Bill Whittle: How to Stop the Civilizational Collapse
A warrior for conservatism explains how the tide can be turned at the Freedom Center's Restoration Weekend.
Below are the video and transcript of Bill Whittle's Keynote speech which took place at the Opening Breakfast on Nov. 6, 2015 at the David Horowitz Freedom Center’s 2015 Restoration Weekend. The event was held November 5-8th at the Belmond Charleston Place Hotel in Charleston, South Carolina.
Bill Whittle: Hi, everybody.
Well, as I've had to do occasionally in the past, my goal is to leave you out of here feeling a little better than you did coming in, which isn't going to be too tough. But before I do that, I'm going to have to scare the daylights out of everybody out here. So just enjoy your eggs, and have some confidence that we're going to wrap this up on a little better note than what we opened it on.
I don't think I have to tell anybody out there that it's not just a question of policies anymore, it's not just a question of political reversals, not just a question of we don't like this candidate, or we lost another election, or so on.
I think everybody in this room is fully aware of the fact that the wheels are coming off of Western civilization. The wheels are coming off. And I think everybody knows it. I don't think you have to be a genius to see it.
And what I'd like to do in the 20 minutes I have is I'd like to give you the view from geostationary orbit. I'd like to take you out of the maze -- we're in the maze -- I'd like to take you out of the maze and above the maze. It's a whole different animal looking down on a maze than it is being inside of it. And I think if you understand some of the things that I've been researching and looking into, some of this might make some sense.
But just before we get started on the plan, let's talk a little bit about the case. There is no question that the wheels are coming off of Western civilization. And the problem is that the wheels have come off of every civilization, and they've come off of every civilization in exactly the same way throughout history, starting with the Babylonians, the Assyrians, the Egyptians, the Greeks, the Romans. Same pattern every time, every time we see it. And I didn't understand it until very recently.
But just to make the case -- when you flood the country with illegal immigrants who bring a great deal of crime, a great deal of social disruption -- we have to carry them on the social roles that are already overstuffed due to the Cloward-Piven strategy that I know so many of you know about. And when we do all of this just in exchange for votes for one party, we're now talking about a criminal enterprise that would rather rule over the ruins than be part of governing a successful and happy republic. That's just true.
If you look at the European invasion, this latest invasion of Muslim immigrants that are coming up, so-called families of people trying to seek, you know, asylum, when 98 percent of them are military-age men who are screaming about jihad, and you put 750 Muslim refugees in a German village that holds just 105 people. One hundrend and five people in a village in Germany have been forced to accept 750 Syrian refugees, and people in Bavaria are talking civil war in Germany. That's happening this week. That's happening today.
When you talk about things like just the war on the police in America, this idea that the policemen do nothing but walk through the streets and execute black people in this country; and you look at the way the inversion of crime statistics has been [presented to] the American people, you can see that the world is really in trouble, that we are living in an upside-down world in terms of morality.
And by the way, this Black Lives Matter movement is just street thugs designed to interrupt and disrupt people who are having regular conversations. They're just the SA. That's all they are. They're just the street thugs that are designed to shut people up through violence and intimidation. That's here in the streets of America today.
We can talk about the destruction of the military in this country. Many people think it's a result of cut budgets or reduced budgets or so on. No. They're destroying the morale of the military. They're making it impossible for honorable warriors to stay in the military. And they are resigning in massive numbers because the Obama Administration is providing them with so many onerous, dishonorable, disgraceful activities that they're required to comply with that they're simply leaving and getting out. The warriors are getting out, and the people that are left are the generals that brag about having the greenest base in the entire Air Force, instead of the most operational base in the entire Air Force.
And I don't think, finally, we have to look very far to see that the Justice Department is no longer charged with enforcing the laws of the United States of America so much as it's an attack dog to be deployed by the Democratic leadership against political enemies. And laws will be enforced when it suits them to enforce them, such as against a filmmaker who made a ridiculous movie about Mohammad that we're going to blame the Benghazi catastrophe on; or another filmmaker, who makes a movie about Barack Obama's true background and winds up in a detention facility for eight months of his life, named Dinesh D'Souza; when people who do 50 times or 100 times worse than this are given a slap on the wrist, if anything at all.
People are going to jail --
-- for disagreeing with this administration. It's tyranny, and everybody knows it. And this isn't news to any of you. It's not news to any of you. When there are -- when the entire society is turned upside-down, when we say that every single girl in a high school is now going to have to go through this incredible level of discomfort because one maladjusted boy who is a transsexual in California is now legally required to take a shower in the girls' locker room; when we're ready to invert society for one half of one percent of the population, we are living in a time that is upside-down, folks.
