Today, I wish to discuss something that’s been on my mind off and on for a very long time. Pardon me if I stumble around it, for sometimes it is difficult to put a concept into words. I’ve discussed it on The Declination on more than one occasion, though perhaps clumsily. Nonetheless, I suspect it will be of vital importance in the days to come.
Leftists often compare Rightists to Nazis. It’s beyond cliche, these days. It is tiresome and it hinges on the most flimsy of rationalizations. Yet it begs the question: how do you know if you are becoming a tyrant? How do you know if your ideology has slid into evil?
Surely, even Nazis were once children, cared for and loved by someone. No doubt their parents had hopes for at least some of them. Dreams for them. As Tolkien explained for us in The Lord of the Rings, nothing is evil in the beginning. Not even Sauron himself. So how did they become evil? What led them there?
If you analyze tyrannical ideologies and the sort of mass mob insanity behind them, you will see a common thread: purity. Nazis obsessed over purity of race. Stalinists obsessed over purity of political beliefs. Jihadists obsess over purity of religious belief. But purity is always there. And purity can twist good into evil, or render a lesser evil into a far greater evil.
What is purity? The dictionary tells us that it is “freedom from adulteration or contamination.” For our purposes, we may use the synonym ‘perfection’ with some utility. The point of purity is to identify impurities and eradicate them. The Nazi will eradicate the racially impure, the Communist will eradicate the impure Capitalists, and so on.
The utility of quests for purity to a tyrant should be obvious. For what is more impure than man? A quest for purity is carte blanche for never ending power over others. Progressivism itself admits this even in the content of its own name. Progress toward what? Purity. Progress toward the perfect society, in which poverty, disease, war, and a thousand other such ills have been eradicated.
Never will you hear the Progressive say “this is good enough, we can stop now.” For them, there is always a new impurity to eradicate. The movement is like the terminator of movie fame:
Kyle Reese: Listen, and understand. That terminator is out there. It can’t be bargained with. It can’t be reasoned with. It doesn’t feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And it absolutely will not stop, ever, until you are dead.
Social Justice is like the terminator in other ways, too. It cloaks itself as one of us. It wears the skin of our institutions in an effort to disguise itself. But always, its mission is to eradicate us. We are the impure. We cannot be permitted to exist.
And when a round of impure are disposed of, new impure are found. Today, it is Rightists. Tomorrow, Centrists. The day after that, Trotskyite Leftists. The terminator never stops. Ever-greater demands of purity are made. Like the Third Reich, the gas chambers never stop. The ash falls from the skies, forever. At least until someone puts a stop to it all at gunpoint.
Purity spirals work so well because fault can always be found with man. Every single human being in the history of our species, save one, has done wrong; has sinned. We all deserve death. That is a fundamental tenet of Christianity. It is also true even if you are the most ardent of atheists. Man is imperfect. And so it will ever be.
Yet, is it the SJW’s responsibility to act as the judge, jury, and executioner? Shall the Nazi do it? Shall the Stalinist? The Jihadist? Not only is there no one among us who could ever make demands of purity upon us, these cretins are the worst of the worst, the most evil among us. And it is they who always lead the charge to purity. The nuts are running the nuthouse.
Rationalizations always exist for why we are bad people. Why we should be punished, why we should give up everything, why we shouldn’t even exist. ALWAYS. Here we are, in America, the most prosperous nation to have ever existed in the history of our species. This is a place where starvation is virtually unknown. Where even the poorest among us possess wonders. And yet our debate constantly shifts toward America as an unjust nation that loves reducing its citizens to poverty, as if we were like Somalia or Haiti. Similar arguments are made for racism, sexism, homophobia, etc…
There are some poor people in America (though they do better here than in most places), thus we are impure. And in the minds of the purity-seekers, this means there is no fundamental difference between us and Haiti. Disagree? You want to push granny off a cliff, you Nazi! Ironic, I think, that the Left names us the Nazis when the modern purity-seekers are almost invariably Leftists.
