Afterwards, I began to wonder what exactly "civilizational collapse" is, and whether that really is what is happening to the West?
Here I attempt to answer those questions.
But first, what is a civilization?
Many definitions have been offered, but none seems to have been generally accepted.
Yet no one doubts that the term "civilization" as applied to the way of life of a community has meaning. Here, then, I offer the following definition, which corresponds closely with the ideas of the American Historian, Carroll Quigley, author of The Evolution of Civilizations.
Civilization, n.The central role of institutions in shaping and perpetuating the ways of life that constitute a civilization means that civilizations are coincident with political jurisdictions or states, although many states may share the same basic civilization.
A multiplicity of ways of life constrained and perpetuated by institutions of government, law, religion, education, war, medicine, production and entertainment, by conditions of climate and geography, and by inter-generational transmission of knowledge, faith, ethics, superstition and prejudice.
If that is civilization, what is "civilizational collapse?"
The dynamics of civilizational transformation follow one of two courses: evolutionary or revolutionary.
Evolutionary change results most often from the emergence of new institutions serving new functions or performing old functions in different ways, or through the corruption of institutions, which then cease to perform their intended purpose well or at all.
Revolutionary transformation usually follows a period of decline due to the failure or corruption of one or more of the institutions comprising the social infrastructure. The immiseration and impoverishment that such decline brings about may result in a violent transformation of the institutions of government, which, in turn, may lead to wholesale reconstruction of other social institutions.
Because the decline or corruption of institutions tends to weaken the war-making power of the state, civilizational decline leads to the eventual subjugation of the state by another, and the wholesale transformation of its institutions under the direction of the conqueror.
This was is how the British and other European empires transformed much of the world, how the United States transformed the civilization of Japan after World War II and how the United States, today, is attempting to transform Iraq, Afghanistan and many other countries.
What we see, then, is that Western civilization, which is to say the civilization originating in Europe as a successor to the civilizations of Rome and ancient Greece, which in 1914 extended its influence over most of the globe, is after the catastrophe of the World Wars, once again asserting its influence globally.
Why then talk of civilizational collapse just as Western civilization again aspires to universal domination?
As the Western states seek to project increasing power throughout the Middle-East, Africa and Asia, their own institutions have been infiltrated, and taken captive, by an alien power that I will call the "hypercapitalist entity."
This power, comprising an informal confederation of several hundred business corporations, now owns the governments, the media, and directly or indirectly many other social institutions throughout the West.
It is this entity, the money power, that has transformed the West from a collection of proud, dynamic and competitive nations that regarded individual liberty, democracy and the rule of law as among its highest attainments, into propagandized, humiliated and intimidated units of an increasingly tyrannical globalist empire.
The drive for global empire in the service of the money power has corrupted virtually all the institutions of Western civilization. Governments are democratic only in name; the rule of law gives way to a regime of universal surveillance, detention without charge or trial and assassination by remote control; Christianity, which provided the moral underpinnings of Western government and law, is publicly reviled and officially trivialized; education has become a channel for the indoctrination of a once free people; medicine is complicit in the mass slaughter of healthy children in utero and the institutionalization of euthanasia; the outsourcing of services and the off-shoring of production has robbed tens of millions in the West of their livlihood; the entertainment industry makes fiction into history; the news media make heroes and role models of corporate psychopaths, war criminals and porn stars, while promoting racial, cultural and national self-denigration, and stuffing our immortal souls with gossip, envy and greed; and the state, through taxation and legislation, systematically undermines the family, the essential institution for the inter-generational transmission of knowledge, faith, and ethics.
Western civilization has been largely destroyed from within. Should the West triumph in the domination of the World, it will be a hollow victory, for the people will have been subjugated by a tiny, hidden and criminal elite, who regard humanity, themselves apart, as animals to be bred, culled, and ruthlessly managed as any other domestic creature.
The triumph of the West will mean the death of humanity as we know it.