We would remind ourselves that the demise of the present Western civilization will not be the termination of the people. It will be as the demise of the Soviet civilization decades ago. Russia still exists today as a people, but the Republic of the Soviet Union no longer exists. What will terminate the West will be the fall of conservative Western morals, Western values, Western behavior, and possibly a variation in the Western system of democratic government.
Those who are aware of what is culturally now in progress in the Western world will find little with which to disagree on this matter. This is especially true among those who can still remember the 1940s and 1950s. The Western world today is vastly different from those decades that marked the end of a society that no longer exists. But before we think Western civilization is finished with transformation into something vastly new and different, hang on for the end of this century. Unfortunately, those who will take Western civilization into a different era will have fewer moral norms of bygone years by which they can judge their digression. This is the way all civilizations go out. The civilization of the grandfathers is long forgotten by the time the grandchildren or great grandchildren usher in a new civilization.
The socially democratic West began in its youth as a vibrant civilization that was full of hope and optimism. Economic growth has taken the West unto heights of remarkable prosperity. Its prosperity to a financial zenith has affected the rest of the world. In fact, many nations of the world, as was the case with the Roman Empire, depend on the existence and industrial strength of the West. Rome pumped life-giving financial blood throughout the Empire. Societies continued as long as they would vote in favor of Rome that held up their societies through financial aid and military reassurance. But in the end, Rome was unable to financially sustain all those who depended on her wealth.
The West is simply reliving the consummation about which John wrote of Rome in her latter days when dependent nations mourned over the demise of Rome. Their mourning was not over Rome itself, but over their loss of financial and military security that was provided by Rome (See Rv 18).
The nations that leached on the finances of Rome, were similar to the financial relationship that many nations today have with America. Dependent nations will vote against American positions in the UN, but at the same time have their cuffed hands stretched out behind the UN building, begging for foreign aid for their perpetually impoverished nations they govern through corruption.
But aging has also affected the democratic norms upon which the West accomplished its great financial power and influence. To some extent, the democratic system that was given birth by independence from England through the Revolutionary War, has to some extent developed into a congress of governance that cannot get along with itself. The governance of the West is almost impotent in reference to making decisions. And for this reason, the financial base of the West is always on the verge of the bears who would take the stock market into a financial tail spin. Most financial gurus with whom we have consulted on this matter are almost unanimous in their conclusion that the stock market is headed for a severe crash sometime in the future. And where goes the Western stock market, so goes the markets of the world.
There is heart disease in the source from which financial blood is pumped to clinging societies throughout the world. There is so much political paranoia in the governing environment that elected officials are afraid to make a decision lest they lose the votes of their liberal or conservative constituency that put them in office. Western civilization is experiencing the Achilles’ heEl of democracy: As goes the electorate of society, so goes the elected officials of society. In the case of Western civilization, the divisions within the society of the voting constituencies is so great that governance of the populous becomes almost impossible.
The problem is not so much with the forces of conservative preservation, but with a liberal constituency that has lost its moral compass. After the days of President John F. Kennedy, the people of Western civilization progressively digressed into a liberal culture of despising dignitaries. As Jude spoke of the final days of Israel in the latter part of the first century, so Western civilization is today. We are in the days of those who morally “defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignitaries” (Jd 8). This is the biblical definition of a truly social liberal. These are the days of banners that read, “Not my president,” “Abortion is legal,” “My body is my choice,” or “My life-style is my business.” Citizens have lost all respect for honoring the king or any authority that would impose on them moral standards that preserve society. They thus feel free to march in streets against elected dignitaries whom they despise. They march for immoral social rights that attack the very fiber of society. They thus march for moral degradation.
The more harsh the criticism becomes of the social liberal, the more successful those candidates are who reflect the moral digression of the society. The civilization has now accepted the cancer of an aging person that has spread throughout the body for social self-destruction. Dysfunctional cancerous cells are spreading throughout the body of society.
No matter who would be elected to the head of state in the final years of a civilization, it is a time when this elected official will be severely criticized by those who defy moral standards. They despise any leaders who would impose on them any moral standards. This answers the question as to why the Millennial Generation that is barely above ten percent religious, has a difficult time with moral standards that would come from any faith, that believes in the moral standards of a Higher Power. This eighty-million strong generation is bringing into Western civilization the collapse of religious social standards that preserve societies. “Church goers” in a collapsing civilization, therefore, should not be surprised that “church attendance” is also collapsing. It is simply a telltale sign of a collapsing civilization when a society “despises the dominion” of anyone who would imposed moral values.
The most sinister morals of the nation thrives on the criticism of any leader who would promote standards by which society must conduct itself. This criticism would be focused toward any local religious leader, and go all the way to the top seats of government. And among the top seats, senators of the empire are willing to take knives of criticism and put Caesar to death. And then after Caesar is gone, another Caesar is set up for the same fate. There is biting and devouring among those who are supposed to control the society.
In the religious community of a collapsing civilization, religious universalism becomes the philosophy of religion of the times. Universalism (everybody is going to heaven), becomes so accepted that those religious leaders who preach unchanging moral norms are “despised dignitaries.” Since anyone of faith will be saved, and thus should be accepted by everyone, then those who would impose any moral standards on society should be rejected. Whether from the Bible, Quran, or any “book of faith,” unchanging moral standards are to be rejected for the sake of bringing everyone of the liberal society into the faith of their choice. No one has a right to judge another, and no religious book of authority is to be accepted if it requires obedience to unchanging moral standards. If one is simply religious, then he or she will make it through the pearly gates, if indeed there is life after death.
The people of a dying civilization become frustrated with the constant political turmoil that has brought the aging nation to the old age of political paranoia and social dysfunction. As an old person who can no longer make decisions for the future, Western civilization is in the throes of constant struggles from within. Citizens are frustrated with social dysfunction, but they have little understanding of that to which they aspire. Such is the frustration of a liberal society that has lost its moral compass. What is being experienced is the collapse of a civilization through the fall of sustaining norms that keep a society on a moral course. So as Rome, the collapse is from within. The city of Rome did eventually fall to an invading army. However, it had already fallen socially and economically long before the invaders reached the gates of the capital.
In our aging years, we are not in control of our being. We used our youth to gain our wealth to decide our future, and now we are trying to use our wealth to sustain our existence for just a few more decades. When an aging nation is out of control because of the lack of ability to make decisions, it becomes as individuals whose aging process is out of control. In order to disguise the teetering bicycle, we “dress for success” in order to hide our aging. In order to give a presentation that we are still great, we present ourselves in a way that portrays to the voting constituents and the world that we are in control of our own destiny.
We forget that our destiny is determined by our age, and thus, we all follow the path of Rome and a thousand other expired empires since the beginning of time. No matter how successful we present ourselves to those who depend on us, there are aging forces at work in the Western society that will eventually bring the civilization to its knees. We are only deceiving ourselves if we think we can elect a successful technocrat as our leader, and at the same time, avoid the overpowering forces of social and economic dysfunctions that bring empires down.
So we deceive ourselves. One of the signs of a civilization that has aged is the presentation of their rulers as “presidential.” Our leaders must look and behave like kings. They thus dress like kings. And as President Macron of France, they spend thousands of dollars on cosmetics in order to give the appearance of a king who is in control. The use of the word “optics” is now the cherished word of those who would give a presentation of being in control. In fact, we have masters of body language to evaluate our kings in order that they behave in public as kings who are in control of the empire. But such theatrical presentations lead us to ignore that beneath the cosmetics, there are irreversible aging processes that have set in. There is sin beneath the sin that will bring Western civilization as we now know it to an end.
[Lecture series will continue.]