The world is changed.(From the introduction to the film adaptation of The Fellowship of the Ring.)
I feel it in the water.
I feel it in the earth.
I smell it in the air.
Much that once was is now lost,
For none now live who remember it.
One of the functions that historians play is to be the living ones who--as best we can--remember, and we remember so we can transmit the truth of the past to the present now alive. We transmit what is remembered so that those succeeding generations may learn from those past experiences, and thereby avoid repeating them.
One of the great lessons is that the same cosmic laws that constrain and govern the life of an individual--independent of Mankind's artifice--are wholly mirrored at every larger scale of life. Nations--distinct bodies of ethnicity and language--are nothing more than families writ large. Countries are nothing more than households writ large.
Foolish and wasteful individuals fall into ruin, and so do nations and countries. By these means do ages turn; those who cleave to the truth thrive, prosper, and live long lives of purpose and meaning while those who fall away become poor in all ways, eventually suffering oblivion and serving as examples to dissuade others from doing likewise.
So we are now seeing this play out. Generations of foolishness, fraud, and incompetency have had their compounding consequences upon the nations and countries of the West. (Most of them stemming from the first foolishness of Empire, but that's another post.) Now these consequences cannot be ignored, and with this crisis comes an opportunity--at the point of generational turnover--wherein the West can at last repent of what delusion it embraced after the second World War.
Otherwise, the Age will turn to the cost of the West--and all of you reading this, and I do mean ALL of you--and Civilization will once more collapse. For a historian, it's the loss of the Library of Alexandria writ large once more. Turn away, now, while you can.