David Engels looks at a civilization in free fall. In his book “On the Road to Empire” he details the impending “fall of the West.”
Europe today – like the Roman Republic – is at some point in its history, when it should not have high hopes for its imminent future. “what should I do?” It is about confronting the slow decline of Western society on a personal level as well.
“Today we long ago passed the point at which there could have been a turnaround,” Engels writes. In the event of mourning for our collective failure, we will have no choice but to wait for the collapse that occurs every day due to phenomena such as unemployment, supposed “good” human thinking, the dictatorship of markets, the dismantling of democratic structures in favor of opaque international institutions and the “replacement of the elderly population of the West by the systematic import of people From foreign cultures. “
As a European patriot, Engels warns of a chain reaction that could unleash the vicious circle of revision, austerity, poverty, urban violence, ethnic discontent, populism, dismantle European solidarity, and enter an era of public misery.
The author asks: “In the face of decline, how can one secure the survival and dignity of himself, his family, and his values?” While in “The Road to Empire” he referred to Oswald Spengler and his view of the cyclical course of civilizations, Engels proved to be a later disciple of Friedrich Nietzsche and the unconditional “yes” to himself in “What do I do?”
Become who you are!
At a time when pressure is mounting in the West to bow to liberal, left-wing obedience, Engels advises you to walk the path to yourself – “even if reconciliation with your true self means being with others for the heart of humanity.”
Obviously, the author knows exactly what he’s talking about. In his conclusion, the old Belgian historian mentions how he was thrown “in the middle of a toxic political debate” because of the courageous publication of his book, originally published in French, on the anticipated collapse of Europe. Not only did the nature of his analyzes encounter resistance and hostility, he said that he had to live “sometimes with extremely painful consequences” in his immediate professional environment – for himself as well as for those who worked with him.
On Wikipedia one reads only that he was released from his chair in Brussels. In What Do I Do? He wrote: “I wanted, no, I had to first find a solution to free myself from the toxic environment of civilizational decline and the conscious self-destruction of our culture.”
He asks, “What value can a life that is permanently based on condescending tolerance and fear of the inquisitive gaze of others?” He goes to himself, even if he has to pay a heavy price.
Is it really worth it, you might ask? How much do you have to respect yourself to be willing to endure bitter loneliness? What is special about this self to which Engels swore allegiance to good or evil?
In the consciousness of spiritual individuality
Engels rightly points out that Westerners know themselves only through their own bodies, and thus have lost every transcendent perspective, as a result of the prevailing materialistic worldview. But Engels himself considers the body “merely an instrument of our higher selves”. The body must serve the soul “to fulfill the life mission of what is usually referred to as the soul” – that immortal part of our being, “which is merely a spark, an image of that supreme being, which is part of the most diverse religions and philosophies that have been called the most varied names.”
Thus, the body is not an end in itself, we must indulge our sensual nature unconsciously. According to Engels, it fulfills its mission only if it enables people to “find the way to develop their transcendent selves.” So you will not be able to properly assess David Engels’ writings and life path unless you look at his self-image as someone who is aware of his spirit and spiritual nature.
But he who finds the spiritual individuality in himself, our eternal creative essence, realizes this also in his fellow human beings. So it is only logical that Engels wished to re-establish personal relationships on the basis of respect for another’s personality. He realizes that “basic respect for yourself as well as the limits set by reality for us can guarantee respect for others.”
It is an individuality that has nothing to do with selfishness or narcissism, for example, because it is based on “an admiration for the inner wealth of the individual,” which gives us precisely this wealth, which is based on the spiritual nature of the human being, in every person. It allows people to experiment.
It shows the fundamental difference in the dominance of materialism today, which is leading the West towards its downfall. If Europe were to rise again after the fall of the Republic, like Rome again, it likely would only happen because Europeans are re-discovering their spiritual heritage – “and so does the inner diversity of our millennial European culture,” as Engels wrote – and more and more. People become aware of their own things, so take back your true self.
Starting a family
“what should I do?” Written now for those people he calls “the last Westerners” – as mentioned in the introduction by Simon Wonder, Director of the Renovatio Institute. Wunder said, “This will have a“ mission of preserving Western heritage during the period of impending unrest so that it can develop again in time. ”People who see themselves as“ part of the continuous chain of giving and receiving ”and acting out of love and responsibility for the precious goods that are made Easily lost or destroyed.
What specific advice did Engels give to these other custodians of European heritage? Among other things, to start a family. “At a time when everywhere we hear only about the historical“ guilt ”of Westerners, many citizens choose to adopt children instead of parenthood, and the demographic self-destruction of the West has reached mass suicide rates.” According to Engels, “Forming a family almost means doing Resistance is rebellious and revolutionary as the “free” love he might one day be.
“In the face of decline, how can one secure the survival and dignity of oneself, family and values?”
The founding of a family is also a political symbol that clearly states: “It is our right to live. We claim that the land of our ancestors is our land; we believe in our future. We do not give up the struggle for our rights and the continuation of our way of life, thinking and feeling!”
Create a new civil society
Whereas Europe is increasingly changing “from a largely socially and culturally homogeneous whole to just an infinite set of increasingly hostile religious, ethnic, or ideological groups,” we must, at least in the West, accept the sad reality in our region. Homeland In order to become a minority, we must insist on our right to “live by our traditions, our history and our beliefs,” Engels said. To this end, we must increasingly create our own networks “in order to be able to compete with others.”
Solidarity, loyalty, honesty and awe towards the spiritual and material heritage that our history has left us for us to care about are the cornerstones of the cells of the newly created civil society.
Previous Lux of the Orient
So Engels has no interest in founding another museum, and there are no paintings or books that could be preserved here, but the terms of the spirit that produced them. So he is concerned with preserving a certain way of life, with the Western spirit, and European civilization remaining that way, in order to save it while it blossoms into a new life. In 24 chapters, it illustrates the path to this goal – 24 chapters with titles such as “Surround yourself with beauty”, “Be tolerant – but not suicidal” or “Restore Europe”.
Engels wrote the epilogue “What do you do?” in Poland. In 2018 he accepted the invitation to a research professor at the Institute of Zakodny in Poznan, where he was responsible for questions of Western intellectual history, European identity, and relations between Poland and Western Europe.
In his ideas about his new home in Central Europe, “This is the last stronghold of the traditional West,” he wrote: “If the flame is not defended at any cost here in the East, where it ignites with its last flare, it will soon be extinguished for good. But who knows what?” If the West, after the internal collapse which is rapidly approaching Western society, will not receive the incentive from the East to reconnect with its past? ”
Hence, he invites his readers to “remain true to their belief in honor, family, and God – and their love for the West.”
“What are you doing?” It is a very successful and very personally written publication of “The Last Westerners”, who – despite all opposition – set out individually and out of love for their common heritage, find and work together to create this wonderful saving of civilization in a new era.
David Engels: “What Do I Do? Live with the Degradation of Europe”
Hardcover, Renovamen Verlag, 4th edition (October 31, 2020), 248 pages, 16 €