Thursday, August 10, 2017

One Hundred and Twenty Nine

The threat to what we used to call civilization was never the barbarians at the gate. They always saved civilization.

Dazzled by its glitter, barbarians were always seduced into becoming civilized, learning to worship the city’s god and obey those who ruled it in his name. 

Rulers welcomed barbarians if they came at a time when those who know them best, their slaves, were losing faith in them. The ruler who said his people had failed him by rebelling, so he would replace them with new people, spoke for all rulers.

A ruler must educate his people to understand his orders well enough to carry them out efficiently, but not well enough to question those orders. War is his best means of securing their unquestioning obedience.    

War unites rulers and ruled against a common external enemy, preventing people from realizing their real enemies are their rulers. And having suffered and died for a cause they’re told is noble, people are reluctant to admit they’ve been gulled.  

The people now fleeing the Middle East pose no threat to what we used to call Western civilization. They're not barbarians, but prosperous, educated Muslims who can afford to bribe the West's gatekeepers to let them in, while ordinary Muslims stay home and try to dodge the West's bombs; and they no more believe in Islam's god than the West's educated Christians and Jews believe in theirs. The real threat to what we used to call civilization is, and always has been, people clever enough to realize it’s a Potemkin village, and angry enough at having been gulled to tear it down, but not clever enough to build something real in its place. Today’s slaves have lost faith in what we used to call civilization, as have we all; but now there are no barbarians at the gate, ready to take their place. 

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