Purity spirals are how evil manifests itself in its most concentrated human form. It is where humans go collectively insane, where they can rationalize the most hateful and destructive things. When the SJW says that you are a racist for X, he is almost always saying you are impure. They even police their own, thusly. They are always on the lookout for manifestations of impurity even among their own. They are political cannibals, as purists necessarily must be.
Had the Third Reich been permitted to continue, it would have invariably turned its genocidal hatred upon its own, sooner or later. Indeed, we saw signs of this even during its short life. Just as the Soviet Communists ate their own, and the Maoists, and the Jihadists killing other Muslims… this is always how it goes.
The terrifying aspect of it is that before purity-seekers consume themselves in an orgy of hatred and death, they bring us down with them. At least, if they are not stopped first.
That’s what our conflict is all about, underneath it all. Purity, and those who use purity as an excuse for tyranny. Far from being the good guys, they are the most evil among us (though we all have at least some evil in us). Far from being those who will usher in an age of peace, love, and tolerance, they are those who will usher in an age of death, war, hatred, and intolerance.
It is always this way with them. When they call you a Nazi, remember that though they have little or no political connection with them, their underlying drive for purity means that, of all modern political ideologies, they (and perhaps the Jihadists) most closely resemble the behavior patterns of Nazis. For all of them are, like the Nazis and Stalinists before them, seekers of power through purity spirals.
As the bodies cool from the Manchester attack, the usual routine is making a comeback. There will be candlelight vigils, people will pray to gods they don’t believe in, and buildings around the world will be lit in the usual retinue of national colors. Facebook, in all likelihood, will have some kind of automatic profile picture generator.
Hearts will be drawn on chalk, tears will be shed on TV, and random people who never met before, nor will ever see each other again, will embrace on the streets. Politicians will hold hands and walk together, and everyone will repeat the same mantras we’ve heard a thousand times before.
“We denounce this cowardly attack. We will be strong together…” Yada, yada, yada.
The usual media talking heads will tell us that it is a tragedy, sure, but the worst part is that the white racists of Redneckistan are going to be empowered, and Muslims around the globe will face more racism and Islamophobia. This isn’t the real Islam, they’ll tell us. For Islam is a Religion of Peace.
I don’t know about you, folks, but I’ve no more patience with this. These people believe that hugs, tears, candles, and symbols chalked onto the streets will somehow banish murderous extremists like ISIS. Together, the power of the Care Bear rainbows will banish all badthink to another dimension, or something. I feel like I’m surrounded by emotional toddlers, unable to separate magical fantasy from grounded reality.
Peace with the Islamic world is most assuredly possible, but it won’t come from hearts drawn in the streets, it will come with a price tag in blood and treasure. Islam, after all, has always had bloody borders. And the weakness of the West has only emboldened them.
Stop for a moment and look at it from the angle of an extremely devout Muslim, one who believes in the supremacy of his faith, that Allah punishes those who disobey him, and rewards the faithful. The weakness of the West must appear to such a man to be everything that Allah has said. The West does all sorts of things their faith prohibits, from drinking, to not stoning women who cheat on their husbands, to permitting gays to live.
To them, we are degenerate, and the conquest of our countries, and the killing of our people is perfectly in line with the dictates of their faith. Indeed, it would be shameful to shy away from exterminating us for our sins against Allah. It would be evil, in the minds of such men, to permit us to go unpunished.
Of course, the usual response from the Progressives is “not all Muslims are like that.” And it’s perfectly true. Indeed, most Muslims aren’t like that. Most probably don’t care about what’s going on at an Ariana Grande concert in Britain. But here’s the thing: enough are like that to cause us a great deal of grief and suffering. Surveys and studies have been conducted on this very topic (and these not ones that would be friendly to the right wing point of view), and support of suicide bombing attacks like this are in the double digits, though short of an outright majority, in most Muslim countries, and even many Muslim populations in the West.
Support for Sharia law is an absolute majority in most Muslim countries. In the same study, you see that ISIS is viewed negatively by most Muslims, which seems good… except in many countries, again, there is easily double digit support for them (note that Jordan and Lebanon are very prominent exceptions – their extremist populations are much lower, they seem to be doing something right). This National Review piece goes into some detail as well.
