Society

Civilisation becomes Civi-lie-sation

He thinks he going to live forever, said Michael Corleone of Hyman Roth in Godfather III. Of course, no one lives forever on this earth. More to my point, no civilisation lives forever. Do those within a civilisation necessarily know, in the immediate aftermath of its death, that it has in fact died; that, effectively, they are living their lives in the beginnings of a new civilisation, which only later will be named and recognised by future historians? I suspect not. Thus I’m a pathbreaker or badly mistaken, one of the two. For I believe that Western civilisation is now dead. Not dying mind, but dead.

I’m no expert on civilisations so I could well be wrong. Then again, experts routinely disagree with each other so they can’t all be right all of the time. It leaves scope for lay men and women to spitball a view or two.

A breathing Western civilisation adheres to Judeo-Christian values. Without being exhaustive, this entails having a non-compromising regard for the truth. Dealing with other each other fairly and kindly, without favour stemming from position, kinship, ethnicity or belief systems. Exhibiting tolerance, decency and interpersonal trust. Applying the law equally. Maintaining a right to speak freely, to assemble and to associate. Protecting private property rights.

Nothing’s perfect among corruptible human beings. There is much ruin in a nation, Adam Smith wrote in the late 18th century. ‘Much ruin’ is short of total ruin. Western civilisation is not a fragile creature. It’s robust and resilient. But the strongest back is broken if enough force is applied. And the force which has been applied over recent decades is quite awesome.

Let me focus only on the death of truth and leave a wider focus for another day. That’s sufficient enough to ruin Western civilisation. Though, the legal persecution of Donald Trump by his political opponents. which Peter O’Brien wrote about, and the mass immigration of those with clashing values, have each individually also delivered mortal blows.

Lies are now common currency in the media. The way in which Donald Trump’s remark about a bloodbath was deliberately twisted to give a false impression is the latest example. To wit, The Australian’s editorial on March 19: “With Donald Trump warning of a bloodbath if voters failed to elect him in November, it is no surprise former US vice-president Mike Pence has refused to back his ex-boss’s campaign.” Sure, a sizeable number of sentences further on, the writer of the editorial conceded the context of the remark. But still said “it does him no credit.” Is the writer in question a young product of affirmative action? In any event, he or she doesn’t understand how the word bloodbath can be used. For example, “Wall Street’s bloodbath meant the Australian share market plunged…” (9 News, September 15, 2022). No, for the edification of our (jejune?) writer, people did not stab each other to death on Wall Street.

Of course, The Australian was not nearly as guilty as other news outlets, as Quadrant Online illustrated, but it just so happens that I’m stuck with it each day as the best of a bad lot. They are liars. It’s no good beating around the bush. The opening sentence in the editorial which I quoted is a lie and a calumny. It’s explainable only because standards have plummeted appallingly.

A correspondent of the same paper only last September repeated the lie that five cops had died as a result of the January 6 event at the Capitol building. He must know that isn’t true. Yet he lied shamelessly. I actually wrote to the editor. No response. What does it matter. One lie among legions.

The Covid episode was replete with lie after lie. Some of them admitted and described as “noble.” For noble lies read lies to batter people into ovine compliance; to make them give away hard won freedoms. Once you can cower people once you can do it again. And they will. Bye-bye Western civilisation.

The Yes campaign in the referendum was full of lies designed to convince people that a racially divisive addition to the constitution was a generous offer. We were told, at the same time, that the Voice was enormously consequential and a simple proposition. Doublethink leapt from the pages of 1984 into our living rooms courtesy of the current Prime Minister. Those opposing the Voice were called “racists”. Those spewing such slurs knew they weren’t true. They lied, why not?

And the daddy of them all, climate change, is its own empire of lies. How many times are people told that the weather is getting more extreme when there is no evidence of this happening. Those repeating the lie don’t care. Their agenda trumps truth. And we don’t have to go Chris Bowen and his fellow climate cultists to find lies.

Look at the federal opposition parties spruiking nuclear while knowing that‘s it’s political theatre, no more. Sure, if they dropped net zero, said there was no climate crisis, said that coal and gas would be used to power Australia until nuclear hits its straps in the 2040s, then truth would be in them. As it is, truth is still putting its boots on in the opposition parties’ rooms while the lie spins around the political ether, to paraphrase someone of yesteryear.

