We Await our Caesar
Civilized cultures are mortal; they have a predetermined life span just like an organism. There are numerous examples from antiquity whose skeletal remains are still with us. Each example represents a unique metaphysical enterprise that has expired. We can only imagine what the lives of the peoples were like and wonder at the remnants of the once vibrant cityscapes. The civilization into which we were all born, which has shaped our world view, was itself born on European soil around the turn of the first millennium.
Today we stand upon a mature cultural foundation that was built gradually over the last thousand years. Western civilization, as we call it, has exhausted the wealth of possibilities that were mere germs around the time of Charlemagne. The fact that our academics today have contempt for the whole grand enterprise is itself a testament to the advanced age of our culture.
We Westerners are no longer inspired by the ideals of our forefathers. The period from the Enlightenment to today has been a gradual deconstruction of the traditions and beliefs that were behind the great art and architecture of Europe's golden age. From the completion of the first Gothic cathedral to the last notes of a Mozart string quartet something magnificently creative was going on. Ever since then there has been a battle between the forces of tradition and those of revolution; what we today label as conservative and liberal.
George Washington and the Founders may have been revolutionaries, but they revered the noble traditions and were inspired by religious belief. Robespierre and Napoleon were true revolutionaries in the real liberal sense of the word. They were out to destroy the old order of privilege for the sake of their own power. They used the same slogans that we would see repeated by all the twentieth-century demagogues.
The very words "conservative" and "liberal" lay out the fundamental opposition; one seeks to preserve an existing order, the other to liberate from an existing order. The one reverences the traditions of the past; the other seeks a future free from the restraints of the past. One seeks to live up to high standard inherited from their ancestors; the other seeks to create a new order based upon their own ideas.
Great civilizations are grand metaphysical enterprises that transform the physical landscape in accordance with the underlying belief system. The appearance of liberal ideology can be best understood as a metaphysical virus that spells the doom of the metaphysical body politic. The great institutions and traditions that conservatives seek to preserve and pass on to their children are looked upon as a problem and a source of inequity by the liberal ideologue. Conservatives are doomed to fail when confronted with an enemy that does not share their value system. The system itself is the enemy to the liberal/progressive.
The spiritual organism that is a grand civilization lives out a destiny as do all organisms. In old age we are less able to fend off disease. The great civilizations were all victims of their own success; they died of old age, a shadow, if that, of their former greatness. The glorious Roman Republic succumbed to the same cultural rot that we today are experiencing. Caesar was able to manipulate a demoralized mass of city dwellers to topple the aristocracy long since grown corrupt in exchange for food and games. The modern welfare state is the reflection of that Roman rot in our time.
Consider the dichotomy; liberal versus conservative. By definition the one wants to free itself of unfair restraints in the name of a freer order; liberal. The other wants to cling to the values, traditions and institutions of their ancestors; i.e. conservative. Liberals consider themselves open minded and free thinkers. This comes in stark contrast to the conservative who thinks of himself as the custodian of a noble tradition whose standards must be maintained.
Civilizations are built and nurtured by a very conservative man; a religious man who views his duty in terms of the wishes of his Creator. Civilizations decay and eventually perish from the deconstructive influences of the liberal man who views the religious man as a fool and whose sole purpose in life is self gratification; personal power. The conservative understands that freedom and liberty are fruits of a morality and of a faith in God. The liberal sees little difference between liberty and license.
As far as the body politic is concerned, liberals are the cancer cells, the change agents bent on destroying an order that is perceived as unfair. There are no clear alternative visions other than utopian longings. They are as destructive and shortsighted as was Robespierre. They leave only destruction behind. The conservative is the white blood cell that attacks and destroys the cancer cell in the name of the health of the culture; the body politic. It took hundreds of years to build the palaces and cathedrals of western Europe.. The builders were believers in a higher good. It took no time for angry mobs spurred on by liberals to destroy these monuments to human good.
Since the body politic is not a physical body but a metaphysical one it does not suffer physical decay in old age, it suffers moral decay. The Egyptians as well as the Romans were not conquered as much as they were overrun by uncivilized warlike nomads; the collapse was psychological. The will to do anything but survive left these populations defenseless. We are witnessing the loss of a once proud morale to a narcissistic ethos that expects to be taken care of.
Corrupt politicians are eager to take advantage of this dependence to institutionalize their power and wealth. Eventually they too will be exposed as weak and defenseless in the face of a true tyrant dictator the likes of which we are certain to see in the future. The once noble halls of government in the Roman Republic had long since lost all respect and had earned the contempt of the people. When the time was right, the people welcomed a strong warrior to restore order and punish the corrupt.
We now wait for our Caesar. With the inevitable continuation of the current rate of corruption and decay it is only a matter of time before the groundwork is complete and our Caesar takes center stage. As our government continues to purge its ranks of all strong and noble men in favor the weak and decadent in order to pillage the treasury at will, it unwittingly clears the deck of all worthy opposition to a ruthless dictator. This dictator, as did Caesar, will usher in the final end to Western Civilization. He will be followed by others increasingly brutish and cruel as was Caesar.
Tom Hoffman is president of Compton Trading, Inc., Long Beach, CA