Empire’s driving force is neither strength nor brutality. They are important, but they are only the tires on empire’s vehicle. The engine that sets empire into motion is the serene barbarity of the civilized.
Strength and brutality are children of dysfunction. But serene barbarity is the child of normality and reason. The serene barbarian uses his gifts of abstraction and reason to neutralize the restraints of morality because he believes that his barbarity is not barbarity but is a moral act that is serving his nation's destiny, whatever that is.
The serene barbarian is smooth of face and bland of features. Seated at his desk beneath a bank of fluorescent lights, he sets into motion the banal policies that leave blood and destruction in their wake. All the while, his face is open and pleasant as he pauses to stare for a moment at the picture of his wife and child on his desk.
The paradox of the serene barbarian is that he was raised as an innocent. He never knew hardship or saw a body torn and bleeding, nor has he ever been a victim of misfortune. His barbarity is one nurtured by boredom.
The serene barbarian thrives because the Devil has repositioned himself. There is no more sulfurous smoke or burning pits of eternal damnation. No more do you find him at moonlit crossroads. Now he strides towards you across a restaurant floor dressed in a Brooks Brother suit and wingtips. He takes you by the hand and tells you how glad he is to see you, and in the warmth of his greeting, all your doubts and anxieties vanish and you feel you have found peace and identity.
It’s all so serene, so peaceful, so comprehensive.