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The “Green Deal” – a new late antique colonate?

The “Green Deal” has become a new political guideline not only for Germany, but for the entire EU, and we can only pray that Poland will never enact the framework that is developed right now in Brussels. Indeed, what is happening before our eyes should be of the utmost concern to the citizens: it is about nothing less than their transformation into an amorphous mass, which is to be systematically deprived of property as well as of the freedom of movement and even identity. If one looks for historical parallels, one must probably go back to Roman imperial times and the establishment of the so-called “colonate”.

Inflation, tax crises, epidemics and barbarian invasions had made it increasingly difficult for the simple peasants to continue to farm their estates. In order to counteract the increasing rural exodus, the Roman state enacted ever more numerous laws to tie the peasants to the land and thus make them the de facto property of the respective large landowners, who, at least in the West of the Empire, developed into a true feudal nobility over the course of the next centuries.

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In Rome, this development was a consequence of the weakness of the state and the economy; in today’s Europe, however, it is the other way round: a hitherto flourishing economy in a still extremely influential European association of states is being deliberately ruined by self-destructive legislation in order to transform the previous bearer of European democracies, the bourgeois middle class, into a slave proletariat, while their laboriously accumulated property is to be hawked to the increasingly powerful caste of the super-rich. The creation of this new colonate rests on four pillars; and the country where the process is the most advanced, especially in economic terms, is Germany.

The first pillar of transformation is the already well-known destruction of time-honored solidarity communities through mass immigration, state-sponsored family disintegration, diversity quotas, gender-theory and de-Christianisation, in order to create a maximum of political fragmentation and hatred making any broad civic resistance against oppression impossible.

The second pillar consists of the senseless increase of energy prices and thus of the very driving force of our society through the highly dangerous phase-out of nuclear and coal-fired power in the name of “climate protection”.

The third pillar is characterized by the forced introduction of electric mobility and the abolition of the combustion engine: high purchase prices, even higher energy costs and finally an extremely reduced autonomy, together with outrageously long charging times, will probably make it impossible to continue to enjoy the mobility to which we have been accustomed since the 1950s and which is an integral part of our understanding of freedom. Modern European man will be bound to an ever narrower radius of action that he can only overcome with the help of public transport, which, especially in Germany, is already incredibly inefficient and unreliable.

The fourth pillar is provided by the new EU-specifications for heating and insulating private homes. The costs incurred will either make the majority of homeowners slaves to their banks or force them to sell off their properties in a panic, which in the end will again only benefit a few large investors and hedge funds – which, oh wonder, most generously subsidize the most radical green NGOs out of “concern” for the climate…

And as if all this were not enough, we already hear the demand for a CO2 passport, which should make it possible to discredit the few remaining free expressions of the life of Europeans as inadmissible “environmental pollutions” and to tax them once again – and at the same time to establish a “social credit system” on the Chinese model. And so, despite the most modern technology and political analyses, we find ourselves in a situation where European man, in the name of climate and morality, is being deprived of his freedom step by step in a completely legal and constitutional way and will eventually be different from the liberty restrictions of the late antique colonate only from a quantitative, but a qualitative perspective…

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Of course, this is not an exception: all late civilizations tend towards severe restrictions of the liberty of their citizens, and very obviously, technology as such seems to have only a very superficial influence on the inner development of any civilization if even the West is concerned by this dynamic. And yet, another consequence is also revealed by the slow return of the highly advanced Western civilization to atavistic, feudal forms of society: namely, that of the gradual regression of technology in late civilizations.

Not only has the West since the 1960s only succeeded in improving the application of already known technical principles while making no or few fundamentally new inventions; but also, many of the high technologies that have been known for the last decades are gradually being phased out and replaced by considerably more primitive techniques, such as is the case with nuclear energy, the internal combustion engine, magnetic monorails, supersonic passenger planes, hovercraft transports, etc.

Only in the field of information technology does a certain kind of progress continue to take place, but its impact remains in fact extremely limited and can ultimately be reduced to two areas: First, the escapism to artificial paradises (“virtual reality”), on the other hand, surveillance and indoctrination techniques in the broadest sense. Here, too, one cannot help but think of the increasing tendency of all late civilizations to become true police and military states on the one hand, while on the other increasingly urging their citizens to flee into imaginary parallel worlds, whether these are of a religious, philosophical or purely hedonistic nature…

Prof. Dr. David Engels (born 1979) is the chair of Roman History at the University of Brussels (ULB) and currently works as a research professor at the Instytut Zachodni in Poznań, Poland. Author of numerous scholarly publications and essays. Photo: Prof. Engels’s private archive.

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