Does the election of
Barack Obama as the 44th
president of the
United States mark the end
of Protestant ethic
as the guiding principle
of American society
and of Western civilization
Trostnikov lays out his case below.
Argumenty i Facty, Russia
Obama Presidency Marks End of Western
"What kind of person Obama is,
we donít know. Americans donít know either. But the biracial Obama is
associated with the kind, soft, personable Uncle Tom. And the people chose to
make the White House his cabin, having exiled Anglo-Saxons from it for making such
an incredible mess. What will emerge in place of Western civilization is not
yet known. But it's obvious that this civilization, in its current form, came
to an end in 2008. Like the Roman Republic, the West is clinging to life, and
in doing so may make an even greater mess."
By Victor Trostnikov
Translated By Yekaterina Blinova
January 21, 2009
Argumenty i Facty - Russia -
Original Article (Russian)
It seems that you and I are
living at a turning point in world history. The only time in the known past to
compare it with is the first century B.C. - the fateful hours, as
Tyutchev put it in his poem Cicero .
Amid internal strife and
clinging to life, Republican Rome left history's stage, and with it the entire
ancient world. In its place an empire was about to emerge - the cradle of new,
In the year 395, the Roman
Empire was divided into West, with the capital in Rome, and East, with its
capital in Constantinople [Byzantium]. Each went its own way.
THE EVOLUTION OF THE WEST
476: The fall of Western Roman Empire under the onslaught
of the Germanic tribes.
800: The restoration of the Empire by Charlemagne.
843: The Treaty of Verdun [The division of empire by
Charlemagne's three sons . The beginning of feudalism.
election of Pope Gregory VII, whose reforms made the Catholic Church the most
influential force in the West. The Church took into its hands not just
spiritual, but political power. [Gregory VII affirmed the primacy of papal
authority and instituted the new canon law governing the election of popes by
the college of cardinals ].
Protestant Revolution - the revolt against the intervention of the Catholic
Church in all spheres of life. The proclamation on the principles of
individualism, which are the basis of the capitalist order, and the principles
of rationalism, which are at the root of science. [photo left: Martin Luther,
whose 'Protestant' ideas altered the course of Western civilization ]
1620: Puritan Pilgrims landed
at Cape Cod in North America. In subsequent years, they were followed by
members of other Protestant faiths, who intended to start life again on the new
continent in accordance to their religious beliefs. The ideology of
"healthy egoism" which stimulated competition, the cult of lone-superman
who overcomes all obstacles on his way to "success," and the motto
"time is money," which accelerated business activity, led to the
rapid development of production and the accumulation of vast wealth. This made
the United States a leader in the Western world.
Great Depression - the first alarm bell which indicated the presence of a flaw
in the liberal economy. It turned out that the principle "every man for
himself" doesn't automatically lead to cementing the general welfare. The
Depression lasted several years and "burned out" only due to the
flames of the Second World War. [The Great Depression began the day of the
great crash of October 29, 1929 and in the United States, ended definitively
with the onset of World War II ].
beginning of the formation of the "socialist camp" which forced the
West to adopt countermeasures, particularly the "Marshall Plan ," which turned into an unprecedented act of U.S.
government intervention into the "free market." So the Communist
threat delayed the onset of the deconstructive unwinding inherent in the
But rallying the West for the
purposes of confronting the Soviet economy didn't stop this departure from
Protestant ideals. In the watershed years of the 1960s, two landmark events
took place: Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated, after which Negroes began
their transformation from a discriminated class and began to emerge as a
privileged one; while the works of Doctor Alfred Kinsey †kindled a
"sexual revolution" that overturned the doctrines of Puritan morality
upon which America was based.
THE HOUR HAS STRUCK Ö
Strictly speaking, nothing
that has occurred is particularly extraordinary. Smart and insightful people
have long felt the presence of a certain self-destructive seed at the heart of
self-absorbed Western civilization. So thought the Slavophiles [school of
thought that opposed Western influence] , philosopher Vladimir Solovyov , and Dostoyevsky †mentioned this
dead-end in A Writer's Diary. But the first scientific forecast was
given in the beginning
of the twentieth century by Oswald Spengler (photo, right), in his book that was
translated into Russian under the name "Decline of the West ." This work convinced many. But most envisioned
this process as a lengthy and gradual one. In fact, everything has happened
much more quickly.†††
Two thousand eight years
after the birth of Christ will for many centuries to come be written in huge
letters. We are contemporaries during this grand tectonic shift in the fate of
humanity. This is the result of two factors simultaneously at work.
First of all, a new crisis
within the liberal economy struck on a global scale, having been let off its
leash after the disappearance of the communist threat. Second, there has been
an unexpected psychological rejection by the American people of the last
remnants of the ancient protestant self-reliance - the model of the perpetually
righteous American government that pushed people "to the wall"
(expression by British economic historian Arnold Toynbee ). This image was supported by presidents who were
invariably Anglo-Saxons, "white devils," as Jack London called the breed. For the last among them, Bush, the
passion for "pushing to the wall" was especially maniacal: at the
slightest provocation - bomb! But this was agony.
What kind of person Obama is, we donít
know. Americans donít know either. But the biracial Obama is associated with
the kind, soft, personable Uncle Tom. And the people chose to make the White
House his cabin, having exiled Anglo-Saxons from it for making such an incredible
mess. [Uncle Tom was the central character in Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle
Tom's Cabin, he best-selling novel of
the 19th century and second best selling book of the 19th century. Illustrating
the evils of slavery, Uncle Tom was the dutiful, long-suffering servant
faithful to his White master. ].
What will emerge in place of
Western civilization is not yet known. But it's obvious that this civilization,
in its current form, came to an end in 2008. The West is clinging to life, and
in doing so may make an even greater mess.
CLICK HERE FOR
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