Top Stories

Western Civilisation “Not Welcome Here”

In 2017, following the wishes of the late Paul Ramsay, a businessman and philanthropist who made his fortune in the healthcare industry, the Ramsay Centre for Western Civilisation was set up in Australia.  Paul Ramsay was deeply concerned that Australians are not being taught about Western Civilisation either at school or university. So he left part of his $3.4 billion fortune so that something would be done about it. As the Director of the Foundations of Western Civilisation Program at the Institute of Public Affairs, I have been keeping a close watch on developments.

The Ramsay Centre has devised a Bachelor of Arts in Western Civilisation based on great books and works of art, to be taught in partnership with universities. Since its launch however, the Ramsay Centre has encountered almost nothing but open hostility and resentment from potential university partners.

At the University of Sydney, staff some months ago launched a ‘Keep Ramsay out of USYD’ petition. The same staff are currently having conniptions because their Vice–Chancellor has now announced that he’ll consider taking the Centre’s $64 million grant if it gives the university complete control over the curriculum, the reading list, and the academic appointments involved with the Bachelor of Western Civilisation.

Prior to this, the Australian National University pulled out of negotiations at the 11th hour when its Vice-Chancellor cited concerns about academic autonomy following a very public and acrimonious pushback against the program from several ANU academics and the Tertiary Education Union.

*   *   *

A few weeks ago, I was invited to attend a University of St Andrews alumni drinks in Melbourne. The evening began promisingly enough. A smart bar hotel bar, eight individuals of various ages and occupations, gathered together with the prospect of a pleasant evening of reminiscing ahead. Amid the usual exchange of pleasantries, I discovered that my one of my fellow attendees was a senior university administrator. When he learnt that I am currently the Director of the Foundations of Western Civilisation at the Institute of Public Affairs, I detected a slight look of discomfort. Any bonhomie that might have existed at the commencement of the evening vanished as soon as he asked me what I thought about the Ramsay Centre for Western Civilisation.

The rejection of a Bachelor of Arts in Western Civilisation is predicated on the absurd notion that anyone who wants to talk about or study Western Civilisation must be a white supremacist. In some academic circles, Western Civilisation is held responsible for all evils in the world, past, present and future.

Earlier this year, the Dean of Arts at Newcastle University wrote a piece for The Conversation in which she stated that Western Civilisation is past its used by date and that it’s too ‘white’ to teach in multi-cultural classrooms. The University of Sydney academics leading the charge, claim that the BA will “pedal racism disguised as appreciation for ‘Western Culture.’” At a National Tertiary Education Union forum, former University of Sydney chair, sociologist and gender theorist Raewyn Connell, told her audience that the curriculum “has racism embedded in its agenda.”

When I articulated to my fellow alumnus that I had not been surprised at the response from Australian universities—given the antipathy displayed towards Western Civilisation by many academics—he did not think this hostility to be a bad thing. When I added that I thought all students studying an undergraduate degree in history, or any humanities degree for that matter, should be required to do a foundation course in Western Civilisation, he was shocked and horrified. From his point of view, knowing about what happened during the Scientific Revolution or the Enlightenment is an irrelevancy and a waste of students’ time. For him, history is about ‘issues,’ not knowledge.

It was at this point that I realised that just how far universities, especially the humanities departments, have strayed from their original purpose. From the Renaissance until the 1960s, the humanities, derived from the expression ‘studia humanitatis’ or the study of humanity, made it their purpose to make sense of and understand the world through the great traditions of art, culture and philosophy. There appeared in the 1970s and 1980s however, a range of ‘new humanities’ subjects which rejected this tradition. The new humanities were underpinned by a range of radical post-structuralism and post-modernist theories which had been conjured up in the previous decade by a predominantly French group of philosophers such as Jacques Derrida, Louis Althusser, Michel Foucault, as well as the psychiatrist, Jacques Lacan.

The new humanities maintain that for the last 500 years, Western Civilisation has got it wrong when it comes to knowledge, truth and science. These fields tend to claim that both knowledge and truth are not absolute, but are relative. For example, there is no objective truth and truth is dependent on who is speaking it and in what context.  Insofar as science is concerned, they claim that scientific theories don’t really provide us with what we could call knowledge but are actually “invented” rather than discovered.

History as a discipline best exemplifies the influence of the postmodernists and their ilk on the humanities. Many historians have enthusiastically embraced the idea that truth is no longer within the historian’s grasp and that it’s impossible to use history to add to knowledge about humankind.  This is the kind of thing which would normally signal the death knell for any discipline, but historians have risen from the ashes and have forged for themselves a new purpose—the attainment of social justice.

This is not social justice in the Enlightenment sense, which meant equality before the law and equal rights, but social justice in the activist sense, where the ultimate goal is to achieve perfect equality by destroying ‘oppressive’ institutions and rearranging society. The historians’ new role is to tell the inequality narrative of the oppressed and the oppressor through the lens of class, gender, and race. Matthew A. Sears, associate professor of classics and ancient history at the University of New Brunswick believes that ancient Greek sculptures epitomise racism and white supremacy, and that history is “about politics,” it’s main purpose being to “better understand the human condition and shed light on questions of contemporary relevance.”

This approach has its origins in the nineteenth century, when Georg Hegel constructed his worldview of history into a narrative about stages of human freedom. His was the view that history was simply the process of moving towards the realisation of such freedom. Later that century, Karl Marx’s built on Hegel’s new paradigm with his theory of historical materialism, proposing that society’s productive capacity and social relations of production determined both its organisation and development.

Both Hegel and Marx essentially denied the role of individual human agency, treating the past as the product of inexorable forces and trends which were primarily of a material and economic nature. “Society” wrote Marx, “does not consist of individuals, but expresses the sum of interrelations, the relations within which these individuals stand.’’

Eric Hobsbawm

Karl Marx essentially created the template of identity politics for the study of history with his notion that human society is in a constant state of struggle and a zero-sum contest for power. In the 1960s, his model was adopted by British historian Eric Hobsbawm who deliberately re-wrote the history of the “long 19th century” as being a century of class struggle. Hobsbawm successfully transformed history as an academic discipline into a vehicle for social policy.

Since the 1970s, historians have embraced Marx’s template and applied it to their own particular historical fields, re-writing the past from the point of view of class, gender, and race. These new histories have gradually replaced the traditional canon of historical subjects which once upon a time formed the basis of an undergraduate degree in history in Australia.

In 2017, a study of all 746 history subjects taught in Australian universities revealed that 244 of those subjects were devoted entirely to class, gender, and race. Many were a pastiche of identity politics in which the stunning complexity of the past is increasingly reduced to a very limited range of themes. Students at Melbourne university can take ‘A History of Sexualities’ in which they discuss “how the gendered body and sex have been simultaneously linked to social liberation and control.” At the Australian National University, students can consider “the concept of ‘race’ within the contexts of the development of scientific knowledge in ‘Human Variations and Racism in Western Culture, c. 1450-1950.”  A keyword search of all the history subject descriptions taught in 2017 reveals that there were more instances of the words gender and race than there are Enlightenment or Reformation.

What is more, a perusal of the University of Sydney’s history faculty staff profiles reveals that 20 of the 32 staff have variously identified gender and sexuality, racial thought, women’s history and power as their current historical fixations. The left-wing leitmotifs of class, race, and gender have replaced the essential core subjects which explain the political, intellectual, social and material basis of the history of Western Civilisation.

This approach is not only boring and repetitive, it is fundamentally anti-intellectual. Students in Australia are not being given a “positive formation” by their universities, which is exactly what the Ramsay Centre is attempting to rectify. Instead, they are being taught a narrow, one-dimensional view of the world seen through the prism of identity, over a curious and inquiring three-dimensional view of the world which opens the mind.

Students studying the humanities are not only finishing their degrees with a distorted view of the world in which the past is viewed as a contest between the oppressors and the oppressed, but they are imposing this particular worldview on society as they find employment in schools, government, and the corporate world. These days, for example, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to work out where gender departments finish and governmental departments or the corporate world begin, so blurred are the lines between them.

Since the 1960s, universities have been leading their students fairly and squarely down a path of un-education, unlearning and enlightenment, and they should be called to account. Now these students, filled with an ideological fervor and driven by social justice, are leading the rest of society down the same path, whether society wants it or not.

 

Dr Bella d’Abrera is the Director, Foundations of Western Civilisation Program at the Institute of Public Affairs.

If you liked this article please consider becoming a patron of Quillette

180 Comments

  1. Centrist Gal says

    Yet all the major Australian universities have Confucius Institutes and Centres for Islamic Studies. Was/is there no empire building, misogyny, racism or classism in Chinese and Muslim civilizations? What has happened to universities when we cannot study the civilization that gave us the university, not to mention the freedom that welcomes the study of other cultures/histories?? The humanities are finished; kaput. The Ramsay Centre should set up an independent course and maintain academic freedom. Damn the academics/administrators that have brought universities to such a sad state by virtue of their twisted, destructive ideologies and self-loathing.

    • Martin28 says

      @ Centrist Gal
      You are not supposed to notice, much less comment on, the Grand Canyon of hypocrisy that is represented by the facts that you point out. Repeat after me—non-Western civilization good and pure, Western civilization bad and corrupt.

    • Innominata says

      @Centrisl Gal

      Maybe they’ve got the approach all wrong. Note buzzwords:

      “These courses DECONSTRUCT THE IDENTITIES of the INDIGENOUS Greeks, Latins, Celts, Franks, Slavs, Britons, Gauls … all of whom were COLONIZED and CONQUERED at one time or another and terribly OPPRESSED and ENSLAVED.

      The courses aim to UNDERSTAND ON THEIR OWN TERMS the LIVED EXPERIENCES of these TRIBES through their CULTURAL TRADITIONS of poetry, philosophy, history, mathematics, physics … with particular focus on Greek PEDERASTY and Dionysian FEMALE REVOLUTION, rampant Roman HOMOSEXUALITY and POLYAMORY, and the FEMINISM of the early Christian COLLECTIVE, which fought for a Roman WOMAN’S RIGHT TO CONTROL HER OWN BODY by opposing the Roman law that a HUSBAND COULD FORCE his wife into an abortion if he chose.

      The courses explore the early SOCIALIST THOUGHT of Yehoshua Ben Nazareth, who taught that you should REDISTRIBUTE your goods to the UNDERBANKED, for which he was OTHERIZED and BULLIED by the PATRIARCHY of his own people and executed by the COLONIAL POWER of Rome in the person of Pontius Pilate, an ELITIST REPUBLICAN and WEALTHY CAPITALIST.

