There is nothing at the heart of the West.
This essay first appeared in The Great Erasure, the first volume of Radix Journal.
In his famous book The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order (1996), Samuel P. Huntington put forward the thesis, popular with large sections of the “Right,” that the post-Cold-War world would be shaped by its major civilizations and their interactions.
For some, it was the gently coded recognition of race that appealed; for others, it was the stigmatization of Islam as a rather unpleasant civilization that rang true; whatever the case, the book became, for better or worse, a landmark of political science. This makes it an ideal starting point for considering the topic of civilizations in general and the problematic nature of the West in particular.
Clash is well written in that it deploys supportive data for its theories in the correct amounts and at reassuring intervals, but there is also an extremely misshapen feel to Huntington’s thesis that stems from the following factors:
- Overemphasis on religion
- Questionable demarcation of civilizational boundaries
- Superficial definition of civilization
- Cowardice regarding race
- Confusion about the true nature of the West
The map showing the “World of Civilizations” in Huntington’s book presents nine civilizations, namely Western, Latin American, African, Islamic, Sinic (Chinese), Hindu (Indian), Orthodox (largely Russian), Buddhist, and Japanese.
Huntington’s scheme relies heavily on religion as a defining factor. This is especially noticeable in his Buddhist “civilization,” which includes such disparate countries and climate zones as Thailand, Tibet, and Mongolia—three countries that have little in common except for the fact that they are Buddhist. Given their relative unimportance, it would perhaps have been more elegant to have simply included them as peripheral regions of Sinic civilization.
Religion is also the unacknowledged basis for his Western civilization, which throws together Catholic and Protestant countries, while strangely excluding heavily Europeanized parts of South America and Africa. Given the widespread lack of faith in most of the West, this seems odd. Religion also allows him to divide Russia and its satellites from the West—with Greece thrown in as a kind of going away present. Another major problem is India. Just as American maps of the world have two Indias, one on each side, so Huntington seems to think there are two, allocating the whole country to both the Islamic and Hindu civilizations.
Huntington makes a strong case for the inherent aggressiveness of Islamic civilization, based on the number of intra-civilizational and inter-civilizational conflicts. This is something that has given the book neoconservative appeal, but there are other obvious explanations for this aggression, like Islam’s comparative lack of political unity and the fact that it borders more civilizations than other civilizations.
One of the weaknesses of Huntington’s book is that he is never clear about what a civilization actually is. His best definition comes on page 43, but is sketchy and subjective:
A civilization is the broadest cultural entity. Villages, regions, ethnic groups, nationalities, religious groups, all have distinct cultures at different levels of cultural heterogeneity. . . . A civilization is thus the highest cultural grouping of people and the broadest level of cultural identity people have short of that which distinguishes humans from other species. . . . Civilizations are the biggest “ we” within which we feel culturally at home as distinguished from all the other “thems” out there.
The key point in this definition is that a civilization is something that people “feel” comfortable belonging to. Rather than just being a member of the same civilization that your parents were part of, it is now far more important how you “feel” about it.
This effectively turns “civilization” into an expression of late 20th-century consumerism. Your civilization could almost be something you pick off the shelf, like a pack of soap powder. Needless to say, following this principle in practice would cause havoc with Huntington’s civilizational map.
The reason Huntington favors religion as the civilizational “sorting hat” is that it loosely reflects race and therefore gives his thesis a quality readers can empathize with, but also allows him to avoid mentioning the dreaded R-word itself—quite literally, as the book’s index has no mention of “race” or its equivalents! The idea of distinct zonal civilizations, however, is implicitly racial because such civilizations can only emerge through a degree of sustained demographic stability. Left-wing critics of Huntington realize this and have concentrated their attacks on this point.
To talk about Western civilization as Huntington does is to slyly evoke the idea of Western European man. Western civilization is how the phrase “White race” is whispered in the modern, politically correct era. Huntington must have known this—and that implicit racialism would likely make his book provocative and successful—but he also knew that he could not make race explicit. As a successful academic and part of the establishment, he had to maintain deniability. His slyness was his cowardice.
The Uniqueness of the West
But enough about quibbles! The book’s main weakness lies at its very heart, in the idea that the West is just another civilization, and an old one at that, dating from around the time of Charlemagne, according to Huntington.
