Niall Kilmartin has a quite brilliant post over on Biased-BBC about the post-modern, political correct attitude to Wilberforce and slavery. As a piece, it is a good demonstration of how the blogosphere can produce work of high quality - far in excess of my own trivial efforts, it has to be said - but also of the value that blogs provide through an alternative viewpoint from mainstream media and commentary.
It's a great read and this particular paragraph stood out for me, but read it all.
The anti-slavery movement, born of a society that had eliminated first slavery and then its lesser cousin serfdom centuries earlier in its homeland, taught that slavery was wrong, not just for citizens or for people like them but for absolutely everyone. They made this conviction a practical reality, backed by preaching, by the force of law and above all by their power, especially their navy. “If slavery is not wrong, nothing is wrong.”, said Lincoln. It is an obvious thought to us; who would deny it? Answer: most of the past. Wilberforce and the movement he led stand at the fulcrum of that change. Our minds inherit their achievement. “I cannot understand why for so many centuries mankind allowed such a trade”, said the presenter (“for so many millennia”, she should have said). We share her feelings, if not her limited timespan, easily, without needing a trace of Wilberforce’ moral grandeur because she and we live after Wilberforce, not before. But to the politically-correct mind, that origin of this knowledge is unwelcome; better to sneer at him.
I believe, in this day and age, we lack the men of courage whom Wilberforce typifies. Men like Wilberforce were not afraid to take on supremely tough challenges - no matter how heavily the odds were stacked against them. Where there were once great men of morals, we have weak men who moralise. Where there were once men of great courage and conviction, we now have men without the courage to hold a conviction. We view everything through the triple prisms of post-modern revisionism, cultural equivalence and moral relativity that effectively boils down to finding excuses for avoiding doing anything lest we offend anyone. Is it any wonder that slavery is thriving once again?