Giulio Meotti
Giulio Meotticourtesy

Heliogabalus is declared "transgender" in the UK, the Telegraph reveals. A museum has decided that the Roman emperor will be treated as a transgender woman and called "she”.

Relativism is not the only disease of the West, but it is certainly the most serious.

Anyone else would have thought that, in the midst of the horror we found ourselves in after October 7, it would have been better to avoid controversies such as the "transgender emperor", to show ourselves as a civilization proud of its history and not intent on rewriting it. But now we have many good reasons to consider history concluded, at least European history.

Why go to all the trouble to protect the Churchill statue in London from the hordes of pro-Hamas barbarians?

The Muslims call us "infidels" and the West "unbelievers", prey to the "Judeo-Crusaders", but we are just a gigantic Toyland. Our competitive nihilism always feeds on childish words. How “fluid”!

Once upon a time there were only two sexes. Now even a Roman emperor is “fluid”.

Until now I had agreed with those, such as the French philosopher Chantal Delsol, who said that the West would end up like the Roman Empire. I was wrong.

At Columbia University, the reading of Ovid's Metamorphoses is preceded by a warning to students, because the great book "contains offensive and violent material that marginalizes students' identities."

At Oxford the study of Homer's Iliad and Odyssey and Virgil's Aeneid has been scaled down to facilitate "diversity".

At the Sorbonne, a performance of Aeschylus's Suppliants was cancelled. In England, the statue of Emperor Constantine has come under fire.

The University of Cambridge has decided that it will review the Classical Studies curriculum: "They have played a central role in modern Western colonial discourses and a significant role in the development of modern racism."

Signs of the fall in our Lower Empire have been growing since in 1988 Stanford targeted the "Western canon" with Homer, Plato and Aristotle, after the black preacher Jesse Jackson mobilized students shouting "Hey hey, oh oh, Western culture has to go”.

The poisonous message of these intellectuals was vividly enunciated by France's leading communist ideologist, Louis Aragon, in 1925: “We will destroy this civilization that you love so much…Western world, you are condemned to death…We will awaken everywhere the seeds of confusion and malaise. We are the agitators of the mind… those who will always reach out to the enemy.”

This treacherous, nihilistic worldview is now institutionalized throughout Western academia.

At Brown University - one of the pearls of the American Ivy League - Lisa Littman questioned whether all transgender people are linked to actual dysphoria. She hypothesized that it could be some sort of social contagion. Littman published her findings in an essay. Littman, the magazine and Brown University have been virtually kicked with accusations of “transphobia” in the press and on social media. In response, the newspaper announced an investigation into Littman's work. Several hours later, Brown University issued a statement denouncing the professor's work. Littman's career was now destroyed. She no longer teaches at Brown and her contract with the Rhode Island state health department has not been renewed.

And, in fact, the student body of Brown University has voted a motion in which the October 7 massacre by Hamas is called a “victory,” while the director of a New York cancer center was fired for posting against Hamas.

The Wall Street Journal is right: "Hamas's barbarity illuminates the crisis in higher education."

So in a large American university you cannot question gender (male and female), but you can define the butchering of Jews as a "victory".

Westerners have seen and re-watched dozens of Hamas’ videos, but many of them responded to such horror by convincing themselves that they were dreaming. And as it has been said, dreams are the guardian of sleep.

That's why I was wrong. The Roman Empire was not decadent like us. Imagine if Carthage had celebrated October 7th and, instead of “Carthago delenda est”, Cato had praised Hannibal's victory.

What is the purpose of power if the civilization you govern falls into ruin?

This week we learned that in Madrid, the capital of a former Catholic country, there is a nursery next to the "Retiro", the large central park. “Sometimes we have to remind the owners that they are dogs,” the owner tells Le Figaro. “Because Wag Wag is a… dog daycare. For 7 euros an hour or 22 euros a day, your dog will be walked, entertained and socialised. There are now a dozen of them in the Spanish capital. Today in Spain there are more dogs than children: 9.3 million furry companions, compared to 6.7 million humans under the age of 14."

Hasn't the "hour of closing the gardens of the West", as Cyril Connoly called it, come?

Western civilization, the new Toyland, will not end like the Romans, but like the Olmecs of Mexico and the Anasazi in America: they vanished into thin air, the villages abandoned before the arrival of the conquerors.

Giulio Meottiis an Italian journalist with Il Foglio and writes a twice-weekly column for Arutz Sheva. He is the author of 20 books, including "A New Shoah", that researched the personal stories of Israel's terror victims, published by Encounter. His writing has appeared in publications such as the Wall Street Journal, Gatestone Institute and Die Weltwoche. He is also a Middle East Forum Writing Fellow.