Huntington often admits that the West is unique among civilizations, but he fails to proceed to the next logical step, i.e. considering whether the West is in fact something entirely different:
The West obviously differs from all other civilizations that have ever existed in that it has had an overwhelming impact on all other civilizations that have existed since 1500. It also inaugurated the process of modernization and industrialization that have become worldwide, and as a result societies in all other civilizations have been attempting to catch up with the West in wealth and modernity. Do these characters of the West, however, mean that its evolution and dynamics as a civilization are fundamentally different from the patterns that have prevailed in all other civilizations? The evidence of history and the judgments of the scholars of the comparative history of civilizations suggest otherwise. The development of the West to date has not deviated significantly from the evolutionary patterns common to civilizations throughout history.
When he says that the West differs from all other civilizations, he appears to mean in terms of its power, technology, and early industrialization. He is therefore only describing effects rather than providing causes. This approach allows the power of the West to chime with the implicit Whiteness evoked by his civilizational categories, giving his readers a quiet, sweaty-palmed moment of racial smugness. It becomes more and more apparent that the book is subliminal, low-key, middle-brow White Pride porn. But mental masturbation is just mental masturbation, an action by the impotent to feel potent. It does not help us to understand civilization or the problem posed by the West.
If the West is different from all other civilizations, then that is clearly important, but Huntington shows little inclination to explore this question, even though it cries out for deeper analysis. But just how are we to approach this? Standard academic procedure would be to select your preferred theory first and then sift through a welter of micro-data until you found facts and figures that confirmed your pre-selected view.
Rather than following this disingenuous course, I will refer to macro empirical points of comparison that will establish the uniqueness of the West in an easily observed and objective way. My three areas of comparison are:
- Civilizational Morphology
- Civilizational Consistency
- Civilizational Behavior
Like countries, civilizations have definite shapes. Although their borders may be less precise, they tend to occupy specific parts of the globe. Using this as an empirical standard, we can see that all civilizations except the West have a reasonably compact form.
The West by contrast has a divided and disparate form: the core is in Europe, the largest piece is thousands of miles further West, and there are other pieces scattered all around the globe in such far flung places as Australia, New Zealand, and, according to Huntington’s map, even French Guyana.
This patchy pattern would be even more apparent if the more European parts of South America and Africa were included in the West. But then, that would have raised the issue of race in too explicit a manner for Huntington’s liking.
Interestingly, disparate morphology is something that can also be detected in the Medieval West, and in the main civilization that preceded the West, namely the Roman Empire.
With Western enclaves in Palestine, parts of Greece, the remoter regions of the Baltic, and even Greenland, as well as an alien civilization occupying much of the Iberian Peninsula, the Medieval West was also an oddly shaped civilization. The same could be said for the Roman Empire, whose main problem throughout its history was cumbersome, over-extended borders—for example, Dacia. In strict morphological terms, The West and its predecessors have always lacked the compactness common to almost all other civilizations. Imperial overstretch has always been with us.
Another major empirical point of difference between the West and all other civilizations is in civilizational consistency over time. The essence of a civilization should not radically alter over the centuries. A consistent core of features, customs, and qualities will normally be retained. China today is still recognizably the same civilization as China of the Ming or Han period. Similar points could be made regarding Islamic and Hindu civilizations, and even the intensely modernized Japanese civilization.
The West, by contrast, shows marked inconsistencies. The values and characteristics of today are unrecognizable from those of 100 years ago, which are themselves markedly different from those of 500 years ago or 1000 years ago, when Christ was being peddled to the Danes as some kind of warrior god. In short, the West is flux.
Due to people’s limitations in geography and history, this is the most obvious difference between the West and the rest. There are things that normal civilizations do that the West simply doesn’t do and vice versa. We can break some of this down into the following categories:
Perhaps the most noticeable thing that the West doesn’t do these days is defend itself demographically. The vast majority of civilizations, even in their dotages, attempt to prevent the demographic displacement of their peoples. the West, by contrast, is supposed to be the mightiest civilization, yet it freely allows and even assists widespread intrusion and colonization of its territories by outsiders.
Interestingly, the closest any other civilization has come to this is Islamic civilization, which has important macro-historical similarities with Christianity. This also encouraged large flows of people into its civilization in the form of slaves from the South and mercenaries from the North, accounting for some of the interesting genetic mixes to be found in the “Arab” countries, but even in this case, there was a clear attempt to keep the incomers subordinated, although in the case of the Seljuk and Mameluke “slave mercenaries” this clearly backfired.
