Western civilization is falling. Like Roman civilization before it. And Greek civilization before that. There are many reasons. It may still take decades or even centuries, but as with Babylon, the handwriting is on the wall. (And since events seem to be faster, overall, today due to technology and population, we may not have all that long.)
What does that mean? Even if the nukes are launched and dropped, the world and the human race will not disappear. There will be something replacing western civilization. Sooner or later – but unlikely to be a centuries-long period of darkness and horror, as the science fiction writers commonly portray. Not to say it won’t be nasty for a good while, but finally, something else will develop.
Before we look at a replacement, though, we need to ask a simple question. Why is western civilization falling?
Why? Despite its many, many failings, western civilization is built on a foundation of liberty: human liberty.
More liberty means less government, and less government means less misery, servility, hypocrisy, denial, waffling, mendacity, degeneracy, squalidness, even brutality and crudity. We see that throughout human history.
Less government means less government intervention, less government spending, less government draining of resources, and less government employment. And less waste and destruction. More liberty means less government.
The reverse is, of course, true as well.
And that is what is happening now. We are reversing that, by getting more and more government.
More government means less liberty. Less liberty means more misery and more of all of the rest of the trials and tribulations humans face. More government means more intervention, more of government as a parasite extracting resources, more spending and more waste and more employment by government.
Most government employees are not producing goods or services which people what to buy and have: otherwise they would not need to steal money (tax) to do these things. In the same way, money stolen and spent by government is used inefficiently. Even though roads and such get built, the overhead costs are astronomical, because the parasites demand their pound of flesh. And much of what is produced by and for government is destroyed: wasted. Americans let government spend trillions of dollars in Iraq and Afghanistan, destroying still more resources: creating waste. We are now doing it with billions in Ukraine: tomorrow we may see it in Russia, Poland, and Belarus.
But we see the same thing at home in the Fifty States. Government uses much of the money it takes from businesses and people who own and work in those businesses to pay for the means of shoving us into a box, taking away the very liberty they supposedly are sworn to protect. They push harder and harder to do the very opposite of what too many Americans still believe is the purpose of government. It is often, if not usually, worse in other western nations, in Europe, in the Pacific, and elsewhere.
What can prevent that collapse, that fall? Perhaps nothing – though most of us (at least those who are rational and have a strong faith) work to keep that from happening. At the moment, we are failing.
So we need to consider what will replace western civilization, just as western civilization replaced Roman civilization. And many others around the globe. It is a well-established cycle. And despite claims to the contrary, we have not abolished history.
We need to recognize and identify and make our ambition to establish a replacement that is better: with more freedom, not less. With more liberty and justice for all. Not tyranny, no matter what it is called.
The replacement requires knowledge, determination, and… though many may disagree, faith. Especially if we want that replacement to be what humans – all humans, and not some self-anointed elite – should have and need. The choice is ours, and the generations after us. Are we teaching each other to be free people or slaves?
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Reblogged this on Calculus of Decay .
What do you want to bet that Modern Western Civilization would hardly be inconvenienced if it was only Washington, D.C. that was nuked?
We might be tempted to say such an act might _save_ Western Civilization. Although a few more targets might be needed: the Denver Federal Center, Fort Detrick, Mount Weather, and perhaps Sacramento.
I think, sadly, the seeds of the destruction of Enlightenment-based Western Civ were sown in the Enlightenment, and for the reason you say must be included in it’s revival — the progressive rejection of faith.
Scientifically, huge strides were made, yes. I am an engineer, so appreciate the value of science. Reason is also a powerful tool. Somehow, Classical logic went by the wayside. The mere existence of a possible explanation not involving faith meant that idea was the only truth, instead of a plausible possibility.
Philosophically, Hume sent us down paths that in retrospect turned out to be false leads.
But the big problems were in political theory. Locke made one of the best early attempts, but sent us down the false path of social contract. And taken to it’s logical conclusion, his proviso invalidated his whole thesis. Hobbes and later Rousseau cast in concrete that social contract nonsense that permeates all modern state theory.
I’m not saying religiosity is a necessary component of a rebuilt Western Civ. I think it likely is, the individual not essential to Enlightenment thought, and I don’t offhand see how to avoid it going right back to what we have now. But it is conceivable that this time around, if we can somehow avoid rejecting faith out of hand, a society could be formed which values the individual just because he’s an individual.
Sorry for the lengthy response. I’m somewhat passionate about the topic. 😉
No problem at all – you raise some interesting and valid points. Some of the Founding Fathers, through children of the Enlightnment, recognized the essential role of an active faith. They were not all Deists by any measure.
Oceania was at war with Eurasia therefore Oceania had always been at war with Eurasia.