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Plantagenet
Tuesday, September 28th, 2010, 07:32 PM
What time period to you believe to the ultimate height the Western world has ever reached--not just in one specific category such as being advanced in technology--but weighting in all factors that make up a people and their culture unique. What period has European culture, society, and general civilization shining at its most resplendent in your opinion?

Was it the times of the ancient Greeks? The Roman Empire? Early Middle ages? The High Middle-ages (medieval Europe was not as backward as is often portrayed)? The Renaissance? The Tudor age? The Baroque or Rococo periods? The 19th century? The modern West?

Whatever your choice, why?

Joe McCarthy
Tuesday, September 28th, 2010, 07:35 PM
Early 20th century, pre-Great War. The West dominated the globe, and ultimately a civilization is remembered primarily for one thing: power.

Fyrgenholt
Tuesday, September 28th, 2010, 07:38 PM
Early 20th century

This.

Oh, and the ancient Greeks... Can they really be considered 'western'? The middle east is on their doorstep.

Joe McCarthy
Tuesday, September 28th, 2010, 07:43 PM
This.

Oh, and the ancient Greeks... Can they really be considered 'western'? The middle east is on their doorstep.

Ancient Greece is sometimes regarded as Western or a forerunner of the Western, but the West is generally said to have begun with Charlemagne's conquests. Ancient Greece is better characterized as Classical. That's how Oswald Spengler termed it.

Schattenjäger
Tuesday, September 28th, 2010, 07:50 PM
I'd go with period 1890-1914. The western powers dominated the globe totally and imposed its way of life in economy, technology, law and culture. The white demographic expansion was as its peak: whites colonised North America, Australia and many other parts of the planet. The western societies were ruled by an internal order and scientific worldview, the generation of 1900 was comprised of very cultured and gentle people thanks to the school discipline. Everywhere on earth you could feel how ordered and stable life has then become. But as chinese philosophy says the higher you throw the rock the greater altitude it will fall from. As it is natural in the universe, the situation reversed to a point where it is curious whether whites will survive at all...

Plantagenet
Tuesday, September 28th, 2010, 07:50 PM
Ancient Greece is sometimes regarded as Western or a forerunner of the Western, but the West is generally said to have begun with Charlemagne's conquests. Ancient Greece is better characterized as Classical. That's how Oswald Spengler termed it.

Well I agree that the modern West began with the rise of the Germanic kingdoms and Charlemagne being crowned Emperor, but the Greeks and Romans have played such an influential role in the development of the West that I felt inclined to include them. Some consider the defeat of the Persians by the Greeks to signify the distinct separation between East vs West. Either way, in some respects the ancients are superior to us, and their initiatives and original thinkers paved the way for the future Christian West to build upon them.

As for all the answers of modernity; in some respects yes, but lets not forget that it is the modern West, especially after the French revolution, that has sown the seeds of our decline and current calamities. We could also take Julius Evola's thought into play and claim that the modern West was becoming more and more materialistic, decadent, individualistic, and anti-spiritual. Evola would consider the type of society prevailing in ancient man and in Hohenstaufen HRE to be superior(which he claims to be masculine, heroic, transcendent, and aristocratic) to the type of bourgeois civilization that steadily increased since the Renaissance and had its full flowering in the 19th and 20th centuries.

Joe McCarthy
Tuesday, September 28th, 2010, 07:54 PM
Well I agree that the modern West began with the rise of the Germanic kingdoms and Charlemagne being crowned Emperor, but the Greeks and Romans have played such an influential role in the development of the West that I felt inclined to include them. Some consider the defeat of the Persians by the Greeks to signify the distinct separation between East vs West. Either way, in some respects the ancients are superior to us, and their initiatives and original thinkers paved the way for the future Christian West to build upon them.

I agree with you.

Btw, by implication, assigning the high mark to the pre-Great War period is very Anglophile. The British Empire's holdings were positively enormous at the time, though they increased further after the war.

