Beyond the Cusp

November 2, 2014

The World at a Pivot Between Tribalism and Modern Societal Melding

The Roman Empire during its robust youth had one overriding set of principles which it imposed and impressed upon every society they subsumed into their realm. Once the Roman conquest eclipsed your borders you would be permitted to retain only those parts of your culture with which Rome itself saw as unthreatening to their ideas and ideals for societal progressiveness. Rome brought modernity to every part of their empire enriching those lands with sanitation and trade access never thought of before their arrival. They brought Roman roads, Roman aqueducts, Roman sanitation, Roman baths and probably most important, Roman law and order. The one thing Rome did not countenance was the practice of tribalism. Once a part of Rome you were to act Roman, period. It was the eventual loss of this one crucial demand that likely led as much to the fall of the Roman Empire as all of the other factors combined. It took centuries but in the final measure the Roman Empire fell to tribal conquerors largely because they accepted these tribal people into their midst largely to perform the tasks that Romans considered below their status to perform. This eventually even included guarding their borders which resulted in arming these tribal members hired to guard Rome’s borders with Roman weaponry and armor which they stole and with which they armed their tribesmen with these weapons which they used in their plunder of the last remnants of the Roman Empire.

Today the Western world is inviting in tribal peoples from the underdeveloped world to fill the positions which there are either too few people to fill the positions due to shrinking populations or to do the jobs Westerners just won’t do. Many of the tribal people refuse to meld their ways into the fabric of Western society and instead they grow their own tribal cutout area where they apply their own laws and practices and Westerners loathe treading. Still, the Western nations continue to permit more and more of these very people who refuse to adopt Western ways and whose most ardent leadership have oft threatened to transform and change their host society forcing it to adopt their mannerisms and culture. This can only result in one of two endings, the death of Western culture or a bloodbath where only one side will prevail. Either way the continuation of Western culture is dearly threatened.

There exist a few sins from the past which also exacerbate many areas of the underdeveloped world which can be laid at the feet of the Western world and particularly the Europeans. The complaint by ISIS against the Sykes-Picot Agreement and the borders drawn up by the victorious allies after World War I and the borders imposed across continents as the age of colonialism ended and the mostly European nations retreated from their colonies granting them freedom which only resulted in tribal clashes causing civil war and strife in nation after nation is one problem which the West must recognize and now is as good a time to admit the failure of those false borders and to reach agreements to draw national borders along lines which represent the realities on the ground. This will not serve to resolve every problem area nor will it bring every tribal conflict to an end, but it may be a first step to correcting a grievous harm caused in the name of facilitating Western dominance into the future.

Setting more homogenous borders is simply the first step. The next step is to work towards encouraging tribal peoples to accept a more egalitarian view of humankind and finding paths which encourage cooperation over conflicts. This can be encouraged further by introducing modern manufacturing, advanced agricultural methods and bringing modern medicine and hygiene including water treatment, waste disposal, and other necessities for large cities and a longer and healthier life. There is the necessity of providing a promise of a better future in order to encourage change and progress towards a more integrated world where cooperation replaces altercation and progress pushes off the disease and malnutrition which is so often the result of a backward and unmodern society. This will take a degree of sacrifice and altruism from the Western nations but considering the alternatives of conflict and continued hatreds, disruptions which threaten everyone.

Tribalism is not exclusive to the third and developing worlds, it is also appearing within the Western world. There are a number of peoples who desire to split from the nation which they regard as having illegally incorporated their lands and in some cases split their lands between two nations believing that this crime was perpetrated for the most nefarious of reasons, to weaken their ability to rise up and claim back their independence. These complaints need to be addressed and possibly in some cases acted upon to relieve the tensions and in the name of future cooperation. Should any of these claims be realized, the new entity must also realize that they owe their previous nation or nations a degree of loyalty and cooperation in order to allow for some compensatory rehabilitation and mending between and for both peoples. Perhaps in many cases there could be an arrangement granting a degree of autonomy without necessitating an actual breakup of existing states when the aggrieved entity exists within one national boundary. In the cases where arbitrary boundaries have resulted in forming states where civil unrest and internal strife has resulted and become a normal state, then there should be a redrawing of entire regions with the consultation of the chosen leadership of the respective peoples. The real threat and difficulty will be dealing with often dictatorial leaders who, along with military consisting of a loyal minority who control through force of arms, will refuse to surrender and allow these changes. There will need to be some compensatory alternative offer to guarantee their safety and the continued safety of their supporters while still moving forward. The alternative is too forbiddingly dangerous to simply allow the future to decide these things simply through force of arms and increasing terrorism and hatreds. All one need do is look around the globe and see the numerous hotspots and potential new boiling points threatening to explode across the globe and it rapidly becomes apparent that these changes are going to come one way or the other and without any intervention preventing violence and wars from reaching every corner of our world. The other way is far too frightening to even imagine. The United Nations was founded in the hope of negotiating the difficulties and challenges facing the world, its constituent nations and their peoples. Perhaps it is time to utilize that venue for some real and actually rehabilitative endeavors which can undo and correct the many wrongs from the past, both those which were intentional and those which were merely expedient and not maliciously inflicted. We can pay the piper now or the piper will collect in the near future and the longer we make the piper wait, the more costly the price will be in treasure and in something far more precious, lives and potentially modernity. Can we afford to simply wait and see?