We go about our business as did those in Pompeii, not yet feeling the heat as Mount Vesuvius began erupting. It’s all over but we don’t quite know it. Future historians will write about it, as those past and present do about the Roman Empire.

34 thoughts on “Civilisation becomes Civi-lie-sation

  • vicjurskis says:

    Well said Peter.
    I don’t know about Western Civilisation, but it’s pretty clear that Australian democracy is in a critical condition. However, it is receiving life support from the ‘extreme right’ of mainstream media who still broadcast some fairdinkum information whilst letting lefty green wokes also have a say. It’s often quite amusing.
    Morrison ‘counting votes’ and losing the ‘Real Climate Election’ after having won The Climate Election will go down in history as the cause of death if life support fails. The Conservative ‘leadership’ still hasn’t realised that democracy can’t work if people have no-one to vote for, who can make a difference.
    I think Barnaby Joyce had a chance to save the situation with emergency surgery, but who knows, or will tell, what went on with the Nats? Barnaby’s obviously a broken man.
    Littleproud and Dutton are not strong enough to admit the truth about the race to Zero Energy.
    There are still a few fairdinkum truth-tellers such as Canavan and Pitt in the conservative ranks and minor parties. But if we don’t have radical surgery soon, it will be too late, even if Taiwan holds off China with the help of President Trump.

    • Brian Boru says:

      I agree Vic, hope you are wrong though about “my mate” Barnaby who tells it like it is.
      .
      The Coalition has just swallowed the popular? rhetoric without any thought of searching for truth. Their main objective seems to be popular without caring about their responsibilities as an opposition.
      .
      Oppositions have a vital role to play in our democracy. When either Coalition or Labor oppositions don’t play their important roles to keep governments accountable and to propose superior alternative policies for people to debate and consider we get poorer government. (I borrowed this opinion from another QOL commenter and its true.)

  • pgang says:

    Agree, the West is over. It began with the rise in popularity of secular humanism and in particular Darwinism. However, all the vaunted philosophers of Modernism are accountable.
    But God can resurrect the dead, so if we return to the truth…

    • lbloveday says:

      As my end nears, my hope that there is no after-life (for me anyway) becomes more intense. I was talking about death etc to a staunchly Christian woman, daughter of a Missionary (RIP) and she envisages a heaven where aborted children go, but did not opine whether they grew into adults there.
      .
      She even spoke of a doggy heaven as a counter to my expressed hope that I would just cease to exist like dogs do.

      • Lewis P Buckingham says:

        An interesting veterinary problem.
        My advice is that if it is necessary for perfect happiness to have Patch there, then Patch will be there.
        Having rejected my father’s atheism, despite being hard wired into it, I asked him if he though there was an afterlife.
        Always an observer he replied
        ‘I rather think not, however I will be very interested to find out.’

        • lbloveday says:

          Kerry Packer was a clever man, but this still seems an almost stupid claim following a near-fatal heart attack during a polo game in 1990 that left him clinically dead for six minutes:
          .
          “Son, I’ve been to the other side – and let me tell you, there’s nothing there.”

          • Lewis P Buckingham says:

            Well, yes.
            If he still experienced anything then he was not dead yet.
            Being dead is a discrete variable.

            • lbloveday says:

              There are many others apart from the Christian woman whom I quoted who oppose abortion, say life starts at conception and believe in a life after death, but I’ve never had a satisfactory, to me, explanation of what they believe happens to a 1mth old who dies and presumably goes to heaven, let alone a sin-free still-born or further let alone an embryo.

  • rosross says:

    All of which is why the defence of Freedom of Speech is critical and the fight against censorship is the only gift we can give our children.

  • Ceres says:

    Can’t disagree with anything you said Peter. We’re being told the most obvious whoppers every day designed to drive normal, sane people mad, and the perpetrators just don’t care. Covid, yes campaign, Jan 6 insurrection, anthroprogenic climate change, Biden astute, kids gender surgery great, , Hamas lovely guys, the list grows each day.
    Seems as though the horse has bolted although one sees the likes of Javier Milei in Argentina who may offer hope, elected only after the country is in ruins.