Joe McCarthy
Tuesday, September 28th, 2010, 08:46 PM
Originally Posted by Plantagenet
As for all the answers of modernity; in some respects yes, but lets not forget that it is the modern West, especially after the French revolution, that has sown the seeds of our decline and current calamities. We could also take Julius Evola's thought into play and claim that the modern West was becoming more and more materialistic, decadent, individualistic, and anti-spiritual. Evola would consider the type of society prevailing in ancient man and in Hohenstaufen HRE to be superior(which he claims to be masculine, heroic, transcendent, and aristocratic) to the type of bourgeois civilization that steadily increased since the Renaissance and had its full flowering in the 19th and 20th centuries.

I have a lot of problems with Evola, most of which are out of place to discuss here, but suffice it to say that the sort of heroic, pre-modern conditions he lionized, while commendable in themselves, had enormous baggage accompanying them. I think Allan Bloom, a Straussian, said it best: however lofty the aristocratic and feudal values of heroism and chivalry may have been, and however bland the mediocre values of bourgeois democracy are, taken in totality, ours is the better model, especially given that our people en masse are better off. There are many who hearken back to the ancient Greeks, but they ignore the primitive conditions, the slavery, and the depradations that most had to endure. In Sparta ritual mass slaughter of helots to keep their numbers down was common, and the Spartans were actually one of the more humane Hellenic city-states when it came to treatment of slaves.

So, in sum, I'd say that we as modern Westerners should not have contempt for the past, and indeed, we should adopt what is useful from it; but neither should we hold it in overly high regard. To do so is not only faulty, but tends to make it difficult to adjust to our present circumstances.

Norrøn
Tuesday, September 28th, 2010, 08:50 PM
I would say 1950-60s in the US. Although I dont believe we have reached our best just yet, and that the time we are living in is to be called something like the "wasted years". At least I hope so. 1960 is basicly the same period as we are living in today, but with families still intact, the consumerism was not too dominant and with a different optimism than today.

Plantagenet
Tuesday, September 28th, 2010, 09:32 PM
I have a lot of problems with Evola, most of which are out of place to discuss here, but suffice it to say that the sort of heroic, pre-modern conditions he lionized, while commendable in themselves, had enormous baggage accompanying them. I think Allan Bloom, a Straussian, said it best: however lofty the aristocratic and feudal values of heroism and chivalry may have been, and however bland the mediocre values of bourgeois democracy are, taken in totality, ours is the better model, especially given that our people en masse are better off. There are many who hearken back to the ancient Greeks, but they ignore the primitive conditions, the slavery, and the depradations that most had to endure. In Sparta ritual mass slaughter of helots to keep their numbers down was common, and the Spartans were actually one of the more humane Hellenic city-states when it came to treatment of slaves.

So, in sum, I'd say that we as modern Westerners should not have contempt for the past, and indeed, we should adopt what is useful from it; but neither should we hold it in overly high regard. To do so is not only faulty, but tends to make it difficult to adjust to our present circumstances.

Well I would have to disagree that in totality the modern bourgeois model is the better model, and I think that it would perhaps be an individually subjective choice based on personal values to determine which is better. As Evola often states, the society he envisions is based on transcendent values and his teachings directed at a man who is out of place in bourgeois society, his so called man of Tradition. Either way, I don't feel modern advancements and our ideals of freedom need be greatly curtailed to create a society more in line with the values Evola espouses.

I don't agree with everything Evola says either, but I do feel in tune with his criticism of the modern world, bourgeois society and values, and his idolization of a more chivalrous, aristocratic, masculine, and transcendent society.

Joe McCarthy
Tuesday, September 28th, 2010, 10:50 PM
Originally Posted by Plantagenet
Well I would have to disagree that in totality the modern bourgeois model is the better model, and I think that it would perhaps be an individually subjective choice based on personal values to determine which is better.

