Rome vs. the Barbarians

by Nowick Gray


The Dilemma of the Nonpolitical Man

Reading Thomas Mann’s Reflections of a Nonpolitical Man, one is struck as by the revelation of a déjà vu. In the context of wartime Germany (1914–18), the novelist saw the world forces in archetypal conflict, as painted earlier by Dostoyevsky (1877), who witnessed Germany’s pivotal role from afar. In short, the global project known as Rome, a.k.a. Western Civilization, arrayed itself in a death grip around those primitivistic Huns, the last bastion of resistance to empire.

Fast forward to Trump at Davos denouncing the mandate of globalism while defending the American national project, and we see a fitting reprise of the same ideological standoff. In the intervening century, the grand chessboard has been reshuffled enough times that no pat national alignments make sense of it all. Even as the EU struggles for supremacy to echo Rome’s, this time it’s a captured Germany ironically holding the purse strings.

With Trump gone as a figurehead of resistance to the Global project, it is left to the scattered populists of America, as in Europe, with a supporting cast in the Third World (and Fourth World of surviving indigenous peoples) to mount a campaign against assimilation, or simply to withdraw consent and participation.

The challenge, in historical terms, is the asymmetric nature of war. As Mann quotes Dostoyevsky (A Writer’s Diary), “the Roman idea” and formula must be protested against, “proclaiming freedom of the spirit. The split [with Luther as before with the tribal chieftain Arminius, 9 AD] was terrible and universal—the formula of protest had been found and was fulfilled—even though it still remained a negative one, and the positive word still had not been expressed.”

The seeming lack of a positive counterforce to the utopian project of the new Romans expresses itself by default in stubborn populism: in the words of cheerleader Nancy Reagan, “Just say no.” Principled resistance is, as Dostoyevsky noted, an “eternal struggle,” perhaps best understood as a spiritual more than a political one.


Holy Roman Empire

Jon Rappoport, in his daily blog coinciding with my first reading in Mann’s book, zeroes in on the Roman side of the story (“The Roman Church: a betrayal of trust”). The Roman Empire, before it was Holy, was on the verge of collapse, and made the strategic decision to rebrand in the name of its populist challengers, the Christians. “Eventually, through the centuries, a merging of banking interests, organized crime, and elite families spawned that totalitarian empire—the Church—vastly superior to any ancient Roman Army.”

The result was a great reset of even greater control—this time psychological, in the form of spiritual fascism, all dressed in verbal fairy tales not so different from Klaus Schwab’s Elysian Fields: You will own nothing and you will be happy (while we the most powerful will inherit your Earth).

Rome’s own rebel, Archbishop Viganò (Global Appeal for Anti-Globalist Alliance Against the New World Order), seems uniquely positioned to weave a middle way between the hegemon and the hedonist. He calls for a united front that respects the need for each nation to resist according to its own principles, whether of “popular resistance” or “national liberation.” Either way, it’s “a radical reform of politics… firmly opposed to the neo-malthusian project of the globalist agenda.”


Democracy in America

Julius Ruechel’s recent essay, “Democracy in America,” supplies the American side of the equation, patriotically picking up the nationalist–populist flag where Germany, as Rome’s nemesis, failed. Ruechel echoes Mann’s thesis about the “devil’s bargain” represented by the “Social Contract,” popularized by Rousseau and adopted as the template for modern, Western, “liberal” democracies.

For his part, Ruechel draws the lineage of the hierarchical government much farther back than Rome: “Since the dawn of the agricultural revolution 12,000 years ago when we first began living in settled communities ruled by centralized governments and formal top-down hierarchies, all cultures have been organized according to some version of the simple philosophy that you owe your existence to the State (and by default to those in charge of the State).”

Thus, we come again to the heart of the matter; “the eternal tug-of-war between the rights of individuals and the needs of the State begins to take shape.” America’s Founding Fathers planted their new flag firmly in the soil of the former; and in today’s Orwellian reversal, Big Brother Biden declares the rights of individuals obsolete.

We have arrived at the final battle; or at least, one of those watersheds like that 9 AD Battle of the Teutoburg Forest: “As it prevented the Romanization of Germanic peoples east of the Rhine, it has also been considered one of the most decisive battles in history, and a turning point in world history” (Wikipedia).

The French Revolution, Ruechel goes on to detail, was no revolution at all, or rather just another turning in circles toward authoritarian rule. The American Revolution, on the other hand, resonated with that spirit of freedom that animated the Germans of Arminius and Luther, at least.

Germany, to its discredit and demise, followed its proud protestantism into Bismarck’s and Hitler’s wars for national glory; in that fall by pride it stands as a precursor to its twentieth-century rival in empire-envy, America.

The Wilson plan upended the American nation as such into Federal Reserve hell and League of Nations lassitude, destroying the isolationist creed in a bloodletting orgy, leaving corporate global technocrats in charge of feasting on the liver of the world. We come to the dregs of the party, where the imperial trophy lies smashed against Afghan rocks, as it foundered in Vietnam in the quicksand of the people’s revolution there.

Evil Empires

America, Germany, and Rome herself all made the same error of human pride and avarice, lusting from a settled national republic to an overreaching empire. Britain nearly sacrificed itself to Hitler for the same lost cause, under its own blue-faced, red-handed royal stamp. When Britons uttered the motto, “God and my right,” they forgot it didn’t mean liberty; it meant royal prerogative, whose sovereign “right” expressly denied the self-rule of others.

