From John Ray's shorter notes
September 17, 2017
Ms Zuckerberg regrets
There is a rather strange article here by Mark Zuckerberg's Leftist sister under the title "How to Be a Good Classicist Under a Bad Emperor". In it, she claims to have the "right" ideas about classical literature but never says what they are.
She rightly recognizes that serious conservative thinkers tend to be impressed by the classics of ancient Greece and Rome and find some inspiration in them. Some of us even study the classical languages -- as Sean Gabb does. And VD Hanson's references to antiquity are both frequent and well-known.
But she deplores the ideas that conservatives take from antiquity and refers to a group of Leftists classicists -- of whom she is one. I presume she refers to what is taught these days in the classics departments of major universities. How the poor souls in those departments manage to reconcile modern Leftist victim culture with the robust values of antiquity must be quite a challenge but Ms Zuckerberg clearly likes what she hears there. So she is saying: "The classics are ours. Hands off!".
The curious thing is that Leftist classicists exist. History for most members of the Green/Left seems to start yesterday. Learning from the past is not their scene. Green/Left writers, for instance, treated the recent hurricanes as if there had never been such things before, when it is perfectly easy to document even more severe storms in the past. And how come anybody believes in any form of socialism these days? From Robespierre, through Stalin, through Hitler, through Mao through PolPot and many others, the lesson of history is that socialism rapidly degenerates in to ghastly tyrannies once they gain full power. Leftists can't afford to know history.
But against all logic there are apparently some Leftists who do study history. And I have seen something of what they say. Howard Zinn's "A People's History of the United States" typifies the approach. In accord with the great Leftist tradition of cherrypicking, they find all the disreputable bits in the history of a time or place and ignore the admirable bits. Leftists never even attempt balance. They don't think they have to. Just to show bad bits gives them a glow and the glow is what they seek.
So Ms Zuckerberg is trying to defend an intellectually disreputable Leftist tradition from those who really want to learn from the classics. And she is right in seeing lots of such people on the political Right. I had read most of the Greek canon by the time I was 18 and greatly enjoyed my Thucydides. And all the other writers I have encountered who quote Thucydides have been conservatives. The twisted little tales told by Ms Zuckerberg and her clique will simply never interest us, if we note them at all.
And it seems that she regrets that. The subtext of her article seems to be that she is not getting enough recognition and support: A very Leftist preoccupation. Maybe she just wants to get laid.
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