Subj: Christopher Columbus: My Hero
These days it's hard to find any good stuff on the Web about
Christopher ["Christ-bearer'] Columbus. Since the 500th anniversary of his
discovery of the Western Hemisphere (1992), Columbus has been thoroughly trashed
by the PC police.
Why do I like Columbus?
Columbus was brave.
I lived and worked for a few years in a shelter for the homeless in a
less-than-desirable part of town. I knew people who would not bring donations to
the house because they were afraid to walk from the curb to our door.
"America: Land of the Slaves, Home of the Wimps."
Columbus was a Christian.
Impossible to doubt this having read his diaries. But easy to ignore.
Contra Mundum (Part II)
Contra Mundum (III)
Columbus was after Gold.
A good reason to like anyone.
Some Secularist historians have used this fact to cast doubt on the claim that
Columbus was a Christian. Neo-platonist "christians" are easily confused
at this point. They don't see how someone could be a Christian if he's in pursuit
of something so terribly "unspiritual" as gold.
But the Bible says gold is good:
Even the U.S. Constitution says gold is good: that "no state
shall make anything but gold and silver a tender in payment of debts." The
triumph of Secular Humanism's preference for unbacked paper money has empowered
the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank to crush more poor Latin
Americans than Columbus could ever dream of.
Columbus Attempted to Civilize the
How many Indians were there? Less than a million? Ten million? Russell Means says
This is nonsense. The Indians were unable to sustain a population
in North America which is one-hundredth that of today. To quote Hobbes, their
lives were "solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short."
Indian as Environmentalist
Indian as Egalitarian
Was Columbus an instrument of God's judgment upon a people
dominated by idolatry, slavery, immorality, brutality, and tribal racism?
Columbus and the Puritans came to this nation to bring the Gospel
to the natives, and this is their chief offense in the eyes of modern man.
Columbus Defended Western
What follows is an article that ran in UC Berkeley's Daily Californian, September
13, 1997. It was published on their Opinion Page.
Columbus Day Banned by PC
by Michael Berliner, Ph.D.
Columbus Day approaches, but to
the "politically correct" this is no cause for celebration. On the
contrary, they view the arrival of Christopher Columbus in 1492 as an occasion
to be mourned. They have mourned, they have attacked, and they have intimidated
schools across the country into replacing Columbus Day celebrations with
"ethnic diversity" days.
The politically correct view is that Columbus did
not discover America, because people had lived here for thousands of years.
Worse yet, it's claimed, the main legacy of Columbus is death and destruction.
Columbus is routinely vilified as a symbol of slavery and genocide, and the
celebration of his arrival likened to a celebration of Hitler and the Holocaust.
The attacks on Columbus are ominous, because the actual target is Western
Did Columbus "discover" America? Yes
— in every important respect. This does not mean that no human eye had been
cast on America before Columbus arrived. It does mean that Columbus brought
America to the attention of the civilized world, i.e., to the growing,
scientific civilizations of Western Europe. The result, ultimately, was the
United States of America. It was Columbus' discovery for Western Europe that led
to the influx of ideas and people on which this nation was founded — and on
which it still rests. The opening of America brought the ideas and achievements
of Aristotle, Galileo, Newton, and the thousands of thinkers, writers, and
inventors who followed.
Prior to 1492, what is now the United States was
sparsely inhabited, unused, and undeveloped. The inhabitants were primarily
hunter-gatherers, wandering across the land, living from hand-to-mouth and from
day-to-day. There was virtually no change, no growth for thousands of years.
With rare exception, life was nasty, brutish, and short: there was no wheel, no
written language, no division of labor, little agriculture and scant permanent
settlement; but there were endless, bloody wars. Whatever the problems it
brought, the vilified Western culture also brought enormous, undreamed-of
benefits, without which most of today's Indians would be infinitely poorer or
not even alive.
Columbus should be honored, for in so doing, we
honor Western civilization. But the critics do not want to bestow such honor,
because their real goal is to denigrate the values of Western civilization and
to glorify the primitivism, mysticism, and collectivism embodied in the tribal
cultures of American Indians. They decry the glorification of the West as "Eurocentrism."
We should, they claim, replace our reverence for Western civilization with
multi-culturalism, which regards all cultures as morally equal. In fact, they
aren't. Some cultures are better than others: a free society is better than
slavery; reason is better than brute force as a way to deal with other men;
productivity is better than stagnation. In fact, Western civilization stands for
man at his best. It stands for the values that make human life possible: reason,
science, self-reliance, individualism, ambition, productive achievement. The
values of Western civilization are values for all men; they cut across gender,
ethnicity, and geography. We should honor Western civilization not for the
ethnocentric reason that some of us happen to have European ancestors but
because it is the objectively superior culture.
Underlying the political collectivism of the
anti-Columbus crowd is a racist view of human nature. They claim that one's
identity is primarily ethnic: if one thinks his ancestors were good, he will
supposedly feel good about himself; if he thinks his ancestors were bad, he will
supposedly feel self-loathing. But it doesn't work; the achievements or failures
of one's ancestors are monumentally irrelevant to one's actual worth as a
person. Only the lack of a sense of self leads one to look to others to provide
what passes for a sense of identity. Neither the deeds nor misdeeds of others
are his own; he can take neither credit nor blame for what someone else chose to
do. There are no racial achievements or racial failures, only individual
achievements and individual failures. One cannot inherit moral worth or moral
vice. "Self-esteem through others" is a self-contradiction.
Thus the sham of "preserving one's
heritage" as a rational life goal. Thus the cruel hoax of
"multicultural education" as an antidote to racism: it will continue
to create more racism.
Individualism is the only alternative to the
racism of political correctness. We must recognize that everyone is a sovereign
entity, with the power of choice and independent judgment. That is the ultimate
value of Western civilization, and it should be proudly proclaimed.
Michael S. Berliner, Ph.D., is the executive director of the Ayn
Rand Institute in Marina del Rey, California.
What About Other Infamous Conquerors?
Columbus realized his errors.
Which is more than I can say for Secular Humanists.
At the end of his life, Columbus regretted his use of the sword
against defenseless natives. He had bought into the myths prevalent in his day
that justified the State and its use of the sword, and especially the view that
certain people could be thought of as non-human and the State could choose to take
their lives in order to advance our own material prosperity. Columbus repudiated
his earlier championing of this "pro-choice" mentality, and became
pro-life. Convicted of his sins in his later years, Columbus purposed never again
to wear the costly garments of "the Admiral of the Ocean Sea" and
assumed the brown habit of a Minorite friar as a symbol of his penitence. This
remained his costume when in Spain for the rest of his life.
The modern world of Political Correctness has learned nothing from
Columbus. Even the hysterically overstated estimates of "historians"
like Russell Means pale in comparison to the genocide committed by 20th century
Secular Humanists: an average of 10,000 people per day, every day of the week for
100 years; nearly half a billion people murdered in this century.
Columbus was an admirable man, as well as a product of his times.
His times were Christian, crippled by the myth of the State. Our times are
non-Christian, empowered by the myth of the State, and therefore more enslaved and
more violent by several orders of magnitude.
We can learn much in every way from Columbus.
Happy Columbus Day!
And they shall beat their swords into plowshares
and sit under their Vine & Fig Tree.