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To say to the declinists, as Adam Smith said of the nation, that there is a great deal of ruin in a civilisation, is not to pretend that the West is invulnerable. As a tribute to the civilisation that meant so much to him, the great medievalist Ernst Kantorowicz always used to quote Dante, Shakespeare or Goethe in his lectures. Like countless other Jewish émigrés from Nazi Germany, Kantorowicz knew better than most how precarious was the survival of Western civilisation. I shall follow his example, with the proviso that the greatest writers of the Western canon are all ultimately indebted to the Hebrew Bible, especially when they seem oblivious of that debt. Thus even Goethe, the pagan poet-sage of Weimar, draws his most important idea, the Faust myth, from late medieval demonology. The Faustian man, with his quest for unlimited knowledge at all costs, has long been seen — not least by Oswald Spengler — as symbolic of Western civilisation. The pact with the Devil is a theme that is both very old and very modern: it derives ultimately from the Book of Genesis, but it describes rather well the temptations that today assail those in whose hands the fate of the West rests. We are still, like Faust, confronted by Mephistophelian deceivers, in the form of those who would persuade us to abandon Judaeo-Christian values, without which our civilisation cannot flourish, and in particular to betray Israel to its enemies. The Biblical core of Western civilisation is the soul that must never be sold to Satanic forces: the creation of man in the image of God, embodied in a covenant; the history of the Jews as a liberation from captivity and the restoration of the rule of law, embodied in the commandments; and the promise of a messiah, embodied in the moral injunctions of the prophets and psalmists. Thanks to the conversion of the Graeco-Roman world to Christianity, these Biblical themes have saturated the West for two millennia, but their universalisation throughout the gentile world has always carried with it the danger that their particular manifestation in the Jewish people might be sacrificed. In today’s secularised West, the temptation to denigrate or deny our Biblical inheritance, to emphasise the Hellenic aspects of Christianity at the expense of the Hebraic ones, seems overwhelming.

The original Faust legend, first given literary significance by Christopher Marlowe, is a tragedy: the magician repents, but too late to save himself. Goethe, however, divides the story into two parts. The first transforms the tragedy of Faust into that of Gretchen, the woman he seduces and for whose child’s death she must atone. The second transfigures Faust into a pioneer of modernity by reclaiming land from the sea, and an almost Biblical benefactor of mankind, enabling his people to go forth and multiply. Between Parts I and II, the tragedy of the individual evolves into the history of civilisation.

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Eliahu Nov PhD
October 13th, 2017
5:10 AM
Ihave just finished your breath taking article 'The Fate of the West' (Hebrew version, Keren Tiqwa's 'Hashiloach' periodical). Actually, during the years (I am 74) I thought and talked along the same patterns that your article outlined. Your article only enabled me to formulate my beliefs more clearly ond orderly. However, in the present ultimate worldwide havoc situation we now need it is NOT suffice to only publish paperes and essays but to take ACTIVE steps to outline VALID PRACTICAL strategies to turn the clumsy ship to a better direction ie establishing/ organising an INTERNATIONL 'new masons'movementto fight, reveal and conquer the strongholds of both distructive powers in both extremes you elaborated in your article. Real measures must be taken to save the planet . ALL aspects (philosophical, communication, hard & soft scientific , networks, literate etc etc tools) must be discussed and published . Prominent Politicians and proffessionals must be reqruited to lift the flag of 'Re-enlightment' .

August 6th, 2017
11:08 AM
Articulate and compelling. Guarantees to Israel from Europe won't suffice. For every John 23 there is a Pius 12, even today. The ability to be an Anti-smite while occupying the moral high ground is just too attractive to many of today's Christian Europeans. Though they endanger themselves, theirs is the cry of Samson "let me die along with the Philistines". My hope is that reasonable views, such as yours, will prevail in the never ending struggle.

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