Welcome to the Center for Western Civilization, a new site online and a new physical presence close to the University of California, Berkeley.
Ignorance is the greatest threat to our civilization. Departments of Liberal Arts are shrinking in our major universities. Courses in the Western Tradition, history, literature, art, poetry, philosophy, and ethics are no longer required. Few students have enough understanding of the origins and principles of Western Civilization to maintain or advance our democratic institutions. The absence of this critical knowledge threatens the future of our personal freedoms.
It is our responsibility to support every effort to keep the lights of freedom burning before we descend into darkness.
Located near the University of California, Berkeley, the Center will host symposiums, retreats, lectures, meetings, and provide housing for interested students from home and abroad. It will be a place to research, discuss, and further our understanding of the institutions and moral values of Western Civilization.
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QUOTE FOR NOVEMBER 2019
“The West offered the world a set of ideas and institutions not found earlier or elsewhere…it has been a unity combined with enormous diversity. Borrowing widely from other lands, thriving on dissent and originality, the West has been the mongrel civilization par excellence. But in spite of patchwork and conflict it has pursued characteristic purposes—that is its unity—and now these purposes, carried out to their utmost possibility, are bringing about its demise. This ending is shown by the deadlocks of our time: for and against nationalism, for and against individualism, for and against the high arts, for and against strict morals and religious belief.”
Jacques Barzun, From Dawn to Decadence—500 Years of Western Cultural Life, 1500 to the Present (New York: HarperCollins, 2000)
QUOTE FOR OCTOBER 2019
“A nation of well informed men who have been taught to know and prize the rights which God has given them cannot be enslaved. It is in the region of ignorance that tyranny begins.”
Benjamin Franklin, American Founding Father
QUOTE FOR SEPTEMBER 2019
“In repudiating Jewish teaching and its moral codes, the West has turned upon the modern world itself… The great question is whether it actually wants to defend reason and modernity anymore, or whether Western Civilization has now reached a point where it has topped trying to survive.”
Melanie Phillips, The World Turned Upside Down: The Global Battle over God, Truth, Power (New York: Encounter Books, 2010)