In Defense of Western Civilization

Bo Winegard:

“But, whatever its flaws, [the West] has raised more people out of indigence, misery, superstition, and intolerance than any other civilization in history. Today, it is laudably cosmopolitan and largely free from grotesque forms of discrimination and bigotry. An ideology which fails to recognize this, which insists that racism and sexism are woven into the fabric of everyday life, will probably alienate more people than it convinces and will unfairly malign and misrepresent the state of Western society.”

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3 Comments for “In Defense of Western Civilization”

  1. posted by Tom Scharbach on

    Victim culture also encourages people to feel slighted by subtle, unintentional infractions because it rewards victims with prestige. Instead of teaching confidence and resilience, it teaches insecurity and haplessness. Perceived victims soak in sympathy and righteous tribalism, while perpetrators of these subtle “crimes” are reviled and ostracized.

    I agree with a good deal of what Wineguard has to say, but I think it important to point out that “victim culture” has become as prevalent on the right as it is on the left of late, as the formerly unquestioned death grip of white, male and Christian cultural and economic privilege becomes increasingly challenged and eroded in our society.

    I also think that it is important to keep in mind the fact that while “instances of blatant discrimination or racism in the West are vanishingly rare”, more subtleforms of discrimination are not “vanishingly rare” but a fact of life for relatively large segments of our population. If we are to become a more just society, we need to keep working on those less blatant forms of discrimination.

    The real problem with “victim culture” is, in my opinion, that it shifts our attention from actual discrimination and inequity to percieved discrimination and inequity, interfering with rational discussion about discrimination and equity and finding solutions to that problem.

    As a side note, I wonder why Wineguard used the phase “teaches insecurity and haplessness” instead of “helplessness”. I assume that it was a typo and not a tell.

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  2. posted by Jorge on

    The real problem with “victim culture” is, in my opinion, that it shifts our attention from actual discrimination and inequity to percieved discrimination and inequity, interfering with rational discussion about discrimination and equity and finding solutions to that problem.

    I agree.

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  3. posted by Jorge on

    “This quasi-ideology—espoused by prominent progressives from the academy and Vox to Ocasio-Cortez and Elizabeth Warren—holds that, inter alia: (1) All demographic groups are roughly equal on all socially valued traits; (2) racism, sexism, and other forms of bigotry are ubiquitous; (3) almost all demographic disparities are caused by unfair discrimination; (4) diversity is an unalloyed good; and (5) there are many bigots who stand in the way of social progress, but eventually history will redeem the noble and we will inhabit a just society.”

    (1) has immediate problems when it comes to the sexes but there are people who really think that.

    (2) I would agree with if the author used the word bias, or every single term of bias (racism/sexism/homophobia/etc.). It’s an artifact from when I was liberal.

    Which creates the immediate problem of removing almost all power from those terms. Most people make a distinction between bias and bigotry (if that) rather than bigotry and evil.

    (3) I don’t take a position on. Because every group self-segregates to an extent for rational reasons, agreeing that all demographic disparities are caused by unfair discrimination, even if technically true, removes all power from the term discrimination.

    (4) I disagree with outright. Although I frankly consider mine a far-right position and #4 a moderate position on its own.

    (5) Strikes me as a little off, although it does capture the frighteningly faithless streak of progressivism that refuses to accept the possibility that life may not be fair.

    “Social justice progressivism encourages at least six tendencies that are inimical to the norms, values, and ideas that have allowed the West to flourish…

    1. Misunderstanding Human Nature”

    Boy do I agree with that.

    “These erroneous ideas directly promote at least two dangerous tendencies: (1) blaming discrimination for all disparities in society; and (2) promulgating policies that sound noble but will likely fail because they contradict human nature.”

    “2. Elevating Victims and Encouraging Victimhood”

    And that one.

    And I see both 1 and 2 at my job. It’s really odd.

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