Sunday, November 18, 2007

What About the Future?

Will the West Survive? Do We Even Care?

Writing in a an earlier post I declared that I once had high hopes for the future of humanity. When the Soviet Union collapsed I was convinced that we were at the precipice of a grand new era for mankind. How wrong I was. In fact, according to many scholars and respected pundits we are in for a long hard ride in this, the 21st century.

On the one hand we have entered into this this thing we have dubbed "the information age" which is a direct offspring of the industrial age the West has now essentially pushed out to the developing nations. On the other hand we have the 1-2 punch of neo-luddites in the radical environmental movement ready to pull the technological rug out from under us and the radical Islamic movement ready to turn the civilizational clock back to the seventh century.

Six years after the Islamo-fascists smacked the West upside the head with the hard to ignore attacks of September the 11th it is still not clear whether we are even going to fight for our lives. While half of us are busy navel gazing repeating to ourselves "Why do they hate us???" the other half waits breathlessly for the next chapter in the Brittney, Lindsay and Paris saga. While we modern-day Neros fiddle the radical Islamists are busy training they many, many children to hate us even more.

Those who do read something other than Us Weekly for their news are divided into two camps. There are those suffering from BDS (Bush Derangement Syndrome) and won't think clearly again until January 2009, and those like me suffering from BCS (Bush Confusion Syndrome) a condition that needs no further explanation.

As for the environmental movement there are those true-believers who see humanity as a cancer inflicting our Earth Mother, Gaia, and those like, Al Gore and any number of "green" businesses, who see crying wolf as a way to make gobs of money while simultaneously looking like modern day saints. I mean, who believes in pollution and wastefulness as virtues? Of course lying and misleading aren't virtues either.

American and European children (our future) are growing up in a largely prosperous, largely free societies where the biggest problems are obesity and boredom. Judged against the whole of humanity currently living or not our kids have no idea how fortunate they are. You can almost hear them say, "What's so great about Western Civilization anyway?"

Asian Times blogger Spengler in his review of Fergus Kerr's "Twentieth-Century Catholic Theologians" comments -

Radical Islam threatens the West only because secular Europe, including the sad remnants of the former Soviet Union, is so desiccated by secular anomie that it no longer cares enough about its future to produce children. Muslims may form a majority in Russia by mid-century, and may dominate Western Europe 100 years hence. Without the demographic decay associated with the decline of religion, radical Islam would be a minor annoyance to the West rather than a deadly adversary.

Americans are a little more hopeful about the future, it's in our nature, but with the Global Warming hysteria, the hordes invading from south of the border and the ongoing saga of Brittany, Lindsay and Paris can we be far behind?

Kerr suggests in his book:

The West is not fighting individual criminals, as the left insists; it is not fighting a Soviet-style state, as the Iraqi disaster makes clear; nor is it fighting a political movement. It is fighting a religion, specifically a religion that arose in enraged reaction to the West.

Bush and Blair will not say it, Sarkozy of France and Merkel of Germany will not say it. Howard of Australia comes close to actually saying it. None of these leaders will come right out and say that we are at war against a religion, but we are. So far only one "world" leader has come out and said it. Quite amazingly Islam took notice and has just recently began talks of reform and reconciliation...

Again Spengler points out:

None of the political leaders of the West, and few of the West's opinion leaders, comprehend this. We are left with the anomaly that the only effective leader of the West is a man wholly averse to war, a pope who took his name from the Benedict who interceded for peace during World War I. Benedict XVI, alone among the leaders of the Christian world, challenges Islam as a religion, as he did in his September 2006 Regensburg address. Who is Joseph Ratzinger, this decisive figure of our times, and what led the Catholic Church to elect him? Fr Kerr has opened the coulisses of Catholic debate such that outsiders can understand the changes in Church thinking that made possible Benedict's papacy. Because Benedict is the leader not only of the Catholics but - by default - of the West, all concerned with the West's future should read his book. (Twentieth-Century Catholic Theologians)

Benedict XVI has also addressed the decline of post-Christian Europe and the demographic cliff native Europeans are jumping off as we speak. Like his immediate predecessor, John Paul II, Benedict XVI has not shrunk in the face of the enemy, Soviet communism before and Irrational Islam now.

Since America hasn't been "attacked" on our home soil since 9/11 it plays right in the hands of those who claim we are overreacting to the terrorist threat. This allows the news media to attack and undermine Bush while creating a saint out of Al Gore and his phony crisis of Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming. Still, since 9/11 Britain, Spain, Indonesia(Australians), Israel, India, Russia, Lebanon and Morocco have all been brutally attacked by Islamic terrorists either directly or loosely associated with al Qaeda or Iran.

We ignore the 800 pound gorilla at our own peril. In a Washington Times piece published on November 18, 2007 called "Know your enemy" Arnaud de Borchgrave clearly warns of the coming storm as Pakistan melts down and the Iranians play a dangerous game of nuclear poker. Borchgrave cites the very same Spengler post as I have... When Radical Islam has control of nuclear weapons the ticking time bomb will be engaged.

The Islamists believe in the future, a future without Western Civilization. What do we believe in?

What About the Future?

Will the West snap out of it and begin to believe in itself? As Spengler asks, how we account for the self-extinction of so many depressed and disappointed peoples today? What happened to "natural law", namely, those instincts and emotions common to man and the lower animals, such as the instinct of self-preservation and love of offspring? Earlier theologians rejected this notion of natural law while pushing their version of Thomism. Kerr suggests: St Thomas in fact believed, (as) de Lubac contended, is that "human beings were destined by nature to enjoy by divine grace everlasting bliss with God" This concept of "natural law" explains why peoples who repudiate grace tend towards self-destruction. This radical way of thinking made de Lubac a marginal figure in the Church of the 1930s, but a mentor to Wojtila(John Paul II) and Ratzinger (Benedict XVI).

I worry even about my own children producing enough offspring to replace themselves... My mother had eighteen grandchildren, one would guess that she will surely have even more great grandchildren. I'm afraid I don't see it that way.