What other civilization has ever tried to protect individual rights? From Vasko Kohlmayer at lewrockwell.com
— Jesse Jackson
“Western Civilization is not, for me, a curriculum of democracy and reason and greatness; it is a history of inequality and oppression,” writes Scott Ross, a teacher. Mr. Ross is by no means a rare ideological outlier among his peers. The view he holds has been taught and propagated at universities across the United States and Western Europe for decades. The situation has become so dire that Yale University has recently cancelled its formerly excellent course called “Introduction to Art History: Renaissance to the Present,” because it was allegedly too Eurocentric. Some among the shrinking number of universities that still offer such courses use them merely as a platform to attack the very culture whose achievements they are supposed to teach. The alleged oppressiveness of the West is the leitmotif that dominates their critiques. This view has boiled over into the larger society and is commonly held today by those on the political Left. We have seen a disturbing display of this mindset during the recent riots when “protesters” kept methodically attacking and destroying symbols of Western culture.
Although it is true that various forms of oppression have been practiced in the West over time, oppression is by no means unique to the West. Oppression has been, in fact, a feature of every civilization that has appeared on the face of this earth. We could say that human history is – in one way – a history of oppression: It has common for those with power to exploit, trample upon and take advantage of their fellow human beings. There is nothing particularly surprising about this, since selfishness and rapaciousness are prominent aspects of human nature.