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Full Version: Dismantling the Idea of the West
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Sort of a companion piece to my recent post, 'The Revolution, George Soros, and the Assault on the West'.


Quote:The dismantling of the idea of the West began when medieval philosophers began re-introducing the Sophist notions reduced to ashes by Socrates. This reintroduction came about as a reaction to extreme scholasticism in the Middle Ages. It was a fascinating thought experiment known as nominalism, but it unwittingly wrought massive damage upon the very ways in which Western citizens viewed themselves, disconnecting them not only from other cultures and peoples but also from one another—even within the same communities. Rather than reaching, often in anguish and pain, toward the transcendent and universal, their own priests were telling them to look more toward the muck of this world, perhaps even to wallow in its filth as a simple fact of existence. [All the more reason to adhere to the Angelic Doctor's moderate realism in philosophy! JW.]
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During the 1960s, the New Left—more culturally than economically Marxist—began a concerted effort to destroy the foundations of Western Civilization, claiming that the West was little more than a facade for a while, European males to maintain a powerful hegemony over society. The view, as the New Leftists argued it, was that such claims as natural law, natural rights, and opportunity for all were merely smokescreens, allowing for the elites to maintain control over the oppressed and the voiceless. Rather than standing for the Platonic and Socratic notions of the good, the true, and the beautiful, the West really maintained a power relationship of one group solidifying and perpetuating its control through sexism, racism, and imperialism. Given the progressive dismantling of liberal education six decades prior to the rise of the New Left, the New Left was able to gain control of departments and promote an agenda of destruction, though often with the best of intentions.
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The West, as noted above, not only created philosophy (while all significant civilizations have accepted ethics, but, generally, only ethics), but it also introduced the ideas of natural law and natural rights.

The West has also understood that freedom and liberty are not ends, in and of themselves, but means by which we make free decisions toward the good, the true and the beautiful.

The West has also, critically, understood that while natural law and natural rights might be inherent in the very being of man himself, the securing of those rights comes with the cost of great sacrifices.

The West has also understood the necessity of myth, symbol, legend, allegory, and poetry as a means by which to pass the most important lessons from one generation to the next.

And, as the men around Socrates so wisely understood, we use the space offered by free choice to pursue not just the good, the true, and the beautiful, but we pursue these things through the four pagan virtues: prudence—the ability to discern good from evil; fortitude—the ability to persevere against all odds; justice—the giving of each man his due; and temperance—the use of earthly goods as a form of plastic, a means to an end. Later, of course, St. Paul would add the Christian virtues of faith—the ability to see beyond ourselves; hope—the confidence that we matter; and charity—the giving of one’s self for another.


Read the entire article on The Imaginative Conservative.