The Ramsay Centre for Western Civilisation launches tonight, with universities commissioned to teach western culture and values – which are said to be under attack, just not an effective one. Consider for example, the Open Syllabus Project at Columbia University reports the most set texts across 1m syllabi. The world’s ten most set texts are; Strunk’s – The elements of style, Plato – The Republic, Marx – Communist Manifesto, Mary Shelley – Frankenstein, Aristotle – Ethics, Hobbes – Leviathan, Machiavelli – The Prince, Oedipus – Sophocles, Shakespeare – Hamlet.
Granted, Said’s Orientalism is up there, at 12, but it is between The Odyssey and that threat to Judeo-Christian tradition, Turabian’s manual on writing dissertations. Michel Foucault is also in the top 100, The History of Sexuality at 40 but otherwise the humanities titles are right out of the Plato to Nato handbook.