One of the things that struck me so intensely with Ayn Rand’s book Anthem is the idea that society could revert back to roving gangs of hunters and gathers after touching the face of very advanced technology within just a few short years. I would argue that the progressive movement rooted in modern socialism is currently attempting to do that very thing in Modern America as Ayn Rand outlined in her very good dystopian novel. Many modern readers may squawk at such an assumption but they only would because they have a limited understanding of history. It has happened before, and quite dramatically. In the year 410 A.D. barbarians sacked Rome destroying virtually everything Western Civilization had produced up to that point in human civilization in the Occident. Five years later the great library at Alexandria was attacked and between the fall of these two great cities, The Dark Ages began catapulting the human race back to a time prior to the creation of Babylon. The reason was that technology and history was erased by the barbarian hoards to protect the political and religious ideology of the attackers against the evidence of scientific thought. Below is the historical story and context of this dark plummet down the abyss of time, which human beings have experienced time and time again for millions of years. CLICK HERE FOR MODERN EVIDENCE OF THIS VERY PROBLEM.
Alexandria (Egypt), city and major seaport in northern Egypt, in the Nile River delta. The population is 3,380,000 (1992 estimate). The city was founded in 332 BC by Alexander the Great, king of Macedonia, who planned it as one of the finest ports of the ancient world. A famous lighthouse, considered one of the Seven Wonders of the World, was also built on the island of Pharos.
The ancient city had streets crossing at right angles and colonnades adorning the principal streets. The most magnificent quarter of the city, called the Brucheium, was situated on the eastern harbor. Farther west was the temple of the Egyptian deity Serapis, the mausoleum of Alexander and the Ptolemies, and the temple of Poseidon.
Alexandria was made the capital of Egypt, and numerous palaces, libraries, and influential schools were built. Under the Ptolemies, the city became the literary and scientific center of the ancient world. Its location made it the center of commerce between East and West, and fleets of grain ships sailed from Alexandria to Italy. Gradually, however, the city lost its prosperity. The Romans and, later, the Muslims besieged and destroyed much of the city. The city declined, particularly after the rise of Cairo in the 10th century and the opening of the sea route to India in the 15th century.
A Christian religious zealot by the name of Cyril, Alexandria’s new bishop sought to put an end of the enlightenment of this great Mediterranean city and do as the barbarians from the north had done to Roma just five years prior. Alexandria had such a vast library that prided itself as containing the most thorough collection of books and scrolls in the entire world. Alexandria contained most of the secrets that the human race is just recently beginning to rediscover about itself in the works of Graham Hancock, Zachariah Sitchen, and many others. It could be argued that the library in Alexandria had the most advanced knowledge known to mankind up to that point. The citizens of Alexandria were such advocates for knowledge that ships entering its wonderful ports were searched for new books that the library did not have so that copies could be made and kept in the library.
One of the great philosophers from that city that may have rivaled Socrates, Plato or even Aristotle was a woman by the name of Hypatia of Alexandria. Hypatia taught mathematics, astronomy, and philosophy at the Museum of Alexandria eventually succeeding her father as its head. She was an esteemed Neo-Platonist intellectual and was the first notable female mathematician who invented a graduated brass hydrometer and the plane astrolabe. Hypatia taught her students advanced algebra among many other concepts that were only being explored in Alexandria. Cyril noticed that the city adored Hypatia and knew that he had to eliminate her if he was ever to gain power over the city so he used the mob much the way labor unions do today to turn the Christians against Hypatia labeling her as a pagan witch. On a dark day in 415 A.D. Hypatia was ripped from her carriage stripped naked in the street and skinned alive with oyster shells. When she finally died she was ripped to pieces limb for limb and burnt. Once she was killed the Library at Alexandria was destroyed, its contents consumed by fire and vandalism. The intention of this destruction was no different from the book burning done by Adolf Hitler many years later, to destroy knowledge of outside, rival ideas so that collectivist evasion could take place in a social unification endeavor.
You can learn more about Hypatia from the very good film Agora or at the link below.
Just a few year prior to the crime of Cyril plotting his power grab on the back of religion in the city of Alexandria a former Roman military man Alaric who had been passed up for a promotion decided to take his anger out against Rome by attacking it. Rome like Alexandria had been one of the three bright spots for western civilization and was the premier center of learning and human advancement. So the way to destroy what was left of the Roman Empire for people like Alaric was to destroy the past so that future generations would follow only him.
