The Enormous Achievements of Western Civilization

“Hey, hey, ho, ho, Western Civ has got to go”
Reverend Jesse Jackson, Stanford University, January 15, 1987

Americans, and other people growing up in the western world today, are among the luckiest people in human history.  We are lucky because men and women before us worked hard to make it so and performed feats extraordinary and mundane to see that luck was what we got.  A luck that much of the world still wants to take part in.

Douglas Murray, in his new book, “The War on the West,” describes very clearly why westerners are so lucky.


  • The west has given the world a disproportionate number, if not most, of the things that the world currently benefits from.
  • They include almost every medical advancement that the world now enjoys. They include almost every scientific advancement that the world now benefits from.
  • The west led the world in the invention and promotion of the written word. Westerners founded most of the world’s oldest and longest established educational institutions.
  • Western peoples happen to have also developed all the world’s most successful means of commerce, including the free flow of capital.  The system of free-market capitalism has lifted more than one billion people out of extreme poverty just in the twenty-first century alone.
  • It is the western people who developed the principle of representative government of the people, by the people and for the people. The western world has developed the principles and practice of political liberty, of freedom of thought and conscience, of freedom of speech and expression.  It evolved the principles of ‘civil rights,’ rights that do not exist in much of the rest of the world.
  • Western achievements have led to a footfall that is entirely one-directional. There is today no serious movement of peoples in the world struggling to get into China or Russia, as they are, at great personal risk, trying to move to America.  The migrant ships across the Mediterranean go in only one direction – north.  In spite of everything that is said against it, America is still the world’s number one destination for migrants worldwide.
  • The culture which is now so fashionable to deprecate remains the only culture in the world that not only tolerates but actively encourages a dialogue against itself.

Conclusion.  For all the above reasons and many more, Americans and other westerners have the highest quality of life that has ever been achieved in human history.  It is truly amazing that so many people in the West today apparently cannot see this.  Most of the rest of the world wants the same prosperity as well as the personal freedom and security that we enjoy in such great abundance.

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