[From HRM Richard and HRH Jonathan]
How do countries form, and more importantly, how do they last? What is it that separated the early Romans who conquered the known world from the late Romans who collapsed into decadence? What separates the nations in America and Europe, who once had the drive to forge empires in less than a century, from their current forms which are spiraling into self destruction through demographic collapse? We are certainly not the only ones asking these questions, they are being asked by people the world over, most desperately seeking to repair their countries.
We know the answer. The answer is the reason that the constitution of Edan is secondary to its creation and existence, the answer is the reason that America was once so strong despite its constitution, the answer is the reason Europe is dying. The answer?
Culture, with a capital.
By 'Culture' we mean the shared attitudes, goals, practices, and values that characterize and define a group.
Culture is the shared experience, outlook, and traditions that grows into civilization. That implacable force that creates patriots and heroes. The USA would not be more than a Balkanized backwater if it wasn't for the paradoxical mix of arrogant destiny and humble hope her people shared in the past. The other Western nations likewise had a complex self-image that defined them as a people and helped them, caused them to survive great trials.
So, where did this Culture go, to be replaced with countless lesser ideas, all of which discount what had made various Peoples great? Culture has degraded to relativism and egoism; the rejection of standards and the embrace of the self over the group. Devotion to something higher than oneself is seen as improper, impossible, and even evil, while the elevation of personal desire over the good of the whole is seen as proper and good. Those who espouse these ideas have told us for generations that relativism and egoism will lead to a better world with happier people. Instead we have a violent, factional world full of people so without hope they do not have enough children to replace themselves.
Culture is what truly defines a People, what truly drives them; Civilization is nothing more than Cultures 'grown up'. And these various Civilizations/Cultures each have an identity founded upon language, tradition, attitude, and religion that separates Peoples and countries from each other. Other than matters of ethnicity, what is it that really separates Japan from China? England from France? Russia from Poland? Their difference of Culture, that is the true difference, and without it there would be a sort of numbing sameness of egoistic relativism, a loss of uniqueness that would make us all a bit poorer.
In the modern world we have are facing a horrible loss of Cultures, and at an unimaginable scale. There is nothing to take pride in other than oneself. In the realm of egoistic relativism no history, no shared experience, no tradition can justify patriotism, or pride, or even true hope. In the eyes of the wider world this devotion to greater things is evil and 'progress' is defined as stripping away more and more of the true Culture that make civilization possible. Communism and Socialism view Culture as an enemy that prevents 'progress'; Libertarianism and Feminism with their extreme focus on egoism view Culture as unjust control. Modern Democracies, so very new, reject much of the Cultures that came before because they see them (correctly) as being irrevocably part and parcel with religion and royalty. This rejection of the Cultures that built civilization has been happening in the West for almost 300 years and worldwide for almost 100.
We are finally starting to see the dark toll this is taking on civilization.
Without these binding forces of Culture to bring people together and drive them forward, what is there in life? Why is there any reason to care about a future that you and your (egoistic, relativistic) beliefs will have no part of? Religion? Religion is a part of a Culture that has been attacked with particular brutality. Family? What is your family without Cultural definitions? Indeed, why have a family when you expect them to share none of your values other than relativism and egoism? Your country? What is the point of governments and nations without a Culture for them to base themselves on, other than control?
Duty, Honor, Justice, Charity; these are the first casualties of relativism and egoism because without these things Cultures fail and are forgotten. Whether destroying these virtues was the goal or merely a side effect of misguided attempts to forge a Utopia we may never know. What we do know is that in the name of equality justice has been destroyed;in the name of individualism duty, honor and charity are rejected; in the name of reason truth has been abandoned; in the name of liberty freedom has been rendered useless.
We of Edan embrace these virtues as the means to embrace civilization and reject barbarism, as the true method, the only proven way, to make the world a better place.