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January 22, 2015 6:36 pm

The Decline and Fall of Modern Civilization: 8 Simple Steps to Squandering It All

avatar by Brandon Marlon

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The Destruction of Jerusalem (70 C.E.)

Neither are great civilizations built in a day, nor do they collapse all of a sudden. Deterioration is gradual, therefore noticeable. In the Land of Israel, the First Temple was destroyed due to idolatry. The Second Temple was destroyed due to baseless hatred. In the 21st century, the subtler combination of irrationality with pusillanimity constitutes the fatal concoction. Our relationship to the obvious serves as an index through which the symptoms of decline are noted. Let all concerned for the commonwealth take caution, for here is how we sophisticated moderns lose civilization:

  1. Cognitive Dissonance – A cerebral malfunction resulting in psychological blindness. We see something perfectly well but fail to recognize what it evidently is. A mental block prevents us from acknowledging the obvious.
  2. Denial – The matter become clearer and reality loses its blur, yet we stubbornly refuse to admit what the matter signifies, instead suggesting that the proof must be partial and the evidence circumstantial or falsified. Conclusions drawn in this state fly in the face of facts. The blatantly obvious is rejected and disbelieved.
  3. Delusive Ideology – Ideologues are prejudiced and their biases substitute for facts. Prejudicial lenses preclude deviant views from the ideologue’s mind. If the obvious does not align with an ideologue’s worldview, it is summarily discounted and dispensed with.
  4. Aversion to Judgment – Decision-making becomes taboo. We are spoon-fed pap and gulp it down uncritically, abdicating the rudimentary responsibility to think. Judging is conflated with sentencing and regarded as a harsh action in and of itself. Abstaining from the matter altogether is thus considered to be the proper course. Neutrality and impartiality replace cerebration and discernment. Ideation is abruptly aborted and intellection rendered stillborn. Choosing becomes treason. We withdraw from the obvious for fear of being perceived as judgmental and severe in nature, thereby absolving ourselves of all charges in advance.
  5. Political Correctness – The judicial ability is retained, yet we refuse to call a thing by its name so as not to cause offense. This is a form of self-censorship, and is falsely conflated with good taste. We account ourselves cultivated and munificent for refraining from forthrightness; those frank and outspoken are ostracized as boorish and unrefined. If there are beasts to behold, they go unnamed and untamed. Problems are swept under the rug of pretense. The obvious is subsumed and rebranded in more socially and politically palatable terminology.
  6. Moral Equivalency – Issues are discernible and named, but they are equated in value despite precise and glaring disparities. Relativism is the order of the day. Good and evil, right and wrong, innocence and guilt – all these binaries are deliberately confused as antipodal extremes are brought into artificial congruence. Moral clarity is muddled and logical cogency diluted. All inherent preference is suspended out of a misguided attempt to achieve balance where there is none. The obvious is left in abeyance while the weighing scales are disingenuously leveled.
  7. Identity Loss – When the fundamental values of a society are attenuated, its ontology and raisons d’être are called into question. The resulting identity deficit, the diminishing of identity integrity, inevitably eventuates in disintegration. Morals, ethics, values, virtues, and principles are sundered like marble columns and stone arches before our very eyes as the foundational premise of our civilization collapses. When we forget those things we stand for, we lose all motivation and capacity to preserve them. The obvious becomes untenable once we lose sight of who we are and what we cherish.
  8. Surrender – Befuddled by existential ennui and essential malaise, we fall prey to a complacent acceptance of the status quo. What ramifies throughout the societal ranks is the absence of willpower to resist the onslaught of barbarism. Barbarians feed on weakness and cowardice, gain momentum, and propel themselves from the wild frontier toward then across civilization’s border, where they are met by weak-kneed, stooping figures, hollowed shells too gutted and spineless to withstand them. Those long ago resigned to their fate are invariably extinguished or else made servile to their vanquishers.

Civilization in Ruins.

History reveals that great civilizations decline and fall due to internal erosion, not external invasion. Intrinsic corruption and corrosion invite outsiders to raid, rape, pillage, and plunder. Conquest is thus merely the coup de grâce, a finishing stroke in the aftermath of prolonged dissolution. In most cases, conquerors appear more impressive than they deserve because the conquered first methodically, albeit unwittingly, lay the groundwork for them. Any species of predatory brutes can kick in a Maginot Line, and most do.

