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Samuel de Champlain Statue Nepean Point Ottawa Courtesy Wikimedia

We were once explorers, adventurers, and pioneers

In contemporary Western universities, at least within the social sciences, professors commonly condition their students to look back at Western heritage with disdain, with contempt. The heroic and courageous stories of sailors crossing the Atlantic have been hijacked by academic narratives on how, 'the white man' mistreated native peoples and invaded the 'First Nations'. Instead of researching the motivation steering the ingenuity which created the steam engine, the combustion engine, and the telegraph, academics have made careers obsessed with the 'the white man's' immoral behaviour when establishing colonies. Instead of focusing on what has made us great, our universities are obsessed with teaching - in their opinion - what makes the West immoral, racist, sexist, and so on. The problem is that what used to be the opinion of a handful of Marxist university professors has become an academic norm - at least within the social sciences.

Regardless of whether or not one chooses to believe it was Western ingenuity which brought humanity into space and onto the Moon, there is little doubt that it was Western ingenuity which brought humanity into 'modernity': individual rights over collective servitude; secular states over theological, totalitarian kingdoms, and of course; industrial enterprise over slavery and bondage. Interestingly, while humanity has sought to immigrate to societies which espouse Western social and political ideals, too many academics within Western universities have littered their students’ minds with ridicule, contempt, and disdain for the social institutions they've in fact built their careers upon!

The problem within Western universities today is that an anti-Western narrative rooted in Marxist ideology of overthrowing the 'evil capitalist' has become the accepted norm of behaviour. Evidence of this is quite obvious from the plethora of academic articles written on American 'imperialism' and Western 'hegemony', words a keen observer might suspect quite outdated for the 21st century. However, instead of over-throwing ‘capitalism’ – neo-Marxist academics have narrowed their sights upon delegitimizing Western social institutions by devaluing Western heritage with terms such as ‘racist’, ‘xenophobic’, ‘sexist’, and so forth.

The roots of all this Western academic criticism of Western greatness is: guilt. Western civilization grew out of Catholic Christianity, and Catholic Christianity conditions its flock to 'feel guilt' for past misdeeds. Paradoxically, while many Westerners no longer have association with the Catholic Church, they have yet to become fully self-aware that the reason why they feel guilty for their Western heritage is because they've yet to let their minds escape ideological bondage. This is arguably the reason why contemporary Western society is critical of its heritage, and apologetic for its greatness.  Instead of pioneers, boldly braving the 'unknown' to build a 'new world', too many Western academics, particularly within the social sciences, apologize and complain about past-deeds without providing useful contributions to the progress of contemporary Western civilization.

Therefore, in the spirit of our great Western heritage we must turn to material which will rebuild within ourselves a sense that it is in fact 'okay to be proud to be Western'! As a means of reinvigorating our sense of civilizational pride, perhaps we can turn to Hollywood films, such as 2014’s 'Interstellar', and appreciate the story with a 'renaissance' appreciation of our wondrous Western heritage. Instead of succumbing to social-psychological guilt, let us be not afraid to appreciate the West's adventurous individualism as the greatest gift we have to offer humanity. Let us embrace our civilization's spirit, let us be bold and sail to new lands - for if we let our minds rot with the guilt of our past we will be incapable of building the greatness necessary for our future.