Where Has All The Culture Gone?

Where Has All The Culture Gone?

From New York to Virginia to Colorado to California, the lamps are going out all over America: and we shall not see them lit again in our lifetime, unless we make a more serious effort.
Daniel Oliver
By

From the New York island to the Redwood forest, Western Civilization continues to collapse, gradually now, but soon, maybe, suddenly. For now, only a relatively small band of traditionalists are manning the gates against the cultural nihilists. And, of course, manning is the right word. Once upon a time, hand-to-hand combat was not thought to be women’s work: if the women were killed in battle, who would take care of the children?

Assuming there are any children. About 800,000 babies are aborted each year in the US. Given that about 39 percent of those babies are black but that blacks are only 12 percent of the population, why isn’t abortion seen as racist? Whatever happened to disparate impact?

How can Democrats, who are the primary advocates for abortion, say with a straight face that their pro-abortion stance isn’t a dog whistle for racists? Can Democrats say they know no one who favors abortion who has not also at least once said, or perhaps “opined,” that a complementary effect of abortion is that it helps keep down the poor black population?

If Ralph (not his real name) were to beat a black man to death in the forest while yelling racial insults, but The New York Times didn’t cover the attack, would it be a racist act?

Just recently the governor of Virginia, Ralph Northam, indicated that he would not oppose an “abortion” even after a baby was born. Most people were scandalized by his remarks, but the only remarkable aspect of them was that he said them out loud, not that had thought them. That he, and thousands of others, had thought them is really unremarkable, because of Burnham’s Second law: “Who says A must say B.” (James Burnham was a philosopher and a founding editor of National Review; he wrote many books, including his seminal work, The Managerial Revolution.)

Burnham’s Second Law makes the point that taking one position can require taking a subsequent position. If you murder Duncan, you must also kill Banquo.

A baby in the womb either is or is not a person. The abortionists say “it” is not (they have to say that because it is still not quite acceptable to kill “people” — unless perhaps they are really old or sick and, you know, like, really not enjoying life), but the abortionists refuse to say when “it” does become a person. In theory they might say “when it is born,” but that is now transparently only terminological.

Even a fool can tell that there’s no substantive difference between the personhood of a “baby” in the womb on December 24 and that same baby born on December 25. But where are the fools when we need them?

The pro-abortion crowd was able to avoid addressing that issue as long as people weren’t having abortions in the last days of a pregnancy. Now Governor Northam has spoiled the game by conceding that in the minds of the pro-abortion crowd there really is no difference between babies not born and babies just born: and that a baby fully born can be terminated, as Banquo was.

In New York state, the legislature has just passed legislation that allows non-doctors to perform abortions, and right up to the point of birth — if the life or health of the mother is deemed at risk or the baby is not viable, which is legislative bureaucratese for “Whenever, dude.”

Meanwhile, back in the US Senate, Senators Kamala Harris (D–CA) and Mazie Hirono (D–HA) questioned a judicial nominee on his membership in the Knights of Columbus, a Catholic organization opposed to abortion, a member of which might be inclined to overturn Roe v. Wade. It is true that subsequently the US Senate unanimously passed a resolution that said disqualifying a nominee on the basis of membership in the Knights of Columbus would be unconstitutional, but what’s important is that the senators felt safe playing to their constituencies in attacking the religion, Catholicism, of the nominees. Whatever happened to diversity?

Well, it’s alive and well at Hedge Fund Academy, a tony New England prep school (tuition for boarders: $59,560), which last week sent out an email touting its commitment to diversity.

Our commitment to expanding diversity education and programming is vital to preparing our students for the next stages of their lives. Diversity, equity and inclusion work at Hedge is an intrinsic part of the strength and success of our community, woven into the full range of our daily academic, social and professional lives.

In the Hedge community, we have people who identify as transgender and gender non-binary. Our responsibility to support their health and well-being stands clear. As part of an evaluation of our practices with regard to gender inclusivity, we modified restroom facilities to provide additional single-stall, all-gender restrooms across campus.

Aren’t you glad your last year’s contribution to Hedge went to adding single-stall, all-gender restrooms?

HFA’s list is singularly deficient, of course, omitting as it does most of the diversity menu: LGGBDTTTIQQAAPP, which stands for lesbian, gay, genderqueer, bisexual, demisexual, transgender, transsexual, two-spirit, intersex, queer, questioning, asexual, allies, pansexual, and polyamorous. But you knew that.

Despite Hedge’s “diversity” a good bet is that the curriculum isn’t diverse enough to include this writing from the fifth-century Christian writer Salvian, who contrasted the chastity of the Vandals with the complete corruption of the Romans.

More grave and criminal was the fact that those vices, about which the blessed Apostle Paul complained with the greatest lament of his soul, were almost all practiced in Africa. That is, men, having put aside the natural use of women, burned in their desires for one another; men doing base things with men, and receiving to themselves the reward of their error which they should receive. …  Did the blessed Apostle say this about barbarians and wild peoples? No indeed. But about us, that is, the Romans in particular.

About 1,590 years after Salvian wrote those words (i.e., last week), the House of Representatives in Colorado passed a bill that would require the state’s public school sex-education curriculum to include instructions on LGBT relationships. The bill also prohibits teachers “from explicitly or implicitly teaching or endorsing religious ideology or sectarian tenets or doctrines, using shame-based or stigmatizing language or instructional tools, employing gender norms or gender stereotypes, or excluding the relational or sexual experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender individuals.”

Fools, the Knights of Columbus, and others may object. But will that matter?

From New York to Virginia to Colorado to California, the lamps are going out all over America: and we shall not see them lit again in our lifetime, unless we make a more serious effort than we have been making to preserve our precious Western Civilization heritage.

Daniel Oliver is chairman of the board of the Education and Research Institute and a director of Pacific Research Institute for Public Policy in San Francisco. In addition to serving as chairman of the Federal Trade Commission under President Reagan, he was executive editor and subsequently chairman of the board of William F. Buckley Jr.’s National Review. Email Daniel Oliver at [email protected]
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