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Thread: When was Western Civilization's highest Point?

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    Senior Member Plantagenet's Avatar
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    When was Western Civilization's highest Point?

    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?

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    Early 20th century, pre-Great War. The West dominated the globe, and ultimately a civilization is remembered primarily for one thing: power.

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    Senior Member Fyrgenholt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe McCarthy View Post
    Early 20th century
    This.

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

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cenwulf View Post
    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.

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    Senior Member Schattenjäger's Avatar
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    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...

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    Senior Member Plantagenet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe McCarthy View Post
    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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Plantagenet View Post
    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.

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    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.

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    Senior Member Norrøn's Avatar
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    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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe McCarthy View Post
    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.

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