Whenever the public was in a frenzy about something or other, my friend Herman Kahn (look him up) liked to quip, “There are only two important things that have happened since the dawn of history—and this isn’t one of them.” He was referring to the Agricultural Revolution around 5000 years ago and the Industrial Revolution. It’s good to keep things in perspective…
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The thing to remember is that Western civilization is built on a certain set of values and virtues that have given the world something unique in history. Before the rise of Western Civ, people everywhere in the world survived by piling sticks and stones on top of one another and grubbing for roots and berries, freezing in the winter and starving in the spring, expecting an early and likely violent death.
Western Civ changed the very nature of life. It is, in fact, the only civilization worth talking about. China may have given the world Taoism, martial arts, and General Tso’s Chicken. India developed yoga, and curries are tasty. But on the whole, Ayn Rand was right when she said East minus West equals zero.
We’re now undergoing our own Great Cultural Revolution. It’s much more serious than what the Chinese attempted in the ’60s. Why? Because a whole complex of destructive ideas have now captured the apparatus of most governments, academia, media, entertainment, charities, and large corporations. The public has been both subtlety and overtly indoctrinated for generations. It’s not easy to reverse a trend this large.
Let me give you the dozen things that made Western Civilization and America not only unique but vastly better than any other country or civilization in history. I’ve listed 12 concepts. These things are the essence of Western Civ—and are unique to it. Ask yourself if attitudes towards them haven’t changed radically in recent years. Ask yourself if the trend towards collapse of the West hasn’t accelerated since then.
- Free thought has been replaced by Political Correctness, and it’s discouraged. We’re approaching the stage of Orwellian thought crime.
- Free speech is subject to cancel culture at universities, Google, Facebook, Twitter, and society in general. In totalitarian societies, free speech is cause for imprisonment or worse. We’re headed in that direction.
- Free markets mean the freedom to act. They’re gone as an ideal, replaced by socialism as a goal. Regulation is now considered essential by most people.
- Limited government has been replaced by State control of almost everything.
- Individualism is seen as bad, or at least antisocial. Identity politics is preferred. You’re not an individual so much as a member of a race or a party.
- Rationality is white and therefore racist. Science, logic, and fact are replaced by superstition. Group think is the new secular religion.
- Liberty is seen as a danger. Snowflakes need shelter in safe spaces for fear of being triggered.
- The concept of Progress is dangerous because it leads to inequality, and no one should be left behind.
- Privacy has been replaced by Transparency. God forbid you might have a secret. Everything is monitored. The Chinese Social Credit system is becoming a model.
- Property Rights—Fuhgedaboudit. You’ll own nothing and better be happy. On the bright side, your masters may give you food, housing, education, meds, and a Guaranteed Annual Income—if you’re obedient.
- The classic Rule of Law is gone, replaced by thousands of micro rules. Everything that’s not obligatory is forbidden.
- Industry & enterprise are evil since they lead to “greed,” inequality, and using the planet’s resources.
Statists and collectivists have largely succeeded in corrupting the public’s attitudes towards the twelve things which made the West unique. The trend is accelerating, and trends tend to stay in motion until they reach a crisis. Once they reach a crisis—it’s called a revolution in the case of a country, or a collapse in the case of a civilization—things usually get even worse, at least for a while.
[. . .]
My guess is that for years to come, we’re going to see a serious devolution of civilization everywhere. The world has become top-heavy with the fruits of civilization. Hundreds of millions rely on those fruits, with no clue about how they came about. Meanwhile, the roots of the tree that produced them are rotting.
As a result, we could be looking at not just a historic financial meltdown, accompanied by a really serious economic upheaval, with wars and serious shortages. But an overthrow of traditional cultural norms, social chaos, and political totalitarianism. Of course, mankind has survived all that for at least five millennia so far. And I suppose we’ll handle this as well. There will just be more unpleasantness and inconveniences than usual in the decade to come….