In To The West

I enjoy living in America, and I have spent more than eighty percent of my time here over the past three centuries. Initially, it simply afforded me a perfect social/cultural jungle to hide within. As the colonies and then the nation expanded there were always new places where I could set up a life for twenty or thirty years (in one case even longer). As time progressed it became clear to me that there really was no other place to reside if one wanted to ride the edge of cultural and material advances. The United States of America is a remarkably resilient and optimistic place and as such is uniquely prepared to face the coming challenges of the new century.

In my view there is little doubt that western cultural liberalism will prevail over the next century. The only real question is where the synthesis of European semi-democratic socialism and American semi-democratic capitalist/individualism will eventually lead. That the two will combine in some way is inevitable, but the result is likely to be surprising even to me. At the moment it is clear that America’s social/economic structure is far more adaptable than that of the vast majority of Europe, as well as being more focused on the issues of importance that shall define the next two decades. Europe’s advantages in these times are to be frank, nil; however, there are things to be admired in the desire for total social justice. In the end it will be American ingenuity and drive which will bring the European ideals as close to reality as any human utopia is likely to come.

At the moment, though, there are many unpleasant tasks to be completed, not least of which is the political reduction of fundamentalist reactionaries in the Middle East. While this is currently viewed as primarily a military and law enforcement action I find myself speculating that in the future history will pass lightly over the decade (give or take five years) of conflict that begins this century and instead count as the great accomplishments of Twenty-First Century Western Civilization the reconstruction of political order in what is now mostly a cesspool of poverty, repression, tyranny and random, indiscriminate death. Let us be absolutely clear on this point: there are cultures too warped to survive without being corrected by outside influences, and there are cultures which are, at their very core, simply Evil. Not Evil in the religious sense (since even any hint of spirituality seems to give so many people hives), rather Evil in the sense that they do nothing to promote even a semblance of progress for human dignity and freedom. Evil in that they stand in active opposition to the very things which form the core of Western Cultural Liberalism: freedom of thought, freedom of expression, freedom of movement, and oh-so-very importantly the freedom to try and to fail.

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