Christopher Columbus Essay, Research Paper
To the “ politically correct, ” the five-hundredth day of remembrance of the find of America is no cause for jubilation. And even before 1992 began, their protests resulted in a important triumph: the naming of an American Indian as co-grand marshal in the 1992 Rose Parade. Parade functionaries caved in to critics, who denounced the tourney commission when it foremost named as expansive marshal Cristobal Colon, a direct descendent of Christopher Columbus. But the existent mark of those critics was non merely Colon ; it was Western civilisation.
The politically right position is that Columbus did non detect America, because people had lived here for 1000s of old ages. Worse yet, it ’ s claimed, the chief bequest of Columbus is decease and devastation. Pasadena ’ s vice-mayor, Rick Cole, branded Columbus ’ s descendant “ a symbol of greed, bondage, colza, and genocide. ” And one Indian leader likened the jubilation of Columbus ’ s reaching to a jubilation of Hitler and the Holocaust.
Did Columbus “ discover ” America? Yes, in every of import regard.
This does non intend that no human oculus had been cast on America before Columbus arrived. It does intend that Columbus brought America to the attending of the civilised universe, i.e. , the developing scientific civilisations of Western Europe. The consequence, finally, was the United States of America. It was Columbus ’ s find for Western Europe that led to the inflow of thoughts and people on which this state was founded and on which it still rests. The gap of America brought the thoughts and accomplishments of Aristotle, Galileo, Newton, and the 1000s of minds, authors, and discoverers who followed. What they replaced was a manner of life dominated by fatalism, passiveness, superstitious notion, and thaumaturgy.
Prior to 1492, what is now the United States was sparsely inhabited, fresh, and undeveloped. The dwellers were chiefly hunter/gatherers, rolling across the land, populating from manus to oral cavity and from twenty-four hours to twenty-four hours. There was virtually no alteration, no growing for 1000s of old ages. With rare exclusion, life was awful, beastly, and short: there was no wheel, no written linguistic communication, no division of labour, small agribusiness and light lasting colony ; but there were eternal, bloody wars. Whatever the jobs it brought, the vilified Western civilization besides brought tremendous, undreamed-of benefits, without which most of today? s Indians would be infintely poorer or non even alive.
The peculiar actions of Columbus and his work forces are irrelevant to the current contention: Columbus should be honored, for in so making, we honor Western civilisation. But the critics do non desire to confer such award, and this is the existent ground for the resistance to Columbus as the inventor of America. Their existent end is to minimize the values of Western civilisation and to laud the crudeness, mysticism, and c
ollectivism embodied in the tribal civilizations of American Indians. They decry the glory of the West as “Eurocentrism.” We should, they claim, replace our fear for Western civilisation with multiculturalism, which regards all civilizations as morally equal. In fact, they aren’t.
Some civilizations are better than others: a free society is better than bondage ; ground is better than beastly force as a manner to cover with other work forces ; productiveness is better than stagnancy and unreflective attachment to tradition. In fact, Western civilisation bases for adult male at his best. It stands for the values that make human life possible: ground, scientific discipline, autonomy, individuality, aspiration, productive accomplishment. The values of Western civilisation are values for all work forces ; they cut across gender, ethnicity, and geographics. We should honour Western civilisation non for the ethnocentric ground that some of us happen to hold European ascendants but because it is the objectively superior civilization.
Underliing the political Bolshevism of the anti-Columbus crowd is a racist position of human nature. They claim that one ’ s individuality is chiefly cultural: if one thinks his ascendants were good, he will purportedly experience good about himself ; if he thinks his ascendants were bad, he will purportedly experience self-loathing. But it doesn ’ t work ; the accomplishments or failures of one ’ s ascendants are monumentally irrelevant to one ’ s existent worth as a individual. Merely the deficiency of a sense of ego leads one to look to others to supply what passes for a sense of individuality. Neither the workss nor misbehaviors of others are his ain ; he can take neither recognition nor incrimination for what person else chose to make. There are no racial accomplishments or racial failures, merely single accomplishments and single failures. One can non inherit moral worth or moral frailty. “ Self-esteem through others ” is a self-contradiction.
Therefore the fake of “ continuing one ’ s heritage ” as a rational value. Thus the barbarous fraud of “ multicultural instruction ” as an counterpoison to racism: it will go on to make even more racism. As Ayn Rand observed in “ Global Balkanization ” ( The Voice of Reason ) , “ the protagonism of ‘ ethnicity ’ means racism plus tradition, i.e. , racism plus conformance. There is no certain manner to infect world with hatred – beast, blind, virulent hatred – than by dividing it into cultural groups or tribes. ”
The immigrants who built this state in the 18th and 19th centuries came here non to wallow in “ cultural pride ” nor to reiterate mindlessly the ways of their ascendants. They embraced the kernel of Western civilisation. They were “ at least implicitly ” individualists.
Individuality is the lone option to the racism of political rightness. We must acknowledge that everyone is a autonomous entity, with the power of pick and independent judgement. The values of self-esteem and Western civilisation should be proudly proclaimed.
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