09 January 2006

Tying Together Steyn and Hanson

Lileks builds a nice bridge betwixt this Mark Steyn and the sentiments of Victor Hanson.

But as (Mark) Steyn points out, “multiculturalism” is utterly flummoxed by monocultural Islamists; it has no arguments against it, and appeals to some gaseous modern conception of “European” values evaporate upon contact with the hot implacable nature of the up-and-coming culture.

The telling line in Steyn's piece quotes that fine Gaul Jean-Francois Revel: "Clearly, a civilization that feels guilty for everything it is and does will lack the energy and conviction to defend itself." I’ve read a lot of Revel; a great man and a profound, clear thinker. Lucky for him, he is old, and will not see his fears made manifest. Guilt is a problem, but it’s not the entire enchilada. It’s guilt married to a peculiar belief that Western Civilization is unique only in its sins. The only thing Western Civ really gave the world was slavery, imperialism, war, and capitalism; the fact that we have eliminated or diminished or abbreviated those sins is due not to anything inherent in Western Civ but some overarching, free-floating Enlightenment unmoored from the cultures that produced it.

No comments: