WHAT IS WESTERN CIVILIZATION?

by Dr. Lawrence Wilson

© August 2019, LD Wilson Consultants, Inc.

 

Contents

 

I. INTRODUCTION

 

II. THE SPIRITUAL TIMELINE AND THE GROWTH OF WESTERN CIVILIZATION

 

III. THE THEMES OF WESTERN CIVILIZATION

 

IV. THE TRADITIONAL WAY TO UNDERSTAND WESTERN CIVILIZATION

 

V. THE OPPOSITE – SOCIALISM, COMMUNISM AND DICTATORSHIP

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I. INTRODUCTION

 

              This article is still being written.  However, the basics are done and we felt it was best to publish it now because many people have requested it.  It is needed due to the discussion in the paragraph below about the recent attacks upon Western civilization.

 

UNDER ATTACK 

 

Today, Western civilization is under fierce attack by the “left”, as it is called.  It is really under attack by the Rogues, who do not like the success of Western civilization.

After all, Western civilization has brought immense prosperity to many nations, along with principles of love, cleanliness, healing of diseases, millions of amazing inventions such as the computer and the telephone, and much more.  The rogues want society primitive, sick and stupid.  So it makes sense they would attack it with fervor!

They label it:

- Racist.  In fact, it is the least racist of any culture anytime in history.

- Homophobic and xenophobic.  Really, it is among the most tolerant of any civilization.  Try being a homosexual in Saudi Arabia or Iran!

- Male chauvinist or paternalistic.  Actually, it is the most inclusive of women of any modern civilization.  We won’t even speak about being a woman in the Arab world or even in Japan or China, but we don’t recommend it.

- Slave-based. In fact, it has utterly stopped slavery, whereas slavery continues in most other cultures on earth.

In summary, they are completely and utterly wrong and they know it.  It is just an effort to confuse you.  The rogues have also taken control of the highschools, the textbook companies and the universities and made sure that Western civilization is no longer taught correctly.

So we are left with the question, If they are wrong, then what is Western civilization?  That is the subject of this article.

 

A NEW APPROACH

 

We will handle the subject of history differently from standard history books because we think they don’t present it correctly.  The textbooks present history as a series of wars, usually, and the epochs or time periods are those of the rule of one nation or another over the world.  The second part of this article presents this version of the history of Western Civilization because even the basics of history have been distorted by the takeover of our schools and universities by Rogues.

 

SPIRITUAL HISTORY

 

We believe, however, that most writing of history and particularly about Western civilization is missing the big picture.  The big picture is the growth of the spiritual nature of man.  We think you will understand Western civilization much better by looking at it from a spiritual viewpoint.

 

II. THE SPIRITUAL TIMELINE OF HISTORY

 

THE MISSION OF ABRAHAM AND SARAH

 

We begin our timeline of modern Western civilization with the work of Abraham and Sarah that occurred in the Middle East about 6000 years ago.  Abraham and Sarah founded the Hebrew religion and were given quite an assignment.

Their “assignment” was nothing less than to upgrade the genetics of the earth’s people and to give them the tools to build a new civilization on earth.  Among the “tools” were the Seven Laws of Noah and later, the Ten Commandments of Moses.  These would be needed, he was told, to guide the people to success.

There had been earlier codes of behavior such as the Code of Hammurabi, but it was not good enough.  But Abraham was told, they were not good enough.

The story of Abraham and Sarah, Issac and Rebekah, Jacob and Rachel, Joseph, Moses and their wives and families is told in detail in the Hebrew Bible, and we believe it is substantially true.  There has been some distortion of the truth due to translation errors and other problems, but not too much.  Upon their shoulders stands what is called Western civilization.

Among the basic principles of Western civilization is The Ten Commandments that were given to Moses on Mount Sinai.  It emphasizes honesty, respect for others, respect for parents, tolerance of others and more.

