This is an unusual Memorial Day. Today we remember, with a debt of gratitude we can never repay, those who have made the ultimate sacrifice to keep us free from external enemies. As we do so, internal enemies are working steadily to erode and ultimately destroy the very freedoms for which so many gave their lives, and to render their sacrifices meaningless.
Today is May 29. It is not only Memorial Day; it is also the 570th anniversary of an event that is largely forgotten today, but was one of the most momentous occasions in all of human history: the conquest of Constantinople and final destruction of the Roman Empire.
If students today take enough time away from transgender studies and Critical Race Theory to learn about such matters at all, they learn that the Islamic conquest of Constantinople on May 29, 1453 marked the end of the Byzantine Empire, which at the time was essentially a degraded city-state marked by infighting and corruption. They’re unlikely to learn that “Byzantine Empire” was a term that was never used until long after the demise of the entity in question, which throughout its long life was known as the Roman Empire, a political entity that lasted an astonishing 2,206 years, and which gave the Western world its spiritual, political, intellectual, philosophical, and artistic patrimony.
In many ways, as I show in my forthcoming book Empire of God: How the Byzantines Saved Civilization, we are still living in the Roman Empire; its cultural influence has never dissipated. The lessons we can learn from it are so many and various as to defy easy synopsis. But one of the most telling of those lessons for our situation today is that for most of its long lifetime, the Roman Empire was generally thought to be invincible on the battlefield, so far superior to other military forces that the Romans at times even prevailed against stronger forces on the power of their reputation alone. Not only Romans, but many non-Romans at times assumed this.
Roman politicians likewise thought that the empire could never be defeated, and behaved accordingly, unhesitatingly engaging in savage infighting without regard for how this fighting would weaken the empire before its external enemies. The empire was forever. It would never end. So they could take endless risks. One of the most notable of these regarded mass migration. The Western empire that was centered on Rome itself fell in 476 after a mass migration that many Romans encouraged, as the migrants were willing to serve in the military when their own countrymen often were not. Those migrants, however, often did not share the values of the Romans, and as they grew in number, became increasingly assertive and demanding. Ultimately, they gained complete control.
The Roman empire centered in Constantinople lived on for nearly a thousand years after this. It ultimately succumbed to the Islamic jihadis who had been trying to destroy it for nearly eight hundred of those thousand years, and who still harbor the same aspirations of conquest today.
On this Memorial Day, we are likewise still threatened by those Islamic jihadis, although most Americans have forgotten about their existence and think that they are a spent force. We are also threatened by a mass migration that weakens our national character and unity. And just as was so often the case in the Roman empire, the most immediate threat comes from within, from those who are so intent on securing their power, and so short-sighted, that they are destroying the very basis of that power. As we remember the fallen today, we must realize that the existential threat we face today cannot and will not be defeated by military force.
The soldiers now are ordinary citizens. The warriors who win the next victory for human dignity and freedom will be people who had the courage to stand against the officially mandated madness and say, “No more.” We have been brought to a point where it is no longer enough to be grateful to God that some people gave their lives to defend and protect our civilization. It is now incumbent upon us to arise and be willing to do the same, not with bullets and bombs, but with the force of reason and the unyielding refusal to surrender and submit.
We live in an age when absurdity and madness are not only in the ascendancy, but are insistently forced upon us by an increasingly authoritarian ruling traitor class. In this age, staying sane is a revolutionary act. On this Memorial Day, dare to be part of that revolution.