Speaking as a teacher of Latin, I am rather concerned by Boris Johnson’s statements about the fall of the Roman Empire. In a recent speech, that was supposed to be about Climate Change, Boris claimed that the Empire fell because of mass migration.
There is no real need for me to debunk the claim, since most of the Classicists with a twitter account have already mocked him. Boris observed that, after the Roman Empire, civilisation went ‘backwards’ into the Dark Ages. That, of course, only applies to Western Europe, because the Roman Empire didn’t so much collapse as shift its centre of gravity to the East. The Byzantine Empire, centred in Constantinople, lasted for another thousand-odd years.
Anyway, let me leave the condemnations to Mary Beard, who is better qualified than I am.
I just want to point out that it is possible that Mr J has been watching some naughty videos on YouTube. At least, he might have in the past, because the video that made the claim about the Empire falling due to immigration isn’t on YouTube anymore. However, a refutation of Stefan Molyneux’s Modern Parallels is still there.
Of course, I am not saying that Boris got his ideas from a race realist. Maybe he just read the same books. I am just worried that he has managed to get an alt-right talking point into public discourse.
It might be an accident. I mean, even the historians who are condemning him suggest he might have conflated military invasions with immigration. He is just a little confused, isn’t he?
Or does this article from Gal-Dem argue that it isn’t just an isolated case of an unfortunate mis-speak?