The commandments are a code of behavior that works and works well.  It has guided all the nations of Europe, Canada, America, Australia, New Zealand and many other Western nations that were colonized and ruled by the British, French, Spanish and Portugese nations over the past 3000 years.  For more about Abraham, read The Missions Of Abraham And Jesus.

 

THE SCATTERING OF THE HEBREWS

 

Things went okay for the Hebrews until the rise of the Roman Empire around 100 BC.  The Roman Republic had been a peaceful society in Italy where people were mainly excellent farmers.  However, a socialist revolution occurred around 100 BC and Rome changed from a republic to the most violent and brutal dictatorship the world had ever seen.

A republic means the rule of law.  Socialism means pure government control and dictatorship.  You will see throughout history how socialism always leads to war and horror.

The Romans decided to exterminate all the Hebrews because they did not want the Hebrew teachings such as Ten Commandments and the Golden Rule (treat others as you wish to be treated) to spread.  They utterly destroyed the Hebrew temple and everything Hebrew they could find in the year 70 AD.  It was very thorough, in true Roman fashion.

The only problem is that by then many Hebrews had fled their country because they were warned that the end was near for them.  A principle that repeats in history is that any nation that decides to kill the Hebrew people will be destroyed.  This was to be the fate of the Romans. 

 

JESUS AND CHRISTIANITY

 

The next big event in history was the birth and life of Jesus of Nazareth.  Because this is a history article, we will not debate whether he was God, or a prophet, or something else. 

Everyone can agree, however, that he was a gentle, Hebrew man who was born to a religious Hebrew woman and came from very humble beginnings.  His land, at the time, was under Roman dictatorship and ife was not easy. 

He was also a highly developed man.  This means he had many powers and abilities such as mental telepathy and the ability to control matter.  The New Testament of the Bible relates how he controlled the weather and stopped a storm, how he changed water into wine for a wedding feast, how he was able to heal the sick, and more.

There was a plan for his life on earth, and it included stopping the seemingly unstoppable horror of the Roman Empire.  He also came forth to spread the Hebrew Biblical teachings around the world, and particularly in the Western nations of Europe and later America.

Things started out very badly for him.  Soon after his birth, the Romans heard of him and feared him.  In their typical fashion, decided to slaughter all the Hebrew babies that had been born around the time of the birth of Jesus.  This was a common practice of the Romans. 

However, the family escaped to Egypt and Jesus survived the first attempt to kill him when he was just a few weeks old.

The story of Jesus is told in the New Testament of the Bible.  However, it is not quite correct because the books that we call the gospels were chosen by the Roman Emperor Constantine, not by Jesus or anyone else.  A few other article on this website discuss this problem, such as The Two Branches Of Christianity and Christian History.

Jesus started his religious teaching around the age of 30.  They emphasized loving the one God of the Hebrews and loving other people.  At one level, they were simple and he did not like the way the Hebrew religion had become very complicated.

His ministry or teaching life only lasted about three years.  Then he allowed himself to be captured by the Romans, who promptly killed him.  He was not killed by the Hebrew people, who loved him.  The Romans just used a few Hebrew leaders as stooges to make it look this way.

After his death, the Romans hunted down as many of his followers as they could and slaughtered them all.  One of the followers, Paul, was kept alive in a Roman prison for a few years, long enough to write a number of letters to some of the followers of Jesus.  These later became part of the Christian gospels. 

In general, things looked very bleak for the teachings of Jesus and remained that way for several hundred years.  His teachings were officially forbidden in the Roman Empire and anyone caught reading or teaching them was killed.

 

THE VISION OF THE CROSS

 

The next important event in history took place 400 years after the death of Jesus.  The Roman emperor, Constantine, was faced with a difficult battle.  The night before the battle, he had a vivid dream that if he would paint crosses on his army’s shields and go forth as “warriors for Christ” he would win easily against a difficult enemy. 

Constantine did this and he won easily, taking back control of the entire Roman empire!  As a result, he secretly became a follower of the teachings of Jesus. 