Ruechel seeks to reverse that impulse for power, which is seductive even for the disempowered since they crave protection and the other perks of servitude. True power rests not in imperial or even national statism; nor in revolutionary ruling councils; but in the human breast, in liberty writ small:

What the Founding Fathers created was a vision and a set of ideals to aim for. It is not a national vision, despite being shared by millions. It is an individual vision. It is a vision that invites people to foster a culture of liberty in their personal lives, in their communities, and ultimately in their nation. It inspires people to push back against the inexorable growth of tyranny that typically consumes empires as they become bloated with age. And once that bloat sets in, as it has today, it provides an alternative vision to strive for that doesn’t condemn society to continue walking around in a circle in a never-ending search for a more benevolent shepherd. (Democracy in America)

The patriot then must contend with an inherent disadvantage, forever on the defensive against encroachment from expanding states. It’s at once an imminent crisis and poses an existential dilemma, as Dostoyevsky and Mann noted. How do you defend from political with nonpolitical?

Enter the metapolitical, the wild card, the Joker, the Trump. America was Rome’s heir, via Britain… and the Deep State’s oyster, via Hilary. But then, in the twinkling of an eye, a barbarian chieftain had gained the mic and boldly challenged the New Rome in Davos.

Not to worry, another well-greased turn of the election crank, a shuffled deck, and it was back to business—this time, for all the marbles. Arriving at the last frontier, we have become the territory to be colonized. As I observed in the wake of the short-lived Occupy movement,

In a world where 99 percent of the people are now united in our colonization by the 1 percent… we no longer need to be divided by issues and identities of separation on the basis of race, nationality or territorial seniority. The predominant separation that controls and overshadows all the other issues now—environmental, political, economic, cultural—is that between the 99 percent and the 1 percent…. In a time when “the war on terror… has morphed into war on democracy” (Henry Giroux) the assault is the same—the mounting crimes against nature and humanity—and time has come to hold this universal predicament to the light. (“Colonizer Meets Colonized,” 2013, in Talking Spirit: Essays and Inspirations)

What’s left, after Pax Romana, Pax Britannia, and PoxAmericana, is a confused chessboard of shifting labels and false flags, of palace coups and counter-revolutions. Is there such a thing as a post-hegemonic future? The first step is to get comfortable with the idea of absence: in the absence of lies, lies freedom.

Truth is treason in the empire of lies. The scammer will make the lie bigger and bigger to keep you on the hook. They will never admit they are lying. This is why I keep saying become #Ungovernable… Don’t be afraid of it. Just accept it and the responsibility of it. Only then will you be free. Only then can we put an end to this. —Tom Luongo, Biden’s Incompetent Presidency – A Feature, Not a Bug


The Body Politic

Aptly enough, the body’s natural immune system might serve as a positive model of sustainable political health. It’s not that parasites, cancers, toxins, dysfunctions, microbes, let alone electromagnetics and nanoparticulates, can be expected to stay away. Rather, it’s how we deal with them to keep our life system intact and fluid.

Health is not a state of aggression, nor of traumatic stress. The task is to fight the occupying forces on one’s own territory, with one’s native resources—and to serve homeostasis, balancing fight and flight with rest and recovery, stress hormones with pleasure hormones. In facing death we can’t lose touch with life.

It is important here to note the framing error we are offered: we are not “unvaccinated”, just as we are not “unlobotomised”, “unheartstented”, or “unfacelifted”. The default is to be “just human”, and not to have had a lobotomy, heart stent, or cosmetic surgery. There is no legitimate need ever “to assert your status” or explain why you do not desire to participate. The subversive control of language is being used to draw us towards the transhumanist future. This is done by reversing the default, making nature appear as a lack of technological enhancement. (Martin Geddes, The Saviours of Humanity)

The state of positive (which is to say, balanced) health is analogous to the acceptance of freedom from the need of a program to Build Back Better. Maybe it’s enough to call your manifesto “Life.”

If our existence is “reactionary” or “negative” when forced to play defence, we assert our preferred manner of living in the day to day, and in the live moment. We are content to make do with the self-reliant and cooperative resources given to our condition. If it comes to a fight, we are ready—on our territory, our terms.

And so it has come to a fight, in truth. Now the task is to stake that claim, to speak those terms of freedom. Not for Germany or Rome, not for Britain or the USA, nor that perpetual colony, Canada. Certainly not for the global transhumanists hacking away to reset us all. Our country is our self, ourselves; where we live, who we are. That, we will never surrender.

Now a pink dawn spreads across the sky. The bioweapon jabs float bodies in the floodwaters, impossible to hide. Awakening comes, body by body. There are whispers in the streets: the traitors will hang. We think of the empires fallen, the nations and families divided, and we know who to forgive, and who to release to the ashes of history.


Further research: Quarantine Reading List


Now available in one volume, Nowick Gray’s collected essays from The New Agora, 2019-21.

Metapolitical: Practicing Our Human Future, by Nowick Gray

Facing an accelerating war on humanity, we break free of the narrative box of the old paradigm, and reject hierarchical power, for the sake of our sovereign human future.

Order now from Amazon.



Nowick Gray is a regular contributor to The New Agora and also offers perspectives and resources for alternative culture and African drumming. Subscribe to his Substack (New World Dreaming) or visit his  writings website at

image credits:

(feature) mob: the simpsons
girl: John Lash
eagle: Gilbert Oceania
gun, needle:
wealth: Credit Suisse
mural: DCComix
we are: Bob Moran
guillotine: Kim Usbourne



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