New West or True West?
The First European Revolution c. 970-1215, R.I. Moore
It is not uncommon to hear people, both in the Western world and outside it in what is in fact the Westernizing world, declaring that ‘the West’ is responsible for all the world’s misfortunes. By ‘the West’ they usually mean Western Europe (where the term originated) and the USA, or sometimes only one or the other. However, ‘the West’ may also include Canada, Australia, New Zealand and other ‘Western’ or ‘Westernized’ countries.
Indeed, it cannot be denied that Colonial Empires, with their disruption and exploitation, the Industrial Revolution, with its resulting pollution and potential eco-catastrophes, or both World Wars, with their resulting technologies of death and destruction, all originated in ‘the West’. On the other hand, it cannot be denied either that very useful things, like hot and cold water in the home, printing, modern hygiene and medical technology, also originated in ‘the West’. And I do not see that many people wish to renounce either these, or many other technical achievements of the Western world.
In other words, when we hear someone denouncing ‘the West’ (often using ‘Western’ technology to do so), it is necessary to ask them which West they are denouncing. The fact is that there are two Wests. One is what we could call ‘the New West’, the other ‘the True West’. What are they?
The New West
The New West is not necessarily the West of recent years, of the last generation, or the last two or three or four generations. It goes back much further than that. It is in fact the West which has developed over the last millennium and has only gradually given birth to the values of the contemporary West. Thus, parts of the Non-Western European world first became conscious of the New West as long ago as the mid-eleventh century, when it first cut itself off from the Church of Jerusalem and all the East and then began, under Papal sponsorship, a series of bloody military and commercial campaigns, so-called ‘Crusades’, in Sicily, England, Spain and then in the Middle East. In the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, these campaigns continued and extended to Wales, Scotland, Ireland, Scandinavia and Central and Eastern Europe.
It was only in the fourteenth, fifteenth and sixteenth centuries that these campaigns expanded even further into Africa, Asia and eventually into what we now call the Americas. By this time, the word ‘crusade’ had largely been dropped, to be replaced by ‘settlement’, ‘colonization’ or ‘Empire’. History since then has seen most of the world conquered by the New West, including almost all of the True West. The values of the latter, described later, had already been much weakened by the so-called ‘Middle Ages’. They then began to collapse entirely with movements such as the sixteenth century ‘Reformation’, the eighteenth century ‘Enlightenment’ and then the coming of what is called ‘Modern Times’. The essential values of the New West are:
Godlessness, faithlessness, soullessness, secularism, rootlessness, pragmatism, immorality, dishonesty, decadence, coldness, pride, arrogance, rationalism, legalism, materialism, capitalism, money-obsession, selfishness, urban life, individualism, superficiality, shallowness, triviality, mediocrity, fashion-addiction, modernism, frivolity, artificiality, hedonism.
The True West
On the other hand, there is the True West. This is the West which existed in the First Millennium and whose values continued into the Second Millennium. However, over that period those values have flowed in an ever narrowing stream, which now seems to be quite drying up. Today, in the drought of the Third Millennium, it is down to a trickle. It has become a trickle because First Millennium values have over the last thousand years been increasingly suppressed from public life, whether from monarchies and governments, or from public corporations and services, or from public life and private life.
As a result, the True West is known almost only to historians or a few who live in small villages, or sometimes towns and cities, in Western Europe and elsewhere in the Western world. Here, there are individuals and families, who still live with some fragments of the Tradition of the First Millennium. These can be seen above all in their observance of traditional Christian spiritual and moral values. Nowadays, these values are rarely expressed. Many outside the Western world do not even realize that they still exist, albeit among a small minority of Western people. The essential values of the True West are:
Godliness, faithfulness, soulfulness, religion, rootedness, idealism, morality, honesty, moral renewal, warmth, humility, tolerance, wisdom, grace, spirituality, fair-trade, unmercenariness, selflessness, rural life, communities, profoundness, depth, authenticity, heroism, fashion-indifference, tradition, seriousness, naturalness, contentment.
After nearly a thousand years, the Second Millennium, the values of the True West have been submerged in the mass of ‘New Western’ values. The latest of these, anti-Christian political correctness, is now attempting to censor the very last fragments of ‘True Western’ values, in order to ensure their total disappearance in the Third Millennium. It remains to be seen whether this attempt will succeed, or whether unexpected circumstances will arise and force the New West to reconsider the speed of its present direction, reversing, or at least slowing down, the march of its suicidal history.