And you can't take an entire dining room like this and turn it upside-down without all the pieces coming loose and crashing to the floor. And that's precisely, exactly what they want. That's exactly what they want. They don't want just the destruction of conservatism; they want the destruction of norms. They want the destruction of the rule of law. They want chaos and anarchy. Because when there's chaos and anarchy, guess who we have to turn to? Takes a village? It also takes a village chief. Guess who she has in mind?
Now, what we have to begin to do is understand what's actually happening here. The Democratic Party has become a criminal enterprise. It's simply a scam to steal the greatest wealth in the history of the world. This whole business about taking wealth from people that produce it and giving it to people that don't in the name of the poor or the sick, or women or disadvantaged, or homosexuals or whatever -- it's larceny, it's thievery, and it is what Dinesh D'Souza called the greatest heist in the history of the world.
The American people, the American population, has a total network of $70 trillion -- $70 trillion lives out there in the private sector. That's a rather large pot of money. And if you're the kind of person who can't make your own money, that would be a rather attractive target. And what we are seeing here is nothing more than the fig leaf of taking that $70 trillion from the people that have earned it and giving it to people, and then keeping most of it for ourselves.
We have $50 billion budget errors. They don't know where the money went. It's gone, it's a rounding error. We lost 50 thousand million dollars, and we don't know where it went. Rounding error. Oh well. There's more where that came from, right? More where that came from.
So what I actually want to concentrate on today is what's actually happening. Because we know why Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are in this game and why the Democrats and the progressives are in this game. It's a game where they're going to achieve money and power through political law and coercion for the money and power that they never could achieve in the private sector because they're too stupid and too lazy to make their own money.
We know why Hillary Clinton's in it. We know why Barack Obama's in it. We know why all the rest of them are in it. That's not a mystery for us, certainly with the work that David's been doing here. We should have a pretty clear idea now why Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama do what they do -- they want money, and they want power, and they can't make it on their own.
Barack Obama couldn't manage Walmart. Barack Obama couldn't run one Walmart. He's not capable, he's not smart enough, he's too lazy. He wants to go golfing in the biggest private jet in the world.
And so we know why they're in it. That's not what interests me. Because the Constitution is designed to protect us against this kind of tyranny. What interests me and what scares me is why the American people are putting up with it. That's the issue.
Barack Obama's not the cause; he's the symptom. And the same thing is true for Hillary Clinton because both of them were elected, whether we like it or not. And one of the things I see on the streets of Los Angeles more commonly than I can possibly tell you are people driving $250,000 Mercedes-Benzes with Bernie stickers on the back. These are people who drive $250,000 cars and are supporting a man who wants to take 93 percent of everything they make just in federal taxes. Forget about state taxes and all the sales taxes, and all the rest.
Why is this happening? Why? Why? Nobody knows why. I know why.
I have very little time up here. I'm going to have to spend five minutes on something. Because if you can understand this, you'll understand some of the things that I'm able to see.
Let me ask you a quick question. This is an interesting question, and it goes to the heart of what's actually happening in the world. Anybody know what the fastest land animal is? Cheetah? Anybody know what the deepest-diving mammal is? Sperm whale, deepest diving mammal. The highest-flying bird? It's actually -- it's called a Ruppell's vulture, but geese fly at 12,000 feet. But you'd be wrong about all of those. Because the fastest land mammal is the human being. The deepest-diving mammal is the human being. The highest-flying animal on earth is the human being. By far. By far.
We eat everything. We eat insects, tree barks, moss; we eat fungus, we eat cows, we eat mammals, we eat fish, we eat insects. We eat everything. And the reason that we're so successful is because human beings are programmable animals. They're the only programmable animal in the history of the world.
That's why I can take a kid who was born into the heart of ISIS and raise them in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, and they will turn into be perfect, wonderful, genuine American citizens. And I can take the nicest, whitest kid from the most rich or most beautiful little hometown in America and raise them in Syria, and they'll grow up to be suicide bombers. We are programmable animals. And we have to understand that it's the programming that makes us different. It's not the race, it's not the culture, it's not the class; it's the programming, it's the culture.
So what does that mean? Here comes the science -- brace yourselves, I'll get through this as fast as I can. When you look at any animal in the history of the world, any animal on earth today from a microorganism to a blue whale, what you find is that animals have developed strategies to maximize their numbers. That makes sense, right? Evolution says the genes that are successful are the ones that are pushed down to the next generation.
