Who killed civilization and what happened next?
Quote from Amazon review:
Why did Rome fall?
Vicious barbarian invasions during the fifth century resulted in the cataclysmic end of the world’s most powerful civilization, and a ‘dark age’ for its conquered peoples. Or did it? The dominant view of this period today is that the ‘fall of Rome’ was a largely peaceful transition to Germanic rule, and the start of a positive cultural transformation.
Bryan Ward-Perkins encourages every reader to think again by reclaiming the drama and violence of the last days of the Roman world, and reminding us of the very real horrors of barbarian occupation. Attacking new sources with relish and making use of a range of contemporary archaeological evidence, he looks at both the wider explanations for the disintegration of the Roman world and also the consequences for the lives of everyday Romans, in a world of economic collapse, marauding barbarians, and the rise of a new religious orthodoxy. He also looks at how and why successive generations have understood this period differently, and why the story is still so significant today
That very well summarizes the book; having read it, I strongly recommend it (you should be reading on this subject other than retarded “movement” propaganda), and would like to make some points about it here. The book is broadly divided into three parts. First, a historical overview, with the author’s opinions and interpretations as to what happened and why, and also insights into the cross-assimilation process between the defeated Romans and their new German masters. Second, a detailed analysis of the physical evidence for an actual catastrophic Fall, an end to civilization, and the suffering that spread in its wake. Third, a brief summary, with a final warning that what happened to the Romans in their complacency could happen to “our” current civilization (I put “our” in scare quotes because it has already been subverted by aliens – we are already in the process of a Fall).
The author is a self-described “Englishman,” and, although “he was born and raised in Rome and spoke Italian from childhood,” he explicitly states in his book that, personally, he dislikes the Ancient Romans. That is an odd thing for a historian to state about a people he is writing about, but, if he is sincere in that statement, and there is no reason to believe otherwise, then that demonstrates that he is not a shabbos nord stepandfetchit pandering to swarthoids. He is merely writing what he believes is the truth, based on his research.
One negative about the book to get out of the way – the author writes: “There is no reason to believe, as people once did, that ethnic behavior and identity are genetically transmitted, and therefore immutable.” There is actually every reason to believe that, at least in the sense that a significant portion of identity is determined by biological affiliation and that much of behavior is genetically transmitted; where I part with Der Movement (apart from its constantly disproved dogma on such subjects) is with the idea that this is completely deterministic at the level of being 100% genetic. Phenotype is the combination of both genes and the environment; both are important (genes being more so), and the relative contributions of each inform as to whether the phenotype is mutable or immutable.
Another interesting and amusing part of the book is when the author describes how perceptions of the Fall of Rome have been shaped by ethnic and political considerations. Thus, Italians and other “Latin” peoples tend to view the Fall of the Western Empire as a catastrophe, with savage and ignorant Germanic barbarians toppling civilization and ushering in a Dark Age. On the other hand, Northern Europeans, particularly Germanics, including the Anglosphere, propose the idea of “a largely peaceful transition to Germanic rule, and the start of a positive cultural transformation.” And when, in the past, Germanics agreed that the Fall was traumatic, they asserted that it was all for the good, with one German philosopher quoted, with all the sweatiness of a typical Type I Nutzi, about how vigorous northerners rejuvenated Italy by toppling the enervated dwarfish Roman stock (one can imagine Humphrey Ireland as a Goth warrior, furiously attempting to stomp two foot tall scurrying Roman swarthoids, or Greg Johnson envisioning manlet Tom Cruise as an enervated Roman dwarf). On the other hand, the Scottish historian William Robertson lamented the destruction of civilization that resulted from the barbarian destruction of the Western Empire, and then there is Gibbon.
Politically, the view of modern Germans informs opinions on this matter; when WWI and WWII was fresh in people’s minds, the idea of rampaging barbarians was at the forefront, but with today’s more peaceful and influential (and cucked) Germany, the “peaceful transition” idea has more adherents. The author quotes harsh evaluations of the Germanic invaders by English and French scholars during the 1930s and in the immediate post-WWII period.