What you find consistently in all this — and it jibes with personal observation as well — is that somewhere between 20 and 25% of Muslims are either extremists themselves, or are supportive of the extremists and their tactics. So sure, most are not “like that” but enough are. And of the non-extremist variety, most still want Sharia law, a form of jurisprudence that is anathema to the West and its notions of human rights. Maybe they don’t feel the need to kill us over it, as their extremist coreligionists do, but that still doesn’t mean that everybody would just get along and sing Kumbaya around the campfires.
Feminists are fond of using “not all men” as a meme, a counterexample, because to them enough men are rapists, in their view. I submit that the percentage of men in the West who support rape, or are rapists themselves, is far less than 20-25%, at least by an order of magnitude if not more. And the remainder certainly do not subscribe to a form of jurisprudence that legitimizes stoning an adulteress to death. Yet that is enough for RadFems to say “yes, all men!”
See the double standard yet?
Something must be done. After all, what is the definition of insanity, if not doing the exact same thing over and over again, expecting things to change?
I’m tired of this in the news. And it has already struck in my part of the world, among people I actually know. It’s getting too common, and too close to home. And let me make this very clear to my readers. If my child were ever killed in such an attack, I would go on a God-damned (and I don’t make this invocation lightly) one man Crusade for vengeance. God may have said “vengeance is mine” but I would damn my soul to Hell to get even with anybody who attacked my family.
So the passivity and magical invocations of the Progressives grates on my nerves. It’s disgustingly naive and utterly insane. It is the man who passively bows down to his executioner instead of fighting to the last. I don’t understand it. I can’t fathom it.
And they won’t do anything to address the problem. It’s sad that so many children suffered in Manchester, but let’s not kid ourselves… they won’t be the last. The blood will continue to run in the streets until the delusional idiots are stripped of power and run out of town, until the hearts on the sidewalk are erased with blood, until the candlelight vigils are seen for the farcical rituals they are.
The Progressives often mock Christians for being believers in a mystical sky wizard, but at least when the Christian man prays, he thinks somebody is on the other end. He thinks that, though his prayer may go unanswered, that someone heard it. The Progressive vigils and prayers go nowhere. They don’t even believe anyone is on the other end. It’s wasted breath, empty ritual stripped of all purpose and meaning.
The Christian, talking to God, believes that somebody is there with him. And if he must suffer, as Christ suffered, then that is the way of it. But at least Christ knows how it is with him, for He suffered likewise. That is why prayer can be a comfort in dire times. What does the prayer of a Progressive atheist offer to anyone, least of all to himself? It’s just theater, posing for the cameras, the useless village idiot saying “look everybody, I’m helping!”
The magic sigils won’t bring back the dead children. They won’t make Islam and the West friendly with one another. They won’t turn back the 20-25% of Muslims who like these attacks, and desire more of them.
And, eventually, the attacks will find their way to folks who won’t put up with it anymore, who will be as violent and angry as I’d be if it happened to my family… and then there will be war. And we’ll pay just as much attention to the lit-up buildings as Muslims do. That is to say, no attention at all.
Nassim Nicholas Taleb has delivered an insightful argument: intolerance works. Conceptually, this is fairly simple to grasp. Consider the old saying “the squeaky wheel gets the grease” or the similar “the customer is always right.” We’ve all seen it personally at one time or another. Some customer will be completely unreasonable, and hordes of employees will submit and beg for forgiveness, while the regular folks suffer in obscurity.
Taleb’s take is rather more high-level, however. In the article, he explains how a relatively small number of demanding, intolerant people can come to impose their preferences on everybody on the principle that the flexible individuals will go along with it if the cost is not terribly high.
Islam’s spread is explained in such a context:
The two asymmetric rules were are as follows. First, if a non Muslim man under the rule of Islam marries a Muslim woman, he needs to convert to Islam –and if either parents of a child happens to be Muslim, the child will be Muslim. Second, becoming Muslim is irreversible, as apostasy is the heaviest crime under the religion, sanctioned by the death penalty. The famous Egyptian actor Omar Sharif, born Mikhael Demetri Shalhoub, was of Lebanese Christian origins. He converted to Islam to marry a famous Egyptian actress and had to change his name to an Arabic one. He later divorced, but did not revert to the faith of his ancestors.
