Perspective

In Praise of the Clan

A new Dark Age is already upon us, and perhaps we might learn a few lessons from the last one.  It was a time when the arts of civilization were dimly recalled in fairy tales, when Krum the Bulgar khan gilded a Roman emperor’s skull and used it as a drinking goblet, when the careful and equitable laws of the Romans were displaced by Germanic tribal codes that hearkened back to times before “’Omer smote ’is bloomin’ lyre.”  As in Gaul (or Britain) during the fifth and even sixth centuries, a few Romanized Celts cultivated good Latin and marital fidelity, while the sturdy Franks took as many women as they could support and preferred the rough tales of their ancestors to the supple lines of Vergil and Statius.  Tacitus praised the Germans for what we now might call “family values,” but the strength of their social organization lay not in the nuclear family but in the sense of blood and kin that connected them into clans, tribes, and nations.

Our American barbarians are not, of course, anything like those sturdy tribal Germans who would, in a few centuries, discipline their own vigorous customs into something like a civilization.  Our post-civilized men and women lack even the healthy instincts of the wild beast: They are more like the feral dogs who know only enough of human beings not to fear them.  

The reality is there for anyone to see, if he does...

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