More interestingly, the author claims that today’s pro-Germanic paradigms about the “peaceful transformation of the Roman world,” with the consequent prioritization of Late Antiquity, is being used by European Union elites to legitimize their German-dominated globalist construct. Further, the de-emphasis of Greco-Roman culture is part and parcel of modern anti-Western politically correct “scholarship.” This is all consistent with my longstanding thesis that the System leverages Nordicism to prop up the anti-White multicultural system, not only by dividing Whites but, perhaps more importantly, pandering to Northern European sensibilities by making anti-White constructs such as the EU, and the equation (or dominance) of other cultures – including non-White ones – with that of the Classical Civilization (thus undermining the foundations of the West [regardless of Spengler and Yockey]), more palatable. Similarly, I have argued that HBD occasionally panders to Nordicism in order to make palatable memes that have as their objective raising Jews and Asians to dominance over Whites. The HBD-Nordicism (combination of both paradigms) peddled by MacDonald – with its lies about Rome – is part of this (even though that’s not his intention, the outcome is the same).
The authors’ idea is that modeling the EU on the Roman Empire would leave out much of Northern Europe, but a German-dominated Late Antiquity period serves as an effective model for today’s German-dominated EU. Perhaps in a sense the EU elites are correct given Ward-Perkins’ thesis of Late Antiquity being associated with “the end of civilization.” This time it is the Western Civilization that is ending, with the same ethnic drivers of this catastrophe as with the end of the Classical Civilization. The first time as tragedy; the second time as farce. In any case, the author of this book looks at the evidence and concludes that the catastrophe scenario is more accurate; the “peaceful transition” hypothesis is effectively falsified.
The author claims that the Eastern Empire survived while the West collapsed because of better geographical protections – the thin band of sea separated Europe from Asia, which allowed for the protection of Constantinople and the richer areas of Asia Minor and the Levant. In any case, as I have written before, if Der Movement wants to blame biology for the Fall, and not other reasons and circumstances, how would they explain the survival of the more “racially degenerate” (from a European standpoint) East? If they invoke non-biological considerations, such as that put forth by the author, is it possible that such considerations apply to the West as well? It is of course theoretically possible that the West collapsed for biological reasons (but remember that genetically the Western Empire was becoming more “northern” and “western” at that time) and the East survived for non-biological reasons, but it is more likely, and less cherry picking of explanations, to consider all of the practical reasons for the Fall without imposing “movement” dogma on it, and a desire to make self-serving racial analogies between then and now. I also point out that the author is of the school that claims that the Western Empire was not in terminal decline when it fell, and was still powerful, albeit troubled.
The author makes an interesting conclusion about Roman-German cross-assimilation after the Fall. Thus, he writes: “…both groups moved ‘upwards’: the Romans into the political identity of their German masters; the Germanic peoples into the more sophisticated cultural framework of their Roman subjects.” Thus, the “Roman” population of various regions eventually (politically, and eventually ethnically, as those boundaries dissipated) identified as “Visigoths” or “Franks” (and in Italy, became “Italian” or identified with more local identities, so that only the inhabitants of Rome itself identified as “Roman”); meanwhile, the Germans attempted to adopt much of the “sophisticated cultural framework” of the civilization that they destroyed. Thus, the Romans politically became German and the Germans culturally tried to become Roman. This of course contrasts with much of “movement” propaganda of culturally pure noble Germanics sweeping aside all traces of degenerate Roman culture and civilization.
However, despite the eagerness of some of the Germans – at least the rulers – to co-opt aspects of Roman civilization, they were not did not have the capability to sustain any of it long term, and the physical destruction (material, economy, contacts, the broader aspects of the Roman network) of the Western Empire by the Germans, which the author chronicles in great detail in the second half of the book, meant that no continuance of the Classical Civilization, of Roman culture, was possible. Indeed, Der Movement likes to tell us that only the people who create a culture and a civilization can maintain it; thus, the descent into the interregnum of the Dark Ages after the German conquest of Rome was inevitable by the Der Movement’s own dogma. Of course, that suggests that, whatever demographic changes took place among the urban masses of the city of Rome itself, the overall Empire, and its leadership, was sufficiently stable, demographically speaking, in a broad sense, to maintain Roman culture until that culture and its civilization was killed, in the West, by the invading Germans. So, while the political assimilation of Romans into the Germanic identity was successful at least in some areas of Western Europe (for as long as those Germanic identities existed in those regions, before becoming superseded by more modern national identities), the cultural assimilation of Germans to Roman culture failed, at least initially. Only after the full cross-assimilation between the two groups (that took many centuries) did a rebirth of civilization become possible.