The West by contrast offers its invaders free medical care, housing, welfare, and a host of other benefits, including a half share in the Presidency of the United States. Also, the more different the invaders are, the more it seems to welcome and assist them. While Eastern Europeans are expected to work as the price of admission into Western Europe, Somalians, Afghans, and Congolese merely have to show up. This effectively gives a green light for various forms of race replacement and the radical alteration of the demographic character of the civilization.
Considering all previously existing civilizations, these patterns of behavior are simply an aberration. Some try to pass this off as an effect of modernity, but even civilizations that are as modern and economically developed as the West, like Japanese civilization and parts of the Sinic civilization, refuse to behave like this.
Another behavior pattern of the West is equally unique and baffling. While all civilizations try jealously to guard their business, military, and technological advantages, the West goes out of its way to facilitate massive transfers of technology and manufacturing capability.
The Chinese famously carefully guarded their economic secrets, banning the export of silk worms and tea plants so that these had to be smuggled out of the country; while the secrets of porcelain production were so carefully guarded that they had to be independently reinvented by the potters of Meissen.
All civilizations will enter into conflict with other civilizations for a range of understandable, if not always commendable, reasons. Sometimes these conflicts have played a vital role in human progress. The West, however, is unique for the pointlessness of its conflicts. This is especially true today, where we are being treated to TV images of squaddies doing the rounds in Afghan villages, while non-profit organizations try to translate The Female Eunuch into Farsi.
Again, there is a temptation to see this as some kind of side effect of modernity, but it is also possible to find Medieval and Classical examples that bear a surprising resemblance, most notably in the Crusades and Roman attempts to subjugate economically unimportant wildernesses, such as Germania and Caledonia. Before this, there were also the heroic but essentially pointless campaigns of Alexander the Great in Central Asia.
Normal civilizations have identity. Those who belong to them know, without thinking or conscious statement, exactly who they are. They exude what they are rather than proclaim it. the West, by contrast, is always trying to publicize and propagandize what it is, repeatedly affirming and broadcasting its values, as if not quite sure of them. The reason for this is quite simple. The values of the West are, for the most part, meaningless universalisms and negatives that can only exist in a state of constant affirmation.
The Values of the West
Before I precisely explain the negativity of these values, it is useful to establish context by examining how the characteristics of Western civilization have changed. Huntington’s definition of the characteristics is a bit of a grab bag along the lines of “what those other guys said,” but the format of the middle-brow academic book forces him to bullet point his confusion. He lists the following as the defining characteristics of the West before it modernized:
1. The Classical legacy
2. Catholicism and Protestantism
3. European languages
4. Separation of spiritual and temporal authority
5. Social pluralism (also described as the existence of “diverse autonomous groups”)
6. Representative bodies (by which he means multi-polar parliaments, such as the French Estates or the British Houses of Lords and Commons)
It is noticeable that rather than defining the West as it exists today, he is forced to rewind by 200 or 300 years, and even then, he admits that many of the elements listed above were not exclusive to the West. But this is the closest that he comes to defining Western Civilization, so we should be grateful for that at least.
An examination of these seven characteristics of the West immediately drives home the major empirical point about the civilizational inconsistency of the West. What Huntington is describing is demonstrably not the West in which we live. The past in this case is not so much another country as another civilization.
Viewed from the present, this list starts to fall apart and mutate in front of our eyes. Points 1 (Classical Legacy), 2 (Catholicism and Protestantism), 4 (Separation of spiritual and temporal authority), and 6 (Representative bodies) have clearly not dated well. Also, even in an earlier historical era, 4 effectively counteracted and minimized the influence of 2, which is very much the case today, where religion is largely relegated to a personal issue of less social importance than one’s hairstyle.
If we attempt to maintain the principle of civilizational consistency by staying as close to Huntington’s list as possible, we still have to make significant changes to update it for our own times.
We would have to discard Points 1 and 4 entirely. The Classical legacy is now confined to the extremely unfashionable end of academia, while the separation of spiritual and temporal authority only makes sense in a society that has a strong spiritual authority, which is clearly not the case with the West. Of the five remaining Points, 2, 3, 5, and 6 would have to be radically redefined.
