Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Why hasn't the West already collapsed? Why the delay? Providence?


Since this is a Christian blog, I am allowed to talk about the collapse of the West in providential terms - in the kind of terms we may be familiar with from the large sweep of history covered in the Old Testament (describing God's actions in the world).

Bearing in mind that although we can understand the past to some extent, we cannot understand the present - nor predict the future.

Therefore I am not talking about what is happening now or describing what will happen - I am discussing what has happened and why.


Cutting to the chase - for those who do not want to 'read the whole thing' - my take is that the collapse is self-imposed; the more the collapse is delayed, the more severe and comprehensive it will be; and if it is delayed long enough, the collapse will certainly take-down the whole culture including the secular Leftism which is its cause.

And the only thing which could - and would - avert the collapse is wholesale repentance and a powerful and widespread Christian Awakening.

This could at any point up to the actual start of the collapse, reverse things - although the longer repentance is delayed, the more damage will be sustained, the longer and harder it will be to repair this damage.

Thus the delay in the collapse serves two purposes - it provides more time for repentance, and it ensures that if repentance does not happen, then the cause of the problem will be eliminated.


Imagine, for a moment, that you were a deity who was managing the world - how would you manage the impending collapse of the West?

The starting point is that the modern West is (probably) one of the most sinful societies that has ever existed in the history of the world - bearing in mind that the definition of sin is to be turned-away from God.

I don't suppose there has been a society in which so many people were turned-away from God as this one now; turned-towards the world, pleasures, distractions, novelties, the search for peace and comfort and stimulation. And in which the short-term comes to more-and-more to dominate the long term.

And the trend is for ever more of the same, encouraged by ever more - and more pervasive - propaganda (via the mass media, government, education), ever more - and more pervasive - distractions, and the whole situation ever more coercively-implemented by social sanction, regulations, laws and subsidies.


If you view this from the deity's perspective - and simply let people have what they want, get what they ask for - what do we see?

Amongst other things:

The atheist Leftist elite are eliminating themselves demographically - on the one hand they have stopped breeding, on the other hand they import ever larger numbers of people implacably hostile to themselves and their aspirations.

The elite are running down the basis of their civilisation: science, technology and the economy.

The elite are making art ugly, mainstream religion immoral, and lies (hype, spin, public relations) mandatory.

The elite are wilfully and aggressively blinding themselves (and the population in general) to the most significant threats to the stability of their society.

The elite are actively-strengthening the forces likely to trigger collapse: Leftist revolutionaries, the economically parasitic - the pampered idle and the bureaucrats; strengthening all those in the arts, the media, education, law and public administration with an agenda to destroy society.


And the elite are actively weakening the power and resolve of the police and military.

The elite have all-but destroyed autonomous civil society - the Church, professions, guilds and unions, clubs and charities - which are now thoroughly bureaucratised, taxed, subsidised, regulated, linked-with and otherwise brought under control of the government.


In sum, the secular Leftist elite (that is to say, the whole of mainstream politics and the leadership of all major social institutions) are on the one hand doing many things on many fronts that will cause societal collapse; and on the other hand are weakening all pro-social forces of cohesion and strength which might respond-to and ameliorate collapse.

So that collapse, when it comes, will be on so many fronts that the systematically weakened response will be grossly inadequate to do anything effective.


And, the longer the collapse is delayed the stronger will be the forces of collapse, and the weaker will be the forces that oppose collapse.

Thus all delays make it ever more certain that collapse, when it can eventually be put-off no longer, will be catastrophic - rapidly and completely fatal to the ideology which itself caused the collapse.


Or we could repent, repudiate the past, and turn again to God.

For whom anything is possible - including the averting - or amelioration - of collapse.


The secular Leftist elite leadership might repent (that would be best, I would think); or the mass of the population might repent and remove the secular Leftists from their leadership.

I think they are the only options.


Repent now; or wait until everything is in ruins and repent then - or not...

(After all, repentance is and must be a free choice.)

Either we prove that our society is worth saving; or we prove that it is not worth saving, and then it will be allowed to destroy itself.


But that decision is not yet made.

There is still time....

Until, suddenly, there isn't.



Brett Stevens said...

I don't think civilizations collapse suddenly. I think they fade out, and suddenly become third world mixed-race cultureless gray republics with dubious hygiene, safety and public services.

It's a fallacy to insist that Greece and Rome are in any way as organized and healthy as their Western European counterparts. That's what happens: slowly fading into historical nothingness.

Bruce Charlton said...

@Brett - I don't think there is any real historical parallel to what is happening to us. Who knows how it will pan out - but in humans multi-system failure usually starts slowly but accelerates rapidly to death, as failure in one system causes failure in two others, and so on.

Robert said...

The total collapse will come when the economy implodes. When there is no fall back, no EU bail out, no Fed bail out. The West will then collapse and the nihilistic horror will be unleashed in all its fury.
Right now there is a semblance of stability because of band aids applied to the economy.When the final crisis occurs Liberalism will then be mugged by reality.

Cyrus said...

I'd recommend Alfred Duggan's novel 'The Little Emperors' which deals with the fall of Roman Britain.

It begins with slow, steady decline of the sort we're familiar with: a bureaucratic takeover of civil society and the economy, the hollowing out of protective institutions like the army, and an influx of foreigners of dubious loyalty. Things get worse but only gradually, giving the impression that circumstances can be managed, or even reversed.

Then in only four years the whole thing collapses entirely and irrevocably, as the government devours itself, the people abandon the state, and the foreigners take what they want because nobody can stop them.

It's an excellent novel and I found it very thought provoking when I read it a year ago. It's also rather drily amusing.

Samson J. said...

Great topic. I *do* think, in fact, that Providence is the reason we haven't devolved into bleak and total savagery yet. As attentive Christians, we watch the news, cataloging and criticizing every new cultural absurdity, fearful of the way that trends are going to affect us. But I think that in spite of macrotrends, God looks out for us as individuals; losing a job here opens a window over there.

Persecution may (slowly) intensify, but God will orchestrate events so that even if we do suffer under this or that bizarre law, it will turn out to be like Paul in prison - "thank God for these chains which have really advanced the gospel!"