Rome was the capital and largest city of Italy, in the west-central part of the country on the Tiber River. Traditionally founded by Romulus and Remus, it was ruled first by Etruscans, who were overthrown c. 500 B.C. The Roman Republic gradually extended its territory and expanded its influence, giving way to the Roman Empire during the reign of Augustus (27 B.C.-A.D. 14). As capital of the empire, Rome was considered the center of the known world, but the city declined when Constantine transferred his capital to Byzantium (323). Alaric I conquered the city in 410, leading to a lengthy period of devastation by barbarian tribes. In the Middle Ages the city revived as the spiritual and temporal power of the papacy increased. During the 1800’s Rome was held at various times by the French until it became the capital of Italy in 1871. Vatican City remains an independent enclave within the confines of Rome. Population, 2,830,569.
To destroy the city Alaric surrounded it and prevented the citizens inside the walls of Rome from getting food so he could starve them into submission. The high-minded, well-off residents of Rome quickly ran out of food and within two years of the boycott, were desperately hungry. Many of them turned to cannibalism. Desperate they opened the city walls to Alaric who had been patiently waiting all that time who then raided the city, killed most of the inhabitants and looted everything of any real value. Such economic espionage could be said to be very reminiscent of modern America who like Rome thought themselves impervious to such villainy, until the food ran out. Once such a thing happened they turned to unspeakable measures to eat meat including their own dead. Within a very short time with the two attacks describe here, the fall of Rome in 410 A.D. then Alexandria in 415 A.D. by the Christian hordes led by Cyril The Dark Ages had begun and the human race had reverted to the type of society they were during the Neanderthal Period, universally illiterate and overly superstitious. For many during the Dark Ages the only form of philosophy or literature they had access to was a Bible read to them by a priest, since personal copies of the book were hard to come by and controlled by the church. All other information from any other part of the world, all the works of Plato, Aristotle, Pythagoras, Confucius, Empedocies, or even Ptolemy’s claim that Earth is the center of the universe was gone from human thought and all of Europe had reverted backwards for nearly 500 years.
The spell was broken when Christian Crusaders invaded the Holy Land to take Jerusalem back from the Muslims. Lucky for the invading Crusaders the Muslims had built some of their religion around Aristotelian thought and had actually retained copies of the classic Greek thinkers. It was in this way that books from the Ancient Times reseeded thought back into Europe and led to the Renaissance. It is also why only the Greek thinkers are studied, because it was only their books that survived all the purges, the book burnings, and religious censorship that went on leading up to the Dark Ages. There is no way to know what wealth of knowledge was lost when Rome and Alexandria were destroyed as centers of learning and human advancement. In fact, not a single piece of work from Hypatia survived her death. Only word of mouth from her students carried on her name and any hint of what she had tried to teach them, all of it had to go underground once the Christians took over the city and destroyed the library gaining a monopoly on human knowledge.
So the events described in Ayn Rand’s book Anthem are not farfetched at all, and many modern parallels to history can be seen to this very day. No question among the modern Chinese are military minds no different from Alaric who would see The United States crushed as an economy much the way Rome was, by starving it from within once it has destroyed its ability to self-manufacture. In America the way to destroy it is to make its people lazy, make them dependent on foreign trade, then gain control of that trade as the people then eat out of the hand of a dominator because they have lost the heart and mind to be productive themselves, which is happening now. Then there are derelicts like Cyril and those are easy to see wherever progressives congregate. It doesn’t matter if it’s Van Jones, Richard Trumka, or Joe Biden; they are all attempting to use collectivism to paint free thinkers as heretics so that they can destroy competition against their half-baked ideas. And like the people of Alexandria, there is always an audience for those who make promises to give to the mob, the wealth created by people like Hypatia.
Like Ayn Rand’s book Atlas Shrugged, or Anthem, when the people who make cities like Alexandria great are killed, sacrificed, or suppressed, the city crumbles because it is not the mob of collectivism that makes anything good or even great. It is the mind that builds upon historical precedent, and advances society one step at a time that makes such places like Rome and Alexandria great cities. Once a person like Hypatia was removed from such a place the entire world of Europe was cast into the Dark Ages filled with cannibalism, disease, illiteracy, and social dysfunction for half a century. It is this very premise which America is facing now—to submit to the theories of collectivism as it has been fashioned by the enemies of the American idea. Or to put our faith in individuals and let them work their magic for the benefit of all. History tells us which one to follow and writers like Ayn Rand have made the connection. All that is required is for people to chose…………..and to chose wisely, because without a good choice, history will repeat itself.
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Excerpted from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Third Edition © 1996 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Electronic version licensed from INSO Corporation; further reproduction and distribution in accordance with the Copyright Law of the United States. All rights reserved.
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