One of the most intriguing things about westerns is the fact that they are often set hundreds of years ago but still offer up some strikingly relevant thematic lessons, both in their form and in their narrative.
In other words, their stories and lessons still have value. There's a reason that a film like Shane was featured so heavily in last year's Logan, and that's because the western film had struck upon the same theme as Logan did, just decades earlier. It did it so well, in fact, that James Mangold couldn't help but sample it into his own film.
In many ways, classic westerns have become the equivalent of modern fables, teaching lessons of the past to modern audiences.