Writing in the February 2002 issue of Chronicles, Thomas Fleming says that we are already being ruled by the barbarians:
So the question is not whether American civilization will collapse but when – and what are we prepared to do about it. Until we are willing to give up the fiction that we are living in a decadent period of the Roman Empire – say, the reigns of Nero and Caligula – we can never appreciate our situation. The barbarians rule our world just as surely as they ruled Rome during the sixth century.
Up until a few years ago, I thought that Bubba might have a little fight left in him; but Bubba watches the WWF and the Playboy Channel, and his wife is on Prozac.
I’ve written a bit about creating an Anglican community by like-minded Anglicans moving to the same location. Steve has put down some great thoughts about what educational praxis could look like in an Anglican setting. I’d like to see all of this come together in an Anglican Benedict Option – fleeing the collapsing modern state and “preserving the remnants of Christian and classical virtues and laying the groundwork for the rebirth of a new civilization.” If you have any interest in really doing this and not just thinking about it, please contact me!
It seems to me that this would require some agricultural know-how. Working the land might be necessary in a small town with no big job-provider around. I am presuming that the internet and modern communication will persist, but that the permanent things will be left behind by a reckless culture. So I speculate on other trades that could provide income in a situation where a new community attempts to carve out a place and survive on the outskirts of the empire. I wonder if typography in the form of a type foundry could work in a small town? Fonts are distributed globally so perhaps that is a flexible enough craft to be performed from anywhere. Book binding is a niche market that would seem logical for the people of the book. Publishing in general would be desirable, and creating lasting editions of works like the Book of Common Prayer, the Bible, and the Church Fathers would be essential to a Benedict option for Anglicans. Depending on proximity to the ocean or lakes, some type of boat building / repair might be profitable. Establishing a school and a university would seem to be necessary to perpetuate learning in the face of global ignorance and the bankrupt university system of the United States.
We can cultivate a different way of life in the face of the moral miasma that is the air we breathe. Formed by the cycle of the Church year and daily prayer, devoted to alms giving and works of mercy, fearless in proclaiming the Gospel and practicing the liturgy that has undergird the Church since her earliest days, we can begin again.