When the Human Harvest is Bad

 “It was a period of sterility, or barrenness in human beings; the human harvest was bad.” 

Sir J. R. Seeley, “Roman Imperialism” (1870)*

Seeley is speaking of the centuries after Marcus Aurelius (died A.D. 180) when the Roman breed went barren and the Empire that bore its name filled with foreigners who were Roman in name only.  At the bottom of the Empire’s collapse was the simple biological fact that, among genuine Romans bred on the flanks of the Apennines, “the human harvest was bad.”  They had too few children and the children they had did not issue from first-class sires and dams.  This combination of depopulation and degeneration

“made it impossible to keep a native army on foot, and caused a perpetual and irrepressible stream of barbaric immigration.”**

There was more than one cause of this depopulation and degeneration, but the greatest cause was removal of virile males from the breeding population so they could fight and die in distant lands.  As the great classical historian (and eugenicist) Otto Seeck explained,

“Only cowards remained, and from their brood came forward the new generation. Cowardice showed itself in lack of originality and in slavish following of masters and traditions.”***

Imperialism is profoundly dysgenic because when you “send forth the best ye breed,” you can no longer breed the best.  The American sage Benjamin Franklin saw the dysgenic effect of mass conscription and believed it must invariably undermine a militaristic people with depopulation, degeneration and collapse.  While he was ambassador to France, Franklin observed:

“A standing army not only diminishes the population of a country, but even the size and breed of the human species.  For an army is the flower of the nation.  All the most vigorous, stout, and well-made men in a kingdom are to be found in the army, and these men in general cannot marry.”†

* * * * *

The human harvest will be likewise bad if the flower of a nations womanhood is sequestered in the barracks of its universities and conscripted in its legions of business and bureaucracy.  Thus feminism is at least as dysgenic as militarism and no less certain to undermine a feminist people with depopulation, degeneration and collapse.  This was evident in Kristor’s recent thought experiment and must be obvious to anyone who has not been lobotomized by feminism.

When I say the human harvest will be bad I mean paltry as to numbers and poor as to quality.  There must be a gradual decline in health, intelligence, and most especially the all-important quality of virility.  This is to say in the restless, questing and indomitable spirit that sets a superior people apart.  Feminism sterilizes many of the best females, if not entirely at least sufficiently to slowly remove their virtues from the breed.

Feminism must therefore reduce any outstanding nation to the common level, just as imperialism reduced the outstanding Romans to the level of their barbarian neighbors.  The name of the nation may survive—even the boundaries of its erstwhile domain—but the nation itself must disappears.  Here is Seeley again on the Roman empire after Marcus Aureleus.

“The Empire had before been a specific substance with a distinct form, but the substance or stuff is no longer distinguishable from that of barbarism.  The word Roman has ceased to be a national designation, and has become a legal or technical term.  There are Roman citizens still in the eyes of the law, but they are as likely to have the features and habits of barbarians as those who are not Roman citizens . . . . Even in the earlier period the word Roman had been stretched considerably beyond its original meaning.  There were already multitudes of Roman citizens who had never set foot in Rome.  But it was still a name denoting certain nations and excluding others  . . .”


*) R. Seeley, “Roman Imperialism,” pp. 1-88 in Lectures and Essays (London: Macmillan, 1870), p 54.
**) Seeley., pp. 50.
***) Otto Seeck, Geschichte des Untergang der antiken Welt (1895-1920), quoted in David Star Jordan, The Human Harvest: A Study of the Decay of Races through the Survival of the Unfit (Boston: Beacon Press, 1907), p. 29.
†) James Parton, Life and Times of Benjamin Franklin, two vols. (New York: Mason Brothers, 1864), vol. 2, p. 513.
††) Seeley, pp. 60-61.

38 thoughts on “When the Human Harvest is Bad

  1. Feminism and cousin ideology Egalitarianism are the most pernicious ideologies in Western History. Plaguing the Church. A cancer that God alone can remove with surgical precision.

    Even now the Hegemony of those ideologies of the same pedigree dominate even the cultural waters we swim in and surround us in such a way as to make it hard to see how we absorbed such assumptions by osmosis unconsciously

      • All of the possible adversaries the us has to face are facing even worse demographic and economic collapses. The us by contrast can make up for demographics through immigration and is actually going to only strengthen itself economically going forward. Militarily we are still far stronger than any potential adversary and that will not change any time soon.

        The Roman’s (specifically the Western Empire) the other hand faced a demographic, economic and military collapse at the same time.

      • We will certainly hide the collapse just like Rome did, by importing foreigners and making them legal “Americans.” But the human harvest of the American nation is too poor to sustain the nation. The word America will appear on maps long after the American nation has disappeared.

      • The US also has a history of immigration and absorbing immigrants. The Scotch Irish were once considered hostile invaders as were the Germans and Italians. I suspect the newer immigrants will be absorbed as well in time. This is another difference between our situation and the Roman situation.

