The confusion of Paul the Canadian
Paul from Canada believes he is "witnessing the fall of the U.S. empire. Would a civilized country limit health care and food assistance for the poor; leave crops rotting in the field; destroy educational system; target woman and attempt to eliminate their reproduction rights while refusing to help resulting babies; abuse desperate immigrants; pretend to believe in Christianity while perverting and debasing its tenets; refuse to protect the earth from destruction? The world is watching."
He may be witnessing the fall of the U.S. empire because some of the policies of the U.S. over the last century have been more and more following a pattern that the historian Edward Gibbons describes concerning the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. I see the same pattern being reproduced in Canada and many other countries.
Paul is so misidentifying the elements that led to Rome's decline and fall that he is advocating the very things that brought it about.
Let us clear up the facts first.
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First, Americans do not "limit health care and food assistance for the poor". There is no limit on charity and Americans have a record in the past of being some of the most charitable and giving people on the planet. I assume that Paul thinks that the U.S. government should be providing "health care and food assistance for the poor" but the government of the United States is not in the charity business. It can only give away what it first takes from others or borrows against the future of others. Although the United States government could take charitable donations and redistribute them to the needy, that is not the way it operates. It is an institution of force and authority.
As a Christian, I do not believe we should apply or depend upon men who call themselves benefactors but exercise authority one over the other because Jesus said we were not to be that way. He admitted that other governments of the world were that way but he clearly prohibited his followers from such covetous practices through the government as the socialist do.
The fall of Rome was attributed in part to the free bread given out by the government which changed the industry of Roman people to a state of indolence and self-indulgence. As the people developed "an appetite for benefits and the habit of receiving them by way of a rule of force" they grew so "accustomed to feed at the expense of others and to depend for their livelihood on the property of others" they could no longer see the moral hypocrisy of their covetous practices. They would eventually "institute the rule of violence; until they degenerate again into perfect savages and find once more a master and monarch."
As to his comment about leaving "crops rotting in the field" the opposite is true. Americans have outproduced most countries, feeding much of the world in the process. We have overproduced many years in a row. It is a good practice, for you never know when a crop may fail. We often take the extra to some of the elderly in the community and have often offered the surplus to everyone around us for the taking. Almost no one who receives a monthly government check could find the energy to even glean surplus vegetables, much less dig free potatoes. Entitlements generally weaken the people.
"It is idleness that is the curse of man - not labour. Idleness eats the heart out of men as of nations, and consumes them as rust does iron." Samuel Smiles
"Idleness is the heaviest of all oppressions." Victor Hugo
"Avoid sloth, the mother of all vices!" Toussaint Louverture
"Work is no disgrace: it is idleness which is a disgrace." Hesiod
"It would indeed be a sad misfortune if man were released from the necessity of work and struggle, for it is a well-known fact that organs which do not function atrophy; and according to the old saying, 'Idleness is the devil's workshop.'" Charles A. Beard
"Idleness is a constant sin, and labor is a duty. Idleness is the devil's home for temptation and for unprofitable, distracting musings; while labor profit others and ourselves." Anne Baxter
As to his third item, "destroy educational system". The educational system for most Americans before the 1900s use to be home education and public education was provided mostly through the charity of the local communities. That is one of the things that made America great. The modern system of education has used Schools as Tools in order to change the way "Americans think". Judging by the thinking of Paul, it is working in Canada too.
Paul has already become so accustomed to his socialist views that he has degenerated and he actually imagines the objection to abortion of children is targeting "woman and attempt to eliminate their reproduction rights". Abortion is not about reproduction rights. It is about killing children in the womb. It is a violation of the natural rights of the unborn child to keep them from breathing, growing, learning and living. It is about preventing them - mostly children who will become women - from ever enjoying their reproductive rights.
Refusing to fund the murder of preborn babies for the convenience of the parents is helping those babies. No one is refusing to help or withholding aid from the "resulting babies", but again if you are going to strengthen the poor and society you must help them through charity. Using children to get financial support is child exploitation, which is all too common in the socialist policies of today.