You can extrapolate across many generations, and see how Islam’s stubbornness will slowly erode local faiths and traditions, until they are driven into extinction. One suspects this feature of Islam was deliberate.
But it works for non-sinister things, too. Taleb explains this concept by using the example of the circle-U symbol on the back of most juices as the supermarket. This is the symbol of the beverage being kosher. It is less of a hassle to simply make all such beverages kosher, than to develop and maintain two sets of drink lines, one kosher and one not. Since non-Jews don’t care about whether or not something is kosher, soon all such drinks are kosher. They don’t tolerate non-kosher products for their own personal consumption. So the beverage company must choose whether to cater specifically to them with a separate juice line, or just make everything kosher.
In this case, the word “intolerance” is not necessary good or bad, but simply an indicator of inflexibility on a certain matter resulting in an uncaring majority embracing (often by accident) the preferences of a tiny minority. Definitely read Taleb’s original piece to fully understand what I mean by this.
But this concept can be, and often is, used for malicious purposes. Consider:
Clearly can democracy –by definition the majority — tolerate enemies? The question is as follows: “ Would you agree to deny the freedom of speech to every political party that has in its charter the banning the freedom of speech?” Let’s go one step further, “Should a society that has elected to be tolerant be intolerant about intolerance?”
This is in fact the incoherence that Kurt Gödel (the grandmaster of logical rigor) detected in the constitution while taking the naturalization exam. Legend has it that Gödel started arguing with the judge and Einstein, who was his witness during the process, saved him.
I wrote about people with logical flaws asking me if one should be “skeptical about skepticism”; I used a similar answer as Popper when was asked if “ one could falsify falsification”.
We can answer these points using the minority rule. Yes, an intolerant minority can control and destroy democracy. Actually, as we saw, it will eventually destroy our world.
So, we need to be more than intolerant with some intolerant minorities. It is not permissible to use “American values” or “Western principles” in treating intolerant Salafism (which denies other peoples’ right to have their own religion). The West is currently in the process of committing suicide.
Islam, and especially its militant varieties, are taking advantage of the tolerance of Western countries with regards to religion, race, and culture, and using it as a weapon of conquest. In the same way benign preferences like kosher drinks become common, soon kow-towing to Islam will become ubiquitous.
Don’t believe me? Here are die-hard feminist leaders, who don’t-need-no-man, and damn the Patriarchy, cheerfully submitting to Islamic codes of dress, parading in front of the Islamic leaders like pieces of meat for the auction block.
Islam is stubborn and intolerant. And this intolerance is a form of strength, especially within otherwise tolerant societies. So the question becomes, does our tolerance extend to tolerating our own cultural demise? Islam is famously strict on the matter of homosexuality. Should Islamic intolerance of gays (to the extent of executing them) thus be embraced because we are tolerant?
It’s a logical absurdity.
But it extends far beyond Islam. Consider the famous intractability of Vegans and militant vegetarians. Not only do such individuals not want to consume meat, but they become offended if you deign to do it. This is a form of intolerant behavior. My Jewish and Seventh-Day Adventist friends don’t condemn me for eating pork, they simply do not eat it themselves. I have no Vegan friends, because most of them are intolerant. “How dare you eat meat!”
Fortunately, they are small enough to be a nuisance rather than a direct threat to meat consumption. But imagine if intolerant Vegans reached a critical mass (Taleb suggests 3 or 4% can be sufficient for this). How soon before businesses have to start making tough decisions surrounding pleasing the militant Vegans?
The good thing is, carnivores are displaying a certain level of intolerance right back at the Vegans. Observe:
Amusing, of course, but also indicative of a sort of counter-intolerance backlash building against the Vegans. If both sides are intolerant, and one is very small and the other very large, rule by the intolerant minority will be averted.
