It would appear that the Ramsey Centre‘s Degree in Western Civilisation will now be a thing. This comes after the ANU rejected the idea out of concerns about Ramsey’s autocratic meddling. And, it comes after Sydney University shot itself in the foot by censoring its own academics. But, the University of Wollongong is hellbent on offering Ramsey’s Bachelor of Arts in Western Civilisation. This comes with the news that the University Council overruled Wollongong’s academic senate because, after all, what would those silly academics know about academic integrity?
Jillian Broadbent, UoW’s chancellor, claimed that the council had “full respect for the university’s academic process”. If only Broadbent had a modicum of respect for the meaning of English words.
Underlying all of this is the question of the meaning of “Western civilisation”. UoW advertises that in Ramsey’s degree a student will:
Learn how to think critically and creatively as you examine topics in ethics, aesthetics, epistemology, metaphysics, philosophy of religion and political philosophy.”
The irony is palpable. But, at least it makes clear what is meant by “Western civilisation”. It means the power of a business-bloated gang to use Orwellian language while ramming through the selling out of a public institution to rich bigots.
We intend these words, of course, with the fullest of respect.