Tag Archives: Western Civilization

Reclaiming Our Western Civilization, by Paul Rosenberg

Whatever it’s flaws, Western Civilization has also had many magnificent accomplishments. From Paul Rosenberg at freemansperspective.com:

The dismantling of Western civilization ran from the middle of the Enlightenment to about 1967. Since then, it has been aggressively uprooted and burnt. (See FMP #90 and here for details.) Western civilization still continues in the hearts and minds of many Westerners, and some local institutions retain their souls, but the central institutions are lost. The large and centralized entities of the modern West oppose Western civilization.

That said and accepted, the darkness emanating from American and European power centers has made one thing very clear: They are NOT Western civilization. They are, in fact, wildly separated from it. And that, in its way, is a blessing: It allows us to clarify what Western civilization really was.

And what is was, was a beautiful thing. And to establish this point, please remember that Christian Europe inherited some 20 million slaves from Rome, and by about 900 AD slavery had been eradicated from the continent. (See FMP #70 for details.) Never before, in all of human history, had slavery been eradicated on that scale.

Western civilization has been a massive blessing to the world. The centralized powers making it clear that they have no part in it has made it easier for us to see.

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Doug Casey on the End of Western Civilization

Western Civilization is faltering because its intellectual foundations—reason and the primacy of the individual—are being ceaseless undermined. From Doug Casey at internationalman.com:

End of Western Civilization

International Man: The decline of Western Civilization is on a lot of people’s minds.

Let’s talk about this trend.

Doug Casey: Western Civilization has its origins in ancient Greece. It’s unique among the world’s civilizations in putting the individual—as opposed to the collective—in a central position. It enshrined logic and rational thought—as opposed to mysticism and superstition—as the way to deal with the world. It’s because of this that we have science, technology, great literature and art, capitalism, personal freedom, the concept of progress, and much, much more. In fact, almost everything worth having in the material world is due to Western Civilization.

Ayn Rand once said “East minus West equals zero.” I think she went a bit too far, as a rhetorical device, but she was essentially right. When you look at what the world’s other civilizations have brought to the party, at least over the last 2,500 years, it’s trivial.

I lived in the Orient for years. There are many things I love about it—martial arts, yoga, and the cuisine among them. But all the progress they’ve made is due to adopting the fruits of the West.

International Man: There are so many things degrading Western Civilization. Where do we begin?

Doug Casey: It’s been said, correctly, that a civilization always collapses from within. World War 1, in 1914, signaled the start of the long collapse of Western Civilization. Of course, termites were already eating away at the foundations, with the writings of people like Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Karl Marx. It’s been on an accelerating downward path ever since, even though technology and science have been improving at a quantum pace. They are, however, like delayed action flywheels, operating on stored energy and accumulated capital. Without capital, intellectual freedom, and entrepreneurialism, science and technology will slow down. I’m optimistic we’ll make it to Kurzweil’s Singularity, but there are no guarantees.

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The Real Target of ‘Anti-Racism’ Protests: Western Civilization and its Values, by Vasko Kohlmayer

Under cover of an “anti-racism” banner—and who can argue with anti-racism?—the protestors are seeking the eradication of Western Civilization and its accomplishments. From Vasko Kohlmayer at lewrockwell.com:

That Western civilization is in crisis has been obvious to some people for some time. The dramatic events of recent months in America and Europe have brought home with great vividness and immediacy the seriousness of this crisis. The protests and looting that swept through the United States quickly turned dozens of inner American cities into something akin to bombed out war zones. The surging wave of violence and anarchy, however, was not the only issue of deep concern. Equally alarming was our society’s response to it. Instead of taking measures to reestablish order and the rule of law, our political system malfunctioned at the moment of emergency. Fractious and paralyzed, the political establishment not only failed to implement meaningful measures to take control of the situation, it – unbelievably – tied the hands of the law enforcement, forcing it to stand by as destruction unfolded right before our eyes. Rather than encouraging and empowering the police to fight the unfolding anarchy, the events took a truly bizarre twist when some politicians and public officials began cutting funding for the very bodies and agencies tasked with protection of public order.

It is no exaggeration to say that the protests shook our society to its very foundations. They exposed a number of latent fault lines and further exacerbated those that had been painfully obvious before. The situation suddenly appeared to be so dire that many people began to fear that our nation – and indeed the whole of Western society – may be on the brink of disintegration. These fears may well be justified, since America was not the only country so shaken. Protests of similar natured gripped other Western democracies as well.

