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To: Noumenon
So now your argument is that civil order could collapse anywhere suddenly?

I guess so, but before you were talking about us being alone in a world threatened by Slavo-Teutonic or Scandinavian-Slavic and Pakistani-Peruvian axes, and that's something very different from what you're saying now.

Germany today, Norway and Sweden today, even Peru today don't make up great threats to world peace or to the United States. Sure, things can change, but things have already changed to the point where ideas about a permanent Viking or Teutonic or Hispanic character are questionable.

Those Vikings (after some mixing with the French) also became the Normans who contributed mightily to developing the British model. Indeed, the Vikings weren't so very different from the Anglo-Saxons who provide the another piece of British culture. Getting from the Vikings (or the Byzantines) to later Russian culture was a complicated process that wasn't pre-determined.

And to say as Quigley apparently does that Christianity somehow isn't a major factor in Spanish culture looks quite obtuse. Perhaps he isn't wrong about "more ancient Arabic personality traits" playing a role, but no society, our own included is entirely governed by the "Christian virtues." Hispanic Quigleys, and there were many, saw Northern Europeans as outriders, almost outsiders, of the Christian World just as much as Quigley does Southern Europeans.

46 posted on 12/27/2011 4:56:15 PM PST by x
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To: x; DuncanWaring; zzeeman; Lurker
Let's see - where to start?

First of all, the examples of societal collapse are illustrative of the point that culture, ideas and what Quigley characterized as 'outlook do matter - and that they matter a great deal. So much so that the combination of these factors will ultimately determine the direction that a particular nation takes.

This leads us to the second of your assertions. That "Germany today, Norway and Sweden today, even Peru today don't make up great threats to world peace or to the United States." You are correct as far as that goes. But it's what underlies and connects these seemingly disparate nations that does pose a therat to all of us who adhere to the Western ideals of individual freedo, conscience and compassion. As Quigley puts it,

The problem of finding constructive patterns for Latin America is much more difficult than the problem of finding constructive priorities. One reason for this is that the unconstructive patterns that now prevail in Latin America are deeply entrenched as a result of centuries and even millennia of persistent background. In fact, the Latin American patterns that must be changed because today they are leading to social and cultural disruption are not really Latin American in origin, or even Iberian for that matter, but are Near Eastern, and go back, for some of their aspects, for two thousand or more years. As a general statement, we might say that the Latin American cultural pattern (including personality patterns and general outlook) is Arabic, while its social pattern is that of Asiatic despotism. The pattern as a whole is so prevalent today, not only in Latin America, but in Spain, Sicily, southern Italy, the Near East, and in various other areas of the Mediterranean world (such as Egypt), that we might well call it the "Pakistani- Peruvian axis." For convenience of analysis we shall divide it into "Asiatic despotism" and the "Arabic outlook."

So what we're really looking at is not the superficialty of the construct of nations, but of cultural patterns and outlook that have more influence than appeals to a particular nationality. America was always more of a cultural ideal whose roots lay in the foundation of the Christian West.

Thus, the Pakistani-Peruvian axis ofwhich Quigley speaks is is cultural / sociological one; the geographic endpoints of his putative axis are merely place markers to indicate its exent - much like saying "from here to Timbuktu." I'm willing to grant Quigley a bit of hyperbole as he makes his point rather well.

As to the contention that Quigley says that Christianity somehow isn't a major factor in Spanish culture - that's incorrect. What he does say is that much of the nominally Christian culture along his axis had failed to ameliorate or otherwise change the destructive aspects of the outlook comprised of he combination of Asiatic despotism and the Arabic outlook. And that it had in fact become contaminated by those destructive influences. Citing Quigley once again:

Interestingly enough, these attitudes have successfully survived the efforts of the three great religions of ethical monotheism, native to the area, to change these attitudes. The ethical sides of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam sought to counteract harshness, egocentricity, tribalism, cruelty, scorn of work and of one's fellow creatures, but these efforts, on the whole, have met with little success throughout the length of the Pakistani- Peruvian axis. Of the three, Christianity, possibly because it set the highest standards of the three, has fallen furthest from achieving its aims. Love, humility, brotherhood, cooperation, the sanctity of work, the fellowship of the community, the image of man as a fellow creature made in the image of God, respect for women as personalities and partners of men, mutual helpmates on the road to spiritual salvation, and the vision of our universe, with all its diversity, complexity, and multitude of creatures, as a reflection of the power and goodness of God—these basic aspects of Christ's teachings are almost totally lacking throughout the Pakistani-Peruvian axis and most notably absent on the "Christian" portion of that axis from Sicily, or even the Aegean Sea, westward to Baja California and Tierra del Fuego. Throughout the whole axis, human actions are not motivated by these "Christian virtues" but by the more ancient Arabic personality traits, which became vices and sins in the Christian outlook: harshness, envy, lust, greed, selfishness, cruelty, and hatred.

The upshot of all of this is hat none of us live in an intellectual or political vacuum. The extent of prosperity, liberty, and population are defined by our culture and our world view - or outlook, as Quigley puts it. Human history is a continuum, not merely a series of events, or as someone once put it, "one damn thing after another." The ideas and cultural patterns of antiquity have left their mark on all of the succeeding centuries, no matter what our pretentions and protestations to the contrary. All of it had consequences, consequences that we experience today.

Understand that I'm not necessarily disagreeing with you; it's just that there's more to the story than meets the eye. And that we here in America are in fact very much alone with respect to our unique cultural patterns and outlook, all of which are under assault and have been degraded by generations of the Machiavellian-Gramscian-Marcusian memes.

The essence of it is this: destroy our unique American culture based upon liberty, individual conscience and all of those thigns so eloquently summarized by Quigley as the crown of Western civilization, and very bad things will take its place, courtesy of the confluence of the Pakistani-Peruvian axis and the Scandanavian-Slavic axis. Some have spoken of a thousand years of a new Dark Age. Try ten thousand. Or more. That's what's at stake here.

48 posted on 12/28/2011 11:09:11 AM PST by Noumenon ("I tell you, gentlemen, we have a problem on our hands." Col. Nicholson-The Bridge on the River Qwai)
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