Near the end of his life, Constantine decided to go public with his spiritual beliefs and to force those beliefs on everyone living in the Roman Empire.  Once again, this was the Roman style of doing things.

At this time, Rome had a different religion that was similar to the old Greek religion, also called Greek mythology.  There were many gods that behaved like naughty children.  They cheated on their wives and husbands, they killed each other, and they were fairly stupid though they were powerful beings.

One reason Constantine decided to convert the entire Roman Empire to Christianity (he coined this name) was because the Roman Empire was crumbling at this time.  He thought the new religion would save the empire.  In fact, it did the opposite.

The way that Constantine decided to impose the new teachings was to set up a new religion that he called the Roman Catholic Church.  It was a hybrid religion that used the person and teachings of Jesus along with some of the old Roman teachings.

He held a meeting at Nicea in 425 AD, today called the Council of Nicea, where he announced everything and basically set up the doctrines, holidays and rituals of the Roman Catholic Church.  Few people know this, although it is the absolute truth.

At this time, (2019) the Catholic Church is running an ad on the radio in some American cities that urges people to join the Catholic Church, “the church that Jesus founded.”  In fact, he did no such thing.  The Roman Catholic Church was founded by Emperor Constantine about 400 years after the death of Jesus.

 

THE SPREAD OF CHRISTIANITY

 

The next important event was the rapid spread of Christianity through the Roman-controlled areas of the world.  This was accomplished by Roman soldiers who forced people at knife-point to give up their old gods and teachings, and embrace the new Roman religion.

As was characteristic of the Romans, it was done quickly and efficiently so that by the year 600 or so, it was the law of the land and known by almost everyone.

The only problem was that the new religion was one of peace and love and was not compatible with the aggressive and brutal nature of the Roman Empire.  Christian principles of love and caring for others and ‘Do not murder’ were completely incompatible with Roman socialist principles of power and control at any cost. 

“Christianizing” the Roman Empire just hastened its destruction.  There was more infighting and the empire split into various warring factions.

 

THE COMING OF THE BARBARIANS 

 

The next important historical fact about Western civilization was that as the Roman empire collapsed, ferocious, primitive people invaded Europe.  They looted, raped, murdered, enslaved and destroyed everything in their path.

The worst groups were the Germanic tribes who came from the North of Europe and the Muslims who came from the South.  The Muslims had gotten started around the year 550 by Mohammed and controlled Northern Africa.  They had then conquered present-day Spain and were moving north into present-day France.

The Romans wanted agriculture and even industry to thrive so the people would have more money to pay more taxes to the Romans.  So they encouraged excellent agriculture and even manufacturing.

In contrast, the barbarians just wanted to kill anyone who threatened them.  That is why they are called the barbarians.

The Muslims, in particular, loved to rape all the women and took millions of white people away to use as slaves in Northern Africa.  In history books, this period of time is called the dark ages, the medieval times or the early middle ages of Europe.

 

CHARLEMAGNE

 

The next important event in history was the rise of Charlamagne.  He was a prince in what is today France.  He was also a smart and brave warrior.  He tricked the Muslims into invading his castle and he managed to defeat them, stopping their advance into Europe.  This alone was a great victory.

He also went into battle about 40 other times against the Germanic tribes and some others and was very successful.  He combined old Roman military tactics and a brilliant mind.  He revived the old Roman Empire to a degree, but it was gentler.  Charlemagne ruled the Roman world – which was most of Europe and Eurasia - from 746 to 814 AD.  He was what some would call “a benign dictator”.

However, he was more than a general.  He was an intellectual man and he loved the new Roman Catholic religion.    He built 27 cathedrals and 417 monasteries throughout Europe. 

He, more than anyone else, spread the Catholic religion around the world because he spread it to the colonial powers – Britain, Spain, France and Portugal – who then spread it to their colonies around the world. 

 

THE CRUSADES

 

The next very important event in the history of Western civilization were a series of holy wars that have come to be known as the Crusades.  About the year 1000 AD, the pope of the Roman Catholic Church began to ask local leaders to please organize armies and send then out against the barbaric Muslims, who were seizing nation after nation in mostly southern Europe, causing havoc and ruining these nations.

