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Columbus was a hero

Christopher Columbus could not have discovered a better spokesman than Thomas A. Bowden.

The accomplishments of Columbus should speak for themselves. But thanks to political correctness, the moronic multicultural mob keeps talking them down. Mr. Bowden has been speaking passionately and forcefully about Columbus for years.

Bowden is an analyst at the Ayn Rand Center for Individual Rights in Washington, D.C. Its mission is to advance individual rights as the moral basis for a free society.

"My ancestors were savages," says Bowden matter-of-factly. Everyone can say the same, depending on how far back one is willing to look at lineage. "It's nothing racial or ethnic; it's historical fact."

He says that before saying Columbus deserves credit for bringing Western civilization to the, um ... savages in the New World living in the Stone Age.

"The genesis (of the disparagement) is that a generally evil individual (Columbus) ruined the idyllic, peaceful and content Indians living in harmony with nature," Bowden says. "Columbus critics have a disguised criticism of Western civilization because Europeans replaced Stone Age Indians. They believe that this continent would have been better off without Europeans, that industrial civilization is an evil that is to be lamented and regretted.

"That is the real criticism of Columbus. I reject it completely."

Indians typically were widely scattered Stone Age tribes, he says. "They had little agriculture and lived in poverty, fear, ignorance and superstition. They had no concept of government, ownership or private property rights.

"Slavery was perfectly common. They would kill or enslave losers in battle. Women and children would be appropriated by the victors. South American Indians (Aztecs and Mayans) had more formalized institutionalized slavery."

Well, didn't Indians at least live in harmony with nature?

"No," says Bowden. "It's more accurate to say they had little impact on the environment because of the small number of tribes. Man should not live in harmony with nature in the sense of simply keeping it pristine. We live by impacting the environment. The environment has no intrinsic value. Our civilization is more in harmony with nature by making it serve our ends."

Well, what about all the land supposedly stolen from the Indians by European settlers?

Indians did not own the vast reaches of land that they traveled on, Bowden says. Ownership of land is deserved, he says. By that, he means a settler can acquire property rights by making the land more valuable by, say, digging it up for farming. Or to build his homestead or business.

Columbus essentially was an explorer and discoverer bringing Western civilization's cures, science and technology, he says. The philosophical legal process was another gift the Europeans gave to the Indians, he says. "Indians got all that for free."

Columbus' critics should fall down on their knees and thank the Founding Fathers for creating a nation based on the moral principle of the individual's right to life, liberty and, Bowden stresses, the selfish pursuit of happiness.

"It's the only nation that came about in such a way. Anyone who has humanity's interest at heart should love America," he says.

Tom Bowden will be celebrating Columbus Day on Monday.

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