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 AUGUST 2020
“The Western tradition is the source of America’s founding principles and constitutional system. That is the most important reason for civic-minded citizens to study it. And while America has been shaped by the particularities of Western civilization, the liberal principles nurtured by this tradition represent our best hope for national reconciliation across boundaries of race, ethnicity, and religion… ( 7)
“We used to believe that individual liberty, religious freedom, liberal democracy, free markets, constitutionalism, scientific rationality, and the rule of law were significant enough to justify a focus on the traditions that created them—traditions that originated in the biblical and classical worlds, then developed through the Christian Middle Ages and the Europe of the Enlightenment, and finally spread to America and beyond. This was the core idea of Western Civilization… (15)
The Lost History of Western Civilization, A report by the National Association of Scholars 2020, by Stanley Kurtz, Senior Fellow, Ethics and Public Policy Center
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QUOTE FOR MAY 2020:
“Not to know what happened before you were born is to be a child forever.” Marcus Tullius Cicero (103 BC – 43 BC) Read Michael Poliakoff’s excellent article, “A Childish Fear of Western Civilization,” found at the Imaginative Conservative online magazine.
QUOTE FOR MARCH 2020
“Plato’s Forms are remarkably inconvenient. They remind us that there is always a higher standard, a model of excellence by which everything we do or say or encounter must be measured—and inevitably be found wanting. At one level, we all become Platonists when we are conscious of our own shortcomings and weaknesses. We move through life aware we could be, or should be, someone different: someone more honest, more courageous, more compassionate…For Plato, that someone is the higher self. We may resent its presence, but it’s hard to ignore. Being true to that self, the soul, means living up to those models of perfection in thought, word, and action.”
Arthur Herman, The Cave and the Light: Plato Versus Aristotle, and the Struggle for the Soul of Western Civilization (Random House, 2014) 21
QUOTE FOR FEBRUARY, 2020
Sir Roger Scruton (1944-2020), upon receiving the Defender of Western Civilization award from Intercollegiate Studies Institute, September 19, 2019:
“Our Western Civilization is not some peculiar, narrow little obsession of people who happen to live in a certain geographical part of the world. It is an inheritance, constantly expanding, constantly including new things. It is something which has given us the knowledge of the human heart, which has enabled us to produce not just wonderful economies and the wonderful ways of living in the world that are ours, but also the great works of art, the religions, the systems of law and government, all the other things which make it actually possible for us to recognize that we live in this world, insofar as possible, successfully.”
For video and full speech, visit: https://isi.org/intercollegiate-review/a-thing-called-civilization/