#History, #Western Civilization

Why We Are Not Living in Western Civilization

I’ve not had the opportunity to watch this video yet, but the lede is very interesting and indeed thought provoking to say the least:

A crucial part of the self-consciousness of individuals and the way they define themselves socially is a perception of their location in a historical narrative, however vague. For most people in North America and Europe the narrative in question is that of ‘Western Civilization’ – this is true for all parts of the political spectrum and includes those who see this narrative as one of triumphant success and others who perceive it as a much darker story. However, the picture that emerges from historical research does not support any of these accounts. Rather they lead us to the conclusion that historic Western Civilization no longer exists but has perished or been transformed. This should make us think about how to understand our historical location and lead us to see past, present, and future in a new way.

To my mind I suppose this is discussing classical western civilization; the world of Rome and Greece is long dead, but perhaps we’re living the fallacy much as our ancestors did when crowning Roman emperors a millennium ago. Though these societies seem to survive in many ways in our modern institutions, I’m torn on this subject until I view the clip.

One Response to “Why We Are Not Living in Western Civilization”

  1. Mike

    March 7, 2010 @ 1:45 pm

    After watching the video the gist is that civilizations change over time and that what was once western civilization has evolved into something else. Ok.

    Reply

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