There are other ways to avert the intolerant minority rule problem. The second is avoid importing the intolerant. This could conceivably work with Islam. Another is cost. It is cheap to make juice kosher, the price difference is near to irrelevant, and there are no other real costs associated with the practice. And so all juice can be kosher, and nobody is really put off by it. But imagine if it cost 10 times as much to make juice kosher? How soon would the practice end, or be restricted to rich Jewish neighborhoods?
Second, the cost structure matters quite a bit. It happens in our first example that making lemonade compliant with Kosher laws doesn’t change the price by much, not enough to justify inventories. But if the manufacturing of Kosher lemonade cost substantially more, then the rule will be weakened in some nonlinear proportion to the difference in costs. If it cost ten times as much to make Kosher food, then the minority rule will not apply, except perhaps in some very rich neighborhoods.
Note that I’m not arguing for this. I don’t know of anybody who gives a damn about kosher lemonade, and I certainly don’t. It wouldn’t surprise me if even Stormfronters were inadvertently drinking kosher products (something I actually find somewhat amusing to think about). Nobody cares because the difference is so absurdly minor. But let’s return to the Vegans. Their preferences are much less tolerant than those of Jewish folks (who will generally leave non-Jews alone about their eating habits).
Now suddenly we have demands that companies stop serving meat, or, alternatively, use practices deemed good enough to satisfy militant organizations like PETA, which would drive up the cost of meat consumption radically. Makes a difference, doesn’t it?
Islam’s religious laws are even more extreme and rigidly stubborn. So, too, are the increasingly ridiculous demands of Social Justice Warriors, in which they take issue with everything from Christianity to whether or not people should be allowed to play video games, or wear dreadlocks. The reach of both Islam and Social Justice is total. Every tiny aspect of life is to be seen through their preferred lenses.
And as per Taleb’s argument, they will win if permitted to continue with their intolerance. The intolerant minority wins. And let’s be honest here: the kosher lemonade would soon disappear under Islamic rule, because Islam is very intolerant of that particular minority.
If Islam and Social Justice ever battled it out for who could be most intolerant, we all know who will win that fight. Both groups wish they could conduct a mass murder of their enemies. But only one group has any practical experience in it, the effective Stalinists having long since died out, leaving purple-haired, genderqueer weaklings to carry the Communist torch.
Islam has no such issue, and thus it earns the title as the most intolerant belief system with any sizable following. And it will win if we tolerate its intolerance.
Fortunately for us, the time appears to be fast approaching when our tolerance of the Islamic world’s antics (and SJW Vegans) will be fully exhausted. In this blogger’s opinion, that time can’t get here quickly enough.
Weaponized Empathy is a topic I keep bringing up here at The Declination. It is an insidious weapon, both pervasive and subtle. The weapon preys upon your better nature, twisting your better instincts in the service of another.
Guilt-tripping is the best way I can describe it. You are made to feel guilty and remorse for things you have not done. A white man might be made to feel guilty for slavery in the United States, despite having never owned slaves, nor having countenanced slavery in any form. He might be called a Nazi for being vaguely Right-of-center, despite his ancestors having participated in the liberation of Jews from Nazi Germany.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a fresh-off-the-boat Romanian immigrant. You’re white, so you’re privileged. Therefore, also, you are guilty. The Left tells us not to be prejudiced, that is to say to prejudge a person. Yet they ascribe guilt, a literal form of judgment, onto people they don’t know.
Then they say that you should feel guilty. Perhaps today you should feel guilty for being white, and tomorrow all men should feel guilty for having penises. And the day after, straight people should feel guilty for not being homosexual. And so on…
Guilt. I’m tired of it, folks. Pardon my French, but it’s all horseshit. Commensurate with Right-wing philosophy in general if you do the crime, you’re going to do the time. But the reverse is also true. If you haven’t done the crime, then you should not do the time.
In other words, I’m done with that sort of thing. I don’t care if folks on the Left think I’m some kind of cold-hearted, heretical bastard, a blasphemer of the religion of political correctness.
Most folks have heard about the attack in Sweden. If you haven’t, you’ve probably been living under a rock. Meanwhile, a Leftist Swedish rag talks about how cars ought to be banned in response to the attacks.
