Europe has historically been the centre of western culture. Western art, music, literature, philosophy, etc. have all grown from the psyche of European artists and thinkers.
Take a look at this beautiful painting and imagine a world in which the likes of this will never be created again. Imagine a time when western culture is gone.
There was a time when I thought an idea like that was silly as it “just couldn’t happen”. But every time a suicide bomber kills another group of innocent westerners, the new normal according to the mayor of London, I see a step towards the end of western culture.
There are those who have loudly stated their hatred for the west. They want to see its history revised, its cultural contributions removed, its values replaced. And in some cases, this is to be done using violence.
Certainly, the European story is not one of perfection and constant attempts at improvement have been one of its salient features. Some things have worked well such as the overall reduction of poverty, and other things have not, such as world wars. But the thrust of western values has been that of hopefully making things better. Not perfect, but better.
That perfection has not been achieved and some people are unhappy in the west seems to be a reason for tearing it all down. This is sad and dangerous because perfect utopia is not an option.
Part of me thinks we have already lost. I look at this beautiful, somber painting and feel pangs of loss.
I can only hope I am wrong.