Sir John Glubb, known more commonly as Glubb Pasha, studied empires broadly and in specific. As a British army general and historian, he was fascinated by the rise and fall of nations. From the Assyrians well before the birth of Christ to Britain post-WWII, he found that all great nations and empires follow the same pattern, and he wrote about this in his book, “The Fate of Empires.” They all go through the same ages:
- The Age of Pioneers (Outburst and Expansion)
- The Age of Conquests
- The Age of Commerce
- The Age of Affluence
- The Age of Intellect
- The Age of Decadence
- The Age of Decline & Collapse
The Age of Decadence had a number of consistent hallmarks: the decadence led to an influx of foreigners who tended to work harder but also gravitate to areas with more safety nets. The natural citizens tended to be more liberal, having been granted the wealth rather than having earned it, and thus did not work hard nor advance intellectually. Also universally true was a national sense of pessimism that comes with having no remaining goal. The struggle to survive in the Age of Pioneers was replaced by the struggle to expand, which was itself then replaced by the struggle to entrench wealth. With wealth solidified, the struggle became one of a more meta nature: the struggle to self-actualize, which tended to be an intellectual endeavor. But with all those struggles out of the way, the people indolent. With decadence achieved, who need strive for anything?
And then, in the Age of Decadence, materialism, fatalism, and frivolity took over. Also noted was something that is played out over and over in the Bible with the Jewish nation: decadence leading people to abandon religion. The Jews would receive God’s blessing and begin to do well. Eventually, they’d have an influx of foreigners and begin to wonder: who needs God any longer? The slot machine has come up with three cherries, so let the good times roll. And then they’d enter the age of decline, and off to Babylon it was. Wash, rinse, and repeat.
It was during decadence, Glubb found, that there was always a class of people rising up from within that embraced a welfare state, preferring to see safety and wellbeing as rights rather than achievements. Instead of rewards acquired through the efforts of sweat and blood, they were seen as wells to be drawn from endlessly. Sir Glubb attributed this all to a coddling of the mind and body, a selfishness that demanded satisfaction without effort; a love of money but not a fondness for how wealth was created. It was concomitant with a total loss of a sense of duty. In other words: decadence, but nothing more. The cycle he identified is seen below much simplified, but looking rather nice thanks to Sarah Frenzel Art and Illustration:
The Age of Decadence was marked by one last thing: oikophobia. Oikophobia is a fear or loathing of one’s home, and in the case of broader humanity, of one’s own culture, society, or nation. Across all end-stage empires, there was a type of derision aimed at the nation’s own cultural and religious background. Oikophobia is effectively the opposite of xenophobia, which is the fear or extreme distaste of strangers. Professor Roger Scruton, whom I love, wrote in “England and the Need for Nations” that oikophobia is “the felt need to denigrate the customs, culture and institutions that are identifiably ‘ours.’”
This is compounded by the fact the most intolerant always wins, which Dr. Nassim Nicholas Taleb has called the “dictatorship of the small minority.” It’s a long read, but well worth it. It’s the reason Europe will eat Halal, why transwomen will replace women in sports, and why neo-Marxists are an expected outcome of the Decadent Age. The vocal, intolerant interloper tends to become tolerated as the society grows more egalitarian, which ends up breeding violence as an expression of rising power—in the United States, the rise of such violence is mediated by ideals of a republic and of federalism, combined with the second amendment.
The intolerant, small minority is rather parasitic: the host body is eaten from the inside out, effectively becoming a vehicle for the injected idea-pathogens to grow. As the society decays and the rule of law and order is abandoned, more and more people join the winning side, and thus the intolerant minority grows as a malignant tumor, co-opting everything in its path. This is a form of very late stage oikophobia and quite common in the Decadent Age. Below you can see a small, intolerant minority attempting to grow through intolerance and intimidation.
The above is possible as the Age of Decadence leads to the birth of innumerable oikophobes: those who see societal stratification (which, I might add, will always happen, as humans are by nature hierarchical) as a greater threat than anything else. In other words, they see the internal—each other—as being the greatest threat, rather than the external.
Today we see it as widespread societal capture. Lacking actual aggressions toward themselves, oikophobes seek out aggressions between the lines—when you can’t find a macroaggression, a microaggression will do just fine. And while we’re at it, we’ll add in problematics (making everything a problem, literally) and intersectionality (competitive victimhood, wherein, say, a transwoman has it harder than a woman, but not harder than a transwoman of color). While this loathing leads to performative moralization (which I define as stating virtues while having no skin in the game; waxing oppressed without the oppression), oikophobia will always carry with it an exceedingly ironic internal contradiction: that it rejects the success to which it owes its existence.
Americans experiencing this societal self-loathing often envision the country as a racist hellhole which just happened to have a massively-popular minority president. Despite the fact that an absolutely crushing majority of people object to racism, the fact that even a single person has a nasty thought is enough to call for the complete abolition of the free speech, capitalism, and Western society. Below I highlight some examples of this self-hatred.
