Ricardo Duchesne

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Ricardo Duchesne
Nationality Canadian
Fields Historical sociologist
Institutions University of New Brunswick
Alma mater York University

Ricardo Duchesne is a Canadian historical sociologist and professor at the University of New Brunswick. His main research interests are Western civilization and the rise of the West. In his 2011 main work The Uniqueness of Western Civilization he criticises destructive effects of multiculturalism on Western culture.

Career overview[edit]

Born in Puerto Rico, Duchesne studied History at McGill University and later at Concordia University, under the supervision of George Rudé. In 1994 he received a doctorate in Social & Political Thought at York University. His Dissertation, "All Contraries Confounded: Historical Materialism and the Transition-to-Capitalism Debate",[1] was awarded the "Doctoral Prize Award" for best dissertation of the year.[2] In 1995, Duchesne was appointed assistant professor in the department of social science at the University of New Brunswick, where he has remained since.

Ideas[edit]

In his main work, The Uniqueness of Western Civilization,[3][4] Duchesne denounces the devaluation of Western culture by a revisionist multicultural ideology which has been sweeping the academic world since the 1960s,[5] arguing for the continued validity of the traditional view of Europe as the one culture that produced the modern world, but adding that Europe has always been the most creative civilization since the Greek discovery of reason, prose writing, tragedy, comedy, dialectical reasoning, theoretical science, citizenship and democratic politics.[6][7] Duchesne challenges World historians in their claim that there were surprising economic similarities between Europe and Asia as late as 1800.[8] He questions the way in which the debate about the 'rise of the West' has been conceptualized merely in terms of the onset of the modern world, the Scientific Revolution, the creation of a world capitalist economy, and the changes brought about in Europe during the Industrial Revolution. Duchesne maintains throughout the book four main theses:

  • In the last few decades, the writing of world history has been driven by academics determined to portray the achievements of civilizations in terms that support the egalitarian idea that all cultures are similar, producing a shoddy historiography and social science that have devalued the intrinsic quality of Western civilization and seriously underestimated its accomplishments between ancient times and the present day.[9]
  • At least since classical antiquity, the culture of the West has always been “in a state of variance from the world”.[10]
  • In cultivating a virtually unparalleled democratic culture, with the Greek and Roman assemblies, parliaments and municipal communes, universities, reading societies, intellectual salons and newspapers, the West made possible the rise of modernity.
  • He identifies the roots of the West’s restless creativity in the unique aristocratic culture of Indo-Europeans,[11] with its ethos of heroic individualism and competitive spirit.[12][13]

Duchesne has conducted criticisms of the writings of such World historians as Kenneth Pomeranz, Patrick O'Brien,[14] Bing Wong, Andre Gunder Frank, John Hobson, and Sebastian Conrad,[15] as well as Ian Morris,[16] accusing them of systematically downsizing Western history and civilization achievements.

Duchesne is a vehement critic of immigrant multiculturalism[17][18][19] and political correctness in academe.[20] Since the publication of his 2011 book, Duchesne has been arguing that the multicultural interpretation of the West is part of a wider effort by established elites to create heterogeneous race-mixed societies inside all European-created nations through the promotion of mass immigration. Duchesne also criticizes mainstream conservatives for advancing the idea that Western political identity is based only on universal liberal democratic values that are true for all human beings. He argues that liberalism is uniquely Western and that Western identity is also deeply connected to the ethnic character of Europeans.[14][15][21]

In mid-2014, he created the blog "Council of European Canadians", which is dedicated to the promotion and defense of the ethnic interests of European Canadians.[22]

In one of his blog posts, Duchesne criticized a motion of the Vancouver council to investigate discriminatory policies imposed by Whites on Chinese immigrants in the city before 1947 as an exercise in manipulating "white guilt",[23] claiming they have "the goal of taking Canada away from the Europeans and transforming the nation into a multicultural and multiracial society."[24] The comments sparked a media controversy with Chinese-Canadian councillor Kerry Jang who maintained that the city council's move should not be taken this way[23] and that he considers Duchesne' findings "not proper academic work".[25] The University of New Brunswick rejected the complaint on the grounds of freedom of thought and expression.[25]

Selected works[edit]

  • "The French Revolution as a Bourgeois Revolution: A Critique of the Revisionists", Science & Society, Vol. 54, No. 3, 1990, pp. 288–320
  • "Between Sinocentrism and Eurocentrism: Debating A.G. Frank's Re-Orient", Science & Society, Vol. 65, No. 4, 2001/2002, pp. 428–463
  • "Rodney Hilton's Peasant Road to Capitalism?", Journal of Peasant Studies, Vol. 30, No. 2, 2003, pp. 129–145
  • "Centres and Margins: The Fall of Universal History and the Rise of Multicultural World History", in Hughes-Warrington, Marnie (ed.), Advances in World Histories, London and New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2004, pp. 135–167, ISBN 1-4039-1278-5
  • "On the Rise of the West: Researching Kenneth Pomeranz's Great Divergence", Review of Radical Political Economics, Vol. 36, No. 1, 2004, pp. 52–81
  • "Defending the Rise of Western Culture Against its Multicultural Critics", The European Legacy, Vol. 10, No. 5, 2005, pp. 455–484
  • "Globalization, the Industrialization of Puerto Rico and the Limits of Dependency Theory", Journal für Entwicklungspolitik, Vol. 32, No. 1, 2006, pp. 55–83
  • "Asia First?", The Journal of the Historical Society, Vol. 6, No. 1, 2006, pp. 69–91
  • "Christianity is a Hellenistic Religion, and Western Civilization is Christian", Historically Speaking, Vol. 7, No. 4, 2006
  • "The Way of Africa, the Way I Am, and the Hermeneutic Circle", in Yerxa, Donald (ed.), Recent Trends in World History: The Place of Africa and the Atlantic World: Historians in Conversation, Columbia, South Carolina: The University of South Carolina Press, 2008, ISBN 978-1-57003-758-0
  • "The World Without Us", Academic Questions, Vol. 22, No. 2, 2009, pp. 138–176
  • "The Uniqueness of Western Civilization", Studies in Critical Social Sciences, Vol. 28, Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2011, ISBN 978-90-04-19248-5
  • "A Civilization of Explorers", Academic Questions, Vol. 25, No. 1, 2012, pp. 65–93
  • "Hegel and the Western Spirit", Comparative Civilizations Review, Vol. 67, 2012, pp. 63–74