I wasn’t originally going to comment on the attack. After all, there are too many Islamic terror attacks these days for one blogger to ever hope to cover them all (and isn’t that a sad state of affairs?). But one thing compelled me to do so.
You see, like the picture of the Syrian boy who drowned, there is a horrifying picture floating around the Internet right now of an 11 year old girl who was, quite literally torn to pieces by the terror attack. Pieces of her are scattered all over the road, a leg here, a leg there, guts strewn all over the road.
I’m absolutely not going to post it on my blog, because my readers are likely to lose the contents of their stomachs if they see it. But I’ve seen it, and so have many others. You can probably find it for yourself with a little Google-fu. I did, however, verify the photo with local landmarks, and the position of the covered bodies in the photographs the press has released. So it’s not a fake (there have been weaponized fake pics floating around social media all too often lately).
It is, by an order of magnitude, a more powerful picture than the dead Syrian boy.
So why haven’t you seen even a semi-censored/pixelated version of this picture? Is it because it is too gruesome? Doubtful. Certainly if that were true, they could have at least posted an alternate angle.
No, the gruesome death of Ebba Akerlund doesn’t fit the pro-Islam, pro-migrant narrative. They could weaponize the photo, if they chose to, but they don’t want to. So why are pictures of Syrian children weaponized, and Swedish children not? It’s not rocket science, obviously.
This could have been worldwide news, at a level that would dwarf the dead Syrian boy, or the affair with United Airlines. But only a few outlets are even carrying her story at all.
It’s enough to make one sick, almost as sick as someone who saw the picture in question.
As for the media, I’d appreciate it if you stopped wasting my time, trying to sell Islam to the West like some kind of used car salesman decked out in 70s plaid, trying desperately to clear his lot of lemons. I’m not buying, okay?
Well, the reaction to Trump’s attack on Syria is, to say the least, rather mixed. Personally, I am somewhat disappointed. I don’t know about all of my readers, but I’m exhausted of Middle Eastern quagmires. Evan McMullin decided this was a good time to agree with Trump’s attack… and then bash Trump anyway. So doing what his opponents want doesn’t seem to have any effect on how much they hate him. If that was his goal, it failed miserably.
On the other hand, doom-and-gloom folks who say this is the end of Trump are off base, too. Drudge has something like 65% favorability for the attack on their recent poll last time I looked at it, and only 21% opposed (the remainder are uncertain). So folks on the right are still more or less behind him.
All that being said, I’d prefer if Trump concentrated on our domestic issues, especially illegal immigration. That, and keeping Syrian migrants out of the country, since those nations who have embraced mass numbers of migrants continue to suffer terror attacks from the same. Middle Eastern quagmires never end well. We’ve tried them time and time again, and the cost in blood and treasure isn’t worth it. To put it simply, it’s not our problem. And, quite frankly, I’m irritated at those who want to import these problems into my country.
All that being said, Francis has written a much better summary of where we are now that this has happened, and so I will more or less defer to him on this.
As I said on Twitter earlier, this is disappointing to me. I hoped to see better from Trump. However, I’ll let this one pass. There are many plausible explanations for why he did this, and not all of them are bad. That being said, I hope this is an aberration, and not the setting the tone for his administration. Otherwise I might be inclined to rethink my support for him going forward.
Occasionally, I go through the stats in WordPress to see who is backlinking The Declination. Doing so can be pretty eye opening. I’ve found more than a few detractors this way, and some very amusing social justice warriors. But I’ve also discovered fascinating intellectual material this way.
In the course of perusing my backlinks, I discovered a little-known blog call the House of David. This one is fascinating because the author delves deeply into a topic which has bothered me for most my life: just how was it that Islam conquered Sassanian Persia and most of Byzantium more or less simultaneously? Normally this question is answered in the West, at least, by primarily Greek sources. Those are useful, yes, but only paint part of the picture. The proprietor of House of David seeks to answer the question from Persian and Arabic sources, also.