      Yehoshua, who was BORN INTO POVERTY, taught UNCONDITIONAL LOVE and NONVIOLENCE, befriended an impoverished PROSTITUTE and a LOT OF VERY TALKATIVE AND SENSITIVE MEN, and was an ACTIVIST who MADE CONSERVATIVES ANGRY by RESISTING the stoning of a WOMAN WHO WAS HAVING LOTS OF SEX ALL OVER THE PLACE WHENEVER SHE FELT LIKE IT. Yehoshua PROTECTED THE WETLAND ECOSYSTEM by walking across water rather than in it. He may be best remembered for DEMONSTRATING AGAINST THE BANKERS who had set up shop in SHARED SPACES.”

      Etc etc…

      • Very well stated. I’m going to share it with others if that is ok.

        • Innominata says

          But of course. Share as you please. Thanks for the compliment.

      • Ray Andrews says

        Ha! I hadn’t realized that the walking on water was to preserve the fragile wetland ecosystem! Many thanks, it’s so clear now.

      • JK Fink says

        I’ve just looked at undergraduate course offerings at the University of Sydney. They look pretty conventional to me. Are these all 3/4th year or graduate course offerings?

      • JK Fink says

        Enjoyed the response.
        The move to social justice as the goal of history teaching has certainly emerged at the secondary level. The point made in the article about the new generation of teachers being thoroughly indoctrinated is a fact. There seems to be little distinction between learning about the progress of social justice over time vs the ideological POV that injustice is rampant and social progress is a myth.

  2. One way to deal with this is to get the message about the waste of time and money that an Australian University Education is out to students in Asia. Once overseas students realize that they are getting baizuo indoctrination, they can take their hard earned dollars to institutions that practice something more rigorous academically than uncritical acceptance of partisan autoethnography.

    • Peter from Oz says

      The problem is that the foreign fee-paying students don’t study the humanities so they won’t m really get to see the idiocy of the lefties in the humanities part of academe. In any case, the universities have also dumbed down the courses that foreigners do take, so as to ensure the gravy train continues.

    • “Once overseas students realize that they are getting baizuo indoctrination, they can take their hard earned dollars to institutions that practice something more rigorous academically …”

      If they can find such,

  3. There appears to be enough of an endowment to start its own network of small colleges and programs. I would suggest forgetting about major universities, but set up small new campuses nearby.

    • Morgan says

      The central problem is official recognition of degrees. Having said that (and dealt with that), the campus of the future is online. There is hope.

  4. Maybe Dr. Peterson could be the chancellor, or one of the chancellors of the Ramsay Centre’s program. He has many of the same goals.

  5. The Ramsay Centre is a conservative right-wing organization. It has political agendas to push. Therefore its programs got rejected. Another reason is that it wanted to exert significant control over these programs – which of course no independent university is going to allow. Basically these courses were looking for White Christian students for indoctrination for this this program.

    Tony Abbott’s [a director] stupidity gave it away. He wrote an article saying precisely that. And extolling the virtues of Cecil Rhodes.

    Of course the author doesn’t have the courage to come clean why the program was scuppered at ANU for instance. And is clearly on the Ramsay Centre’s payroll…

    • Mark Green says

      You think that decrying the stupidity of left-leaning academics is proof that the author is on the Ramsay Centre’s payroll? I think you may have improperly attempted to hurdle logical inconsistencies while at the same time confirming empirically the hypothesis that left-wing academics are stupid.

      Well done you.

      • @ Mark Green

        Nope. I think he author is on the billion dollar payroll for not being quite honest enough.

        ” I think you may have improperly attempted to hurdle logical inconsistencies”

        Really? What exactly are those when they are at home?

        ” while at the same time confirming empirically the hypothesis that left-wing academics are stupid.”

        I cannot do. I am not a left wing academic.

        • Bunyip says

          You missed your calling. You’re more than enough of a pavlovian cliche-peddler to hold down a revered teaching gig at Michael Spence’s Sydney Loonyversity.

          • @ Bunyip

            Lol! Petal, I can do this all day… chew out nonentities like you who have no courage. Man the fuck up and get into an argument with me about what is bothering you.

            This is just too easy. I don’t like whipping people like you and winning by default.

            You really have to be an idiot to think such petty insults are going to put me off my wick.

    • Peter from Oz says

      And yet lefty ”academics” are allowed to push their political message on the taxpayers’ dollar.

      • @ Peter from Oz

        Yes. And isn’t that the million dollar tragedy. Rather than both side at it in open war…

        I think such courses should be politically neutral but academically rigorous. Obviously the true point is to teach pupils… but openly marked courses with such strong opposition, then a whole load of students are going to avoid them. And that is a pity.

        Abbott did well to get the money, but then mouthed off and scuppered the chances what could have been a wonderful course.

        • BrannigansLaw says

          Leftist academics have been far more guilty of focusing on politics rather than their respective fields, even interjecting into other fields to silence who they consider to be political opponents.

          In America, conservatives are outnumbered nearly twenty to one in academia and it is primarily leftist academics whom allow their activism to interfere with their work.

          “The Ramsay Centre is a conservative right-wing organization. It has political agendas to push.”

          This is just speculation but even if you’re right, balance is key and their needs to be a push back. But of course you would prefer it to be one way traffic.

        • Peter from Oz says

          @Reading Nomad
          I agree with your point that it would be best to have both side at it in open war.
          I don’t think the best way of doing that is the introduce a presciptive course in Western Civilisation. That is an American concept that really doesn’t fit with Australian ideas of what a university is.

          • @ Peter from Oz

            Blimey! There is an Australian concept of what a university is!? Do tell more!

            Personally, I think the American way is a good way – a proper old fashioned liberal arts course. They unfortunately began and disappeared in the UK. And such courses surely can only be prescriptive.

    • Martin28 says

      @Reading Nomad
      This is an ad hominem attack on both the author and the Ramsay Center. Surely you are so blinded by partisan politics that you can’t evaluate an argument on its own terms? Of course they don’t want their money spent on a program that merely trashes Western Civilization and teaches it through the lens of Postmodernism—there is plenty of that without their funding. I think you have this indoctrination business flipped on its head.

      • @ Martin28

        “This is an ad hominem attack on both the author and the Ramsay Center.”

        No it isn’t. You don’t know what an ad hominem is. You are confusing it with defamation/slander.

        “Surely you are so blinded by partisan politics that you can’t evaluate an argument on its own terms?”

        Incorrect. It is this author and Ramsay Centre that are pushing a strict White Christian Conservative agenda. And that is a provable fact.

        ” Of course they don’t want their money spent on a program that merely trashes Western Civilization”

        Of course not. But to achieve such goal with such ham-fisted and obvious political agenda pushing? No chance. No wonder it got rejected… and probably rightly so.

        You cannot correct one error with another one…

        • You keep saying it’s pushing an agenda and it’s a provable fact. Could you please provide your evidence? Show us how this institution only wants to cater to white people. We know your feelings on the matter, no present your evidence.

        • Your post is filled with assumptions and logical fallacies.

          I’ll just address one quote here.

          “It is this author and Ramsay Centre that are pushing a strict White Christian Conservative agenda. And that is a provable fact.”

          1. Please prove this ‘fact.’

          To do this, first define your terms-what is a “white Christian Conservative agenda” exactly? I have no idea what this is. It’s bizarrely vague, as though simply tossing around these words is enough to condemn it. So if “white christian conservative” is a thing wherein one has a single agenda, and that agenda is intrinsically bad, how and why? What, for example, is a “black Muslim liberal” agenda and why is it not bad? What is an ‘Asian Buddhist Labor” agenda? Define your terms. This is how one can argue for or against or somewhere in between. Right now I literally have no idea what you mean.

          2. Let’s say you can show they are ‘pushing’ their ‘agenda.’ So? I don’t understand why that is damning. You must be aware how many universities currently push the far-Left agenda. The President of the prestigious college my student attends regularly posts Leftist talking points, e.g. about ‘migrants’ ‘sanctuary cities,’ “diversity, equity and inclusion” and so on. Many universities ‘push’ their agenda. Why is it a deal breaker when this one does? Explain.

          3. Perhaps you mean they are ‘pushing their agenda’ to such an extent that there is no freedom to speak whatever. (This is already the state in many universities but i digress). That would be objectionable, but you would need to prove that and you’d need to prove it’s more egregious than what currently goes on in many non-diverse universities now.

          • 1. Was this meant to be having a go at a fallacy or an assumption? Clearly it was neither. All you had was this:

            “what is a “white Christian Conservative agenda” exactly?”

            And you are just being somewhat dishonest. Surely even you are not THAT stupid. It is as clear as it says:

            So you want me to tell you about Christians? Or Conservatives? Or Whites?

            Chritians – Followers of the “religion based on the person and teachings of Jesus Christ, or its beliefs and practices”.

            Conservative – a person who is averse to change and holds traditional values.

            (in a political context) favouring free enterprise, private ownership, and socially conservative ideas.

            Whites – People of European descent with light skin colour.

            Putting it together:

            Not all Conservatives are Christians – so Christian Conservatives limits it to those Christians that who are Conservatives. And White limits it to White people – those of European descent.

            It is their agenda. See! You already knew that. People like you waste time in such game playing.

            “and that agenda is intrinsically bad,”

            It is and isn’t. Limiting it to specific race is morally abhorrent. Christian Conservative per se isn’t. However applying such an agenda to a course in a public university is wrong. It excludes people and it causes unnecessary conflict.

            “What, for example, is a “black Muslim liberal” agenda”

            There isn’t one.

            “What is an ‘Asian Buddhist Labor” agenda?”

            Haven’t got a clue. Unlikely there could ever be one. The term Asian here is meaningless as it is too broad. There can be a Chinese Liberal agenda etc.

            “Right now I literally have no idea what you mean. ”

            Yes you do. Else you are a simpleton. Where are the people who are looking after you?

            = = =

            2. So where is this assumption or fallacy you were targeting? It isn’t here either!

            “So? I don’t understand why that is damning. You must be aware how many universities currently push the far-Left agenda.”

            Yes. Precisely why it so wrong. Such courses need to be open and politically neutral. Just like all courses. Politics should have nothing to do with teaching.

            = = =

            3. Again. Where are those fallacies and assumptions?

            “Perhaps you mean they are ‘pushing their agenda’ to such an extent that the…”

            This is YOUR assumption. I am not here to prove or disprove you assumptions.

            = = =

            Yawn!

        • @Reading Nomad: You haven’t come anywhere near proving that “It is this author [in Quillette] and Ramsay Centre that are pushing a strict White Christian Conservative agenda.” The one piece of evidence you offer is Tony Abbott’s essay in Quadrant. That essay mentions Christianity several times but does not indicate that it is to be an agenda to be pushed in any way by the Ramsay Centre. Whiteness is nowhere mentioned. There is the statement that “every organisation that’s not explicitly right-wing, over time becomes left-wing” but this is followed by mention of two Left-wing members of the Ramsay Centre board – it’s not much to base an argument on that the Ramsay Centre is pushing a “Conservative agenda”.

