You’ll note a new page in the menu: “Defending_the_Enlightment.”
Check it out.
You’ll note a new page in the menu: “Defending_the_Enlightment.”
Check it out.
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.”
**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 ;)
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.
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.
“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.
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:
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.
This is one of the very few times I have used my ‘academia’ category on a positive post.
The crucial distinction Progressives want to erase by vilifying masculinity and denying biological sex differences. They praise diversity while endeavoring to eliminate it.
“I think that often people come to the conclusion that life is meaningless because that is a better conclusion to come to than the reverse, because if life is meaningless, well then who cares what you do. But if life is meaningful, if what you do matters, then everything you do matters, and that puts a terrible responsibility on the individual. And I think that people are generally unwilling to bear that.”
Professors Jordan Peterson and John Vervaeke are colleagues in the University of Toronto Department of Psychology. They share an interest in the study of life’s meaning and reject moral relativism as nihilistic. They’re students of science and metaphysics.
Vervaeke, psychology specialties: Perception, Cognition and Cognitive Neuroscience
PhD 1997 University of Toronto, Philosophy
BSc 1991 University of Toronto, Specialist in Cognitive Science
MA 1985 University of Toronto, Philosophy
HBA 1984 McMaster University, Philosophy, Summa Cum Laude
Peterson, psychology specialties: Social, Personality and Abnormal
PhD 1991 McGill University, Clinical Psychology
BSc 1984 University of Alberta, Psychology
BSc 1982 University of Alberta, Political Science
Their voices are sorely needed as the Humanities move ever deeper into postmodern despair, absurdity and self-deception; and Science faces political pressure to abandon scientific method as sexist and/or racist.
Our educational system has gone to a lot of trouble to replace such sources of meaning as family, competence and merit by deconstructing individual responsibility into a collectivist competition for victimhood participation trophies. Reason is similarly challenged: There are no truths, only interpretations.
This has negative consequences, especially for those who grew up during this cultural shift. To be sure, much of what follows doesn’t apply to most Millennials, but we see evidence daily that there’s a problem.
One example: We’re told Millennials in the workplace desire “purpose over paycheck.”
Purpose should be easy: “You do this. We pay you.”
Instead, it seems likely “purpose” in that phrase substitutes for “precisely aligned with my life values and goals,” or “meaningful.” There’s nothing wrong with such an aspiration, but it isn’t realistic. For one thing, your colleagues would all have to be of one mind. That’s one reason jobs that provide life meaning are not common. Even self-employed I couldn’t be sure my job would always fulfill a particular “purpose,” including meeting payroll. And who could make sure the customers would co-operate? But, some people expect job “purpose” to be supplied by others.
In any case, as we’ll see, Millennials don’t appear to be finding deep meaning through their employment. That might indicate they are incapable of finding it in themselves.
And why would they be? They’ve been conditioned by effusive praise to expect meaning to find them. Meaning becomes external. Like a job. Or ‘Likes’ on Facebook.
A Millennial meaning deficit is strongly suggested by the fact that Millennial suicide rates are soaring: They experience high rates of depression: And they may be the “quintessential postmodern generation.”
They’ve been cut adrift in a sea of narcissism by their parents and their professors, who should have taught them moral values and how to think, but handed them participation trophies and moral nihilism instead. Many Millennials have come to expect constant and instantaneous validation of their merit, whether they’ve displayed any or not. That applies to their opinions too, many of them are convinced that simply taking offense grants them some sort of moral authority.
They’ve been misled about their capabilities. They’ve been lied to about their prospects. They’ve been suckered into huge student debt by what amounts to academic fraud.
A growing cultural anomie should not be surprising. Nor should we wonder why Millennials flock to hear Jordan Peterson, and increasingly John Vervaeke, speak for two hours about how to find meaning. For a dozen lectures.
Reason and meaning are under siege because of guilt by association with Western Civilization. Peterson and Vervaeke are playing defense. Some examples:
I’d say watch the whole thing, but this link will start at 2:04. Watch until you want to stop. TWT is 20:49.
Jordan Peterson *NEW* The Meaning of Life
Here’s an interview about meaning: John Vervaeke: The Meaning Crisis (39 minutes) Again, the whole thing is worthwhile, but the link starts at 18:32. There, Vervaeke puts his finger on the epistemological question raised by Postmodernism. It’s a serious question.
Vervaeke has recently started a series of lectures on YouTube: ‘Awakening From the Meaning Crisis.‘