Ann Coulter, Pat Buchanan: “It’s the end of the West.” Blah blah blah. I’m not even saying that the horribly racist aspects of their philosophy (and sorry to Buchanan for lumping him with Coulter) is necessarily a problem. Of course, Coulter’s racism is horrible, but assuming that there’s this “Western Civilization” to save, I don’t know, if it’s a really great thing then maybe horrible ideas might be worth considering to save it. However, to Pat, Ann, and the many many other commentators who worry about the West’s collapse, I have news.
Western Civilization died already, a long time ago. It was called “The Great War”. Britain, Germany, America, France, Russia, Italy, Austria – all the great sub-expressions which embodied “Western Civilization” all charged into that war head first. Sure, everyone entered at different times, for different reasons, with some amount of fair rationalization for their actions. Who said, “Hell, no!”?
As “great” as Western Civilization was, and I don’t want to throw the baby out with the bathwater, it still had warfare (and consequently colonialism, class, and statism) as part of its foundation. I think, at this point, it’s honestly disingenuous to think about the West’s “good part” without acknowledging the bad and admitting that, going forward, we aren’t going to “save” the West, but move forward into some new civilization to come.
The inseparable role of the “bad” parts of Western Civilization – inseparable from the good – are why WWI happened.
Western Civilization was nothing but a Jenga tower – that game with the blocks you have to carefully remove. It grew higher in proportion to compromising its foundations, it was structured that way from the beginning And finally, during the Great War, the thing collapsed from truly dizzying heights. What a mighty collapse it was. How it reverberated.
Kind of like Rome’s fall. What a coincidence.
Now we have this bastard thing called Pax Americana, American hegemony. A lingering remnant of European war culture, poorly conceived, lacking self-knowledge in any meaningful capacity.
Hey, maybe there are good principles which trickled out intermittently from the West’s carnage. Maybe Ann Coulter’s general demographic concerns have a kind of validity.
Let’s stop waxing nostalgic for “the West”, and “Western Civilization”. You’re worshiping a corpse. There’s a desperate need to wash our hands of it and move on. Otherwise we’ll never be able to defend liberty, because we’ll never stop being too busy dealing with our neighbors incessant trampling out of the grapes of wrath upon all the world and each other.
Source: The Libertarian Institute