          The core values of the Ramsay Centre are more likely encapsulated in the quote that Abbott provides towards the end of his essay:

          “As Professor Simon Haines, the Centre’s first CEO, went on:

          *its very variety of cultures and values, so often incompatible and conflicted, has also given [our civilisation] a hybrid toughness, a capacity to adapt and assimilate, to tolerate and include. Millions of non-Westerners (including some who think it is wicked) want nothing more than to live in it, while Westerners lucky enough to have it as a birthright take it for granted. How we would miss it if it really didn’t exist! It may not be a perfect model for a fully inclusive or genuinely liberal human civilisation, one neither repressive nor prodigal, but truly magnanimous. Still, it may be the closest we’ve yet come as a species.*”

          Since that seems to be consistent with what you say you would like to see taught, what is your objection, precisely? Can you identify examples of the “old left” liberals that you would to see more of on the board?

          • ouipoo

            Fine. I am not going to convince you. But I don’t think there is anything controversial or hidden about it. It is primarily a strict White Conservative Christian based. I would, perhaps on reflection, interchange ‘White’ with ‘European’. They are hardly hiding this.

            [[it’s not much to base an argument on that the Ramsay Centre is pushing a “Conservative agenda”.]]

            It is. And based on their Website. And based on MOST of their board and especially who has the control and will maintain that control. This was NOT politically neutral set of courses. And that is the gripe.

            – –

            “Since that seems to be consistent with what you say you would like to see taught, what is your objection, precisely?”

            That it is better for it remain politically neutral. And try not to exert or demand undue influence over the university. Else why not just open your own place up.

            USA has some very success such places – that are independent, conservative and Christian.

            – –

            ” Can you identify examples of the “old left” liberals that you would to see more of on the board?”

            No. Not relative to Australia.

        • Martin28 says

          @ Reading Nomad.
          I know what an ad hominem is. What I meant was, there are ideas laid out in the article, and you attacked an organization based on a political label, and the author based on alleged but unsubstantiated association with the organization, and you did not address the ideas.

          • @ Martin28

            “What I meant was, there are ideas laid out in the article, and you attacked an organization based on a political label”

            This article DOES NOT tell the whole truth. And it is blindingly obvious the author knew the truth. Yet, could not, did not come out with it.

        • Chris Harper says

          @Reading Norman,

          Teaching ancient as well as classical Greek and Roman history, art, literature and philosophy is hardly an example of a strict any sort of Christian agenda. As to Western Civilization being white, I’m not sure that the authors of the Epic of Gilgamesh or of the Bible would qualify under your definition.

          Still, Western civ having been mainly centred on Europe since the rise of Islam I am not sure what you would expect. Would it be a problem for you that Asian Civilization would be mainly about, well Asians?

          • @ Chris Harper

            Try reading the comment-stream before commenting, as such questions have been answered. It is not teaching the great books of Western Canon that is the issue. Rather, who the course is taught to, who teaches it, how it is taught and how much influence does an outside body have over a university.

            “As to Western Civilization being white”

            It largely it. And neither is this aspect to me of any controversy. Why would it be? So try reading what has been said, rather than wasting time nonsense like this.

            “Epic of Gilgamesh” Isn’t really the part of the canon.

    • Matthew B says

      @Reading Nomad – and you don’t see the ridiculous hypocrisy and poor logic in your comment based on what the publicly funded universities are teaching?! Are you honestly that obtuse as to not see the political agenda being ‘pushed’ in the Humanities?

      It is a hallmark of leftist thought to see things so blatantly lopsidedly. It still manages to stupefy me when I read it.

      • @ Matthew B

        “and you don’t see the ridiculous hypocrisy and poor logic in your comment”

        I don’t because it isn’t there.

        “Are you honestly that obtuse as to not see the political agenda being ‘pushed’ in the Humanities?”

        I know the political agenda being pushed in Universities is largely Postmodern Left. Don’t agree with it at all.

        I am someone who wants courses to be ideology free. So if I do not accept Left, then I don’t accept any other kind either. Conservatives pushing their agenda vociferously is one way to balance the books. But a very bad one. And in all likelihood, it is the conservative agenda that will fail.

        I largely agree with what Ramsay Centre is trying to teach, but their way of going about it was a complete let down. Abbott is clearly an over-egged idiot. He’s sunk the ship.

        “It is a hallmark of leftist thought to see things so blatantly lopsidedly. It still manages to stupefy me when I read it.”

        Remarks and quick judgements like that just makes you out to be a complete simpleton…

        • Matthew B says

          @ Reading Nomad – it would certainly serve your argument to acknowledge the fact that politics is being pushed from both sides.

          To only criticize one side of that equation while knowing that both sides can be culpable makes your comment incomplete rather than ridiculous.

          I stand by my statement. Your final sentence confirms and strengthens the observations I made.

          • @ Matthew B

            “To only criticize one side of that equation”

            This is about one side. It is not my job to wheel everything out in every comment I make… plus PM Left is heavily criticized on this site.

            “I stand by my statement. Your final sentence confirms and strengthens the observations I made.”

            It does no such thing. You are just not brave or honest enough.

        • augustine says

          “I largely agree with what Ramsay Centre is trying to teach, but their way of going about it was a complete let down.”

          It is not clear if you are saying that you agree that the virtues of Western Civilization (sensu lato) are being systematically minimized in academia, and being replaced by post-modern teachings. That this is a serious problem that needs more publicity and pushback. Is that what you are agreeing with?

          You claim a sort of neutral, ideology-free stance so I am curious what that means in terms of your sympathies and alliances.

          How would you go about, in contrast to the approach of the Ramsay Centre, accomplishing… what exactly?

          • @ augustine

            I favour teaching of the Canon. I favour pulling back every increasing courses with little value. I think a true liberal arts degree anywhere in West would be brilliant. And I am against much of post modern left.

            And I think ideally courses should be politically neutral.

            “How would you go about, in contrast to the approach of the Ramsay Centre, accomplishing… what exactly?”

            Invite more “old left” liberals to the board – those who agree with such teaching. And there really are such people about. And make it more about the course and NOT about he politics. It is not that difficult.

            If Ramsay Centre was honest – they would recognise that they went about it the wrong way. In this day and age – and given how heavily Leftist universities can be – who goes around being Triumphalist?

        • Daniel says

          Reading Nomad,
          I appreciated the humanities education I got, which was closely similar to Ramsay Centre. It was challenging, and addressed the complexities of the world. Far from indoctrinating, the professors closely withheld their politics, and let us thrash stuff out.
          Perhaps most unusual for today: we learned tthe value of debate without calling people names…

          • @ Daniel

            Somehow I doubt you ever really got such an education.

            “Perhaps most unusual for today: we learned tthe value of debate without calling people names…”

            Really? Gosh! This is what makes me doubt it. Go feel like a victim somewhere else. You cannot “debate” at all.

            Debate is all about posturing to win an argument. To try and assert the truth value of one’s opinion to others over your opponent. Therefore, knowing how insult is pretty crucial… a well aimed insult can certainly work in your favour or backfire spectacularly. Ideological/Political debates often go down this route.

            A ‘discussion’ on the other hand is an free and frank exchange of ideas in which you are not seeking to ‘own’ your opponent.

          • Daniel says

            Ladies and gents, this is the level to which the discussion has degraded. Western Civilization is not welcome here indeed.

    • Martin28 says

      @ Reading Nomad
      What really bothers about your statement is your description of the Ramsay Centre as a “right-wing organization.” I am not familiar with the Ramsay Centre and they may have taken right-wing positions in the past, but in this case they are taking a centrist position. They are merely trying to get Western Civilization taught without extreme bias, and the evidence is overwhelming of substantial and systematic bias in the teaching of this subject in universities, which the author backs up. This is a typical *left wing* tactic, calling reasonable positions extremist, and I use the term deliberately here. I never call anybody left-wing unless they are engaging in left-wing behavior, like calling centrist positions right-wing. This is a major problem with public discourse, and it infects the media, when they reflexively call people like Jordan Peterson “right wing.” It also shows up in the loose use of the terms “racism” “sexism,” etcetera. The so-called mainstream media constantly labels mere insensitivity, or even controversial statements about race or gender, with the dreaded “ism” word. The idea that something is permanently “left wing” or “right wing” or “racist” or whatever, and that this defines them and everything they do, is ignorant and divisive. There are exceptions, like the Nazi Party in 20th Century Germany. But for the most part we need to step away from this and call it out whenever we see it.

      • @ Martin28

        “What really bothers about your statement is your description of the Ramsay Centre as a “right-wing organization.””

        Why would that bother you? It is a fact that it is a Conservative org. I am not against that one jot. That is its political position.

        – –

        ” but in this case they are taking a centrist position. ”

        Eh? So supposedly you are not familiar with the organization, yet you know this?

        “They are merely trying to get Western Civilization taught without extreme bias”

        Actually they weren’t. Hence it didn’t go well.

        – –

        ” I never call anybody left-wing”

        What makes you think I care?

        – –

        “when they reflexively call people like Jordan Peterson “right wing.””

        He is a conservative. A self-confessed one. Although clearly a moderate.

        – –

        “This is a typical *left wing* tactic, calling reasonable positions extremist”

        Unless, of course, something is not reasonable at all…

        • @Reading Nomad, Your response to my question was very telling in its dishonesty, self-delusion, and casual cruelty. I’d find it hilarious as well except that it seems a standard form of ‘argument’ nowadays.

          The very fact that you must resort to calling me “stupid” when I ask you to define your terms “White christian conservative agenda” is in itself very telling. More telling that you fail to see the irony that you’re unable to define, say, a “Black Muslim Liberal” agenda, saying confidently there is none, without seeing how hypocritical and nonsensical that is (one you know the meaning so well that for anyone to question how to define it is evidence of their stupidity; the other without any meaning, even though it literally is analogous). You don’t see how your inability to define one – actually your confidence that it has no meaning -is damning to your assertion that “White christian conservative” even has a single agenda, much less what exactly it is.

          This is what I meant by your assumptions but you were too obtuse or perhaps sheltered to see it.

          My problem with your phrase is its nonsense. Your response only confirmed that. It is so broad a term that there cannot possibly be an agenda. Your astonishment that I questioned what it was and your confidence that I must be either stupid or dishonest is evidence of your own intellectual bubble. Trust me, there are plenty of people who don’t subscribe to your implicit dogma. What is a “white” agenda? What is a “christian” agenda? Your definition of christian was so simplistic I”m not sure you were serious (I’m not one), but how can you not see that it is impossible to string together these words and find a single agenda much less individual? christianity comes in multiple forms and nuances and does not have an ‘agenda.’ None of these categories have an ‘agenda’. I mean, unless you know of a secret organization I’m not privy to? “conservative” is the most narrow of your terms but even here there is no one agenda, just as there is no “liberal agenda” (not talking about Far Left, which is narrower). Your definition of ‘conservative” btw is inaccurate and I disagree with it.

