EUROPE, THAT IS, WHAT?
We can often hear a statement that we, Europeans, live in the western civilization. However, what is this West?
Historians of civilization like Mikołaj Danilewski, Feliks Koneczny, or Arnold Toynbee emphasized that every civilization was built around religion. So, could we the modern western civilization call Christian civilization? Of, at least – referring to the form of Christianity – define it as Latin?
European Union, which is proud of being a top luxury of the West, renounces its Christian roots. Let’s remind that in the project of the constitutional treaty – elaborated by EU thinkers, but, luckily unwanted, after being rejected by people of France and Holland – there was no mention about Christian heritage of our continent. Only heritage of antique and Enlightenment epochs were mentioned, and what was between them – that is 1500 years of Christian dominance in Europe – evaporated from the document.
A Jewish thinker Joseph Weller defines the attitude of today’s elites of Western Europe as Christianity phobia. This attitude, unfortunately, has more rooting in opinions and behaviours of Europe inhabitants – at present the most secularized continent on the globe. It is reflected in the state legislation, in which the procedure of euthanasia is more and more legalized and single-sex couples are given privileges of marriage.
If we wanted to appeal to another civilisational division – often quoted by John Paul II, a division into ‘life civilisation’ and ‘death civilisation’ – it does not look good to the advantage of the West either. For, it often turned out in international fights on arenas of various UNO agendas that Vatican and Muslim countries take on a strong attitude for life defence from conception to natural death, but, on the other hand, they are for abortion, and, euthanasia and sterilization are often supported by most countries of Western Europe and - if a camp of democrats holds the authority there – the United States. If in some western countries even 70 per cent women had abortion – using the papal terminology – it seems justified to include these regions to the group of ‘death civilisation’.
In the spiritual and cultural spheres, today the West is similar to a man who lives from interests and sale of property inherited from thrifty ancestors, whereas he cannot multiply his property. He wastes social capital thoughtlessly, based on the fundaments of Christian religion.
However, he is not doomed to a kind of a fate or ruthless historical determinism. One of the basic distinctive features of the West is persuading others about a free will – that our personal choices create the social life. So – these are not anonymous institutions or historical processes on which the future of the West depends, but these are particular people. John Paul II and Benedict XVI knew about it, when they appealed for the Europeans’ return to their spiritual roots.
One of ideologists of euro-bureaucracy – Jacques Delors said that Europe needs a soul. Various thinkers in a kind of Jurgen Habermas or Jacgues Derridy tried to construct something like a soul to the needs of European Union. However, it is not necessary to create a soul for Europe. It exists – it is only necessary to re-find it.