Europeans the Greatest in Everything since the Beginning
Steven King ignited a hysterical backlash in the summer of 2016 when he modestly asked, in response to a journalist who made a comment about "old white people" making up the majority of the GOP:
Where are these contributions that have been made by these other categories of people that you're talking about? Where did any other subgroup of people contribute more to civilization?
When moderator Chris Hayes asked, "Than white people?", King added:
Than Western Europe itself. That's rooted in Western Europe, Eastern Europe, and the United States of America.
At this point the panelists started speaking over each other in a frantic state, with some reporter asking: "What about Africa?" What about Asia?" Before cutting to a commercial and ending this dangerous line of conversation, Hayes said:
Let me note for the record that if you're looking at the ledger of Western Civilization, for every flourishing democracy you've got Hitler and Stalin as well. So there's a lot on both sides.
Apoplectic Reactions Against King
The next day the media together with academic servants of the state unleashed a barrage of articles denouncing King as "racist" and "mentally stunted". Varying "lists" of the contributions of non-Europeans to "civilization" and to "modern society" appeared everywhere. A white female from Salon, after producing a list about non-European contributions to "humanity", "first civilizations", "citizen rule", "written law", "tools", "surgery", "numbers", and "Christianity" itself, concluded:
Although "old white people" may be responsible for the GOP today, they are nowhere near responsible for humanity's most important historical achievements.
Academics, with their usually condescending (and supercilious) tone, questioned the "idea that there is a separate and unique Western civilization". UCLA's Lynn Hunt explained to a Time journalist, how the idea of the "rise of the West" was "invented" after WWII as a way of countering challenges against European colonialism and the "fear" that the West was "declining". The concept of the West is "problematic". Was Ancient Greece really Western? What about the contributions of Muslims to "some central points" of Western history?
Lynn Hunt, who herself has written a Western civ textbook, happily conceded to a journalist that the teaching of Western civilization has been replaced by "World History", because "we have things in common with people everywhere" and such a course, the journalist agreed, "is more welcoming to students whose backgrounds could be traced somewhere other than Europe".
Only an editor by the name "Akhilesh Pillalamarri" acknowledged "the Scientific Revolution, the Industrial Revolution, and the Enlightenment" as "unique contributions of the West", while adding that "civilization itself arose in the Middle East," and that without non-European contributions to
the domestication of crops and animals, the first weight and measures, the first bureaucracies, organized government and religion, writing, and the wheel...algebra, distillation, and advanced astronomy and navigation...Western civilization, and indeed the modern global civilization build largely by the West, would have been impossible.
Most supporters of Western uniqueness would be satisfied with Pillalamarri's assessment as fairly accurate, including his listing of "China's many contributions" such as the invention of paper, printing, gunpowder, the compass, and clocks.
My View on Western Uniqueness
We should not be satisfied. In my books The Uniqueness of Western Civilization and Faustian Man in a Multicultural Age I emphasized the "continuous creativity" of Europeans from ancient Greek times to the present. I also went back to the revolutionary contributions of pre-historic Europeans in the domestication and riding of horses, their co-invention of wheeled vehicles, their principal contribution to the "secondary-products revolution", their invention of chariots, their creation of the most dynamic language in history, the proto-Indo-European language, their nurturing of the only true aristocratic culture in history (in which rulers were not despots but first among equals), their origination of the first heroic and tragic literature, and, most important of all, their responsibility for the appearance of "self-consciousness" in history, which laid the foundations for the Greek Miracle.
Read the rest of Richardo Duchesne’s article here.