits of focusing on doing one thing best. This is where the real benefits of creating a larger civilization are found, and the return on investment (both in terms of percentage and net gain) becomes a defining measure of success.

    “Conquer” (or “eXterminate”) comes into play when the expansion of an empire in a given direction brings them into proximity with a rival empire (or scattered settlements which are already occupying territory into which the empire is attempting to expand). In 3E+C games, as in real life, exterminating the enemy (or even total conquest and eventual assimilation of all their settlements) is secondary to establishing a favorable military situation to protect the territory already being effectively exploited. It is (as the ‘+C’ would indicate) something of an afterthought, one does not really gain from conquest, but from exploitation. In many games, the ‘best’ victory (considered most rewarding to the player in terms of unlocking game content and events, given the highest score, resulting in a ‘good’ ending) is reached by maxing out the exploit elements (completion of the “tech-tree” is an especially popular victory condition, but victory can also be economic success such as amassing a substantial wealth reserve or, in games with very complex internal economies, resolving disparities in wealth allocation/productivity). This is true of most empires which enjoy long-term success in real life as well, most empires which attempt universal conquest (let alone extermination) as a goal burn out quickly, while those which focus on efficiently producing and amassing wealth, using it to reward loyal subjects, can remain stable for generations. Of course, in real life there is no completing the ‘tech-tree’, there is only the point when the mores of a society determine that further technological advancement threatens some essential value of the civilization itself.

    Of course, while locally any empire is generally engaged in only one of these activities, as a whole the empire must engage in all of them according to the situation in each area. Unexplored areas should be explored, explored but under-populated areas should be colonized, colonized but economically marginal areas should be exploited by increasing the level of commerce, technology, and economic specialization (both regional and individual), and militarily vital areas which are populated by a hostile society should be conquered. When an empire fails to carry out the appropriate activity, it is on the road to ultimate failure (at least, as an empire).

    Western Civilization, taken as a whole, was a classic 3E+C (one could consider it a model of the 3E+C paradigm). Other major empires have not been similar. Islam, for instance, could be justly characterized as pretty much a conquer and exterminate empire, with no significant commitment to exploration, independent (as opposed to invasive) colonization, or positive economic development. The Islamic impulse to resort to robbery and enslavement, leaving all concerns about productivity (and the learning required for it) to the dhimmi, who exists only to be stamped out of existence (an exercise in extended conquest, or slow extermination), means that they have no interest in exploring new lands or seeking independent live outside of the comforts of their conquests. The lack of the 3E component means that Islam cannot sustain itself as a civilization, it is fundamentally parasitic and must die without a sufficiently productive host civilization.

    The same is true of Marxism, only instead of focusing on the glorification of conquest and extermination, Marxists hyperventilate more about the evils of capitalism and economic exploitation. Of course, they also take issue with exploration and colonization, which are both viewed as threatening since they allow those elements of the population with entrepreneurial spirit to escape the sphere of control imposed by the Marxist (this has come to be phrased in terms of concern for the damage these explorers and colonists do to the places where they go, but Marxists are like Muslims, lying about their motives and intentions is basically one of their sacraments).

    Marxism springs from secular humanism, which is fundamentally about fear of the unknown, and characterized by the attempt to deny the existence of the unknown and shut off all exploration or thought concerning it. Secular humanism sets bounds around certain kinds of knowledge which must never be investigated or sought (namely, what happens to people after corporeal death), and this leads directly into expanding the limitation on exploration of the unknown as an unacceptable risk. Without exploration, colonization is impossible, and without colonization, a growing economy is an impossibility. Marxism is the answer, starting from the premise that, since sustained economic growth is fundamentally impossible, the only economic problem is how to distribute the wealth that already exists. Of course, logically consistent Marxism is as impossible as consistent Islam. But consistency is for those who want to actually deal with reality. If you can ignore reality while plundering the goods created by those who engage it, then you don’t need logic.

    Secular humanism isn’t the only source of the feeling which drives Marxism. When a civilization reaches a point of having a lot of people who are complacent about their understanding of the world, exploration becomes an uncomfortable reminder that a world exists beyond their comfort zone. “Out there” is a tantalizing possibility to the natural explorer, but it can be an intolerable source of fear to the homebody. And when exploration stops producing tangible increases in the security and material comforts of some people, they are prone to look for excuses to shut it down.

