“What do I think of Western civilization? I think it would be a very good idea.”
~ Mahatma Gandhi
What follows is less than a scholarly tome. It is an accumulation of thoughts gleaned from a lifetime of personal observation and study, so I only propose it as something to think about.
My premise is this: the most successful and long-lived civilizations of history have the following five characteristics in common and that the loss of any one of the five results in decline, loss of more than one results the fall of the civilization. In these civilizations the overwhelming majority of its members share:
- A common theism,
- A common ideology,
- A common culture,
- A love of the aforementioned, and
- A willingness to defend all of the above (with deadly force and to the death, if necessary).
A common theism is important – in order to be a unified civilization and survive challenges from other, competing civilizations, there must be a unity at a spiritual level. Contrary to what our ruling class and he elite academia believe; the rise of Islamic terrorism isn’t driven by economic or political motives. Most academics and devotees of secularism deny that Islamic terrorism has a religious and spiritual genesis because they give little or no credence to their own spirituality and are motivated by a form of dialectic materialism rooted in their own fealty to socialism and communism. Jihadis come from all strata of Islamic and Western society, we have seen the wealthy and the poor, the educated and the ignorant become agents of human destruction. Islamists conceptualize this “struggle” as Islam versus the infidels – this is the only dimension they understand. If Western civilization cannot unite behind a single, motivating, spiritual organizing principle, it will fall. The Crusades are often thought of in pejorative terms but in more visceral times, the Islamic threat was far more obvious and therefore imminently more visible.
A common ideology (and by ideology, I mean a concept of freedom, liberty and the governance necessary to preserve them) is also necessary. A common understanding of the political process, the legal environment and a broad understanding of the governing structure is essential. In order to avoid an arbitrary and capricious nature of savagery, people must be able to predict how their interactions will affect others and what the reaction from those “others” will be. This commonality must also be as minimal as possible – for it to bind all of the civilization, it must be simple and clear enough to be understood by the most common of men in that civilization.
Similar to ideology, a common culture is required – and this doesn’t mean that it is unchanging or without variation, just that it is shared across the civilization as new, unharmful and enhancing aspects of other varying cultures are assimilated (and assimilated is the key point). Important aspects providing strength to a civilization are the stability and predictability brought about by the common bonds between its people – Rousseau called it a social compact or contract. It is the mutual understanding of how things are going to work in society and what are the expectations of, and duties between, members of the civilization
It goes without saying that the members of a given civilization must actually love – that is to be totally and completely devoted to the aforementioned. Members must value liberty, the systems that protect it, the culture that drives it and the spirituality that preserves it. Absent that level of devotion, the final aspect is impossible and that is the willingness to defend the civilization with force and with the risk of one’s own life.
For better or worse, it seems clear that Western civilization has witnessed varying degrees of success in the intermixing of these five characteristics. It is a personal belief that America’s success has resulted from a) Christianity, b) the classical liberalism of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, c) the unique American ability to assimilate the best of the world’s cultures and create a singular American culture, d) the nationalism and patriotism of American exceptionalism and e) the willingness to expend its treasure and give the ultimate sacrifice of American lives to defend the ideals incorporated in these five characteristics and to provide the opportunity for the rest of the world to benefit from them as well.
America’s decline is not an inevitability; it is a choice – we are choosing to violate the characteristics of success. Multiple violations of all five will spell our end just as it has the other great civilizations of antiquity.
10 thoughts on “The Five”
Reblogged this on Oil for Your Lamp.
Our founders would agree with you on all 5 counts, as well as with your conclusions…
The so-called times when “America was supposedly Great”, were the first 20 years after WW2. America owned two thirds of the world’s gold and had the status of the world’s number one export nation. High paying manufacturing jobs were in abundance and the standard of living was incomparably advancing.
This was the result of all the other manufacturing capacities in the world being reduced to RUBBLE after WW2. America did well only because it’s competitors like Japan and Germany were to take 20 years to rebuild. America does well when there is no competition, as anyone would!
Theology, Culture, and ideology hardly matter under these circumstances!
America had a great time after Carter. In fact the Reagan years led to prosperity and innovation whose momentum lasted until about 2000-2001.
