It seems to me, when a nation abandons it’s founding principles, that nation at that moment begins a descent into oblivion. Great nations are always founded on universal principles. Principles that protect the liberty of citizens, their property, hold everyone accountable to the law and defend the state from invading armies. There are also various societal myths that form the basis of the cultural ethos. In the US for example, the sovereignty of the individual is the societal myth. These principles and myths work together to create a strong and lasting government, culture and society, as well as protect the people from invading armies. Nations thus founded have good economies, strong families and high standards of living. It is no shock then, that once a nation abandons it’s founding principles, it quickly begins to deteriorate. Since the principles and societal myths a nation was founded on are the reason that nation prospered, the abandoning of them begins a downward slide.
The reason a nation would abandon their founding principles and societal myths is universally the same. The elite begin to feel hemmed in by the founding principles so they grouse against them. The elite want more room for action and a greater part of the prosperity, to do that they now they must get the nation uncoupled from it’s founding principles. They tell the people the heightened prosperity is owed them. They lead the people away from the founding principles and into arrogance. Playing on the people’s egos the elite keep in front of the people a meme of outdated ideas, old ways, stodgy thinking and that was then this is now. The replace the founding principles with progress, the new and fill the minds of the people with distractions.
In this way a general sense of arrogance begins to creep into the minds of the people and is magnified in the elite. Some generation, far enough away from the founding that they have forgot the violence and struggle it took to birth the nation or what times were like before the founding, disdainful of their forefathers and their egos swelled up like a balloon ready to pop, they begin to believe they know better than their forefathers and turn to their own ideas, ideas that always involve taking the liberty of people they disagree with, stealing the property of those who are “rich,” and stop applying the law equally because some can’t be held to a standard.
No great calamity happens in a vacuum. In every case calamity stems from a build up of events, most seem small and insignificant at the time, moreover they pile up and pile up without any negative consequences so they come faster and get bigger. Events such as small intrusions on the founding principles. Any well founded nation can stand many such incursions, by the momentum it builds up in it’s expansion. Rome was just such an example. Even as Titus Livious warned the Romans Rome would fall unless they went back to their principles, the people laughed and scoffed at him, Rome has lasted a thousand years and would go on forever. Displaying the arrogance and disregard of their founders that always characterizes a people before their fall. Rome did go on for a few more centuries, centuries of calamity after calamity, culminating in Attila’s surrounding Rome. Rome lasted those centuries because on the momentum it had built up in it’s republican days.
No nation that still lives under it’s founding principles is defeated in war, only those nations that have abandoned those principles, are defeated in war. Wars come and go, but they are only existential threats to those nations who’s people have become lovers of luxury, arrogant, egoistic and lazy. Such nations are ripe for a fall and every would be tyrant alive sees it. Weakness in a people invites disaster. Such people are fickle in war as in every other thing, when push comes to shove an army of such people is no more than a paper tiger, it is destroyed at the first hint of flame. The government that has led the people into being fickle, egoistic and arrogant, while it might be unmerciful to it’s own people, is terrified of other nations and displays it fear to the world further inviting calamity. In this we can say that it was the abandoning of the founding principles that made the people ripe for invasion. The leaders first the people after.
Europe and the US have abandoned their founding principles. One by one they have been abandoned and replaced by progressive doctrines that teach the exact opposite of the founding principles. The societal myth has withered in both Europe and the US. Europe is being invaded by people who will, in short order subjugate the native Europeans, when that happens, the Europeans will exclaim, “What a catastrophe! How could this have happened?” The US will soon face economic Armageddon from out of control taxation, spending, regulation and cronyism, when that happens, the American people will cry out, “This is a calamity! Why me, why now?” even as the Europeans and Americans lament their misfortune, they will know in their hearts, they are the reason for the calamity, but will not be able to face the truth… so will blame the Muslims, the Bankers, the politicians… anyone but themselves, for allowing themselves to be led away from their founding principles.