Cultural Collapse

by Robert Arvay

One can put only so much pressure on a dry twig before it stops bending, and snaps into pieces.

It is at that irreversible moment, that the twig has reached its breaking point.

Cultures are like that. A culture is an unwritten contract among individuals. That contract is a general outline of the values we share, the history we study, the language we speak, and the God we worship.

Like a twig under pressure, cultures can bend only so far. True, over a long period of time, any culture gradually changes. Any language changes, customs change, traditions are changed.

A healthy culture can adapt to gradual, orderly change.

But when the change is too fast, too drastic, and in violation of accepted norms, then eventually, a breaking point will cause the culture to collapse.

As much as we revere our Constitution, it is a product of American culture, a culture rooted in the ancient history of western civilization. It is our culture which sustains our Constitution. Without a coherent culture, the Constitution itself loses its effect.

We are facing a breaking point. One recent sign of that is the publication in a scholarly journal [Journal of Medical Ethics] that it should be made legal to kill innocent infants in what the authors [Alberto Giublini and Francesca Minerva] refer to as, “after-birth abortion.” It is what Sarah Palin predicted when she coined the term, “Death Panels.”

Many, many other examples could be given.

When cultures collapse, the damage is as devastating as invasion by barbarians. Indeed, such collapse can lead directly to military debacle. The outcome is predictable– a period of internal strife, violence and destruction, followed by the tyranny of a few opportunistic strongmen.

Dictators rarely restore the culture that was lost. Instead, they become carrion eaters, parasites, feasting on the decaying corpse of what once had been a nation. Finally, when all the meat has been savaged from the bones, the nation either becomes extinct, or is subsumed into another culture, such as the indigenous American tribes that collapsed before the arrival of Europeans, who hastened the demise of those cultures.

What Hitler and Hirohito did to Germany and Japan in the 1933-45 era, is occurring now in the US. The law is increasingly seen by the administration as something to work around, in order to achieve goals expressly forbidden by the US Constitution.

And in conversation with supporters of the president, one hears only indifference to the law, and blind loyalty to the leader. Present them with a fact, and they rebut with a diversion or an accusation, but never a thoughtful answer.

This is the sign of an irreversible fracture in the culture. There is no going back to the days when more rational discourse was possible. Instead, a new form of civil war has already broken out, not an Arab Spring, but an American Winter.

In such a season, reason is the first casualty, and force is the final argument. As Jesus is reported to have said to some women on His way to His death, “Weep not for me, but for the children.”

Robert Arvay is a Contributing Writer to The Patriot’s Notepad.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s