Defense of the ideals of The Enlightenment and Western Civilization is not simply an academic exercise. The USA is a republic of ideas. We are not bound by race, ethnicity, religious sect, and for a large part geography. As outlined in our Constitution, we have a structure to be bound by ideas and principals.
These must always be the controlling factor in our civil existence, if not, the lower brain functions and worst parts of human nature will come to the front; race, ethnicity, religion, and regionalism. Those four horsemen of disintegration and bloodshed are what rise when multi-culturalism gains. Want to see the end result? Just look to the Balkans and Rwanda.
The war against what binds us together is trans-generational. The kids of the Progressive Era used the children of the Greatest Generation, the Baby Boomers, as their foot soldiers. Gen X saw the fruits up close when they were in college in the 80s and 90s. Though advancing in some areas, the Diversity Industry has seen a few setbacks as the Boomers approach their dotage and Gen Y gets a footing - good news for all of us.
In a battle that was thought lost in the 1980s, there may be some fresh action that will work in favor of those of us who strive to preserved our republic of ideas from the agents of disunity who seek nothing more than to break us in to warring factions based on race, creed, color, or national origin.
Seeing this front opening up again should have all of us smile a bit today. Let's head on over to Ashley Thorne at NYPost;
In 1964, 15 of the 50 premier universities in America — including Stanford — required students to take a survey of Western civilization. All 50 offered the course, and nearly all of them (41) offered it as a way to satisfy some requirement.Of course, if forced, some would take a Western Civ course as an opportunity to attack it and ride their hobby horse around - that is OK; smart people will welcome and win that fight if it is in the open and fair. Like courses in critical thinking, understanding Western Civ will make our republic stronger;
But in the 1980s, minority students and faculty at Stanford asserted that requiring students to take the Western civ survey was implicitly racist. Jesse Jackson marched with an army of protesters chanting “Hey hey, ho ho, Western culture’s got to go.”
In 1988, away it went. Stanford then began requiring a course on a non-Western culture. By 2010, none of the 50 top universities required Western civilization, and 34 didn’t even offer the course.
Stanford students want it back. And they don’t simply want to dust off a shelved syllabus.
The Review writers, led by editor-in-chief Harry Elliott, seek a new way to study old ideas. Students want to know the good — the legacies of reason, freedom and innovation. But they also want to know the bad — the skeletons of wars, slavery and the Holocaust.
They also recognize that we seek equal rights and individual choice because we have inherited Western ideas about freedom and human dignity.
Why study Western civilization? As these students argue in their manifesto, by knowing the West we can understand how knowledge has grown over time; how dictatorships rise and fall; how ideas we now presuppose took many years and much struggle to gain traction; and why these ideas matter. Without such knowledge, students will take the heritage of their civilization for granted and be unable, or unwilling, to defend it.
The history of the West lays a foundation on which to build more specialized knowledge of art, literature, science, politics, philosophy and economics.
No matter what field students enter, they are well-served throughout their lives if they know how we got here. They can understand Donald Trump more clearly if they’ve read Machiavelli. They can see why it matters that Bernie Sanders is an intellectual descendent of Karl Marx.
They can recognize old arguments, learn from the mistakes of the past and apply what they’ve learned from this wider universe to our current age.