Rudyard Kipling penned many of the most inspirational works of my formative years. Whether it was laughing at the simple “Just So Stories” or learning what makes one a real man in “If…”, I loved it all.
It’s been a long time since I read “The Gods of the Copybook Headings”. Bill Whittle from PJTV recently translated this poem to be more easily understood by modern culture, as some of the references have become lost to the days of classical education. See the YouTube video HERE for his take on the poem.
I read through the poem several times to allow it to sink in. As King Solomon wrote, there is nothing new under the sun. The Roman Empire is a terrifying example: A nation used their superior technology(much of it garnered from various nations it acquired) to become the leader of the world. Their society, art, military might, etc was unparalleled in the entire known world at that time.
And they fell. Entire books have been written on the cause of Rome’s fall from power, but it can be boiled down to a few key points:
- Societal Collapse
- Economic Problems
- Military Dependance
Take a look at our culture. Like Rome, our society has changed. When America was founded, Christianity was dominant, farmers were the basis of the economy, and the government was designed to protect citizens from foreign powers and each other. Fast forward to today; christians (and other religions) are spat upon by libaral culture. We worship pretty people on camera. Our culture encourages immorality, and idolizes sex, money, and the latest fashion. We’re poised for a rude awakening when all that is lost.
On the first Feminian Sandstones we were promised the Fuller Life
(Which started by loving our neighbour and ended by loving his wife)
Till our women had no more children and the men lost reason and faith,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: “The Wages of Sin is Death.”
Our economy is undeniably in ruins due to reliance on debt, importing far more than we export, and shabby education systems that underperform at a cost higher than ever before. And our current government wants it’s mixing spoon in more pots than ever before. Like Rome, our monetary system is built on lies; Rome began mixing cheap metals with precious to “mint” more money. Sound familiar? The Roman government spent it’s money entertaining the populace, trying to keep up it’s military prowess, and making individuals wealthy.
With the Hopes that our World is built on they were utterly out of touch,
They denied that the Moon was Stilton; they denied she was even Dutch;
They denied that Wishes were Horses; they denied that a Pig had Wings;
So we worshipped the Gods of the Market Who promised these beautiful things.
Our military is still the strongest in the world, but we seem to be letting that go. Of course, we have such moments to appreciate our Commander-in-Chief’s lack of military knowledge as seen on TV – Ships, horses, bayonets all made great talking points to ridicule “backward technologies” or to comment on the disconnect between reality and our culture’s television view of war. One thing is for sure: just as Rome let it’s military fall into disarray, and thus invited barbarians to ruin what was left of the empire, so America will face the same problem. Terrorism, foreign wars we have no real business fighting any longer, economic hardships worldwide… This frightens me.
Then the Gods of the Market tumbled, and their smooth-tongued wizards withdrew
And the hearts of the meanest were humbled and began to believe it was true
That All is not Gold that Glitters, and Two and Two make Four
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings limped up to explain it once more.
As it will be in the future, it was at the birth of Man
There are only four things certain since Social Progress began.
That the Dog returns to his Vomit and the Sow returns to her Mire,
And the burnt Fool’s bandaged finger goes wabbling back to the Fire;
And that after this is accomplished, and the brave new world begins
When all men are paid for existing and no man must pay for his sins,
As surely as Water will wet us, as surely as Fire will burn,
The Gods of the Copybook Headings with terror and slaughter return!
America, learn from history. This has happened again and again. We need to turn away from this path that will inevitably lead to the demise of America as we know it. Our nation may recover, but at what cost?
I fear it is too late, and that we are in fact on the brink of repeating the cycle. But part of me still has hope. Hope that you, I, and all of us who believe in fixing this problem can work together and fix America. It’s not going to be easy. The right thing rarely ever is.
So we have 4 more years of President Obama’s leadership. We have a looming “fiscal cliff” to resolve. Our culture still denies our determined step toward a fall of historical proportions. What can we do to mitigate our nation’s collapse, fight our society’s immorallity, and fix our economic problems?
Let’s do this.
“The Gods of the Copybook Headings” by Rudyard Kipling