I am exhausted from Watching the West Self-destruct

I am exhausted from Watching the West Self-destruct

Paul Craig Roberts

As a former postgraduate member of Merton College, Oxford University, I receive every year from Merton College a thick, well prepared report replete with color photos titled Postmaster and the Merton Record. The report provides a thorough report on everything associated with the college and present and past members as reported during the year. For example, undergraduate performance and prizes, publications and awards of faculty, concerts, the performance of the various sports teams, social events, reports of marriages, deaths, births, remembrances from past graduates, photographs of the college, gardens, and members, and books on the library’s shelves as if to say that here at Merton we still have the timeless products of Western Civilization in print form on library shelves instead of online somewhere in the cloud. In the current issue, those still alive who attended JRR Tolkien’s lectures provide their memories of this remarkable scholar of ancient languages and storyteller (The Hobbit, and The Lord of the Rings). It all reminds us that at Merton some semblance, some remnant of Britain’s ancient lineage lingers still among the tower of babel England has become.

No doubt the expense and effort to which the college goes to remain in touch with past members–all of whom compose The Merton Society–has in mind bequests. Little doubt Merton graduates attribute part of their success in life to the preparation that Merton gave them. So the large expense of the preparation and distribution of this report is justified. But for my generation and perhaps the one following I wonder about the impact of the report. Clearly, for my generation the collage is no more. It is simply there only in the buildings and memories. The college is no longer a men’s college. Gowns no longer exist. Merton even has female Wardens (presidents). As far as I can tell, and I am unsure, Oxford colleges are now organized like American colleges where students take courses and are graded on the course and graduate when they complete the designated course requirements.

In my day there were no courses and no course requirements. Unlike the US, a bachelor’s degree was a three, not a four-year, process. A student selected a field–mathematics, science, history, literature, languages, classics, PPE (philosophy, politics, and economics–imagine an American student learning all three in three years!) and was assigned a tutor by the college. The student was handed a reading list and encouraged to attend lectures on his chosen field of study. Lectures were provided by lecturers, senior lecturers, (`I am unsure if Oxford had the next rank, readers, or whether these were only at the “red brick universities”) and professors. If memory serves, in the entirety of Oxford colleges there were only two professors of economics. One was a theorist John R. Hicks, and the other, John Jewkes, was an empirical economist who was a member of Merton.

As there were no classes, the purpose of the Oxford gown was to admit you to lectures. As a student at an Oxford college it was your responsibility to prepare for the exam at the end of three years which would determine whether you got a first, a second, a pass, or a fail. A first was a pass into the City (England’s Wall St) or the civil service and a successful career. The colleges didn’t want any results below a second and so tutors did their best to motivate any students who might come up short on motivation.

When you stood for exams, you knew they would be sent to other universities for grading. In those days, integrity was important, and universities did not want to raise integrity questions by being accused of grading their own students easily in order to give them a push ahead. Standards and honor had to be preserved. In those days a first from Oxford or Cambridge was almost as good as being born into an aristocratic family that somehow still managed to have some money despite the dispossession of the aristocracy by the government.

Today all of this is gone, and it is very sad. My impression, I would be happy to be wrong, is that Oxford and Cambridge have been partly, not totally, placed in the role of selling entry into the First World to sons and daughters of well-to-do Indian, African, Asian, and Middle Eastern families. At times over the years I have noticed that white males have almost disappeared from the photographs in Postmaster, although not in the current issue. The aristocratic class seems to have faded away, and with an Indian prime minister of Great Britain and a Muslim Mayor of London, it is unclear in whose hands the British economy rests. Jaguar, for example, once the dominate power at Le Mans and the creator of what Enzo Ferrari himself declared to be the most beautiful car ever made–the E-Type, a specimen of which resides in permanent display in the New York Museum of Modern Art–has passed through a variety of foreign owners and I am unsure where its ownership resides today.

As readers of the few accurate histories of World War II know, US President Roosevelt used the war to destroy England’s leadership of the world economy and to turn the British into a satrapy of the American Empire. The greatest and most accurate of all WW II historians, David Irving, makes it clear that while Churchill was at war with Germany, Roosevelt was at war with England. It was Roosevelt who won. But don’t expect any Oxford historians to say this.

Reading what I have written, it is clear that these matters have been on my mind for some time as I have been diverted from my intention, which was to remark that the important fact of which the Merton College Record has made me aware is that as women, women have disappeared. Today women occupy male roles. With men’s roles colonized by women, there are no longer any male roles.

The Merton hockey team has more female than male members. When I was at Oxford, rugby was more violent than US football. The 11 member Merton rugby team has 4 female members.

What is my point? Nowhere in the 222 page report is there any woman in a woman’s role except on the childbirth page where female Merton graduates have done the dirty on feminism and become married mothers. But there are very few of them, an insufficient number to keep Briton British.

It is astonishing to me how rapidly the Western World has collapsed compared to the long drawn-out time required for Rome to disappear. One would think that, unlike Rome under pressure from external armies, the West with no one attacking it should be able to prolong its continuing existence despite the West’s lost of belief in itself.

But apparently, this is not to be.

The question of the survival of Western civilization is not raised at Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Stanford. Indeed, they all seem to want Western civilization not to continue as they have branded it racist. Nowhere is there university faculty with interest to defend truth and the continuation of Western civilization’s existence.

The foundation of the Western world is the pursuit and defense of truth. When that no longer exists, neither does Western civilization.

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