The Left Behind Series (or, Why is the Left so Intellectually and Spiritually Behind?)
Academia seems to be a culture, like the MSM, that is simply so permeated with the leftist worldview -- and all of its many hidden assumptions -- that it is utterly blind to those assumptions. And because academics mostly associate with their own psychoclass, they come to regard their worldview as normative instead of an aberration -- even an illness of the soul. Thus, they may not be so much arrogant as clueless. And the more elite the university, the more predictable they are. For example, professors at so-called "elite" universities are much more likely to be irreligious than those from junior colleges and state universities. It's like a Darwinian process of natural selction, in which the dark academic environment selects only the metaphysically blind, who are somehow able to "see" there, like those fish at the bottom of the sea.
I've mentioned before that I have a relative by marriage who is a renowned historian. I remember once having a conversation with him in which I brought up the obvious innate differences between male and female nature. Not only did he disagree with me, but he insisted that I show him the data that I relied upon to arrive at this conclusion. There seems to be a sort of mental disability that can afflict the overly-educated person, so that he can no longer understand certain things that have always been known -- and in a way, cannot not be known. Something interferes with the "naturally supernatural" process of direct "internal" knowing, and must be replaced from the outside with "data" or an empirical study. I suppose it's analogous to someone who only ate processed food. Eventually they would lose their taste for natural foods. Compared to a fried academic Snickers bar, an intuitive apple just won't do.
I think it is entirely fair to say that the vast majority of academic "product" is merely junk food for the mind (as always, we are speaking of the humanities, or subhumanities, to be exact). No, I don't have a study to prove that, but how would one go about doing so, anyway? Let's just say that for me, most academic books and papers are so tedious, or tendentious, or narrow, or poorly written, or frankly perverse, that a normal person would want nothing to do with them.
For example, most of the psychology journals I see are so dopey as to be laughable. And I mean that literally. (Let me say at the outset that there are a number of excellent psychoanalytic journals, but psychoanalysis is not exactly an academic discipline but a clinical one; it only becomes stupid in the hands of academics.) I don't subscribe to any of the big journals in my field. In fact, I'm not even a member of my professional association, the American Psychological Association, because it's just a front for a totolerantarian gang of leftist activists. But I do see some of the journals laying around the office, and I do occasionally flip through them for a laugh. To say that they are shallow does not even begin to address the problem. Virtually every issue has some big study about multiculturalism and the need for what is called cultural competence.
I just picked up one of these journals the other day, and read an article that was one of a multi-part series on cultural competence. This one had to do with cultural competence toward Muslim patients... wait, I mean clients... no, consumers of mental health services. (This shifting name for the object of clinical attention is another obnoxious artifact of the PC virus -- as if we can make a sick person well by calling him a "consumer" instead of a "patient.") Among other things, I learned that, in dealing with Muslims -- especially Shia Muslims -- one must be sensitive to their core value of martyrdom.
Now this is fascinating, because the idea is presented absolutely without irony or self-awareness. Yes, the PC impulse is a totalitarian one, but it doesn't feel that way to the person infected with it. Rather, I am sure they simply feel earnest. They are merely following their "do-gooder" impulse to provide me with the information I need to assist Muslim consumers of mental health services to be better martyrs. The idea that a cultural belief or practice can be a priori sick is unknown -- even unthinkable -- to them. This particular writer has been so thoroughly brainwashed by political correctness, multiculturalism, and moral relativism, that she has no idea how far gone she is -- or how very much in need she is for a kind of ideological psychotherapy that is unavailable to her -- unless she were lucky enough to stumble upon a Dr. Sanity, or ShrinkWrapped, or Theodore Dalrymple. I'm sure there are others, but the fact that we know their names tells you how rare and exceptional they are.
Speaking of insular, take a look at a comment made by that atheistic tool, Sam Harris. I bring it up because it demonstrates how beautifully the idiotarianism of atheism merges with the idiotarianism of leftism (yes, I realize that there are some atheistic conservatives, but they are obviously in the minority). With reference to the Islamic threat, Harris said that Europe has been "very slow to address the looming problem of religious extremism among its immigrants. The people who speak most sensibly about the threat that Islam poses to Europe are actually fascists. To say that this does not bode well for liberalism is an understatement: It does not bode well for the future of civilization."