The reason it is better is because it better accumulates wealth, more evenly distributes it, and has facilitated technology and advancement. Even Marx, no fan of the bourgeoisie, hailed them for their achievements in making the world better. It's indicative of the extreme, reactionary perspective Evola was defending that he was even more hostile to the bourgoisie than Marx.


Either way, I don't feel modern advancements and our ideals of freedom need be greatly curtailed to create a society more in line with the values Evola espouses.


Here I disagree, and this is really THE problem with Evola, though there are innumerable lesser problems. He actually goes so far as to attack science and technological advancement in Ride the Tiger.

Though it is only in evidence if one reads between the lines, what Evola, a nobleman himself, is really doing is complaining at the loss of privilege of his class. He honestly idealizes a time when the West was centered around the medieval guild, with serfs beckoning under the lash of haughty nobles like himself, dying of terrible diseases at age 35 due to technological backwardness. Sure, some of what he says is worthy, and we shouldn't hesitate to take from him what is valuable, but his ideal world would be far worse than our own.

Plantagenet
Tuesday, September 28th, 2010, 11:56 PM
The reason it is better is because it better accumulates wealth, more evenly distributes it, and has facilitated technology and advancement. Even Marx, no fan of the bourgeoisie, hailed them for their achievements in making the world better. It's indicative of the extreme, reactionary perspective Evola was defending that he was even more hostile to the bourgoisie than Marx.

Well if wealth and technology are the only elements to a civilization, and living a comfortable materialistic-oriented long life is ones only goal, then I suppose bourgeois civilization is in certain ways superior. Perhaps the world is "better" in this sense, but in many other aspects bourgeois civilization is lesser to the more ancient order than Evola talks about. As Evola states the modern West is utterly devoid of any transcendent values or transcendent understanding of reality, and is in fact hostile to these values by its very nature. As we can see the aristocratic, heroic, and masculine values of the past have withered away leaving us with what our societies have turned into today.


Here I disagree, and this is really THE problem with Evola, though there are innumerable lesser problems. He actually goes so far as to attack science and technological advancement in Ride the Tiger.

Though it is only in evidence if one reads between the lines, what Evola, a nobleman himself, is really doing is complaining at the loss of privilege of his class. He honestly idealizes a time when the West was centered around the medieval guild, with serfs beckoning under the lash of haughty nobles like himself, dying of terrible diseases at age 35 due to technological backwardness. Sure, some of what he says is worthy, and we shouldn't hesitate to take from him what is valuable, but his ideal world would be far worse than our own.

Science and technological advancement are not everything, and in many ways have proved destructive to the Earth at large, especially for nature and natural resources. Technology has also facilitated globalization and has greatly contributed to the invasion of Western lands by third-worlders and non-Whites. I am not saying I am anti-science by any means, but some aspects of the Industrial revolution and its evolution are destructive. Ted Kaczynski discuss some of these modern problems in his work, "Industrial Society and It's Future" and though I don't agree with him entirely either, he does raise many good points.

As to the serfs--technological backwardness was more a symptom of the time, not of the societal order. If one were to implement some of Evola's good ideas it would not necessarily entail that there would be a technological regress or that the common man would be less free. In fact some would argue that our freedom today is only an illusion and that medieval peasants were actually more free in many ways. Not all peasants were under a strict feudal system, especially in Italy.

Caledonian
Wednesday, September 29th, 2010, 12:08 AM
I'm a fan of the renaissance period myself but I must admit that I like the chaotic ancient classical period between 2000BC and 7AD when it concerns Europe.

Truthfully I despise anything from the industrial age onwards because I view the industrial age as a whole as the global decline of humanity in that I'm not a fan of mass produced technological society and it's social ramifications.

( Some might say I'm a luddite and in some retrospects I do seem to lean that way but I am not entirely.)

I'm a simplistic person where I dream of the past far more than that of the future where I far more idolize the ancient period of humanity in that I have nothing but disdain for it's so called future especially into regards to how things exist now.

