Into The Night
The Crisis Of Western Civilisation
- Political Science
- 879 Words
- No Age Recommendation
Western civilization has entered an epic phase of profound crisis. The crisis is not of external enemies, though their role is a factor. Nor is the crisis economic, political, cultural, ecological, demographic, or a product of warfare, though these features of a civilization’s existence also have a bearing. Largely unconsciously, we of this age are living through what are likely the final paroxysms of a dying civilization. Western civilization, like others before it, is experiencing the entropy of the everlasting – the final running down of that which most of its members assumed would last forever.
Into the Night - The Crisis of Western Civilization
The book is in three parts. The first will gather facts, insights, and perspectives from among the greatest global thinkers on civilizational decline and decay of the last century. The gravity of their observations is admittedly daunting, as is their breadth and complexity. But the synthesis of their ideas with the major themes of this book will lead us to an understanding not only of our time, but also what is likely to follow just over the horizon of history. We must persist in trudging up the steep heights and be neither discouraged by the effort nor deterred by the desolation which comes into view from these lofty vantage points.
All of our observers are Europeans or Americans who have studied and written within the last one hundred years. In all other respects they represent different backgrounds, disciplines and beliefs. They are historians, sociologists and anthropologists. They are Catholics, Protestants and agnostics. But they stand out, not in their differences, but in their similarities, especially – and this is very important to our purposes – the common denominators in their views about the condition and destiny of Western civilization.
In writing this book I remain conscious of many of the same hazards of being viewed as “alarmist” as when warning of the threat of radical Islamic terrorism – but now on a grander scale. However, I was right in 1996 in predicting in a newspaper commentary a catastrophic attack by Islamic radicals with the words: “the 1993 World Trade Center bombing will be a pinprick rehearsal for what will follow”. Some will insist that the views expressed herein of Western civilization, and the predictions for its future – not simply mine but also those of our scholarly observers – are alarmist. But I have only grown in a supreme confidence that history supports these conclusions. They will be affirmed if we view modern Western civilization with a rigorous insistence on looking reality in the face.
This is a collection of facts, interpretations, and observations, not a debate. Years of experience have proven to me that debate in any form is one of the most overrated methods for getting at the truth. Debate is more often an exercise in vanity and egotism focused on that most Western of goals: winning. My objective is not simply to be right. I was right in 1996 in predicting a catastrophic attack by Islamic radicals. But my greater purpose was to add to the scant few voices daring to give the same warning in the hope of being heeded. I hereby add my voice to a very small coterie of those who, on the grand scale of a civilization, are proclaiming dire warnings. Though we speak from different perspectives, the fundamental alarm is the same – but far more grave than the warnings antecedent to September 11, 2001. [more]