Viktor Orban Speaking at CPAC, Studying Greeks and Romans, and Western Civilization

Viktor Orban Speaking at CPAC, Studying Greeks and Romans, and Western Civilization The Garrett Ashley Mullet Show

At the close of my reading ‘The Histories’ by Polybius, I remember how my friend Joseph Crampton recommended I dig into Plutarch’s ‘Parallel Lives of the Noble Greeks and Romans’ next, so that title is calling my name.

My wife is also encouraging me in this, since our kids study Plutarch as part of our homeschooling curriculum. From what I’ve heard from Lauren and our children, ‘Lives’ is enriching and engaging stuff.

I get this favorable impression, for instance, that Plutarch places a special emphasis both on telling stories with morals as well as explaining the morals to the stories he tells. He does not, by contrast, subject his readers to dry recitations of names and dates without effect or benefit.

If this impression is borne out by the experience of reading Plutarch next, that will be a mercy, not least because ‘Lives’ will be the single largest title I have ever taken up. Audible shows the copy I just bought is 83 hours and 11 minutes long. This will take a while, then, but I will keep you updated as I go, so you can reap the benefit along with me.

Some of you may be wondering why, though, besides encouragement from my family and friends, reading such a long work about men and women who lived and died so long ago seems good to me.

To answer that question in part, I credit Victor Davis Hanson’s ‘Who Killed Homer’ and ‘Carnage and Culture,’ as well as Os Guinness’s ‘A Free People’s Suicide’ and ‘The Magna Carta of Humanity.’ These all, and more besides, have caused me to value more highly original source material by those Greeks and Romans credited for so much of Western Civilization. But I must prove I really do value that material by engaging it myself.

By all accounts, Polybius, Plutarch, and Cicero were essential to the development of Western thought, and the unfolding of World History accordingly, as the West has achieved so much dominance and influence on a global scale.

For my part specifically, I want to understand what to do about the ongoing decline of the West generally, and the United States of America in particular. It seems wise, then, to go back and study the intellectual roots of our civilization. And these are found not only in the Bible and Church History, fellow Christians. They are also among the heirloom historical and philosophical works of the Greeks and Romans from which we borrowed so much of our thinking and governmental structures.

On a similar note, I plan to start ‘Nudge’ by Richard H. Thaler and Cass R. Sunstein this weekend. A certain UnHerd interview Freddie Sayers did with Professor Susan Michie back in 2020 put me onto this one after I recently saw it shared to Reddit. No, Professor Michie is not the mastermind. But I think she represents just the kind who have been engineering most of our misery in recent years and decades, and I need to know what that kind is planning to be up to next.

So also, an article at The Epoch Times caught my attention yesterday about Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban speaking at CPAC in Dallas, Texas on Thursday. The Conservative Political Action Conference invited Orban to address attendees, and our Leftist mainstream media is having a field day as usual. Naturally, they hate his politics, particularly his warning the West about a takeover by – if we dare call them by their name – Communists. Not that they object to being called Communists when they are; but I think even the ones who are Communists and don’t mind that fact resent men like Orban saying we should stop the Communists from taking over the world.

Thus, in all these things, I find still more reasons to study the Greeks and Romans. Something clearly has to be done about the situation we are in and getting deeper into. But we must remember who we are before we can do what needs to be done. A sizable portion of who we are being made up of what the Achaeans and Latins passed down to us, they merit closer consideration and study.

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