A Time to kill Civilization – Part 1

There is always a time for every action under the sun.  Just like creation, destruction is a part of life.  Our duty as rational people however is to keep these two opposing forms in check in some matter.  To put in bluntly: The mistakes of civilizations that killed themselves off due to policies of death or wanton destruction are especially keen.  These civilizations instead of innovating and creating simply put destroyed themselves through neglect and/or forced and wanton destruction.  This is also seen today with the policy of killing off our modern society with laws that will have only one logical conclusion: the destruction of Western Civilization.

I am going to post this famous line: “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.”

This indeed is the focus on this post.  People strive to do the right thing, but the corollary is that you are defined by your actions and your actions do have consequences no matter how noble they are.  Saving the world seems to be one of those very same noble actions I spoke of.   But what happens when in attempting to save the world it turns out the world did not need saving after getting more information on the supposed problem?  Isn’t that the time when a reasonable person would stop and say: “Well maybe I was wrong, time to change my life goals around.”  Today this is indeed the point I am making.  The case for catastrophic AGW has been thrown out scientifically.  About the same time that Al Gore and company told the world that the “science was settled” it was indeed settled that there would not be catastrophic changes due to AGW.  It is this very topic that I think it’s vitally important to expose the wrong philosophy of the greens.

In the year 2004, it turned out that assumptions that at the time seemed reasonable turned out to be completely and utterly wrong (I will write a later post on this subject so don’t debate this too much for now).  So a reasonable person would have admitted they were wrong and moved on.

But the cult of crazy as I call it (the greens) have invoked in themselves and a large segment of population a form of mass hysteria where people think the end of the world is coming and that anything they do is justified for that reason.  Look at the recent arrest of an activist who broke multiple federal laws.  He showed absolutely no remorse for committing fraud on a large-scale.


So we have this form of mass hysteria combined with a cult mentality with people who are willing to ruin our society if it means “possibly” saving the world.  That means in the end that they do not care whatsoever if they ruin Western Civilization with their ideas.  They do not care how many people die due to their policies or how many old people stuck on a fixed income freeze to death during the winter due to being unable to afford heating which under their plans would rise by at least 3 times its present cost.

None of it matters, because frankly they are stuck in a form of mass hysteria where nothing else matters but “saving the world.”  We have seen this in the past, and this excellent essay is how I will end this post.  Feel free to comment, but make sure to read this essay first.  It might put what we are doing in relation to energy into perspective with previous civilizations (which tended to be more gauged on their population growth and growth of their food supply.)

Image Src: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/06/20/historic-parallels-in-our-time-the-killing-of-of-cattle-vs-carbon/

This memorial is situated near Bisho in the Eastern Cape, South Africa.  It commemorates the mass killing of cattle in the Eastern Cape that took place in the 1850s . A Xhosa prophetess had delivered a message from the ancestors saying that the Xhosa must slaughter their cattle (wealth) so that they could rise again anew after defeats by the British colonialists and mass deaths of their cattle from a lung disease. Following the massacre, some 40000 Xhosa died of starvation.  The inscription reads “HERE REST MEN, WOMEN AND CHILDREN – INNOCENT VICTIMS OF THE 1856/7 CATASTROPHIC CATTLE KILLING”.

Death of a Civilization

by David Deming

Over the past several years
we have learned that small groups of people can engage in mass suicide. In 1978,
918 members of the Peoples’ Temple led by Jim Jones perished after drinking
poisoned koolaid. In 1997, 39 members of the Heaven’s Gate cult died after
drugging themselves and tieing plastic bags around their heads. Unfortunately,
history also demonstrates that it is possible for an entire civilization to
commit suicide by intentionally destroying the means of its

In the early nineteenth
century, the British colonized Southeast Africa. The native Xhosa resisted, but
suffered repeated and humiliating defeats at the hands of British military
forces. The Xhosa lost their independence and their native land became an
English colony. The British adopted a policy of westernizing the Xhosa. They
were to be converted to Christianity, and their native culture and religion was
to be wiped out. Under the stress of being confronted by a superior and
irresistible technology, the Xhosa developed feelings of inadequacy and
inferiority. In this climate, a prophet appeared.

In April of 1856, a fifteen-year-old girl named Nongqawuse heard a voice telling her that the Xhosa
must kill all their cattle, stop cultivating their fields, and destroy their
stores of grain and food. The voice insisted that the Xhosa must also get rid of
their hoes, cooking pots, and every utensil necessary for the maintenance of
life. Once these things were accomplished, a new day would magically dawn.
Everything necessary for life would spring spontaneously from the earth. The
dead would be resurrected. The blind would see and the old would have their
youth restored. New food and livestock would appear in abundance, spontaneously
sprouting from the earth. The British would be swept into the sea, and the Xhosa
would be restored to their former glory. What was promised was nothing less than
the establishment of paradise on earth.