Gentle readers, glance again at the above list. Anything seem familiar?

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  • Jodie Goldberg

    Brandon, your article is absolutely brilliant, frightening true and amplifies the world in which we presently live in and that path is not going to end anywhere good unless there is a wide awakening in our world on all these levels!!

  • Jonah

    If I was one of the two witnesses Brandon would surly be a candidate for the 144,000 Jews who are devinely annointed to make an attempt to talk some sense in to the befuddled minds of the earthly civilizations. God says Israel wins. God says Israel will receive 12 strips of ground for each tribe of Israel. God says all the nations of the world will come to honor Israel each year or they will not receive rain. Islam believes this that’s why they want to kill you. Islam knows the truth and the truth will not set them free unless they kill all of you. God could have one angel destroy all your enemy’s in seconds but it is a process which must play itself out according to scripture. God wants all of you in his kingdom on earth don’t allow the leftys to force God to be satisfied with a remnant. God wins, Israel wins….no one on this earth can get between Gods covenant with Israel….the foolish who try will be crushed.

    • Darnelle


  • Dean

    We have fallen prey to those who have gained their positions in the West because they hold views acceptable to those who worship comfort over truth. We are being sidetracked by nonsense (how inflated is your football?) and simplistic, mind-numbing garbage that takes all of their time and attention away from the important. Others pretend to do the thinking for us and set themselves up as arbiters of the politically correct. Evidence, facts and truth are quickly substituted for feel-good opinions that undermine civilization as we know it.

    It is comfortable to think that each and every Islamic terror incident is a separate act of crime, isolated and unconnected to Islamism and what that cult preaches to the masses. We lack courage to confront those who tell us that to acknowledge the truth will result in more violence and when we are told to regulate our own free speech and tend to go in that direction out of fear, we encounter the sharia that demands us to observe, respect, pay jizya or have our throats cut. The more we do to satisfy the beast the more we lose all courage to confront growing pressure and terrorism that is making us into them and to follow their subhuman lead.

    • Scott

      Very well stated Dean. Thoughtful and incisive.
      A great compliment to Brandon’s article.

  • Yale

    It’s a little simpler than Marlon makes it: organizations, and civilizations are organizations, die when their members are unwilling to pay the cost of keeping them going. This applies to both good and bad organizations. For a bad organization, it ensures that such groups will go out of business.

    Bad organizations are those pursuing goals outsiders oppose or think aren’t worth the effort. Good ones pursued goals that, at least at some point, the members were willing to bear the cost of establishing.

    It comes down to whether we instill in our new members (our young) a commitment to the values we cherish and teach them the skills necessary to keep the organization and/or civilization going.

    A civilization that doesn’t cherish its values has nothing to teach its young, and you’ll see them wandering around in the streets playing video games on their phones.

    • Scott

      Yale….also very well said.

  • Nickname

    You are essentially describing the “spoiled brat” syndrome.

    What happens when life becomes too easy and people have not been tested or pushed.

    When trouble comes they do not want to deal with it, to lose their life of comfort and ease.

    Your 8 points is how they deal with it. When the SHTF for real these people will be the first to “lose” it!

  • J Shaner

    Regarding the comment by YJ Draiman: Each man has inside him a basic decency and goodness.
    I saw a quote yesterday that I think applies. I do not remember the source.
    “The conscience is what is left of the image of God in us, incapable of saving us and yet leaving us without excuse.”

  • mubtuc

    Great Article and great comment by Julian Clovelley. Brilliantly written. There is no doubt. There is no hope. We are doomed. We will probably take the entire planet with us. Our space rockets are like spores trying to get off a dying planet. We are like green mold on bread. We will die in our own poisons. By 2160 when the population is 13 billion suicide will be the pandemic. No need for ebola. We will finish ourselves off.

    • Scott

      Just in case your curious….which I’m not sure you are? The world’s population at current growth rates and estimates will peak in approximately 2050. Everything written in the 1960’s “blockbuster” – by Paul Erlich – “The Population Bomb” has proved to be wrong…..Just the facts Sir….

      And please don’t forget….The current Blizzard in the NE is caused by “global warming”…..Just ask anyone in the MSM.

