All of which makes it imperative that civilizations be willing to robustly defend themselves. Rome didn’t collapse because the barbarians were too strong for Roman legions to defeat. Rome collapsed because its citizens no longer regarded the defense of Rome as either a duty or an honor, and entrusted it to mercenaries who, being mainly barbarians themselves, were unwilling to defend it against barbarism.
Today’s overcivilization, however, is even more dangerous than the type that leveled Rome. Today, the overcivilized portion of the citizenry shies away from any defense of civilization at all. They worry that our use of force will be illegal unless we can get the UN to sign on. They quail at the thought of quagmires. They deride the goal of democratization as arrogance. They refuse to “judge” other cultures for fear of seeming bigoted. Nor will they ever attempt to assert the superiority of our civilization, despite the fact that it eliminated chattel slavery throughout the world, healed a multitude of diseases, and put men on the moon. No doubt such moral vanity makes the overcivilized think well of themselves.
That’s Dale Franks of QandO, adding commentary to this article by John O’ Sullivan in the Chicago Sun-Times.
Go ahead and read both. I’m not going to quibble with some of the confusion in the Sun-Times article, like, for instance, how is the ‘arguable rightness’ of Bacon’s ‘wild justice of revenge’ not also the arguable rightness of rational, values-oriented anarchism? But I’ll pass on dissecting that one.
The overall point here is important, though. What we are talking about, essentially, is the difference between those who seek to defend governments and institutions and those who seek to defend a particular way of life (versus, I should say, no life, or anti-life).
Needless to say, the overcivilized are those most interested in protecting and defending the EU, the UN, the government of the United States, etc. The civilized are interested in protecting freedom as the only way of life. The overcivilized are like children making sand castles, where the protection and defense of one little structure built of sand becomes more important than the overall freedom represented by the vast expanse of sand itself.
Let’s face it. Better than half of the crap from the opposition surrounding this politicized struggle over the rightness of the war, i.e., the killing of Islamists, is that all that “talent” in the EU and UN for negotiating peace deals and treaties is just plain going to waste. Yea, right, what a goddamned shame.
As a footnote, “Man on Fire,” the film mentioned in the article happens to be one of the very few I’ve written a review about.