Do Not Apologize for the West

Article CAIRCO note: 
How the West can save itself
Article author: 
Heather Mac Donald
Article publisher: 
Encounter books
Article date: 
2 January 2023
Article category: 
Our American Future
Article Body: 

...  So, what has changed between the early 1980s and today?

The conquest of every mainstream institution by an idea that Ambassador Kirkpatrick memorably identified in 1984. “The progressive left always blames America first,” she said in a GOP convention speech. Kirkpatrick was referring to foreign affairs, but she would not have been surprised by the spread of the “blame America first” instinct to every aspect of domestic life, and indeed to the entirety of Western civilization. After all, she invoked Jean Francois Revel’s warning that a civilization that “feels guilty for everything it is and does will lack the energy and conviction to defend itself.” And so today the elites themselves are waging war on meritocratic standards, on our civilizational inheritance, and on the West’s unparalleled accomplishments, all in the name of atoning for what is said to be America and the West’s unique racism and cruelty towards the “Other.”...

This “blame America first” instinct lies behind the war on free speech. The novel justification for today’s censorship is the maudlin claim that dissenting speech harms favored victim groups.....


So, we are going to have to take on the lies about Western civilization directly.

We must assert at every opportunity that the unique features of the West are its passion for discovery and exploration, its hunger to systematically understand the workings of nature, the development of limited government, and the concepts of tolerance and of equality before the law.

The West is not distinguished by domination and exploitation.

Those predatory practices have been found in every human society, and are still the norm in many countries today. Only the West created the principles with which to rein in the human drive for abusive power. Every battle against the West that the left fights today in the name of equity is being fought with Western intellectual ammunition.

We must assert at every opportunity that high standards, whether in academic achievement or public behavior, are not racist. And when they still call us racists for standing up for meritocracy and the rule of law, we must never, ever, as Jeane Kirkpatrick understood, apologize.