Regular reader and commenter Ypp offers the following essay in which he asks, and attempts to answer, the perennial question: What are we fighting for?
How We Can Preserve the West
We all want to preserve the West, which for most people actually means: the way of life they are used to. One commenter, for example, identified her way of life as Judeo-Christian San-Francisco style, which is really nice. But we need a common definition, what we are actually fighting for.
Fjordman tried to answer this question in one of his excellent essays. He includes the Judeo-Christian tradition, the Roman-Greek classical heritage, but also Northern-European Celtic-Germanic heritage as well. I can’t but agree with him on that matter: as a person born in Russia I know that Russian official history starts when Swedes conquered what used to be a Khazar Empire and introduced their Greek-type Christianity.
America, which is now the most influential Western country, has all three components. There are some classically-educated intellectuals, who can write long essays resembling those of the ancient Greeks and can interpret laws. There are some Irish-Viking-type gun-bearing white trash, who do not care about education and despise lawyers. And there are some very conservative Christians, who would rather die than have an abortion. In Europe, both the German heritage and Christianity have probably remained only in the form of tourist attractions, like funnily-dressed guards and ancient chapels.
Interestingly, those parts of the world which are missing one of these three components somehow lose their importance. For example, Southeastern Europe, which did not have any Germanic influence, is often perceived as secondary. The Scandinavian countries, which did not experience much of Roman influence, did not play a significant role in history, too (though here Fjordman would probably disagree).
And here comes the tricky part: what about those countries which experienced both Roman and Germanic influence, but ceased being Christian? Actually, most Western countries have long ago separated Church from State, at least officially, and seem to feel pretty well. However, even those who insist on separation know what they have separated from: Christianity. As Ben-Gurion, the first prime-minister of Israel, used to say: “I am not a religious man and don’t go to synagogue, but I know which synagogue I don’t go to”.
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However, the problem is that when you are separated, you cannot preserve affection for too long. Even if you dislike someone, he must be in front of your eyes in order to be in your thoughts. If the church is seen from your window but you don’t go there, it’s fine. But someone still needs to go there and keep that church for you. And when it disappears from your eyes, at some point you will start to look for a substitute.
When one part is completely gone, that means the country ceases to be the part of the West. Currently, we have only Greek-Roman part officially recognized, which consists of laws and the sciences. Two others are fighting their last battle in Europe, and it seems that if they lose, the third one will die too. I mean that the law and science, not based on Christianity and tradition, will collapse as well.
I would not propose here to officially recognize religion in existing states, because it is too radical for secularists, which are the majority among Westerners now. Official religions really did have some problems in the past, as well as unofficial ones. As a matter of fact, any man-made institutions have some problems. But is that a good reason for complete separation?
Separation seems to have won Western minds. Actually, if we’d like to characterize a Western man, I believe the best word for that is “separated”. Separated from his state, traditions, religion, and often family. Some call it “freedom” — freedom to be unaffiliated. One friend of mine in the USSR called himself an “internal emigrant”. Strange, but it seems that most Westerners became such internal emigrants.
What’s more, this sort of immigration is considered by many to be the real Western spirit! Sounds to me like being a “soviet patriot” — a patriot of a country ruled by ideology, which claimed that all countries should be abolished.
As for my friend, he finally found his affiliation when he emigrated to Israel. But to where are we all going to emigrate? To the Moon? I believe we should rather start to find some good place here, on Earth. Like Jews, who finally reunited with their land, their religion, and their state, the Westerners need to reunite, too. And in the same way that Israel is the only guarantee of Jewish survival, that country will be the only guarantee of the Western survival.