Catholicism and Protestantism would shrink to become “minor identitarian role for Christianity (optional);” European languages would have to be altered to reflect the increasing linguistic diversity of the West, perhaps substituting the term “Tower of Babel;” the “diverse autonomous groups” of the social pluralism category could be replaced with “diverse racial and sexual identity groups”; and Representative bodies could be altered to “Pooled electorate with detached professional political class.” The two defunct characteristics could be replaced by two new characteristics. As the Classical legacy was mainly enshrined in our universities, this gap could be filled with “Cultural Marxism and Political Correctness,” which holds sway there now; while the element of denial implicit in the old separation of spiritual and temporal authority could be served by replacing it with anti-nationalism, which might also be termed “White guilt.” This would give us the following heavily revised Huntingtonian list of characteristics to define the West as we now know it:
- Cultural Marxism and political correctness
- Minor identitarian role for Christianity (optional)
- Tower of Babel
- White Guilt
- Social pluralism (diverse racial and sexual identity groups)
- Pooled electorate and detached professional political class
Civilization is Positive
While this is amusing, trying to stick with Huntington’s categories is obviously akin to taking the long way round. When people talk about “Western values” today, they invariably mean things like “freedom,” “choice,” “individualism,” “equality,” “human rights,” etc. These are lovely words and, indeed, words that most of us instinctively agree on. But the reason we love these words is because of their negativity and vacuity.
“Negative” is a loaded word, so I am forced here to “unload” it. By negative I don’t mean bad, bleak, or depressing, but negative in the almost mathematical sense of something missing—a gap, a space, that which is unfilled and unformed, a void.
This is why we like these words. It is their very vacuity that draws us in. When we hear these terms we instantly think of our own freedom, our own choice, and our own individual natures. In other words, we take a hollow word and fill it with ourselves. “Freedom” in itself is meaningless. It only becomes meaningful when we imagine how we would use it. This explains the power and popularity of such rhetoric. But when the principle is extended throughout a whole society or civilization, then problems are sure to arise.
While we crave our freedom, we may object to that of others. The heterosexual may scorn the openly homosexual (and vice versa), the indigenous may resent the assertive incomer (and vice versa), so that “freedom,” “choice,” “individualism,” and the rest of them have to be enforced from above, creating a tendency towards totalitarianism that goes hand in hand with the apparently affirmative individualism of these negative values.
True civilization, by its very nature, is collective and positive, and as a result does not require the statist imposition of “values.” It seeks to create a degree of similarity and sympathy between people through shared culture, history, morality, and habits. This can only be done through “positive” values.
But, once again, “positive” is a loaded word, so I will have to “unload” that, too. By positive I don’t mean good, fine, or dandy, but positive in the almost mathematical sense of something that is there, something clear and substantial, a decided idea, a belief, a definite opinion, not a mental vacuum.
One of the functions of civilization is to shape its people, to give them a collective set of precepts, a way of looking at the world, and an identity. The West, by contrast, is based on the negation of this civilizational idea. Any residue of this, such as Christian notions that homosexuality is wrong or sentimentality about national identity, are attacked by the establishment and the controlled culture of the “Anti-civilization.”
By destroying the collective and corrective principles of civilization, the West that we see today threatens its own unity and is therefore forced to rely on totalitarian substitutes. The morality of the West becomes the enforcement of the anti-morality: gay rights, the mass murder of fetuses, a culture of divorce and one-parent families, the privileges of the immigrant over the rights of the indigenous, the enforced equivalence of all forms of dysfunction with normalcy; while its identitarianism becomes a negative one of not belonging to the despised groups, the “racists,” “neo-Nazis,” and “haters,” who crave a positive civilizational identity.
The “Natural Civilization”
But where did something as unique and frightening as the Anti-civilization come from? It is not simply the product of a few decades of Leftist agitation, nor is it down to a cadre of sneaky Ashkenazi. The roots of the problem predate the influence of those two often interrelated groups by at least two millennia.
The rootless Anti-civilization has deep roots that pass through and play their part in much that could be counted as civilization. But in order to diagnose disease, you first need to define health. In order to do this, we need a working idea of a “natural civilization.”