So I guess you can say I'm a fan of history up until the renaissance period where after that I pretty much stop caring about history.

Some would call this a deep sentimental nostalgia of the past without coming to the reality of the present that leads into the future but as I've said previously I have no hope in the future for this world in that for me given our current way of existence I see nothing more but further decline and existential stagnation.

Human beings are animals and I truely believe that even with the advance of technology in the increase of our dominion over the world and eventually the universe so they would have us believe will happen I think we were never meant to be the technological 'gods' that transhumanists would make us out to be in the future in conquering space itself.

I honestly think this grand expiriment known as technological industrial civilization is going to fail where it will eventually backfire on us all sometime in the future where it will be too late to realize our folly.

This is my perspective on history. It is a bit pessimistic and no doubt not everybody will agree with my interpretation but this is my honest answer in that I'm sure not every person here will like what I have to say in regards to the present topic.

Joe McCarthy
Wednesday, September 29th, 2010, 06:22 PM
Originally Posted by Plantagenet
Well if wealth and technology are the only elements to a civilization, and living a comfortable materialistic-oriented long life is ones only goal, then I suppose bourgeois civilization is in certain ways superior. Perhaps the world is "better" in this sense, but in many other aspects bourgeois civilization is lesser to the more ancient order than Evola talks about. As Evola states the modern West is utterly devoid of any transcendent values or transcendent understanding of reality, and is in fact hostile to these values by its very nature. As we can see the aristocratic, heroic, and masculine values of the past have withered away leaving us with what our societies have turned into today.


Yes, these are the valid things in Evola. In pursuing technics we killed God. The question is whether we can institute Evola's good ideas without wiping away the modern world. After all, he explicitly wanted to destroy the modern world.


Science and technological advancement are not everything, and in many ways have proved destructive to the Earth at large, especially for nature and natural resources.

If one looks to places like pre-contact America and Australia, I think one will find that those places were worse off environmentally. European explorers spoke of constant wildfires raging when viewing Australia from the sea. Similarly, there are actually more trees in the US now than there were before 1492.


As to the serfs--technological backwardness was more a symptom of the time, not of the societal order.

Technological progress has much to do with the freedom to innovate, which feudalism tended to depress. One reason why America has been so successful so fast is because we have not been encumbered by these Old World impediments.


Not all peasants were under a strict feudal system, especially in Italy.

Yet Evola rarely spoke of Italy specifically. He was hailing the pre-modern West in general.


Technology has also facilitated globalization and has greatly contributed to the invasion of Western lands by third-worlders and non-Whites

Non-whites were invading Western lands long before modernity, and in those cases mass slaughter often accompanied it (the Mongols wiped out half of the Hungarian population, for example). The Ottoman Empire threatened Europe for centuries and one reason why their threat was finally mitigated was the technological advances accompanying the Industrial Revolution. The Mongols essentially had Europe whipped, only to turn around. I imagine our ancestors would have greatly appreciated fighter jets and nuclear weapons to defend themselves.

Ingvaeonic
Wednesday, September 29th, 2010, 06:31 PM
I'd say the Protestant Reformation was at least one of the high points of Western civilisation. The intellectual, social, and cultural torrent that the Reformation released still affects the West to this day.

Wulfram
Wednesday, September 29th, 2010, 07:13 PM
Germanics have had numerous mini-golden ages. Holland in the 17th century, Elizabethan England, The Holy Roman Empire, Denmark during the first half of the 19th century, Sweden 1649-1719, while Germany has had quite a few of them in its various forms throughout the centuries.
I feel these mini-golden ages were mere practice runs.
In my opinion we have still yet to reach the ultimate Germanic golden age. This is one of the reasons our enemies have relentlessly undermined every chance to achieve this. They know that if we ever do then we would also exercise almost complete control. Power is an essential. The above mentioned countries could never have achieved them had they been backwater nations. It seems that the quality of art and scientific achievement is parallel to how much power a culture can achieve as well.
Only when we have fought and won against our enemies, when we have regained power and respect in the world, only then will our culture enter into its greatest period.

