Why A Community Becomes Senile
Why Tradition Becomes Corrupt
From 'Two Kinds' a chapter of 'A Study Of Our Decline' by P Atkinson (March 2007)

A Community Has A Life Cycle
The evidence of history suggests that a community is a life form as it shares the same life cycle of any other living creature; it is born, matures into a prime then declines into senility. The difficulty is understanding how a thing generated by the minds of people behaves in this fashion.

The Community Is Its Traditions
A community arises insensibly from the accidents of existence. People living similar lives close to each other will develop a shared way of life, that is, a shared set of traditions that embody their shared beliefs. And these traditions are the community as they are the way the community is organised, its laws, manners and customs.

The Birth Of The Community—The Start Of Language
The formation of tradition must also include a common way of expressing ideas — a language, which itself is the shared understanding of these citizens. Hence the appearance of a language is the start, or birth, of the shared understanding, which is the community.

Traditions Taught By Family
The traditions adopted by the community become the lessons the parents must teach the children to continue the community. And the traditional relationship between citizen and government must be the traditional way the child learnt to treat the parent, because how a child relates to its parents is how it understands authority.

Improvement In Understanding Wins Improvement In Tradition
As with every understanding the accumulation of experience will improve understanding, and this improvement must first appear in the sentiments of the citizens, before these improvements can be given reality by changes to institutions, manners, customs, and laws: the traditions of the community

Improved Traditions Allow Further Improvements Until It Reaches A Prime —'A Golden Age'
The community will embark upon an ever-improving cycle of gaining wisdom and strength by refining and extending its traditions. This improvement will be revealed in its improving customs, manners, laws and institutions but especially in its use of language, which will become more precise and clear. When this clarity of expression reaches its zenith, then the communal understanding is at its peak, which is the Golden Age of the Community.

Age Corrupts Tradition
The community propogates itself via the way it rears its children, who are taught to be unselfish and adopt the beliefs of their parents. This mechanism is not perfect so over time it also creates an increasing number of citizens who are selfish or who have not adopted the beliefs of their parents. When the number of these citizens becomes a majority then they start to change the manners, customs, institutions and laws to reflect their notions, which is the corruption of tradition.

What Is The Corruption Of Tradition
Tradition becomes corrupt when the manners, customs, institutions or laws, which make up the tradition are either discarded or reversed. A tradition is reversed when it stops being a vehicle for duty that improves the community, but becomes a vehicle for indulgence that erodes the community.

An Example of Reversal Of Tradition: Parenting
Once the role of parents stops being the duty of rearing dutiful citizens —where parents are masters of their charges whom they raise to be unselfish and so respect their community; but becomes the indulgence of parental desire to pamper their children —then parents become servants of their children's whims, and teach their charges only selfishness, which is contempt for others.

The Awful Impact Of The Reversal Of The Tradition Of Parenting
The impact of the tradition of parenting is thus reversed so that instead of creating unselfish citizens happy to sacrifice themselves for the benefit of the community, it creates selfish citizens, happy to sacrifice the community for the benefit of themselves.

Families Start Teaching Selfishness Not Duty
And once selfish behaviour is first adopted it becomes a self-replicating habit that will eventually corrupt all tradition and so destroy the community. The rule of the home will slowly degenerate from clear and strict, to confused and indulgent. (An influence that in western civilization has replaced the rule of a stern autocratic father and his obedient lifetime wife, with that of an indulgent mother, who shares her bed with a series of male favourites, none of who can safely assert their authority over progeny or temporary wife.) And this misrule must be repeated by the government of the community, who will indulge, instead of command, its citizens.

A Reversal In The Nature Of Authority
When enough spoilt children become citizens, their joint influence changes the mode of the community from vital — concerned with achievements— to venal, concerned with indulgence; a reversal that obtains a reversal in the nature of authority throughout the community. In the family the sensible rule demanded by parents becomes the silly rule demanded by spoilt children. In the community the sensible rule demanded by a monarch becomes the silly rule demanded by selfish citizens — democracy.

The Undeniable Symptom Of The Corruption Of Tradition
The first undeniable symptom of the corruption of tradition is when the populace demand a change from traditional to popular rule, for this must obtain a class war that wrests power from the traditional ruler and hands it to agents of the popular will.

Corruption Of Tradition Is The Slide Into Communal Senility
As tradition supplies both the understanding and the strength of the community, the corruption of tradition is the destruction of the mind and strength of the community and must render the community senile.

Only The Appearance Of A Society Will Remain
The rational and disciplined society will become like any senile creature, merely a fragile shell as only the appearance remains. And this facade will collapse under the challenges to its existence.

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