We would never have gotten to this condition of immoral depravity and abuse except for the camel in the tent. When did God or Jesus say it was okay to covet your neighbor's goods through the force of government. Forcing the sacrifice of the people for whatever cause has always been foolish.
The real "abuse of desperate immigrants" is open borders which have caused the death and exploitation of tens of thousands of women and children. But like the bodies of the dead babies you abort, you do not see the carnage. The leading cause of death in the world last year was abortion.
America is a land of immigrants and it welcomes more immigrants than many other nations combined. All the people in these financed caravans were offered food, aid, education, and asylum in Mexico, but they only wanted to come to the US, not because they are "desperate" but for an opportunity. Is it moral, is it fair, is it wise to reward the privilege of that opportunity to those who would violate its laws and throw rocks at those guards entrusted with orderly protection of the border?
Why should those who flaunt the law be privileged over those who seek to enter legally?
I know many immigrants that came into the country legally, including my son and daughter in law. They work hard, pay their own way, and support the whole community. I also know families that have entered the country illegally and were ruined through the self-righteousness of bureaucratic do-gooders who are more than anxious to spend other people's money and pretend they are charitable. They have been on welfare for so long that half their family cannot hold onto a job nor see any reason to do so.
Many people have remained in the country on welfare for decades until most of their family has been emotionally crippled and uselessly dependent upon the debilitating benefaction of the welfare state which not only fails to "strengthen the hand of the poor and needy" but "runs to evil".
Those who are willing to learn from history would not be so easily manipulated by a biased media. The people themselves would not be so biased if they were not already so "accustomed to feeding at the expense of others and dependent for their livelihood on the property of others..."
But Paul the Canadian is right when he says those who "pretend to believe in Christianity while perverting and debasing its tenets" are very much the problem, for they are under a strong delusion. They think they are doing great works as followers of Christ by the promotion of socialism, but they are actually workers of iniquity.
There is a need of repentance for we are "in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:"
The Fall of Rome
- "What chiefly attracts and chiefly benefits students of history is just this — the study of causes and the consequent power of choosing what is best in each case."
Were there many causes to the fall of Rome or only one?
In fact, the fall of most societies and civilizations is almost entirely due to a gradual loss of civic virtue in each individual among its citizens. Civic virtue is the cultivation of habits important for the success of the local community and the national society
Civic virtue is made manifest in the dedication of citizens to the common welfare of their community even at the cost of their individual interests. Historically civic virtue is of high concern in nations seeking success under republican forms of government.
Loss of civic virtue is seen in lack of individual civility toward neighbor and stranger. This is one of the first sign of a loss of civic virtue. It is the rise of selfishness and an unwillingness to sacrifice for others.
That leads to a proclivity to overspending on this generation with a disregard for the next. Depletion of treasuries brought oppressive taxation and widened the gap between rich and poor until there was virtually no middle class.
“Incivility is a general term for social behavior lacking in civic virtue or good manners, on a scale from rudeness or lack of respect for elders, to vandalism and hooliganism, through public drunkenness and threatening behavior. The word incivility is derived from the Latin incivilis, meaning "not of a citizen."
The lack of practice of charity divided the people within identity politics, protests, riots and Civil war.
Multiple causes over 500 years from 27 BC - 476 AD contributed to the fall of the Roman Empire but the process began with the decline of the Republic and the loss of family values.
There was the development of antagonism between the Senate and the Emperor but there was a battle over power neither had in the Republic. Power corrupted those in offices of power and you saw more political corruption and the use of the police state tactics of the Praetorian Guard to protect that power.
There was a decline in morals of society which we saw manifested in the emperors like Tiberius, incest with Caligula and Nero. The progression became more and more bizarre with Emperors like Commodus which was simply a barometer of the decadence within society.
With the decline of family values, there was a decline in all ethics and values.