BritishLad
Wednesday, September 29th, 2010, 07:36 PM
I'd say 1900-1930
The Empires were at their largest during this period, everyone was cultured, the '20s boom, aircraft, cars and every field of vehicles made dramatic advancements (some, like the aeroplace had even been invented during this period).

Plantagenet
Wednesday, September 29th, 2010, 08:42 PM
If one looks to places like pre-contact America and Australia, I think one will find that those places were worse off environmentally. European explorers spoke of constant wildfires raging when viewing Australia from the sea. Similarly, there are actually more trees in the US now than there were before 1492.

I can't see how with the advent of modern modes of transportation, with our burning of fossil fuels, with the construction of modern cities, and with the population explosion how one could argue nature is better off now than in the past. How many animals have become endangered and lost their habitats in the past century alone?



Technological progress has much to do with the freedom to innovate, which feudalism tended to depress. One reason why America has been so successful so fast is because we have not been encumbered by these Old World impediments.

Well I think Evola has some good ideas, but I don't think he ever explicitly stated feudalism was his ideal form of government, nor do I. I think he was more of an admirer of the caste system of the Vedic world and certain aspects of ancient Rome, and really he often favors civilizations that existed in very ancient history. There was more human innovation and invention occurring in the ancient Greco-Roman world than throughout most of human history until European advancement during the post-Renaissance period. Like I said, I am not anti-Science or technology, and I appreciate the inventions of my ancestors, but I still think that technology can be just as equally destructive to our civilization as it is beneficial.


Yet Evola rarely spoke of Italy specifically. He was hailing the pre-modern West in general.

He also hails cultures outside of the West and really he feels as though the last remnants of his ideal society had died after the time of Frederick II Hohenstaufen and was on its way to its ultimate end, our modern era, starting in and around the Renaissance.


Non-whites were invading Western lands long before modernity, and in those cases mass slaughter often accompanied it (the Mongols wiped out half of the Hungarian population, for example). The Ottoman Empire threatened Europe for centuries and one reason why their threat was finally mitigated was the technological advances accompanying the Industrial Revolution. The Mongols essentially had Europe whipped, only to turn around. I imagine our ancestors would have greatly appreciated fighter jets and nuclear weapons to defend themselves.

Our technology can be used for our good or our ill. Television, radio, movies--these have greatly increased the amount of propaganda and thought-control disposable to a ruler to a degree unimaginable to anyone from the past. These fighter jets and nuclear weapons can also be used to control us, and are now in the hands of our enemies. People have been invading white lands for a long time, but now people from half-way across the world can show up at your doorstep due to technology. The chances of sub-Saharan Africans or Polynesians living in white lands prior to modern technology were slim to none, unless we were bringing them there. Our technology has also allowed for non-White population booms, specifically India and China. This, added to some of the psychological effects and increasing dependency on technology, doesn't mean technology is all good. Just look at the amount of obesity in the West from using technology for everything, and ingesting unnatural foods mass produced, also due to technology.

Joe McCarthy
Wednesday, September 29th, 2010, 09:27 PM
Originally Posted by Plantagenet
I can't see how with the advent of modern modes of transportation, with our burning of fossil fuels, with the construction of modern cities, and with the population explosion how one could argue nature is better off now than in the past.

My point really is that primitives were not especially good stewards of the land as they lacked the technology to contain environmental damage like forest fires. In assessing environmental damage caused by technology, it's important to look at the other side of the coin too. I'll add that the use of dirty energy sources is employed far more responsibly by us than it is by China or India, if that helps.


How many animals have become endangered and lost their habitats in the past century alone?