          Now string together the three and you have utter nonsense. This is why you had to resort to calling me “stupid” and then failed to see your own illogic and even your own assumptions to the point that you denied having any.

          I could go on but I’m sure it’s pointless. I only suggest you keep a more open mind. It’s possible that we share opinions but you will need to convince me with rigorous logic and fact and well developed assertions, as opposed to insults, arrogance, and poorly defined terms.

          • @ d

            The problem is you are full of shit. And I showed it to you and you didn’t like it.

            “The very fact that you must resort to calling me “stupid””

            Nah! I didn’t. Go back and check and post it here. I called you “somewhat dishonest” and with good reason. But I did not call you stupid.

            You snowflake, are just looking to play the victim card. And you have spectacularly failed. So you really are fucking stupid.

            – –

            “when I ask you to define your terms “White christian conservative agenda” is in itself very telling”

            What is it telling? I did define it and yet I didn’t have to.

            – –

            “More telling that you fail to see the irony that you’re unable to define, say, a “Black Muslim Liberal” agenda”

            Dumb fuck! There is no irony there. There is no parallel there. If you had said something like “Jihadist Black Muslim” agenda then that is something else entirely. As it exists.

            So one again: You are clearly stupid. And get on that offence train, dimwit.

            – –

            “You don’t see how your inability to define one”

            Um, no. I did define it You are lying here. And what really actually gets to you is that you know I am right.

            – –

            “It is so broad a term that there cannot possibly be an agenda.”

            Dear God! You think Conservatism or Christianity doesn’t exist? The broadness has got fuck all to do with anything. The stupidity is on your part… you sacrificed you rationality to get offended and try to play the victim card over an imaginary name-calling.

            Stupid fuck!

            – –

            “I must be either stupid or dishonest is evidence of your own intellectual bubble.”

            It is. And I can confidently say:

            1. I am better educated.
            2. Higher IQ
            3. Possess far more knowledge.

            I am right in all three cases. And this means that likelihood I am right is far greater.

            – –

            “What is a “white” agenda?”

            Well.. if you are a white supremacist…

            – –

            “What is a “christian” agenda?”

            To spread and promote Christianity.

            – –

            “Your definition of christian was so simplistic”

            Why? Take it up with Oxford English Dictionary. Stupid fuck!

            – –

            “None of these categories have an ‘agenda’. ”

            Stupid fuck! Yes they all do. That is beyond DOUBT a fact.

            – –

            “I mean, unless you know of a secret organization I’m not privy to?”

            Um, why would there need to be a secret organization? We are talking about Ramsay Center – which isn’t hidden.

            And there are hundreds and thousands of orgs that have Christian and or Conservative and or White European agendas.

            My word! You really are a dumb twat!

            – –

            ““conservative” is the most narrow of your terms but even here there is no one agenda”

            Eh? The Ramsay Centre – it NOT hiding the fact it is Conservative. Dear God!

            – –

            “just as there is no “liberal agenda” (not talking about Far Left, which is narrower).”

            – –

            “just as there is no “liberal agenda” (not talking about Far Left, which is narrower).”

            Ah! So there is such a thing as “political agendas” after all… good grief!

            – –

            “Your definition of ‘conservative” btw is inaccurate and I disagree with it. ”

            This was EXACTLY what was wrong with your last response. So what is it that you disagree with precisely?

            The definitions of course are Oxford English. And there isn’t an English Dictionary better. Take it up with them.

            – –

            “This is why you had to resort to calling me “stupid””

            I didn’t and that is a fact! Stupid twat!

            – –

            ” and poorly defined terms.”

            Which weren’t mine at all.. and this exposes you to being a one heck of stupid fruitcake. What you cannot take is that I am 100% right in my assertion that Ramsay Centre was pushing a “White Conservative Christian” agenda.

            – –

            Now fuck off… before I really put the boot up you.

          • @ d

            Of course my answer speaks for itself. You letting it has nothing to do with it. Rather, it is highlights your capitulation.

            So I didn’t call you stupid after all…

        • Martin28 says

          @ Reading Nomad
          You cut up my responses, even individual sentences—come on now, this is Quillette. You can do better than that. Your responses are non sequiturs and assertions.

          • @ Martin28

            “You cut up my responses”

            Quotes.

            “You can do better than that.”

            Nope. No one can.

            – –

            “Your responses are non sequiturs and assertions.”

            If it helps you to get over it – sure. But I am right in what I say. We both know that.

        • drnick says

          Have you noticed that Reading Nomad completely dominated the thread, are you retired to have so much time? or being paid to troll such fora? and debate for advancement of understanding does not involve insults and gaining dominion through dismissive language – it is about keeping a open mind not starting from a closed position and refusing to accept others views or provide evidence to back up your argument

          • @ drnick

            And? You have got absolutely no point to make and you have been the one trolling me.

            It is just not my fault that I am so good at shutting down utter bellends.

            I just am that good!

    • Ray Andrews says

      The conservatives! The conservatives! The white christians! The white christians!

    • Daniel says

      Rwading Nomad,
      If the “political agenda” you are referring to is teaching humanities properly, I, for one, am all for it, your sophomoric labels of “far right”, “indoctrination”, and “white Christian” notwithstanding.

      • @ Daniel

        “If the “political agenda” you are referring to is teaching humanities properly”

        I am not.

        ” your sophomoric labels”

        The ones I used are correct.

        I will say last time for you:

        Teaching such course should be open to all citizens of Australia. And should be ideology free. And should be under jurisdiction of the university.

        So it’s the university that vets and admits qualified students, chooses its own academics, has autonomous control over the courses. And Ramsay Centre cannot skew the courses for its own political agendas.

        Take the Bible. It is a fundamental book of the literary canon. It can be either taught as christian theology or as a literary text. The distinction is often subtle but an important.

        Now, of course, I want to see it taught as a literary text to all students – regardless as of their background. And not as a theological text.

        Now with such courses certain amount of cultural conservatism is just inevitable and just. Again, this does not mean descent into outright political ideology.

        So with teaching economic, political and philosophical theories and ideas care and neutrality and fairness and a light touch is needed.

        Now I know what I am talking about… you? Now tell me what do you agree or disagree with?

        • David Turnbull says

          @Nomad responding to @d
          Is this what you mean by debate vs. discussion? Take a pause before you make an even bigger ass of yourself.

          • @ David Turnbull

            Lol! I put him down successfully. And yes that is exactly what I mean by discussion vs debate. Now, if you have got nothing worth saying… quit making a tit of yourself.

          • David Turnbull says

            @Reading Nomad I guess a successful put-down is in the eyes of the beholder. Be happy in your self-delusion.

          • @ David Turnbull

            “I guess a successful put-down is in the eyes of the beholder. Be happy in your self-delusion.”

            My delusions run deeper than that. I suspect I have put you down quite a few times…

    • Trochilus Tales says

      So, then you should give all the money back. There’s a simple solution.

  6. Of course there is nothing like objective truth in sociology and politicology, impossible. Don’t forget that, until about 1950, the general idea in the Western education system, from low to high,(the axioma? paradigma?) was that the Western world was the superior one, to which all the rest should be educated, assimilated, transformed as soon as possible. Australian aboriginals were taken from their backward parents, in good faith, to be educated in those superior norms and culture. Elsewhere in Latin America and Africa similar things happened, missionaries and other development specialists made overtime. Now, the whole system of education (and policy) has turned around 180 degrees, but for how long does that go on? For another 25 yrs I guess, (even Quillette cannot change that) and afterwards? Not the slightest idea.

    • Aaron Michaux says

      Every great culture thinks it is superior, and minor cultures aspire to be great cultures. This is just human nature. Now we have left-wing academics who think they are superior for decrying western civilization. Nothing has changed.

      The trick with history is to look and to understand. It is not an exercise in credulity. I think there’s more than a little projection going on here, because every social justice class I have done HAS been an exercise in credulity and conformity. It almost seems like it is all they know, and thus seem to believe that the western cannon can be taught through a politicized lens.

      Meanwhile, over in the much decried sciences, we’re solving problems that makes the world a better place.

      • The problem is, Aaron, uptil now, the larger cultures all over the world (Chinese, Inca, Persian, Arabic, Roman, Celtic, Yoruba, Aztec) were a little bit better and more adjusted than the surrounding ones, but what we now see, that the Western world with its science, industry, religion, political system (democracy), etiquette, clothing (everybody in the world is dressed up like in the West) etc etc etc is so much better and superior than anything else, that there is no way that the others can compare or stand on their own.
        Just imagine that you have to face it (very aptly described by Claude Levi-Strauss, traveling by train with an Amazon aboriginal to Rio de Janeiro, it was great, and impressively described).

        • @ dirk

          “that the Western world with its science, industry, religion, political system (democracy), etiquette, clothing (everybody in the world is dressed up like in the West) etc etc etc is so much better and superior than anything else”

          More of your usual blend of nonsense. I like the way you have a go and then start making things up to fill hole. As per usual, you really haven’t got the foggiest what you are really on about.

    • “Australian aboriginals were taken from their backward parents, in good faith, to be educated in those superior norms and culture”
      I find it very strange that today the conviction is that these children should be raised in “their” culture. But this is in fact nothing else than saying they belong to a special group solely based on their descendance (as upbringing did not had an impact even after years in a “white” environment) and only if they are raised in this group they will be able to be happy.
      Which is in fact racism or at least acknowledgement that something like races exist. Racism without the impetus to better their lives.

    • @ dirk

      You have gone back to spouting nonsense.

      “Australian aboriginals were taken from their backward parents, in good faith, to be educated in those superior norms and culture.”

      Eh? When was this and how did it work out? Anyone with half a brain can see through this.

      ” Elsewhere in Latin America and Africa similar things happened, missionaries and other development specialists made overtime.”

      What the hell are you on about?

      • I’m just telling about my former job, nomad, development for the ministry of foreign affairs. Our field of work was named the “backward (achtergebleven) countries”, later renamed into developing nations, our job was to spur that development (and not only in technical sense, also training was part of it). This type of projects doesn’t exist anymore, now the Chinese go ahead without all those scrupules, in fact, they were already there when I finished my last project, but it looks like they have taken over completely. Nobody talks anymore about that backwardness, we are all equal now, but if we may believe Naipaul, that’s all utmost hypocrisy.

  7. W2class says

    Dirk, don’t rewrite history to make your point.
    Aboriginal children were not taken from their “backward” parents but rather from their neglectful, abusive and/or drink/drug addicted parents, just as white children are and were.

