Western Civilisation: A Jolly Good Idea By Richard Miller (London)
Here is a conservative article, which warms our heart, but to which there is a deeper critique. First, here is Professor Andrew Roberts defence of the West:
“We all know the joke that Mahatma Gandhi supposedly made when he was asked what he thought about Western civilisation: “I think it might be a good idea.” The gag is apocryphal, in fact, first appearing two decades after his death, but very many people have taken it literally, arguing that there really is no such thing as Western civilisation, from ideologues such as Noam Chomsky to the activists of the Rhodes Must Fall movement at Oxford University who have succeeded in pulling down the statue of the benefactor of the Rhodes scholarships from Oriel College. This belief that Western civilisation is, at heart, uniquely morally defective has recently been exemplified by The New York Times’ inane and wildly historically inaccurate 1619 Project, which essentially attempts to present the entirety of American history from Plymouth Rock to today solely through the prism of race and slavery. “America Wasn’t a Democracy Until Black Americans Made it One”, was the headline of one essay in The New York Times Magazine launching the Project, alongside, “American Capitalism is Brutal: You Can Trace That to the Plantation” and “How Segregation Caused Your Traffic Jam”. When no fewer than 12 – in the circumstances very brave – American Civil War historians sent a letter itemising all the myriad factual errors in the Project’s founding document, The New York Times refused to print it, yet the Project plans to create and distribute school curriculums that will “re-centre” America’s memory. None of this would amount to much if only schools and colleges in Britain, America, Australia and across the English-speaking peoples were not so keen to apologise for and deny Western civilisation, and to abolish or dumb down the teaching of important aspects of it.
The classics faculty at Oxford University, to take one example of many, has recently recommended that Homer’s Iliad and Virgil’s Aeneid be removed from the syllabus in ancient literature, history and philosophy, giving as its reason the difference in recent exam results between male and female undergraduates, and the difference in expertise in Latin and Greek between privately and publicly educated students. One of the supposed guardians of the discipline is therefore willing to put social experimentation before the best possible teaching of the humanities, a disgraceful position to have been adopted by Britain’s second-best university. Yet, instead of apologising for Western civilisation, we should still believe in it and be proud of it. For all that we must of course take proper cognisance of other cultures, in terms of both its sheer quality and quantity the legacy of Western culture is unsurpassed in human history. We are deliberately underplaying the greatest contributions made to poetry, architecture, philosophy, music and art by ignoring that fact, often simply in order to try to feel less guilty about imperialism, colonialism and slavery, even though the last was a moral crime committed by only a minority of some few people’s great-great-great grandparents. As a result, future generations cannot be certain that they will be taught about the overwhelmingly positive aspects of Western civilisation. They might not now be shown the crucial interconnection between, for example, the chapel by Giotto at Padua, which articulates the complex scholasticism of St Augustine in paint; Machiavelli’s The Prince, the first work of modern political theory; Botticelli’s Primavera, the quintessence of Renaissance humanism in a single painting; the works of Teresa of Avila and Descartes, which wrestle with the proof of discrete individual identity; Beethoven’s symphonies, arguably the most complex and profound orchestral works ever written, and Shakespeare, whose plays Harold Bloom has pointed out “remain the outward limit of human achievement: aesthetically, cognitively, in certain ways morally, even spiritually”. Even if they are taught about these things individually, they will not be connected in a context that makes it clear how important they are to Western civilisation.”
That sounds very good, but with deeper thought, we find that there are problems pointed out by racially aware Professor Ricardo Duchesne, since Roberts is a universalist, who sees the West open to all, and will allegedly survive the passing of its White founders:
“Andrew Roberts says that “what the old Western civ university courses really did was to root a people in their past and their values.” But which “people”? Roberts is afraid to say that the West was created by Europeans, and that ancient Greece, Rome, the rise of modern science, and the Enlightenment have nothing to do with nonwhites. This is not their history. He thinks that so long as we cherish the current diversity of the West, and define it as a “democratic culture” that believes in the equal rights of all foreigners to be its citizens, it follows that the history of this civilization includes “humanity” and should be celebrated by humanity. He can’t allow the thought to enter his head, for fear that he will be called a racist and anti-Western, that no matter how we think about the West, there is no way around the reality that this civilization and the United States were created by Whites. He thinks that as long as we find a few conservative nonwhites, a Thomas Sowell or a V. S. Naipaul, who cherish the way that “Western values of tolerance, individualism, equality, and personal liberty” gave “birth” to a “universal civilization” for “humanity,” we can have solid hope that millions and millions of immigrants, and millions of American blacks, will eventually come to love a civilization created by Whites. He can’t admit that Sowell and Naipaul only love the West insofar as this civilization is open to diversity. He can’t face up to the reality that a people that self-deny their history by interpreting it as the “product of humanity” will never be respected but will be laughed at and requested to hand over their history to other races. Andrew Roberts and conservatives can beg all they want for Western civ courses, but these courses, and any learning that portrays whites in a positive light, will never be allowed in the race-mixed West that Roberts endorses. Non-whites will respect whites who affirm the West as “their civilization,” not as the civilization of “humanity.” Love for the West and the promotion of diversity are totally incompatible goals.”
Central to conservatism of today is a denial of the reality of race, that races build civilisations, not civilisations races. And, the faith of the liberal too, is that Whites built modernity only by a historical accident, a position held by Jared Diamond, not by any Promethean Faustian qualities, which must be denied, as all races are conveniently equal.
The endgame of this is the Great Replacement, and the “blackening of Europe and the West,” a deliberate agenda, described by Claire Roberts in The Blackening of Europe, Volume 1: Ideologies and International Developments (Arktos, London, 2020).
As Ellis says:
“Indigenous Europeans and their political and cultural institutions and identities are undergoing processes of erasure — stigmatisation, marginalisation, deprivation, and replacement — by mandated immigrationism, multiculturalism, and other methods of forced diversification, while resistance to their political and cultural marginalisation and demographic dispossession is criminalised…. Identity for Europeans is [today] about legal proceedings, universal abstractions, and individual interests rather than substantial and meaningful bonds that are in the interests of a community of people united by ancestral, cultural, and other ties. … The majority population lose their particular ethnocultural identity in their accommodation of all other ethnocultural identities in a pluralistic and ethnically diverse constitutional liberal democracy. European majorities do not even become a minority amongst other minorities with the right to self-determination, for what determines their identity is solely in terms of rational universal rights and legal procedures; they have a post-national identity only. … It is clear that many cosmopolitanists perceive all European-based countries of the world and, by extension, all European peoples, to be guilty of something or other: Nazism, colonialism, slavery, Eurocentrism or Westerncentrism, global capitalism, being White etc. It is through this narrative that the radical transformation of European societies and European peoples to align with the dictates of some form of cosmopolitanism is justified.”
There is thus a much more complex picture involved in the existential threat to the West, as the standard conservative works, as quoted above by Professor Andrew Roberts, indicates. We need to wake up before our kind is dead, eliminated much more certainly than from the fall off Rome. And, the liberal critics may find out the hard way, who builds and maintains civilisations.