Thursday, February 7, 2013

Moral Decay Broached at Prayer Breakfast

-Recently we heard the term "societal decay" mentioned:

Today, Dr. Benjamin Carson noted the problem with "moral decay" in our nation.

"Carson encouraged discussion about societal issues, also pointing out education as an essential conundrum the country needs to confront. He highlighted his own path from poverty to success, sharing very personal details about his parents and early family life and subsequently described the importance of helping students seeking to advance academically through his Carson Scholars Fund.

The speech took an interesting turn when the doctor cautioned that moral decay and fiscal irresponsibility can have dire consequences — even for powerful countries like America. Here, he became even more pointed and impassioned.

“I think particularly about ancient Rome. Very powerful — nobody could even challenge them militarily…they destroyed themselves from within,” Carson continued. “Moral decay. Fiscal irresponsibility.”

While he said America’s issues are dire, he was positive that the nation can fix its ways, as there are bright and innovative people who simply need to come together to address the problems at hand......"

Doctor Carson hit it right on the button. I lean strongly towards a cyclical view of history. This outlook is, as one could imagine, rejected by Leftists, who insist that all human history marches us inexorably towards the elimination of all classes, nations, family roles, etc., followed by the rule of the elite who fancy themselves as intellectuals.

Societies do not fail to follow patterns of infancy, growth, consolidation of power in the hands of a few, and the decline in virtues such as hard work, austerity, and morality. Disintegration and collapse follow without exception. Some of those of the Left delude themselves that the State has reached a point in which decline is not possible. Others on the Left, of course, have every intention of hastening the decline and ruling over what is remains.

Rome is indeed the paradigm for us. As she grew is size and power, the Republic came under increasing control of the few who had benefited from the importation of cheap labor (Slaves). The small and middling farmers, who were the backbone of the Republic, lost their farms or had to sell out and move to the city. There they added to the mass of people already dependent on cheap or free grain. Military service by this point demanded that the soldiery had to be away for many months or years at a time, making it impossible for the citizen to serve his nation and return to his farm. The army became to be made up of the landless and those who were not (Or not yet) citizens. The people grew to view serving in the army as something foreign, particularly after Augustus later revamped the whole system and made the minimum enlistment twenty-five years. Morality collapsed, most especially among the rich.

By the third century, inflation had run amok, and Diocletian resorted to fixing prices across the board. Occupations were made to be permanent, with children having no option than to serve in the trades of their fathers. Even tax collectors were not immune to this inherited servitude. These were required to collect their quota or come up with the difference out of their own pockets. The desperation of the tax collectors caused the last of the small landowners to surrender their holdings to the rich and live on their estates in a capacity that amounted to serfdom.

Without the experience, the love of country, and toughness imparted by military service, and the decline of morality and industriousness among the people, the enervated Romans, Italians and others were mere spectators as the Empire was fought over by competing generals and, later, the very foreigners that had served the empire for pay and land.

At the end, the armies of the chieftains could waltz right in and assume power.

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