Death by education

A university professor almost invariably knows nothing about the history of the culture we live within. The compartmentalisation of knowledge has left almost every discipline filled with cultural morons, and even where such knowledge ought to be integral to the subject – sociology, say, or history – those who reach the professorial level are as ignorant as school children. They have no idea what other societies are like, or even our own at an earlier stage of history. And beyond that, their own socialisation is towards some fantasist version of what might even be possible given the crooked timber of humanity. Which leads to this: The Death of Merit and the Race to Mediocrity in Our Increasingly Marxist Universities. Here’s some with more at the link.

There are 756,900teachers and professors in Canada, and 5.2 million in the U.S. Almost all of these professors and teachers are daily resolutely and relentlessly attacking Western culture, rejecting American culture, and advocating cultural Marxism.

How did this come about? During the 1960s and 1970s, two converging social movements transformed the culture of education. One was the adoption of Marxism by a wide range of North American university professors in the social sciences and humanities. The other was the widespread adoption of feminist theory. Together, Marxism and feminism redefined North American society as a hierarchy of oppression, with white, patriarchal capitalists at the top, and poor lesbians of color at the bottom. All citizens were redefined as members of racial, economic, gender, sexual, and ethnic classes, with people of white oppressing people of color, males oppressing females, rich oppressing poor, heterosexuals oppressing LGBTQ++, Christians and Jews oppressing Muslims, and so on. This approach is called “social justice” theory.

Having myself come out of the university system of the 1960s and 1970s, I was not only there at the start but also part of the transformation. But we had the rock solid framework of our cultural inheritance to buffer ourselves against our own ignorance and stupidity. Now we are the framework. It is rotting timber that will soon lead to the overturning of our culture which will fall to enemies who will bring on a Dark Age of such blackness that it may be centuries before we become universally enlightened enough to understand the loss that will now be taking place.

This is what cultural liars like to say: everything you believe is a lie that only benefits the ruling class

The Jordan Peterson interview by Cathy Newmann continues to resonate through the right-side of the internet. I have seen a number of discussions of which this is one: Jordan B Peterson, Critical Theory, and the New Bourgeoisie. Here’s how it starts but the main point is about Cultural Marxism which I will get to after the prelims:

Earlier this week, clinical psychologist Jordan B. Peterson appeared on Britain’s Channel 4 in an interview with TV journalist Cathy Newman. It didn’t go well. Journalist Douglas Murray described it as “catastrophic for the interviewer”, while author Sam Harris called it a “nearly terminal case of close-mindedness”. Sociologist Nicholas Christakis perhaps described it best:

This man @jordanbpeterson is preternaturally calm and composed in the face of a hostile interviewer who also had simply not thought adequately about her ideas and approach. Facts and reason are powerful allies. https://blogs.spectator.co.uk/2018/01/watch-cathy-newmans-catastrophic-interview-with-jordan-peterson/ 

 

So onto Critical Theory, about which we find this.

Critical Theory draws heavily on Karl Marx’s notion of ideology. Because the bourgeoisie controlled the means of production, Marx suggested, they controlled the culture. Consequently, the laws, beliefs, and morality of society reflected the interests of the bourgeoisie. And importantly, people were unaware that this was the case. In other words, capitalism created a situation where the interests of a particular group of people—those who controlled society—were made to appear to be universal truths and values, when in fact they were not.

The founders of critical theory developed this notion. By identifying the distorting effects power had on society’s beliefs and values, they believed they could achieve a more accurate picture of the world. And when people saw things as they really were, they would liberate themselves. “Theory,” they suggested, always serves the interests of certain people; traditional theory, because it is uncritical towards power, automatically serves the powerful, while critical theory, because it unmasks these interests, serves the powerless.

All theory is political, they said, and by choosing critical theory over traditional theory one chooses to challenge the status quo, in accordance with Marx’s famous statement: “Philosophers have hitherto only interpreted the world in various ways; the point is to change it.”

 

And it is the central point of virtually all modern university thought which Peterson represents the movement away from.

The identity of the group providing the intellectual foundation for both critical theory and the social justice movement are mostly white middle-and-upper-class intellectuals from the political left in advanced Western economies. It may be more illuminating to see this group’s interests as the driving force of societal change, rather than those of the ever-changing group of the powerless. In effect, the intellectuals of the political left are creating the type of society they personally want to live in. ‘The powerless’ are temporary allies on this journey.

Not only are they temporary allies, but they are unwilling allies as well. Brexit and the election of PDT are two examples of which many more are likely to follow.

Gramscian prescriptions

This is from a much longer post on Gramscian Damage by Eric Raymond which is interesting even if you don’t know what “Gramscian” means. It’s a wicked world out there, as he explains:

The Soviets consciously followed the Gramscian prescription; they pursued a war of position, subverting the “leading elements” of society through their agents of influence. (See, for example, Stephen Koch’s Double Lives: Stalin, Willi Munzenberg and the Seduction of the Intellectuals) This worked exactly as expected; their memes seeped into Western popular culture and are repeated endlessly in (for example) the products of Hollywood.

Indeed, the index of Soviet success is that most of us no longer think of these memes as Communist propaganda. It takes a significant amount of digging and rethinking and remembering, even for a lifelong anti-Communist like myself, to realize that there was a time (within the lifetime of my parents) when all of these ideas would have seemed alien, absurd, and repulsive to most people — at best, the beliefs of a nutty left-wing fringe, and at worst instruments of deliberate subversion intended to destroy the American way of life.

Koch shows us that the worst-case scenario was, as it turns out now, the correct one; these ideas, like the “race bomb” rumor, really were instruments deliberately designed to destroy the American way of life. Another index of their success is that most members of the bicoastal elite can no longer speak of “the American way of life” without deprecation, irony, or an automatic and half-conscious genuflection towards the altar of political correctness. In this and other ways, the corrosive effects of Stalin’s meme war have come to utterly pervade our culture.

He also linked to an earlier post of his, Suicidalism, which has a convenient list of ways in which we are ruining our own culture by adopting ideological positions that no other society would ever come close to copying. Why we create such rabid enemies from among our own citizens, I do not know. But all this is much too familiar to need to have to argue about since you can come across each of these sentiments pretty well everywhere across the West:

There is no truth, only competing agendas.

All Western (and especially American) claims to moral superiority over Communism/Fascism/Islam are vitiated by the West’s history of racism and colonialism.

There are no objective standards by which we may judge one culture to be better than another. Anyone who claims that there are such standards is an evil oppressor.

The prosperity of the West is built on ruthless exploitation of the Third World; therefore Westerners actually deserve to be impoverished and miserable.

Crime is the fault of society, not the individual criminal.

Poor criminals are entitled to what they take. Submitting to criminal predation is more virtuous than resisting it.

The poor are victims. Criminals are victims. And only victims are virtuous. Therefore only the poor and criminals are virtuous. (Rich people can borrow some virtue by identifying
with poor people and criminals.)

For a virtuous person, violence and war are never justified. It is always better to be a victim than to fight, or even to defend oneself. But “oppressed” people are allowed to use violence anyway; they are merely reflecting the evil of their oppressors.

When confronted with terror, the only moral course for a Westerner is to apologize for past sins, understand the terrorist’s point of view, and make concessions.

But we might still save our selves in the end, since none of these are true while all are pernicious as more and more people are beginning to find out. In the meantime, read both of his posts.