    Yes, it is true, they were placed with white families in the misguided, though well-intentioned, belief that being given a ‘British’ cultural foundation would give them a better chance of success in life.

    We will never know the real impact of these policies because the relentless ideological bias of the universities has made anything they produce on the subject untrustworthy.

    • I doubt that very much W2, that the strategy was only for drunkards and drug addicts. It was not that alone. It went much further than that, and, as I said, with good faith of the institutions. Probably, even the parents and the children felt good at that removal and education. Something hard to imagine right now, where we think almost 180 degrees differently! Can somebody of Oz say more about it here??

    • @W2class I think that it mightn’t be entirely accurate to say “Aboriginal children were not taken from their “backward” parents but rather from their neglectful, abusive and/or drink/drug addicted parents, just as white children are and were.” I’m no way an authority on the subject but my understanding is that the “stolen generation” was the result of a deliberate policy of assimilation.

      • dirk says

        Thanks Ouipoo, the term- stolen generation- (info via google) tells it all. The stolen aboriginal kids (20-30% of all kids) were even prohibited to talk their own language in the classes, dormitory and the play field. But what we quickly forget these days, is that the strategy was (at the time, uptil 1970)not at all thought to be an evil one, it was all for the general good of society and the community.

    • @ W2class

      “Aboriginal children were not taken from their “backward” parents but rather from their neglectful, abusive and/or drink/drug addicted parents”

      Evidence? Dirk makes things up. You?

  8. Martin28 says

    The myopic view and ingratitude of the university staff and administrators is astonishing given that every university that they work at—the whole entire system—was built on Western civilization, scholarship, and values. And now they want to tear this down without even an acknowledgement of the debt that they owe the people who built these places. Leftist academics benefit from the legal system, the financial system, the infrastructure, and the technology created by people they despise. The humble idea that “if I see further than people before me, it is because I stand on the shoulders of giants,” has been replaced with “we stand on the shoulders of racists, sexists, and imperialists—let’s hack their legs off.”

    Everything Jordan Peterson says is right, and stories like this prove it. The goal of the radical leftists is to destroy our civilization replace it with their version of “utopia.” And they are doing it with public money and endowments from people who do not share this goal.

  9. There is no denying that the history of western civilisation is “hideously white”, but that is nothing which a bit of applied Orwellianism can’t put right. Just as we are now using it to DIVERSIFY the present, we can also use it to progressively and retrospectively DIVERSITY the past. Orwell wrote a manual on how to go about it, called 1984. https://twitter.com/rogerahicks/status/1040867916785299457

    • Conan the Agrarian says

      “There is no denying that the history of western civilisation is “hideously white”…”

      I deny it.

      If you are saying “white”, you are playing by the postmodern far-left rules already. The term is an artificial, unscientific, and misleading mega-generalization that shoves Sami Finns, eastern Slavs, and southern Italians into the same basket, not to mention cultures on three continents. (“Black” is equally ridiculous.)

      “White” is the great straw man of the racial grievance industry. No one with a three-digit IQ should allow the term in serious discussion. It didn’t make sense when racists used it back in the day; it makes no sense now.

      If you want to have some interesting and truly constructive conversations, when people describe all people of any European ancestry as “white”, correct them with “light pink to medium tan”. It’s great fun to watch them snap out of the trance and realize how utterly lazy and dumb it is to generalize in this way.

      • Maybe substituting Indo-European Civilization for Western Civilization would do the trick.

        • Right now, the whole world is Western, even the Arab world (read Harari about it, he describes that our habit to surround our livings with lawns (complete nonsense where the climate is dry and hot) has conquered the whole Arab and Asian world). There is simply no alternative! Look at those silly Japanese youngsters, more than 100% US addicts!

      • @Conan the Agrarian Yeah, but those racial classifications were used in the past and it is worth studying that. For instance, we had the “White Australia Policy”. I agree with the general sentiment about the “racial grievance industry”; I just think it would be a mistake to deny that racism existed and still exists in some cases – though not in the sense of being deeply-rooted and endemic in Western civilization, as cultural psychoanalysts want to say.

        Love your user name, btw

      • Michiel says

        Not to mention the adjective “hideously” implies that there is something wrong with European people’s skin color. There could hardly have been any way in which the history of Western civilization was not “white”, since we are talking about the civilization of Europeans who, you know, tended to be light-skinned.

    • Why is being white hideous in any fashion? Would you ever say anything was hideously black? I feel bad for you for thinking the way you do. Life must be tortuous for you. I don’t think its possible to throw out phrases like hideously white with out having be pre-programed in your youth.

      • That is the price for our having out sourced catechizing our children on religion and culture to random low betas who have graduated from state sponsored universities.

      • @Keving Herman I think rogerahicks was being ironic, since he refers to Orwell’s “1984” as a “manual” …

  10. Damian O'Connor says

    May I recommend ‘A Short Guide to the History of South Africa’ – yup, it’s on Amazon – for an investigation into just how Left wing academics corrupted a whole subject?

  11. Frank Gilbert says

    Beyond the lack of receiving critical information necessary, IMO, for a well rounded education, there is the appearance of deliberate intentions to create this gap with purpose. Manipulative for certain. Purpose? Unclear. White supremacy? If that was tbe case it should be required learning in all cultures. Western civilization” it’s accomplishments, failures and continued impact on the world should be offered to anyone and everyone that wants to understand the modern world we live in today. No glorious rendition , instead a view from today. One that balances the world of the past with the knowledge we have gained. Every civilization has its horrors. We should neither hide them or seek endlessly to decry them … unless those horrors still exist today. My question is … what student today is so offended by history that they refuse to study it?

  12. “The new humanities maintain that for the last 500 years, Western Civilisation has got it wrong when it comes to knowledge, truth and science.”

    That’s one of the most idiotic things I have ever read. Anybody that believes that should be cleaning toilets not trying to pervery young minds with lies and propaganda. The exact opposite is true.

  13. Steven says

    Although I agree that resistance to a Western Civilization-focused program under the knee-jerk assumption that it will be racist is absurd, I also don’t know that it’s fair to label new approaches to history (i.e., race, gender, inequalities, etc) as simplistic and wrong headed either. Views of and approaches to the study of history have been changing since ancient times. We do not look at history the same way that Sima Qian did when he wrote the Records of the Grand Historian a thousand years ago. But I do agree that for a “social justice” view to completely take over at the expense of a more knowledge and facts-based is toxic and destructive. But there is room for both approaches, and both can inform they other. Race, gender, sexualities, and inequalities have been a major part of human civilization since the beginning of human civilization, so it makes sense that this should constitute a major part of any humanities curriculum.

    Also, I may be misunderstanding this, but the author’s comments that Marx treats the past as a “product of inexorable forces and trends which were primarily of a material and economic nature..” and that history “does not consist of individuals, but expresses the sum of interrelations, the relations within which these individuals stand” reminds me of Tolstoy’s observations in War and Peace. I don’t find those ideas without merit at all. Certainly they can be over-applied and manipulated, but they are not, in and of themselves, a threat to an informed study of history. I thought Tolstoy’s ideas were very eye-opening.

    • You raise a good point that certain modern perspectives (race, gender, etc.) can be brought to bear on history with informative and useful results. I agree, and perhaps more traditional approaches to this subject area have in some sense been *missing* those views.

      What this article describes instead, however, is not the addition of new post-modern perspectives to broaden young minds but rather the imposition of a tyrannical ideology that seeks power by insisting that what Europeans have accomplished, and Europeans (whites) themselves, is inherently immoral and must be discredited in the name of equality. Instead of being additive and lucid, it is a very narrow world view that lacks objective understanding and denies its adherents the opportunity for a more evolved understanding of human social life.

  14. Its nice to hear that some humanities departments are still talking about class.

  15. I am here accidentally, and am amazed at how well-formatted this reactionary website is. It communicates well the “Hey, We’re Serious about Race Science” vibe Quillette tries hard to maintain.

    • Michiel says

      So, which post-modern humanities program do you attend? Did your professor tell you to write this or did you come up with it all by yourself?

  16. E. Olson says

    Come up with a list of the 100 greatest known individual contributors to each of the following fields: philosophy, medicine, physical sciences, engineering, architecture, music, culinary arts, theatre, motion pictures, fashion, visual arts, fiction, poetry, management science, marketing, finance, economics, computer science, history, religion, political science, psychology, and sociology and then look at what % have European bloodlines, and what % come from all other races/ethnicities, and let me know if there are any fields that aren’t at least 85% “Western” and 85% male. And among the 5, 10, or 15% that come from non-Western peoples, how many of them were influenced/inspired/popularized by “Western” culture – i.e. how many black contributors to the top 100 in music were raised/educated/popularized in white Europe, USA, Australia, etc.?

    Although he was talking about his baseball exploits, the famous expression by American philosopher Dizzy Dean applies only to Western Culture: “it ain’t bragging if you actually back it up”.

    • I agree fully with you Olson, but try to understand!! This superior Western system came up with the Universal Human Rights Bill, with its equality message, how to stand up to that now? We are all equal…… so, we are going to look at whatever could undo this superiority, don’t think we are so superior……, the others also have something worth considering…….anthropologists such as Margareth Mead (and a whole army of followers) opened our eyes, and we Westerners were all too eager to believe them, more than anybody or anything else!

  17. Isn’t Post Modernism a product of Western Civilization (as I look at the list of its authors I see they are pretty much all white men) and shouldn’t it then be cast aside along with the rest of Europe’s contributions?

    • Peter from Oz says

      This!!!
      That was exactly my first eaction when reading the article.
      The great lie of Po Mo is that truth is relative. They don’t believe that all. They believe that whatever they say is truth. They want to obtain power not through strength of argument, but by limiting the argument to adolescent quibbles about definitions. That is why they are hung up on things like race. For example, they use ”racist” as a shut down word to avoid any true discussion of the important issue of immigration. This keeps the argument always at a superficial level and on their terms. That gives them power. It’s not as though they actually believe that immigration is a good thing, it’s more that they can play the ”raccism” card against anyone who argues against immiogration and maintain power.
      Having a discussion with a po mo leftist is like going to a dinner party and spending all your time arguing about who is going to sit where and never actually getting to eat anything.
      I have come to the conclusion that it is no real use arguing with a lefty when he or she starts making the argument all about the application of the shut down words. Instead, one should just say, ”you are arguing about things that don’t matter. The real argument is X. If you do not want discuss X, too bad.

      • Russ Wood says

        To quote one of my favourite epigrammists: “The word ‘racism is like ketchup. It can be put on practically anything – and demanding evidence makes you a ‘racist.”
        Thomas Sowell

      • Nietzsche (hero of Peterson) was the first to express that relativity of truth in human affairs. And I think there is a grain of truth in that, though not an absolute grain. But,maybe better, is to agree that the absolute truth of natural science (and even there not the full 100%, but much more than in humanities, even Arabs and Chinse use our western scientific method), does not comply in the psychological, social , society and religious fields.

