The Very Bad Great Books (FREE)
Then, let us begin, not as Rousseau does (In his "Essay on Inequality"), by setting aside the facts, but by looking the truth in the face. Multi-culturalism is a particularly virulent movement of cultural genocide designed to eliminate European Christian culture and its traditions.
It was not invented in the 1960’s or even in the 1920’s when French communists and surrealists “forged” all the arguments that have been repeated ad nauseam by Frantz Fanon, Edward Said and the current promoters of multi-culturalism.
The creators of this multi-cultural revolution were, in fact, among the writers included in any list of the Great Books: Michel de Montaigne and Bishop Fénelon, Voltaire and Rousseau, John Locke himself and his American disciple Ben Franklin. Some of the revolutionaries were merely looking for weapons to use in a local war agains the power of the king or the church or as a means of defending their own sexual proclivities, but most of them—beginning with Montaigne himself—write in that sneering sophomoric tone we have all heard so many times, from high-school biology teachers preaching nothing but Darwin and him misinterpreted, or from complete ignoramuses like Anderson Cooper, Christopher Hitchens, and Richard Dawkins, when they attack Christianity or American traditions.
The Suicide of the West is not simply the surrender to Bolshevism or even the refusal to confront insurgent Islam. It did not begin with the Communist Manifesto or even The French Revolution. It began during the Renaissance, when Western intellectuals began to chafe at the restrictions imposed by Christianity.
It was then that the myth of the Dark Age was invented, a time of religious bigotry and persecution, of intolerance to diversity and of sexual repression, when science and human aspirations to fulfillment were ignored and despised. The revolution is a set of interlocking rebellions agains human nature or, to put it in Christian terms, against man made in the image of God—the infamy, as Voltaire termed it, of "the consubstantial"--namely, Christ.
There are many different phases and forms of rebellion. Let me list a few of the major ones: the rejection of the divinity of Christ, a skeptical view of religion that represents all religious sects as more or less the same and treats any peculiarly Christian doctrines as a defect, the relentless pursuit of secret wisdom that will allow the magician or scientist to control the powers of nature, the rejection of Christian morality and even common decency and the elevation of the Playboy Philosophy above all moralities, the growing conviction that while all religions and cultures are equal, some are equaler than others—hence the craze for oriental wisdom and the secrets of the Pyramid-builders. Finally, the cult of the natural man who is identified with the savage. There are more, such as deism and nominalism, but this will do for a start.
Viewed in retrospect and in comparison with latter-day revolutionaries, Montaigne, Voltaire, and Locke seem moderate, and downright conservative. That is partly because most self-described conservatives today are more than halfway committed to the revolution. What counts, however, is not how they might be viewed if they were alive today, but what they accomplished in their own time. This means, unfortunately, that the uncritical celebration of the Great Books—including the works of Montaigne and Montesquieu, Francis Bacon, Descartes, Thomas Hobbes, John Locke is a remedy worse than the disease. Indeed, these men are the originators of the disease. It is as if I were to develop a mild case of emphysema after smoking a pack of cigarettes every day, and the doctor were to tell me what I really needed was not to give up smoking altogether but to smoke two packs of old-fashioned Turkish cigarettes laced with latakia every day.
I am not saying that everyone who praises another culture is guilty of hating his own cultural tradition. Herodotus took great delight in describing the customs of Egyptians, Persians, and Scythians, but he was a true-blue Greek with a great curiosity. Praising the virtues of aliens can also be a form of constructive criticism. When Tacitus praised the decency and heroism of the Germans, he was making the point that Romans had degenerated from their pristine virtues, but he was not a self-hating Roman.
The yearning to search for adventure in exotic places has been in the blood of European man since the days of Ulysses. The first real American is Captain John Smith, who leapt at the chance, first to fight the Turks in Hungary and then to explore the New World. When a place becomes too civilized, some Americans may, like Huck Finn, “light out for the territory.” Robinson Crusoe is one of our greatest literary heroes. Crusoe’s mastery over nature--and over his savage slave Friday--expresses the West’s sometimes contemptuous sense of superiority over other cultures. He rescues Friday from the dinner party at which he was to be the main course, and Friday becomes his slave along with other people Crusoe picks up. As a European he is a natural master and recreates a bit of England using tools he rescues from his wrecked ship.
In the 500 year-long iconoclastic age that is just now coming to an end, icons are made only to be broken, and in such films as Man Friday (1975) and more particularly in Crusoe (1988), starring “Rockford’s own” Aidan Quinn, the European is viewed as the enemy of nature and the destroyer of all that is real and authentic in human life. Crusoe, however, has a happy ending: Quinn finally wakes up, after being subjected to a properly multi-cultural indoctrination, joins the other side, and liberates a slave from a European ship.
The indoctrination given to Crusoe is virtually identical with the cultural education given to American (and European) students at every level. If the old “bigotry” taught us “European good, others bad,” the new bigotry, without ever enlightening students on the facts of Chinese civilization or Aztec culture, simply reverses the terms. There is nothing new in this argument, and anyone with an old-fashioned education should be able to trace the anti-Western tradition back to 18th century French intellectuals such as Voltaire and Montesquieu, who used oriental aliens as positive foils for debunking their own country’s traditions.