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The humiliation of Western history, by Frank Furedi

Why are Western whites the only people who are supposed to apologize for their history, and to take no pride in their forebears’ many advances? From Frank Furedi at spiked-online.com:

From the NYT to British schools, powerful institutions are waging war on the past.

The most important issue at stake in the culture war is who controls the narrative through which society understands itself. At present, those controlling the narrative appear to be committed to reorganising society’s historical memory, and disputing and delegitimising its ideals, from liberty to equality. Take Netflix, for example. It is dominated by programmes, like Dear White People and Explained: The Racial Wealth Gap, that recast the Western way of life and Western history as irredeemably malevolent.

The humiliation and demonisation of the past and its ideals is now enacted at every important cultural event. Prize-giving ceremonies, be they the Oscars, the Tonys or the Pulitzers, invariably include speeches boasting of the bravery of the recipient for daring to ‘speak truth to power’. Ironically, this supposedly rebellious rhetoric is espoused by those who actually wield cultural power. These cultural elites see it as their raison d’être to denounce the culture into which they were born. Moreover, they do so for the public’s benefit, in order to ‘raise awareness’.

Back in the 1960s, raising awareness was a form of consciousness-raising. It was something one did to change one’s own outlook on the world. But in recent years, especially on social media, it has become a means to raise the awareness of others. As such, many use ‘awareness-raising’ as a way to distinguish themselves from those, who, to use the smug language of the day, ‘don’t get it’.

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Truth about the West: The Only Non-Oppressive Civilization, by Vasko Kohlmayer

What other civilization has ever tried to protect individual rights? From Vasko Kohlmayer at lewrockwell.com

Hey, hey, ho, ho, Western Civ has got to go.”

— Jesse Jackson

“Western Civilization is not, for me, a curriculum of democracy and reason and greatness; it is a history of inequality and oppression,” writes Scott Ross, a teacher. Mr. Ross is by no means a rare ideological outlier among his peers. The view he holds has been taught and propagated at universities across the United States and Western Europe for decades. The situation has become so dire that Yale University has recently cancelled its formerly excellent course called “Introduction to Art History: Renaissance to the Present,” because it was allegedly too Eurocentric. Some among the shrinking number of universities that still offer such courses use them merely as a platform to attack the very culture whose achievements they are supposed to teach. The alleged oppressiveness of the West is the leitmotif that dominates their critiques. This view has boiled over into the larger society and is commonly held today by those on the political Left. We have seen a disturbing display of this mindset during the recent riots when “protesters” kept methodically attacking and destroying symbols of Western culture.

Although it is true that various forms of oppression have been practiced in the West over time, oppression is by no means unique to the West. Oppression has been, in fact, a feature of every civilization that has appeared on the face of this earth. We could say that human history is – in one way – a history of oppression: It has common for those with power to exploit, trample upon and take advantage of their fellow human beings. There is nothing particularly surprising about this, since selfishness and rapaciousness are prominent aspects of human nature.

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A Walk in Prague: Contemplating West’s Achievement, by Vasko Kohlmayer

Western civilization has a lot to be proud of. From Vasko Kohlmayer at lewrockwell.com:

It was good to visit Prague once again. Known as the “City of a Hundred Spires,” it truly is a marvelous place. Positioned in the center of Europe on the banks of the meandering Vltava, it has been long acknowledged to be among the most beautiful on the continent. This surely means something, for Europe is home to many stunning cities: Rome, Florence, Athens, Paris, Vienna, Cologne, Venice, Bern. The list goes on…

Panoramic cityscape of Prague by Jan Fidler

In almost all of these great cities you can still locate their ancient heart – usually a square – where in times past the elders would come together to confer on the affairs of their community. It was also a point where the people would gather to take part in their civic life. Prague’s ancient heart is called the Old Town Square. This stately plaza – in which the mixture of architectural styles bears witness to the wealth of its history – is presided over by the Old Town Hall, a medieval structure built out of large limestone blocks. An imposing watchtower was completed above it in 1364. Standing at nearly seventy meters tall, its peak was the highest point in the city through the medieval age. Crowned with a steeple roof flanked by four turrets, the whole structure is exquisitely balanced. Constructed without the aid of motors or electric tools in an era when most people did not expect to live past the age of forty, the edifice is a testimony to the indomitability of the human soul. By creating something so robust and charming, its builders clearly wanted to leave behind something that would transcend the ephemerality of their personal existence. In this they surely have succeeded. The balance and dignity of their creation take breath away even centuries after the hands of those who built it had turned to dust. But even though the builders are long gone, they still speak to us through the stone testaments they left behind. Contemplating their handiwork, one cannot but stand in awe of the people whose skill and determination brought an edifice of such grandeur into being.