  The Crusades were important because they brought most of Europe back under Christian control and saved the cultures of these areas.  The Crusades were not successful in reconquering the nations of the Middle East, which was one of their goals.  This remained under Muslim control, as did all of the nations of North Africa.  The Crusades lasted from about 1000 AD to about 1400 AD.

 

THE NEW EUROPE

 

Around 1500, Europe really began to thrive.  There was a spiritual awakening in Europe due to greater political stability and the new Christian religion.  There were plenty of Hebrew people around that the Romans had failed to find and kill, and they helped a lot, as well. 

Christianity tolerated them, although a few nations such as Spain kicked out or murdered the Hebrews in an event called the Spanish Inquisition in 1492.  This was the same year that Christopher Columbus, a Spaniard, sailed his ships to the Bahaman Islands of the Caribbean and reported that he had found “a new world”.

 

THE RISE OF PROTESTANTISM

 

The next important historical event that is tied to the above is the birth of the Protestant branch of Christianity.  One of the most important figures in this regard was Martin Luther (1483-1546).  He was a German monk, Catholic priest and musical composer.

Through his writings and actions, he started a movement to reform the Catholic Church.  The changes were mostly in the rituals, not the doctrines, which he loved.

His work is important because it caused the growth of Christianity in areas where of Europe where the people did not like a lot of the pomp and ceremony that was part of the Roman church.  As a result, Christianity spread even more, especially in the nations of Northern Europe.

 

THE BRITISH AND FRENCH ENLIGHENMENT AND THE FOUNDING OF AMERICA

 

The next important event in the development of Western civilization was what some historians call the Age of Reason, or the Enlightment period of history.  This was marked by not only great cultural achievements such as classical music and art, but also writings that changed the world.

They were not strictly religious, but they were heavily influenced by the Christian and Hebrew religions and the Bible.

Two that stand out are the writings of philosopher John Locke (1632-1704) and that of Adam Smith, both from present-day England.

John Locke is considered the founder of modern classical liberal thought, which inspired the founding of the United States. 

Adam Smith (about 1716 to 1790) wrote An Inquiry Into The Cause Of The Wealth Of Nations, among other works.  Adam Smith is the founder of modern free-market economics, also today called capitalism or economic liberalism.

These and others moved Western civilization ahead by leaps because they combined Christian principles into a philosophy of government and economics that was practical and moral at the same time.

They directly influenced the founding of the United States in 1776.  This new nation was founded mainly by religious Christians who were persecuted in Europe and fled to the new world so they could worship as they pleased.  They loved the new principles of government and the new economics and quickly adopted them in their laws.  They combined these with many other ideas about government taken from the Hebrew and Christian Bibles.

 

THE SLAVERY PROBLEM

 

Slavery is the subjection of one human being by another.  It has been a common phenomenon on earth, and it still goes on in scattered areas, mainly in Africa and Asia.

Slavery is not a Western civilization value.  In fact, Western civilization has ended slavery wherever it flourished.

A serious problem for the new American nation was that they inherited slavery from the British, who banned slavery in their own nation but set it up in several southern  American colonies in order to grow tobacco and hemp.

Slavery definitely went against Christian principles of love for all people that guided the formation of America.  Most American colonists hated the slave trade and relatively few owned slaves.  However, when it came to forming the American nation, a compromise had to be reached because the southern colonies would not go along with getting rid of slavery.  Their agricultural economy depended upon it, although it was only the wealthy landowners who had slaves.

The result, as everyone knows, was eventually a terrible war in America that took half a million lives and ended slavery in this nation.

 

THE EVANGELICAL MOVEMENT

 

The next spiritual event in history was the founding and dramatic rise of the evangelical movement in Christianity.  It occurred mainly in America, but has spread around the world.

