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What exactly is Western civilisation, and what holds it together? When politicians speak of our ‘war against terror’ they tell us we are defending freedom, but if freedom is the only Western attribute worth defending then we are lost, because we should be fighting for all of the ideological strands that make the fabric of our present society.
Western civilisation is rooted in a scriptural event located some 3,500 years ago on the slopes of Mount Sinai. It was there, one thousand five hundred years before the birth of Christ, that Moses, the leader of the Jewish People, received The Ten Commandments from God.
“Thou Shalt Not Kill” led to the Judeo-Christian concept of the sanctity of life, which with the other nine Commandments could be summarised in the universal Golden Rule of: “Do unto others as you would be done by”. This broad edict is encapsulated in the Five Books of Moses which make up the Jewish Torah and the early Old Testament, and form the foundations of the Western concept of equality before God, or equality under the law.
Another root of Western civilisation formed 2,500 years ago in Ancient Greece, reached its peak in the Classical period and was represented by the philosophical schools of Socrates and Plato, and the democracy of Pericles.
But Greece declined, as all great civilisations do, whilst Rome stirred, grew powerful, and expanded across the world. Mary gave birth to Jesus; Judaism gave birth to Christianity and so the moral teaching of Jesus intertwined with the laws of Moses, of Greece and of Rome to lay the bedrock of the Western world.
The collapse of the Roman Empire led to the Dark Ages, out of which Europe slowly emerged before surging ahead in the Renaissance, which gave rise to the masters of classical music, painting and architecture.
The Protestant Reformation of the 16th century was another important strand in the formation of Western civilisation, as was the Age of Enlightenment, or the Age of Reason, in the 17th and 18th Centuries, which provided the framework for the universal rights of man and the modern, democratic world we live in today.
21st century Western civilisation could never have formed without its ancient roots. It is a unique, magnificent and unprecedented achievement unseen anywhere in the world save those countries with a Greco-Roman, Judeo-Christian heritage. It is a tragedy that our liberal educators and rulers give so little credit to that which made us what we are.
Most post-Christian Westerners are unaware of their religious heritage, but a useful way of looking at this is not who we are, but who we are not. We are not Muslim, Buddhist or Sikh, and the reason of course is our Judeo-Christian heritage which has – just as firmly as it has unconsciously – formed the ‘we’ in who we are.
Christianity played a vital role in the moulding of Western civilisation through its promotion of forgiveness as a moral virtue. The exhortation to turn the other cheek and to forgive those that trespass against us allowed a continuity of internal peace to develop, which is the most necessary precondition of a liberal democracy. In contrast to this, Islam’s demand of continual retribution has led to the unceasing conflict and violence, or semi-peaceful totalitarian control, we see in the Islamic world.
When St Paul said “We are members of one another” (Bible, Ephesians 4:25) he spoke of the concept of public spirit whereby a person devotes time and energy to helping those he does not know, leading to communities of altruistic civilisation, another necessary and unique attribute of Western society alien to Islam, which promotes only an allegiance to Allah (God), close family, extended family and tribe.
Early 20th century America was surely one of the pinnacles of Western civilisational achievement. Advertising itself as a home for the huddled masses, a variety of disparate races and cultures flocked to its shores, where they were allowed to hold onto their tribal heritage whilst being subtly and simultaneously moulded into the American ideal of the new country, which was being forged on patriotism, public spirit and individualism.
These ideals were promoted in conjunction with a common Christian future and a common Christian past, which combined with their motto E Pluribus Unum (Out of Many, One) to build a unified people of such social and political strength that differing cultures were able to meld peacefully together to form the most powerful head of the most powerful civilisation known to man.
The people of the West now live in a public sphere where we are protected by equality under the law; by our communal rights and duties under both written and unwritten constitutions; and by freedom of speech (although the liberals are slowly eroding this). Democracy is not a perfect system, but we are free to add or remove our politicians via the democratic process; or put more simply, we are governed by politics whilst most non-Western societies are governed by tribal power. This ensures our greatest freedom – the freedom to succeed.
The detractors of Western civilisation accuse it of building its success on the back of violence and imperialism. This may be true, but every human tribe in the history of mankind has tried to do the same. We were just better at it in all truth – which is certainly not a source of shame – and of the countries we colonised, only the ones which retained the basis of our political and moral systems can be viewed as successful states in economic and moral terms today.
