It operates as a refuge for a civilizing element in short supply in contemporary America: honest criticism
The cultural war on Western civilization
The fifth in a series titled “The survival of culture.”
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In the last week of September, shortly after the terrorist assaults on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, the Prime Minister of Italy, Silvio Berlusconi, made an extraordinary statement. During a visit to Germany, he declared Western civilization superior to Islam. He said:
We must be aware of the superiority of our civilization, a system that has guaranteed well-being, respect for human rights, and—in contrast with Islamic countries—respect for religious and political rights.
The minute he had uttered these words, a bevy of European politicians rushed to denounce him. The Belgian Prime Minister, Guy Verhofstadt, said: “I can hardly believe that the Italian Prime Minister made such statements.” The spokesman for the European Commission, Jean-Christophe Filori, added: “We certainly don’t share the views expressed by Mr ...
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This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 20 January 2002, on page 4
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