Broad expansion of political and economic interests, which led to constant wars and heavy military spending. Those wars revealed knowledge of military tactics.
Policies unrestricted trade underemployed the Plebs being unable to compete with foreign prices which demanded costly subsidization.
The cost of the Games which was needed to placate the underemployed citizens became bored this led to civil unrest and rioting in the streets.
The apathy, corruption, sloth of the people also brought about a failing economy and inflation. Not only foreign and civil wars, but factions, riots, and revolts. There were also fire, natural disasters including plagues, famines, and earthquakes.
Some try to include Christianity as a cause but that was not real Christianity but the Constantinian ideology. The Edict of Milan legalized Christianity in 313, and it later became the state religion in 380.
In Gibbon’s Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, he praised “the union and discipline of the Christian republic” stating that “it gradually formed an independent and increasing state in the heart of the Roman Empire.”
Christians supplied the entire welfare for Christians. They knew that practicing Pure Religion did not allow them to apply for benefits from any of the government temples of the world. The benefits offered by men who called themselves benefactors but exercised authority one over the other were counted as the wages of unrighteousness.
This position and practice was at the core of the Christian conflict with the Imperial Cult of Rome. Christianity and the network of Tens served by the Church appointed by Christ was considered Private welfare while the benefits and free bread offered through the temples was called Public religion. The Roots of the Welfare State had begun to take hold before the days of Polybius and the people had already become addicted to those benefits. That system of welfare undermined the nature and virtue of society like the Corban of the Pharisees.
Constantine established a fake Christianity very much spotted by the world. Of those who answered the call of Constantine were financially rewarded with his spoils of war. Extravagant gifts of gold, silver, property, and privilege were bestowed on these collaborating bishops who accepted his rule from the top down. Those bishops who sanctioned his benevolence and title of “bishop of bishops” are difficult to justify under the teachings of Jesus.
His gifts had been taken from fields of corpses and an overtaxed populations. If ever there was a sin of the Nicolaitan branded on the head of men, it was here at this council of hypocrisy. How could men justify this fundamental departure from the teachings of Christ by becoming the state Church of Constantine?
Christ would not appeal to Rome to save his life, but these men petitioned Constantine and his Senate, not to save their own life, but to take the lives of others. Abraham would not take a buckle, but these men took lavish gifts of gold and silver. They seemed to be “the lovers of soft things” like the Essenes spoken of in the courts of Herod.
Any religion or welfare system supported in part by rulers who exercise authority would be considered spotted by the world' and not Pure Religion nor Christian. Christ was giving you back the right to choose charity over force. Any system of welfare provided by the elements of a world that exercises force will turn you into merchandise and curse children through those covetous practices.
- “Freedom is the Right to Choose, the Right to create for oneself the alternatives of Choice. Without the possibility of Choice, and the exercise of Choice, a man is not a man but a member, an instrument, a thing.”
The Barbarian Invasion followed the immigration of many foreign people to partake of the affluence of Roman capitalism and would be followed by the com, ng of the tri, es Huns, Vandals, Goths and Visigoths. The invasion was just the coup de grâce and only had an effect because of the weakening of society and therefore the legions.
Diocletian and Constantine had begun hiring foreign mercenaries to prop up their armies years before. They had no choice because socialism had broken down the family and lowered a healthy birth rate. The ranks of the legions eventually swelled with Germanic Goths and other barbarians, so much so that Romans began using the Latin word “barbarus” in place of “soldier.”
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- See Polybius's prediction for the downfall of Rome 100 years before Christ.
- The Broadview Anthology of Social and Political Thought: Volume 2: Andrew Bailey, Samantha Brennan, Will Kymlicka, Jacob T. Levy, Alex Sager, Clark Wolf
- Rousseau and Revolution, Will et Ariel Durant p.801. fn 83 Heiseler, 85.
- Archibald MacLeish was an American poet, writer and the Librarian of Congress. (1892 – 1982)