  • Markus Goeldi

    what is lacking is wisdom ,we are oversupplied by knowledge and do no longer know how to apply it. Unless there is a change of heart we will keep on deteriorating. Love alone which is respect for another human can bring a change. Ultimately it is an issue of what you believe. You will always do what you really believe and not what you have logically arrived at.The fear of GOD is the beginning of wisdom. This earth is the training ground for humans, so far we have failed. Let’s wake up and get to know the Prince of peace or we will never have peace or find the purpose for our life ,it is not random. CHRIST is the answer all else has and will fail

    • Lance Lyons

      > Marcus Goeldi: Whole-heartedly approve ! With all the data around us that shows us that there is a supreme power, we still prefer to think that we are the supreme beings and we reject The Almighty’s personal love for us individually. Our souls KNOW that their is a Christ, a Messiah, but we also know that it is humiliating to turn away from our humanism and accept the Messiah. A poor man who lived without physical wealth, Jesus of Nazareth is The Christ. Out of love he will return to this planet. Our hope is that the great event will come swiftly. L+

  • The Deterioration of Family Values R6

    By YJ Draiman

    Since World War 2 when women were encouraged to join the work force en mass, to replace the men who went to war and keep the economy and the war effort going.

    There has been a deterioration of family values and a breakdown of the family unit, a trend where a mother was not at home to take care of her children, monitor their behavior, help with the homework and discipline when and where necessary.

    The advancement in technology has harmed family values. The Media and Television has totally destroyed any comprehension of values in our society. We have become a materialistic society – No holds barred.

    The lack of discipline and total disregard for authority and respect is clear to anyone who has watched the past 50 years and seen our society’s values deteriorate.

    One example alone is that 50 years ago a teacher was happy to go to school to teach, a teacher was respected and looked up-to, a teacher could discipline. Today teachers fear for their lives they are petrified by their students, discipline is restricted both to teachers and parents alike.

    This scenario caries on to other social interactions of society today, and the situation is getting worse and worse every year.

    You will notice that many families who come from other countries have a very strong family values, tradition, good education, respect and the children excel in their studies. That is because they have not had the chance to be influenced by our overly liberal society.

    The education of our children begins at home and continues in school – the parents and the school must take a proactive approach to teach our children values and respect.

    In today’s society a teacher is not permitted to discipline a student, the teachers will be sued, not to mention that teachers fears for their safety.

    Parents in today’s society are also restricted as to how to discipline their children; in many cases parents are getting sued. In many cases children would never dream of treating their parents with such disrespect 50 years ago. Today some parents are afraid of their own children.

    Abuse has been and will be with society to eternity that does not give society the right to prohibit discipline; a few acts of abuse should not cause society to prohibit proper discipline.

    When an individual or individuals utilize a vehicle to commit a crime cause the death of others, does society prohibit vehicles altogether, no, a vehicle is very important for our everyday life.

    Well, the discipline of our children by parents and teachers is extremely important for our society and the preservation of humanity.

    It seems that our society is so busy chasing the dollar, fame and glory, that anything goes all values goes out the window. We should be an example of honesty, integrity and respect to our children.

    Are Americans patriotic and proud enough to defend, protect and bring family values back to America? Is America ready to fight for honesty integrity and justice in our society, eliminate corruption and fraud, waste and self serving programs?

    Re-invigorate our economy, rebuild our industrial base and decrease our dependence on foreign economies and resources.

    YJ Draiman, Los Angeles, CA.

    • Phidias

      Please recall that 50 years ago the teachers one had, whether in public or private school, were not the teachers that present themselves in those environs today. I went to both public and private schools way back when, and graduated from high school in 1971. The public school teachers in my district, for the most part, were highly educated women who had been barred from the professions. The private school teachers, many of whom had either doctorates or were ABD, were attempting (at least the younger cohort among them) to avoid being drafted as cannon fodder.
      Today, public school teachers, for the most part, are barely literate, and tend to derive from the lowest portion of the college bound population (Teach for America elites excepted, as they will always be exceptional). The educational level of private school teachers remains critically higher, especially with regard to the standard of school attended and level of academic achievement, although the number of PhDs and ABDs has dropped. However, the dedication to teaching itself as a profession has soared.

