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18914546 No.18914546 [Reply] [Original]

It seems that the declinist discourse has been picking up steam among the educated public in the recent years, among its proponents and detractors alike. Where do you see this discourse going in the future?

>> No.18914549

>>18914546
Here's the flavor text of the book, for the record.

>As this book intriguingly explores, for those who would make Rome great again and their victims, ideas of Roman decline and renewal have had a long and violent history.

>The decline of Rome has been a constant source of discussion for more than 2200 years. Everyone from American journalists in the twenty-first century AD to Roman politicians at the turn of the third century BC have used it as a tool to illustrate the negative consequences of changes in their world. Because Roman history is so long, it provides a buffet of ready-made stories of decline that can help develop the context around any snapshot. And Rome did, in fact, decline and, eventually, fall. An empire that once controlled all or part of more than 40 modern European, Asian, and African countries no longer exists. Roman prophets of decline were, ultimately, proven correct-a fact that makes their modern invocations all the more powerful. If it happened then, it could happen now.

>The Eternal Decline and Fall of Rome tells the stories of the people who built their political and literary careers around promises of Roman renewal as well as those of the victims they blamed for causing Rome's decline. Each chapter offers the historical context necessary to understand a moment or a series of moments in which Romans, aspiring Romans, and non―Romans used ideas of Roman decline and restoration to seize power and remake the world around them. The story begins during the Roman Republic just after 200 BC. It proceeds through the empire of Augustus and his successors, traces the Roman loss of much of western Europe in the fifth century AD, and then follows Roman history as it runs through the Eastern Roman Empire (Byzantium) until its fall in 1453. The final two chapters look at ideas of Roman decline and renewal from the fifteenth century until today. If Rome illustrates the profound danger of the rhetoric of decline, it also demonstrates the rehabilitative potential of a rhetoric that focuses on collaborative restoration, a lesson of great relevance to our world today.

>> No.18914681

>>18914549
>it also demonstrates the rehabilitative potential of a rhetoric that focuses on collaborative restoration
Sounds like trite optimism from an arena that can only draw pessimistic conclusions, Rome fell.

>> No.18914792

>>18914546
You have to view things sub specie aeternitatis. These are insignificant ebbs and flows in the grand scheme of things. Declinism is an optical illusion akin to foreshortening. What is up close seems bigger than it seems. Really this is just a dip in a great big landscape of valleys and plateaus and mountains . The black plague killed between 30% and 60% of Europe's population. It was the apocalypse. It was horror and filth. Yet it actually opened the way toward new possibilities and growth, changes in the economics of land, labor values etc. Civilizational phenomena are inherently unpredictable and you have to see that the dip we're in now might not seem as absolute as it does. Of course it might be different this time, probably because of environmental collapse. It could always be different at any time. But the collapse is deeper than the parochial categories like "muh west" or "muh nation"

>> No.18914905
File: 580 KB, 1707x2560, Final Pagan Generation.jpg [View same] [iqdb] [saucenao] [google] [report]
18914905

Has anyone read his other works? This one looks good.

>> No.18915214

>>18914905
Alan Cameron's "The Last Pagans" is a lot better.

>> No.18915337

>>18914905
it's a little dry but well-written, and also one of the most unsettling things i've ever read. i'm hardly the first to note parallels between the blithe pagans of 4th-century rome and everyone today who thinks all the woke shit is a fad that has to pass.

>> No.18915366

>>18915337
>i'm hardly the first to note parallels between the blithe pagans of 4th-century rome and everyone today who thinks all the woke shit is a fad that has to pass.

What did those last pagans think or say about their times?

>> No.18915496

>>18915366
in public they largely ignored it because it was a bad career move to criticize the emperor. the pagan philosopher themistius was one egregious example of a sycophant who made strained speeches praising constantius ii, the first emperor to really crack down on sacrifice, for his supposed moderation and prudence while ignoring the goals he was actually pursuing. the whole world around them was coming crashing down and they insisting on proceeding as if nothing had changed.

>> No.18915784

>>18915496
>the whole world around them was coming crashing down and they insisting on proceeding as if nothing had changed.

I always find it interesting how the historians espousing the current status quo about the "decline/transformation" argument (that is to say, very little decline, almost complete continuation/transformation) usually do so in reaction to the declinist discourse OP mentioned, while those who are pro-decline would almost unanimously say that it's even worse than the old idea of Rome going under because of the barbarian invasions, because at least going under due to the barbarians and christian subversion at least would have some sort of pathos to it, like Constantinople's end in 1453, some sense of pride would be kept. The idea of Rome just dissipating bit by bit and "transforming", of almost everything around you turning inside out year by year until the empire goes out like a wet fart denies them even the dignity of going under against insurmountable odds, it makes them seem like lazy sybaritic pussies rather than some sort of stubborn old guard making its last stand. It makes them more like Sardanapalus than the 300 of Sparta.

>> No.18916743

>>18914546
Boomp.

>> No.18916752
File: 24 KB, 384x349, 1B051C2E-10F2-4970-88B8-9DD9F40D4C3A.jpg [View same] [iqdb] [saucenao] [google] [report]
18916752

>bandwagon academics

>> No.18917111

>>18914546
>Where do you see this discourse going in the future?
With any luck, another Waugh

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