Learning To Love The West

[Recently
by John Zmirak:
Vatican
Smelling The (Turkish) Coffee
]

If
you have a

college bound child
and you

hope
he will be taught about Western civilization,
be prepared to choose carefully. Only a few universities
will have what you`re looking for.

At
most American colleges—including, emphatically, almost
all the

elite institutions
—the curriculum from your
undergraduate days has been eviscerated by
multiculturalism, careerism, and consumerism.

VDARE.COM readers know about the

ideologically driven
assault on Western Civilization
courses. This attack, which began quietly in the 1970s,
became brazen during next decade. The turning point in
the struggle is discussed in the educational guide I
edit,

Choosing the Right College


“Stanford University`s reputation as a leader in both
the sciences and the liberal arts diminished when it
abandoned its Western civilization requirement in 1987
after a storm of student protest led by Jesse Jackson (“Hey
ho, hey ho, Western Civ has got to go”
). These
events, considered by some critics to mark the
coming-of-age of academic political correctness, placed

Stanford
at the

center
of a two-decade-long nationwide movement that
has virtually removed the systematic study of Western
civilization from college campuses across the country.


According to a survey conducted by the American Council
of Trustees and Alumni, only three of the top fifty-five
schools in America—Columbia, Colgate, and the University
of the South—require a specific course in Western
civilization. None of the schools requires a course in
American history…


“Today, instead of Western civilization Stanford
requires courses in world cultures, American cultures,
or gender studies. Perhaps as a result, Stanford
students have turned away from the liberal arts towards
technical fields such as computer science and

engineering.”

In
less than 20 years, the noble aspiration of American
educators to provide for the many a classically infused
education once available only to the few was casually
abandoned.

Ironically, the

historically black colleges
such as Morehouse and
Spelman were slow to embrace the new educational
nihilism. Founded to help

lift up
the black community, these schools have
clung to more elements of the traditional core
curriculum than white schools.

You
can still find serious core curricula—which cover the
roots of Western civilization in Greece and Rome—at
Columbia University and the University of Chicago. To
their credit, they have maintained most elements of
their core programs in Western humanities—an amazing
achievement for Columbia, which was throughout the
period of student unrest the locus for far-left
activism.

Another secular school that provides a serious grounding
in Western civilization are
St. John`s College in Maryland
and

New Mexico,
a

“great books”
school which turns out some of the
best-educated B.A. students in the U.S.

Religious institutions also offer students courses in
the arts, letters, history and Western philosophy. Among
Protestant schools, both

Wheaton
and

Calvin College
offer admirable curricula steeped in
the old “Protestant humanism” practiced by such
great thinkers as

Melancthon
,

Cranmer
,

Luther
, and John Calvin.


St. Olaf`s College
in Minnesota, a school sponsored
by the increasingly leftist

Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
, still
maintains a worthy core program which ensures that its
graduates understand theological tradition.

Among Catholic schools, the most impressive Western
studies programs are at

Thomas Aquinas College
in California, the
University of Dallas,
Thomas More College in New
Hampshire, and Christendom College in Virginia. Campion
College in San Francisco and Washington, D.C., offers a
two-year program that focuses on the Western

liberal arts
and humanities.

Strong Western culture studies survive at some of the
old-line Catholic schools, such as Gonzaga University in
Washington, Catholic University in Washington, D.C., and
Providence College in Rhode Island.

Your
child doesn`t have to attend Columbia or a religious
school to get a traditional liberal arts education. If
you`re willing to help your student plan his curriculum,
you can still find solid courses covering the
fundamentals of Western philosophy, history, literature
and art.

You`ll want to avoid the heaps of shiny junk and gobs of
multicultural goo—courses in Chicano Studies,

Lesbian Parenting
, Immigrant Advocacy, and

Anti-Colonialist Propaganda
, where

professors
are more than happy to browbeat,
brainwash, and

punitively grade students
who don`t toe their
anti-Western line. To guide your prospective scholar,
you`ll have to spend some time (on top of all that
money):

  • Look up the
    course listings for the college, and select a list of
    worthy classes. In Choosing the Right College, we
    have compiled “self-service” curricula for over
    120 American schools, along with lists of worthy
    professors. We also name the departments to avoid.

  • We
    recommend that every student take at least one class in
    one of the following subjects:

1)

Greek
or Latin literature in translation;

2) Ancient philosophy;

3) The Bible;

4) Medieval or Church
history;

5) Early modern

political philosophy;

6) Shakespeare;

7) Early American
history; and

8) Modern intellectual
history.

For
my rationale in choosing these courses, read the free,
downloadable book A Student`s Guide to the Core
Curriculum.
[PDF]

You
can compile such a curriculum yourself by browsing the
Web sites of relevant departments, and  Googling the
names of professors—to see which ones have been the
subject of complaints about political correctness or
intolerance (for instance, in campus “alternative”
newspapers).

At
one end of the cost spectrum, you can find a classical
Western civilization education at Yale (of

all places
) in its

“Directed Studies”
program, an elite
school-within-a-school for which entering freshman must
apply by essay.

At
the opposite end, you can get a similar education for
one-fourth the cost at Louisiana State University by
enrolling in its Honors Program staffed by Ivy League
graduates.

Look skeptically at
schools with mandatory

multicultural
courses—for example, Bowdoin College,
Bucknell University, Haverford College, and Ohio State
University.

If
you`re concerned about

speech codes
and other assaults on

free expression
, search the

case files
of the Foundation for Individual Rights
in Education [FIRE],
which conducts legal defenses for dozens of students
annually.

Finally, you might accompany your child on a visit to
the campus while classes are in session. Drop by the
history, English, or political science department to get
a feel for the place. See what kind of fliers professors
hang on their doors, and what kind of student events are
advertised on bulletin boards.

Do
they all reflect a monotonous, uniformly post-modern
leftist sensibility? Contact the

conservative newspaper
or

organization
on campus and ask the chairman out to
lunch.

Do
the same  “due diligence” you`d undertake for any
other

investment
of $20,000-$80,000, when you determine in
which atmosphere you want your child to form the mental
habits and preconceptions which he will carry through
adulthood.

If
you want the fruit of your loins to love your
civilization, you`ll have to get involved in passing it
along.


John Zmirak
[
email him] is editor of


Choosing the Right College
.