William R Collier Jr
More and more thoughtful people are talking about the social/moral, sacred/spiritual, market/fiscal, and civic/political condition of our civilization and concluding that catastrophic failure and collapse are almost inevitable. In short, they are openly talking about the decline and fall of Western Civilization.
While the average person may not articulate these thoughts in such terms, almost everyone who holds to some form of virtue or godliness coupled with personal responsibility and faith-affirming as well as life-affirming lifestyle choices agrees that “things are moving towards the wrong direction.”
Our social, sacred, civic, and market life as a civilization is not merely falling, it is collapsing in on itself in a free-fall of doom that, to informed observers, is unprecedented in its speed. This translates to corrupting of our youth, higher prices for everything, higher taxes an regulatory burdens, corruption of high officials, and general dishonesty, unfaithfulness, and indecency all around us. The terrible results of this fall are daily confronting us and the agents of this decline have an “in your face” boldness and arrogance that frustrates and infuriates normal, decent people who know that such behaviors are bad for everyone.
If you are not accustomed to think in terms of the rise and fall of civilization and how these processes can effect your daily life, for good and for ill, I want to challenge you right now that knowing how these things work can help you to deal with what is happening in your life right now.
It is true that Western Civilization is not merely “in decline” but that it is quite literally coming apart. The final calamity of destruction may be drawn out in a slow-motion train wreck that takes decades.
Yes, Western Civilization is in decline and headed for collapse. That is true. But is it ALSO true that YOU in particular are compelled by forces beyond your control to partake of the awful results of that decline?
Barring a miracle we cannot predict with certainty, it is statistically improbable that Western Civilization will produce much more than negative results for all who follow and depend upon its social, sacred, civic, and market institutions for their daily necessities. Let that sink in- if you depend on the institutions of Western Civilization for your daily necessities, you cannot expect very positive results. This basic fact of life is never going to change unless an outright miracle occurs.
While it IS true that Western Civilization is in decline and that it will drag everyone who depends upon it down with it, it is NOT true that you and I have to depend on Western Civilization’s godless institutions to meet our daily needs. We are more free to choose what kind of institutions we will depend upon to meet our daily needs than many suspect.
If institutions are regular relationships and exchanges that we habitually and normal resort to then if we change the terms, norms, standards, and philosophical basis of our relationships and exchanges then we start a process of establishing our own institutions to meet our daily needs. IF these new institutions are not built on the present civilization’s norms and standards, because we reject those godless norms and standards, then even if Western Civilization collapses those institutions and those who depend on them will not be dragged down with Western Civilization.
Western Civilization is going to crumble, but you and I do not have to let that get in the way of building a positive and hopeful future. If we decide to deliberately create relationships and conduct exchanges based on the values and beliefs of a new, God-fearing civilization then we will watch the old civilization fall without having to partake in the catastrophe ourselves.
The OLD will die, that is the nature of things with people AND civilizations, but just as the OLD die, new generations are born and life, human civilization, goes on. For those who stick with the old out of loyalty, habit, or apathy, there will be catastrophe and sorrow. For those who consciously take a different path towards the new, there is hope that they and their offspring will avoid the sorrow and misery that their neighbors might be forced to endure.
The decline and fall of an old civilization is not the real news item here- the real news that we can put our hope in is that the emergence of the NEW will help people escape from the decline of the OLD.