Phi Beta Cons

Good Sense Down Under

Australian Prime Minister John Howard openly criticized Australian leftists for denigrating their own culture and supporting communism during the Cold War, or, as he put it, for being ”ideological barrackers for regimes of oppression opposed to Australia and its interests.” 
He really names names, the good, the bad, and the ugly.  He calls for a repudiation of history taught “as little more than a litany of sexism, racism, and class warfare.”  He praised the conservative Australian journal Quadrant and the work of Geoffrey Blainey and Keith Windschuttle.  He lauded the fact that Australia now has a more diverse and lively inatellectual environment but he cautioned that the “soft left still holds sway, especially in Australia’s universities.”  He has called for a “root and branch renewal of Australian history in our schools, with a restoration of narrative instead of what I labelled the fragmented stew of themes and issues.”   
Outstanding.  More Western leaders should be so frank and honest about the left and about the need to take affirmative steps to restore the teaching of our values in the schools.  We need this in America too, where generations of students have been taught to criticize America and celebrate other cultures.  How can we expect the American “idea” to be carried on and American “exceptionalism” to persist if we don’t even teach children about them?  Also, Howard’s understanding of the real purpose of the left, to delegitimize the authority of the West, would also save a lot of handwringing about why, for example, feminists are saying little about the treatment of women in Islam.