When all is said and done, Civilizations do not fall because of the barbarians at the gates. Nor does a great city fall from the death wish of bored and morally bankrupt stewards presumably sworn to its defense. Civilizations fall only because each citizen of the city comes to accept that nothing can be done to rally and rebuild broken walls; that ground lost may never be recovered; and that greatness lived in our grandparents but not our grandchildren. Yes, our betters tell us these things daily. But that doesn’t mean we have to believe it.
These words should sound familiar to readers of Auspundits. That is because it resembles very much the words of Christian writer Malcolm Muggeridge. Words that I am oft disposed to quoting:
It is difficult to resist the conclusion that 20th century man has decided to abolish himself, tired of the struggle to be himself, he has created boredom out of his own affluence, impotence out of his own erotomania and vulnerability out of his own strength. He himself blows the trumpet that brings the walls of his own cities crashing down, until at last having educated himself into imbecility, having drugged and polluted himself into stupefaction he keels over a weary old Brontosaurus and becomes extinct.
Similar words were spoken by Alexander Solzhenitsyn's in infamous 1978 Harvard address:
…no weapons, no matter how powerful, can help the West until it overcomes its loss of will power…weapons become a burden for the capitulating side. To defend oneself, one must also be ready to die; there is little such readiness in a society raised in the cult of material well-being. Nothing is left, then, but concessions…the next war…may well bury Western civilisation forever.