The strangeness of this event cannot be overstated. As successors to the Romans (or as Romans themselves, depending on how you account them), the Byzantines were masters of siege craft. Certainly the Theodosian walls impress well enough. Being consummate engineers of fortifications, Roman forts and walled cities dotted the empire, and for the most part, the Romans were excellent at defending them. The Byzantines continued the tradition of effective defense throughout most of their history, as they were under near-constant assault from all sides.
Hannibal himself found the Romans impossible to conquer, even when winning most of the important field battles. And when much of the Western Empire fell apart, it was due not to siege warfare, but to what might be called a refugee migration situation gone to pot. Modern Europe, it should be noted, ought to be paying very close attention to that portion of their history.
Now, one might say the Persians were able to do it, at least temporarily during the Sassanian war of the early 7th century. And that is true enough, though the Romans still emerged triumphant even then. But the Persians had long experience fighting Romans. They were no strangers to dealing with Roman fortifications and siege craft. Despite the feudal nature of their army (think of dehgans like predecessors to medieval feudal nobility), it was powerful and well organized.
The Arabs, on the other hand, had little organization along those lines. Neither, it should be noted, did they have experience storming Roman forts and cities.
In some cases, of course, there was treachery from some of the Byzantines themselves, most notably in Egypt. But in other cases, such as the Exarchate of Africa, local Byzantine resistance was absolutely fierce. The wars in North Africa absolutely devastated the place. It never recovered after this. So complete was this devastation and desolation that Carthage, which bounced back even after the Romans razed it, never recovered from it. Even conquest by the Vandals had not been so terrible.
And still, after the Byzantines themselves lost much of North Africa, the native Christian Berbers continued to resist for some time under a supposed witch-queen named Kahina. And Byzantine resistance remained for a time around Cueta even after Carthage was destroyed, where the possibly-apocryphal Count Julian was said to have finally thrown in with the Muslims in order to avenge himself upon the Visigoths.
Yet the Arab steamroller moved on.
The final triumph of Byzantine siege craft could be seen in the twin Arab sieges of Constantinople, both beaten back effectively by the Byzantines. So why did they lose so completely everywhere else?
It’s a mystery that has defied satisfactory explanation. Some would say that the Persian war exhausted both countries, and that is true to some extent. Persia spiraled into internecine warfare, and was ruined by Heraclius. But Persia never had the defensive depth that Rome did. Persia was more reliant upon the land-holding nobility, and they were a better offensive force than a defensive one. The Byzantines, meanwhile, had won the war, and Heraclius was (at least according to Greek sources on the matter) still able to field massive armies who, ostensibly, had great experience in the Persian war.
Byzantium was weakened economically by the war, at least to some extent. But militarily, it may have actually been stronger.
So how did a bunch of relatively disorganized Arabs, with little experience, overrun Byzantium and Persia in a way that even Alexander the Great would have gawked at?
The purveyor of House of David has more then a few theories and ideas about how this could have been done, and what may have been going on. And there’s a ring of truth to a lot of it. It ties in well with what is going on today in the West, namely that the bureaucracy and the nobility may have, in effect, sold out their own country for personal profit. That in Byzantium, at least, the bureaucracy may have deliberately sacrificed Rome’s old empire for the sake of what we might call proto-globalization of trade.
The idea of globalists selling out nations for profit, of course, has a long tradition. To them, nations are collections of people, they are arbitrary social constructs (like gender is an arbitrary social construct to them, also). So for them, selling out a country is more or less the same thing as selling your pizza shop. It’s just a pizza shop. Who cares? If you can make more money closing your business and selling off the assets, no big deal, right?
Except countries are not pizza shops. And the things you wind up selling off are people. Sometimes very literally, in the case of Islam.
I don’t want to go on a long lecture on that topic, though. I’ll save that for another day. As to whether or not I believe this theory, I don’t know. It has a ring of plausibility to it, but I’m not familiar enough with the primary sources to say. However, it is interesting, at the very least.
Suffice it to say I have been reading more of this man’s musings on Islamic and Persian history, and they are fascinating. It’s a very different perspective than reading all this from the translated Greek sources. There are a great many posts worth reading on there. Here are a few more.