  • Peter OBrien says:

    Much as I’m naturally a ‘glass half full’ kind of guy, it’s hard to disagree with Peter’s conclusion. And I agree that climate change is the daddy of them all. How can so many so-called leaders refuse to look at the evidence of lack of catastrophic warming (let alone any signifcant warming) and say ‘hold on a minute, lets make sure we’re not shooting ourselves in the foot. Last weekend’s SMH had a piece which talked about a meeting in which Hansen stated we’ve already passed the 1.5C mark (which may well be true) but is hardly disastrous. He counters that by saying that we haven’t seen anything yet because SO2 and NO2 are creating aerosols in the atmosphere that are masking the warming and they don’t really understand that effect. It just seems they have an inexhaustible supply of excuses when the empirical evidence doesn’t conform to the narrative. I wonder if they will get to the point where the only new factor they will have to draw on is divine intervention.

  • Peter Marriott says:

    Thanks Peter, good piece.
    I still find plenty of good people around all over the place, not only in Queensland but in England too, and I don’t think the world, and in particularly western civilisation, is anywhere near done for, it’s just a matter of reading between the lines and dismissing the sophistry and fake news, at least that’s what I’ve found.
    One thing I do hope for though is for Donald Trump to get his rightful 2nd term as US President back and get stuck in again like he did that first trem. When I see and read what that man has to put with and how he just keeps on keeping on….it’s a real inspiration & I only hope he gets to see it through.

  • ianl says:

    There is a video still currently available (with some digging) called Climate:The Movie (The Cold Truth), compiled by Martin Durkin. It presents very little new material but has made a good compilation of known facts and conclusions. Most of the material and those scientists willing to espouse it have been available for quite a while, well over a decade in some instances.

    It is, and will continue to be, ignored by the MSM. If perchance it gains a larger audience, then the reaction from the MSM will be deafening, nasty ad homs, “fact checkers” and the usual sundry misdirections. Anything to turn people away from the hard evidence the film presents.

    As an example of this silent treatment, the Sunday morning edition of Outsiders, a commentary box which in past times would have vigorously promoted this film, completely ignored it – not a sausage. It’s noted that a few weeks ago, Rowan Dean announced that a commentary staple of the show about climate was being discontinued. A clear conclusion is that Dean has been told.

    Bolt, whatever one may think of his egotistic tantrums, now constantly complains that “there is so much we are not allowed to say” (although he never tells us who is censoring him).

    The point here is simple. As Peter Smith says here, the West has cooked itself. Quite why it took him till now to admit that remains a mystery to me.

    Lying is now a main management technique, utilised by those with power. I contend that the obvious success of AGW lies, ad homs and censorship over several decades has shown how effective lying is if supported by the MSM. For those with power, this is highly encouraging. “Going green” is being deliberately transformed into “going without”.

  • Stephen Due says:

    It may be premature to announce the death of Western civilization – although the rise of Islam to dominance in Western Europe and the UK is rather alarming. However, I’m certain about the death of the Australian culture in which I started on life’s journey in the 1950s. It is gone.
    Retail businesses were closed on Sundays, and the many churches throughout the suburbs were well attended. Church weddings and funerals were the norm. Most children were raised in a stable home by their biological mother and father. We walked to school from the age of six or seven without any fear of being molested. People dressed modestly, in sensible clothes made in Australia. We ate food produced in Australia. We had real money. We bought groceries from the grocer and got our news from the newsagent and the radio. We received real letters in the letterbox, delivered by a postman who blew a whistle. We had real milk in glass bottles delivered by a milkman equipped with a horse and cart (you can talk to a horse). In the evenings we read books or played sensible games. When we did not know the meaning of a word, we looked it up in a dictionary. We were proud of our British heritage. Dickens, Shakespeare, and the King James Bible could be found on the bookshelves in many homes.
    Moral, social, and economic disasters are unfolding today that would not have been possible without the destruction of the Christian cultural heritage which was our birthright. The mess of progressive potage we have been given in return is a just reward for our short-sightedness.

