Because we must apply our own devices to govern our affairs, we can easily become the victims of any form of extremism, and, also, innovations and change are necessary when the previous model has failed. This is the second mistake of the book, which sees in change and innovations one of the characterisitics of the West’s success. Charlemagne’s empire, for instance, never achieved the stability of the Eastern Roman Empire, which, according to Royal, “was providential because otherwise the West might have settled into a static sacred order of the Oriental or Byzantine type. Instead, the very instability and division of the West forced both church and state into constant dynamic negotiations (emphasis mine). This is precisely the problem: where the others, Byzantines or others, see stability, Westerners see a static order. But it is this instability that is the source of the Revolutions and the violent reaction against Christianity in the West. When the medieval Church had failed and started to crumble after the high point of the 13th century, in which the Pope was virtually both spiritual and secular ruler of Western Europe, the kings appropriated for themselves what belonged to the Church, and the latter became subservient to the State’s desire. Any revolution against the monarch’s tyranny would also necessarily target the Church which supported it. Here, we see how a government in the Byzantine style provided a more stable order.
It seems that, by taking pride in our own instability, the very source of our success, we are in fact glorifying our own act of death. Do we prefer success over social and political stability? If the answer is positive, the West may continue to struggle for long.