        • MarkM says

          Peterson, by his own admission, is not truly a conservative btw. He describes himself as a classical British liberal. From my perspective, he is a worthy ally against the post modern movement, albeit a human one with certain flaws.

          • dirk says

            Agree MM, that’s also why I like him and read everything I come across about him. Peterson and Nietzsche, both, aren’t truly conservatives of course, neither true liberals (not very tolerant) but both had something to say that puts you (like we say) on another leg, which is always redemptive.

  18. Farris says

    The entire postmodern movement, which has come to infest Universities, is dedicated to making the facts fit the agenda. This polluted thinking is migrating from the Humanities into Science. In the U.S. the JAMA just retracted 6 articles on nutrition. These articles were part of the basis for Michelle Obama’s school lunch program. This is not critical thinking, it is a propaganda machine. As with all propaganda a counter point of view can not be tolerated. Odd thinking from a group that claims there is no truth only perspective.

  19. Caligula says

    “What is more, a perusal of the University of Sydney’s history faculty staff profiles reveals that 20 of the 32 staff have variously identified gender and sexuality, racial thought, women’s history and power as their current historical fixations.”

    Race-class-gender has become the backbone of academic mediocrity. If you’re not really all that bright and just can’t come up with much that’s original yet still lust after the brass ring of academic tenure, you’d normally have little chance to win it.

    UNLESS your “originality” consists of “queering” some obscure historical figure (or something similar). The evidence to support your thesis may be weak to nonexistent, but, if you choose your target carefully no one will ever be able to say your wrong: just find a someone, somewhere, in some time for which primary sources are scarce or of poor quality, and who could ever refute you?

    Much of the public (or at least that part of it that still reads) seems to retain a keen interest in history. Which they satisfy with (what else) popular histories (which have their own limitations). But when so many academic historians seem to have little to offer beyond trendy politics, what else is there?

    (As for Western Civ, it seems much like democracy: it stinks, but, sometimes, just not quite so badly as many actually-available alternatives.)

  20. Apollo says

    C’mon Quillette, reposting the IPA?! “We’re not tribal, no, not us.” This piece is heavy on conjecture, imputation and anecdote and light on facts. It’s a salvo in the culture war, not an analysis. The study cited was commissioned by the IPA, not exactly a reputable think tank, and has barely a page on methodology. This method involves the IPA deciding what it thinks is a course on identity politics. No bias here folks! Buried on page 25 is the point that only 55 courses had identity in the title or blurb, which amounts to 7% of courses. Hardly a disaster. Race, gender and sexuality are important themes of history – good luck getting a full appreciation of America’s founding and enlightenment values without touching on the racial aspects of slavery and abolition. And these themes were arguably understudied in the past. That makes them appropriate topics for a flurry of research at the present time. Students need to be prepared through their undergraduate courses to engage with present trends in the field. Where’s the problem? I quite enjoyed my course on the history of sexuality, which was hardly a course in identity politics (not a whiff of Marx or pomo – it was all primary sources) despite being taught by a militant lesbian. But hey, don’t let my anecdotes get in the way of yours, there’s a culture war to win. This piece might be the centre of American politics but it sure as heck isn’t the centre of Australian politics.

    • TarsTarkas says

      I find it ironic and hypocritical that university academics who owe their entire disciplines and careers to Western Civilization are engaged in an all-out war on Western Civilization and the teaching of it. Which for all its many flaws has raised the living standards and lifespans of billions of people past and present, ended slavery virtually everywhere it spread, has striven far beyond any other culture to bring equality to the sexes as well as ‘races’, and generally moved humanity under its sway far from the short, nasty, and brutish hand-to-mouth existence that dominated human existence from the beginning of the species. Few non-Western civilizations and cultures can make such claims, except possibly Han China during the high points of its great empires. In addition as mentioned above post-modernism owes its entire existence to Western Civilization. They are biting the hand that has fed them, and drawing blood, and then complaining because the victim is protesting.

    • D.B. Cooper says

      @Apollo

      This piece is heavy on conjecture, imputation and anecdote and light on facts.

      It’s difficult to describe this sentiment as wrong, but whether your claims – of conjecture, imputation, anecdote and light on facts – are objectively true, is another matter. To your point, I wouldn’t necessarily characterize Dr. d’Abrera’s as a disinterested party, nor would I defend her assessment of Australian universities (history departments, to be precise) as skillfully prudent; but, as to whether her claims are objectively wrong is… well… another matter.

      Putting aside, for a moment, the validity of the IPA study, the central endorsement of d’Abrera claim; while undoubtedly arrogated by latent value judgements (assessments based on her own code of values/ethics), is fundamentally advancing a proposition whose truth-value is bound by or contingent on empirical observation – the employment of empirical methods.

      Which is to say, d’Abrera’s assertion that, “Since the 1970’s, historians have embraced Marx’s template and applied it to their own particular historical fields, re-writing the past from the point of view of class, gender, and race. These new histories have gradually replaced the traditional canon of historical subjects which once upon a time formed the basis of an undergraduate degree in history in Australia,” is predicated on the disputed IPA data; which found that 244 of the 746 history subjects taught in Australian universities were devoted entirely to class, gender, and race. This is an empirical question.

      d’Abrera is making a mildly strong inductive argument, here. That is, she is reasoning from the specific (IPA data) to the general (historians re-writing the past from an ‘identity’ point of view). Now, you or I – or anyone else – may not believe the strength of the evidence (data) warrants her conclusions; which is perfectly reasonable, b/c maybe from our point of view (e.g., I quite enjoyed my course on the history of sexuality) the premises don’t provide for the conclusion; or maybe you do believe the premises provide for the conclusion, but it gives no impetus to change the curriculum (e.g., appropriate topics for a flurry of research at the present time).

      The point I’m driving at is that this isn’t a specious argument as you seem to imply. d’Abrera isn’t advancing an illusory correlation (as far as I can tell). I think there’s good faith reasons to disagree with her conclusions, but I also think you’ve misjudged the piece. With respect to her claim(s), I fail to see how her it is heavy on conjecture (conclusion based on incomplete information) or anecdotal (unreliable b/c based on personal accounts rather than facts), assuming we grant the validity of the data from a principle of charity unless and until supplemental evidence supports a hypothesis differing in one or another respects from d’Abrera’s, and which provides greater explanatory power (correspondence to reality).

      The study cited was commissioned by the IPA, not exactly a reputable think tank, and has barely a page on methodology. This method involves the IPA deciding what it thinks is a course on identity politics. No bias here folks!

      I know virtually nothing about the IPA (never heard of it prior to this article), but your statement that it’s not exactly a reputable think tank begs the question – What is, or what makes a think tank reputable? Surely, it’s not the length of its… methodology? IPA states the methodology of its research report was “derived from the research of the Australian Historical Association (AHA).” For all I know David Duke could be on the board of the AHA, so maybe it’s just as parochial as the IPA. So, unless the IPA is outright lying about using a similar methodology as the AHA (and maybe they are), your claim that the IPA merely decides what is or isn’t a course on identity politics appears spurious at best.

      Saying that the IPA is bias, is to explicate the obvious. Tell me, do you know of a person or entity that is without a first-order bias (or second, third, & fourth)? Value neutral organizations, like people, do not exist.

      Buried on page 25 is the point that only 55 courses had identity in the title or blurb, which amounts to 7% of courses. Hardly a disaster.

      Granted, but buried on page 3 is the point that 244 of the 746 history subjects focus on ‘Identity Politics’, which amounts to 32.7%. The top three most common themes were: (1) Indigenous issues, (2) Race, and (3) Gender. Surely, this wasn’t a mere inadvertence on your part, it’s page 3.

      For what’s it’s worth, Australian universities had, the IPA report, the following number of themes for each subject (list non-exhaustive):

      Indigenous issues – 99
      Race – 80
      Gender – 69
      Film – 41
      Sexuality – 34
      Islam – 39
      Christianity – 34
      Democracy – 21
      Enlightenment – 20
      Capitalism – 8
      Liberalism – 7

      Whatever ideological differences exist between us, it is my sincerest hope that we can at least have the good sense to put them aside long enough to agree that within the canon of Western Civilization, the historical significance of “Film” was somewhat less pronounced than other subjects like Christianity, Democracy, the Enlightenment, Capitalism, and Liberalism. That’s right, pack it in because nothing this ominous (FILM > DEMOCRACY) should be happening in Western institutions of higher learning. I’m willing to entertain good faith arguments for why the erudition of “Gender” scholarship in Western Civ. takes precedence over subjects such as the Enlightenment, but the moral profanity of FILM > DEMOCRACY is a remarkable failure of academic responsibility. The intelligentsia has acquitted itself of the task of telling the truth and it now appears to be conducting a jaunt through the absurd, one tilting windmill at a time.

      Although it’s on the periphery of the indefensible, outside of the Ottoman Empire’s 500+ year slave trade of Europeans, I’m still having difficulty understanding why history departments in Australian universities seem to believe Islam warrants more attention than Christianity in the historical canon of Western Civ. The level of cognitive dissonance must be suffocating, but then again, no one ever went broke underestimating the stupidity of the intelligentsia.

  21. Robert Darby says

    The mistake the Ramsay Foundation made was in the packaging or marketing of their offer. What they should have done was call it “Lost Civilizations”. The content would have been just the same: Ancient Sumeria, Egypt, Greece and Rome; Christianity and Mediaeval Europe; the Renaissance; the Reformation; the Scientific Revolution; the Enlightenment; the counter-Enlightenment and the Romantic movement; the revolution in medical treatment; the rise and fall of the European empires. As the reaction to the proposal from the universities shows, all these civilisations are now as despised and unwanted as those of the Incas or the Tang Dynasty.

    • This packaging has been done earlier, in books such as Rise and Fall of Roman Empire, and Untergang des Abendlandes and others. I wonder whether such miso-own-culture feelings and trends are typical western, but strongly think so. No Chinese, Japanese, Arab, Mexican or even Russian (read Dugin) is happily and proudly explaining how bad and misguided their culture and system is. Is it a sign of superior civilisation maybe??

    • @ Robert Darby

      “The mistake the Ramsay Foundation made was in the packaging or marketing of their offer. ”

      Yes. But the change needed isn’t what to call the course, what you suggest is misleading. Rather adopt modern terminology in pushing the course [throw in words like inclusion/diversity and whatnot]. Keep it politically neutral and advertise it as such. Why shouldn’t the course be open to whosoever wishes to study it?