Luckily I happen to live in a reasonable approximation to one. Of the nine civilizations that Huntington includes in his book, the smallest is Japan, my home for the last several years. So, what characteristics would we associate with the “natural civilization”? Simple deductive reasoning suggests the following:
- Geographical identity
- Cultural continuity
- Demographic continuity
- Centricity (symbolic, cultural, or religious centers and heartlands)
- Local rootedness
- Modulated openness
(These characteristics are related to the macro-empirical points used to establish the uniqueness of the West, namely, morphology, consistency, and behavior.)
Japanese civilization is strong in all six of the above characteristics. Being an archipelago, it has a clear geographical identity and it has existed continuously for thousands of years. This has allowed it to develop a high degree of centricity, through cultural and religious centers like Kyoto and Ise, and local rootedness, with people feeling deeply attached to their hometowns and the graves of ancestors.
A possible drawback with the first four factors is civilizational parochialism, which can be impoverishing in terms of technology and other ideas. However, Japan has always been open to other cultures and civilizations, mainly the Sinic and Western civilizations, and it has been able to enrich its civilization without destroying it or seeing it replaced.
Left to themselves, most civilizations have a tendency to develop along similar lines, although clearly each would do so in its own way, at its own level, and relative to its environment and the qualities of its people. A similar pattern can be seen in the Sinic and Hindu civilizations, as well as several that are no longer with us, such as the Andean and Meso-American.
Gestation of the Anti-Civilization
With the idea of the “natural civilization” to guide us, we can now detect anomalies in the development of the Anti-civilization of the West that will help us understand its aberrant nature. There are three main historical stages in the creation of the Anti-civilization, each of which was also partly a reaction to its predecessor:
What is known as the “Alternative Right” includes several tendencies, including neo-paganism and neo-Christianity. The latter see the evils of the modern West as springing from secularization, while the former see Christianity as the root of the problem. Both groups clearly perceive part of the bigger picture.
While the growth of Sinic civilization was broadly based on a large ethnic Han population, the growth of the Roman Empire at roughly the same time was not. This was the result of differential demographic and geographic factors, with the Romans starting from a smaller population base and expanding across a more disjointed land mass.
Unlike the main population centers of Europe and the Mediterranean, which are divided into peninsulas and islands, or by the sea or the Alps, the centre of Chinese population is united by the surrounding mountains, desert, and sea. This favored geographical identity, demographic and cultural continuity, centricity, and local rootedness. Roman civilization, by contrast, became more de-centered as it grew, developing, via conquest, military occupation, demilitarization of the conquered, and an uprooted slave population. Power moved increasingly to the periphery, as that was where the army was located.
As the Roman Empire weakened politically, economically, and militarily, its natural geographical and ethnic disunity reasserted itself. Parts of the Empire reverted to older ethnic cultures—Greeks and Berbers, for example—but in much of the empire, a demographic void had been created into which new peoples (mainly Germans and later in the East, Arabs) were drawn. Contrast this with the Sinic or Hindu civilizations. Even when the dynasties collapsed, demographic stability remained.
The processes of Romanization and Christianization overlap. (Islamification, which occurred in the eastern and southern part of the Roman Empire at a later date, is a related phenomenon that reflects similar forces.)
As a civilization struggling with its geographical ambiguity, demographic divisions, lack of rootedness, and fluctuating centricity, Roman civilization was drawn to Christianity because of its transcendent, reductionist and centralizing qualities. The emperors saw it as a means of tightening their grip on society as the Empire built around that society waned. In other words, it served as a substitute for the organic unity that the Empire lacked.
With the Empire sliding further into chaos, Christianity then effectively became the shadow Empire. Unable to better the barbarian hordes in battle, the civilization retreated into its churches and monasteries and set about rebuilding its power through offering the barbarian rulers the same advantages that it offered the Emperors.
By making its power less ostensible, Christianity was also able to spread much further than Rome’s legions had. Along with the remnants of Roman civilization and the Germanic cultures of the dominant invaders, it also provided the basis for a new civilization, which Huntington calls Western. Given the problems of civilizational consistency, it would be more accurate to see this as a predecessor of the West, called Christian civilization, which lasted at least into the late 18th century.
Just as the characteristics of Roman civilization—militarism, imperialism, colonization, Romanization, and a rootless slave population—derived from the degree to which that civilization deviated from the conditions of the “natural civilization,” so, too, with Christian civilization, which also lacked geographic and demographic contiguity, centricity, and rootedness.
