When a species no longer has any natural enemies, its evolution tends to take strange forms. Take for example the Tyrannosaurus Rex, which lived 66-68 million years ago. It was one of the largest terrestrial predators on Earth; probably a terrifying sight in its day, with oversized jaws and abnormally underdeveloped front legs.
An extremely specialised species, completely dependent on the megafauna available at the time. Without the large, slow-moving dinosaurs that were its main prey, these eating machines would not have been able to survive for many days, let alone scratch their backs.
The lack of natural enemies and a very specific environment meant that Tyrannosaurus became overly refined, meaning it could hardly adapt to other environments, whether or not a giant comet had hit the Earth. Species that have fared better are octopuses, snakes, small lizards or ants, which have existed for over 130 million years and are still around.
The phases of human civilisation show similar tendencies. When an empire reaches its peak, and for long periods has no external enemies, its development begins to degenerate, and we soon see abnormal phenomena, with over- or under-developed tendencies.
One of the first signs is that people begin to fight over trivialities, like the filioque in Rome and the iconoclasm in Constantinople. There are no longer new continents to discover or new lands to conquer. Instead, they turn inwards and begin to develop the noble art of navel gazing. Rules of behaviour and convention become more important, and instead of focusing on action and goals, processes and formalities become more important. Does this sound familiar?
Even monetary and fiscal policy suffers, and it becomes necessary to maintain the façade of a good economy, instead of achieving real wealth, because people no longer know how or care. Inflation is usually a sure sign.
Then when a real enemy appears, you don’t take it seriously, you belittle it and pretend it’s nothing. Or continue to argue about pronouns, the number of genders and whether trans people should have story time for preschoolers, etc. etc.
We know that the enemy is made up of backward barbarians, with underdeveloped trade and manufacturing. They lose their fighting forces in the muddy fields, they get lost, and are drunk most of the time. Their leader is mad, and could be deposed any second now. Economic sanctions have put them in a total crisis.
When in fact the barbarians use more grenades in a week than we can make in a year, and they are defeating a gigantic army trained by the Emperor’s own guard. And the enemy is succeeding with far fewer troops, a mix of mercenaries and local militias.
And there are many who stand up and point out that we should really stop counting genders and arguing about carbon dioxide now! There must be an end to the nonsense, we must go back to what made the West strong and powerful!
But we can’t go back, because it was the idea of justice and human dignity that once contributed to our success, but evolution has twisted and distorted our inherent struggle for justice.
In our exaggerated quest for justice, we now give away a significant portion of the public assets to strangers, who often live off our savings for life, with nothing to show for it. And now trans athletes are also on the justice list. Women (who were once men) compete against real women, and win every time. They are vulnerable, and have rights too. And people are getting involved in this, very seriously.
Characteristics that once made us unique have unfortunately degenerated. The fight for justice, which once gave us both the moral high ground and an egalitarian society, has unfortunately mutated beyond recognition. And it doesn’t matter how many warning bells are ringing. If a sufficiently large proportion of the population engages in quasi-debates, and spends time and energy doing so, then we realise that the empire has reached its full maturity, and is slowly beginning to rot.
Stopping such a development requires extraordinary efforts. And for those who still have some sense, it is a sad sight to see your society being dismantled in slow motion, and there is nothing you can do about it, as if it were predetermined and directed by the gods’ own plan.