Oikophobia is seen in America by those who just want to “burn it all down.” By the masses calling all cops bastards, all whites racists, and all capitalists neo-slavers. Across academia and corporations, there is much contempt for the country and for Enlightenment ideals. In politics, major parties call to “abolish and dismantle” the system and to turn to communism. This is happening at the local level as well as the national. A couple of examples of this are below:
When querying the self-loathing as to why communism is preferable when it has led to so many deaths and to poverty, communist-sympathizers always respond with the same lines: Americans and capitalists undermined attempts at actual communism, attempts at actual communism were thwarted by greed from within (such as Fidel), that Venezuela and Peru and Cuba don’t count, and that as Marx said, until the whole world is onboard so that the workers own everything, capital-C Communism hasn’t been tried. And in that last line is the admission of the totalizing nature of this dogma: since Commuism can’t truly exist until everyone submits to it, anyone who opposes it must be eliminated. (And we really question why untold millions have died under its rule?)
Of course, the cleverest response to neo-Marxian idealizing comes from E. O. Wilson, the great Harvard entomologist and lover of ants who remarked of Communism, “great idea, wrong species.” Communism envisions a heaven on earth, but the problem of sin, which is ultimately selfishness, always gets in the way, and thus heaven only exists in heaven!
Yet while I have highlighted very oikophobic behavior, it can be contrasted with the stance of my friend Adiosa Peruana (her name changed for the purposes of protecting her) when she was remarking to a different friend of mine, who supported Communism, that Communism wastes lives and resources. Adiosa has Communism still fresh in her mind from where she was raised, and futher said,
There are a lot of things happening in this country right now…but for those who want to experience socialism/communism, they are more than welcome to move to countries where they already are in it: for example, Venezuela. For those who think that Socialism/Communism is what we should have here, I challenge you to live in Venezuela, get a “decent job” and stay there for 3 months. And, when you come back to USA (if you can), then you can share your magnificent memories with the whole country. I can’t wait to hear your amazing anecdotes!
Meanwhile, my friend “Wendy” from Brazil remarked rather correctly,
My heart is with you and all the dear people I love that live in your country! And as you already know, we have to trust our Creator at this point. He is all we have and the only one who can keep us safe. 🙏
Both of my South American friends are spot on. All nations eventually decay, and there is one thing specifically that the Christian must do, and it’s just what Paul told Timothy:
“First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.”—1 Timothy 2
We must pray for everyone, and we must renew our focus on bringing Christ in us to this generation. Our culture is quickly galloping toward atheism which is, when considered thoughtfully, the view that there is no free will and no objective morality. Atheism commits itself validly (on its terms) and soundly to the rejection of the soul. In a world where no God exists, all that exists is the physical—and thus a soul, being intangible, is impossible. I’ve explained briefly why that’s true in “Intentionality is an Illusion,” and also mentioned how popular it is among scientists. It is the ultimate fatalism and the ultimate horror but, even worse, the ultimate excuse. At the eye of the swirling hurricane of its inner nihilism is the conclusion that nothing matters: not truth, not life, not you. Thus a society given to atheism is entirely captive and enslaved to decadence and self-seeking, and thus that is the true heart of the matter.
So while the country decays, we must not be overtaken with shock and awe. This is typical. Sometimes I think we forget there is a spiritual world that we don’t see. Daniel experienced this. He had a vision and had been praying and fasting for 3 weeks and suddenly an angel appeared, saying,
“Do not be afraid, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart on understanding this and on humbling yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to your words. But the prince of the kingdom of Persia was withstanding me for twenty-one days; then behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I had been left there with the kings of Persia.”—Daniel 10:12-13
There are unseen, spiritual realms, as Daniel found out. We must realize that “our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.” (Eph 6:12)
It’s tempting to become so worked up over things going on in our physical governments that we forget about the spiritual world around us. We can become so agitated that we neglect our greatest assignment, to “go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” (Mt 28:19)
If you convince every person in your country to vote for someone you like but you redeem no souls, what is the outcome? If you change the outer appearance of every man’s politics but don’t change them at the level of the soul, what is the outcome? I am reminded of the focus of early Christians—they lived under horrible oppression but prayed for even those leaders, and wanted to see the Kingdom of God grow first and foremost.
There is value in voting, to be sure, but as more souls slip away and are lost, that value diminishes. Satan could conceivably use political furor as a distraction for long enough that he ends up with a populace that is 99.9% captive by him to do his will.
We must vote and be active, but we must also focus on the spiritual first. That’s what really matters, though it’s unseen.
So how can we do that?
A lot of wargames (like Axis and Allies) are fun when you totally stomp the enemies. A recent wargame about Vietnam has a feature that’s a lot different than most because it requires you to win “hearts and minds” in order to ever actually win. Basically, it teaches the player about the importance of converting the enemy into an ally. God says beautifully,
“Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit.” (Pro 18:21)
We need to realize that our goal is to win hearts and minds—or rather, souls. While we have a “take-no-prisoners” attitude with Satan, we do take those he has as prisoner and help free them from his bondage. Winning souls requires that we win hearts and minds, because people don’t care how much we know until they know how much we care.
I will end with the words of my friend “Wendy,” who posted in response,
Translated, this means, “For the Lord spoke thus to me with his strong hand upon me, and warned me not to walk in the way of this people, saying: “Do not call conspiracy all that this people calls conspiracy, and do not fear what they fear, nor be in dread.”
And my friend “Joan Sadler,” who likewise commented,
Just to remind everyone, I do not get paid by anyone for telling the truth. GOD IS STILL IN CONTROL and JESUS IS COMING SOON. STOP the foolishness. LOVE NEVER FAILS…
Do not fear. Love never fails. Be strong and courageous. Keep being a shining light and now, more than ever, embrace your Christian family so that you will have teammates in a world that is consuming its own. And remember, God loves you, and so do I.