‘Reform and reinvention rise and fall through the world like the tide, setting and resetting the land at will, sometimes gradually and indirectly, other times sweepingly and cataclysmically, reconfiguring the dynamic in ways that either rejuvenate the system or kill it in favor of a better one.’ ~ EON
Rome is dead and buried, yet it somehow lives on through its enduring, classical legacy. So does Ancient Greece and the armies of the Goths, and the motley Subcontinent, and a few other great civilizations.
Not the same can be said of the native Americans, the Celts, or most other indigenous cultures of the world. These peoples refused to adapt to the changes befalling them and perished in a wave of death that was more mass suicide than genocide.
The outcome was brutal, sad, unwarrantedly macabre, yet perfectly natural, especially when viewed from nature’s perspective. Like it or not, change is an inextricable part of Earth’s dynamic, to which all things subscribe, living or dead, but mostly living, ending up dead, or living dead, if they fail to adapt to it. Call it an inbuilt mechanism designed to drag life through iteration after iteration of progress and reinvention in an endless, often tumultuous cascade of events.
It’s neither good nor bad, this process. It’s simply change and development: the platform on which new paradigms make their stand, rising out of the rotting remains of their predecessors, much like trees grow out of the compost of whatever dies at their feet.
Let’s call the dead deceased and the living their worthy successors. Endurance is something no one can argue with, not in the long run. To be around is to have the right to judge those who aren’t, making sure their mistakes remain in the grave.
As for the little and insignificant tribes of history, those bands of people we always refer to in general terms, no one even knows their names, hence the vagueness with which we refer to them. They existed, yes, adding their anonymous two cents to the process, but they live in anonymity where they will forever dwell. Some may call them the great social mass, the wonderful people, the noble slaves, the ignominious individuals, the wheels on the cart and the backbone of civilization, but the truth of the matter is that nobody knows who they are. Under history’s radar they slip and vanish forevermore. They become means to other people’s ends. Their defenders and aficionados champion them only when they need someone to step on to rise higher, or to challenge the powers that be, mouths full of noble declarations as the boots of expedience crush the noble masses in whose name they raise a banner, and on whose skulls they stand.
The little and insignificant tribes of the world may populate space but, after a while, no one remembers who they were, and that’s the bottom line. No one knows they even existed. What good is a noble purpose when no one’s ever going to hear about it? Better a caveat in a history book than a smudge on a boot.
In that sense, the annihilated cultures of the world whose calamity was great enough to warrant a place in history, they are the lucky ones among the unfortunate. Their obituaries are their final statements, some of them resounding, their monuments an expired calling card, their graves a inverted womb, preserving their remains in a life after death, and that ain’t half bad, as they say. In the mill of Time, you either exist or perish, and the former is temporary. A life immortalized (for a time) in chronicles and ruins, it may not be the ideal result, but it’s good enough in the grand scheme of things, especially when considering the infinite void of ignominy that sits at the edge of reality, feasting on existence like a black hole.
Vexed? Watch this space for more.
From the collection of writings EON: THE ANGRY COMING OF AGE