Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Fifty years ago every American, those in other countries can speak to their knowledge, in High School learned the History of Western Civilization, starting with the Israelites and the Greeks and tracing the fusion of their ideas through Christianity into the Reformation and the Enlightenment. That was reinforced for almost all Liberal Arts majors in college. Now secondary school Social Studies focus on a celebration of global meaning nonWestern cultures, including an abbreviated European section that hurries within weeks into the evils of the Industrial Revolution. Technology and capital wealth are treated as givens and not as the products of the patient accumulation of generations of sacrifice.
One criticism often leveled against the West is that we lack patience. Looking at that video I thought the opposite is true. The observers are very patient. We are linked to a past and, if we work for it, a future. Each of us helps to build a greater good, whether by flying the gunship or contributing to the Belmont Club. The enemies lead lives without meaning. They must make their sacrifices alone to an abstract and uncaring god. They have no past and no future only oblivion.