The principles upon which Western culture rests and upon which America was built are under attack by these slow acting but deadly forces. The drumbeat is grinding down the will of the West to maintain itself. The ideas of individual sovereignty and responsibility, natural rights, and objective truth have been derided by the left to the point that many of our young people reject them, if, indeed, they are even aware of them as the basis for our culture. All that ensures that a culture will pass its ideas down from one generation to the next is its cultural memory. The drumbeat is slowly but surely replacing our cultural memory.
If you step far enough back to look at the whole of human history, you will begin to see a very plain rhythm: a heartbeat of civilization. Steep climbs out of disease and ignorance into the light of medicine and learning — and then a sudden collapse back into darkness. And it is in that darkness that most humans have lived their lives: poor, nasty, brutish, and short.
The pattern is always the same: at the height of a civilization’s powers something catastrophic seems to occur — a loss of will, a failure of nerve, and above all an unwillingness to identify with the values and customs that have produced such wonders.
The Russians say a fish rots from the head down. They ought to know. It may not be factually true that Nero fiddled while Rome burned, the saying has passed into common usage because the image as the ring of truth to it: time and time again, the good and decent common people have manned the walls of the city, and have been ready to give their lives in its defense, only to discover too late that some silk-robed son of a bitch has snuck out of the palace at midnight and thrown open the gates to the barbarians outside.