Cultural heritage

Page 48 of the North Shore Times newspaper of 22 November 2018 published my letter supporting all the Ku-ring-gai councillors protecting our cultural heritage. My letter included the following text, reflecting ideas in my book Reclaiming Western Cultures.

One of the challenges of our individualistic West is that people want heritage orders on our neighbours’ homes, but not upon our own.

We want the freedom to alter and even demolish our homes because they are our properties, while wanting laws to prevent our neighbours from doing the same because we (and prospective buyers of our homes) like the view.

Western individualism only understands individual rights and interests. We would be better off thinking as the rest of the world thinks and as we used to think: recognising that it is in all of our individual interests to invoke our common interests.

Heritage orders upon our home and our neighbours’ homes add to the value and amenities of our home. No heritage orders upon any of them threaten the value and amenities of our home.

We don’t need individually to own a home to be enriched by it.

A beautiful home isn’t just an asset of the resident and of his or her neighbours glancing towards it, but of all us sharing a common heritage, including people not yet born. That’s as true of our heritage in Ku-ring-gai as anywhere else.