Nongqawuse told this story
to her guardian and uncle, Mhlakaza. At first, the uncle was skeptical. But he
became a believer after accompanying his niece to the spot where she heard the
voices. Although Mhlakaza heard nothing, he became convinced that Nongqawuse was
hearing the voice of her dead father, and that the instructions must be obeyed.
Mhlakaza became the chief prophet and leader of the cattle-killing

News of the prophecy spread
rapidly, and within a few weeks the Xhosa king, Sarhili, became a convert. He
ordered the Xhosa to slaughter their cattle and, in a symbolic act, killed his
favorite ox. As the hysteria widened, other Xhosa began to have visions. Some
saw shadows of the resurrected dead arising from the sea, standing in rushes on
the river bank, or even floating in the air. Everywhere that people looked, they
found evidence to support what they desperately wanted to be true.

The believers began their
work in earnest. Vast amounts of grain were taken out of storage and scattered
on the ground to rot. Cattle were killed so quickly and on such an immense scale
that vultures could not entirely devour the rotting flesh. The ultimate number
of cattle that the Xhosa slaughtered was 400,000. After killing their livestock,
the Xhosa built new, larger kraals to hold the marvelous new beasts that they
anticipated would rise out of the earth. The impetus of the movement became

The resurrection of the
dead was predicted to occur on the full moon of June, 1856. Nothing happened.
The chief prophet of the cattle-killing movement, Mhlakaza, moved the date to
the full moon of August. But again the prophecy was not fulfilled.

The cattle-killing movement
now began to enter a final, deadly phase, which its own internal logic dictated
as inevitable. The failure of the prophecies was blamed on the fact that the
cattle-killing had not been completed. Most believers had retained a few cattle,
chiefly consisting of milk cows that provided an immediate and continuous food
supply. Worse yet, there was a minority community of skeptical non-believers who
refused to kill their livestock.

The fall planting season
came and went. Believers threw their spades into the rivers and did not sow a
single seed in the ground. By December of 1856, the Xhosa began to feel the
pangs of hunger. They scoured the fields and woods for berries and roots, and
attempted to eat bark stripped from trees. Mhlakaza set a new date of December
11 for the fulfillment of the prophecy. When the anticipated event did not
occur, unbelievers were blamed.

The resurrection was
rescheduled yet again for February 16, 1857, but the believers were again
disappointed. Even this late, the average believer still had three or four head
of livestock alive. The repeated failure of the prophecies could only mean that
the Xhosa had failed to fulfill the necessary requirement of killing every last
head of cattle. Now, they finally began to complete the killing process. Not
only cattle were slaughtered, but also chickens and goats. Any viable means of
sustenance had to be destroyed. Any cattle that might have escaped earlier
killing were now slaughtered for food.

Serious famine began in
late spring of 1857. All the food was gone. The starving population broke into
stables and ate horse food. They gathered bones that had lay bleaching in the
sun for years and tried to make soup. They ate grass. Maddened by hunger, some
resorted to cannibalism. Weakened by starvation, family members often had to lay
and watch dogs devour the corpses of their spouses and children. Those who did
not die directly from hunger fell prey to disease. To the end, true believers
never renounced their faith. They simply starved to death, blaming the failure
of the prophecy on the doubts of non-believers.

By the end of 1858, the
Xhosa population had dropped from 105,000 to 26,000. Forty to fifty-thousand
people starved to death, and the rest migrated. With Xhosa civilization
destroyed, the land was cleared for white settlement. The British found that
those Xhosa who survived proved to be docile and useful servants. What the
British Empire had been unable to accomplish in more than fifty years of
aggressive colonialism, the Xhosa did to themselves in less than two

Western civilization now
stands on the brink of repeating the experience of the Xhosa. Since the advent
of the Industrial Revolution in the late eighteenth century, Europe and North
America have enjoyed the greatest prosperity ever known on earth. Life
expectancy has doubled. In a little more than two hundred years, every objective
measure of human welfare has increased more than in all of previous human

But Western Civilization is
coasting on an impetus provided by our ancestors. There is scarcely anyone alive
in Europe or America today who believes in the superiority of Western society.
Guilt and shame hang around our necks like millstones, dragging our emasculated
culture to the verge of self-immolation. Whatever faults the British
Empire-builders may have had, they were certain of themselves.

Our forefathers built a
technological civilization based on energy provided by carbon-based fossil
fuels. Without the inexpensive and reliable energy provided by coal, oil, and
gas, our civilization would quickly collapse. The prophets of global warming now
want us to do precisely that.

Like the prophet Mhlakaza,
Al Gore promises that if we stop using carbon-based energy, new energy
technologies will magically appear. The laws of physics and chemistry will be
repealed by political will power. We will achieve prosperity by destroying the
very means by which prosperity is created.

While Western Civilization
sits confused, crippled with self-doubt and guilt, the Chinese are rapidly
building an energy-intensive technological civilization. They have 2,000
coal-fired power plants, and are currently constructing new ones at the rate of
one a week. In China, more people believe in free-market economics than in the
US. Our Asian friends are about to be nominated by history as the new
torchbearers of human progress.

David Denning

May 13,



David Deming is associate professor of Arts and Sciences at the
University of Oklahoma.

Copyright © 2009 by LewRockwell.com. Permission to reprint in whole or
in part is gladly granted, provided full credit is given

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s