Translated by Michael O’Meara
Here’s the question: “Are we living in 370 AD, 40 years before Alaric sacked Rome?,” or: “Are we living in 270 AD, just before the drastic redressment of the Illyrian emperors, who staved off catastrophe to prolong the empire’s life for another two centuries?”
Why the comparison? Today, the non-European rate of births in France is 17 percent. If nothing changes — and with Sarkozy’s 250,000 immigrants/year or the Socialists’ 450,000 — this rate will increase to 30 percent by 2030 and 50 percent by 2050! The tipping point of this sociological upheaval has practically already been reached. Without the most drastic measures, our society’s cancer will grow at such an exponential rate that it will inevitably culminate in an ethnic civil war.
The success of Thilo Sarrasin’s book in Germany (more than 600,000 copies sold to date) shows that contrary to what our naive human-rightists affirm, the problem is very real and threatens the survival of our societies. Auguste Comte said: “Know in order to foresee and foresee in order to act” [Savoir pour prévoir et prévoir pour pouvoir]. The truth is: If yesterday France lost her empire, today she is in the process of losing her language, her civilization, her industry, her sovereignty, her people.
More than the danger posed by [the Third World's] migration, there’s the materialistic and individualistic egoism of our generation, and the problem of retirees, which has caused the French to get irresponsibly in debt, to practice a scorched-earth policy, to cut down her fruit orchards for kindling wood, to sacralize acquired rights rather than the Holy Ghost (as the academician, Chantal Delsol, puts it).
It’s difficult to understand what’s happening today, if you know nothing of Rome’s fall — which warns us of what’s coming. In the period of Rome’s decline, the Barbarians were within the walls, and their brothers were laying siege to the city ramparts; European man was killing himself demographically, taking refuge in a frenzy of individualistic and materialistic well-being, not seeing the coming catastrophe, persuaded that his petty ordinary life would last an eternity. Our so-called elites are just as blind as Ammianus Marcellinus, who in 385 wrote in Book XIV of his History that: “Rome is destined to live as long as there are men.” Twenty-five years later, Alaric sacked the eternal city.
The parallels between our era and the end of the Roman Empire are evident in the social values we uphold, in the primacy we attribute to money, in immigration, demographic decadence, an unwillingness to assume our own defense, and, finally, in the irruption of Christianity, which can be compared to the new human-rights religion.
Napoleon claimed that: “The first among all virtues is devotion to the fatherland.” We are now very far from such virtues; the Republic’s Baras and Bigeards [i.e., heroic patriots of the late 18th and mid 20th centuries] seem more and more anachronistic to us. High school students today no longer study the poems of José-Maria de Heredia; they’re uneducated, uncultivated, and already demonstrating for their retirement — for their old-age! The Romans never had anything to fear as long they practiced dignitas (honor), virtus (courage and conviction), pietas (respect for tradition), and gravitas (a natural austerity). According to pietas, every citizen was perpetually indebted to the ancestors he acquired at birth; this made him less concerned with his rights than with his duty to transmit the acquired heritage. Pietas imbued the Romans with the energy to perpetuate themselves and to survive. By the end of the Empire, the Romans had lost these qualities.
The Romans also knew the reign of money, corruption, a market society devoid of patriotism, a society in which each thought only of his own situation. Civil servants were corrupted. Well-connected incompetents were appointed commands. There was a generalized shortage of recruits for the army . . . Generals would come to the rescue of a besieged city only if a ransom was forthcoming. Soldiers in frontier forts abandoned themselves to agriculture or commerce rather than arms. Regular troops were frequently depicted as being drunk, undisciplined, pillaging to provide for their families. Soldiers at times were even the victims of their commanders’ lies.
The Romans progressively abandoned all effort to defend themselves from the Barbarians. To do so would have entailed mobilizing the native population. The constitution of self-defense militia were extremely rare. The Empire could no longer rely on its citizen-soldiers, for soldiering had become a trade for professionals. Representatives of the ruling class thus either took flight before the Barbarians or else collaborated with them. City inhabitants may have fortified their walls, but they abandoned them whenever the Barbarians promised to spare their lives.
Today, in France, the defense budget, which represented 5.1 percent of the GDP under General de Gaulle, is now at 1.8 percent and tending toward 1.5 percent. With Sarkozy, France rejoined NATO, but he no longer talks about establishing a European Defense Force . . . Ninety percent of the regiments have been dissolved and our armed forces lack the men to restore order if the banlieues [immigrant suburbs] should ever explode. Non-European immigration costs the French state 36 billion euros/year, but it can’t even come up with 3 billion to open a second airport to relieve Paris’ Charles-de-Gaulle Airport. France, in a word, more and more renounces its own defense.