Needless to say, animal extinction did not begin with modernity, and it's unclear in many cases what causes extinction. All we need to do is look to the dinosaurs for evidence of that.


Well I think Evola has some good ideas, but I don't think he ever explicitly stated feudalism was his ideal form of government, nor do I.

He certainly viewed it with far more favor than modernity, and feudalism was the necessary correlate of his reverence for the Holy Roman Empire and similar things.


I think he was more of an admirer of the caste system of the Vedic world and certain aspects of ancient Rome, and really he often favors civilizations that existed in very ancient history.

Yes, which if anything takes him into the realm of outright irrelevance. What relevance does the Indian caste system have to us, and how can it be applied to the West? This reminds me of what the SS said about Evola - that he had his head in the clouds, pondering over utopian ideals. In the end he is strictly a derivative thinker, and his nostrums are only useful at all if borrowed very selectively. He basically turns 'Tradition' into a fetish, even going so far as to negate his own racialism by giving far more favorable appraisals of Islamic cavemen and Japanese Sea Mongols than he does Americans. His great dislike for all things American is the necessary byproduct of his reactionary and utopian revence for the past and pre-modern.


Our technology can be used for our good or our ill. Television, radio, movies--these have greatly increased the amount of propaganda and thought-control disposable to a ruler to a degree unimaginable to anyone from the past. These fighter jets and nuclear weapons can also be used to control us, and are now in the hands of our enemies. People have been invading white lands for a long time, but now people from half-way across the world can show up at your doorstep due to technology. The chances of sub-Saharan Africans or Polynesians living in white lands prior to modern technology were slim to none, unless we were bringing them there. Our technology has also allowed for non-White population booms, specifically India and China. This, added to some of the psychological effects and increasing dependency on technology, doesn't mean technology is all good. Just look at the amount of obesity in the West from using technology for everything, and ingesting unnatural foods mass produced, also due to technology.

All true, and no one is claiming that technology is all good (nothing is all good, really, as we learn in economics, as there is the ever present reality of opportunity cost), but on the whole, there is little question that technology has been a boon. as P.J. O'Rourke once said, those who condemn modern industrial civilization should consider what life would be without one thing: dentistry.

Plantagenet
Wednesday, September 29th, 2010, 10:34 PM
Yes, which if anything takes him into the realm of outright irrelevance. What relevance does the Indian caste system have to us, and how can it be applied to the West? This reminds me of what the SS said about Evola - that he had his head in the clouds, pondering over utopian ideals. In the end he is strictly a derivative thinker, and his nostrums are only useful at all if borrowed very selectively. He basically turns 'Tradition' into a fetish, even going so far as to negate his own racialism by giving far more favorable appraisals of Islamic cavemen and Japanese Sea Mongols than he does Americans. His great dislike for all things American is the necessary byproduct of his reactionary and utopian revence for the past and pre-modern.

I think that applying the Vedic system to the West would not be likely because of our current attitudes and beliefs, but hey we once valued freedom as well and we are more than happy to sign our old freedoms off and allow them to diminish without any effective protest today. The Vedic system, if instituted (which I am not saying I advocate), could allow for the top castes--that of the priestly and warrior classes (assuming our society actually contained any transcendent consciousness or order)--to do the ruling rather than the bourgeois or the unskilled masses. This would allow for a society to be directed by priestly/scholarly and warrior values, rather than bourgeois values. If the white race, or gifted members of the white race, constituted the upper-castes, this would remove miscegenation if applied strictly.

I think in certain respects the Islamic and the East Asian are superior to us nowadays because of their further distance away from bourgeois modernity, which Evola find's to be the opposite of what he values. I don't think he is necessarily anti-American, but more anti-modern and anti-Jewish bourgeois, which he finds America became the largest representative of. In many respects his assessment is quite accurate.

Caledonian
Thursday, September 30th, 2010, 04:17 AM
I can't see how with the advent of modern modes of transportation, with our burning of fossil fuels, with the construction of modern cities, and with the population explosion how one could argue nature is better off now than in the past. How many animals have become endangered and lost their habitats in the past century alone?




