This article has been syndicated with the permission of the Swedish publication Konservativ debatt. It has been translated into English from the original Swedish.
Rajputana, Land of the Rajputs, in the early 12th century, was a kingdom filled with majestic temples, gold-plated walls, and royalties. A kingdom without equal, eternal, proud, and rich. A kingdom that does not exist today, overthrown by Mahmud of Ghazni who invaded seventeen times and devastated the realm in northern India. Yet, the Rajputs’ response to these enormous defeats, time and again, was anything but rational. More temples, more gold, more sacrifices, more decadence. The decline of a society is usually a consequence of several factors, but in the case of the Rajputs, it was probably the decadence itself. This decadence that may seem distant to our society today, if one only associates it with the promiscuous sex orgies of the Roman Empire, enormous spectacles, a devotion to Epicureanism.
A natural societal cycle: barbarism, civilizational growth, and finally decadence, where barbaric societies lack structure, morals, or ethics. The meeting of different societies and cultures created collisions. Then enlightenment, where rational thinking and cultural exchange flourish, with cultural pride maintained. A civilizational cycle that ends with decadence. In our case this began in the early 20th century when an overestimation of one’s own superiority bred godless tyrants like Mussolini and Hitler, based on social constructions rather than faith in God and rationality which justified the world wars. However, the brutality of war changed the expression of our decadence: from an overconfidence in one’s own superiority, to the optimistic and unrealistic decadence of the hippie movement where everything could be solved through love and being a productive part of society carried no weight, to what we see today.
Decadence has today reached a phase like the one that overthrew the Rajputs. From excessive luxury to the encouragement of bizarre ideologies built on reality-detached culturally constructed visions. Where a person’s value and morals are based on pleasing others in their own socially isolated circle and not on the real world and its events. The socially isolated circle with its reality-detached interpretations expresses itself on our editorial pages, social media, and in universities today. Actions driven only by popularity normalize extravagant behavior and absurd justifications. We see it in today’s trans and pronoun debate, where reality is ignored to respect the skewed perceptions of reality of individuals and groups. The new anti-norm also leads to the fact that those who do not comply risk committing social suicide – one must ignore reality to be allowed to play along.
Sexual deviation is normalized and encouraged, and abstaining from participation in these extreme behaviors is socially fatal. Is your company LGBTQ+ certified? Does the manufacturer of your shoes support black transgender women? Doesn’t your master’s thesis on “The Destructive Interference of Sound Waves” take into account gender equality? Then, of course, there will be no funding for you, you transphobe!
Today’s decadence is anything but free of contradictions. Intertwined with the moral superiority of the hippie movement, we also have an enormous self-hatred. A self-hatred against the norms and elements that built the prosperity we take for granted today. A self-hatred against everything Swedish. Of course we have to burn the Swedish flag! When did we turn our backs on the norms that led to today’s prosperity, and the Christian values that united us to become well-functioning and productive members of our society? Decadence seems to be the phasing out of the elements and social rules that contribute to the development of societies and nations.
Well then what´s the solution?
First and foremost, we as a society and nation must rediscover how decadence manifests itself in our everyday lives. The hamster wheel keeps spinning and not a crumb of self-insight can be found. When we as individuals and society realize the degree of decadence, the first step is to decide whether this is the path we want to tread. The realization that the consequences of today’s small actions over time lead to major course changes.
If one is to be consistently conservative, one must understand the importance of Christian faith and how its moral compass and actions derived from that perspective has built the relatively well-functioning society we have today. The Western intellectual system was built on faith, and rationality. How this faith is expressed can vary, one does not necessarily have to attend every high Mass and renounce all material things. But what one must understand is that the Christian faith and its goodness are fundamental to us and our everyday actions. We must maintain our honor and virtue in the role we are born into. Very few conservatives oppose that a father’s task is to act in the best interest of his family, to provide both wealth and security. Why would this not also apply to other roles in society?
If one explicitly distances oneself from the connection between the Christian faith and our morals, I would go so far as to say that one then does not have the right to call oneself conservative. Slavery, for example, is something we all find abhorrent, and we can collectively say that exploiting people for one’s own gain is morally wrong. But today, many do not see this as based in Christian faith but as a fundamental morality we are all born with. What taught us that all people’s lives are of equal worth? People are fundamentally selfish and will act in their self-interest if they are not, among other things, subject to reprisals. Reprisals such as being denied entry to heaven, losing loved ones or, within the framework of today’s societal situation, prison.
If we had only examined morals from a logical perspective, the moral and ethical compass on which Sweden is built would have fallen apart. People should not need to be logically enlightened about why child abuse or exposing your own twisted sexual desires in a big parade is wrong; it´s something we intuitively feel.
I believe that with honor and virtue in our obligations to ourselves and our fellow humans, as well as a belief in goodness and the will to act well, we will escape the inevitable result of decadence. Shall we, like the Rajputs, step further into the dark shadow of decadence where a civilizational and societal collapse is inevitable, or shall we restore the foundation on which society rests, that our ancestors with great effort have cast?