    The Chinese emperors did this just as Europe got fairly started. That was a top-down imposition of a moratorium on exploration of the globe, and so the result was rather more immediately dramatic and obvious than what has happened to Western Civilization. Some parts of Western Civilization have remained fundamentally committed to exploration and expansion (and thus the economic development made possible), even as the impulse to denounce the idea that the unknown still existed to be explored was embraced by ever larger and more influential elements of society in many nations. But the trend is clear. Fictions (both those acknowledged as such and those presented as fact) about our commitment to exploration receive far more support than any actual program of exploration. Real exploration of the unknown is risky, better to manufacture the outcomes and sell the story to the public as mass entertainment or settled science.

    • Very good synopsis and comment. We did try to carry the Pax Americana into space but became bogged down in an insignificant rice paddy instead. The Marxists of the fourth estate turned our heads from the conquering of the solar system and space to the supposed weeds in our backyard. We have been lied to since the late 1950s and these lies have turned our attention from outward exploration and conquest to inward self-abnegation. As we have fallen on our own sword in a politically correct admission of defeat, our demise cannot be far behind.

      • Well, the space race itself was an exercise in military deterrence through the demonstration of ‘dual-use’ technologies. While it captured the public imagination, the cruel reality is that humanity was not ready to effectively colonize and economically develop space. The real frontier should probably have been developing the capacity to colonize and exploit the oceans, which would have significant implications for learning how to live and work in isolated, technology-dependent environments (even more so for exploiting the ocean floor). But cultural Marxism, which hasn’t yet fielded too many objections to the idea of space colonization, has been very effective in making sure that colonization and exploitation of the oceans is mostly off-limits.

        With approximately a quadrupling of the sustainable human population and a ten-fold increase in readily exploitable energy reserves, along with a massive shift towards the more technologically literate populace and increased incentives for development of resource conservation/reclamation technology necessary to ocean colonization, colonizing Earth’s orbit and eventually the rest of the Solar system could have become a more realistic possibility.

        • Yes, I remember Alan Shepard, a Gemini Astronaut saying the same thing. He said, after his deep sea dives off the coast of San Diego, that man needed to train in the ocean environment before attempting space travel and/or colonization. The shuttle astronauts may have trained in submarines.

  4. “What drove our predecessors to these voyages was, admittedly, a spirit of adventure and a “capitalist” impulse to find something, or somewhere, better, and bring it home.”

    These were the time honored tradition of the raid. Blast in unannounced, pillage, and oh, by the way, here’s your new religion and I’ll be your king. The “capitalism” here is what the left would envision at an occupy wall-street event, whereas capitalism is more a mutually agreed on framework of free competition over resources played out to agreed upon set of rules to make an equal playing field. The raiders of old instead would be more along the lines of the “disadvantaged youth” in Baltimore relieving you of your Lexus IS350 at gunpoint.

    It does illustrate the importance of having something binding such as a central doctrine or some transcendental meaning of existence to hold a civilization together. Without that it becomes very fragmented and then aligned along destructive ideological lines. Problem with Christianity is that it was a paradigm somewhat frozen in time. As knowledge grows, it begins to fall away due to the increasing invalidity of portions of what was originally stated. While it might have been commensurate for its time, that time has since passed. Islam solves that issue by smashing the world into a primitive barbaric landscape and forever wrapping it around the frozen paradigm. Islam does have one interesting concept of the fact that god can “change his mind”. While in this case it was to use Allah as Mohammad’s sock puppet, it does bring up the concept of a truly transcendental belief system that adapts with time. Much like a perfect 4-dimensional square projected onto a 2-dimensional surface. At first it might be a stick scrawling the shape in sand, then quill pen on papyrus, then pencil and ruler to make a more exacting geometrical representation, followed finally by a computer rendered 3-dimensional projected model with constructs and equations to describe the 4-dimensional cube itself that cannot actually be visualized.

    Without such things we ultimately end up here where we are now. Guess that’s just life…

  5. How would Ghandi have gone if he had tried his tactics against a muslim empire?

    Nobody would have ever heard of him outside a death notice somewhere.

    • He did – this actually happened and up to 1 million people may have died in the ‘partition of India and Pakistan in 1948.

      Gandhi thought the British were the enemy and that Jinnah’s muslims were members of a ‘religion of peace’, it did not quite happen that way.

      “Some critics allege that British haste led to increased cruelties during the Partition.[56] Because independence was declared prior to the actual Partition, it was up to the new governments of India and Pakistan to keep public order. No large population movements were contemplated; the plan called for safeguards for minorities on both sides of the new border. It was a task at which both states failed. There was a complete breakdown of law and order; many died in riots, massacre, or just from the hardships of their flight to safety. What ensued was one of the largest population movements in recorded history. According to Richard Symonds: At the lowest estimate, half a million people perished and twelve million became homeless.[57]”

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