Temporal Cassandra

From 1959. 26 minutes.

From the comments:
Ayn Rand was a time traveler sent to the past to inform the future of its fate.

The sad thing is that Mike Wallace was so much better than today’s talking heads. For example, Cathy Newman.

In hindsight, we know Mike was a Leftist. He may have lacked the imagination to understand what Rand was saying, but he was polite; adding a gloss of honesty to his work. Faint praise, since Walter Cronkite and Bill Moyers did, too.

I couldn’t think of a ‘journalist’ character in Atlas Shrugged. Had to look.* There was only Bertram Scudder.**

Rand was eerily accurate in many ways, but may have understated the degradation we’ve seen in ‘journalism.’ I didn’t remember a sufficient excoriation of the press, and she had Walter Duranty as a contemporary example. Then again, the book is already over a thousand pages, and a full treatment of the press would have doubled that.

Well done, Ayn.

*That led me to an example of the nihilists Jordan Peterson despises.

“The purpose of philosophy is not to help men find the meaning of life, but to prove to them that there isn’t any… ”

“Reason, my dear, is the most naive of all superstitions… You suffer from the popular delusion of believing that things can be understood. You do not grasp the fact that the universe is a solid contradiction… The duty of thinkers is not to explain, but to demonstrate that nothing can be explained… The purpose of philosophy is not to seek knowledge, but to prove that knowledge is impossible to man.”
-Dr. Pritchett

**Scudder’s claim to fame is that he prompted D’Anconia’s “Money Speech.”

“Rearden heard Bertram Scudder, outside the group, say to a girl who made some sound of indignation, “Don’t let him disturb you. You know, money is the root of all evil – and he’s the typical product of money.”

Rearden did not think that Francisco could have heard it, but he saw Francisco turning to them with a gravely courteous smile.

“So you think that money is the root of all evil?” said Francisco d’Aconia. “Have you ever asked what is the root of money? Money is a tool of exchange, which can’t exist unless there are goods produced and men able to produce them. Money is the material shape of the principle that men who wish to deal with one another must deal by trade and give value for value. Money is not the tool of the moochers, who claim your product by tears, or of the looters, who take it from you by force. Money is made possible only by the men who produce. Is this what you consider evil?…”

So, of course, I read the whole speech again.

H/T Ragnar ;)

Like phylloxera?

French leaders say social and racial theories “entirely imported from the United States” are destroying French culture

It’s nice to see the French complaining about Leftwing American zealots.

However, Mr. Macron may wish to consider the contributions of:
Derrida. Foucault. Barthes. Lyotard. Baudrillard. Lacon. Althusser.

These are all French Postmodernists and/or Neo-Marxists. Sort of a 20th century Hall of Fame, actually.

They rejected rationality and objectivity. Sound familiar? If not, check out the Smithsonian Institution view.

These French philosophes claimed that the only valid social criterion is who has power. No other meaning is possible.

This is where those American zealots got the ideas that speech is violence, the Enlightenment was merely racism, “lived experience” wins any debate without regard to logic (which is racist, in any case), and that all lives don’t matter. It enables writers to make money from books titled In Defense of Looting. It posits that protests of the Goodthink sort are privileged in a polity otherwise under house arrest because of a viral pandemic. That’s a partial list.

Really, Emmanuel, where do you think these social and racial ideas learned to walk? BLM and Antifa have merely taken your countrymen at their word, adapted it to the street, and sent the resulting chaos back to France.

So, no. Phylloxera originated in the US, then infected French grapevines. BLM and Antifa ideas were incubated in France, exported to the US, and returned as a gain of function research error.

Happy Thanksgiving

I’m thankful the Pilgrims’ realization that collectivism causes misery and creates poverty still resonates enough 400 years later that most of us continue to respect the ideas of freedom of conscience, individual liberty, and free markets.

Despite over 100 years of accelerating totalitarian attempts to destroy them from within.

In

Of Plymouth Plantation, … the colony’s longtime governor, William Bradford. … details how the Pilgrims “languish[ed] in misery” sharing their labor and its fruits. The collectivism “was found to breed much confusion and discontent and retard much employment.” Two years into the experiment ironically forced upon them by their capitalist underwriters, Bradford parceled common land out to individual families to exploit for their own selfish benefit.

“This had very good success,” Bradford explained, “for it made all hands very industrious, so as much more corn was planted than otherwise would have been by any means the Governor or any other could use, and saved him a great deal of trouble, and gave far better content. The women now went willingly into the field, and took their little ones with them to set corn; which before would allege weakness and inability; whom to have compelled would have been thought great tyranny and oppression.” The Pilgrim Father’s two-paragraph rejection of collectivism is among the most enduring and persuasive arguments for private property in the English language.”

For a another treatment of this, see How Private Property Saved the Pilgrims.

Hillsdale College – Resolute

Since 1844, Hillsdale College has provided classical liberal higher education regardless of students’ race, religion, or sex, and was the second college in the United States to grant 4 year degrees to women.

Hillsdale’s opposition to slavery was one of its founding principles. Frederick Douglass was twice a speaker at the college.

The tradition of top quality speakers has continued. You may wish to check out Imprimis, a free monthly digest of Hillsdale College speakers. Scroll through the Contributors selection box and you will see, for example, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Margaret Thatcher, Edward Teller, F. A. Hayek, Victor Davis Hanson, and many, many other great thinkers.

Hillsdale withdrew from all federal assistance in 1984 to avoid the burgeoning interference of Washington bureaucrats which threatened to destroy its mission, and has so severely damaged other institutions and their students.

Hillsdale offers 26 free online courses in topics including Literature, Philosophy, History, Economics, and Politics – including several on our Constitution. One example:
The Great American Story: A Land of Hope

This course explores the history of America as a land of hope founded on high principles. In presenting the great triumphs and achievements of our nation’s past, as well as the shortcomings and failures, it offers a broad and unbiased study of the kind essential to the cultivation of intelligent patriotism.

This preamble cannot convey the value of Hillsdale to our state and our country, but I hope it will encourage you to read this letter published in The Hillsdale Collegian:

On the College and Silence: A letter from Hillsdale College

This letter is highly, highly recommended. It is inspiring and principled. It begins:

Amidst the events of recent weeks, a number of alumni and others have taken up formal and public means to insist that Hillsdale College issue statements concerning these events. The College is charged with negligence — or worse.

RTWT

This is one of the very few times I have used my ‘academia’ category on a positive post.