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The Rise, Fall, and Renaissance of Classical Liberalism, by Ralph Raico

This article was written in 1992 and the tone is probably more hopeful than if it were written now. From Ralph Raico at lewrockwell.com:

[This article appeared in the Future of Freedom Foundation’s Freedom Daily, August 1992]

Classical liberalism—or simply liberalism, as it was called until around the turn of the century—is the signature political philosophy of Western civilization. Hints and suggestions of the liberal idea can be found in other great cultures. But it was the distinctive society produced in Europe—and in the outposts of Europe, and above all America—that served as the seedbed of liberalism. In turn, that society was decisively shaped by the liberal movement.

Decentralization and the division of power have been the hallmarks of the history of Europe. After the fall of Rome, no empire was ever able to dominate the continent. Instead, Europe became a complex mosaic of competing nations, principalities, and city-states. The various rulers found themselves in competition with each other. If one of them indulged in predatory taxation or arbitrary confiscations of property, he might well lose his most productive citizens, who could “exit,” together with their capital. The kings also found powerful rivals in ambitious barons and in religious authorities that were backed by an international Church. Parliaments emerged that limited the taxing power of kings, and free cities arose with special charters that put the merchant elite in charge.

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No Motherhood, No People, by Paul Craig Roberts

A culture that doesn’t reproduce dies. From Paul Craig Roberts at paulcraigroberts.com:

It is paradoxical that feminism together with other ideological movements has destroyed the natural feminism of women and turned them into sexual items. The 19-year old who intends to get her tubes tied is turning herself into a pure sexual commodity ( https://www.spiked-online.com/2019/08/02/the-turn-against-motherhood/ ). That women are transitioning themselves into sex dolls is a paradoxical result after decades of feminist propaganda that reduced the sexual relationship between men and women from a loving relationship to “men’s use of women’s bodies.” The feminists have now achieved what they decried.

Feminism has not liberated women.  It has liberated women from woman’s role.  The kind of stable committed relationships that men and women formerly had are difficult to find today except in the oldest generation.

As The Saker recently wrote, we are experiencing “the gradual irrelevance of an entire civilization,” one that has been emptied of its history, foundational purpose, integrity, spirituality, and moral conscience.  It is doubtful after decades of anti-male propaganda that the relationship between men and women can be restored.  Thus has the family been undermined.  White ethnicities are disappearing from earth as the birth rate is less than the death rate, and 19-year old women are having their tubes tied.

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“Thinkin’ Rots the Mind!” by Butler Shaffer

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
humanity.

– 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.

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Must the West Beg the World for Forgiveness? by Patrick Buchanan

Nobody anywhere should be begging for forgiveness for things that happened befort he or she was born. That the title question is even seriously asked bespeaks how far from logic much of the mainstream has strayed. From Patrick Buchanan at buchanan.org:

As the Democratic Party quarrels over reparations for slavery, a new and related issue has arisen, raised by the president of Mexico.

Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has written Pope Francis I and King Felipe VI to demand their apologies for the Spanish conquest of Mexico that began 500 years ago with the “invasion” of Hernando Cortez.

Arriving on the Gulf Coast in 1519, Cortes marched in two years to what is today’s Mexico City to impose Spanish rule, the Spanish language and culture, and the Catholic faith upon the indigenous peoples.

“One culture, one civilization was imposed upon another,” wrote President Lopez Obrador: “There were massacres and oppression. The so-called conquest was waged with the sword and the cross. They built their churches on top of the temples.”

He demanded that the king and the pope ask for “forgiveness for the abuses inflicted on the indigenous peoples of Mexico.”

Now no one denies that great sins and crimes were committed in that conquest. But are not the Mexican people, 130 million of them, far better off because the Spanish came and overthrew the Aztec Empire?

Did not 300 years of Spanish rule and replacement of Mexico’s pagan cults with the Catholic faith lead to enormous advances for its civilization and human rights?

Or is there never a justification for one nation to invade another, conquer its people, impose its rule, and uproot and replace its culture and civilization? Is “cultural genocide” always a crime against humanity, even if the uprooted culture countenanced human sacrifice?

Did the Aztecs have a right to be left alone by the European world?

If so, whence came that right?

Which leads to another question: Are all civilizations and cultures equal, or are some more equal than others? Are some superior?

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