    • Maryse Usher says:

      Can’t but agree wholeheartedly with your article, Peter. Yesterday I thought, our civilisation is dead. It has been destroyed and replaced by absolute evil, courtesy of venal, ignorant and cowardly representatives whom we have elected.
      And kudos to your sorrowful lamentation, Stephen. When the Sexual Revolution swept over us like a tsunami of filth and gobbled it up, we invoked our cultural, moral and spiritual suicide.
      Only Christ can save us, but how? As a nation we must repent of the evils we have embraced and glorified: contraception, fornication, prostitution, pornography, abortion, divorce, homosexual acts, surrogacy and the mutilation of young bodies.
      Climate Change is just a name of the non-existent pagan god we are exhorted to appease and worship by rejecting our God-given natural fuels.
      Repentance has begun in some European nations with a vestigial Catholic heritage, but I have little hope for the USA and Australia unless we have the humility to vote for the minor parties which boldly proclaim policies which uphold the Maker’s Instructions. Unapologetic Christian values.
      Lyle Shelton, Bernie Finn, I salute and support you.

  • GG says:

    Good men and women acknowledge the threat of defeat, but don’t yield to it. All that’s left to do now, is to undermine, punish and destroy the oppressors one by one. It’s silent, it’s effective, it won’t be noticeable initially, but when enough of the good men and women do it, it’s devastating to the oppressors.

  • Paul Govier says:

    Western values are definitely under threat. But then they were always under threat. They are precarious. And need to be fought for. Had Hitler had his way, the West would have been lost. Likewise if the USSR had won the Cold War. We are not in a World War. We are not in a Cold War. We are in a Culture War. That War, like the others needs to be won or the West will be lost. But to win it, you have to fight. Raising the white flag and claiming it’s all over seems cowardly to me. Particularly if the best arguments you have in favour of surrendering seem to be that politicians lie and the press is biased. Harden up.

  • Paul from Sydney says:

    It’s Godfather II. After that pedantic note let me add my view that love of truth is what distinguishes our civilisation from many others that do not enjoy what we have. Sadly, however, wilful ignorance of truth is not exclusively a preserve of the Left, however prevalent it may be in that quarter. The temptation of the Right is to follow the Left into a post-truth world where conspiracy theories mount endlessly and we can no longer have a conversation with our fellow citizens. I like the statement of Abigail Shrier, that mighty journalist of the trans craze, paraphrasing: ‘I support those who love truth. That’s it’. Hear hear.

    • lbloveday says:

      “…wilful ignorance of truth is not exclusively a preserve of the Left”
      .
      Exemplified in Brendan O’Neill’s recent article in Spiked “Candace Owens and the batshit right”.

      • Peter Smith says:

        If Brendan O’Neill’s article on Candace Owens is accurate then it is very disappointing. I often listened to Ms Owens on Fox News and she was pretty good and displayed not one bit of antisemitism. But, in any event, let’s not fall into the trap of using the expression “the batshit right.” As soon as someone exhibits antisemitism, they are no longer part of the broad conservative movement. There is no equivalence between those on the left and those on the conservative right. The latter search for truth and there is no truth to be found in hatred of Jews. That’s why Jew-hatred is imbedded in the left; where truth is inconvenient and dispensable. It’s also found as a product of seriously misguided thought which should never be typecast as being on the right unless you are very careful with your terms. The epitome of antisemitism was Nazism which was socialism wrapped around the perverted vision of one man. The conservative right stands for truth, justice and the Western way. Let’s not let old lefties like O’Neill, however much he’s reformed, muddy the water.

  • sonofscott says:

    Just this weekend one of my X follows in the US posted: “from personal experience of both… propaganda raining down on Americans today is at least 10X greater, in volume and coverage, than propaganda under any late Communist regime. And Americans are far more passive about it than were those citizens.” He is also involved in the Society for American Civil Renewal (SACR), one of whose founders (@NateAFischer) this month posted its mission statement. We need something like it.

    Is the West done? Certainly the ruling regime is anti-Western, but also very fragile and, whichever way the US election goes this year, seems almost certain to reach its breaking point. At the very least, we are at the start of a new chapter. I think it is liberal democracy and the ideals of the Enlightenment that are done.

