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EPILOGUE by Diana West

From the book “The Death of the Grown-Up”

Having just defined all of recent history, culture, politics, and war in terms of callow youth and scorned
adulthood, I think a final word is in order.

Lokking back over these pages, I see that most of the people praised for their adulthood---these not
necessarily happy few---are individuals who said no.

No, said the Montgomery County parents to cucumber sex ed; no, said the Scarsdale principal to
transcript tampering; no, said the Queensborough College professor to passing her class-flunking
revolutionaries; no, said the Batavia Rotary wife to hubby's striptease. So much of adulthood today, such
as it exists, is a necessarily negative force, a damper on behaviors unconstrained by lines and
boundaries; a hook on impulses unfettered from either fixed morality or esteemed tradition. It puts me
in mind of William F. Buckley, Jr.'s memorable line about "standing athwart history, yelling Stop."

That was in 1955. Writing in that first issue of the National Review, Buckley noted that a conservative
magazine like his might seem redundant in a nation reknowned for its conservatism. Not so, he said,
adding: " If National Review is superfluous, it is so for very different reasons: It stands athwart history,
yelling Stop, at a time when no one is inclined to do so, or to have much patience with those who so
urge it."

Half a century later, I am struck by similarities in the atmosphere he describes. Being a grown-up
today---like being a conservative yesterday---usually involves yelling "stop" when no one is inclined to do
so, sounding a note that has become discordantly lonely over the years as the chorus of adults has
thinned and petered out. (I'll it to someone else to argue whether being a grown-up is the same as being
a conservative.) There may still be times when just yelling ia the same as being a conservative.) There
may still be times when just yelling "stop" or "no" is enough, times when a line needs to be drawn fast,
or a vanished boundary redefined. After "no"---or, maybe, after enough "no"s---lines and boundaries
begin to reappear. But if "no" can function as a restorative, "no" is still not enough.

The instinct behind these "no"s---the moral instinct---is where what might be called our "inner grown-
up" still lives, a tentative, marginal, and, I would add, demoralizing existence in the post-grown-up
milieu. Historian Gertrude Himmelfarb has written extensively about the remoralization of society that
occured in the Victorian era, a period in which human behavior in all its variations was guided by the
ideals of virtue and the effects of stigma. Indeed, remoralization requires both. As she put it a decade
ago, "Stigmatization is the other side of the coin of virtue. You can't have a set of virtues, a system of
values, without having a corresponding system of stigmas." Stigmas, you might say, are what keep
virtues or value honest. Not that Himmelfarb uses this terminology interchangeably. She went on to
explain the crucial difference between virtues and values.

The idea of virtue goes back to antiquity, and it varied in the course of time. The ancient virtues were not
the Christian virtues, and they were certainly not the Victorian virtues. But what was common to all of
these virtues, to the very idea of virtue, was a fixed moral standard---a stand by which all people at all
times and under all circumstances would be judged. Today we have abandoned that idea of virtue and
have adopted instead what we now call "values". Value is a subjective, relativistic term, any individual,
group, or society may choose to value whatever they like. One cannot say of virtue what one can say of
values, that anyone's virtues are as good as anyone else's, or that everyone has a right to his own
virtues. This shift from virtues to values represents the true moral revolution of our time.

I bring this up in these final pages because it may be that in this conception of virtue as a fixed standard
lies the unforgiving but inspirational essence of adulthood. As a means by which society is regulated, as
a means by which individuals regulate themselves, a devotion to virtue as " a standard by which all
people at all times and under all circumstances would be judged" is a way for post-adult society to
reapproach maturity.

And not just the maturity of the individual. Mature individuals make up a mature society. Such a
society, it would seem, stabilized by the fixed standards of a remoralized citizenry, would no longer
founder in the shifting “values” of multiculturalism. How could it? A clear moral standard would serve to
anchor a clear cultural standard as well. This isn’t a call to sainthood, or even necessarily to religion, and
it doesn’t involve what is always derided as “turning back the clock.” What is required, rather, is some
serious contemplation of the notion that, to put it simply, virtues are for striving grown-ups and values
are for perpetual adolescents. Grown-ups are more likely to recognize the singular nature of Western
civilization; perpetual adolescents remain “open” to the relative values of multiculturalism.

Of course, there’s more than virtue at work in that restorative “no” mentioned above. There is a clear
judgment call being made, a choice expressed through a reflexive faculty of discrimination. Here, I think,
is where the future of the grown-up lies: in the cultivation of that very faculty. Such an effort would be
nothing less than revolutionary. The resulting confidence, the reemergence of a Western point of view,
would be anathema to the cult of indiscriminate nonjudgmentalism as preached and practiced in our PC
times; indeed, it would necessarily bust up the multiculti monopoly. This makes me think that the
nonjudgmentalism that dominates our PC times is, among other things, one of the leading factors of
infantilization. Growing up, then, would not only mark the rebirth of the adult, but the end of
multiculturalism as well.

It all sounds so theoretical, but, as I have tried to demonstrate, there are desperately concrete
applications. When I started this project a decade ago, the multicultural assault on the West still seemed
to be a battle of the books waged by eggheads; after 9/11, it became clear that the “real” culture war
had started. Having jettisoned the works of our greatest “dead white males,” having leveled the
hierachies that they adorned, and having disabled all Western “constructs” of judgment and reason, we
were and continue to be totally ill-equipped to defend ourselves---our Western selves, that is---against a
‘real’ multicultural challenge as embodied by Islam---or, rather, by Islamization. The unlimited expansion
of Islamic influence in the West---through both violence(terrorism) and peaceful
means(demographics)---spells the end of Western civilization. It is a force to be reckoned with, beginning
with debate, discussion, and minute analysis by mature men and women who can face all the facts, and
not by children who hide from them.
What to do? It’s not enough to yell “stop,” or even “grow up.” It’s a start, though, if, in the process, we
withstand the likely excruciating growing pains to undertake a serious, candid reexaminaion of the
human condition, circa twenty-first century; as parents who need to guide children to maturity; as
individuals who need to reimpose boundaries on personal behavior; and as nation states that need to
reassert border control and enforce immigration policies that preserve, rather than transform, this
uniquely Western culture. Such an undertaking begins by breaking our silence. And breaking our silence
begins by conquering our fears, which is also a part of growing up. We have nothing to lose. It should
now be clear that the civilization that forever dodges maturity will never live to a ripe old age.

When considering the above... modern thoughts regarding the very violent and catastrophic struggle
between Western and Eastern civilizations...it seems that the West(Rome) drew first blood of conquest
over 2000 years ago...until Rome finally expired largely due to its own undoing around 300 A.D. Again
around the 14th century the West desired the silk, spices and riches for which it lacked much of what the
East wanted and began the Crusades. Advancing through history we come to the 19 th century at a time
that Western industrial advance sees “oil” as perhaps its greatest need and desire. Once again the East,
unfortunately, finds itself in the lustful eye of the Industrializing West...resulting in a very bloody and
brutal modern day Crusade! Is the West manufacturing a World view that a new religion of radical Islam
is in the process of transforming and destroying through “terrorism and demographics” the culture of
the West? Does the ever more militarily powerful West... hope to use this threat as the excuse at some
point for creating a Global order through the force of arms and threat of nuclear extinction. It indeed
has come time for all humanity to re-evaluate its precarious condition and in the words of Diana West
“Grow-Up.”...or Humanity may no longer be seen as a worthy species on planet Earth!!!

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