Political pressure and intimidation wins victories, but history pronounces the final verdict. While history had smiled upon the West, history castes its frown on the failed states of Islam, Communism, Hinduism and Buddhism.
In How the West Won: The Neglected Story of the Triumph of Modernity, Rodney Stark summarizes history’s judgments:
- To the extent that other cultures have failed to adopt at least major aspects of Western ways, they remain backward and impoverished.
In light of what had been the very obvious success of the West, by virtue of various indicators – justice, social justice, medical care, and general well-being – it is amazing that so many Western intellectuals and their universities have turned virulently against the very principles that have made the West great. Stark notes this antagonism - this self-destructive, auto-immune response:
- It is widely claimed that to offer a course in “Western Civilization” is to become an apologist “for Western hegemony and oppression” (as the classicist Bruce Thornton aptly put it). Thus, Stanford dropped its widely admired “Western Civilization” course just months after the Reverend Jesse Jackson came on campus and led members of the Black Student Union in chants of “Hey-hey, ho-ho, Western Civ has got to go.” More recently, faculty at the University of Texas condemned “Western Civilization” courses as inherently right wing, and Yale even returned a $20 million contribution rather than reinstate the course.
In the West, antagonism against Western principles is “in,” and almost all of our Western elites have embraced this “politically correct” stance. Oddly, it’s now the non-Westerners who demonstrate a greater freedom to write about Western contributions. Former editor of the Sunday Telegraph, Dominic Lawson, in a review in the Sunday Times of Niall Ferguson's new book, Civilization: The West and the Rest, carries a quote from a member of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in which he tries to account for the indisputable success of the West, to date:
- “One of the things we were asked to look into was what accounted for the success, in fact, the pre-eminence of the West all over the world.
- “We studied everything we could from the historical, political, economic, and cultural perspective. At first, we thought it was because you had more powerful guns than we had.
- “Then we thought it was because you had the best political system. Next we focused on your economic system.
- “But in the past twenty years, we have realized that the heart of your culture is your religion: Christianity. That is why the West is so powerful.”
However, for a Western academician to utter these words is to commit academic suicide.