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Spiritual/Political/Philosophical Blog on the Nature of Truth and Falsehood and Heaven
Tuesday, February 17, 2004 The Academic Hegemony of the Left
TCS has a two part essay on how the Left is increasingly mad in its irrationality, yet increasingly successful in its subversion of common sense. Here is Part One, and Part Two.
A few snippets:
The real target is the idea of a metaphysically implacable natural order to which one must submit, with all that that implies about human nature and moral law. Its rejection is the deep source of the perversity that so dominates modern intellectual life.
So strong is the modern intellectual's hatred for the traditional morality of the West and the metaphysics that justifies it that he goes as far as to treat the Leftism that is defined by opposition to them as a dogma, an unchallengeable posit that must be propagated, and its opponents crushed, at all costs and in the face of all evidence against it. He treats it, that is to say, in exactly the way he accuses the Christian fundamentalist of treating his own religion.
As the intelligentsia has gotten progressively more "progressive," so too under its influence -- via the universities, media, mainline churches, etc. -- has the average non-intellectual, just not as thoroughly or ideologically. He thus lives in a state of cognitive dissonance, torn, to use the argot of commentators on the 2000 presidential election, between the "blue state" devil whispering enticingly into his left ear and the ever more desperate pleadings of the "red state" angel at his right ear. The call to self-reliance and self-restraint, to family and faith, still has for him its charms; yet the prospects of ever-expanding government handouts at others' expense, and of endless sensual indulgence without consequences (except to one's children, ex-spouses, the unborn, and future generations, but never mind them) -- such prospects exert a pull too powerful for the average citizen of the modern West to resist, flabby and desiccated as he is already from half a century or so of welfarism and sexual "liberation."
The New Religion of the intellectuals is something he is already half-converted to.
. . . If the typical contemporary Westerner does not quite resonate to the ravings of Marxists and postmodernists, neither is he much drawn to the doctrines of Thomists, Burkeans, or Hayekians. He is too far gone for that. He wants his conservatism heavily watered down, at least enough to leave room for a Federal prescription drug benefit and easy access to pornography, should the mood for it strike him. . .
posted by Mark Butterworth | 11:14 AM |