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.

Get thee to a Memery

As memes go, this is the first time I’ve heard of this one. Still, there are T-shirts…

“When I was young my father said to me:
“Knowledge is Power….Francis Bacon”
I understood it as “Knowledge is power, France is Bacon.”

I empathize: When I was 9 I read Treasure Island, pronouncing “island” in my head as “Is Land” the entire time.

Kids those days. Go figure.

I think it was over a year before I understood my mistake. That is the closest I can come to epiphany regarding the point of postmodern literary critical theory: Not the bits claiming meaning resides solely with the reader, and changes with the reading – no matter the author’s intent – but that I made an egregious error from ignorance. And it damaged my understanding of reality. Which, of course, is the postmodernist’s point.

Phonic reading instruction has its drawbacks, though they are nothing compared to “whole language,” or whatever they’re calling it today. Probably “Intersectional Critical Textual Parsing.”

Sexist, Transphobic, Excoriable, Misogynist

That’s how progressive government schools define STEM these days.

Let’s use this look at the poet Robert Frost to expand the point: Rehabilitating Robert Frost: The Unity of his Literary, Cultural, and Political Thought

[F]or about four decades Frost was “the necessary enemy” of both “the political left and the modernist literary elite,”… Frost perceived that the common denominator which linked the political Left with the modernist literary elite was their claim to being “intellectuals,” which ultimately rested upon their faith in modern science, and in the application of the methods of physical science to every branch of humanistic knowledge, including politics and the arts.

In both art and politics, in theory and practice, Frost stood in stark opposition to the… self-styled “intellectual” elite, invariably Marxists, socialists, Freudians, or academic liberals, [who] proud of their sophisticated critical approach to literature, identified greatness in poetry with cultural complexity and obscurity…

The point I want to make is not about Frost, it’s that when Marx started pretending to apply science to politics it was inevitable that his fellow travelers would apply politics to science.

Cultural complexity and obscurity has become the hallmark of our current crop of elite collectivists. They deliberately write opaquely to assert their superiority to each other.

Not content to apply ‘critical theory‘ to poetry or literature in general, postmodernist professors of what used to called the humanities claim that mathematics is racist, physics is sexist, engineering is colonialist, and biology is transphobic, etc. etc.. This explains everything from the degenerate state of climate ‘science,’ to the fact that you can graduate from Yale with a degree in English without ever having read Chaucer or Shakespeare.

For example. Also.

Meaning and Millennials

“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.”

-Jordan Peterson

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.