We have to be guided by history. The present ecological, plutocratic, immigration and Islamist crises (in order of importance) are informed by history. However neither our delusional “leaders” nor the herds they guide know enough history to inform decisively the present crises. Verily, history is the best teacher.
The Ancient Greeks and Romans were also guided by history, but we are in a much more advantageous position than they were: history in Greco-Roman times was at most 1,000 year old. Now the history we know of, much of it from increasingly detailed archeological work, is more than 10,000 years old.
An example: detailed archeology, recently done, revealed that the Late Roman empire was much richer than previously believed. There was no evidence of economic decay, far from it. So the catastrophes which struck it in the Sixth Century were of a different nature than Gibbon’s “Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire”.
The Ancient Greeks, Romans, and Franks were stuck by the story of Troy, which was the limit of what they thought they knew for sure (modern archeology has not decisively determined the exact events of Troy’s adventures: it’s a work in progress). But they did not really know the truth: soon thereafter the “Greek Dark Ages” nearly obliterated history.
Something was learned though: the Franks (barely) avoided the total collapse which had struck the Greeks 15 centuries earlier. The Franks (like the Romans before them) claimed they descended from Troy. Whether that’s true or not, what they meant is that they knew how to avoid catastrophe.
And they did.
How did the Franks do it? By NOT doing what the Romans had done. Or, more exactly, by doing civilization in the spirit of Ancient Republican Rome, not the degenerated self-obsessed imperial fascism of emperor Commodus and his successors.
I am a bit unfair to the successors here: Commodus perpetuated a mood actually launched by Augustus himself: Augustus, differently from his great uncle, Julius Caesar, had not understood the necessity to expand the empire. Augustus explicitly advised his successors to NOT conquer Germany. The advice was respected, and therein all the problems of Rome.
Had the Romans made a determined effort to conquer Germany, they would have had to reinstitute the Republic in full. If the Republic had been reconstituted, in full, Roman governance would have been much smarter, and capable of solving the problems thrown at Rome.
Thus, when speaking of war, and whining about it, the herd forgets that democracies make war best (as the Athenians demonstrated at Marathon, when they charged irresistibly the immense multitude of fascist imperial Persian storm troopers).
Thus, to push things a bit, to make war better, one has to make democracy better. Thus the army was an important factor of de-segregation in the USA.
Speaking of segregation, that was the problem which killed Rome the most. The Romans had basically renounced ASSIMILATING the Germans. Germans were viewed as hopeless, yet too strong, barbarians.
The analogy with what is going on today is total. The Germans came in with their own legal systems, their own Sharias. The Romans respected that. So states within the state grew (a bit as has been observed in France and especially Belgium, where at least one city should be de-Islamized).
And why were the Germans so strong? Because the state had grown weak, from not taxing the hyper-rich enough. Just like now. Lack of taxation of the hyper-rich has made Europe weak. Military weak. Germany is going to send 650 soldiers in Mali, to relieve the French Army there (which then will be able to attack the Islamist State). One is talking about pathetically small numbers here, for a country as large as today’s Germany. Meanwhile the French don’t have enough air refueling capacity to bomb as much as they could (Germany there is speaking to provide air refueling for the French Air Force).
When the Roman state decomposed in the “Occident”, very small numbers of warriors were involved, roughly equivalent to those the Islamist State and its various faction have.
Verdict: one has to forcefully assimilate, and make the Republic stronger, as needed to do so. Both phenomena are entangled.
And don’t try to assimilate Islam instead: that was tried before. Not just with Islam, but Christianism itself: to convert Germans to the empire, the Roman leaders (Constantine and his successors) used Christianism. Christianism is a sort of superstitious republicanism claiming all men are equal, under fascist god, etc… Well, it did not work: Christianism devoured civilization, and did so, in particular, in the Orient. The Orient was suddenly destroyed, within a generation by the wars, and the weakness, physical, intellectual and moral, which fanatical Christianism brought. In particular it brought Islam (just read the Qur’an, Muhammad himself explains it very well!)
I am perfectly aware that the ignorant view assimilation as racism. This mentality was launched by a herd of European pseudo-philosophers who loved fascism (either Kaiser, see the deluded Bertrand Russell, Mussolini, Hitler or Stalin style). Loving fascism provided them with perks, including from American pluto-imperialism (which was delighted to see proper critique replaced by non-sense).
That assimilation was racism has been the main driving force to create racism and segregation in French society (against the very people those who denounced assimilation pretended to protect!) Same, and worse in Belgium, a state representing well the sort of degeneracy which affected Rome. Actually Belgium’s only justification, as I have explained many times, was to weaken France, by cutting off from it the fiercest part of Gaul (“Gallia”; reference on that: Julius Caesar). It’s working splendidly: France nearly lost the two world wars against fascist Germany thanks to the existence of Belgium as a mentally, and militarily tiny independent kingdom.
(For those who do not understand the preceding paragraph: all the recent terrorism in France was planned in Belgium, by pseudo, unassimilated “Belgians”, who were simply barbarians educated by the Sharia.)
Hollande seems to be taking his war against the Islamist State seriously; that’s a political U-turn: just as Rome needed to conquer Germany, the empire needs to reconquer the Orient . Because, indeed, before it got subjugated by Islam, with the results presently observed, the Orient was to Rome, and before that to the Macedonio-Greeks, and, even before, to the Zoroastrians (I don’t expect the admirers of the late Edward Said to understand any of this).
Philosophy has to guide. Philosophy which knows history, and thought about it, that is. But force is to observe that most so-called philosophers of the Twentieth Century knew no history, or then so little, that they could use it to justify their madness (this is an attack against Michel Foucault, Althusser, etc.). Simone de Beauvoir, who knew enough history to teach it to all of France under the fascist Vichy regime, was rightly infuriated by Foucault’s distortions of history. Now all these obnoxious, and cruel, self-obsessed dwarves are viewed as pinnacles of wisdom. No wonder our politicians went mad. Now they have to quit the Fourth Century Roman political line they have been repeating.
And be happy! Or the strength will not be found. One has to learn to be happy through the worst. Especially when it’s only bad news affecting others.