Victor Davis Hanson/Jordan Peterson

Following you will find a couple of snippets from a difficult and foreboding conversation. I haven’t figured out how to set an end time since Google changed that API, so they’ll keep going unless you stop them. I’ve included duration info for the bits I’m highlighting.

The whole thing is highly recommended. An hour and 45 minutes.

The title is inadequate. It’s about far more than the degeneration of Ivy League trust funds masquerading as institutions of higher learning.

Higher education, momentarily led by the Ivy League, does have big problems. Admittance criteria exemplify the political attack on meritocracy, the quality of education is in steep decline, the number of administrators is an obscene waste of resources, the treatment of adjunct professors is abominable greed, and – in collusion with the General Government – student debt makes unwary credentialists into wage slaves.

It is infuriating and ironic that civilizational rot should have started in the Education Departments of universities with mottos such as “Veritas” (Truth) “Dei sub numine viget” (Under God’s Power, She Flourishes), “Lux et Veritas” (Light and Truth), “In lumine Tuo videbimus lumen” (In Thy light shall we see light), and especially “I would found an institution where any person can find instruction in any study.”

VDH and JBP spend a quarter to a third of the conversation on higher ed (and there’s a commercial for Hillsdale College in there). But if it were just the Ivy League, Western Civilzation in general and the United States in particular would not be under assault by solipsistic identitarians.

One example, this clip is Peterson talking about the damage to our military from pronoun training, for example. About 2 minutes 20 seconds.

Second example. Hanson is not speaking of mere Ivy League institutions here, he’s speaking about almost all our institutions – public and private. I would quibble with his use of “the state”, because distrust of state institutions is part of everything they’d talked about. Were he editing it, I think he might substitute “cultural heritage,” or refer back to the responsibility of citizenship they touched on before. About 20 seconds.
Once you lose confidence in these institutions, and once they’re no longer meritocratic, and once people’s primary allegiance is not any longer to the state everything we’ve talked about this morning … the end result is an implosion – very quickly.

You should watch the whole thing. Just skip back to the beginning from one of those clips.

Philosophy and English

Long ago, I started at the University of Michigan with declared dual majors of Philosophy and English. The goal was teaching.

Fortunately, I achieved neither a degree nor the vocation. I escaped after my Freshman year. I have no degreed credentials.

My naive intention may, however, explain why I found this thought provoking:
Philosophy is a battle against the bewitchment of our intelligence by means of language.
—Ludwig Wittgenstein

Juxtapose Wittgenstein’s thought with the currently popular attacks on freedom of speech. Subversion and suppression of speech are WMDs used to confound debate: The evolutionary foundation of intelligent thought.

Debate on meaning is subverted by redefinition of common terms. Discussion of context is verboten. Ad hominemism becomes the handmaid of “cancel culture.”

It’s why the Left is so full of clever people inventing euphemisms. Like “Gender Affirming Care” for mutilating surgery and castrating drugs as a human right for 12 year olds. Like “Cisgender” as a dismissal of someone who identifies as their biological sex. Like “undocumented immigrant” for illegal alien. Like “Our Democracy,” for single party authoritarianism.

Directors of Hatcheries and Conditioning

‘Mother’ and ‘father’ are obscenities fit only for adolescents to giggle over!

Virginia Dad Takes On the School Board (paywall, possible alternate source)

All this has transformed once-dull school board meetings into increasingly raucous encounters between parents and officials. On so many of the hot-button issues of the day—from mask mandates and lockdowns to critical race theory, transgender policy and racial preferences for admissions—the public schools have become the vanguard for today’s progressive agenda. But parents such as Mr. Jackson aren’t taking it any more, and they show no sign of relenting.

And they shouldn’t.

Cover-Up? Media Blames Anti-CRT Parents for Meeting Chaos, But Startling Video Exposes What Really Happened

“In short, the media appeared to cover up for a local Democratic official, editing video footage to make anti-CRT parents look like a crowd of uncontrollable protesters.”

The “believe all women” cadre, the trans-activists, and the “parents can’t tell us what to teach” Brave New Worlders*, all want the FBI to be dragging parents out of school board meetings. If the charge is going to be domestic terrorism, you need more than a local gendarmerie to make the arrests.

Horror: Father accuses Loudoun school board of covering up sexual assault
“Believe all women!” was always hypocrisy.

The police did investigate and the perp was charged, but that didn’t stop the school district and the school from lying about it to parents. They sent out a communique offering counseling over the trauma of Smith’s heated exchanges with the school administrators and repeatedly refused to acknowledge the sexual assault. After the incident at the school board meeting, progressive activists targeted him for social-media ridicule, to the point of having to erect fencing around his house to keep the media off his property.

Right. Heretical dissenters must be burned.

After we cover up the rape of their daughters. A rape which can plausibly be blamed on our transgender policy bias.

This school board arrogance, MSM collusion, cross-bred with the trans insanity, and once again showing that #METOO only applies when you aren’t a Prog is evidence of panic. Keep the pressure on.

Your school board should make Brave New World required reading. If any readers conclude Huxley was writing a utopian novel, thay can be given remedial spines. And there are those who will see a society in which everyone is happy with their existence because they do not know of any other, and cannot conceive of choosing for themselves. Free will and the ability to choose at all have been programmed out of them; this is all they know so this is all they want. Our universities are full of them, huddling in their safe spaces.

