The Price of Being Civilized
by David Sims
I LOVE beauty, and I love truth, and that’s what makes me a civilized man. Civilization is generally marked by a greater level of technology than barbaric societies have, but this is a correlation, a rule with exceptions. Civilization is the twinned pursuit of truth and beauty, in addition to what barbarism pursues: survival and dominance.
Civilization requires more human energy than barbarism needs to stay strong enough to resist conquest. Is civilization worth its price? I think so.
But maintaining civilization requires that its human members be of high quality. If there are too many criminals, or too many lazy loafers, or too many middlemen in trade, or the money system is based upon usury, then the average quality of the people won’t be high enough to remain civilized. If those people had ancestors who were civilized, then they might have advanced technology, for a while, despite not being civilized themselves.
A people recently fallen from civilization into barbarism are weak barbarians, likely to be conquered, and then enslaved or eliminated, by stronger barbarians from elsewhere. Whenever a civilization shows signs of decline, the barbarian sharks, smelling blood, begin circling in the waters just beyond its borders.
And that’s what is happening now. Except that the traitors who have been leading us have let the sharks begin feasting on us early, by letting them through the gates that were supposed to have kept them out.
* * *