Friday, February 17, 2006

The West - address by Keith Windschuttle

In li'l ol' NZ, no less, A thoughtful piece, and as usual, backed up by historical research. With my having just finished Simon Schama's 'Citizens', a history of the French Revolution, the spectacle of masses being incited to acts of violence, has more than the usual revulsion factor. Never did like crowds, now there's another angle to that.

KW's closing paras:

"Today, we live in an age of barbarism and decadence. There are barbarians outside the walls who want to destroy us and there is a decadent culture within. We are only getting what we deserve. The relentless critique of the West which has engaged our academic left and cultural elite since the 1960s has emboldened our adversaries and at the same time sapped our will to resist. The consequences of this adversary culture are all around us. The way to oppose it, however, is less clear. The survival of the Western principals of free inquiry and free expression now depend entirely on whether we have the intelligence to understand their true value and the will to face down their enemies."

Schama and Windschuttle are two great writers, and their respect for the lessons of history (as records of the meanderings of human nature, which does not change) is one that is all too rarely shared.

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