Man learns from history that man never learns from history
Your weekend read: Victor Davis Hanson points out the alarming parallels between the collapse of the Byzantines and the collapse of America. He begins:
When Constantinople finally fell to the Ottomans on Tuesday, May 29, 1453, the Byzantine Empire and its capital had survived for 1,000 years beyond the fall of the Western Empire at Rome.
Always outnumbered in a sea of enemies, the Byzantines’ survival had depended on its realist diplomacy of dividing its enemies, avoiding military quagmires, and ensuring constant deterrence.
Generations of self-sacrifice ensured ample investment for infrastructure. Each generation inherited and improved on singular aqueducts and cisterns, sewer systems, and the most complex and formidable city fortifications in the world.
Brilliant scientific advancement and engineering gave the empire advantages like swift galleys and flame throwers—an ancient precursor to napalm.
The law reigned supreme for nearly a millennium after the emperor Justinian codified a prior thousand years of Roman jurisprudence.
Yet this millennium-old crown jewel of the ancient world that once was home to 800,000 citizens had only 50,000 inhabitants left when it fell. . . .
And he concludes:
Like Byzantines, Americans have become snarky iconoclasts, more eager to tear down art and sculpture that they no longer have the talent to create.
Current woke dogma, obscure word fights, and sanctimonious cancel culture are as antithetical to the past generations of World War II as the last generation of Constantinople was to the former great eras of the emperors Constantine, Justinian, Heraclius, and Leo.
The Byzantines never woke up in time to understand what they had become.
So far neither have Americans.
VDH’s full column at American Greatness is here.
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