As I was reading Ben Shapiro’s latest book (The Right Side of History: The Remaking of
the World) I was thinking about all the marvels of western civilization. These are marvels we just take for granted. But stop and think for a minute. Look at what you have in your home. You live better right now than ANY of the pharaohs or kings or sultans ever did in the ancient or medieval worlds. Right now you have electricity, washing machines, toothpaste, refrigeration, paper clips, antibiotics, a microwave, glasses (or bifocals! or LASIK eye surgery), a multiplicity of fruits and vegetables all year round, disposable diapers (yay!!), cars, central heat, air conditioning, television, computers, telephones…the list goes on and on.

All of these things arose from one culture, from one civilization. Western Europe and its descendants in America, and those nations that have imported some or all of western European culture, values, or technology (like Japan). Japan has a constitutional monarchy. How is that? They thought that up themselves? No. After the US defeated Japan in World War II we told them they would have a freely elected constitutional government. This is what they came up with, and it has worked well.

It is western civ that has discarded the “divine right of kings” and created constitutional republics or monarchies. It is western civ that first ended slavery throughout its lands either peacefully or through brutal civil war. It is western civ that liberated millions from barbaric socialist dictators and their death camps. It is western
civ that produced science as its own discipline so that we can know the world and improve upon it. It is western civ that first created hospitals, orphanages, universities, and free schools for the public. It is western civ that gave the world the music of Bach, Beethoven, Handel, Mozart, Puccini, Tchaikovsky, and Vivaldi…music that is learned and played and enjoyed in every corner of the world.

I could go on…for a long time. Other cultures have contributed much (I love studying Chinese history and culture), but it is clear that western civ alone has been the driving force for freedom and prosperity like no other culture. It is not nirvana to be sure, but it also does not deserve to be spat upon either.