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We’re Living the End of the Roman Empire

Paul Jamin, “Brenn and his Share of the Spoils,” 1893

1,683 words

Translated by Michael O’Meara

Translations: German, Spanish

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!”


  1. JJ
    Posted January 1, 2011 at 7:23 am | Permalink

    Voltaire was in no position to either view the fall of Rome or the modern West. Rather he is part of the an academic class that came to the front known as the Enlightenment which one may characterize intellectually as, man as distant observer. Fitting the world into abstract conceptualizations is their forte: latent-modern academics surely view themselves as part of the enlightenment. And I would also argue that those on the right who call for a “new elite” are engaging in very much the same behavior. The old austere values were very much part of the West before the enlightenment, that they prevailed during Western Christianity is without dispute. Raspail’s criticism of the Catholic Church is justifiable, but had France been Catholic, really, since the revolution? I’m not trying to convert anyone here, I’m just pointing out that religion is always an easy scapegoat because it is always there.
    No, to understand our fall it would be better to look at actual circumstances and natures of Empires. What happens? Not wanting to write an article here let me throw out a little hint: Just one hundred years ago, long before third world immigration, what percentage of the population were farmers . . . in the U.S., France, Germany etc.?

  2. WG
    Posted January 1, 2011 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    Thanks for translating this. In my dealings with European nationalists and WNs in the US, I’ve noticed a common attitude: we all await a leader, who, it is argued, will emerge in a period of racial strife and violence that has not yet occurred. When it happens, we’ll take the whole thing back. The streets of our cities will run with blood. Our enemies won’t know what hit them. Perhaps these are just pretty fantasies, but it’s happened before.

    • White Republican
      Posted January 1, 2011 at 9:34 pm | Permalink

      I’m inclined to think that these are “pretty fantasies.” It is idle and irresponsible to wait for a heaven-sent leader to appear in a time of chaos. It would be much more constructive to think of leadership in more pluralistic and voluntaristic terms. We could take a lesson from the communists in this regard. In Dedication and Leadership (Notre Dame, IN: Notre Dame University Press, 1966), Douglas Hyde remarked:

      “‘Every Communist a leader, every factory a fortress’ is one of their slogans. But it is more than a slogan, it is an aim, and one which they set out very determinedly to achieve. The meaning behind the slogan is this: each party member must be so trained that no matter where he may find himself he will be qualified to come forward and lead: and, when you have sufficient such members together in a given factory or within some particular organization, they can make this a ‘fortress’ for Communism.”

      This conception of leadership is both pluralistic and voluntaristic in the sense that leadership–in the form of exercising initiative, assuming responsibilities, and setting a good example for others–is something that members of a movement are expected and required to exercise within their milieu and their sphere of competence. Leadership is not just the function of a man or of a group of men, but of an entire movement. Leadership involves skills and functions that are developed only through constant effort. An “out-elite” must keep itself “in form” so that it can gain, hold, and increase its power. This requires a high average level of activism and competence.

      I think that we should learn from and improve upon certain practices of the communists with regard to organisation and activism. Metis is particularly important. This is discussed in James C. Scott’s Seeing Like a State: How Certain Schemes to Improve the Human Condition Have Failed (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1998) and I intend to discuss this in the future. I believe that, to paraphrase Scott, nationalists should favor forms of organization and activism that enhance the skills, knowledge, and responsibility of those who take part in them. Nationalists should respect race and personality.

  3. Posted January 1, 2011 at 8:19 am | Permalink

    This morning I gave my usual yearly round of phone calls do my elders to wish them a happy New Year. Speaking to a friend colonel ( issued from a long line of colonels who gave their lives for France in all parts of the world) we were comenting upon the present situation in France, when he confided : “Looking at what goes on in France, you don’t feel like dying for a bunch of gutless twits like these.” Coming from such a soldier, it seems indeed that it is the end of the Roman Empire.

  4. realVercingetorix
    Posted January 1, 2011 at 9:04 am | Permalink

    France has 59 nuclear power plants, and will experience far more than a dark age when their car-burning youths attack them.

  5. Edward
    Posted January 2, 2011 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    Whites deserve what they permit.

    White traitors are the biggest problem.

    All the power that non-Whites have was given to them by White traitors.

    White traitors will only stop their treason when they are afraid to commit treason.

    Jews have power because they network. Whites do not network.

    Whites can destroy Jewish power anytime they REALLY want to.

  6. Steve
    Posted January 2, 2011 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

    “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 horror of horrors! That this grand liberal experiment ends in violence never seen on planet earth. That’s what you get when you think you’re higher than the laws of nature and the lessons of history! I would welcome ethnic civil war any day, than the current apathetical suicidal bless! Actually it’s worse than suicide. It’s more of a terminal disease that’s destroying the body of a decrepit entity that truly believes all is ok — now swallow those pills and zone out on TV “programming!”
    The White man needs to revolt completely ALL conventional norms and ideas for something that is truly higher and is so deeply resonate to him that it will set the stage for a powerful birth of a new man(s). Just like natural births, it will be painful – but pain, sorrow, sacrifice, sacralizes the meaning of being to higher forms. It tests the mantle of a being. Pain and to suffer in struggle (especially spiritually) is good for the “soul” — was uns nicht umbringt, macht uns starker! Pleasure you may say? Pleasure gave us Girls Gone Wild, Porn, 500 channels, feel-happy ideologies (that dominate the West for now…) and endless shit that ultimately kills our being from the inside out.

    • Michael O'Meara
      Posted January 2, 2011 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

      Xenophon: “A day will come when Zeus’ eagle serenely and mercilessly extends its claws.”

  7. Posted January 7, 2011 at 12:40 am | Permalink

    The UK needs more Moslems.

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