  22. Nathan says

    I agree in a general way about the ignorance and politicization regnant in contemporary universities. The idea that Plato and Augustine, for example, were “white” makes absolutely no sense to me. And the hostility to studying the history of philosophy as a tradition, or democratic theory, is not only foolish but self-destructive in a mind-boggling way.

    However, I am not at all confident in the characterization of the tradition given here. Hegel did not deny individual agency. The opening of the Philosophy of Right gives a good account of its necessity in political theory. It is subsumed and fulfilled by and dependent on the larger structures of society and history–ethics and civil society and the state–but that is hardly a denial.

    And Marx did not simply make a template for identity politics. He specified something altogether in conflict with it: a universal class at the lowest stratum of production, people who work simply to survive and whose needs are this universal human needs and who have a special claim on our societies.

    And someone like Jacques Derrida is a master of this tradition and in most ways a continuer and furtherer of it. He does not ignorantly deny it. He studies it and locates its interesting shifting points. The actual Western tradition is broad and full of controversy and self-criticism.

    The universities are self-destructing in racialization and in gender ideology. They are willfully suppressing some important forms of knowledge and some actual scientific achievements. They are turning college into propaganda camp. (See John Tierney’s City Journal article on 1st year programs.)

    But we will need serious criticism and serious education and study and broad sympathies to get through this. And some new institutional imagination and struggle. And courage.

    • Your’re right! She obviously has not the faintest idea of Hegel’s thoughts:
      This is so incredibly wrong, that it hurts, as far as Hegel is concerned:

      “Both Hegel and Marx essentially denied the role of individual human agency, treating the past as the product of inexorable forces and trends which were primarily of a material and economic nature. “Society” wrote Marx, “does not consist of individuals, but expresses the sum of interrelations, the relations within which these individuals stand.’’

      Marx has an anti-individualistic and anti-human string in his thoughts. He’s right in saying that there was a class-struggle, he is wrong when concluding, that the only solution therefor is class-war.

      Marx did not forsee the rising of the modern state and the importance of politics and the law: Major failures.

      Hegel made none of these mistakes, though. It looks as if Bella D’Abrera could benefit quite a bit by the kind of studies she so rightfully favors…

      (Oh me oh my – love this country pie!/ Sancta simplicitas…!)

  23. John Spray says

    Ahem.. big fan of Twain, Vonnegut and Grass, So sue me squishy folk!

  24. Quillette fan says

    This article seems rather tendentious. Here are three critiques, out of the many that could be launched. First, as one other person has noted, Marx did not supply the template for identity politics. Contemporary identity politics instead arose as new form of leftist organizing to replace the Old Left pillar of class affiliation, and in response to shifting demographics in advanced capitalist societies. Moreover, although vulgar Marxism does politicize all forms of knowledge (including science), there are more sophisticated thinkers to consider. The author should integrate Thomas Kuhn or Bruno Latour into his critique; these authors show how hard scientific facts are nevertheless (and necessarily) framed by historically and culturally specific metaphors. Thirdly, the roots of today’s invocation of social justice lie in the Prophetic tradition of the ancient Hebrew Scriptures and subsequent developments in Christianity. I would hope that a robust program in Western intellectual traditions prepares students to debate such fascinating issues.

  25. What a load of drivel. I respect Quillette’s unyielding motivation to publish voices from across the spectrum, but such a method needs quality control to be effective. I find it incredulous that someone with a doctorate from Cambridge could spout such ahistorical and non-philosophical nonsense as d’Abrera does in this ‘essay’. If Quillette is publishing IPA propaganda verbatim they might as well take the ‘help human societies flourish and progress’ line out of their About section.

  26. codadmin says

    Who are the people who hate and critique the West exactly? Who were the post modernists? Who is it that leads the modern ‘fascist left’?

    When the intellectual circus of smoke and mirrors ends, what you are left with is something very plain – hate.

    The left is simply an expression of the deep hatred and racism of minorities. That’s not to say all minorities within minorities, but minorities none the less.

    As well as a naked hatred, what also drives this critique of western civilisation is a will to power. The left is an ideology of conquest. This is why it’s allied with Islam.

    The west is like a castle, and its walls have been breached. The enemy is in the gates and now it wants to pull down the draw bridge. This is something that has happened tens of thousands of times throughout history.

    Castles walls are built, castle walls are destroyed by invaders.

    The suppression of the study of western civilisation is simple a part of this conquest.

    • augustine says

      Points taken, but you’ve left out the main driver of the modern liberal project: liberal whites in their never-ending quest for the new revolution. Others have merely hitched their wagons.

    • @ codadmin

      “The left is an ideology of conquest. This is why it’s allied with Islam. ”

      The left isn’t allied with Islam.

      “The left is simply an expression of the deep hatred and racism of minorities.”

      No it is not.

      • Freidrich Goatse says

        “Allied with Islam” isn’t a full picture. “Allied with racial outsiders to western civilization, which they rightly see as a European/white thing, because that’s what it is” would be more correct. Islam just happens to be the worst and most destructive element undemocratically forced into territories of the people the “left” is attacking on a physically existential level.

        • @ Freidrich Goatse

          Tit for tat then isn’t it. A whole host foreigners into Europe initially came from the places Europeans colonised. And all that, of course, was a very democratic process. And then a trial came back. That is before the flood gates were truly thrown open. It is far too late to complain now.

          In Britain for example we had a law that allowed people of ex-colonies to come over. Before it was realized what that meant and was scrapped. But of course why bother mentioning such inconveniences… what good are they now?

          • Freidrich Goatse says

            Do we get to use violence to defend ourselves and repel them then too? Also, the numbers are way out of whack. We never made up a QUARTER or more of their countries populations. In India for example, they were what, fifty THOUSAND British soldiers and administrators? Now there are at least a couple MILLION of them in Britain alone and non-European ancestry births are now making up probably a third in the country.

            How many genuine English, German, Swedish etc. people are even going to exist in the future, at this rate?

          • @ Freidrich Goatse

            In the future – there won’t be white, black & brown. Not when genetic manipulation – the designer babies – start coming. It wouldn’t matter.

            “Do we get to use violence to defend ourselves and repel them then too?”

            Nope. Well… not for another 200 years.

            “We never made up a QUARTER or more of their countries populations.”

            Stone… Brick…

  27. And I still remeber how it all started in the universities. We had a lecture of a certain anthropologist with some amazing ideas (I always went to such extra curriculum classes, and had a high opinion of antrhopology,the science of men themselves, so much more relevant than those silly classes on technical and biological issues that was mainstay). No, she said, the western world is not something unique and superior, a lot of things we just had copied from the 3rd world nations now, such as the towel from the Turks, the paper and nudels from the Chinese, the potatoes from the Incas. We were flabbergasted, because we thought that the West was highest and unique in all fields, we the civilised ones, the others that had to be civilised, as simply as that, but there were some crevisses, thus!

      • We have the saying , Nomad,that you are always as young as you feel yourself. So, you are not necessarily of the same age(group) each day and at each event or emotional stage. This afternoon, I felt a young man again, as I made a compliment on the new hairdress of a waitress. -Nice, how you made your hair up that way, looks good!!- She smiled, of course!

        • dirk says

          But now, after Aznavour’s death, I see that his experience runs counter to mine, where he laments over the passing of time:

          – Hier encore, jávais 20 ans, mais j’ ai perdu le temps..a faire des folies

          – je gaspillais le temps en croyant l’ arreter

          – sans compter sur mes jours….qui fuyaient dans le temps…..

          So, not at all matching my remarks above, en contre!

  28. A Hongkie patron of Quillette says

    It always amuses me how people who love multiculturalism so much often, perhaps as part of a multiculti dog whistle, act as if culture and race/skin colour are interchangeable, thinking that in order for a society consisting of people of different skin colours to live harmoniously it must somehow follow the precepts of multiculturalism – giving foreign minority cultures the same status as the established dominant culture of the host country and maintaining different foreign cultural communities at the expense of assimilation.

    Those who dare suggest such an outlandishly stupid idea should realise that we non-Whites (whatever that means) are more than capable of adopting, and learning from the heritage of Western civilization, be it that Classical Graeco-Roman period, or enlightenment period, and we don’t need you lot to grace us with your laughable “cultural sensitivity” or whatever manner of catering you deem us of needing.

  29. Critical, gender and ethnic studies are generally a waste of time and money. The equal right to dignity and freedom, the foundational ideas emerging from the Enlightenment, remain the best concepts to guide the growth of our civilization. Sure, people get it wrong sometimes but that doesn’t mean the ideas themselves are bad.

    Until someone provides better ideas, these basic concepts will be the foundational bedrock of those societies which can give life a satisfactory meaning.

    • dirk says

      “Equal rights to dignity”: the utopia of Fukuyama, Kojede, Pinker, Peter Berger and so many other sophisticated Westerners and universalists/post enlightenment freaks. Yes, it,s dignity time! If not in reality, at least in our imagination!

  30. François St-Onge says

    If the Australian universities are not interested in the money, please do yourself and us a favor and fund Jordan Peterson’s online university. He will know how to properly promote / protect Western Civilization & values, and a greater number of students from around the world will be able to benefit from a proper education. Maybe the public institutions are beyond salvage and only a private non profit organization is the solution.

  31. Sydney says

    Thanks for an important piece. I’m in Canada, and in Canada this all begins in the public schools. Children are fed propaganda every day from K-12 by left-wing union teachers who themselves have been fed it in their university educations (and continue to receive it regularly from their teachers’ unions), and are then handed curricula formulated from hard-left-wing policy wonks saturated in it.

    It’s a virus that continues infecting and infecting. Parents who are aware can try and deprogram and inoculate kids to some degree, but each new school year brings new viruses in the form of new teachers; and most parents don’t really know what the teachers are teaching. My kids’ textbooks make me ill. It’s sick and insidious, and it’s eating our nations and cultures from within.

  32. Do not go gentle into that good night,
    Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

    Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
    Because their words had forked no lightning they
    Do not go gentle into that good night.

    Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
    Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

    Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
    And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
    Do not go gentle into that good night.

    Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
    Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

    And you, my father, there on the sad height,
    Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
    Do not go gentle into that good night.
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

  33. The Bass brothers did this with Yale U. They donated around $400 million, if I recall, to establish a Western Civ program. After a few years of trying to get Yale to do what the grant required, they withdrew the money.

    • This is the largest challenge facing us. The universities are controlled by people and bureaucracies unfriendly to this kind of education. We need a new institutional imagination aligned with prospective means of handing down and being actively receptive to tradition. New certifications, new ways confirming knowledge and competence. Digital technology combined with other new means and methods. We need to do this soon because classics and medieval studies and language studies in general are declining–as well as the history of philosophy and the tradition of political theory and of democratic theory. All humanistic fields are being reduced to race/gender/sexuality issues, and this is spreading to other fields. There will be fewer and fewer trained scholars and teachers available to take this risk on new institutional forms.