And as it turns out, there are two different strategies for pushing genes down to the next generation. And what we're seeing in our society is this programmable animal, the human being. The reason the society is collapsing is because we're changing from one strategy and we're going to another.
So let me tell you what these two strategies are. If we're going to figure out how many different organisms can exist in a certain area, in a certain ecosystem, there are a couple variables that we look at. And one of the variables is called R. R is the reproductive rate. The faster that animals can reproduce, generally speaking, the more they can fill up a given ecosystem. R is the reproductive rate.
What kind of animals traditionally are R-selected animals? Rabbits are a great example of an R-selected species. Because rabbits live on a plain of infinite grass. There's more food than any rabbit could ever eat. Gazelles on the savannah, the same thing. You're never going to run out of grass if you're a gazelle on the savannah. That's not the problem.
So a group of rabbits, a huge herd of rabbits, are in a big, big endless field of clover. A rabbit is a very R-selected organism. What do these things have in common? What do rabbits have in common with each other? Rabbits don't compete against each other. They're noncompetitive. Rabbits don't have a threat assessment. They're aware of predators, but if more rabbits come into where the rabbits are, the rabbits don't care. They just move over a hop. Because there's an endless supply of resources for them to eat forever.
Rabbits are promiscuous. They have sex with as many other rabbits as they possibly can. The male just has one encounter with a female, then goes onto the next female just as fast as he can. Rabbits do not invest in their children, because there's no point in making a fit rabbit. There's no actual benefit to making a healthy, fit, competitive rabbit. Because there is an endless supply of food, and the amount of time you would spend raising a super-rabbit is wasted. What you really should be doing is making more rabbits.
That's how rabbits succeed. They're selected by R. And they have R-type behaviors for an advanced reproductive rate. They don't have any sense of social structure, either, by the way. There are no rabbit hierarchies, there are no rabbit leaders, there are no rabbit warriors, there are no rabbit teams.
That's what rabbits do. They select and survive and win by pushing out their genes, by reproducing as quickly as possible.
Now, what about the alternative? What is the opposite? Well, if reproductive rate is one way to measure how many organisms can live in an ecosystem, another way to measure the total number is by the carrying capacity of the land. In other words, how much life can this area support? That variable is called K.
And if you want to think of a K-selected species, a species that's selected based on the limitations of the environment, a great example would be wolves. Wolves are very K-selected. Rabbits are R, wolves are K. They have almost exactly different behaviors. What are some of the qualities of wolves? Wolves are extremely competitive. From the beginning, wolves will be in fights. The males will be fighting constantly to see which is the alpha male, what dog is on top. Wolves will be constantly having these battles because of fitness. They need to be fit in order to survive. That's a quality of wolves.
Wolves have a very strong group identity. If there's 30 rabbits in a field and 30 more rabbits come in, the rabbits don't care, they just move over. But if there's a pack of 30 wolves in a northern environment which can only support 30 wolves, if another 30 wolves come into that environment, pretty soon there's only going to be one pack left. They are aware of external threats, and they understand that these threats are a threat to their survival, and they're ready to fight about it.
What else do we know about wolves? Wolves pair-bond for life. They pick a mate at their peak fitness, and they stay with that mate for life. And that's important. Because by pair-bonding for life, they have to raise fit kids. Wolf puppies have to be trained how to hunt. It's not as easy as just eating grass. Hunting is harder than eating. It's harder than gathering. I don't know how many vegetarians we have out here, but usually, you know -- the term means poor hunter in ancient Sanskrit.
So they have that quality. And wolves, because they have a large investment in their young, it takes them awhile to train their puppies how to hunt and so on -- they spend a great deal of time with their children. And they want their children to be as fit as possible, because an unfit wolf will die in a world of limited resources, where an unfit rabbit doesn't care. It doesn't matter, there's all the food it could want.
So finally, wolves have strong social codes. Wolves form into warrior bands. They form packs. And when wolves start fighting, if one wolf throws his throat to the other wolf and gives up, the aggression on that top wolf turns off, because wolves respect the law. They have a law, and they respect it. They're wired to respect it.
Now hopefully by now, some of you may begin to realize some of these qualities between one group of people and another group of people in this society. Right?
R selection is liberalism, what we call liberalism, traditional liberalism, classical liberalism. That's what we are. But progressivism, that's a better word. It is an R-selected philosophy. It's a philosophy of there is no external threat. It's a philosophy of communism and socialism, because socialism is noncompetitive. They don't care if they all do worse, so long as they don't have to compete against each other. Because none of them are fit. They don't believe in fitness. It's the philosophy of early promiscuity, it's the philosophy of abandoning your children, and it's the philosophy of lawlessness, where your only job is to maximize resources for yourself, because resources are endless.
