What’s so great about Western Civilization?

Sunday, April 21st, 2019

What’s so great about Western Civilization?

Forget calling it Western civilization for a moment. Instead think of a kind of party platform with a bunch of planks:

  • Support for human rights
  • Belief in the rule of law
  • Dedication to democracy
  • Free speech
  • Freedom of conscience
  • Admiration for science and the scientific method
  • Curiosity about other cultures
  • Property rights
  • Tolerance or celebration of technological and/or cultural innovation

I’ll be generous and stipulate that 90 percent of the people who are offended by pride in Western civilization actually believe — or think they believe — in most or all of these things.


  1. E.E says:

    But. None of the above has ever consistently applied in ‘Western History’, nor are they restricted to being a characteristic of ‘Western Civilisation’, alone.

    Therein lies the problem, the idea of ‘Western Civilisation’ is so patently hagiographic, and immediately obviously exclusionary to any moderately educated person that attempts at drumming it up immediately arouse suspiscion.

    About 90-percent of that list was supported by the Mongols for one…

  2. B.J. Dubbs says:

    Isn’t Goldberg’s point that there’s nothing uniquely western about these things? Here’s a list of good things that are no way uniquely western. OK, so then why would anyone care about the west? This isn’t an argument for western civ, it’s an argument that western civ is dispensable once all the good stuff has been extracted. This is actually an argument against western civ.

  3. HCM says:

    That is one of the worst definitions of western civilization I have ever had the misfortune of reading.

  4. Sam J. says:

    I disagree with the negative comments.

    A common thread in denunciation of the West is we don’t live up to all of our beliefs. Well this is true but it doesn’t say anything about our aspirations. No humans or society live up to all their aspirations. It’s silly to even expect them to but having lofty goals is a good thing.

    Saying we are not perfect is just a shit head way of hating the west. More anti-White hatred.

    I might take criticism better if it not being weaponized to demoralize the west and whites. As it is the majority of the criticism is purposely used to demoralize Whites and a lot of it is sponsored, pushed or uttered by the Jews. The Jews have no business telling anyone, anywhere anything about morality, civilization or much of anything about anything. They are responsible for the largest mass murders in all of history and have been thrown out of every single country they’ve ever been to in any substantial numbers because they act horribly. They constantly attack and act parasitically on countries they inhabit and eventually people get fed up with them and throw them out.

  5. Wan Wei Lin says:

    Western Civilization is a hate phrase for White Privilege. /s

  6. Kirk says:

    It will be amusing to see what replaces “Western Civ”, and how the period that we categorize as being dominated by that will come to be seen as a lost Golden Age of commerce and liberty. ‘Cos, sweethearts, the Chinese ain’t going to play the stupid games we did, nor will the rest of the world be able to maintain the infrastructure of international trade once we’re gone.

    My guess is that the Chinese are only a generation or two away from pulling another Zheng He, and withdrawing into themselves again. Couple of things are going to militate for that happening–Inevitable self-destruction with all this crap they’re trying to implement with the “social credit” schemes, and the likely explosion that’s going to occur with the minority ethnic groups like the Uighur. Look for a period of desperate repression, dislocation, and a series of social explosions that are going to rip the fabric of China apart at the seams. The more they try to control things, the less real control they’re going to have, and the bigger the explosion that’s going to come.

  7. Harry Jones says:

    I’ve never met anyone who lived up to all his beliefs. Everyone is a hypocrite.

    The point is ideals is to have a direction to aim. The point of having a direction to aim is to try to become something more than what you currently are.

    A good set of ideals is one that leads you in a good direction.

  8. B.J. Dubbs says:

    These aren’t a list of ideals, they’re a list of techniques or procedures. Democracy is a technique for selecting leaders. Free speech is a technique for generating better decisions. Property rights is a technique for increasing wealth. Property rights per se are not an ideal. Goldberg is saying that these techniques are good and can be adopted by any society. These procedures are no more “Western” than the Pythagorean theorem or Eggs Benedict.

  9. Lu An Li says:

    From my perspective Freedom of Speech, and all those other items as mentioned in the First Amendment strictly and American invention and not shared by other cultures. Has been an American import in various parts of the world after WW2 but declining in importance as we become more “diverse”. Sadly so too. America you are next.

  10. lucklucky says:

    Seems Jonah Goldberg which i usually consider don’t understand that can exist Totalitarian Democracy. We are all going there.

    Western Civilization is good because it is a culture that have own limitations to its own Power.

    some examples are listed by him:
    - Free speech
    - Property rights

    That is what makes a totalitarian ideology like Marxism hate Western Civilization.

  11. Longarch says:

    Western Civilization is a big tent over the Western nations. And a nation is a gene pool, an extended family, a group of people born from the same genetic stock.

    A Scotsman may have no Roman ancestry – indeed his ancestors may have defied the Romans – but at some point in the past, his ancestors recognized that it was wise to be able to read Latin (if only to know what the Latin-speaking rascals were up to). And thus that Scotsman may carry on a family tradition of learning Latin and teaching it to his children.

    Innumerable Westerners, carrying on their filial duties to their ancestors, make up Western Civilization. It is not a party platform with “planks.” It is millions of human beings honoring their ancestors.

  12. Harry Jones says:

    Any technique or procedure that is extremely difficult to implement in practice is best thought of as an ideal. This is how we avoid the trap of perfectionism.

    I have no use at all for filial piety. All my ancestors are dead. They’re sleeping the big sleep, and they don’t care. I admire western civilization because it works better than anything else out there.

    No, it’s not perfect. Nothing is. It’s simply the best anyone has ever managed thus far.

    Show me something better and I’ll move on – after I overcome my surprise.

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