Prior to the hallowed year of 2020, David Hume was best known for intellectual contributions like the problem of induction, the is-ought problem, and An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding.
Now, however, we know the truth: David Hume was another one of those perfidious Confederate sympathizers. This took quite some time to uncover, since Hume was a Scotsman who died just one month after the American Declaration of Independence, 85 years before the Civil War. But that temporal evasion was no match for the cutting-edge inquisitors at the University of Edinburgh, who found that, among the millions of words written by Hume, a 179-word essay footnote showed Hume out of alignment with the racial politics of the present.
And so, just like Robert E. Lee and Jefferson Davis, Hume is coming down. The university’s frightfully-named ‘Equality & Diversity Committee’ and its ‘Race Equality and Anti-Racist Sub-committee’ has announced that the tallest building on campus will no longer bear Hume’s disgraced name:
‘It is important that campuses, curricula and communities reflect both the University’s contemporary and historical diversity and engage with its institutional legacy across the world. For this reason the University has taken the decision to rename — initially temporarily until a full review is completed — one of the buildings in the Central Area campus.
‘From the start of the new academic year the David Hume Tower will be known as 40 George Square.’
The interim decision has been taken because of the sensitivities around asking students to use a building named after the 18th century philosopher whose comments on matters of race, though not uncommon at the time, rightly cause distress today.
The university perhaps wanted people to believe that the building’s new name honors international hero and habitual criminal George Floyd (the school’s statement notes that its race work was ‘further energized’ by Floyd’s death 3,700 miles away). But alas, the 40 George Square is only named after some boring dead Scot from the 1700s. Doubtless, that unwelcome bit of heritage will be next on the renaming agenda, followed by the Darwin Building.
Hume is far from the only Brit being abolished thanks to America’s culturally exported racial neuroticism. For the past century, George Bernard Shaw has been regarded as Britain’s most important playwright since Shakespeare. He was also the most famous, and voluble, member of the Fabian Society, so one would expect progressives to appreciate him. Alas, he too is on the way to the dustbin.
Shaw’s views on eugenics (‘There are many people in the world who ought to be liquidated’), vaccination (‘a peculiarly filthy piece of witchcraft’), and Hitler (‘a very remarkable man, a very able man’) might in the past have been dismissed as the wild opinions of the most opinionated man of his time. Such nuances will not be tolerated any longer. Students at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts have demanded that Shaw’s name be stripped from their theater, and for good measure, they want all Restoration comedies (the sort Hume might have attended) banned from performance as well. Does anybody doubt that the cowardly leaders of Britain’s academic institutions will eventually give way?
No doubt, Boudica’s statue in central London will be a target soon enough. It’s only a matter of time before radicals realize the dead Iceni queen was an anti-immigration zealot who might have voted for Brexit. Somehow, a man dying on another continent requires her removal.