The older dictators fell because they could never supply their subjects with enough bread, enough cir­cuses, enough miracles and mysteries. Nor did they possess a really effective system of mind-manipulation. In the past, free-thinkers and revolutionaries were often the products of the most piously orthodox educa­tion. This is not surprising. The methods employed by orthodox educators were and still are extremely inefficient. Under a scientific dictator education will really work – with the result that most men and women will grow up to love their servitude and will never dream of revolution. There seems to be no good reason why a thoroughly scientific dictatorship should ever be overthrown.
-Aldous Huxley

* If you don’t recall your Huxley here’s a brief reminder.

The Waters method

That’s Maxineyou create a crowd, and you push back on them, and you tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere,” Waters.
_______________________________________________________________________________

So?

Trespass and then stalk a United States Senator into the bathroom, yelling at her because she opposes illegal immigration? That’s, “Part of the process.” says Joe Biden, surrounded by the Secret Service.

Yell at your local school board, in a public meeting, about their secret racist curricula? That’s Domestic Terrorism, requiring a Federal “task force”.

Because, as Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe says, “I don’t think parents should be telling schools what they should teach.

This is more consistent than it appears. When Progressives say, “our democracy“, they mean they own it. Voters’ opinions to the contrary are not welcome anymore, anywhere. When Progressives say, “for the children“, they mean the own the children.

Child abuse

A good exercise for your local school board: They prepare by reading the article linked below, and then invite parents to a subsequent public debate among the school board members. Maybe it’s framed as, “Resolved: This article is disinformation.”

Or, put it on the school’s website and invite public comment.

Harrison Bergeron is mentioned. It’s short. Read it if you haven’t.

The Two-Front War on Academic Standards

“Pulling one student down the ladder doesn’t make it any easier for the students below to climb. But let’s suppose that the stated goal of equity is actually earnest. Wouldn’t we expect to see an effort to pull the lower students up – to give them a hand? Theoretically, yes. But in reality, there is no serious effort to raise standards at the bottom of the performance distribution. Instead, we reduce the standards or eliminate them entirely, giving these students the boot. If there are no standards, there can be no failure, nor can there be any blame for the failure. This is the second front in the war: “helping” students who struggle by eliminating all expectations of them.”

An essential tenet of identity politics. Unless policy is based on the collective, there might be a revival of individual responsibility – which The Smithsonian assures us is ‘racist.’

“Who could possibly benefit from forcing Zaila Avant-Garde to take the same math class as a student who can’t do basic arithmetic?”

Teacher’s unions, Democrats, BLM/CRT advocates, and other enemies of individualism, initiative, and equal treatment of individuals. And enemies of freedom of speech, the right to personal defense, equality of opportunity, and free markets.

That’s who.

I want Zaila Avant-Garde to invent faster than light travel and discover the principles of gravity control. The difference between me and the anti-human cultists in our nation’s schools of ‘Education’ is that I can imagine the boundless heroic potential of homo sapiens’ imagination. And I don’t care about the skin color or sex of the person who helps maximize Ms. Avant-Garde’s potential. She represents the most important resource we can have, and the only resource which we can increase indefinitely.

“By attempting to relieve disadvantaged minority students of discipline, rigor, and expectations in math and other subjects, the foot-soldiers of “equity” reveal they don’t believe these kids deserve to know the positive effects such values can have.”

No, of course, they don’t. I would say they are convinced those kids are incompetent, irredeemable wretches. Except they don’t even give them that much respect.

Jo Boaler treats the Bell Curve of student performance as a problem to be solved by destroying the extreme tail of high caliber minds, cynically using the other tail to advance the NEA’s sinecured rent seeking.

Don’t think “it can’t happen here.” Teachers college graduates have been exposed to the tender mercies of people like Boaler for decades.

Critical PR Theory

Teachers’ union sues Rhode Island mom over requests for CRT curriculum info

“The lawsuit filed Monday in Bristol County Superior Court requests that a judge block the release of “non-public records” and implement “a balancing test that properly assesses the public interest in the records at issue measured against the teacher’s individual privacy rights.””

You may well wonder what records regarding curriculum, stored on school email servers, would be “non-public.” I think we are going to find out.

““Given the circumstances of the requests,” the lawsuit states, “it is likely that any teachers who are identifiable and have engaged in discussions about things like critical race theory will then be the subject of teacher harassment by national conservative groups opposed to critical race theory.””

Let me fix that for you: “Public employees’ preparations to teach white five year olds that they are irredeemable racists may expose such public employees to public criticism.

Some legal analysis:
Gigantic Teachers’ Union Sues Mom for Asking What the Local Public School Is Teaching Her Daughter

“It’s worth noting that the South Kingstown NEA previously targeted Solas, as we reported, by holding a special membership meeting singling her out as a danger.”

Harassment is OUR job.
Update: Smear of Mom Nicole Solas Was Prepared By Public Relations Firm Hired By South Kingstown (RI) School Committee

The chairwoman of the South Kingstown School Committee resigned from the board. The vice chairwoman of the board resigned from that position. The school district’s superintendent resigned.

Now the NEA is on the case. We can be sure the NEA is sincere in their belief that the 1619 curriculum is a model for teaching American history.

I also think this is about much more than that: The NEA is defending their right to run the public schools they way they see fit. For example, if they had to actually pay attention to parents the next time there’s a pandemic they wouldn’t be able to keep the schools closed.