Monday, October 05, 2020

Columbus Day 2020

Columbus Day, which this year marks the 528th anniversary of Columbus’s discovery of America, is one week from today.

Some people ask, how can it be said that Columbus discovered a place in which people were already living and who thus knew about its existence before his arrival, and whose ancestors knew about its existence for millennia?

The answer is that Columbus discovered America by virtue of being the first member of Western Civilization to learn of its existence and make its existence known for the first time to all the other members of Western Civilization.

Membership in Western Civilization is achieved by anyone who makes it his intellectual home and sees the world from that perspective.

This includes descendants of the natives Columbus encountered, who have been educated and integrated into Western Civilization. The descendants of savages are routinely members of Western Civilization. Indeed, we are all ultimately descended from savages.

Western Civilization is a body of ideas and values, capable of being accepted and made their own by people everywhere, irrespective of race or ethnicity.

From the perspective of intellectual and cultural content, Western civilization represents an understanding and acceptance of the following: the laws of logic; the concept of causality and, consequently, of a universe ruled by natural laws intelligible to man;

on these foundations, the whole known corpus of the laws of mathematics and science; the individual's self-responsibility based on his free will to choose between good and evil; the value of man above all other species on the basis of his unique possession of the power of reason;

the value and competence of the individual human being and his corollary possession of individual rights, among them the right to life, liberty, property, and the pursuit of happiness; the need for limited government and for the individual's freedom from the state;

on this entire preceding foundation, the validity of capitalism, with its unprecedented and continuing economic development in terms of division of labor, technological progress, capital accumulation, and rising living standards;

in addition, the importance of visual arts and literature depicting man as capable of facing the world with confidence in his power to succeed, and music featuring harmony and melody.

Wherever the intellectual substance of Western civilization is known, its imparting to the minds of students is virtually coextensive with the process of education.

For the intellectual substance of Western civilization is nothing other than the highest level of knowledge attained anywhere on earth, in virtually every aspect of every field.

If the purpose of education is to impart knowledge, then its purpose is to impart Western Civilization.

Those who denounce Columbus are not members of Western Civilization. They have renounced Western Civilization and fallen to the status of the “indigenous people” Columbus encountered. In other words, they are now savages or well on the way to savagery.

Some of them can be seen smashing windows, looting stores, burning down buildings, and beating and killing people. The root of the problem is a racist educational system that identifies civilization and savagery as emanations of race, just as did the racists of the past.

The only difference is that today’s racists prefer savagery.

To learn more, see my essay “Contemporary Education’s Racist Road to Barbarism.” It’s available for 99¢ at