It’s fashionable these days to view history through a sneering lens of moral superiority and damn all of it as disgusting imperialist racist filth.
The problem with this of course is setting the standard of morality like this is that the future, possibly only years away given today’s propensity for generation bashing, will look at today and smash it with it the same woke hammer.
Better to understand history, recognise things were different and not necessarily good, but be happy that civilisation has moved on, enlightened and although not perfect, is the most equitable it has ever been in the whole of human history,
Sadly, we get people like Alice Procter, the very incarnation of self-declared moral virtue. This young Aussie art historian in London runs tours of museums, presumably floating imperiously in her moral bubble of virtue, telling everyone who will listen just how terribly racist and sexist everything is.
Yes, dear friends, we are all disgusting racist, sexist, imperialist colonialists, incapable of seeing history and past events for what they are, oblivious to the now obvious failings of whatever kind of society existed at the time. Presumably Londoners are just too white and ignorant to have any kind of grip on this and need someone to set things right.
Young Alice no doubt thinks she is stepping into the cultural breach, advancing the moral cause so crushed by the mere existence of such a inaccessible racist and sexist place as a museum (yes, she said this). But she’s really not. As undoubtedly bright as she may well be, it seems she has bought hook line and sinker into the whole self flagellating kool-aid and is dead set on telling everyone they ought be ashamed of themselves.
But rather than celebrate the many millennia of human progress (whilst recognising that you probably shouldn’t go around impaling people, burning witches, feeling slaves to lions anymore), enjoy the amazing art that has been created along the way, and look around with a degree of satisfaction that we’ve come a long way and one can pretty much be whatever one wants in London (or most western cities) without too much grief from anyone, she chooses instead to bash the whole thing that got us to this point with her moral hammer.
Because of course.
So, dear Alice, I suggest you consider this: Creating the standard where one’s contemporary moral and social standards must be applied to all of history, a likely consequence is that before you even reach middle age, some young person with a half smirk, one of ‘those’ haircuts, and a heart just brimming with self assured moral virtue will point at you and all your past choices and tell you how utterly shit you are.
You’re throwing the baby out with the bathwater and I don’t think that’s something to celebrate at all.