The money sentence, from the first paragraph: “Civilizations are created by individuals; they are destroyed by collectives.” From Butler Shaffer at lewrockwell.com:
This rare and brief exercise of their free choice, however
important it may be, will not prevent them from gradually
losing the faculties of thinking, feeling and acting for
themselves, and thus gradually falling below the level of
– Alexis de Tocqueville
It is not a coincidence that the collapse of Western Civilization is being accompanied by a rampant mindlessness and reptilian reaction to events so contrary to the means by which this culture was created. Civilizations are created by individuals; they are destroyed by collectives. Creative acts do not simply happen, but require energized minds capable of focusing on subject matters often over extended periods of time. The beautiful ancient cathedrals found in Europe – as with the continuing construction of Antoni Gaudi’s Basilica i Temple de la Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, begun in 1882 – are examples of creative undertakings whose completions extend far beyond the lives of both the designers and the workers who participated in bringing them into existence. For creative minds, time preferences matter: the pursuit of a truth may extend not only over one’s life-time, but beyond. Such is the state of mind of those scientists who accept, as part of the learning process, that a theory might, after lengthy research, be disproven.
Whether Western Civilization can be considered extinct, in a terminal state, or simply on a downhill course, is subject to differing interpretations. Suffice it to say that our culture is beset by rigor mortis, including its organizational systems; its creative vibrancy is gone; it no longer produces the values necessary for its survival; nor does it continue to meet the expectations of those who have embraced its qualities or purposes in benefitting human beings. Clarity in thought or vision that drives men and women to discover or create ways in which human well-being can be advanced, is being sacrificed to political or ideological ends. The Animal Farm mantra “four legs good, two legs bad,” has been transformed into divisive slogans such as “black lives matter,” and an insistence upon a multitude of subdivided gender identities.