The rise and possible fall of our civilization

The rise and possible fall of our civilization, by the Z-Blog.

Social cycle theory argues that stages of civilization and history generally repeat themselves in cycles. The most famous explanation of this is Oswald Spengler’s The Decline of the West, where he compared human civilization to an organism. There is the birth phase where society comes into being. An adult phase where is fully formed and reaches its potential and then the decline of old age and eventually death. Another way of stating it is that human civilization has seasons, spring through winter.

This way of thinking about the West has been popular with various right-wing movements ever since, as it generally fits the more realistic worldview of the Right. The Left, in contrast, has always embraced the idea that human civilization evolves toward some idealized point of existence. Progressives chose their label, because they are not only in favor of progress, but they believe it is inevitable. They are on the right side of history, because unlike their enemies, they are not standing in the way of progress.

The argument for Spengler has a lot of support in our history books, as there are plenty of civilizations that were born, lived and then died. If human history naturally progressed to some ideal form of existence, it would seem that the middle ages were a detour, which means there could be other detours. Alternatively, [sub-Saharan] Africa made no meaningful progress until Europeans arrived and handed them the tools of modernity. Even so, the magic of historical progress does not appear to be working its magic on the Africans.

The West is hitting the wall:

Closer to home, it is obvious that the West has hit some sort of wall, when it comes to inventiveness in the social sphere. Regarding political organization, not much has happened since widespread democracy was embraced a century ago. It has become more absurd and corrupt, but that hardly qualifies as progress. …

At a more granular level, this is obvious in the political sphere. Take a look at the Democrats running for president. Bernie Sanders is a sort of weird nostalgia tour for Baby Boomer lefties and their spiritual soulmates in the younger generations. Listen to him speak and he barely makes any sense. In fact, all of them rely on emotive gibberish and their mostly concocted back stories. The gay mayor a gay who speaks in riddles. The mixed senator is Obama with a vagina. Warren is an angry old hen.

Take a step back and the Democrat Party is no longer a political party in the traditional sense of the concept. It has no agenda, other than a hatred of white people, but even that hatred has no point, beyond keeping the non-whites angry. The GOP had been a pointless collection of castoffs for decades until Trump came along, but even there, the MAGA stuff is just a weird echo of the Reagan years. If Sanders is a nostalgia candidate for lefty boomers, Trump is a nostalgia tour for aging Reaganites. …

The winter of our civilization, or a transition to the new economic reality?

The view from the Right, properly understood, is to look at this and see the winter of Western civilization. The barbarian hordes are pouring over the border. It’s not that the West is incapable of defending itself. It’s that it lacks the youthful energy to do it. …

Another way of viewing this, however, is to be a bit less grandiose and see the West in a transition period … from the industrial order to something that better fits the technological age.

One reason national governments are in such shabby condition is they have lost one main reason to exist. People in Europe are no longer in competition for resources. Everyone in the West has extra of all the things that matter and extra of most of the luxury items. Organized competition for stuff is no longer a salient part of political life. Germany is not going to be invading Poland to get more farm land.