Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Bryan Caplan sobre Cristovão Colombo

Columbus: The Far Left is Dead Right:

The far left's radical critique of Columbus Day rubs a lot of people the wrong way. But the facts are on their side. Columbus was not just a brutal slaver; he was a pioneer of slavery. I flipped through a dozen books on Columbus and slavery in the library today, and none of them disputes this - though the hagiographies generally omit "slavery" from the index.

Can you condemn a man just for being a slaver? Of course. It's almost as bad as you can get. And Columbus didn't even have the lame excuses of a Thomas Jefferson, like "I grew up with it," or "I couldn't afford not to do it."

The lamest excuse of all is that we have to judge Columbus by the standards of his time. For this is nothing but the cultural relativism that defenders of Western civilization so often decry. If some cultures and practices are better than others, then we can fairly hold up a mirror to Columbus and the Spanish conquerors, and find theirs to be among the worst.

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