      • Actually, no. The Romans started out assimilating closely related nations like the Etruscans much as the Anglo-Americans started out assimilating closely related nations like the Germans and Irish. But as the cultural gap grew wider the assimilation stopped and new “Romans” were “Roman” in only a legal sense. It’s the same with many of the new “Americans.”

      • I would argue America does a better job than the romans did at assimilation but we can agree to disagree as to that point.

        What about the other points I made regarding our potential adversaries, our economy and military?

      • There may in future be a booming economy and ferocious military called “American,” there just won’t be many Americans involved. St. Paul was a Roman citizen, but he was not at all “Roman.”

      • Please tell me if St. Paul was a Roman. He was in a legal sense but not in any other sense. Those other senses are not nothing.

      • Did Justinian “think like a Roman”?

        He was born in Northern Macedonia and he is thought to have been of Illyrian or Thracian descent – No one, at the time thought it worth recording.

        I would pose the same question of Tribonian, the editor of Justinian’s monumental Corpus Iuris Civilis, the foundation of modern jurisprudence. Small wonder he has a bas-relief plaque in the chamber of the US House of Representatives. Tribonian was a Greek, born in Pamphilia in Asia Minor.

        Again, how many of the Classical Roman jurists “thought like a Roman”? Gaius, the author of the Institutes was from Beirut in present day Lebanon, Ulpian, one of the most frequently cited in the Digest came from Tyre, Papinian, one of the most revered, was an Arab from Emesa (present-day Home) in western Syria.

      • Is speaking Latin, rather than Greek as one’s mother tongue the criterion? Was the Eastern Empire less Roman than the Western?

      • That certainly seems to have made a difference. I think of this with the fuzzy concept of cultural distance. Assimilation is more complete the less cultural distance one has to cross. Language is important but facility in a language does not entail assimilation.

      • A common language is not essential for national identity; one thinks of Belgium or Switzerland or, indeed, India.

        On the other hand a common language and the elements of a shared culture that inevitably emerges from it is consistent with quite different civic or political identities, as witness Greece before the Macedonian Conquest, or Germany and Italy before 1870.

        From very early times, Romans shared a Latin identity with the other cities composing the Latin League. This was a cultic union of 30 cities, centred on the Latin Games at Mount Alba in honour of Juppiter Latiaris – Jupiter of the Latins. In Greece, the Olympic Games and the shrine of Phoebus Apollo at Delphi provided a similar focus. As a result, Latins, although not Roman citizens until after the Social War, were never regarded as foreigners.

        I would suggest St Paul was a “Roman” in the only sense in which that term was understood in the early years of the Principate; that is, in a civic sense. In this context , “legal sense” certainly does not mean “legal fiction.”

      • With the possible exception of Switzerland those are not great examples of national identity. A polyglot state can be held together by dynastic loyalty, religion, or perhaps other factors. But they are nations in only the courteous sense of the word. A “legal fiction” is not a fictional law but a law that pretends to do something outside the power of the law. Current laws that pretend to change a person’s sex by legislation are an example. Naturalization laws are another. A naturalized American certainly has the legal rights of an American–that is within the power of the law–but they do not make naturalized Americans into Americans.

      • (1) The Antonine Plagues
        (2) The recruitment of barbarian auxiliaries, the command remaining in the families of their hereditary chiefs. Clovis, the first King of the Franks, was a third-generation general of the Frankish auxiliaries. The weakening of central authority ,meant such local army commanders became the effective rulers of the provinces in which they were stationed.
        (3) The breakdown of trade and commerce, meaning taxes could only be collected in kind and be used to support the troops and civil authorities (in this period indistinguishable) stationed on the ground.

    • Was it really terminal?

      Municipal government and the written law continued in Northern Italy and in France south of the Loire, the latter being known, significantly, as le pays de droit écrit [The country of the written law]

      If to conquer is to give laws, as the Romans believed, that is, to impose ones manners and customs on the subject peoples, then their genius for equity and order has left an indelible impression upon their former subjects, and those countries and areas which never experienced Roman conquest and administration have never since succeeded in becoming wholly European.

      France, for example, in art and architecture, in law and administration, in language, literature and philosophy is Roman to the backbone. Politically, Acton is surely right, when he maintains, “The [Augustan] monarchy was hailed as a refuge from the pride and cupidity of the Roman people; and the love of equality, the hatred of nobility, and the tolerance of despotism implanted by Rome became, at least in Gaul, the chief feature of the national character.” No wonder the Abbé Sieyès saw the Revolution as the revolt of the Romano-Gallic population against their Frankish overlords.

      Coming out of this wholly Roman tradition, Montesquieu’s De l’esprit des loix () became one of the textbooks of the American Revolution.

      • All good points. However, our Orthosphere friends are chiefly concerned with racial survival. That’s why JMSmith ignored all my points except the one that involved immigration.

