The Arrogance of Distance
"The Arrogance of Distance" outlines major stages of humanity's exertions to advance from a simple tribe to the modern state based on the rule of law and individual freedom. It traces the main stages of the rise of the West from tribalism through ancient Israel, Greek city-states, Rome, Christianity, European feudalism, the Renaissance, the Reformation and Counter-reformation, the Enlightenment, capitalism to modernity.
The book resonates those features of the West that are considered decisive in the West's success in the competition among civilizations. It recalls the values, customs, laws and institutions that have contributed to the emergence of the long economic, scientific and, in many cases, cultural distance between the West and the Rest. However, that very distance made the West arrogant as it has, more recently, been eroding the very principle of balance among human values and institutions. "'Nothing too much"" warned the ancient Greeks.
It adumbrates the main symptoms and mechanisms of its XX century decadence reflected, among other things, in the rise of totalitarian states in the I half of the XX century and the establishment of counter-cultures, extreme individualism, multiculturalism and affirmative actions of unlimited duration in the II half of the last century.
Finally, it outlines the possible measures that could check the progress of moral hazard, recover West's self-confidence and help restore the culture of freedom, individual responsibility and economic prosperity as well as to better equip the West in its fight against the scourge of terrorism.