Culture, or civilization?
How to Distinguish Your Friends From the Barbarians (h/t Larwyn)
I attempt to draw a distinction between “culture” and “civilization,” the former being local and contingent, the latter nonlocal and universal. A culture can be good or evil, depending upon how civilized it is.
“Civilization” is an archetype that, by its very nature, can never be fully attained on earth. It is the perfection and the totality to which this or that culture — to the extent that it is healthy — orients itself. In a sense, you might say that it is analogous to Augustine’s distinction between the “City of Man” and “City of God.” Evolution and progress can only occur in light of the “movement” toward civilization, which is why “progressives” are so curiously named, since their ideology specifically eliminates the possibility of objective progress toward this nonlocal telos.
One of my many objections to leftism is that it eliminates the idea of civilization and replaces it with culture. Multiculturalism explicitly maintains that various cultures are uniquely beautiful and valuable, and that there are no objective standards — i.e., civilization — by which we may judge them. Thus, because of this metaphysical pathology at the heart of leftism, it is not possible for them to notice, for example, that Israel is civilized and that it is surrounded by savages. To any civilized person, this observation is a banality of the first rank, but one of the most pernicious effects of leftist political correctness is that it outlaws civilization, generally equating it with “racism” or some other form of oppression.
Go read the rest.
The Brits are Voting with their feet,
Britain is facing a mass exodus of people looking to escape the crime and grime of modern living. The country’s biggest foreign visa consultancy firm has revealed that applications have soared in the last seven months by 80 per cent to almost 4,000 a week. Ten years ago the figure was just 300 a week.
France/ Sarkozy so far
The new French president is popular. He is a genuine friend of the United States (and Israel). The real tests are yet to come.:
In foreign matters, he garnered several successes in less than three months. One, his initiative for a new European governance, two years after the popular rejection of the so-called European Constitution both in France and the Netherlands, is genuine and impressive. A second success, the release of five Bulgarian nurses and one Palestinian doctor held in Libya for eight years, has been fraught with criticism and suspicion. According to some critics, his special envoy to Libya – who happened to be his wife, Cecilia – stole the show from an European Union diplomatic team that had been working about the issue for months. According to other critics, the six State prisoners have been traded for a far-reaching arms and technology contract that will provide dictator Muammar Kadhafi with a new strategic edge in the Mediterreanean.