(I am comfortable using a paraphrased Latin expression for the title of this post, because most of the maggots at whom my ire is aimed are probably illiterate in the Classics and would understand neither the language nor the context of its origin.)
Victor Davis Hanson has written often (and most recently, here) about the death of Western Civilization, but in truth, the death blows are not actually being delivered by the Democrats, but by their philosophical supporters in academia.
Spoiler: Western Civilization is a load of old racist rubbish, and shouldn’t be taught in today’s tertiary education systems.
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.
Here’s my “modern” take on their attitude:
MFCS Commies… the sooner their whole rotten edifice falls over like the statue of Ozymandias, the better. (They’re not going to get that reference either, the bolshie bastards.)
I should also point out that the university system per se was a creation of medieval European society (100% White people) and therefore as the university has its roots in racism, academia should probably be abolished in its entirety — just to be logically consistent. However, logic is also inherently racist, it being an outcome of classical Greek thought, and we all know what racists the Greeks were (“Timeo Danaos et dona ferentes” was the
Turks’ Trojans’ opinion of the Greeks, although the actual expression was coined by a Dead White Man — Vergil — so that should probably be discounted as well).
I could do this all day. But frankly, I’d rather pay a visit to a liberal arts faculty meeting at an Ivy League university. Carrying a flame-thrower. (What the hell: none of them would be armed, right?)
And in the final irony: the flamethrower was also an invention of White Europeans.