Completion of Civilization in America and the Challenges to the West of Three Anti-Western Empires

Preview of Bertil Haggman’s book on the Heliotropic myth (G.F.W. Hegel: The Sun-the Light-rises in the East…The History of the World travels from East to West…America is the land of the future, where, in the ages that lie before us, the burden of World’s History shall reveal itself) to be published in November 2018.

Bertil Haggman

 

Publishing House Bertil Haggman

2018

 

Contents

Introduction

East to West–Some Mainstream Civilizations

Mesopotamia, Assyria and Persia

East to West–Some Mainstream Civilizations

Mediterranean Civilizations

Greece, Macedonia

The Roman Republic and Empire

 

Introduction

In 2002 Wall Street Journal (“What We’re Fighting For”, April 29, 2002) launched a new Monday column naming it “The Western Front”. It could be seen as reference to World War I. “It was that war”, wrote assistant editor Brendan Miniter (in 2018 Vice President & Editor of Editorials, Dallas Morning News,Dallas, Texas) “that accelerated Western civilization down into a dangerous pit from which it may now be emerging.” Mr. Miniter also asked if it is so that some cultures create spiritual, material and political prosperity while others breed nothing but oppression?

“Now it is time for Western culture”, he continued, “to stand up again. Worries about imperialism, especially cultural imperialism, should be cast off. Global free trade isn’t imperialistic; it’s a spread of a natural right, economic freedom…All cannot remain quiet on the Western front. The West, not just America, is locked in a struggle with forces that question its foundation…the West is worth defending.” It gives hope to the world for lasting peace among men and the spread of freedom to lands that have only known tyranny.

Could this be the first signs of a growing understanding that there is a completion in the West of civilization, a belief that could partly be based on the heliotropic myth and constant rejuvenation of Western civilization through advanced technology and strong economy ? The West differs from other civilizations. It’s “Universal State” (United States) has come to stay and one way to guarantee continued strength is for instance space power. The earlier opposition between land- and sea-power is turning into a question of control of space (civilian and military use). It would guarantee for the future the position of strength of the West. Let us take a look at these requirements for global Western control and how civilization has moved from East to West.

Could this be the first signs, among others, of a growing understanding that there is a completion in the West of civilization, a belief that could partly be based on the heliotropic myth and the constant rejuvenation of Western civilization through advanced party by technology and a strong economy ? The West differs from other civilizations in that it’ influence is still growing and there are no signs of weakening.

When Max Lerner (1902 – 1992) in his book America As A Civilization (1957) proposed that America had created its own civilization distinct from the European he met hard resistance from no less than grand macro-historian Arnold Toynbee (1889 – 1975). Others protested as well. In 2007 it was 50 years since Lerner’s book (it was republished in 1987 with an appendix covering the period 1957 – 1987). With the Soviet Union collapsing the United States remained as the only superpower in the world. America has finally earned to be characterized as a civilization of its own. In 1958 Lerner had an exchange with Toynbee in Paris (Western World, December 1958). Lerner’s idea offended the British historian’s grand historical sense. America, so Toynbee, was only a tag-end of Western civilization. Other critics joined in (the symposion ”Is America A Civilization?” Organized by Marshall Fidgwick in ”Shenandoah” (published at Washington and Lee University. The text appeared in vol. X, no. 1, Autumn 1958).

Much has been published since 1991 on the role of the United States in the world. Let us take a look at requirements for global Western control and how civilization has moved from east to west but also at Lerner’s arguments for an American civilization about 50 years ago.

It has become increasingly clear that the United States is the most powerful state in world history. Professor Paul Kennedy (b. 1945), who in the 1980s was one of the proponents of American eclipse, has now admitted that in military terms there is only one player that counts – the United States (Paul Kennedy, “The Eagle Has Landed”, Financial Times, London, February 1, 2002). Military spending is higher, absolutely and relatively, than any other nation in history. It should be noted here that it was President Ronald Reagan that initiated this military spending policy in the 1980s. He was also responsible for the long economic upturn in the United States lasting into the 1990s.

Now, in the beginning of the 21st century, there has, in the words of Kennedy, never existed such a disparity of power. There is no comparison.

Released in 1991 from the expenses of the Cold War free enterprise in the United States boomed all through the 1990s. American companies started cutting costs, making operations leaner and more competitive. Investment in new technologies was intensive and America led the communication revolution. The rising productivity was combined with cuts in deficits.

US strength is impressive: 45 percent of all internet traffic is in the United States, 75 percent of Nobel laureates in the sciences, economy and medicine reside in America, 12 to 15 American universities have through vast financing left other universities in the world behind. The biggest companies, the largest banks are all in the United States.

The dominating factor securing the position of the final empire in the West for the United States, is the technological drive. Technology and free enterprise are the most important factors in today’s world for civilizational strength. This has made Western civilization unique and is a guarantee for completion in the West. There are of course other factors of importance to be taken into account like freedom and democracy, that are unique to the West, but science and technology is playing the main role.

Since the Early Middle Ages the heliotropic myth, the notion that civilization is following the movement of the sun from East to West, has been influental in the West. Myths are important parts of a civilisation including that of the West. It is the story that is binding people together and the heliotropic myth has been offering hope for Westerners. It played a prominent role in the idea of emigration across the Atlantic to America. Thus it has been inspiring for generations. Eternity in time and giving meaning to time, the myth is illustrating the beginning and the end.

When in 1996 we published about the question of American eclipse in a short essay (in Winn Schwartau, “Information Warfare”, 1996) the matter of the world power was still not fully resolved. Would civilization move across the Pacific Ocean to East Asia on it’s way to complete a full circle? Were China or Japan to follow the United States as leaders in a completion of history?

Much has however changed in a few years. Economic recession lost Japan the place as a possible successor empire to the West (although the economy is recovedring). China is still a rising power and certainly can be a successor it still is far behind the West.

It has become increasingly clear that the United States is the most powerful state in world history. Professor Paul Kennedy, who in the 1980s was one of the proponents of American eclipse, has now admitted that in military terms there is only one player that counts – the United States (Paul Kennedy, “The Eagle Has Landed”, Financial Times, London, February 1, 2002). Military spending is higher, absolutely and relatively, than any other nation in history. It should be noted here that it was President Ronald Reagan that initiated this military spending policy in the 1980s. He was also responsible for the long economic upturn in the United States lasting into the 1990s.

Now, in the beginning of the 21st century, there has, in the words of Kennedy, never existed such a disparity of power. There is no comparison.

The Soviet Union collapsed in 1991. Released from the expenses of the Cold War free enterprise in the United States boomed all through the 1990s. American companies started cutting costs, making operations leaner and more competitive. Investment in new technologies was intensive and America led the communication revolution. The rising productivity was combined with cuts in deficits.

US strength is impressve: 45 percent of all internet traffic is in the United States, 75 percent of Nobel laureates in the sciences, economy and medicine reside in America, 12 to 15 American universities have through vast financing left other universities in the world behind. The biggest companies, the largest banks are all in the United States.

In the view of this writer the dominating fact, however, securing the position of the final empire in the West for the United States, is the technological drive. Technology and free enterprise are the most important factors in today’s world for civilizational strength. This has made Western civilization unique and is a guarantee for completion in the West. There are of course other factors of importance to be taken into account like freedom, democracy, that are unique to the West, but science and technology is playing the main role.

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