Friday, September 16, 2011

The Challenge of 9/11

Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, or Mark Steyn in disguise? You decide.

There is a simple choice before us. Will we continue to act in ignorance of this other narrative? If so, we will replicate the fate of Greece in the second pre-Christian century as described by Polybius (“the people of Hellas had entered on the false path of ostentation, avarice and laziness”), and that of Rome two centuries later, when Livy wrote about “how, with the gradual relaxation of discipline, morals first subsided, as it were, then sank lower and lower, and finally began the downward plunge which has brought us to our present time, when we can endure neither our vices nor their cure.” If we carry on as we are going, the West will decline and fall.
There is, to my mind, only one sane alternative. That is to do what England and America did in the 1820s. Those two societies, deeply secularised after the rationalist eighteenth century, scarred and fractured by the problems of industrialisation, calmly set about remoralising themselves, thereby renewing themselves. 
Read it all. 

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