Current Feature Article
Our 21st Century Tragedy – How the West Was Lost
Kevin Donnelly is the author of recently published How Political Correctness Is Destroying Australia (Wilkinson Press).
Douglas Murray argues in The Strange Death of Europe that “Europe is committing suicide”, as proven by the mass immigration of thousands of young Islamic men and the failure by many within academia, the media and politics to acknowledge and defend the unique strengths and benefits of Western civilisation on which Europe is based. Such is the dire nature of events, Murray concludes: “By the end of the lifespans of most of the people currently alive, Europe will no longer be Europe and the peoples of Europe will have lost the only place in the world we had to call home.”
While the situation in Australia is not as extreme, the reality is that our institutions and way of life are also threatened by immigration, especially by migrants committed to Islamic fundamentalism, and a campaign by the cultural left to denounce and undermine Western civilisation. Illustrated by the Holsworthy Barracks terror plot, the Lindt cafe siege, the murder of Curtis Cheng outside the Parramatta police station and the Anzac Day plot to kill police at Melbourne’s Shrine of Remembrance, Islamic terrorism is an ever-present danger. The rise of ethnic enclaves in western Sydney and metropolitan Melbourne and the violence and destruction caused by North African street gangs further highlight the dangers of allowing those to immigrate whose beliefs and values are inimical to our way of life.
The reality, similar to Europe and Britain, is that Australia’s non-discriminatory immigration policy and celebration of multiculturalism, as historian Geoffrey Blainey warned some years ago, is leading to Australia becoming a nation of tribes. Instead of immigrants accepting our way of life and supporting the institutions and values that bind society and ensure peace and prosperity, too many assume that their customs and beliefs must be given priority. At the same time, Australian society is being undermined by a myopic celebration of multiculturalism and a flawed immigration policy. The bedrock that makes Australia unique and such a peaceful and prosperous nation is also threatened.
Instead of supporting Western civilisation, the cultural left since the late 1960s has taken the long march through the institutions to overthrow a society it condemns as inequitable, racist, classist, sexist, misogynist and heteronormative. As argued by the former British secretary of state for education Michael Gove, beginning with the Frankfurt School, sympathetic academics have “revised Marxism as primarily a cultural rather than an economic movement. In place of anger at traditional capitalism, scorn was directed at the reigning values of the West.”
Gove goes on to say “the broader left moved its arena of struggle increasingly away from economic arguments and towards cultural ones”. Having realised they could never win the revolution by storming the barricades, the cultural left’s strategy is to infiltrate key institutions and win the battle of ideas. Positive discrimination for victim groups, identity politics, virtue-signalling, trigger warnings and political correctness are all key weapons in the cultural left’s battle to overthrow the status quo and to bring about the much-sought-after socialist utopia.
Schools and universities are key battlegrounds for the culture wars. Australia’s national curriculum prioritises indigenous, environmental and Asian perspectives instead of the heritage and ongoing significance of Western civilisation and Judeo-Christianity. As argued by Perth academic Augusto Zimmermann, our political and legal systems are imbued with Christian morals and ethics, and to deny such a reality is to jeopardise the rights we often take for granted. The Bible’s teaching that we are all made in God’s image explains the commitment to the inherent dignity of each individual and the right to what the American Declaration of Independence calls the “unalienable rights” of “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”.
Knowledge of historical events like the Renaissance, Reformation and Enlightenment, and the ability to weigh and evaluate different truth claims based on logic and rationality, are also being lost. Best illustrated by the Safe Schools program, where gender is fluid and limitless, the cultural left’s long march also involves a radical redefinition of marriage and traditional views about what it means to be a woman or a man. One of its founders, Roz Ward, gives the game away when she argues “only Marxism provides the theory and practice of genuine human liberation” and that the “Safe Schools Coalition is about supporting gender and sexual diversity, not about stopping bullying”.
Instead of endorsing meritocracy and competition, cultural left groups like the Australian Education Union argue all must be winners and that equality of outcomes beats equality of opportunity. Proven by how history, literature, sociology and politics are now taught at the tertiary level, it’s also clear how successful those committed to radical “theory” have been in overthrowing what they condemn as a liberal education. Knowledge, instead of being impartial and inherently worthwhile, is part of the capitalist state’s “ideological state apparatus” and guilty of oppressing and marginalising so-called victim groups.
As a result, education is no longer centred on what T.S. Eliot describes as “the preservation of learning, for the pursuit of truth, and in so far as men are capable of it, the attainment of wisdom”. The works of Shakespeare and other Western literary classics, great and enduring art and music like the Sistine Chapel and Bach’s Mass in B Minor simply disguise power relationships involving the new trinity of “gender, ethnicity and class”, and teachers are told students must be re-educated in terms of group-think.
The attack on liberal education is also illustrated by the argument that a curriculum drawing on Western civilisation is guilty of promoting “whiteness”, described as leading to “different forms of domination and marginalisation, such as racism, sexism, classism, historical injustice and prejudice based on religion”. The irony, of course, like Lenin’s useful idiots, is that those in education deconstructing and undermining Western civilisation are destroying the very institutions, beliefs and values that guarantee their freedom to mount a critique in the first place.
Source: By Kevin Donnelly