Western civilization is a bunch of things that tend to come together.
Christianity (forget that “Judeo Christian” crap, Judaism still has the problems Jesus complained about)
Classic Greek art, culture and philosophy (hey, compare our comic books with Greek statues, then compare with Indian statues or Japanese comic books, and no one except us and the Greeks does philosophy)
Western music descended from seventeenth and early eighteenth century composers, in particular and especially Bach. If you are fan of country and western, or Elvis, or whatever, it still a lot more like Bach than it is like anyone else’s music, except, like the Japanese, they have adopted western music. Indeed pretty much everyone has adopted western music, but they are all imitators and continue to be imitators. Note how much Engrish there is in East Asian pop music. Any music you hear is derived from someone, who derived it from someone, who derived it from someone, who derived it from Bach, and classic western music, such as the concert the Russians put on in Palmyra to remind us that the west was victorious, is that western music that is most directly derived from Bach. I think Handel is better than Bach, but everyone in the west winds up copying Bach even if they are punk rockers who do not know they are copying Bach, and pretty much everyone in the world winds up copying the west.
Science: The first statement of the scientific method comes from Roger Bacon, who proceeded to do a great deal of scientific research starting in 1247. Science really got going with the Royal Society in 1660. The King made science high status, so wealthy gentlemen proceeded to engage in or sponsor science, and the pirates who were conquering what became the British empire, who aspired to become wealthy respectable gentlemen, would sometimes take a break from shaking down Sultans for bloodstained gold to do scientific research. The best thing the Royal Society did was define the scientific method, give status to anyone who applied it successfully, and, more importantly deny status to those who falsely claimed to be applying it. When the Royal Society was subordinated to Harvard after World War II. no one with authority defined or enforced the scientific method, and these days the name of science is generally invoked by those who seek to restore the demon haunted dark, global warmerers and the like
Worshipper of the demon haunted dark:
Every year 47 million species go extinct
Fan of what used to be the scientific method
Name one that went extinct in the last few years
Worshipper of the demon haunted dark gives seventeen impeccably authoritative citations.
Fan of what used to be the scientific method
None of these name or describe a species that went extinct in the last few years.
Worshipper of the demon haunted dark gives twenty three more impeccably authoritative citations.
Enlightenment “Rationalism”. Enlightenment rationalism transliterates Christian beliefs about the next world, where they can never be disproven, into this world, where they are demonstrably false, which is the opposite of rationalism. For example “all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights”. The Enlightenment was western civilization taking a very bad turn, which may well be the end of us all. The scientific revolution gets identified as part of the enlightenment, but this is like Marxists telling us that Marxism is scientific socialism. Science predates the enlightenment in that science got started around 1247, and the enlightenment around 1750. The high period of science, 1660 to 1945, occurred during the enlightenment, but was caused by the reaction, not the enlightenment, in that King Charles gave the Royal Society status, and the Royal Society gave science and the scientific method status. If Western civilization is to survive, the Enlightenment must be thoroughly purged and erased. Eradicating the enlightenment make make restoring Christianity necessary and possible, but the urgent necessity is the thorough and complete erasure of the enlightenment. Western civilization cannot survive the enlightenment.
Adam Smith and capitalism. Adam Smith showed that capitalism, done right, channels impulses that can be immoral and destructive, into ends that are moral and constructive. Thus, Western Civilization is inherently capitalist, and National Socialism is stupid, not because racist, but because socialist. The ten commandments consist of four that deal with God, thereby defining the adherents as a different and separate people, and six that prescribe how to deal with one’s fellow man, and in those six the rule against covetousness is the rule that is particularly and specially emphasized. Covetousness is wanting that which is someone else’s. If you see someone’s pretty wife, and think, I should have her, he treats her badly, he does not appreciate her as I appreciate her, he is too old and ugly for her, if I were to sneakily kill him and take her, she would be happier with me”, that is covetousness. If you think “Perhaps she has a younger sister who is still single”, that is not covetousness. And similarly, if you look at a rich man and think “He got his wealth by doing bad things, so he deserves to be punished by me taking away his wealth and having it myself”, that is covetousness. If, instead, you inquire how he got rich, and think about what you could do similarly, that is not covetousness. Adam Smith explained why the latter approach is usually more appropriate to wealth. Whenever you think of excessively clever rationales why the excessively fortunate do not deserve what they have, and should be deprived of it, that is covetousness, and civilizations end when the mob is empowered to give effect to covetousness.
It is plausible to argue that the key element of Western Civilization, the killer app, was the rule of law, laws that Kings had to obey, and yet, there is something wrong with this story, in that the law in England began as common law, which was not law centric, but judge centric, and the judges were, pretty much, local aristocrats, and local aristocrats pretty much did what they wanted, so the common law was not literal law written down as laws, but generalizations made by lawyers about the common moral culture of the aristocrats. So distributed power, limits on the power of kings, gave rise to laws that kings had to obey, not the other way around. A key feature of Western civilization is that it has always had a lot of nation states, and these nation states tended to have within them subsidiarity, many dispersed powerful people, rather than one king, or one all powerful bureaucracy. This gave rise to competition that mostly peaceful, though far from entirely peaceful, and the from this competition, the best tended to win, and be imitated, and worst tended to lose, and be ignored or replaced It was not the rule of law, but rather the rule of law was one of the consequences of subsidiarity, of mostly peaceful competition between powerful people and groups. The overwhelming dominance of the Cathedral over a multitude of nominally independent nation states, and the centralization of each of these nation states means that madness goes unchallenged. Doctrine goes out from Harvard, and goes unchallenged by reality. Competition made the west great, and real competition has been silenced. The megacities grow because winners and losers are not made by the market, but by government. Housing is expensive because everyone needs to be close to the man who is close to the man who is close to the man who is close to the man who is in the revolving door between regulators and regulated. Decentralization of nation states is difficult and hard to define. Independence of nation states is easier to define and easier to attain, hence the neoreactionary position that there need to be more nation states, and those nation states independent. When we have more nation states, and more independence for them, then perhaps will be able to look at them and say what constitutes decentralization.