Sweeping out of the North at the head of his Visigoth army, Alaric entered Italy, encountering token resistance at best.
The year was 410 A.D., and Rome’s days were clearly numbered. Charged with the security of the crumbling empire but lacking any moral direction from above, soldiers deserted their posts by the company, by the cohort, by the legion.
The former masters of the Mediterranean having grown fat and complacent could not even be bothered to phone it in any longer. All pretense of “supporting the troops” was abandoned by the elites as they sprinted for their bolt-holes.
Tacitus said that great empires are not maintained by timidity, and Rome had grown decidedly timid.
The one constant in the universe is change, and even nations have a shelf life. Demographics shift over time. Wealthy nations once they’ve stopped expanding tend to also stop breeding at a replacement level in what is by and large a futile effort to preserve their prosperity. Poor tribes and nations on the other hand continue to breed well above replacement levels until contact with wealthier nations becomes inevitable. Eventually the natives are overwhelmed by the new arrivals until the new arrivals settle in as natives themselves. Then the cycle begins anew.
Few nations retain the character and will to resist this kind of change. National character is a top-down paradigm. Front line security personnel, be they military, paramilitary, or police, take their cues from the top. A selfish ruling class will beget a selfish rank and file. So what happens when the rank and file looses all incentive for self-sacrifice?
Robert Heinlein said that a society which cannot find volunteers to rise to its defense does not merit survival.
We are led by evil people who have shown zero capacity for self-reflection, and who have demonstrated a contempt for the rest of us that they don’t even bother to mask.
The reasons for this could be as numerous as the sands on the shore. Perhaps they have a plan to escape the coming meltdown they’re causing. Or, like the Bolsheviks of the early 20th century, cannot conceive of a circumstance when they will be shoved up against a wall and shot by their fellow revolutionaries.
Perhaps they’re right. But when Visigoths crest that hill and the legionaries abandon their posts with a “forget you” aimed towards the D.C. area, its not going to be pretty for the rest of us.
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