The repeated assaults on American History by the College Board’s Advanced Placement exam is not just an attack on American History, but of Western Civilization itself. Repeated concerns over the purging from Western Civilization the cultural and intellectual heritage have fallen on deaf ears.
Instead of teaching about history, or even praising the venerable heritage of Western Civilization, the AP test, which dictates what teacher must teach if students are to pass said test, doubles down on the narrative of immanentizing the eschaton by eschewing the axiomatically declared evil past. For example:
1) No Liberty. Above all, the College Board failed to include liberty. The words liberty and freedom are still almost absent from its standards, and there is no sense that the struggle for liberty is a central thread of European history.
2) No Economic Freedom. The College Board failed to include economic liberty. The revised standards still avoid a straightforward discussion of the principles, institutions, and benefits of economic liberty.
3) No History of Modern Knowledge. The College Board failed to incorporate the history of Europe’s unique development of the architecture of modern knowledge—from astronomy to geology in the natural sciences, and from art history to sociology in the humanities and social sciences.
4) No Acknowledgment of Soviet Genocide. The College Board’s description of Soviet history still pulls its punches by failing to state explicitly that the regime committed starvation-genocide of the Ukrainians, and smaller genocides and ethnic cleansings of nations including Balts, Tatars, and Poles.
5) No Columbus. The College Board failed to shift from an emphasis on the inevitabilities of social and economic history to an emphasis on contingency and individual endeavor. Strange absences therefore persist, such as the names of individual explorers such as Christopher Columbus.
6) No Reason to Learn Europe’s History. The College Board failed to argue that European history is exceptional, important, or interesting in itself, failed to give a reason why students should study Europe’s history in particular, and failed to mention that Americans should study Europe’s past because it is our history.
7) Secular Modernization Is Still the Story. The College Board failed to remove its overall narrative of secular modernization.
The new—and fundamentally different—edifice of society can not be built unless the last remnants of the old are swept away. Europe is certainly headed towards that, but to these fundamental transformationists, not even a whiff the past may be allowed to remain lest it corrupt this new visage of utopia.
This will not end well…