Indeed, one (most palatable for Der Movement, eh?) of the possible alternative histories broached by the authors, was of a continuance of the Western Roman Empire (in perhaps shrunken form). but under Germanic leadership, rather than of a collapse of that Empire. But that didn’t happen, did it? The closest thing to a (very brief) revival was the Byzantine (the “degenerate” East) reconquest of Italy during the sixth century Gothic war – and the natives of Italy were so obviously pro-Byzantine that the embittered Goths massacred Italian civilians, including 300 aristocratic Roman children that were held hostage. Goths and Romans as “natural friends,” eh Jordanes? (Apparently, “movement” lies existed as early as the sixth century AD).
Later of course, the synthesis between the contributions of the North and the South of (Western) Europe led to the creation of the Western Civilization (as Yockey recognized), although of course some in the “movement” believe otherwise.
The author contrasts the paradigm of “Romans politically becoming Germans and the Germans culturally becoming Romans” to that of the Arab conquest of MENA areas, in which the conquered peoples not only adopted the political identity of “Arab” but also adopted the Islamic culture of their conquerors. The difference, as the author asserts, is that the Arabs conquered in the name of the militant new faith, while the “culturally flexible” Germans came with no cultural agenda; instead, they wanted to partake of the riches of Rome. The author makes clear that the Germans did not intend to destroy the Empire but to exploit it, but destroy it they did; as the author puts it, they were guilty of manslaughter, not murder (lack of homicidal intention).
The second part of the book is an impressive, albeit somewhat dry (unless you are very interested in potsherds and such things), accounting of the physical evidence of the collapse of civilization, and the resulting drastic drop in living standards consequent to that. The physical structure of the Western Roman Empire was wrecked by the German conquest – and that applies to the entire Empire, even to those areas abandoned before the final Fall, Britain for example. The author writes: “It may be hard to believe, but post-Roman Britain in fact sank to a level of economic complexity well below that of the pre-Roman Iron Age.” The author states that the (relatively) sophisticated economy of the Roman world destroyed small-scale autarkic local economies, and made everyone dependent on highly specialized interacting large-scale networks, which were very vulnerable to disruption. Hence, we observe the collapse of this highly integrated and specialized economy and the long period (many centuries) of rebuilding required to get back to least partly to what was present before. The author makes the obvious analogies to the highly specialized “Western” economies of today, which are equally vulnerable to disruption.
Of relevance to that, let us remember what the odious scum Zman wrote about Rome, accompanied by my replies:
Zman: …started to think about those people living in the Roman Empire wondering why the water no longer comes from the big stone thingy anymore.
Sallis: Because invading Germans wrecked them?
Zman: Some may have remembered their ancestors working on them for some reason, but they no longer recall why.
Sallis: What bullshit. When the water stopped running, it was because the city was sacked by, and later mismanaged by, the Holy Ones.
Zman: The people who knew how and why those aqueducts worked were long gone. No one was around who could figure out how to make them work again, because they lacked the capacity to do it.
Sallis: Absolute, raging bullshit. The water stopped flowing after the fall of the empire. Who was running the show then? Maybe folks who never built aqueducts in the first place. Odoacer: “What’s that big stone thingy? Can my horse drink out of it?” Hey, Zman, take your Kempian lies back to “Lagos.” By the way, the “Lagos” joke is so stale by now it’s starting to stink like one of Zman’s South Asians.
Of course – surprise! – Sallis is right and Der Movement is wrong. If one mantra, one paradigm, one meme can summarize Der Movement, Inc. it would be this – wrong, wrong, they’re ALWAYS wrong.
If anyone is to blame for the “big stone thingies” not working any more, it were the Holy Germans. Put that in your pipe and smoke it in “Lagos,” Zman, you insufferable idiot. Indeed, the author specifically states a lack of evidence that in post-Roman Italy that rural and urban homes lacked the “under-floor heating and piped water” present in Roman times. Piped water, Zman, which disappeared after your Holy Ones wrecked the Empire.
Whatever the faults of the later Roman Empire – and it had faults aplenty (as did the Roman Republic by the way, as did NS Germany, as did colonial America, as did, or does, every polity in history, albeit in different manners and to different extents – one cannot compare 1950s America to Idi Amin’s Uganda), it still was working, it still had civilization, it was still a working state with a higher standard of living, and technics, than the surrounding peoples. No, Zman, they didn’t forget how those “big stone thingies” worked. No, the “big stone thingies” didn’t just stop running water. Yes, it was your Germanic tribal heroes who wrecked everything, as Ward-Perkins – no swarthoid he – has pointed out in exquisite detail.