It began in the American colonies where traveling preachers gave stirring sermons about the Bible and Christian teachings.  Of note, these preachers were much less interested in the traditional rituals of Christianity and often didn’t even need a church. 

They were and are much more interested in doctrines such as salvation of the soul through Christ, living a Christian life, and a few others.  Today, they also have a strong desire to spread the message of Christ to the non-Christian nations of the world such as the Oriental nations.  They have made great use of the newer technologies of television and satellite communication to achieve this.

One of many names that stand out among the evangelists is Billy Graham (1918-2018).  He became well-known for renting entire football stadiums and attracting large crowds to hear his message of salvation through Christ.  Many others have followed this model.  He called his gatherings ‘crusades’, based on the Crusades of 1000 years ago that helped to save the Christian religion in Europe.

The evangelical movement has grown tremendously, especially during the second half of the twentieth century and first part of the twenty-first century.  It has offset the decline in the number of people practicing the traditional Christian religions of Roman Catholicism and Protestantism.

 

THE RISE OF THE NEW AGE MOVEMENT

 

Another important spiritual event has been the rise of the New Age movement.  This has occurred at about the same time as the rise of the evangelical movement.  It stemmed from a number of trends that began in the mid-1800s and grew during the 1900s and up to the present time:

- The spread of new knowledge that is outside of in conflict with the traditional Christian world.  It included sciences such as Acupuncture, and later dietary systems such as Macrobiotics and Vegetarianism, and techniques such as Yoga and jin shin jyutsu.  These all came from the nations of the Orient, which are not Christian nations.

- The growth of “mystical” Western teachings.  These had been around, such as the Freemasons and other secret societies.  However, new ones included the work of Rudolf Steiner in Germany (anthroposophy), Edgar Cayce in America, and the work of the Rosicrucians, the Theosophists, and others.

They taught and continue to teach about the energy centers or chakras, the dantiens, the meridian system of the body, and much more.  Some combine this with teachings about Jesus, while others deviated from traditional Christian teachings. 

- Amazing inventions of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.  These included the steam engine (around 1850), the telegraph (around 1845), photography (1850s), modern anesthesia (1850 or so - this made surgery possible), the telephone, (around 1870), the automobile (1890s), the vitamins (1840s to the present), the airplane (1907), radio (around 1900), motion pictures (1915), television (1930s), antibiotics (1930s), the transistor (1959), the electronic computer (1950), modern rockets (1940s), space travel (1960s), and the internet (1990).  These are just a few of hundreds of quite amazing inventions of the past 150 years.

These inventions have significantly changed life on earth, bringing an easier life to millions of people.  They caused many people to believe that we no longer need the traditional religions of Western civilization.

With the coming of modern technology, some people simply cannot relate well to stories about riding on donkeys, drinking water at the well, or of a savior being born in a barn.  It all seems quaint, but not in line with our modern life. 

Some believe that God did not solve the problems of hunger, disease and cold.  Modern technology did so, and for these people, technology is the new religion. 

- Political movements of the early twentieth century.  There has been a determined effort to promote practices such as Homosexuality, women’s “liberation” and Abortion, which do not fit with Biblical values. (also read Post-Abortion Syndrome and The Real Women’s Liberation)

- Shell shock or war trauma.  Some people were shocked by the World Wars of the early twentieth century, especially the use of mustard gas in World War I,  the wholesale slaughter of innocent people by the Nazis and the communists, the use of agent orange in Vietnam, the atom bomb, and more. 

These were and are so horrible that many people decided that God must be dead, or doesn’t care about us any more, or maybe He just can’t handle the new technologies of mass destruction.

- Secular or anti-religious political philosophies.  The two that stand out are 1) communism or Marxism (1850) and 2) the utopian socialist movement, which also began in the late 1800s.  These authoritarian movements hate all traditional religion. 

Karl Marx wrote that “religion is the opiate of the people.”  He meant that all it does is keep people asleep.  For more details, read Communism.