K are conservative. We're competitive, and we like to compete. We'd rather lose to a better adversary than to win by cheating. Everybody in this room feels that same way. We're improved by competition, we're made better by it. We like it, because we're good at it. That's capitalism.
Wolves like us invest in our young. We tend to be more monogamous, we tend to have honor codes and rules and laws that these rabbits are using against us, because they understand that we're bound by laws and rules and honor codes.
So what's happening? What's happening to this country? And what happened to the Greeks, and what happened to the Romans, and what happened to the Egyptians, what happened to the Babylonians, what happened to the French, what happened to the British, what happened to all of them?
It's very simple. It's really very simple. K-selected behaviors -- cooperation, discipline, warrior codes, law -- produce over the course of 300 or 400 years a civilization that eventually reaches the height of its powers. And when it is the dominant civilization in the world, as the Greeks, the Romans, the Egyptians -- when they are absolutely dominant, you would think that that would be the point that that culture would go into space, that there would be nothing left to confront the Romans. Once the Romans had completely dominated the world, you'd think we would've had Romans on the moon a thousand years ago. Because what's going to stop the Romans?
But that's not what happens. It doesn't happen. It didn't just not happen once; it didn't happen ever. Once civilizations get to the peak of their power, they collapse. They collapse, collapse, collapse, collapse. Why?
Because when a civilization reaches that level of prosperity and security and dominance, the people inside that civilization begin to assume that affluence is unlimited and permanent. They stop thinking about the world as a place where we have to go out and make food or hunt food or work together for food, and they start thinking about the world as an unlimited field of clover, where we can take, take, take, take, take, and it doesn't matter how much we take.
And that perception of affluence switches a society from K to R, and the collapse happens in a decade. It happens overnight. Slow, slow, slow gain over centuries; collapse into the Dark Ages. Slow, slow, slow, collapse. Slow rise, collapse. Boom. And everybody who's looking out there into the world today sees this. Everybody. Now, that's the bad news. I think it's a biological inevitability.
So how do we fight that? Well, we can't fight that, really. But there are two things that are different about this cycle. And I've noticed this before I even understood the theory. First of all, we at least have some idea what's happening now. And if we have an idea of what's happening, we can at least figure out how to tailor the message to get this idea of endless fields of clover out of the minds of our citizens and back to this idea of cooperation. Because humans are a K-selected species. We are naturally wolves. Naturally, we are a K-selected species.
I'm going to take a very brief digression to show you how K-selected the American people are. An R-selected species would be a group of gazelles, let's say, on the plains of Africa. And how do gazelles behave out in Africa? Well, they just go out into the field in the morning, and they wander around and they eat grass. They know that there's a lion in the bush somewhere. But if there's a herd of a hundred gazelles, what the gazelles' basic calculation is, is -- hey, look, the lion may jump out of the woods, or maybe it won't. And if it does, there's a hundred of us. And I'm one in a hundred. And what the gazelles are really thinking is -- I don't have to run faster than the lion; I just have to run faster than Rodney. And Rodney's got a bum leg.
And so it's not my problem today. It'll be your problem eventually. But it's not your problem today.
How many progressives do you know -- in fact, isn't the entire progressive movement a denial of the threats that are right in front of our eyes because we don't want to worry about it today? We don't want the unpleasantness of worrying about it today; we'll worry about it later? Conservatives would rather worry now, so that we don't have to worry later.
And to give you an idea of how K-selected we are as a species, imagine that every single person in this room had your intellect and your language ability translated into gazelles on the plain of Africa. What would be different tomorrow morning if that happened? If you were to put K values into an R species like gazelles?
Well, if I woke up tomorrow morning with this group of people, and I found out that we all woke up as gazelles, I wouldn't be thinking -- we're just going to go out there, and my daughters and my wife can just be picked off by these lions. I would say -- you look like a strong guy, you look like a strong guy -- all of you young males out here, come here. We're going to form a convoy on the outside of this. We're not traveling alone anymore. By the way, gazelles are going to move in a convoy now. We're going to have the strong males on the outside, the younger males on the inside. Inside that will be the females, and the young will be in the center. We're going to move around in a group, we're going to post lookouts and watches.
And when that lion comes bolting out of the grass, the 17 of us who are the young, strong males are going to go right at him. The women and the children are going to run. We're going to go after that lion. We got these big, sharp horns. We're going to gore that son of a bitch to death. Then we're going to find out where his cubs are, and we're going to trample them to death, too. And when there aren't any more lions within a hundred miles of us, then we can relax on the plains, and we can have ourselves a nice little breakfast.
