Imagine it’s 440 AD; hundreds of Hunnic horsemen pour down the Danube river plundering, maiming, laying waste men & beast alike before they are finally cut down by a disciplined lot of Roman soldiers. This unruly band of barbarians are then quickly put to sword.
In a world where we live today such horrendous occurrences surely haven’t abated. We’ve had multiple instances of heinous war crimes in the World wars, Vietnam war, Iran- Iraq war, Gulf wars, Bosnian civil war, Afghan conflict & the Syrian civil war.
However, the two set of worlds are in fact exceedingly different as:
- Economic prosperity across nations has improved the dignity of life. Today, you’ve a reasonable chance of living a quality life & a far greater probability of not dying in some gory war- zone. Empirically, violent conflicts have subsided over the years.
- Most of the nations today have some sort of ‘Rule of Law’ which guarantees that citizens shall be governed by law instead of arbitrary fiats of government officials & despotic rulers. This guarantees each individual a reasonably ‘fair’ chance for justice. Surely, if ‘barbarism’ were the new norm then we’d have already digressed to things far more capricious.
- As the internet turns more pervasive in decades to come, the world shall become even more connected. In such a scenario, things that elicit sensation would surely grab more eyeballs & hence, mainstream attention. You’re more likely to hear the savage tales of ISIS than of the good work being done to ameliorate the conditions of Syrian refugees.
- And if by ‘barbarism’ you actually meant the decay of the concept of morality then, you ought to understand that things as morality are too fragile & diaphanous to remain intact over centuries. At some point in the past slave- trading wasn’t a moral issue rather an abundantly profitable business. Witch- hunting used to be a favorite pass-time among various cultures & in places like India manual scavengers were never the equals of their compatriots. Such concepts of morality & conduct refine themselves as nations progress & prosper thus, they’re always dynamic. Hence, using morality as some cardinal parameter is a flawed logic here.