      We have screwed ourselves into this situation by thinking that throwing money at an endemic problem, or giving preferences, should/would solve it. In less diverse societies, that was not the case; and until recently, France’s educational system proved that even a moderately diverse society, e.g., one absorbing the refugee Indochinese, could function extremely well. The French system has always included, as overseas Departments (Provinces), Martinique and Guadeloupe, which are both heavily Franco-African. However, the French always held everybody to the exact same requirements. No excuses or preferences for anybody socially, or often, even according to time zone (the baccalaureate exam was typically administered worldwide at the same time, regardless of time one, until very recently).
      The main difference recently has been with the Muslim immigrants, who originally attempted to assimilate, especially those who were “Harkis” (Loyalists during the Algerian Revolution). The second and third wave Muslim immigrants, who had no affiliation to France other than language in the post colonial era, have effectively refused to assimilate, and self-segregate, creating “no-go” zones within the areas they inhabit. They are the ones demanding changes to the French school systems, voting laws, etc.

    • bharat

      And the one thing is males rights are zero and women rights are recognized .Husband has to pay maintenance and/or alimony to wife without any legal right in return to husband . Domestic violence and other laws are also anti male .Women claim equality on one hand and special right on other hand .Father right in custody is lower but he has to pay maintenance.

  • Life embodies friendship, compassion, happiness, sorrow, love and pleasure.
    Each man has inside him a basic decency and goodness. If he listens to it and acts on it, he is giving a great deal of what it is the world needs most. It is not complicated, but it takes courage for a man to listen to his own inner goodness and act on it. Do we dare to be ourselves? This is the question that counts.
    “I am convinced that human nature is basically gentle, not aggressive. And every one of us has a responsibility to act as if all our thoughts, words, and deeds matter. For, really, they do. Our lives have both purpose and meaning.”
    “Compassion is what makes our lives meaningful. It is the source of all lasting happiness and joy. And it is the foundation of a good heart, the heart of one who acts out of a desire to help others. Through kindness, through affection, through honesty, through truth and justice toward all others we ensure our own benefit. This is not a matter for complicated theorizing. It is a matter of common sense.
    by YJ Draiman

    • Del S.

      Basically, man knows what he needs to do – he does not
      have the inner power to do what he knows he needs to do. That inner power to do the right thing is found in
      Jesus Christ. Once we accept Him as our Lord and Savior we become a new creation, capable of doing what
      is right. What the world needs is the gospel message
      of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. Those who
      put Him and His kingdom first, find all their needs

  • richard sherwin

    about the only good news/gospel i can think of concluding this summary is that by the time the muslims reconquer europe and un/dis/re/cover the west, there wont be much left of it that anyone sane would want to have to possess…. except for slaves and dhimmis … i somehow cant see the chinese xenophobes putting up with this for very long ….uighur or otherwise…. perhaps all the more reason to learn chinese? or hindi?

  • Ton J. Weiss

    Great Post

  • roman protas

    simly put overrun them

  • roman protas

    great analysis sincce u are obviously a smart gentile put your whole system into use by showing the gvt of israel how it will unfold. judjing by your intelect u could show it as clear as day.

    • Elie Weisel

      To Roman Protas: Your comment is offensive, if not blatantly ignorant. How in the world do you come to the conclusion that the author is a “smart gentile”? And would you be so kind, Roman, to spell and punctuate properly?

  • Ruel Alexander

    Great Article, So apropos.
    would like to read more from Brandon Marlon.

  • Goodie

    Not only is your aanalysis prescient but your command of the English language is superb.

  • Natan Sharansky recently wrote this about the present state of Europe vis a vis Islam.

    “The EU is against nationalism and borders, against religion is pro liberty and believes nothing is worth fighting for”.

    “Islam is pro nationalism, pro religion and against liberty and believes in violence to achieve its goals”.

    • roman protas

      and they will dessiminate europe.

      • maria

        Europa is lost and will never recover. Do your best to prevent the destruction of the US

  • Brian Shapiro

    Do you know who the artist is that painted the work you show?

    • Julian Clovelley

      There’s a trick you might find useful, Brian. If you drag an image to the desktop on a Mac or carry out an equivalent operation on a PC the file is copied revealing its name. The chances are the file name includes the artist or location – in this case Hubert Robert “Roman Ruins”

      Great painting

      • DACON9

        I said ‘looks like’.

        Lets wait for another to comment like the reader ‘goodie’ who doesnt know how to speak english yet. And her spelling well, like all goeverments we can say it was a typo,error in the extra ‘a’.

        frankly scarlet. i have nothing else to do at this moment so I am just a provacatuer

      • Laura Gutman

        THANKS! Great tip.

