Communicator (communicator) wrote,
Communicator
communicator

Ozymandias

I imagined I'd come back from holiday and post about the jolly things I had done and the books I'd read. Instead this desperate terrible disaster in the USA dominates my thoughts. Other people on livejournal and elsewhere are expressing those thoughts already, and eloquently.

I once read a book about the fall of the Roman Empire. The author quoted the letters of Christian missionaries who had ventured to Britain after the legions were withdrawn. The first missionary wrote about how the land owners in their villas were rich as they had never been before, because they no longer paid public taxes. He said there were celebrations and parties, and hangers-on who fawned on the aristocracy. The next missionary wrote a letter from the same place, eighty years later. He said 'this place is uninhabited, the houses are in ruins, nobody lives here any more.'

If we, metaphorically, fail to maintain the levees that protect our civilisation, if we shoot people who just want food and water, if we play our violins while Rome burns, then this situation will spread to all our cities. There is no question about it. There isn't any divine dispensation that says 'I let Rome fall but I'll protect Western capitalism.' If one city can go they can all go, not just in America, but in every country that follows the same model.
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