Antiquity Out of Fashion
There is much truth in the view that today’s universities are job-training facilities that specialize in leftist indoctrination of young people and accomplish little in the way of a valuable education. These schools demonize the past unless it fits within the framework of the cultural Marxism they espouse — while they rob students of the ability to understand their culture, traditions and roots of the Western Civilization they live within.
Bernhard Thuersam, Circa1865
Antiquity Out of Fashion:
“At our universities, the historians like to dump the ancient history course in the lap of the philologists, and vice versa. Here and there it is treated like a poor relation whom it would be a disgrace to let go to ruin entirely. But with the public at large antiquity is completely out of fashion, and the “culture” which is supported by this public even feels hatred for it. Various faults of antiquity serve as a pretext.
The real reason is conceit about modern communication and transport and the inventions of our century; then too, there is the inability to distinguish technical and material greatness from the intellectual and moral kinds; and finally, the prevalent views about refinement of manners, philanthropy, and the like.
But what makes it generally impossible for the present-day average “educated” man to find anything appealing in the ancient world is the total egoism of today’s private person who wants to exist as an individual and asks of the community only the greatest possible security for himself and his property, for which he pays his taxes amid sighs, and who also likes to attach himself to the community in a specific sense as an “official.”
On the other hand, the peoples of the ancient Orient, who lived tribally, impress us as races of which each individual is only a type, with the king as the highest type.
Finally, today’s “educated” men are firmly resolved to make a bargain, with whatever power, for their existence at any given time. There is an enormous veneration of life and property. There is a mass abdication, and not just on the part of the rulers! And there are numerous bargaining positions and concessions against the worst – and all this with great touchiness in matters of recognition and so-called honor.
With the ancients, on the contrary, it was all or nothing, with no fear of disaster. The fall of states, cities, and kings was considered glorious. That is something alien to us.”
(Judgments on History and Historians, Jacob Burckhardt, Liberty Fund, 1999, pp. 5-7)