[November 3, 2022] There’s the claim that the West is an oppressive patriarchy. And that is partly true. The problem with the claim is that it’s not just an oppressive patriarchy, and there’s a big difference between something being “completely” something and something being “partly” something.
One of the things we might point out is that you can look at human history anywhere; what you see is a complete bloody nightmare. Our history is death and struggle, deprivation, war, and horror everywhere, with some slow, halting progress overall. Yet, there has always been some ability of us to pull ourselves out of the mire.
The West is the same. There have been plenty of catastrophes in our past and of all sorts. And it is essential to know that. This is why the proper study of our history falls on us as a moral responsibility. Yes, our history is a bloody mess, and what should we expect? If you don’t like it, okay, what’s your point? Are you going to burn the books and boycott those who study and describe them? Are we going to have something better as a result?
We should read our history carefully and learn what we did right. It is helpful that there are things that you can earn and own. Here are a few things we got right:
- The fact that we have a right to property; that’s good. You can argue about the limits, but you don’t want someone stealing your wallet or bicycle.
- Another of those things is the sovereignty of the individual. That’s pretty darn good.
- The dignity of the individual is something else we got right.
- Presumption of innocence before the law; now that is a truly remarkable, a miraculous idea. In most cultures today and all in the past, if people thought you were guilty, then you were dead.
- The idea that each person has an intrinsic worth regardless of their externalities.
What will we do if we are dissatisfied with our “oppressive patriarchy?” Will we just throw it all away? And, then, what are we going to be left with? Nothing.
How about we look at our history, understand it, and take responsibility for it? Maybe then we can identify some things that can be fixed. There are plenty of things that need fixing; enough for us all. Go fix them. And, then, maybe we can atone for our history’s bloodiness and our so-called “unearned privilege.” This is a far more sensible and wise approach to diagnosing what’s wrong with the West.
Please read my books: