There’s a mountain to climb if political correctness is to be overcome.
Several years ago I told friends I believed the wonderful English language lacked two words – one more significant than the other.
Let’s firstly consider the less important.
Early in the 1990s I visited Lock Haven, Pennsylvania, where the Henry Ford of light aircraft manufacture, Bill Piper, had based his Piper Aircraft Corporation in 1937.
While there I visited nearby Hyner View.
From this very high vantage it’s possible to look across central Pennsylvania – a truly spectacular vista.
Here’s what a recent visitor wrote about Hyner on a web site.
“Perhaps the most spectacular viewpoint in all of Pennsylvania,” he said.
“If you find yourself anywhere near Hyner, you must trek up to the top of the mountain to see the gorgeous Susquehanna valley below.”
State Scene agrees, but only up to a point.
Where we part is in the description of Hyner View as a mountain. Moreover, it’s one of literally hundreds out there before your eyes.
In my humble opinion it’s not a mountain; and nor are those hundreds that make up that very high, heavily wooded central Pennsylvania.
Central Pennsylvania is very high, but certainly not what I’d ever describe as mountainous. But it’s far too high to be regarded as hilly.
And that’s the point. The English language appears, to me at least, to lack a word – one describing such very high countryside that’s not mountainous.
I’m therefore still looking for a word that describes topography one sees from Hyner View and that also exists elsewhere.
Now, what of that other, far more significant, missing word?
Ever since my university days, where I encountered a sizeable number of tutors, lecturers and professors who I regarded as blatant leftists, I’ve wondered why it was that so many who teach tertiary humanities subjects were anti so many things I regarded as desirable and worthy of, at minimum, fair consideration.
So many were invariably anti-liberal, anti-American, anti-Christian, anti-conservative, you name it, anti just so many things so many of us value.
One encountered an immediately obvious obsession with being anti anything they perceived as being respected and admired by the decent and truly idealist many.
Constantly encountering such a procrustean, and quite often bitter, predisposition, especially when studying history, politics, economics or anthropology – all of which I did – made one wonder why such a mind-set so often prevailed.
On reaching that point it was just a hop, step, and mental jump to look for a word that concisely described their bitter, mindless affliction.
But I couldn’t find it and none of my peers was any help.
As the years passed others who’d also noted this unpleasant proclivity that’s increasingly permeating our culture opted for the phrase political-correctness, or simply PC, since it seemed to describe the anti-Western culture affliction.
So for many years now, whenever encountering anyone obsessively hypercritical of Western society, its traditions, customs and mores, I’ve automatically regarded such individuals as being afflicted by PC.
They are followers of views that generally emanate from Hollywood movies, and are then proselytised by a range of American politically correct publications; and soon after we hear such opinions echoed across Australia.
Since he who is patient is eventually rewarded, just before Christmas I finally had the pleasures of encountering the long-missing word I’d been looking for for so long, which describes the PC affliction.
It happened like this.
Subiaco-based private educational institute, Mannkal Economic Education Foundation, decided last year to team-up with the Melbourne-based Institute of Public Affairs to critically analyse the federal government’s National Curriculum which is about to be imposed upon Australia’s secondary students.
The outcome is a compact publication carrying six essays.
Here are three of the titles and authors’ names: ‘The End of Australian History?’ (Richard Alsop); ‘Human Rights and Law in the National Curriculum’, (Murdoch University’s, Augusto Zimmermann); and, Religion, Christianity and Curriculum, (David Daintree, Campion College of Australia president).
Thankfully Mr Daintree’s essay appeared in The Australian in edited form so I finally saw the word I’d been seeking for decades – it is oikophobia.
Daintree wrote: “The draft modern history curriculum is 30 pages long.
“Christianity is simply never mentioned, at least not explicitly.
“The word religion appears twice, the first occurrence in the context of Indian history, the second in the context of Asian and African decolonisation.
“However, the precise phrase in which it is found discloses the agenda of the compilers: ‘The effect of racism, religion and European cultures.’
“This, surely, is an oblique mention of Christianity and a judgment upon it at the same time.
“The English philosopher, Roger Scruton, took the word oikophobia and gave it a new meaning.
“Oikophobia literally means fear of one’s own home, but Scruton nicely adapted it to mean ‘the repudiation of inheritance and home’, the contemptuous rejection of everything that one’s parents and grandparents respected, fed by the vanity of a new and supposedly enlightened way of looking at the world.
“The name of Christianity is particularly odious to those oikophobes for whom the hope of a multinational and God-free world stands in the place of the dream of a promised land.
“For such people Christianity has brought more misery than relief, more gloom than joy, more war than peace, more hatred than love.”
Mr Daintree presents a formidable case for the National Curriculum to be returned to the drawing boards. Clearly a committee of oikophobes drew up the history course.
Nor is Mr Daintree’s case unbalanced and selective.
For instance, he didn’t ignore some darker aspects.
“Massacres of the Crusades, use of torture and connivance at capital punishment by the Inquisition, the ruthless eradication of the Albigensians, the Thirty Years War, apparent indifference (in some places) to slavery, the treatment of the Jews throughout European history, the fighting in Northern Ireland, the brutish behaviour of certain clergy towards children,” he wrote.
And his article certainly prompted several letters to the editor.
Michael Dunlea of Mt Gravatt, Queensland, for instance, highlighted Thomas E Woods’ crucially important book, How the Catholic Church Built Western Civilization.
“With meticulous research Professor Woods claims modern science was born in the church, priests developed the idea of free-market economics 500 years before Adam Smith, the church invented the university, Western law grew out of Canon law,” he wrote.
“You’d think it [Christianity] might rate a mention?”
To be frank, State Scene would have been stunned if Christianity had been mentioned.
The reason is because I now expect so little but PC propagandising from our bureaucratic educational fraternity. That especially applies to those devising curriculums, which are increasingly about de-educating and propagandising oikophobic ideas.
Australian tertiary institutions are heavily manned (and womaned) by oikophobes, people who, quite frankly, detest Western civilization and what it stands for.
So many appear to think that being so transforms them into intellectuals.
On the contrary, all they are (thanks David Daintree) is crass oikophobes drawing big taxpayer-funded salaries under false pretences.
What’s truly worrying is that they’ve now teamed-up with the Gillard government to transform future generations of Western Australians into dogmatic oikophobes.