The siege of Western Civilization
Television, for the most part, belongs to the left. The advent of the Fox News Channel, and the occasional History Channel program to the contrary notwithstanding, 'progressive' pabulum dominates the tube. Anyone who has ever raged at the unfairness of it all should meet Herb Meyer.
Herb has done what many of us may have fantasized: he went out and produced his own television documentary — a program that is so clear, so compelling, and so correct on so many counts, that it throws into sharp relief what has been conspicuously lacking in the media (and educational) fare dealt us by the cultural elite. I recently watched it on DVD, and you can, too, for the modest price of $19.95 for either VHS tape or disc.
In roughly 40 minutes, Herb Meyer knocks the ball out of the park, explaining concisely and clearly the nature of the challenges facing Western Civilization. One of his great gifts is that he employs metaphor, one the human mind's favorite tools for understanding, with great skill. Beginning with scenes of nature, he explains that civilizations are just like ecosystems, and dependent for their survival on their environment remaining benign. The environemnt of Western Civilization, however, has turned hostile.
Herb defines Western Civilization as something rooted in the distant past, but primarily the product of the Renaissance, when, in Europe and Europe alone, religion became reconciled with reason, and the lines between church and state began to be drawn. The American Revolution, which took the critical next step of defining rights and the power to govern as belonging to the people, not to the rulers, extended the groundwork for the flowering of science, creativity, liberty, and the panoply of humanity's gifts.
So powerful was this revolution that over time we in the West have forgotten that it remains vulnerable. A triple threat of challenges has emerged: the rise of Islamofascism (really a resurgence of the aggressive threat to the West that Islam has presented since the Seventh Century), the internal challenge of an anti—Western mentality in the domestic cultural left, and the crisis presented by low birth rates in the industrialized countries.
Herb presents and discusses these very large and complicated questions quite clearly and understandably. Although he uses the potential of television for visual illustrations, most of the program consists of him talking right into the camera, with steady eye and warm, friendly delivery. It is like having a super—intelligent favorite uncle over for dinner, and listening to him enlighten the family with his insights on the most important matters of the day. It may be one—sided, but it feels conversational. There is no pomposity, difficult language, complex usage, or obscurity. Just common sense and insight, raised to uncommon levels.
Although the talk is very grown—up, I could not help but wish that teen—agers get a chance to see this video. In an ideal world, it would be run in every classroom in America. Failing that, it makes a great gift for your kids, grandkids, nieces and nephews, or for any bright young person who is at the mercy of the educrats.
Herb is so friendly and engaging that it is easy to forget that he brings some formidable credentials to the table. During the Reagan Administration he served as Special Assistant to the Director of Central Intelligence, and Vice Chairman of the CIA's National Intelligence Council. He is widely credited as the first intelligence official to forecast the fall of the Soviet Union. He knows whereof he speaks, when he talks of challenge to seemingly—formidable powers.
In his video, there was not one proposition to which I took the slightest exception. Herb Meyer has done us all a favor by going out on a limb and producing the most accessible summary of the important issues facing us. He deserves a large audience.