Walter E. Williams July 03, 2019 Western civilization was founded on a set of philosophies that focuses strongly on the sanctity of individuals and their power of logic and reason. This belief led to a desire to trust things that could be proven to be true or legitimate, from government to science. Judeo-Christian morality has…Read More
WSJ January 26, 2019 HISTORICALLY SPEAKING The 100th anniversary of Prohibition is a reminder of how hard it is to regulate consumption and display By Amanda Foreman | 552 words This month we mark the centennial of the ratification of the Constitution’s 18th Amendment, better known as Prohibition. But the temperance movement was active for…Read More
Walter E. Williams July 03, 2019
Western civilization was founded on a set of philosophies that focuses strongly on the sanctity of individuals and their power of logic and reason. This belief led to a desire to trust things that could be proven to be true or legitimate, from government to science. Judeo-Christian morality has formed the basis of most Western notions of ethics and behavioral standards. Thus, the attack on Western civilization must begin with the attack on the church and Christian values, and, just as important, the family unit. The reason why the church, Christian values, and family are targets of the left is they want people’s loyalty and allegiance to be to the state. The church, Christianity, and the family stand in the way. Let’s look at some of the left’s agenda.
Joe Biden, criticizing sexual assault, said, “This is English jurisprudential culture, a white man’s culture,” adding, “It’s got to change.” The Western world’s culture isn’t perfect but women fare better under it than any other culture. Just ask yourself: If you’re a feminist, in which countries would you like to live? Would it be Saudi Arabia and other Middle Eastern countries, China or countries on the African continent, north or south of the Sahara? In those countries, women encounter all kinds of restrictions on liberty. Plus, in at least 30 countries on the African continent, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia, female genital mutilation is practiced. You might ask Joe Biden what part of the “white man’s culture” needs to be changed.
The greatest efforts to downplay the achievements of Western civilization start at our colleges and universities. An American Council of Trustees and Alumni 2016 study reported that “the overwhelming majority of America’s most prestigious institutions do not require even the students who major in history to take a single course on United States history or government.” Because of this ignorance, our young people fall easy prey to charlatans, quacks, and liars who wish to downgrade our founders and the American achievement.
In 2012, 2014, and 2015, an ACTA-commissioned survey found that less than 20 percent of college graduates could accurately identify the effect of the Emancipation Proclamation. Less than half could identify George Washington as the American general at Yorktown. One-third of college graduates were unaware that FDR introduced the New Deal. Over one-third of the college graduates surveyed could not place the American Civil War in its correct 20-year time frame. Nearly half of the college graduates could not identify correctly the term lengths of U.S. senators and representatives.
The left in our country often suggests that people who stand up for Western civilization are supporting a racial hierarchy. The fact is that the history of the world is one of arbitrary tyrannical abuse and control. Poverty has been the standard fare for a vast majority of mankind. America became the exception to what life was like. That exceptionalism inspired imitators, and our vision of freedom and liberty spread to what has become known as the Western world.
Many do not appreciate the fact that freedom and competition in both the marketplace and idea arena unleashed a level of entrepreneurism, risk-taking, and creativity heretofore unknown to mankind. Look at the marketplace of ideas. The Nobel Prize has been awarded to 860 people since its inception in 1901. The prizewinner distribution: Americans (375), United Kingdom (131) Germany (108), France (69) and Sweden (32); that’s 83% of Nobel Prizes won. The large majority of other Nobel winners are mostly westerners. I might add that Japan has 27 Nobel Prize winners, but their first winner was awarded in 1949, after WWII led Japan to become more westernized.
There’s a reason why the West leads the world in terms of scientific innovation, wealth, and military might and it has little to do with genetics. Instead, it’s the environment of freedom, both in the market for goods and in the idea marketplace. Rigorous competition brings out the best in mankind. Leftists and would-be tyrants find Western values offensive.
Walter E. Williams’s Latest Book American Contempt for Liberty is available on Amazon