That's the difference between the way K people think and R people think. But we're turning into an R-selected society. It's just plain larceny because people put up with it. Because the American people, on some emotional level, perceive that the amount of money available is unlimited. It's nobody's money. It doesn't belong to anybody, and it doesn't come from anybody. It's an unlimited plain of clover that we can just continue to graze on forever. And that's it.
So the only way, frankly, that we can avoid this collapse, in my opinion, is to understand the second big advantage that we have for the first time in this cycle of history. And that is, for the first time in human history, common people can talk directly to each other during these times of collapse. This has never happened before. Every time in human history, the decisions that have been made by the elites have been made exclusively by the elites.
And every time the city of civilization falls, it doesn't fall because the common soldier walks off the duty up on the walls of the city. Civilizations fall because some silk-robed son of a bitch in the palace gets up at midnight because he's bored and he's suicidal and he's got the death wish, and he opens the doors to the barbarians. The barbarians come into the city, and the city falls from within. That's always how it happens.
The Russians say a fish rots from the head down, and so does a society. It rots from the head down, from the leadership down, from the elites down.
So for the first time in human history, the soldiers on the wall of the city can talk to each other. And we don't have to listen to the message of despair and gloom and lawlessness, and the inversion of every single value known to mankind throughout history. We don't have to listen to them. We have things like the Freedom Center. We have things like the Internet.
How many videos do you watch? How much encouragement do you personally get? And, more important than that, how many things are you aware of that you are aware of only because of the Internet? How many things? If your entire worldview was designed to be derived from watching NBC News, how different -- or CNN, or CNBC, or MSNBC -- how different would your worldview be if that was the only access to news you had any access to? The Internet may save us. I can't say it will save us, but I can say it may save us.
And all we really have to do is we have to remind people that they're not rabbits, and that they're not antelopes; they're wolves. They are people whose cooperation leads to success, whose cooperation, discipline, frugality and justice lead to success. And this success is not unlimited and it's not automatic. It's a result of hard work.
So for those of you that are really thinking it's all over out there -- and I wake up every day, that's the first thought I have. I go to the Drudge Report or whatever, and I look at the new lows that these people have dug for us. And I simply say to myself -- I am filled with despair, I have no idea how we're going to get out of this. But then we get up and we go to work, right?
And for those of you who look at the Roman Empire as an example of inevitable decline, I would remind you that the worst of the Roman emperors -- the cowardice and the weakness of Claudius, and the insanity of Caligula and the simple watching the world burn in front of your eyes of Nero (which we see today in Barack Obama) -- were not just preceded by but they were actually followed by entire golden ages of emperors like Nerva and Trajan and Hadrian that came after. They came after these tyrants. They came after these lunatics. They came after them.
We went from a period in the Roman Empire of insanity and theft and complete disregard of all of their values, into areas where the Roman Empire, for 200 years, was more successful than it had ever been in history. It can happen. It can happen.
But we have to stop talking about policies, and we have to start talking about virtue. We have to start doing the right thing for the right reasons. Because today, we live in a world where if you don't get caught, then you didn't do anything wrong.
Free people can't govern themselves that way. If we don't start turning this message into a message of virtue, of doing the right thing for the right reasons, we're going to be done.
And the good news in all this is Charlie Kirk -- where are you? Charlie, out there -- I know he's doing such a great job.
Charlie will tell you -- he's doing such terrific work with young people. He'll tell you that young people are extremely virtuous. Young people want to do the right thing. They've been told by these R-selected weenies and losers and control freaks that doing the right thing is living like rabbits in a socialist world. But they want to do the right thing.
All we have to do is talk to young people about the value of virtue, about not being a jerk, about not stealing from somebody else. Because they're in favor of wealth redistribution, as long as it's somebody else's wealth being redistributed to them. But when you talk about their wealth being redistributed to other people, suddenly they're rock-ribbed conservatives.
When we can make that case, that this whole thing is a giant piece of larceny and corruption for personal political gain on the part of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton and all the rest, they will do the right thing. And that golden age of improvement and restoration can be ahead of us as our choice. But one of the only mechanisms that we can use to do it is supporting people who can send the message around these corrupt death-wish suicidal elitists.
And that's why I'm always so happy to come here and so grateful to see all of you here this morning. And I hope you have a wonderful time, and I hope you learn something. Let's get out there and do some work. Thanks.