I watched 'Civilization: the West plus the Rest with Niall Ferguson' on PBS. Niall Ferguson's concept are these claims: Western Civilization stumbled on control the entire world through the fortune of combining six 'killer apps', i.e. (1) Competition; (2) Science; (3) Modern Medicine; (4) Democracy; (5) Consumerism; and (6) the (Protestant) work ethic.
So ok, i'll amend my first statement'I watched the very last 20 minutes of the final 2-hour episode. It's engrossing Sociology/History/Theory and I enjoyed what I saw from it. For instance, he explains why the entire world wants to wear blue-jeans and t-shirts (much like American Cowboys) and just how Protestantism made making an effort and getting ahead virtues of these faith(s), as opposed to the older, Catholic view that conserving money to buy things, or spending so much time to improve one's place in the earth were either vanity or greed and a lot probably both.
The saddest part was his account of how atheism in Europe has left their Sunday morning church services virtually abandoned (since the Europeans nationalized their Reformation churches). Plus, America is showing an increase in Protestantism (Partly due to our successful adherence to some 'separation of church and state', and partly because on the number and selection of protestant churches). But the topper was that China has regions in which the Christian Faith is increasing like a weed'and these communities are definitely the fastest growing economies in China. Thus we've got not only lost our very own 'Protestant Work Ethic', but we've got transplanted that productivity-enhancing philosophy to mainland China.
For shame! Our proudest possession, that 'Good Ol' American Can-Do Spirit!' has become in the hands with the Chinese. O well. We continue to have some cool stuff is hard to seek out in most in the rest of the planet. But we're stumbling on Education, we're also allowing crooks to perform the Economy (but I expect that may be just a factor you must endure of all sorts or era of Civilization). Besides, recent news accounts ensure it is quite plain which the Chinese have a similar problem, only bigger.
I don't want to sound anti-Chinese'it's that their leaders enforce a repressive government'if you can no longer outdo them in commerce, that will only be proof that your own freedoms have devolved right into a mixture of lip-service and self-delusion. I do not mean which our government is restrictive on the same degree'no, I mean that the corporations have succeeded in changing America to a place that emphasizes the 'freedom' of corporations and banks to enact legislation that favors their bottom-lines'or their protection against unsatisfied citizens.
I guess what irks me most may be the idea that the planet has taken some with the best elements of our culture, however, not until we'd made it surface-gloss instead with the iron core it turned out meant to be. In other words, ever since we're really screwing america up, the rest of the earth wants to play one-up-manship with his corroding and corrupt system. Instead of transforming into a lesson on fidelity and fair dealing'plus the consequences of cutting those corners, our present powers-that-be increasingly becoming the message that the entire world is competing with us'and that we could't afford to fix your own capitalist abscesses (and excesses), we have now to consentrate on keeping prior to all the other countries!
This is ludicrous, needless to say. We should be improving, not competing in a very rigged race. We need federal intervention from the jobless crisis, almost no different from FDR's work-projects programs. We need to repair and re-build our infrastructure. Why is it over-time to get the two of these things to handle each other?
The First Lady has read more evolved improved nutrition, but I have no idea how much money or effort has been thrown in the project beyond Ms. Obama's championing of their precepts. And how shall we be ever likely to wrest our country back on the maelstrom of idiocy the elected legislators fire up each session, when we include the ones that elected these clowns? When did politics turned into a TV show?
How hard can it be to discover some reasonable guy who doesn't want to become congressman, and convince him (or her) it's important enough that they should do it anyway? That's what we need'unwilling candidates'they're the one kind which could be trusted.
Still, it turned out a fascinating program series for history-nerds at all like me. What we actually need now would be the sequel'O, Mr. Ferguson! How do we get at this point back to civilization?