And why are those who recognize the threat fascists? Because they are not politically correct liberals. There is no connecting of the dots, no mental ability to see the causal nexus between the inherent foolishness of leftism and their blindness to the threat of radical Islam. Harris' mind "cannot go there," very much like the perennially clueless New York Times, which often publishes variations on the theme of "Crime Down Despite Increase in Prison Population."
I am very fortunate, because I entered my masters program (1982) before these toxic and dysfuntiuonal ideas had permeated academia. Moreover, I completed my PhD at a private training institute with a strong psychoanalytic orientation, so I am one of those apparently rare individuals who has a PhD in the humanities without ever having had to seriously contend with the obnoxious PC brainwashing.
A magazine such as Psychology Today represents stupidity squared, because it mostly boils down the nonsense of academia for a semi-literate audience, in the same way that Time or Newsweek purvey idiotarian liberal conventional wisdom to the 8th grade mass-mentality.
In fact, Psychology Today recently published an article entitled The Ideological Animal that enters the realm of the "beyond stupid." I mean this literally, for a stupid person is merely stupid, but it takes real intelligence to push past the limits of stupidity into something beyond it. I know this may sound "rash" or polemic to some, but the effect of bad ideas during the 20th century alone was utterly catastrophic. Both Marxism and fascism were not just ideas, but entire systems of thought carefully worked out by intellectuals.
We are surrounded by bad ideas and their toxic consequences. A free marketplace will tend to eliminate bad ideas -- or at least it has a chance to -- whereas in academia or government, since they are free from market discipline, bad ideas can become entrenched and almost impossible to eliminate, as in the educational establishment, or the state department, or our tax system, or social security. In each case, any person with common sense can see the problem, and yet, there is nothing we can do about it. A bad idea, like a mind parasite, becomes like a living entity with its own momentum and its own desire to go on being.
Let's spend a moment looking at this Psychology Today article, which tries to explain the underlying psychological reasons for why someone would be conservative. Right away there's a tipoff, because it's literally inconceivable that hordes of leftist academics would set themselves the task of trying to understand the problem of leftism. What is its dark, seductive appeal? How do people fall into its clutches? Why is it mainly a disease of the emotionally immature and the under- and overeducated? Why is it so rampant in academia? Is it worse if the particular academic has had no real-world experience with any environment outside academia? Can a simple course in basic economics serve as a sort of innoculation? Is leftism a substitute religion? Is it widely associated with narcissistic personality disorder, since studies (as if those with Coon Vision require one) show that this is true of Hollywoodenhead celebreties and nitwitterati, who are said to be "narcissistic, vain, and lacking in real-life skills”?
Look at the assumptions with which the author begins: "We tend to believe our political views have evolved by a process of rational thought, as we consider arguments, weigh evidence, and draw conclusions. But the truth is more complicated." Yes, it may be more complicated, but this does not mean that the problems and issues are not susceptible to rational analysis. That is, just because some people -- or many people, it doesn't matter -- come to conservatism for emotional reasons, it hardly means that they are wrong.
Let's just take one example, the commonsense understanding that men and women are different in some fundamental ways. The person hasn't thought this through in any rational or explicit way. Rather, it's just "obvious" to him.
On the other hand, the over-educated liberal knows better. He knows that gender is just a social construct. Give a boy dolls to play with, and he'll grow up feminine. Give a girl guns, and she'll grow up macho.
Let's pause on this one for just a second, for this is a deeply evil, abusive, even monstrous notion. My 21-month old son is such a boy. I mean, I hate to say it, but he's more manly than I am. And he came out this way. The idea that my wife and I have somehow culturally "programmed" him to make him this way is just so nutty as to be beyond stupid. And the idea of doing anything to mitigate or weaken (as opposed to channel) this delightful male energy strikes me as a horror. His best friend is a little girl next door who is two months older, so I've watched her grow up from the outset. In her case, her feminine energy couldn't be more obvious, and is equally delightful. And when they interact, one sees all of the seeds of the beautiful complementarity between male and female, even at this young age. My son shows off for her with daring and dangerous stunts, tries to make her laugh, and does a little "mating dance" while she coyly bats her big eyes at him.
So I'm a fascist and I'm primitive. What can I say?
This is going to be a long day for me, so I suppose that I will have to de-deconstruct that Psychology Today article tomorrow. I also wanted to get into a couple of particularly dense comments left by the troll "reliapundit," for his inarticulate cluelessness inadvertantly inspired some thoughts about on the relationship between Spirit and language.