The Early 20th Century also saw tremendous innovation…recessions sure but all resolved until the Socialists under FDR and the Fed turned that one into a depression.
The expansion into the 19th Century led to Great mobility of the nation in both physical locations as well as economic ones. The expansion from the East Coast and Southern states into Mid West Farms before that was a Great time as well.
And the founding of America itself was a Great and liberating event from 1600 up until 1776.
And all of these times were associated with a strong Common Culture and Common Christian Theology. The Common ideology was the belief in the Judeo-Christian concept of God given Free Will.
By the mid 60’s the huge trade surpluses of the US after WW2 began to invert into trade deficits because the other countries that had their manufacturing and industrial capacities had rebuilt and were again becoming competitive. In fact too competitive for the US! The trade surpluses were extinguished and replaced by ballooning trade deficits. The US has been in decline since this time.
The Nixon Shock was an event that allowed the US to financialize and capture the surpluses of other countries instead of generating it’s own. This was a move of pure economic parasitism that turned the US into the number one consumer society in the world. Today 70% of the US economy is Consumption(shopping). The economic deterioration we are witnessing today is this parasitism having gone too far!
The US Constitution is a “Secular” document that does not endorse Christian values(values like racism, slavery, sexism, antisemitism, homo-phobia and child molestation). If there are any great achievements in the US they are strictly threw accomplishments of secular thinkers and religion is excluded from the affairs of the state intentionally because of religious corruption.
(values like racism, slavery, sexism, antisemitism, homo-phobia and child molestation). You have quoted muslim and Liberal/Socialist values here.
Like the “Grown Men in little girls bathrooms” that have proven to be pedophiles…..and are supported by Secular Liberals like the Management of Target.
One of the only legitimate “affairs” of our State is the protection of Religious Freedom under the 1st Amendment. Thus religion and the Constitution are joined at the hip. Further the Constitution/Bill of Rights was written to quide and limit the Federal Gov’t on the principles outlined in the first Founding document… The Declaration. The Declaration is the reason the Constitution exists.
The Constitution exists To protect the ” Laws of Natures’s God which endowed unalienable rights to all men”.
Most of our Founders and many of our Greatest thinkers were men of God.
The gobbledygook you put up shows you are fixated on the 1969-1980 timeframe. The 1980s made millionaires of many all the way up til 2001. It also saved the Pensions of millions and created whole industries…Home.Computers…. cell phones…..Software……the internet and all the spin off efficiencies of that.
Most of the entire world is a consumer economy to a certain extent now. Esp. with China and Latin America dependent upon the US economy.
You got your world view from a CrackerJacks Box…put there by an America hating Liberal like Howard Zinn and or Louis Farrakhan.
The original settlement of the US drove the increasing prosperity until the early 70’s by which time the country had been fully occupied and consequently the demand for labor flat-lined and today has turned negative because of “Free-Trade and Globalization!”
A hundred years ago employers in the East needed to offer ever higher wages in order to keep employees that otherwise would have moved West to obtain a higher living standard. This has not been the case since the mid-seventies, and the demand for labor is no longer a factor in the US!
Under an honest money system like gold, a country with a trade surplus accumulates gold and a country with a trade deficit is eventually bankrupted when all it’s gold has been spent! Last year the US trade deficit with China alone was about a trillion dollars! No other country can do this, and its not because the US is great!
Human progress has been impeded by religion, not supported by it! Religion is dangerous!
China’s economy is in deep doodoo.
Human Progress has been made possible by Liberty…..by freedom and free will……. that has been given through Judeo-Christian values and America established the ONLY Country and govt structure in history designed to protect and promote it.
America is the Greatest Country that has ever existed in recorded history.
And Globalization in regards economic activity between nations and regions has been a reality since the late 1400s-early 1500s
But then Howard Zinn and Ward Churchill type propaganda substituting as education would afford you the opportunity to even know of real genuine scholars on the subject like Immanuel Wallerstein :
The Modern World System : Capitalist Agriculture and the origins of the European WORLD-Economy in the sixteenth Century.
… Would NOT afford you the opportunity to even know……
Reblogged this on That Mr. G Guy's Blog.