  34. david of Kirkland says

    And then wonder why so many who hold deal western values of liberty, equal protection under the law, scientific rationalism, and free trade capitalism are now considered to be racists/xenophobes because they reject communist notions that seek its downfall. You’d think they see western civ is now the one under attack, the one being oppressed by intellectual romantic nonsense.

  35. ccscientist says

    “Insofar as science is concerned, they claim that scientific theories don’t really provide us with what we could call knowledge but are actually “invented” rather than discovered.” As a scientist I conclude that only people profoundly ignorant of science could say such things because everything they do and all the comforts they have are the results of science and technology. GPS is not simply willed into existence but rather depends on a deep understanding of geometry, electromagnetism, computing and other fields. It is not a matter of opinion or class struggle that we can do heart surgery. Just stupid.

    Perhaps the worst part of all the ideology of the Left in regards to history is that there are many lessons of history that they will not learn about because they are focused on absurd things. For example, as Rome began to falter, the emperor tried to fix prices and ended up creating the feudal system (you were a serf tied to the land forever) because he had the same kind of control mentality as Maduro and Chavez. In their focus on “struggle”, Leftists never study what happens as a result of the struggle–the Terror in France, 100 million killed in communist countries. These are off limits because only certain aspects of history may be explored. Lies are created like that Lady Lovelace wrote the first programming language when in reality her single article about computing was ghost written by Babbage or that ancient Egypt was actually a black society (in spite of all the images on monuments and that Cleopatra was Greek).

    • Farris says

      Exactly! Why would anyone ignore an entire body of knowledge from anywhere? Because you don’t like the race or creed of the originators? Where would Western Civilization be if it had ignored the medieval Muslim scientists and mathematics?

    • That’s what Tolstoy once said, ccscientist, science is absolutely useless when it comes to teaching us how to live. But that’s also what science itself admits, that it’s valueless; values come later, and by others, as soon as some invention or new rule is made or expressed.
      However, I came to know about Berger from a certain Richard in -Purity or Universalism-, this sociologist Peter Berger was a firm believer in valuefree analysis(where convictions,emotions and prejudices should not interfere)even in sociology. That was half a century ago, however, nobody can believe that anymore, now, I fear!

  36. Michiel says

    You guys should get in touch with Jordan Peterson. He’s busy setting up an independent (online?) version of a humanities education without all the social justice nonsense. It sounds like you could benefit from working together. The universities are lost. The radicals took over and nobody did anything until it was too late. Now we’re stuck with social justice ideology for at least a generation as these idiots take over not just universities, but school boards, HR departments and government institutions (not to mention media and entertainment).

  37. Funt Claps says

    “In America, conservatives are outnumbered nearly twenty to one in academia”

    It’s because conservatives are on average, stupider. We have studies showing that. There’s no need for affirmative action in order to “play fair”. “Liberals” are the natural elite class of the West, like they have always been under various names and you will have to deal with it.

    Anyway, we clearly see the agenda in the comments – since the liberals have taken over all intellectually-demanding fields via their merit, we must use underhanded tacticts to get a foot in the door. This site has become a right-wing circlejerk but thankfully there exists that IQ disparity.

    • Kevin Herman says

      Haha what a load of nonsense Funt. Somebody is upset they are hearing arguments and opinions they disagree with again! I’ll play your dumb game for a minute to show you how stupid you really are.

      How do explain Republicans generally winning the college educated vote in presidential elections although they lost it with Trump? How do you explain Republicans being the party of the rich at least according to progressives? At least that’s what you super intelligent liberals always say. You dummy rich people. A large cohort of the dumbest voters by IQ in the United States almost slavishly vote Democrat in the US so how could liberals have higher iqs on average? Those studies are an affront to the scientific method. I guess you accept those studies that say conservative men in general are more masculine? What’s sad is you don’t understand how stoopid you sound and I intentionally spelled stupid wrong.

      • Kevin Herman says

        And I want to be clear I am not seriously arguing anything seriously just point out to act like being left of center or right of center has anything real to do with intelligence is ludicrous. Who cares what academia is ideologically I never wanted to be an academic. I finished 30th in a class of 660 in high school and had almost a 4.0 gpa in college. I wanted to go into business and I did. How dare some idiot come here and call other people stupid and sound like literally one of the stupidest people to every try to come here and argue with others.

        • Funt Claps says

          ” A large cohort of the dumbest voters by IQ in the United States almost slavishly vote Democrat in the US so how could liberals have higher iqs on average?”

          I agree Kevin though you don’t need to put it so rudely, it is pretty clear you were overall having a very emotional reaction after being reminded of the facts on the ground. African-Americans indeed have lower IQ compared to White-Americans and that’s why you can get in your comment to argue that liberals have lower IQs compared to conservatives. But when you control for race, White liberals have higher IQ compared to White conservatives. Similarly, the smartest demographic in the world, American Jews are also solidly liberal by a huge margin.

          Even within the African-American community, actual liberals (not just “Democrat voters” – a lot of actual African-American conservatives vote Democrat because White conservatives are tribal i.e. racist, a personality characteristic that negatively correlates with IQ) are probably the same but I haven’t come across studies on that.

          But yes, life is cruel which is why the liberal vision is for caring for everyone, even dumb conservatives. I still don’t think there should be affirmative action for our dumb cousins, the right-wing/conservatives in academia. however, that would be highly unethical. We should just treat our conservative underclass better.

          Also yes, I accept that conservative men are more masculine since that is what studies show. That’s why they are less empathetic, more selfish, more violent etc. on average.

          • @Cunt flaps: yes, I can believe, conservatives more masculine (with the conserative president’s eloquent pussy grabbings as proof), and also immediately believe that academians and liberals have higher IQ, whereas they themselves made up these tests in university settings. But what does that say about society , economics and classes?

          • Flunt Caps,

            “…caring for everyone…” gives away your whole ethos. It is a lie. (Modern) liberals desperately want to be seen as caring for everyone but their hyperactive cognitive openness seems to always divert to some hideous ideology. Your rebellious, revolutionary spirit will always be your downfall. Without a collective ideal you feel lost in the crowd. Conservatives are happy to be lost in the crowd, or to be away from the crowd altogether. I happen to think that these are not outlook problems to be overcome but instead they should be appreciated for the inter-dependent functions they serve. There is a struggle nonetheless.

            You miss the mark by omitting any reference to proportionality. Smart liberals may be necessary for a healthy, successful society (isn’t that what you are saying?) but what proportion is required? If the large majority that is the rest of us, middle to right, have to put up with all the treachery that comes with liberal brilliance, maybe a dash is sufficient? You cannot be meat and potatoes and exotic spices all at once.

            Perhaps you believe also the increasingly substantiated view that one particular facet of conservative “personality” is a keener sense of caution or fear. This is contrasted with the tolerance and openness of liberalism. So far, so good. But either strategy is not applicable to all social conditions. Preexisting peace and prosperity are conducive to the open model, while populations that face the elements (isolated communities, farming, open conflict, etc.) rely more on a sense of precaution and personal responsibility. One is oriented toward survival on a daily basis while the other is dependent on others, whether they are “diverse” or homogenous, being open and “caring”. No tribe has the solutions for everyone.

            I’m curious, do you value wisdom or mercy, or anything at all, as much as you do intelligence?

          • Overton Embrasure says

            Our esteemed fellow Funt Claps giving us our daily dose of irony, not realising that the culture of liberal brainwashing at universities (as explained in this very article) accounts for the trend

  38. Mark Williams says

    Always remember that Western Civilization gave us both the Enlightement and the Holocaust. A proper STUDY of the subject by students will show them how this was possible. That is what an education means. My right to this opinion? Emeritus professor from a science faculty.

    • Blaise Pascal was right: man is angel and beast, both of them, thus! Western or Eastern (or somewhere in between), doesn’t matter!

    • Kevin Herman says

      And the Japanese slaughtered millions of Chinese in WW2. Only a simpleton doesn’t know that something can be great but flawed thats human nature.

  39. I suggest they start with a comparative course in various civilizations, including of course western civilization. And no holding back on basic progress rates and other data which point towards greater and lesser civilization by region/group/race. Here in north America, especially Canada, there is ongoing romance with the notion of noble hunter gatherer savages. More recently, there is the most fundamental denial of the history of disease, which is somehow viewed as ‘intentionally genocidal’ when it comes the north American native populations. Ignorance equals post modernism.

    • dirk says

      Uptil about 1950, all textbooks on antrhropology, history, geography dealing on western and non-western cultures and civilisations (in our university, the study choice was always western/ non.western… sociology, law, civil engineering, forestry, soil science etc etc) were structured along Hegelian lines, the Western system, the normal, evolved, at the top, to be copied and assimilated by the less well developed other ones (the steps were: natural (savage) systems, half cultures, western cultures). All of a sudden, this whole stepwise way of seeing the planet and its inhabitants shifted towards the opposite, it looks like. Why not dealing on these things in a way, free from prejudices, revenge, convictions, early judgements?. Impossible, it looks like. It always has to be ………thesis, antithesis, Marx was right. We are waiting on the synthesis though, but , probably, I won’t live long enough to see it happen.

  40. robohobo2014 says

    The stop using the fruits of Western Civ:

    Electricity
    Air conditioning
    Running water
    Modern medicine
    Cell phones
    Computers
    Modern farming methods
    Etc.

    Get back to me in 50 years, if you are still alive.

  41. Isaías says

    Quite dismal, to say the very least, this state of affairs. However, what is really infuriating is the fact that this is happening in publicly subsidized universities. If we were talking about private organizations, it would be dismal all the same, but at least you could say, ‘well, it’s your money, if you want to waste your time and your parents’ money, and they let you do it, fine, go ahead.’ But it’s not private money that is being squandered this way, it is taxpayers’ money, and university presidents and university social councils should be held accountable for teaching students all that po-mo and Marxist alter-world crap. Enough is enough.

  42. Bubblecar says

    “the absurd notion that anyone who wants to talk about or study Western Civilisation must be a white supremacist”

    I’d be more concerned that “Western Civilisation” as far as Ramsay is concerned is more the “Eastern Civilisation” of aggressive Christianity and its domination of Western thought for various dark centuries.

    I find it hard to believe that this project can attract the enthusiasm of so many conservative Christian politicians if its focus is really on the “Scientific Revolution” and ”the Enlightenment”.

  43. Pingback: Hey, Hey, Ho, Ho, Western Civ Has Got to Go — Torches and Pitchforks

  44. Trajan Fanzine says

    Reading this I am reminded of that old saw;“They had learned nothing and forgotten nothing.”

  45. Pingback: Universitas Delenda Est – Splendid Isolation

  46. Pingback: News of the Week (October 7th, 2018) | The Political Hat

Comments are closed.