Adam brushes off the present breaking of one of the Great Seals of the Apocalypse, writing, in effect, “Meh, we might be doomed, but we’re not that doomed, and we have no idea of knowing how or when our doom will befall us.” After presenting a couple of helpful and comforting metaphors, he likens our present condition, under the avenging thumb of Obama and faced with the choice of leadership between the Power Monger and the Buffoon, to that of Rome, which was always breaking apart, but did not ever do so, not until she finally fell.
If we actually fall, he intimates, it will be a historical anomaly: see how Rome swayed and cracked before she capitulated! See how she prospered and grew nevertheless!
When I recently plied the same tired saw as many have before me, namely that Gibbon, Jr. will also liken the impending doom of America to that of Rome, hoots and catcalls were tweeted my way to the same effect as Adam here comforts; more than that: look at the enduring influence of Rome even to this very day! Sarcasm wafted into my nostrils like so much sophomoric filth: what a horrible fate, to dominate the world for two thousand years!
Here I must hold up my hand in protest: shall we make distinctions? It is not likely that, while Alaric was laying siege to and finally sacking the city of Rome, the denizens therein comforted each other with the knowledge that they were only part of a process, the decay half of inevitable renewal. No, indeed, the three sieges of the Visigoths, the toppling of the Eternal City and many of its institutions, the ten-year brutality of their bloodthirsty presence, and the World War II body count brought the chaos to Europe which a single generation later yielded to Attila the Hun’s invasion.
So, yes, the ruins of the Roman Empire still smolder to our benefit.
It is an article of faith, because America has already been so tested, and the institutions of the West are laid on such massive foundations, that no violence of such magnitude will come to bring us to a similar state of renewal.
2 thoughts on “The Arc of Cataclysm”
Well, we know that World War II wasn’t violent enough to put an end to us, so …
When at first you don’t succeed…