In the ancient world, when nations conquered their foes, they followed familiar patterns. Generally, the conqueror would execute most adults of the elite and educated class. They would destroy the memorials of the defeated nation’s past, and destroy the sacred places. The uneducated rural were usually left behind. The conquering nation would take the conquered nation’s wealth and usually bring back the children of the defeated nation’s elite/educated class to acculturate them. The complete vanquishment of the conquered nation occurred when the link to the nation’s past and culture was broken in that generation. America is in danger of a fate similar to that of ancient conquered, but from an internal enemy using similar pattern. Let me explain.
First, it’s important to note the one conquered nation which survived the ancient means of vanquishment. When the Babylonians conquered the Hebrew Kingdom of Judea in the 6th century BC, Hebrew children of the educated class were taken back to Babylon. As described in the 1st book of Daniel, the exiled children Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah (and others not named) dedicated themselves to their national history. As the book of Daniel continues, we discover this exiled generation’s dedication to the nation’s history. After approximately 70 years, the Hebrews brought the national culture back to Judea to continue as a nation. The nation of Israel later maintained itself through diaspora from the land of Israel for almost two millennia through generational dedication to history in scripture. The young Hebrews learning and following national history made the difference.
Beyond the many examples of nations destroyed by conquest from outside, history also records nations being destroyed from within in a similar way. One modern example is the “Cultural Revolution” in China from 1966 to 1976. Driven by Communist dictator Mao Zedong, Mao was trying to take China from an ancient national culture to a Communist China disconnected from the past. From 1958-1962, over 30 million Chinese died in famines due to Mao’s “Great Leap Forward”, and Mao worried about Chinese history making a comeback against communism due to the tragedy. Students from China’s elite Beijing university, who called themselves the “Red Guards”, went throughout China attempting to destroy any vestige of China’s history. Red Guards went after what they called “the four olds”. This included violence and persecution against anyone suspected of harboring “old” ideas. It descended into violence and mayhem killing millions. The young Red Guards were educated after the victory of the Communist Revolution in China in 1949, and so didn’t have that connection to China. They went after those who were old enough to have been educated in the history of “old” China.
According to Chinese-American Helen Raleigh, whose family suffered first-hand through the cultural Revolution: “Mao’s Cultural Revolution movement was the darkest chapter in China’s history. It should be called “Cultural Destruction.” It brought the Chinese people nothing but misery. It did fundamentally transform Chinese society: millions, including a generation of China’s intellectual backbone, perished, and an entire young generation grew up without any formal education. It tore the social fabric that used to unite people, and overturned traditional close relationships among families and communities. Its irreplaceable destruction of China’s cultural heritage left Chinese people in a spiritual and moral vacuum.”
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Bill Connor