A vast disparate geographical area, containing a wide variety of people, was united by this civilization. As its power spread and tightened, its unnaturalness became increasingly manifest in the following symptoms:
1. Brainwashed rootless elite
2. Geographical incontinence
3. The repression of localism
4. Cultural schizophrenia
5. Outbreaks of mass hysteria
The Church de-cultured and denatured its recruits, removing them from their original culture, and even from their roles as men and warriors or women and mothers. Christian civilization had no geographical sense of itself. This was manifest in its frequent missions and attempts at mass convert in distant lands, as well as the Crusades. In short, it was geographically incontinent.
Partly this was the result of its rootless and otherworldly nature. As a corollary of this, it also strongly repressed any traces of localism, destroying local gods and traditions or subsuming them into its own pantheon of saints and calendar of festivals. The fact that it could not subjugate directly as the Romans had done, also meant that Christian civilization developed into a schizophrenic culture, with religious and secular sides. The secular side tended to develop in the direction of the “natural civilization,” leading to the creation of the German Reich, while the religious side tended to oppose this.
The unnaturalness of these various arrangements led to constant strains as well as an element of paranoia resulting in increasing hysteria that was reflected in purges of heretics, crusades, inquisitions, Antipopes, and finally schisms and sectarianism. The fanaticism expressed in these acts is testament to the unnaturalness of this civilization.
While the modern West can be defined by its “negative” values, Christian civilization was defined by an excess of “positive” values, imperatives designed to shape and control every aspect of life, from diet, dress, and belief to art, music, and architecture. This was all part of its unnatural attempt to impose an order and unity that was not naturally there.
Islamic civilization, in the southern and eastern Mediterranean, Persia, and Central Asia, represents a similar drive to impose artificial civilizational unity on an unwieldy and diverse area.
Civilizations that approximate more to the conditions of the “natural civilization,” such as the Hindu, Sinic, and Japanese civilizations, seldom feel the need to be as imperative as either the Christian or Islamic civilizations. The process by which they shape their populations is less overt but more immersive.
Between the fall of the old Christian civilization, which can be linked for the sake of convenience to the date of the French Revolution, and the rise of the Anti-civilization of the West, which we can peg to the 1960s, there was an intermediate period of nearly 200 years, during which Christianity remained important, especially as a force for social cohesion, but was increasingly subordinated to a secular, materialist culture, economy, and ruling elite. It seems natural to refer to this intervening entity as secular Christian civilization.
From Positive to Negative
The exact processes by which Christian civilization led to secular Christian civilization, and then the modern West, are extremely complex, but a review of the main macro empirical factors correlated with the concept of a “natural civilization” suggest that the West and its predecessors—the Roman, Christian, and secular Christian civilizations— occupy a vector of civilizational instability that works against the conditions of the ideal “natural civilization.”
This instability, which is partly geographical in origin, generates civilizations with extreme characteristics that emerge as reactions to their predecessors, in a kind of wild zigzagging pattern: the overly aggressive militarism of the Romans is succeeded by the passive aggression and positivist morality of the Christians, which is then supplanted by the negative idealism and totalitarian tendencies of the modern West.
The latest stage of this process has created a civilization that can best be described as an Anti-civilization, as it is founded on what are essentially “negative” values rather than the “positive” ones that characterize all other and preceding civilizations.
There is a tendency on the Right to view the characteristics of the modern West as symptoms of long-term decline and to conclude, along with Huntington, that what we are witnessing is the Spenglerian sunset of an aged civilization. But the modern West as a distinct—and it is very distinct—entity is, at most, only a mere four decades old.
So, how will this new Anti-civilization of the West play out? As a new geopolitical mutation, is it inherently unstable and liable to collapse within decades (rather than centuries), or will it achieve a stable symbiosis with the global economy? Also, will its anti-values, with their strong subjective appeal, contaminate and corrode the other civilizations, creating a soulless and necessarily totalitarian global system? And what of the fate of those already living under its baleful influence, the largest part the White European race? Will they find a way to reject and overthrow the Anti-civilization from within? Or will they continue to unwittingly support it as it inexorably grinds them down into minority status? This raises one last question, is the Anti-civilization dependent for its existence on the dominance of this race, and with its fall, will it also see its own end?