The genetics of Rome in the late periods – decline, fall, post-fall – when all those “big stone thingies” stopped working according to Zman, was moving in the “western” and “northern” directions. Indeed, the settlement of Germans in Italy and the abovementioned assimilation no doubt explains much of these genetic shifts during this period, as well as pre-Fall immigration and political and military participation, and some assimilation even then (The Vandal-Roman hybrid Stilicho as an example).
The last part of the book summarizes the evidence and gives the warning described near the beginning of this essay, with the author saying that we can experience the same collapse in our complacency as the Romans did in theirs. It’s already happening.
To summarize the main thesis of this book: There was no “gradual evolution” of the Western Roman Empire after the fall. It was crushed, ended, and there was an interregnum of the Dark Ages. You may say, hey, it ended one tired civilization and brought forth a newer, more vibrant Western civilization (Spengler saying that the Classical and the Western are two separate entities – let’s assume that for now, although one can argue both ways). True, but the same outcome could have been achieved, with less horror and without the long interregnum of backwardness, if the “gradual evolution” actually occurred, as I wrote:
Was the destruction of the Western Roman Empire by the Germans good or bad? If we take the traditional (and “movement”) view that the (later) empire was completely degenerate, then it was undoubtedly good; however, if we take the view, discussed above, that the later Western Empire was actually more morally sound than it ever was, then the question becomes more interesting.
Rather than frame it in the form of “good” vs. “bad” perhaps a counterfactual analysis would be useful. What if the Roman Empire, the Western Empire, was able to act from a position of strength in the fourth and fifth centuries AD to reform the European situation to one of a power-sharing confederation mode? What if Rome has won the Battle of Adrianople, and had corrected certain deficiencies and regained some degree of vigor. What if a wise Emperor had realized that maintenance of a far-flung centralized Empire was no longer feasible (note that the division into Western and Eastern halves was the beginning of this realization) and had reformed the Empire into a Confederation of Peoples – Romans, Germans, Gauls – with cooperation, considerable local autonomy and various common objectives (e.g., eastward expansion, defense against the Huns [Chalons as a crude example of what was possible], etc.). That may have been unworkable given the attitudes of people of that time; on the other hand, the Gauls were Romanized after exhibiting such resistance centuries before; and, and, at this time, the Germans were no longer the same “barbarians” as in the past, some degree of “Romanization” had taken place, at least to an indirect degree.
Rome could have at some point attempted to cut its losses, preserve itself as an independent “Mediterranean” power, and come to an accommodation with other European peoples.
Would that have hastened the development of the West, bypassing the Dark Ages? Or would it have inhibited the development of the West by preserving the fossilized remnants of the Classical past its expiration date? These are all interesting questions, ones that are never asked by a (itself fossilized) “movement” steeped in inflexible dogma.”
We can consider the 1942 classic The Roman Commonwealth by English historian Ralph Westwood Moore. With respect to the idea that Rome went from a virtuous city-state to a degenerate empire, Moore classified that as a “pious myth” and further stated: “Morality in the large sense was a thing which Rome achieved as she grew, not a Garden of Eden from which her destiny expelled her or a state of innocence from which she fell.” Blasphemy! That doesn’t accord with “movement” dogma so it must be wrong, wrong, wrong – or Moore was secretly Moori, a swarthoid with a Medish agenda!
The point of this essay is not to mimic the “movement” (in the opposite direction) and take sides in ancient conflicts. The Goths and other Germans may have wrecked the Classical Civilization but they were instrumental in founding the modern “Faustian” Western High Culture – Western Civilization. The point of the essay is merely to demonstrate to readers that there is genuine scholarship on these subjects and you do have to depend on the “movement’s” retarded dogma. The “movement’s” cartoonish view of noble godlike Germans and degenerate devilish Romans needs to be eschewed. The lies about the “degeneracy” of the Roman Empire and the changing demographics need to be interpreted in the light of facts, including that the maximal corruption of Late Antiquity and the subsequent Fall of the Western Empire took place at precisely the same time that the genetics of Rome were moving more in the “high trust northern hunter-gatherer” direction. We need to consider serious scholarship. Shameless liars like Kemp and MacDonald peddle falsehoods about Rome to push their radical Nordicism, but you are not obligated to digest that nonsense as long as real scholarship exists to set the record straight.