Julien Freund reminds us that a civilization ought never to make an abstraction of its military defense. All of history refutes such a stance. “Athens was not solely home to Socrates and Phidias, it was also a military power, whose distinction was maintained by strategic geniuses like Miltiades, Cimon, and Themistocles” (Julien Freund, La Décadence [Paris: Sirey, 1982], 288).
Rome, again like Europe today, knew demographic decline. The historian Pierre Chaunu has passionately called attention to this in face of the present indifference. A declining natality is one sign that life has been rejected for the sake of playing in the present and ignoring the future, expressing in this way a refusal to defend our civilizational values. “The beautiful Region of Campanie [near present-day Naples], that never saw a Barbarian,” one reads in the Codex Theodosianus, “had more than 120,00 hectares where there was neither a chimney nor a man” (Michel de Jaeghere, “Le Choc des civilization,” in Comment meurt une civilization [Paris: Éds. Contretemps, 2009], 211). If the Roman population was close to 70 million under Augustus, it was no more than 50 million at the end of the Third Century.
The Romans also experienced the ravages of an unconscious migratory policy, when Alaric’s troops pillaged much of Italy and especially following the disaster at Adrianople — which was a far more catastrophic defeat than Hannibal’s victory at Cannae. Barbarian soldiers and officers in the Roman Legions were incapable of resisting the call of their blood, whenever their compatriots emerged victorious on Roman soil. Alaric’s troops never ceased expanding, as escaped Germanic slaves, prisoners of war, and colons rallied to his banner.
The height of this migratory policy was the disaster of Rome’s eastern army at Adrianople in August 378.
In 375, the Goths, driven by the Huns, were pushed to the banks of the Danube, where . . . their chief, Fritigernus, begged the Romans for permission to cross the river in order to peacefully settle on the Empire’s soil. The ill-advised Eastern emperor, Valens, looked on the Goths as possible mercenary recruits for his own armies — though some Roman officers warned that they were actually invaders and ought to be crushed. “These critics,” Eunapius tells us, “were mocked for knowing nothing of public affairs.”
The Goths crossed the river with the greatest possible disorder and without proper Roman precautions, as this massive alien population, with its wives, children, and arms, took refuge within the Empire. In the Winter of 377, they cut to pieces the Roman troops “guarding” them, taking their horses and arms. Rome’s Barbarian mercenaries in the vicinity of Andrinople then joined the Gothic rebels. In 378 the emperor Valens mobilized his army against them. But once encamped on the outskirts of Andrinople, it was encircled by the Goths; less than a third of the Roman troops managed to avoid extermination. As for Valens, he was burned alive in a barricaded farmhouse, where he had taken refuge. The myth of the invincible Roman Legions came here to an end, as Rome commenced her death agony . . .
Byzantium, the Eastern half of the Roman Empire, which would last another thousand years, was quick to draw the lessons and proceeded to massacre all her soldiers of Gothic origin. In 400, the population of Constantinople similarly massacred its Gothic population. In the course of the Fifth Century the Byzantine army purged its ranks of Barbarians. Henceforth, it would be dominated by native elements.
Voltaire asked himself why the Romans in the Late Empire were incapable of defending themselves from the Barbarians, while under the Republic they had triumphed over Gauls and Cimbri. The reason, he argued, was due to the irruption of Christianity and its effects on both pagans and Christians. Among these effects, he mentioned the hatred of the old religion for the new; the theological disputes that replaced defensive concerns; the bloody quarrels provoked by Christianity; the softness that crowded out the old, austere values; the monks who supplanted farmers and soldiers; the vain theological discussions that took precedent over curbing Barbarian incursions; the divisive fragmentation of thought and will. “Christianity gained the heavens, but it lost the Empire” (Freund, 112).
Symmachus is famous for having publicly protested, when the Christians, supported by the emperor Theodosius, removed the altar of Victory from the Senate in 382. One can’t help but also think of the recent predictions by Jean Raspail in The Camp of the Saints, which criticizes both the Catholic Church and the new religion of human rights for Europe’s blindness and irresponsibility in face of the dangers posed by the extra-European immigration.
In order not to experience the same fate as the Roman Empire, France and other West European countries, lacking a Joan of Arc or Illyrian emperors, have need today of a new De Gaulle, a new Putin.
Source: “Nous vivons la fin de l’Empire romain!” http://www.europemaxima.com/?p=1782