“Civilization is not an evolution of mankind but the imposition of human good on human evil. It is not a historical inevitability. It is a battle that has to be fought every day, because evil doesn’t recede willingly before the wheels of progress.” – Andrew McCarthy
What then is the destiny of a civilization which not only refuses to impose good on evil, but refuses to acknowledge that evil exists? If evil is not forced to recede before the wheels of progress, what is the result? When civilization is taken for granted and viewed as inevitable, what becomes of that civilization?
Sadly, to answer these questions we have no farther to look than the civilization in which we work, love, breathe, and live. Our civilization has long since given up imposing human good on human evil, with a few exceptions. Just calling someone’s actions “evil” will often garner nothing better than a frown of disapprobation and a Facebook de-friending. Even the most heinous acts are no longer evil to our civilization, as they once were.
As Daniel Greenfield points out in a recent column, it will not take long before we begin to hear the spin machine go to work on the Boston Bombing Brothers:
The left know that there is a window on human emotion. There is a time when people need to mourn and a time when they will feel a diminishing outrage and even begin to agree with observations whose thrust is that the United States of America is the real terrorist.
Instead of the imposition of human good on human evil, we frequently experience something far more sinister. Human evil is garishly disguised as human good. Yet, even this demonstrates a moral pulse, as abhorrently-twisted as that pulse may be.
In our ivory towers and institutes of learning, morality is even further atrophied. On most college campuses, the prevalent worldview is that there simply is no such thing as evil. Students are indoctrinated with postmodernism, which teaches that nothing has any intrinsic meaning, only the meaning we choose to manufacture and assign to it. Good and evil are merely social constructions.
Even worse than swapping the poles of our civilization’s moral compass is using a compass with no markings whatsoever. Our fountains of entertainment are not far behind the doctoral eggheads. While Hollywood does not develop the philosophical underpinnings to the same degree, they arrive at the same place as our collegiate jackwagons: there is no good and evil, there are only preferences and appetites which need to be sated.
So what is the result of this unmooring of Western civilization? Instead of the historically-inevitable evolution of which Mr. McCarthy speaks, we have a rapidly devolving amoral miasma. How else are we to explain the news stories which seem to be plucked from one of Dante’s cantos?