      • Surely, that means taking a snapshot, as it were, at a certain point in time (like a still from a motion picture)

        Take the case of France. At the time of Caesars conquest, the population was almost wholly Celtic. I say “almost,” because Marseilles was a Greek city and one of the oldest archeological remains found in it is a Jewish mikveh of the 2nd century BC.

        Over some 400 years, the population became Gallo-Roman, including a considerable influx from throughout the Empire and beyond, slave and free.

        Thereafter, small Germanic group, Franks, Burgundians, Lombards became politically and socially predominant.

        By the 10th century, we have the Norse invasions, particularly, but not exclusively, in Normandy.

        Since then, there has been a continuous ebb and flow of people from Iberia, Italy, Germany, Central and Eastern Europe that intensified during the 19th and 20th centuries.

        So, what does it mean to be “French”? Ernest Renan (a Breton, by-the-by, a prolific writer, who never published a word in his mother-tongue) , declares the national community to reside in the voluntary and revocable loyalty of its individual citizens. In this sense the nation is based on a plébiscite de tous les jours – on a daily vote of confidence.

        Thisnotion has become the basis of French legal practice. The French citizen is defined as a person who is born on French soil, shares the cultural heritage of the country and gives evidence of loyalty to the French commonwealth. Populations of alien stock or culture who are born or living on French soil are either potential Frenchmen or else they are aliens by resolution, but they are neither aliens nor Frenchmen by birth alone.

      • …our Orthosphere friends are chiefly concerned with racial survival.

        Well, yeah, that’s a biggie for us alright. And?

        We’re certainly not gullible enough to believe the old liberal canard stating that “diversity is [America’s] greatest strength,” nor are we particularly impressed with the inscription on Statue of LIberty. We say to the world,

        Keep your tired, your poor,

        Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,

        The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

        Keep these, the homeless, tempest-tost far away from me,

        Lest my lamp be put out in deep darkness.

    • @winstonscrooge – change the people, change the place. The further we get from Anglo-America, the less it resembles the America the founding documents and court decisions were written for. Replace the Anglo-Europeans with the Global South, and you will get the crime rates, IQ distribution, governance and business practices, legal precedents, and property values of the Global South.

      • Civic nationalists are incapable of thinking at that level of thought-crime. The dimwit would probably have a stroke. He comes to his name honestly: he’s as naïve as Winston Smith and as late to the game as Ebenezer.

    • @winstonscrooge “It is unclear TO ME that this trend is terminal as it was to the Romans, because I didn’t do my due diligence in studying the geopolitics of my day. There are many distinguishing differences between our current civilization and theirs, but I won’t mention a single one, because I’m a gamma midwit.”
      FIFY

  2. God is also a geneticist. Maybe we can pray about that too. Only God is capable of proper Eugenics. And only he has the right to make it happen.

    • If you choose a woman with full breasts, narrower waist and broader hips to bear your children, or you choose a man with chest and shoulders broader than his waist to sire your children, you’re practicing eugenics.

      • True also. But I also mean in a negative sense. Causing death outside of executions for murder and war. That’s God perogative

    • By your logic, we’d still be doing battle with wolves instead of cuddling our Jack Russell’s.
      Only God is capable of PERFECT eugenics. “Proper” is a term for etiquette obsessed great aunts with blue hair and hypotension.

      • Then you don’t understand God. Don’t you?

        You think with the build up of negative mutations indefinitely is God’s will? Or does he from time to time clean house?

        That includes the female reproductive system filtering out unsuitable sperm. And miscarriages from chromosomal failures and so on.

  3. Imperialism is profoundly dysgenic because when you “send forth the best ye breed,” you can no longer breed the best.

    The Romans did nothing of the sort.

    It was Gaius Marius who, in 107 BC, for the first time, abolished the property qualification for Roman legionaries and admitted landless men to its ranks. Payment followed, along with long periods of enlistment. Thereafter, the army was increasingly recruited from among the sweepings of the people.

    After the Social War of 91-87 BC, Roman citizenship was conferred on all the free inhabitants of Italy. This meant that these communities lo longer provided Auxiliaries, detachments of troops under their own officers, but overall Roman command

    The result was that the Roman army became wholly professional, harshly drilled but highly paid and with long periods of service. It tended to be concentrated in 3 areas, (1) Syria where, separated by 90 miles of desert, the Roman Empire faced another great imperial power, the empire of Persia, (2) Britain and (3) the long eastern frontier of the Danube. Veterans were given grants of land in these territories, where they formed a sort of Home Guard and there was a tendency for the army to become an hereditary profession

    The Auxiliary system was revived, in the form of block recruitment from barbarian tribes along the Danube frontier, under the command of their hereditary chieftains.

    Even the civil administration – procurators, imperial prefects – tended to be Imperial freedmen, men of barbaric and servile blood.

    The depopulation of Italy began with the Antonine Plagues, which coincided with the Han Plagues in China at the other end of the Silk Road. Viral infections among herd animals jumped the species barrier, notably smallpox, measles and whooping cough. Up to a third of the population died.

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