    I have come to think of the developed world as a mercantile oligarchy that wears liberal democracy as a skin suit, which does a good job of explaining our national politics, for one, and a lot of the madness of the last 4 (8?) years. As for what comes next? Who knows? Greater forces than I will decide.

  • Libertarian says:

    Very true Peter.

    The BOM warned us recently in February, on a trip down the south coast, that the 27°C forecast was a ’heat wave’.

  • Greg Lloyd says:

    The climate emergency lie might well be the greatest non truth however the habitual offering up of respect to mythical aboriginal elders , past , present and emerging , certainly gives it a run for first place . And both sides of government push these lies equally .

  • lbloveday says:

    HELP please.
    .
    I have seen the drawing at the top of the article previously a number of times, but cannot remember its origin, meaning nor significance and “”Googling”‘ has failed to find the answer.
    .
    What is it?

  • lbloveday says:

    “The Covid episode was replete with lie after lie.”
    .
    They sneak their Covidiocy in whenever, why ever.
    .
    Jamie Walker in The Australian in an article about Clive Palmer’s 70th birthday.
    .
    “Mr Palmer said his massive investment in the last federal election was underpinned by his personal campaign against mandated Covid-19 vaccination – a position he still makes no apology for when IT COULD HAVE COST HIS LIFE after he fell dangerously ill with complications from the virus in 2022” (my emphasis).

  • Barbara Trehy says:

    I agree Peter. Apart from the lies that govern every aspect of our lives today, there is one lie that on its own is based purely on numbers, and is the biggest lie we are told, and that is that immigration is good for the West.
    The largely Christian West comprises just 7% of the world’s population. The other 97% is now on the move, with unchecked immigration, from Africa, Asia and the Middle East primarly, to the West, and will swamp the weakened West with different values and religions (mainly Muslim).
    We can’t possibly prevail against the accompanying militancy, anger and violence of billions of people from around the globe determined to punish the West for its perceived injustices and arrogance towards them throughout history. China and India alone have over a billion people each, America has somewhat over 300 million.
    When we were proud Christian nations and stood up for our values, we might have been able to hold our own. Bu the political lies and deceit that advanced the cause of Marxism and Post-Modernism have turned this once terrific country of Australia, and much of Europe and America, into weakened, nightmare “Woke” societies, unable or unwilling to fight back against and, as Cicero phrase it repeatedly, “rout and put the enemy the flight” – the patent nonsense that has been peddled to us and swallowed over the last 20 years specifically.
    I grieve for Western civilization.

    • David Isaac says:

      Unfortunately the nonsense was peddled for many decades before the last twenty years, although it, and its consequences, have become much more evident in the twenty-first century. Plainly put what is needed is promotion and protection of traditional Christian families and traditional Australia. An end to enforced tolerance would mean everybody else needs to fit in or leave. Same goes for every other country, especially those which are under the greatest cultural and demographic assault, namely those in Europe and N. America.

    • lbloveday says:

      “The largely Christian West comprises just 7% of the world’s population. The other 97% is now on the move”.
      .
      7 + 97 = 104, and it’s not obvious whether 7, 97 or both are wrong.
      .
      I got a surprise when the Daily Telegraph published my comment:
      ***
      I did not need a calculator to know that 174,000 is not even close to 33% of 737,000.
      ***

  • Barbara Trehy says:

    An elegant rebuke for sloppy maths, lbloveday, for which I thank you. We octogenarians are prone to these little mishaps. Of course it should be 7% and 93%.

  • SB says:

    “””
    Look at the federal opposition parties spruiking nuclear while knowing that‘s it’s political theatre, no more.
    “””

  • Bron says:

    Peter Smith
    Claiming to be a Pathbreaker believing Western civilisation is dead because of the death of truth based on Trump’s persecution.
    You’ve got to be joking, Trump wouldn’t know what truth is.
    The Covid episode and giving away of hard won freedoms- well haven’t they all been given back? Were you hit on the bum with a rubber bu.llet- get over it.
    The comparison of our going about
    our business not feeling the heat as Mount Vesuvius is erupting- probably a poor metaphor bearing in mind our geology.
    Sorry, Peter, I like your essays, but this is not one of your best.

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