You know, it took a second pass through T&H AND Evolution of Civilizations before I truly understood the import of what Quigley was getting at with respect to his analysis of The Pakistani-Peruvian Axis
There is another. Another axis of cruelty and disregard for human life made all the worse in some respects by its veneer of culture and pretensions to a "higher" civilization that it affects. This what I term the Slavic-Teutonic Axis - a combination of Asiatic despotism, Slavic nihilism and Teutonic will-to-power (part of the Teutonic outlook) that in modern times, gave rise to two of the most monstrous and murderous ideologies and outlooks the world has ever seen, and that continues unchecked to this day. It was a stunning realization, and one of the last pieces of the puzzle to fall into place. More as this develops, as the notion of the Slavic-Teutonic Axis essentially completes the chain of thought that is the foundation for my book.
But there was even more to it than that. The collapse of the Roman Empire decoupled the idea of society from the principle of its 'ownership' by the state. It became evident that society as such was able to operate on its own during the Dark Ages betwee nempires. This was at a huge variance with the idea that state and society were one and the same, the latter being 'owned' by the former. As Quigley put it:
This experience had revolutionary effects. It was discovered that man can live without a state; this became the basis of Western liberalism. It was discovered that the state, if it exists, must serve men and that it is incorrect to believe that the purpose of men is to serve the state. It was discovered that economic life, religious life, law, and private property can all exist and function effectively without a state. From this emerged laissez-faire, separation of Church and State, rule of law, and the sanctity of private property. In Rome, in Byzantium, and in Russia, law was regarded as an enactment of a supreme power. In the West, when no supreme power existed, it was discovered that law still existed as the body of rules which govern social life. Thus law was found by observation in the West, not enacted by autocracy as in the East. This meant that authority was established by law and under the law in the West, while authority was established by power and above the law in the East. The West felt that the rules of economic life were found and not enacted; that individuals had rights independent of, and even opposed to, public authority; that groups could exist, as the Church existed, by right and not by privilege, and without the need to have any charter of incorporation entitling them to exist as a group or act as a group; that groups or individuals could own property as a right and not as a privilege and that such property could not be taken by force but must be taken by established process of law. It was emphasized in the West that the way a thing was done was more important than what was done, while in the East what was done was far more significant than the way in which it was done.
This outlook represents a hughe and unbridgeable gap between the niominally Christian West and, well, virtually everyone else. The upshot is that the relatively shot time (in the historical sense) that we here in the West have experiences freedom stands in sharp and irreconcilable ccontrast with the way in which the world has worked for everyone else on the planet. Combine the Pakistani-Preuvian Axis with the Scandanavian-Slavic Axis, and you've not got much left. Except for the brief and shining example of America. And the hour is growing late for us.
We who believe in individual freedom and all of the other principles of our brief Western civilization are at non-negotiable, irreconcilable odds with most of the rest of the world. In short, we're playing for everything there is. The triumph of our enemies - the triumph of the will-to-power - will usher in an age of slaughter, cruelty, barbarity and slavery from which the human race may never recover.
I have been very discouraged by her decision (although I think that I understand her reasons) and cannot muster an ounce of support for any of the statist monsters that are likely to emerge from the primary process (one of the main reasons that I've been scarce around here for a few months!). Bleech.
But to the point, I went back and found that section in T & H and re-read it. About half way through it became familiar and I remembered that I was hung up on the physical geographic implications of a "Pakistani" - "Peruvian" Axis when I first read through that section (in some ways I suppose that I still am a bit). Re-reading definitely helped me to process it and I also remembered that it struck some chords in my own memory of having mused over the rather striking sociological & cultural similarities between LA & Arabic societies. While I can't recall specifically what roused those thoughts in my mind many years ago, I do recall dismissing it as nothing more than sheer coincidental & anecdotal comparisons at the time. For certain I didn't have the vast command of history & sociology of Professor Quigley (nor the outsized ego!) to ever consider it past the point of dreamy musings.
I continued reading on and was left wondering why he didn't draw out more of the influence of the Asiatic Despotism, his focus seemed almost exclusively on the Arabic Outlook. Perhaps I was hoping to see a bit more about the Asiatic Despotism since I recently read a very illuminating book on China, Decker & Triplett's: Bowing to Beijing: How Barack Obama is Hastening America's Decline and Ushering A Century of Chinese Domination. I recommend it to anyone that wants to get a very up to date, fact-filled, objective report on what is really going on between the US and the Middle Kingdom today.
I would suggest that Quigley could have drawn out a bit more depth on the Asiatic Despotism if he spent the time, but it almost seemed to me a a reader many decades removed that he got caught up in the Arabic Outlook aspect and may have simply forgot!
Your Slavic-Teutonic Axis is certainly intriguing and I look forward to seeing it fleshed out soon! Help me out here, am I somehow getting too hung up on the physical geography of these "Axes?" Should I view them more from a purely sociological (rather than geographic) basis?