Philosophical Musings

Philosophical Musings

Monday, May 25, 2015

The Rise & Fall of Western Civilization

Well, this is a very dramatic sounding title, & has the look & feel of being way too long & boring. I'll try to keep it short, but i can't make any promises about boring...  :)    I will just present the outline.. each part could have a paragraph or more detailing & expounding on it, but i'll leave it simpler for now, for the overview. 

Dictionary definition of Civilization:
a : a relatively high level of cultural and technological development; specifically : the stage of cultural development at which writing and the keeping of written records is attained
b: refinement of thought, manners, or taste

Civilization is more than technology. It is an evolution of social, technical, & spiritual development, advancing a societal interdependency, built on an ever growing knowledge base. Huts give way to houses. Caves are replaced by castles. Lawlessness is punished & order established. Force is still the basic tool of compliance, but it is a collective action, not just the possession of the strong. Specialization builds interdependency. Not all farm, or build, or make clothes or wagons. Not all manage animals or process meat. A currency is born to provide a medium of exchange. Knowledge is acquired, & built upon, providing an advance of technology, efficiency, & efficacy.

The roots of Western Civilization's rise.
1. Roman Empire.
     a. Man as a god, not an animal
     b. Law, order, administration
     c. Art, music, architecture
2. Growth of Christendom & the Catholic Church
     a. Man as a created being, in the image of God
     b. Superstition replaced by orderly God & glimpses of Natural Law
     c. Growth of literacy, records, & a knowledge base
3. Reformation
     a. Natural Law over imperial decree
     b. Growth of reason, scientific explanations & analysis
     c. Concept of human freedom
4. Renaissance & explosion of technology
     a. Further building on knowledge base
     b. more departure from superstition
     c. freedom of thought & expression
5. Birth of America
     a. The equality of man
     b. Govt as servant, not master
     c. Self rule
     d. Individual Liberty as goal
     e. The State exists to secure the individual's rights
6. Western Imperialism
     a. Human power seen as proof of supremacy
     b. Manifest Destiny, or 'white man's burden'
     c. Dispersal of literacy, history, the knowledge base, the scientific method, & the religious/philosophical basis
     d. The global expansion of Natural Law & moral absolutes
7. WW2
     a. The pinnacle of western civilization.
     b. the battle for freedom, human dignity, & Natural Law over imperial rule, genocide, & oppression
     c. the explosion of constitutional law  & democracy throughout the world

The roots of decline.
1. Marxism
     a. No Natural Law, no god, no moral absolutes
     b. Man as an animal to be controlled
     c. Collective might makes right
     d. Elevation of the State as the means to control & engineer others
     e. Promotion of collective ideals: redistribution, no private property 
2. Darwinism
     a. Man is insignificant.. an evolving animal with no higher purpose
     b. No natural law, no moral absolutes, survival is the only function of man
3. Eugenics & social engineering
     a. Superior humans should enhance their survival, & eliminate inferior ones
     b. The State is the means to control & engineer humans
4. Progressive ideology of control & elite rule
     a. Social engineering to solve problems
     b. Redistribution & collectivist ideals
     c. Empower State to control others
     d. elite ruling class
     e. Science by decree
5. Islamic Caliphate
     a. Kept in check in previous centuries
     b. Goal of world domination, not peaceful coexistence
     c. Empower State to control others
     d. elite ruling class
     e. Truth by mandate, Science by decree

The roots of decline have been operating in the world for over 100 yrs, & are weakening the foundations of western civilization. Dark ages practices are being revived, & the concepts of Law over mandate are set aside for the ruler's convenience. Its basis is a fundamental difference in the view of Man & the Universe. As long as these ideals remain the social status quo, we can expect further erosion of western civilization. Tearing something down does not take as long as building it. It took about 2000 yrs of building & moving TOWARD the ideals of Natural Law, the Dignity of Man, Accountability, & a Higher Purpose. It could all come down in a generation, as the ussr & china have illustrated.

The ominous sign is the direction. Pre WW2 there was oppression & inhumanities to man, but the DIRECTION the world headed was TOWARD freedom.  Slavery ended in the west.  Individual freedom was growing, even in monarchies or other totalitarian systems.  WW2 was, imo, the pinnacle of that direction. Since then, we have slowly been heading AWAY from human freedom, & toward statist control. Rights are devolving, & the individual is considered no more than an animal to be managed by a ruling elite, who want these same animals to work & support them. Civilization is now going downhill.. not in technology, but in human freedom.

This is my analysis of western civilization. I see these things in the signs of the times, as well as the repetition of history.

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