We participated in slavery, but slavery had been taking place in African and Muslim lands for hundreds of years before our involvement, and it was only the West that physically fought – and fought successfully – to stop it. Indeed, slavery still goes on in the Muslim-African and Arab worlds today and Western liberals should ask themselves why, given the millions of African slaves sold to Arabia, there are few noticeable descendants.
In contrast to others, we utilise the money that our Western societies produce, to give aid to the Third World. We deploy our military in times of natural disaster as a humanitarian tool. We have established the vast majority of the world’s charities, which in turn allow Western engineers and doctors to provide water, power, schools, heart operations, cataract operations, medicines and succour in Third World countries.
There will always be evil in the world, but it was the combined forces of Western civilisation which defeated Europe’s twin evil empires in the last century – National Socialism and International Socialism, aka Nazism and communism. It was the forces of Western civilisation that defeated Japanese Shintoism and subsequently chose to help rather than plunder Japan, thus allowing it to become the modern and successful country it is today.
We did the same with a defeated and broken Germany, in an act of unparalleled altruism and sacrifice unknown in the history of human conflict, and an act made possible only within societies grounded in the Judeo-Christian morality of Western civilisation.
And evil is not yet done. The world is, has been and always will be a brutal place outside the confines of Western civilisation. Europe today would not exist were it not for American protection – it would be a Soviet colony. India and Pakistan might be smoking ruins, Southeast Asia a giant North Korea, and China might have razed Japan. Ancient hatreds exist all over the world, ready to explode when Western civilisation ceases to project its power – as epitomised in the build-up of illogical and fanatical hatred toward Israel following President Obama’s obvious indifference to that tiny, democratic nation’s fate.
Western civilisation does more than just guarantee a peaceful future. Unlike other civilisations, particularly Islam which destroys utterly anything un-Islamic, it preserves the past, housed in magnificent museums designed to honour not just our own, but other varied histories and cultures of the world.
We do this without overemphasising our own past, but what a glorious past it is! Built on our ancient foundations came Mozart, Van Gogh, Einstein, Shakespeare, Marie Curie, Sir Christopher Wren, Picasso, Gaudi, the Wright brothers, Emmeline Pankhurst, Mother Theresa, Marconi, John Locke, Abraham Lincoln and Winston Churchill, to name just a few of the many.
We built the modern world in all its inherent decency, freedom, tolerance, morality, fairness, forgiveness and altruism; its richness in art, music, literature, dance, finance, technology, science, philosophy and medicine. But most importantly, in a brutal world with an almost perpetual history of savagery, we brought about liberty and freedom, which we paid for in the blood of millions of our young men who made the ultimate sacrifice to enable its continuation. It is ours! We built it, we bled for it, we died for it, and now history beckons us once again to defend it, this time in the face of resurgent Islam and liberal treason.
Western civilisation is the crowning achievement of the most dazzling political, economic, cultural and moral success story the world has ever known. It is more than just worth fighting for, it is imperative that we fight for it, against both our liberal rulers who have betrayed us, and against those who have turned our hospitality against us after finding refuge in a civilisation towering stratospherically above theirs.
How dare our liberal rulers invite in and appease this political/ religious ideology of Islam? How dare the Muslims display their base ingratitude and pathological temerity to call upon us, the architects of the world’s most civilised, gentle, advanced and altruistic society, to bend to their barbaric ways? How dare these followers of a 7th century desert warrior look at our decency and tolerance as mere symptoms of Western weakness to be duly exploited at our children’s expense?
Is it really possible that we could commit our children to an Islamic future of second-class status or death, because we were too timid and too cowed to raise our voices in the face of colonisation and treason? To throw away thousands of years of evolution built on the blood of many generations, including those still alive today, lest we be called racist? To do so would be a great betrayal and if we are to represent the vanguard of Western civilisation, then we must not, we cannot allow this to happen.
The liberal left and Islam have no time for Western civilisation, but the vast majority of parents expect their children to inherit the same society as they themselves did. It is extraordinary that this even needs to be mentioned, yet with the exception of Israel – itself a part of Western civilisation – no other society has to legitimise its existence in the face of relentless enmity from within and without. We may be decadent and unwilling to fight for ourselves or our civilisation, but let us hope we will fight for our children.
The above article is from a pamphlet by Paul Weston entitled, Resisting Islam and Liberalism’s War Against the West, available exclusively from Liberty GB.