The utopian socialists, such as the early Fabian Society and now many others, including the Democratic Party of the United States and many political parties in Europe and elsewhere, believe that we don’t need God any more.  They say we can perfect society without religion, which they say just stands in the way.  That is why they are called utopians.  For details, read Socialism.

This is very different from the autocratic movements of the past centuries, in which the king, dictator or emperor forced their religion upon their subjects.  These new movements hate all traditional religion.  In truth, they are a new godless religion.

For example, Adolf Hitler announced to the world that he was the new Christ on earth.  Naziism (national socialism in Germany) included a number of occult practices including homosexuality and others.

- Anti-Christian or non-religious movies and other mass media.  These include many popular movies, such as The Wizard of Oz, and more recently science fiction movies and television programs such as Star Trek and Star Wars.

In Star Wars, the closest thing to God is the “force”.  In the Star Trek television series, the closest thing to the Ten Commandments is the “prime directive”.

As a result, many people have “thrown out the baby with the bath water”.  This means that instead of picking and choosing what is important about the traditional Christian and Hebrew religions, they have just thrown most of it away.  This movement may be called the secularization of American and Europe.

 

THE INTEGRATION

 

The most recent historical movement in the West we will call the integration.  It may come to be known under a different name.  However, it is an integration or combination of modern science and technology with the older Hebrew and Christian philosophy and theology.

It is a religion in the sense that it guides people’s lives and helps them to live well.  However, it does not rely only on the Bible, as does evangelism.  It is also not “supernatural”, as is the Bible.  This means filled with miracles and unusual events that cannot be explained.

It also incorporates modern ideas of natural living, nutrition, and natural healing, some of which are in the Bible but others of which were simply not needed 2000 to 5000 years ago.

This movement is slowly gaining followers and, at this time, is not well-organized as a religion or movement.  We predict that the organization will come later.

 

III. THEMES OF WESTERN CIVILIZATION

 

THE RISE OF THE INDIVIDUAL

 

One of the main ideas of Western civilization that was new in the world is the importance of each individual person.  This is a fairly new idea.  Earlier cultures focused more on the group and less on the individual.  Here are some examples of this

Slavery.  When Western civilization began, for example, slavery was extremely common.  This is an almost total disregard for the sovereignty, dignity and importance of the individual.  However, the rise of Western civilization ended slavery in Europe, the Middle East and America.

Dictatorship.  When Western civilization began, rule by a monarch such as a king or queen was the standard on earth.  The people had to follow rules, but the leaders could do whatever they wished.

The rise of Western civilization has brought this style of leadership to an end in most nations.  It has been replaced by self-government and the rule of laws that everyone must obey, even the leaders.  In other words, everyone is treated equally under the law, a very important idea.

Equality of the sexes.  At the beginning of modern Western civilization, women were treated very poorly in most nations.  Western civilization has brought far more equality of the sexes to most nations of the West.

Racial quality.  Believe it or not, racial tension and discrimination were far more common in the past, both in America and in Europe.  The rise of Western civilization has brought about much more racial equality with voting rights, rights to own property and much more.

Tolerance.  The rise of Western civilization has also brought with it much more tolerance of all differences between people, including race, creed or beliefs, religion, sexual preference, gender and more.  In fact, this is a major theme of Western civilization.  

            Religion.  The rise of Western civilization has been influenced greatly by the Hebrew and the Christian Bibles.  These documents gave us the Ten Commandments, for example, and the Golden Rule (Behave toward others as you have them behave toward you).  These are rules everyone must follow and have guided Western civilization for 2000 years.

 

IV. THE TRADITIONAL WAY TO UNDERSTAND WESTERN CIVILIZATION

 

Most historians describe the timeline of present-day Western civilization in the following way:

Greek Civilization.  This began about 800 BC and lasted until 46 BC, when Greece was conquered by the Romans.  The Greeks produced some interesting writings, including the writing of Plato, Aristotle, Socrates and the physician, Hippocrates. 

