February 15, 2020
Whig History and the Myth of Progress
Whig historiography kills braincells.
Western schools inculcate in people the notion that history is a story of progress toward Western Liberalism.
Supposedly, History moves from ancient Mesopotamia and Egypt into Greece and Rome, up to northern Europe. We have the Magna Carta and the Protestant Reformation, History travels across the Atlantic, we get the US Constitution, women’s suffrage and Civil Rights Movement, and various Liberal reforms. Ultimately History ends in the spreading out of a Liberal American world culture.
Yet nothing could be further from the truth.
Liberals reject the science of the life cycles of civilizations because it discredits Liberalism and all its hedonism as symptoms of the late stage of a civilization (ie. civilizational decline.)
Liberalism is something that affects a given civilization towards the winter stage of its existence.
Presumably, no civilization has ever brought forth a form of Liberalism as extreme as the Western civilization, but it is part of a pattern.
Liberalism is not the future, it is the end.
Whig history does not acknowledge the cycles of rise and fall that provide real insights into the true nature of human societies.
Spengler and pseudo-Darwinism
This is one of the main points in the writings of German historian Oswald Spengler.
He opens his book “The Decline of the West” by basically declaring that the perspective of popular historians, and their division of world history into a pseudo-Darwinistic “ancient-medieval-modern” evolutionary model is historically invalid, or – at best – only partially valid to the history of (specifically) the West.
It is a self-serving narrative that presents modern Western Liberalism as a goal to be reached, by all current human civilizations and cultures, and as an eternal endstate of history.
It is a narrative taken for granted by almost every Western mind today.
In other words, almost every Westerner today believes in a narrative that contains such delusional and radical conclusions as the notion that Saudi Arabia will one day become San Francisco.
“They’ll come around, just give them time,” is the sentiment.
However, the West’s ability to spread Liberal ideas to the rest of the world will wane with the West itself.
This is inevitable and no amount of Liberal tragic optimism can prevent the decline of the West.
Too many civilizations have risen and fallen for us to not notice the patterns; the cycle of spring, summer, fall and winter has ran its course too many times for the Whig narrative of history to be taken seriously.
“Taraza cleared her throat. “(…) Each of you, of course, received the identical liberal conditioning to prepare you for this.” There was something almost insulting in Taraza’s casual tone and only the habits of long association put down Odrade’s immediate resentment. It was partly that word “liberal,” she realized. Atreides ancestors rose up in rebellion at the word. It was as though her accumulated female memories lashed out at the unconscious assumptions and unexamined prejudices behind the concept. “Only liberals really think. Only liberals are intellectual. Only liberals understand the needs of their fellows.” How much viciousness lay concealed in that word! Odrade thought. How much secret ego demanding to feel superior.”― Frank Herbert, Heretics of Dune