Friday 16 July 2021

The decline of Europe

"[Europe] came into being through Christianity, and without it has no significance or power to command allegiance." Evelyn Waugh

"The Faith is Europe. And Europe is the Faith." Hilaire Belloc

“It is in Christianity that our arts have developed; it is in Christianity that the laws of Europe--until recently--have been rooted. It is against a background of Christianity that all of our thought has significance. An individual European may not believe that the Christian faith is true, and yet what he says, and makes, and does will all spring out of his heritage of Christian culture and depend upon that culture for its meaning...I do not believe that culture of Europe could survive the complete disappearance of the Christian faith. And I am convinced of that, not merely because I am a Christian myself, but as a student of social biology. If Christianity goes, the whole culture goes.” T.S. Eliot

"Institutions, societies, civilisations differ in duration and significance, yet all are subject to one and the same law, which decrees that the invincible impulse, the factor of their rise, must sag and settle after a certain time, this decadence corresponding to a slackening of that energiser which is . . . delirium. Compared with periods of expansion, of dementia really, those of decline seem sane and are so, are too much so—which makes them almost as deadly as the others.
A nation that has fulfilled itself, that has expended its talents and exploited the last resources of its genius, expiates such success by producing nothing thereafter. It has done its duty, it aspires to vegetate, but to its cost it will not have the latitude to do so. When the Romans—or what remained of them—sought repose, the Barbarians got under way, en masse. We read in a history of the invasions that the German tribes serving in the Empire’s army and administration assumed Latin names until the middle of the fifth century. After which, Germanic names became a requirement. Exhausted, in retreat on every front, the masters were no longer feared, no longer respected. What was the use of bearing their names? 'A fatal somnolence reigned everywhere,' observed Salvian, bittersweet censor of the ancient deliquescence in its final stages.” 
Emil Cioran

“Christian theology is the grandmother of Bolshevism.” Oswald Spengler

"How short a time ago, relatively, the small new European world was easily seizing colonies everywhere, not only without anticipating any real resistance, but also usually despising any possible values in the conquered peoples' approach to life. On the face of it, it was an overwhelming success, there were no geographic frontiers to it. Western society expanded in a triumph of human independence and power. And all of a sudden in the twentieth century came the discovery of its fragility and friability. We now see that the conquests proved to be short lived and precarious, and this in turn points to defects in the Western view of the world which led to these conquests. Relations with the former colonial world now have turned into their opposite and the Western world often goes to extremes of obsequiousness, but it is difficult yet to estimate the total size of the bill which former colonial countries will present to the West, and it is difficult to predict whether the surrender not only of its last colonies, but of everything it owns will be sufficient for the West to foot the bill." Alexandr Solzhenitsyn

"The third reason for joy is that Italy has beaten England, the team that took a collective knee at the tournament. That team adequately represents not just Albion’s civilizational decrepitude, but also the virus of self-hate which now emanates from the global Anglosphere. Those spectators who dared boo them for their political action were officially described as racist idiots. The England team is the symbolic and literal enemy of truth, beauty, and goodness. Its defeat and Italy’s victory is a great and glorious event." Srdja Trifkovic on Monday, talking about the European championship finals.


  1. Outstanding quotes. Thanks.

  2. “We live in a patently evil world and in the end it was the US — not the USSR — who made it possible.”

    A Czech, quoted by Dreher.

  3. The quotes are perceptive, but most come from men born 100 years ago or longer. A certain amount of social change, welcome or unwelcome, seems inevitable.

  4. " is difficult yet to estimate the total size of the bill which former colonial countries will present to the West, and it is difficult to predict whether the surrender not only of its last colonies, but of everything it owns will be sufficient for the West to foot the bill."

    I think Solzhenitsyn was right. Whatever the motivations of colonialism, even if some of those motivations were laudable, colonialism has destroyed the West.

    Expansionism may have been an expression of the extraordinary dynamism of European civilisation but it has turned out to have been a fatal flaw.

  5. “Christian theology is the grandmother of Bolshevism.” Oswald Spengler

    You could argue that Christian theology is the grandmother of Wokeness.

    1. Of course Communism and Woke are Judeo-Christian heresies. They could not emerge in a Hindu, Buddhist of Muslim culture. Human rights and freedom are all products of Christianity. Hitler is certainly not a Christian figure, was a very anti-Christian figure, but he slightly resembles an Old Testament prophet but without the Judaism.

    2. 'he slightly resembles an Old Testament prophet' a Mel Brooks production.