The Roman Republic.  This began around 600 BC in Italy.  The Roman republic brought innovations in government and many other areas of life.

It lasted until around 30 BC, when it became corrupt.  A socialist revolution occurred and it changed to a vicious dictatorship – the Roman Empire.      

The Roman Empire lasted from around 30 BC to around 476 AD.  This was a brutal slave empire that spread like a cancer throughout Europe, Eurasia and parts of the Middle East.  It did bring a brutality-imposed stability and some new technology to all of Europe and the Middle East.

The Dark Ages or early Middle Ages.  When the Roman Empire fell apart, Europe fell into “the dark ages”, also called the Middle Ages, a time of chaos and instability due to the power vacuum left by the collapse of the Roman Empire.

This period of time lasted from around 400 AD until around 1000 AD.  Historians disagree on the dates, to some extent.  Without the Roman armies around, Europe was overrun by warlords and competing groups of barbarians and others.

Life was more difficult and made even more difficult by unusually cold weather and by the plagues of Europe, such as the Bubonic Plague, which killed millions of people.  This period of time is also sometimes called the Medieval period.

The late Middle Ages and the crusades. (1000 AD to about 1450 AD) brought greater stability and happier times to Europe.  The Crusades took place at this time.  They were European fighting forces sponsored by kings and queens who took back control of a number of areas that had been taken over by invading Muslims, who were far more brutal and destructive than even the Romans.

However, they were unable to get the Muslims totally out of the Holy Land, which was one of their goals.  

The Renaissance.  This word means rebirth.  This period lasted from around 1450-1500 to around 1600 in Europe.  During this time, Europe emerged from the dark ages and there was a flourishing or art, science, writing, religion and more.   It was an amazing time to be alive.

The Enlightenment or Age of Reason.   This was even better than the renaissance, in many ways.  This lasted from about 1685 to about 1815.  It saw the growth of modern thought with an emphasis on the sacredness of life, the importance of the individual, and the importance of liberty and self-government.  Philosophers such as John Locke (1632-1704) is considered the founder of modern classical liberal thought, which inspired the founding of the United States. 

Adam Smith (about 1716 to 1790) wrote An Inquiry Into The Cause Of The Wealth Of Nations, among other works.  Adam Smith is the founder of modern free-market economics, also today called capitalism or economic liberalism.

This was all inspired directly by the Bible and Protestant religion, which spread over large parts of mainly Northern Europe.  This began to stir the souls of all people, particularly in the Western world.

The Modern Era.  This is our present time.  It is often divided into the Industrial Age and the Information Age: 

The Industrial age.  This began around 1815 and continued until around 1970.  This was a very transformational time in Western history because of the introduction of mechanization in many areas of life from agriculture to transportation to home life (washing machines, refrigerators, etc).

It is often thought to begin with the invention of the watt steam engine around 1800.  This was not the first steam engine, but James Watt made a lot of changes that made it a more practical device.  Soon many industries were using steam engines to produce all sorts of goods. 

Other inventions such as alternating current electricity (Tesla, 1880) further sped up the process of industrialization.

As a result, by the mid-twentieth century, a significant number of people throughout the world became able to afford and enjoy the benefits of basic inventions such as electrical power, telephones, radio, automobiles, washing machines and refrigerators.

R. Buckminster Fuller did a lot of calculations and said that in 1942 industrialization had reached a level at which scarcity was no longer the rule in the world.  Scarcity, he said, was a main cause of war.

The first half of the twentieth century was the bloodiest time in human history.  The wars include:

- World War I, started by the Germans who invaded their neighbors.

- The Russian Socialist Revolution of 1917.  This was a rapid takeover of this large nation by a group of terrorists.

- World War II. This was the Nazi (National Socialist Party) horror of 1933-1945.  It was led by Adolf Hitler in Germany, again.  He marched his armies into Poland, Checkoslovakia, Denmark, Netherlands, Norway, France and other areas of Europe.  Half a billion people were killed in this war.  He also practiced genocide, and attempted to kill off all the Hebrew people of Europe and many Christian people, as well.  He considered himself the new Christ on earth.

