I have long said that we shouldn’t look for analogies between our cultural problems and the fall of the Roman empire. We should look for parallels with the fall of the Roman Republic. Carl Trueman says that while the position of Christianity is changing, secular society itself is changing too. He sees the rise of what he calls an “empire of desire” (a concept also treated by R. R. Reno, whom he links to). He calls for new Ciceroes who have the integrity, the wisdom, and the eloquence to defend our Republic and to resist the Imperial temptations.
I would just add that while the rise of globalism and American internationalism have the flavor of Empire, the resurgent nationalist movements (Trump, Brexit, the European nationalist parties) would seem to resist Empire. Don’t they? Or does the over all authority of “desire” undermine less centralized republics also? [Read more…]