Beyond the Cusp

June 4, 2014

Tribalism to Subdue Cultural Society Yet Again

The number of times that clan or tribal based societies have overpowered the more technically advanced civilization is beyond our ability to count as we can only reference the times such has occurred since written records have survived. The Greco-Roman civilization eventually fell to tribal societies which brought Rome down for a multitude of reasons among them the fact that Rome hired out the very tribal clans to guard the borders once the Roman citizens no longer felt they needed to submit to such a low level of employment. Once the empire of Rome could afford to hire those from the outside to perform the most menial and lowest of tasks, which eventually included guarding the gates, the dye was cast and the end of Roman society had been purchased. The Chinese society was threatened by tribal clans from outside their borders and found the answer in the Great Wall of China. This defensive structure took decade upon decades to complete and eventually it was sufficient to protect the civilized from the barbarians at the gates. Eventually the Chinese decided that they no longer needed to demean themselves when they could hire “responsible” members from the tribes beyond the Wall and figured that they would serve that position well as they received all the benefits of civilized life as long as they continued to protect China. Well, the day came when the guards decided to allow in their tribal brothers and sisters likely figuring they could take over the whole of China and then all of them would enjoy the pleasures of a more advanced way of life. Oddly they were unable to continue the levels of civilized life and the rules of law and polite society once they had defeated the Chinese and slaughtered their leadership, and along with them the keepers of knowledge and customs and China fell back into a tribal society.

 

The basic rule appears to be that once a society reaches a certain level they also reach a point where securing their society and performing all the necessary tasks becomes either so utterly undesirable or regarded as menial and demeaning that they hire outsiders, the unwashed, the less advanced societies’ members to perform these tasks. This is not meant to demean those whose origins and roots grew from a less advanced society. What is meant is that those who are raised in a less advanced society will necessarily lack the education and knowledge base to maintain all of the mechanisms and societal delicacies which are the appeal of a more advanced society but also the Achilles Heel of advanced societies. Once a society reaches a level where the average person refuses to perform some of the most basic and undesirable tasks, especially protecting the borders, and outsource these tasks thus inviting in peoples who are not steeped and raised with the laws and societal expectations of the more advanced society, they have planted the seeds which will inevitably bring down their society. But it takes more than simply hiring out the defense of the borders and the enlisting of people from less advanced societies and cultures to perform the least desirable functions as these do not alone lead to the ruination of the advances society, it takes a series of compromises in the ideals and ideas which were required to build the more advanced society.

 

So, how does this happen, what does it entail and how does this bring on ruination? When an advanced society is in its infancy and is establishing itself there is a basic attitude that the members of said society are privileged to be a part to such a meritorious effort. The differences between the cultural mandates of the advancing society from the less advanced societies are protected and seen by the society as a precious and special set of societal and individual rules and expectations. These rules and guidelines are respected and deviation from them results in ostracization from the whole of society thereby protecting the whole of society from runaway misbehavior within the society. The societal norms are well defined and taught to the youth as part of their education and the history of the culture and nations is taught along with the praise of belonging and fitting within the societal norms being defined as normative. Eventually the society reaches a point where they decide that individualism is more important than complying and fitting into the societal norms and expectations. This eventually leads to a universalism which tends to blur the differences and relegates judgmentalism based societal distinction to be defined acts of segregation and elitism which are discouraged. Continuing down this path eventually erases all distinction and leads to a society based on complete and unbiased acceptance where all beliefs and all actions are considered to be within the personal rights of every individual. When a society reaches such a point, those who hold that the historic base ideals of the society which differentiated it from those less advanced are necessary and must be preserved and serve as the continued basis for behavior if the society is to remain advanced and hold on to those differentiating qualities are scorned and berated as narrow minded and hateful. Such a society has lost its way and will meander and eventually be destroyed from within.

 

This is the current situation in Europe and much of the industrialized world and to say so will bring scorn and castigation down on oneself. Claiming that the basics, especially those based in religious beliefs, were the reason that the modern industrialized world became preeminent is now considered foolish and is demeaned by claiming that holding such thoughts is what led to such distasteful actions as imperialism and colonialism. Now, being a member of enlightened society one must accept and live by a creed that claims that all cultures, all societies, all nations and all people no matter their background must be considered, treated, accepted, and lauded as full equals with no preference given, especially to those who were raised in a similar background and societal norms as were the basis of the industrialized west just fifty or so years ago. Another symptom of this obsessive equality is the rejection of any religious beliefs which originate and were the principle mainstream religions prevalent in the culture during its rise to preeminence. The majority in a declining society will hold being religion free by the definitions from the earlier periods of the society when it was on the rise is another symptom. The name this is currently given is secularism which, whether or not its congregants wish to admit it or not, is a religion where the state is the divine source of all goodness and the claimed rejection of structured religion is a mantra used to denigrate the former mainstay religions and to proclaim that their rejection of normative religions makes them the enlightened when all it does is make them members of the choir of secularism. The rejection of every societal norm and rejection of societal judgments leads directly to accepting everything and anything and is put forth as the only acceptable manner where universal rights and universalist agendas can be implemented. This leads to unrestricted immigration which eventually places what previously would have been referred to as undesirable barbarians within the gates from where they eventually will collapse the society. These are the symptoms of a society which no longer values standing for the defense of its core beliefs necessary for its continuance. When the principles have been forsaken the society will soon follow and once forsaken will destroy itself with only the merest whimper of a complaint. Finally we know the truth posed by T. S. Eliot in his poetry. Elliot’s described the shallowness of contemporary society in the poem The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock where he wrote, “In the room the women come and go, Talking of Michelangelo.”  He predicted the end when he wrote in his poem The Hollow Men, “This is the way the world ends, Not with a bang but a whimper.” Live long enough and eventually things fall into place and make sense at last, and understanding Elliot is placed high on that list.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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