Mark Steyn Contrasts Behavior on the Titanic (1912) with That of the Costa Concordia (2012)


On the Titanic, the male passengers gave their lives for the women and would never have considered doing otherwise. On the Costa Concordia, in the words of a female passenger, “There were big men, crew members, pushing their way past us to get into the lifeboat.” After similar scenes on the MV Estonia a few years ago, Roger Kohen of the International Maritime Organization told Time magazine: “There is no law that says women and children first.”

via The Sinking of the West | National Review Online.  (In the article, Steyn refers to a book of his which has more information on this subject.  That book is After America: Get Ready for Armageddon.)

What a difference a hundred years can make!

I call attention to this contrast in behavior because it counters the notion we so often hear from the secularists:  that “day by day, in every way, we are getting better and better.”  More often, they put their thinking as an imperative for us:  “Get on the right side of history!”  By that, they mean, for example, embrace gay rights because it’s the latest evolutionary step from civil rights, which before that was women’s rights, and so on.  In their minds, the generations before us were moral Neaderthals who embraced slavery, male domination, discrimination, and other evils we ourselves are too morally superior to ever think about adopting or perpetuating.

The truth is that this is a false narrative of history.  There are ways in which our behavior as a civilization has deteriorated, not progressed.  And the contrast of the behavior on these two sinking ships – one century apart – makes that unpleasant truth abundantly clear.

2 Replies to “Mark Steyn Contrasts Behavior on the Titanic (1912) with That of the Costa Concordia (2012)”

  1. The sinking of the Birkenhead at Gansbaai, South Africa is also an incident where British soldiers were praised for “women and children first.” While I agree with your post and with your message, pleasae just be aware that there seemingly is an element of the urban legend lurking in these stories as some survivors of both refuted this. Like Nelson Mandela said, in the end every man is serving himself, as his own latter days clearly proved. Whether it was a millennium ago or a few days, man remains selfish even when serving Christ, My own experience of church life is that but a tiny fraction have the nerves to convey concept into practice, as most apparently have no connection between heart and hands. A neurological dysfunction, I suppose.

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