First They Came for Shakespeare...
“Hell is empty and all the devils are here.” That’s Shakespeare. (And an accurate description of the United Nations today!) Before the Great Bard of Avon was “canceled” for being a white Englishman, most high school graduates would have known that. Quite a few would have even remembered the line comes from Act I of The Tempest.
Now they have scant knowledge of Shakespeare’s works, no idea what a “tempest” is, and most likely think “hell” and “devils” are as “cool” and “misunderstood” as Hollywood portrays them in Lucifer. But, woo-hoo, they know all about “privilege,” “social justice,” “gender pronouns,” and scary “global warming,” so they’re all set for the lives of servile mediocrity the Democrat party molds. What’s the point of seeking out the truth when your truth is all that matters? Who needs the arts or religion when there are social media “likes” to be won and “shares” to be had? Hey, it works for Linda and Julia!
Kind of sums up the whole collapse of Western civilization in a nutshell, doesn’t it? Death by haughty dimwittedness. Had the education-deprived youth of today ever read King Lear, they might understand that when socialists promise gifts for “free,” they’re really planning on taxing you for the rest of your life. After all, “Nothing will come of nothing.” Had they ever been introduced to The Merchant of Venice, not only would they remember, “All that glitters is not gold,” but also they might be cognitively armed to see through build back better promises as nothing more than shiny lies.
Is it any wonder why more and more government-run schools are ditching Shakespeare from curriculums entirely? The man (now that’s a problem!) contributed to the English language like no other, but he also diced up history, politics, and power with an incisiveness as sharp as any satirist, psychologist, sociologist, historian, or political scientist alive today (and did so without any prestigious university degrees to “certify his expertise” — egads!). Whatever problem exists in the present, it’s a lock that the Great Bard already tackled it in some play or sonnet over four centuries ago. He prepares young minds to grasp complex problems, especially those instigated by governments. You take Shakespeare away from classrooms, you take away a lifelong window into seeing beyond the fairytales peddled by bloviating bureaucrats and understanding the world as it actually is. So Shakespeare has to go in the name of “diversity” or some other rubbish. In reality, he’s just too damn subversive for a governing class growing increasingly hostile to criticism!
“Where ignorance is bliss, ’tis folly to be wise.” That’s the Great Reset’s creed. Ironically, most Westerners would never know that pearl is from a nearly three-hundred-year-old Thomas Gray poem, but who could blame them? If schools won’t teach Shakespeare, they certainly aren’t going to mess with the less renowned yet equally white Englishmen long buried in the ground. Of course, Gray was almost certainly inspired by the Greek playwright Sophocles who died over two millennia before Gray’s birth, but if Shakespeare is on his way out, and Thomas Gray is not even worthy of an introduction, how on earth could an average high schooler ever hope to learn about Sophocles, one of the preeminent tragedians of Ancient Greece? (On the other hand, some of Sophocles’s ancient critics sniped that he was a homosexual, so maybe he still serves a purpose for curriculums bathed in identity politics.) Pythagoras, Plato, Aristotle? Sorry, gents, you might have formed the foundations of Western philosophy, but the authorities consolidating power around popular ignorance have no use for twenty-five-hundred-year-old white guys.
Who cares about the intellectual giants of our past when merit is already out of fashion? So what if Leonardo da Vinci’s great achievements in architecture, biology, and botany demonstrate that rigorous study of the arts and sciences together produces a more vibrant mind and keener curiosity? What’s important is that he’s another Renaissance polymath from Italy, and along with Dante, Petrarch, Donatello, Raphael, Michelangelo, Brunelleschi, Botticelli, and the rest, we have entirely too many Renaissance geniuses from Italy! Where were the concerns for “multiculturalism” and “diversity” during that multi-century creative explosion that changed the world half a millennium ago? They were entirely ignored until twenty-first-century “progressives” finally had a chance to remake history in their own image. So, out with you, Renaissance masters! Begone, Columbus and Vespucci, and take the Age of Discovery with you! Good riddance, Galileo, and may the Scientific Revolution be damned! Today, “feelings,” “equity,” and “climate justice” are the only magic incantations that matter, and frankly, their trendy meaninglessness makes the grand accomplishments of the past look downright old!
If young minds don’t need Shakespeare or Aquinas or Chaucer, they certainly don’t need math and science! Right now, mathematics is fighting a two-front war for its survival against charges of being both racist and sexist! You think you can trust something that throws around postulates, theorems, and laws without leaving any room for “personal truths” or “subjectivity”? Pshaw! Those dastardly integrals and derivatives might look rather sterile and nonthreatening to you but, apparently, they perpetuate masculine mathematical narratives that can no longer be tolerated. Every discovery derived from the brilliance of Pythagoras, Copernicus, Newton, Einstein, Planck, and Bohr, it turns out, has been drenched in imperialism and oppression. Those little x’s and y’s don’t look so innocent now, do they?
Besides, making things is for third-world countries, right? In the West, our blue-collar laborers have been sent packing along with all the applied scientists and engineers. Getting our hands dirty and constantly pushing the envelope on innovation is so last century. Let China and India do the jobs requiring numbers. Geometry and calculus are beneath any society capable of producing YouTube sensations overnight. Virtue signaling is the industry of our future! The West is now so evolved that it can dedicate all its time to servicing itself…er…to a “service economy”…or rather… to an economy that builds absolutely nothing. In other words, we’ve become the Seinfeld of civilizations, a society that happily knows nothing and does nothing about it.
It doesn’t take much for the whole thing to come crashing down, does it? You start with purging a little Hamlet, Macbeth, Othello, and Twelfth Night to make room for The Handmaid’s Tale and privilege charts, and the next thing you know you end up with a generation of uneducated adults who couldn’t build a simple bridge if their lives depended upon it. Maybe that’s the whole point. Why worry about teaching the next generation how to think and create when all that messy learning can be outsourced to China, just as everything else has been outsourced to China for the last thirty years? Of course, if the day ever comes when China stops building things for our “woke” ruling class, Americans will rue the day they traded Western civilization for a bag of build back better beads and sparkling social justice trinkets. Nobody can survive on those, even if that truth hasn’t stopped a century of failed communist experimenters from repeatedly trying.
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