Italy and Japan joined the Nazi side of the war, and together were called the axis nations.  Japan invaded America in 1942, destroying a good part of the American navy fleet that was docked at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. 

This brought America into World War II, which before had been a European war.  America rebuilt her navy and fought the Japanese in the Pacific Ocean area and, at the same time, sent millions of tons of supplies and troops to Europe to help fight the German socialists.  The horror finally ended in 1945.

- The horror of Joseph Stalin in Communist Russia.  This occurred in the late 1940s.  Stalin basically stole the food of millions of people, resulting in mass starvation.  Historians estimate that he caused the death of 50 million people in Russia, the Ukraine and other areas that were under Russian control.

- Mao Tse Tung and the communist Chinese revolution of 1949.  This was another horrible war waged by communists in China.  Some 60 million people were killed by the communists and socialists in China.  A few escaped and formed the Western-style nation of Taiwan.

- The Korean War of 1952.  North Korea, another socialist nation, invaded South Korea and attempted to take it over.  America intervened once again and pushed them back.  This is still a very tense area of the world.

- Pol Pott in Burma.  This was another dreadful war led by socialist dictator Pol Pott (1925-1998).  He was the head of a group called the Khmer Rouge (red shirts) and imposed a totalitarian communist/socialist government on  Cambodia, and murdered millions of his citizens who opposed his rule.

- The communist takeover of Vietnam.  Communists in North Vietnam invaded South Vietnam around 1960.  America got involved to try to save South Vietnam.  They were somewhat successful until communist propaganda in the USA turned public opinion against the war.  When the USA pulled out of Vietnam, the communists quickly took over and once again murdered more than a million people who opposed their rule.

The information age.  This was a shift in which there was less focus on industrial production and more emphasis on information generation and sharing. 

Inventions such as the telephone (1870s), alternating current (1880s), radio (1900), and television (1930s) heralded the beginning of the information age.

However, most people date the beginning of the information age to the invention of the transistor.  The first easily mass-produced transistor was the MOSFET transistor (metal-oxide-silicon field-effect transistor).  It was invented in 1959, but was not widely used until the 1970s.  The personal computer was invented around the same time and depended on small, inexpensive transistors for its operation.

Other important historical dates were: - - The hippie movement and drug culture started in the 1960s. 

- Personal computers first appeared in the early 1970s and soon were everywhere

- The internet began in America in the early 1990s and it soon spread around the world.  It represents a kind of nervous system for the whole world and it revolutionized communication and commerce around the world.  Socialist/communist nations such as China and North Korea attempt to control it to keep the truth from their people.  They have been partially successful at this, so far.

The communication age.  The 21st century may be called the age of communication.  While it began 100 years ago, it really took off with the growth of the internet in the late 1990s.

Suddenly, people found themselves connected to others in ways that are unimaginable to people of earlier times.  Among its main features are electronic mail, video streaming and the electronic social media.

It is truly the birth of a worldwide “nervous system” that helps us to be much more self-aware and aware of the needs and desires of others.  While a few nations have blocked their people from joining in, such as Communist China, North Korea and perhaps a few others, this is becoming more and more difficult.

 

V. THE OPPOSITE – COMMUNISM, SOCIALISM AND DICTATORSHIP

 

            To observe the opposite of Western civilization, the types that dominated the earth before modern Western civilization, here are two examples:

 

1. Some Arab nations, such as Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt, Iran and others.  Here most of the nations are still run by kings or dictators, there is little tolerance of other religions, women are treated terribly, and the individual is not valued highly.  Murder (called honor killing) and rape are perfectly legal.

            2. Socialist and communist nations such as Red China, The former Soviet Union, North Korea, Cuba and present-day Venezuela.  In these nations, individuals have many fewer rights, there is less freedom of movement, and the individual is not valued highly.  Murder and rape are also permitted in these societies.

 

 

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