Skip to comments.Who Killed Western Civ?
Posted on 08/25/2007 1:51:59 AM PDT by Kaslin
Even if you don't pay taxes or tuition to the University of Colorado, my state's pride and joy, CU's academic rigor or lack of it should concern you. The notorious Prof. Ward Churchill made the place a national scandal, and the regents finally fired him. But will they take further steps to counter the dominance of multicultural leftists over this once-great institution? It's doubtful in light of this farcical moment at a board meeting last December:
“Is it Western hemisphere? Is it Western hemisphere north of the equator?” The inquiry sounded like a game-show contestant trying to buy a clue. Or like your boss going on offense to cover an embarrassment.
Unfortunately the questioner was CU Regent Paul Schauer. The mysterious “it” was Western civilization, recognizable to most people as 2500 years of unparalleled achievement from Greece and Rome to the present. But apparently not to Schauer, Mr. Education since entering the state legislature decades ago.
When asked to join four other Republican regents in establishing a university department to teach about our civilizational heritage, according to a story in the Colorado Daily on Dec. 6, “Schauer questioned what ‘Western civilization’ even means.” After his GOP colleague Pat Hayes opined similarly that “this resolution makes no sense,” the proposal died for lack of a fifth supporter on the 9-member board.
Paula Pant’s piece in the Daily not only documents this pair’s scorn for the plan. It also says the resolution was “co-authored” by Tom Lucero, Steve Bosley, Jerry Rutledge, and Pete Steinhauer. So Schauer and Hayes (now the board chairman) are the reason CU turned its back on the Western Civ idea. That’s dead certain, despite their recent indignant letter to the Denver Post blaming Lucero for poor preparation and scolding me for naming them in an earlier column.
Why not focus their skepticism on asking what ethnic studies “even means,” or on venturing that women’s and gender studies “make no sense” – to name two of the numerous flimsy subjects that do have departments at CU? Then we’d know which team they’re actually on: the Republicans, conservers of liberty and learning, or the Democrats, progressively junking the tried for the untried.
Do those teams matter? Absolutely. Chairman Hayes, in a friendly note before her letter to the editor appeared, assured me all regents’ devotion to what’s best for the university “crosses party and ideological lines.” Steve Bosley, who lost to her for chairman and now heads the presidential search to replace Hank Brown, wrote me the same. No doubt they mean it.
But good intentions are not enough when university governance is debated. At stake are the life preparation of countless young citizens, vast budgets and economic impact, and Colorado’s very understanding of itself as a free society. “Politics assumes that the contest for importance is important,” as the Harvard political scientist and eminent conservative Harvey Mansfield said in Boulder the other day. Depoliticizing education is impossible and undesirable; the politics must be fought out.
Prof. Mansfield lectured on campus as the joint guest of CU’s fledgling Center for Western Civilization (no department but a worthy start) and the Delaware-based Jack Miller Center for the Teaching of America’s Founding Principles. The latter’s mission speaks of equipping “future leaders…to defend [us]… against ideologies that seek to destroy the nation.” This was refreshing in leftist Boulder, as was Mansfield’s classical wisdom about reason and the soul. President Brown couldn’t attend but sent official greetings. Too bad Chairman Hayes didn’t.
Good intentions: Martin Luther King knew all about them. His powerful 1963 “Letter from Birmingham Jail” challenges white clergymen to give more than lipservice to equality and justice. King’s letter, bound with selections from Socrates and Plato, was the summer reading assignment from CU-Colorado Springs chancellor Pam Shockley to her 850 freshmen who arrived last week. Hank Brown penned an introduction.
What a great way to start college. Thankfully the grand sweep and noble meaning of Western civilization are understood by at least a few CU decision-makers. Boulder campus chancellor Bud Peterson, however, set no such high bar for his Class of 2011. Indeed his was among the voices raised against Lucero’s departmental plan last year. Republican regents passed over two real stars to hire Peterson. Why?
ALL CULTURES ARE EQUAL!
I have to bring this scripture up one more time: “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? “ - Jeremiah 17:9
Sounds like it’s true all over the world.
Schauer questioned what Western civilization even means.
Greece, Rome, and Jerusalem in the ancient world. Europe and the english speaking nations in the modern world. I think latin america is it’s own civilization as is Russia.
Simpleton's say Western Civilization if Dead but they don't know what the term means.
Are the "Gorillas in the Mists" a civilization? Are the dolphins that commisserate with injured humans in that lagoon in the Florida Keys a civilization? Are the caribou herds of the Alaska wilderness a civilization? Are the aborigines of the Brazilian rainforest a civilization. Are the Inuits of Greenland a civilization!
Until an understanding of the terms, senisence, society, culture, and values are understood there is no answering the larger question!
Have you ever found in history, one single example of a Nation thoroughly corrupted that was afterwards restored to virtue?... And without virtue, there can be no political liberty .Will you tell me how to prevent riches from becoming the effects of temperance and industry? Will you tell me how to prevent luxury from producing effeminacy, intoxication, extravagance, vice and folly?...
- John Adams, in a letter to Thomas Jefferson
Western civ is the civilization that grew out of the fusion of Greek/Roman and Hebrew/Christian antecedents in Western Europe. So, IMHO, it's not really accurate to say the predecessors were part of Western Civilization.
Western Civilization includes all of western Europe and its offshoots, more than just English language countries.
I think Latin America is fairly considered "Western," although most countries are heavily hybridized with Indian and/or African cultures.
Argentina and Chile are pretty exclusively Western in culture.
Eastern Europe and Russia are descended from Byzantine culture, which combined the classical and biblical components in quite a different way.
Mansfield was in Boulder? Why didn't I hear about this? I subscribe to CU's College Republicans list precisely for news of such events.
Who killed Western Civilization?
Dumbass Western White self loathing Libs. They hate their own Culture so much that they would rather live under Sharia Law than under our own Constitution.
France. France is the West.
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