Columbus Day Without Guit

The Ayn Rand Institute has announced the following upcoming public event:

Columbus Day Without Guilt

In years past, the anniversary of Christopher Columbus?s 1492 voyage was an occasion to honor the explorer?s courage and to rejoice in the spread of Western civilization across a savage wilderness. More recently, however, advocates of multiculturalism have damned Columbus and the New World?s settlers as brutal conquerors who destroyed a pristine Indian paradise. Columbus Day, we are told, should be spent in atonement and repentance?or be discarded in favor of ?Indigenous Peoples Day.?
Unjustified guilt-mongering about Columbus Day improperly blackens the reputation of Western civilization while obscuring the harsh realities of life in the Stone Age, argues attorney Thomas A. Bowden, senior writer for the Ayn Rand Institute and author of The Enemies of Christopher Columbus.
In this myth-shattering lecture, Mr. Bowden re-examines such controversial topics as the morality of displacing the American Indian tribes (did they really own the land?), the fallacies in the treaty/reservation system (was government too generous?), and the infamous ?Trail of Tears? (what caused so many Cherokee deaths on the way west?).
Rejecting as false all notions of racial superiority and collective guilt, Mr. Bowden instead affirms the objective superiority of civilization to savagery. On Columbus Day, he maintains, individuals of all ancestries should guiltlessly celebrate Western civilization?s core values?reason, science, technology, progress, capitalism, individual rights, law and the selfish pursuit of individual happiness here on earth?at a time when those values are under terrorist assault by America?s declared enemies.
Hyatt Regency Irvine
17900 Jamboree Road
Irvine, California 92614
Monday, October 11, 2004
Bookstore opens: 6:30 PM
Presentation: 7:30 PM to 8:30 PM
Q & A: 8:30 PM to 9:30 PM
Reception: follows until 10 PM
For more information:
Phone: 949-222-6550

UPDATE: Bowden has also published an op-ed on the topic:

Columbus Day: The Cure for 9/11

On October 12, 1492, Christopher Columbus discovered the New World, opening a sea route to vast uncharted territories that awaited the spread of Western civilization. Centuries later, the ensuing cultural migration culminated in the birth and explosive growth of the greatest nation in history: the United States of America.
On September 11, 2001, that nation came under attack by Islamic totalitarians who hate the distinctive values of Western civilization that America so proudly embraces–reason, science, individual rights, and capitalism–and who targeted the World Trade Center and the Pentagon as symbols of those values.
These attacks could not be dismissed as aberrant acts by a lone band of zealots, not after it became clear how widely that same festering hatred of Western values is felt in the Muslim world, where Osama bin Laden is embraced as a folk hero, terrorists continue to receive help from sympathetic governments, and the United States is perpetually damned as the Great Satan.
America has responded since Sept. 11 with various military and political maneuvers. Notably missing, however, has been any clear principled statement of what we are defending, and why we deserve to win.
Without moral certainty, America cannot prevail.

See the full article for additional commentary on this subject.