Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Superiority of the West (at least formerly so)

"Cultures are equal in value only if there is no standard against which to judge them. The culture of the West, infused as it is with Christian values, is superior to any other, and all the valid charges against the West are indications that it has betrayed its own heritage. It is not superior because it is wealthy; it is wealthy because it is superior, because it believes that work is a calling, that matter is important, that reason is a gift of God. This culture, God’s gift, transmits its material blessings along with its interpretation of reality. Animist cultures, to cite one example by way of contrast, are not likely to produce large numbers of skilled engineers as long as they believe that physical objects have spirits. Therefore, the West cannot export prosperity without also exporting the culture that makes it possible. But to spread the culture of the West now means also to spread the destructive accretions that in recent years have altered it so, and that apparently is what the Muslim world has begun to resist so fiercely. To their credit, some Islamic leaders recognize they may have to choose between prosperity and keeping their own culture. In that, they are far ahead of the U.S. government, burdened as it is with the delusions of humanitarian sentimentality.” (Herbert Schlossberg, Idols for Destruction, p. 72).

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