  • Julian Clovelley

    My problem is that being born shortly after the end of World War Two I don’t feel – and never felt – that I have grown up in a “Great Civilisation” – indeed, born in England I belatedly for any proper career, felt impelled to emigrate. I wised up too late retaining “hope” far too long, until there wasn’t enough hope to feed me.

    I grew up in an atmosphere of a combination of post war hope, and of a patched up, rather than reformed, society. So far as I could make out, as I grew up there was never a Great Civilisation era for ordinary people such as myself – just an unending nightmare – the nightmare of the industrial revolution – of press gangs and empire – of slavery and industrial oppression and of war. And in earlier ages it was worse, unending horror.

    What progress there was towards a “Great Civilisation” came with the moves towards representative democracy – spearheaded by the Trade Union and Socialist movements, in the nineteenth century. If there was a Great Social invention it was “Social Democracy” – but this movement for determined but peaceful reform was shattered by Papal disapproval, and outright repression by the old order of any move towards genuine democracy. As a result the social democratic movement split into a social democratic and a communist, later Leninist, stream – the point where behaviourally extreme Right and extreme Left met in authoritarianism, brutality and totalitarianism.

    The battle for a Great Civilisation was lost – the progressive path to representative democracy was broken again and again. Nationalism and appalling warfare was used to block the path – millions died. It was not until after the Great War that most women even had the right to vote – so what democracy managed to be founded only lasted ten years before the Great Depression following the 1929 Crash, supplied the excuse to smash its aims. The peace was squandered, the Weimar Republic internationally and internally undermined, Fascism rose first in Italy and then in Germany to wipe out Democracy – and a similar process took place under Stalin in Russia. The inevitable path then was to World War and Genocide. The determination never to allow genuine representative democracy and the winding back of the class system and politics and economics of privilege, inevitably led to total war and Genocide.

    The ruins of that entire destruction of the path to Democracy was what I was born into. By 1964 the excuses had been found to disappoint the new post war generation, and destroy its hopes. There was the lunatic Cold War, the resistance to Civil Rights, the digging in of Apartheid, a drop in real earnings and the rising cost of accommodation – In the course of only a few years home costs doubled and kept on doubling. The common man could never catch up.

    So where is this “Great Civilisation”? – It seems to me that what is left is declining in the selfishness of repressive “Austerity” – the great lie of an “only temporary” expedience.

    I put it to you that the real problem is that Middle Class and upper class dominated society has not been a Great Civilisation for a very long while, if ever. But at least in the past it inspired great cities and great architecture. As patrons a vast arena of art was supported. It’s all gone, for within that political construct was always a destructive competitive ethos – one saw it in the wars between city states and as a backdrop to the wars of religion and then in nationalism and more wars

    If we are to have a Great Civilisation, we must first construct it. There is no Golden Thread – That is the biggest lie of all. We have to sit down and artificially construct a new world, new constitutions, new economic structures. We have to deal with the divisions cause by mythology and archaic religion, that still lie at the heart of so much conflict

    I cannot agree with the writer’s list because it seems to start with the presumption that there is something there to decay, to be denied. to be internally eroded. I guess I must have missed that – do tell – all my family ever had was hope – and Conservatism took that away too even destroying a once virile media and replacing it with populist dung. A sense of humour was what got me through. It was all so silly and unnecessary. I did what mostly you were allowed to do – I walked away – an act the old order called dropping out or drifting. but, hey guys, there were no harbours – it was all a myth.

    I got through in the end – nowhere in particular – but I have my own home and family – thousands of mile away from my birth home. Sometimes I feel a little sad. But mostly these days I feel irritated by the bleatings of a middle class decrying themes of “the Civilisation that Never Was” and its determination to preserve the last vestiges of that delusion by kicking those it sees as inferior in the guts.

    • Lee Pattison

      Victim mentality.
      What a sad life you have lead.

      • Scott

        Someone much smarter than me said…..”imagine the world with a new hegemon. Not the US, but Russia or China……” Great Civilizations may come and go, but if this one goes, the darker side of your better nature will come true.

        Let’s hope that the world wakes up first. But then again….there was Rome……

        • Scott

          Comment was for Julian btw….

      • Elie Weisel

        Elitist mentality. What a dearth of compassion you were taught. I pity you.

  • Fred

    You hit the nail on the head.

    • Alice butler-smith

      What you describe is the consequence of postmodernism and the success of its political project.

    • Scott

      Or did he rather, hit the “head” with a “nail”….?