The other day, I read the same type of argument I have been hearing for many years now. In this case, it was Rich Lowry who did the writing. He wrote, “A key difference between the Greeks and Romans and the rest was that their writers critiqued and lampooned their own societies. This willingness to engage in self-criticism became one of the hallmarks, and strengths, of Western culture.” He wrote this within a piece which lamented the removal of the “Classics” from curriculums around the country.
At first blush, anyone who makes the same lamentations as Mr. Lowry might find his statement to be true. But ultimately it is not true. A key difference is not that the Greeks and Romans lampooned and critiqued their own societies (though other societies may, no doubt, have accomplished less of this). The key difference is that we, the West, conversed with our own societies.
Make no mistake, the Left believes it is carrying out the staunch and noble tradition of “criticizing and lampooning its own society” that Mr. Lowry mentions. But they, the Left, were never the West.
The West is something you choose to become, not something you’re born into. You’re not the West because you’re white. Or because you’re an American. Just like you’re not a man because you’re male. Or a woman because you’re female. Do you see? The West is built of men and women of a certain quality. But the Left never learned this. (This, too, can help explain why they behave like children.)
Regarding the activity of criticism and lampooning, the Left believes that when they remove the classics, they are doing what Copernicus and Galileo did to the geocentric model of the universe when that pair introduced the heliocentric model. The Left believes that when they revise history, they are continuing the tradition of replacing superstitious falsehood like Darwin. Don’t miss this point: Mr. Lowry would have us think that the West’s great tradition and singular tradition is to “critique and lampoon” itself. If that was accurate, the Left is surely in the right. But it’s not accurate.
The tradition is to converse, to discuss, to ask each other uncomfortable questions. And this is certainly not what the Left is doing.
So stop. Stop pretending that there is any other reality unfolding than shaming, that there is any other fix than violence—and most don’t seem to care to take it that far.
If the Left was the West, they’d talk to us. They’d debate us. That they don’t, even as they believe they are continuing the progress begun by the West, simply teaches us that we need to elevate our strategy.
To conclude, the question is not, “Are the Classics Racist?” as Mr. Lowry and his ilk like to express. The question is, “Should the Left be stopped?”