Well I think Evola has some good ideas, but I don't think he ever explicitly stated feudalism was his ideal form of government, nor do I. I think he was more of an admirer of the caste system of the Vedic world and certain aspects of ancient Rome, and really he often favors civilizations that existed in very ancient history. There was more human innovation and invention occurring in the ancient Greco-Roman world than throughout most of human history until European advancement during the post-Renaissance period. Like I said, I am not anti-Science or technology, and I appreciate the inventions of my ancestors, but I still think that technology can be just as equally destructive to our civilization as it is beneficial.



He also hails cultures outside of the West and really he feels as though the last remnants of his ideal society had died after the time of Frederick II Hohenstaufen and was on its way to its ultimate end, our modern era, starting in and around the Renaissance.



Our technology can be used for our good or our ill. Television, radio, movies--these have greatly increased the amount of propaganda and thought-control disposable to a ruler to a degree unimaginable to anyone from the past. These fighter jets and nuclear weapons can also be used to control us, and are now in the hands of our enemies. People have been invading white lands for a long time, but now people from half-way across the world can show up at your doorstep due to technology. The chances of sub-Saharan Africans or Polynesians living in white lands prior to modern technology were slim to none, unless we were bringing them there. Our technology has also allowed for non-White population booms, specifically India and China. This, added to some of the psychological effects and increasing dependency on technology, doesn't mean technology is all good. Just look at the amount of obesity in the West from using technology for everything, and ingesting unnatural foods mass produced, also due to technology.

The destructive nature of technology lies in it's excess which then breeds social decadence.

A society of excess is a deeply decadent one.

It is one of decline and one of existential stagnation.

In a society of excess people and things are taken for granted where all sorts of conflicts ensue.

This is why I loathe the future since for me the general idea that is the consensus of thought for most people about the future is one where our current excess civilization transforms itself technologically only to become even more excessive than what it already is. For me nothing beneficial will come out of it.

I think we as human beings need to start looking toward the past as a sense of our future.

Huginn ok Muninn
Thursday, September 30th, 2010, 04:48 AM
The destructive nature of technology lies in it's excess which then breeds social decadence.

A society of excess is a deeply decadent one.

It is one of decline and one of existential stagnation.

In a society of excess people and things are taken for granted where all sorts of conflicts ensue.

This is why I loathe the future since for me the general idea that is the consensus of thought for most people about the future is one where our current excess civilization transforms itself technologically only to become even more excessive than what it already is. For me nothing beneficial will come out of it.

I think we as human beings need to start looking toward the past as a sense of our future.

This is very true, and one reason I prefer the 1800s to the 1900s. Beginning with the destruction of Napoleon, Europe had relative peace and prosperity up until the excess you are talking about began to take hold in the early 1900s. The romantic age of the early 1800s in particular was the height of our society, before the technology of modern warfare nullified heroism as it did more and more in the years 1860-1918. I'll say 1850, the year of Lohengrin, was the absolute pinnacle.

Fredericus Rex
Thursday, May 12th, 2011, 02:27 AM
I would say the La Belle Epoque from 1871 to 1914 so far was the best era of the West. I suppose some of the intellectual trends weren't ideal but at the same time, it was a prosperous and truly optimistic age. The 20th Century in a way has been a massive tragic play for the West, being torn by extremenists and fanatics and then cast into an increasingly deepening hole of moral decline. Just at the hour of its triumph, the West turned upon itself...
But I am not pessmisstic enough to say a revival of the West can come. Much of the foundations have been laid...

At any rate, I find the romantacizing of the pre-civilized Teutons rather nonsensical, considering most members here would, had they lived at that time died in infancy or childbirth or some easily treatable disease. Fundamentally for there to be a golden age, life needs to be meaningful for most people, not just the top 5 or 10%.