Welcome to the Center for Western Civilization, a block from UC 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 SEPTEMBER 2021
“Twenty years ago, America fought a brief and successful military campaign to oust from power the people who had enabled a terrorist organization to kill as many American citizens as have ever died at the hands of a foreign power in a single day in the nation’s history. A month shy of two decades later, the U.S. pleaded with that same power not to harm its soldiers, its citizens and their allies as it scrambled to complete a chaotic and humiliating retreat that left that former enemy—and American adversaries everywhere—immeasurably stronger.”
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QUOTE FOR AUGUST 2021
“The Founding Fathers of the United States saw in mob rule the greatest danger to their nascent system—and they put in place governmental checks and balances in order to protect individual rights from the frenzied whims of the riotous mass. The Constitution was designed to check ambition against ambition, passion against passion.”
Ben Shapiro, The Authoritarian Moment, Broadside e-books, 2021, Kindle Edition, 5.
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QUOTE FOR JULY 2021
“About the Declaration there is a finality that is exceedingly restful. It is often asserted that the world has made a great deal of progress since 1776, that we have had new thoughts and new experiences which have given us a great advance over the people of that day, and that we may therefore very well discard their conclusions for something more modern. But that reasoning can not be applied to this great charter. If all men are created equal, that is final. If they are endowed with inalienable rights, that is final. If governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, that is final. No advance, no progress can be made beyond these propositions. If anyone wishes to deny their truth or their soundness, the only direction in which he can proceed historically is not forward, but backward toward the time when there was no equality, no rights of the individual, no rule of the people. Those who wish to proceed in that direction can not lay claim to progress. They are reactionary. Their ideas are not more modern, but more ancient, than those of the Revolutionary fathers.”
President Calvin Coolidge (July 4,1872-1933, 30th President of the United States), Speech on the 150th Anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, July 5, 1926. Quoted in Land of Hope by Wilfred M. McClay, 292-3. (Encounter Books).
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QUOTE FOR JUNE 2021
“In one generation America has been bewitched by ideas and ideals that owe nothing to 1776 and the American Revolution, and everything to 1789 and the French Revolution. In short, partly through design and partly through drift, America appears to be abandoning the ideals of the American Revolution for ideas that are disastrous not only to America but to freedom and to the future of humanity.”
Os Guinness, THE MAGNA CARTA OF HUMANITY, p.3, InterVarsity Press, 2021.
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QUOTE FOR MAY 2021
“An advanced society functions by creating a series of institutions, telling them what it wants them to do, and funding them to do it. Institutions like the police, fire departments, courts and schools do the jobs society creates them to do. But one American institution—higher education—has decided to repurpose itself. It has set aside the job given to it by society and substituted a different one… a destructive and long since discredited political ideology is now using colleges and universities to gain a degree of influence over society that it could never have achieved at the ballot box. That’s election interference on a scale not remotely matched by anything that was alleged in the 2020 election.”
— John Ellis in the Wall Street Journal, May 3, 2021. John Ellis is professor emeritus of German literature at the University of California, Santa Cruz and author of “The Breakdown of Higher Education: How It happened, the Damage It Does, and What Can Be Done.”
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QUOTE FOR APRIL 2021
“No people will tamely surrender their liberties, nor can any be easily subdued, when knowledge is diffused and virtue is preserved.”
Samuel Adams (1722-1803), American Founding Father, 4th Governor of Massachusetts (1794-1797)
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QUOTE FOR MARCH 2021
“For most of its history, America was a nation characterized by reverence as much as by love of liberty. Like the Israelites at Sinai, the Pilgrims aboard the Mayflower, seeking to serve God, covenantally entered into a civil body politic even before they hit land or had an economy. Our Constitution is not neutral as between religion and irreligion. Although, unlike other nations, we have no established religion, our most fundamental right, enshrined in the First Amendment, protects religion’s free exercise.”
Leon Kass, in an essay adapted from his new book, FOUNDING GOD’S NATION: READING EXODUS (Yale University Press, 2021), Wall Street Journal, Saturday Essay, January 9-10, 2021
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QUOTE FOR FEBRUARY 2021
“Neither America nor any other nation has perfectly lived up to the universal truths of equality, liberty, justice, and government by consent… But no nation before America ever dared state those truths as the formal basis for its politics, and none has strived harder, or done more, to achieve them… Historical revisionism that tramples honest scholarship and historical truth, shames Americans by highlighting only the sins of their ancestors, and teaches claims of systemic racism that can only be eliminated by more discrimination, is an ideology intended to manipulate opinions more than educate minds.”
The 1776 Commission Report, 2020, quoted in The Epoch Times.
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QUOTE FOR JANUARY 2021
“For the past four years, potted histories have warned about the rise of fascism in the U.S., but the real danger is the transformation of ‘tolerance’ into an ideology with its own courst, informers and punishments, all of them reminiscent of the Soviet Union… One of the pillars of the Soviet Union was a controlled press in which all coverage was organized to confirm a mendacious ideology.”
David Satter, author of Age of Delirium: the Decline and Fall of the Soviet Union and a member of the academic advisory board of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation. This quote was taken from the Wall Street Journal’s article, “Soviet Politics, American Style”, December 23, 2020