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Duchesne, Ricardo (1994). "All Contraries Confounded: Historical Materialism and the Transition-to-Capitalism Debate". Ph.D. diss., York University, Toronto.
  2. ^ "Dr. Ricardo Duchesne", University of New Brunswick.
  3. ^ Jones, Eric (2011). "The Uniqueness of Western Civilization," Policy 27 (4), pp. 61–63.
  4. ^ Balch, Stephen H. (2011). "Nowhere but the West," Academic Questions 24 (4), pp. 469-479.
  5. ^ Hewson, Martin (2012). "Multicultural vs. Post-Multicultural World History: A Review Essay," Cliodynamics 3 (2), p. 310.
  6. ^ Znamenski, Andrei (2012). "The 'European Miracle': Warrior Aristocrats, Spirit of Liberty, and Competition as a Discovery Process," The Independent Review 16 (4), pp. pp. 599–610.
  7. ^ Northrup, David (2012). "The Uniqueness of Western Civilization by Ricardo Duchesne," Journal of World History 23 (4), pp. 950–953.
  8. ^ Duchesne, Ricardo (2011). The Uniqueness of Western Civilization. Leiden and Boston: Brill, p. ix.
  9. ^ Duchesne, Ricardo (2011). "Reply to Mark Elvin," Canadian Journal of Sociology 36 (4), pp. 378–387.
  10. ^ Duchesne, Ricardo (2013). "The Uniqueness of the West Reinforced: A Reply to Beckwith, Goldstone, and Turchin," Cliodynamics 4 (1), pp. 86–101.
  11. ^ Havers, Grant (2013). "The Uniqueness of Western Civilization," The European Legacy: Toward New Paradigms, Vol. 18, Issue 5, p. 659.
  12. ^ Duchesne (2011), pp. 383–387.
  13. ^ Duchesne, Ricardo (2013). "Indo-Europeans Were the Most Historically Significant Nomads of the Steppes," Cliodynamics 4 (1), pp. 30–43.
  14. ^ a b Duchesne, Ricardo (2013). "Multicultural Historians: The Assault on Western Civilization and Defilement of the Historical Profession, Part I: Patrick O'Brien on the Scientific Revolution," The Occidental Quarterly 13 (3).
  15. ^ a b Duchesne, Ricardo (2013-14). "Multicultural Historians: The Assault on Western Civilization and Defilement of the Historical Profession, Part II: The Scientific Revolution and the Enlightenment," The Occidental Quarterly 13 (4).
  16. ^ Duchesne, Ricardo (2011): "Review of Why The West Rules – For Now: The Patterns of History and What they Reveal about the Future," Reviews in History
  17. ^ Duchesne, Ricardo (2005). "Defending the Rise of Western Culture Against its Multicultural Critics," The European Legacy: Toward New Paradigms 10 (5), pp. 455-484.
  18. ^ Duchesne, Ricardo (2012). "Multicultural Madness," The Salisbury Review 31 (1), pp. 16–19.
  19. ^ Duchesne, Ricardo (2014). "Will Kymlicka and the Disappearing Dominion," The Quarterly Review
  20. ^ Northrup, David (2012). "The Uniqueness of Western Civilization by Ricardo Duchesne," Journal of World History 23 (4), p. 950.
  21. ^ Duchesne, Ricardo (2012): "Review of Civilization: The Six Ways the West Beat the Rest," Reviews in History
  22. ^ The Council of Euro-Canadians, retrieved 3 July 2014
  23. ^ a b Jon Woodward (2015-01-06). "Prof faces complaint after ‘white guilt’ remark". CTV News. 
  24. ^ Vancouver city councillor and New Brunswick professor locked in feud over 'white apologies', National Post, 12 Januar 2015
  25. ^ a b CBC News (2015-01-08). "UNB defends prof's academic freedom in wake of racism complaint". CBC News. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Groves, J. Randall (2012). "Rationalization, Dialectic and the West: An Appraisal of Ricardo Duchesne's Uniqueness of Western Civilization". In: The Coming Clash of Civilization: China versus the West? Proceedings of the 42nd Conference of the International Society for the Comparative Study of Civilizations. (Washington, D.C.): 165-177.

External links[edit]