Western civilization is dying! That's hardly an original thought. For the last half-century -- since the flourishing of flower-power and antiestablishmentarianism in the `60s -- many learned and thoughtful commentators have written variations on the theme. Leading the way was James Burnham, whose Suicide of the West (1964) has pride of place on Walt's bookshelf.
Beside it will be placed, very soon, Churchill, Hitler and the Unnecessary War, by Patrick J. Buchanan (Three Rivers Press, 2008). Walt is awarer that any mention of Mr. Buchanan is met with snorts of derision from the liberal establishment and their lickspittle lamestream media. But there is no denying that he is an educated and thoughtful man, a keen student of history, whose insights, however contrarian, deserve consideration.
In this monumental and provocative history, the author argues that, if not for the blunders of British statesmen -- Winston Churchill first among them -- the horrors of two world wars might have been avoided, and the British Empire might never have collapsed into ruins. Half a century of murderous oppression of hundreds of millions under the iron boot of Communist and Maoist tyrannies might never have happened, and Europe's central role in world affairs might have been sustained for many generations.
Walt has just begun reading the book -- it takes me time to get through the books I buy [He moves his lips when he reads. Ed.] -- and, right at the beginning of the Preface, found an analysis worth posting here.
All about us we can see clearly now that the West is passing away.
In a single century, all the great houses of continental Europe fell. All the empires that ruled the world have vanished. Not one European nation, save Muslim Albania, has a birthrate that will enable it to survive through the century. As a share of world population, people of European ancestry have been shrinking for three generations. The character of every Western nation is being irremediably altered as each undergoes an unresisted invasion from the Third World. We are slowly disappearing from the Earth.
What happened to us? What happened to our world?...
Somewhere in the last century, Western man suffered a catastrophic loss of faith -- in himself, in his civilization, and in the faith that gave it birth.
That Christianity is dying in the West, being displaced by a militant secularism, seems undeniable.... But there is no dispute about the physical wounds that may yet prove mortal. These were World Wars I and II, two phases of a Thirty Years' War future historians will call the Great Civil War of the West. Not only did these two wars carry off scores of millions of the best and bravest of the West, they gave birth to the fanatic ideologies of Leninism, Stalinism, Nazism, and Fascism, whose massacres of the people they misrules accounted for more victims than all of the battlefield deaths in ten years of fighting.
Walt recommends Churchill, Hitler, and the Unnecessary War, if only for the Preface and Introduction -- all ye know and all ye need to know.