Friday, June 04, 2010

Liberal Academia and False Memory Syndrome

Back to the virtue of prudence. Pieper notes that it has two distinct aspects which essentially have to do with cognition vs. action; the former involves deliberation and objective perception of reality, and may take some time. But once a decision is arrived at, prudence dictates that the wise man slices like a f*cking hammer, as Paul would say. Or, to paraphrase Thomas, "In deliberation we may hesitate; but a considered act must be performed swiftly." It will not do to deliberate for a few seconds and then dither away without acting. (Image of Integral Man via Ace.)

Likewise, to be decisive and resolute in the absence of proper deliberation is no longer virtuous -- say, the way Obama was resolute in ramming through his misguided healthcare and "stimulus" bills. (One could hardly imagine a better example of imprudence than "you have to pass it in order to find out what's in it.")

In the absence of the prior apprehension of objective reality, we see how resoluteness merely devolves to stubbornness. A mule possesses that, but we don't call it a virtue. In short, in order to radiate Paul Anka-like integrity, one must first appreciate The. F*ucking. Way. It. Is! before making one's move and slicing like the proverbial hammer.

But then, Peiper notes that the perception of reality breaks down into three prior modes, which we will call memory, openness, and objectivity, especially in unexpected situations.

First, memory. Clearly, Pieper means more than mere mechanical "recollection." Everyone "remembers," but Pieper is referring to "true-to-being" memory, which means that it must be cleansed of self-interest, wish-fulfillment, mind parasites, ideology, and all of the other things that distort recollection of the real.

To cite one obvious example, for the past 40 years or so, the left has developed an academic-industrial complex (which we call the mullah-terror & nasty old leftist complex) that involves a systematic distortion and re-writing of the past -- which is why our anonymous troll always has a worthless link at his grubby fingertips that can crockument how, say, the barbaric Palestinians are really the righteous victims of the Israelis, or how America was the aggressor in the Cold War, or how Democrats haven't always been the party of racism.

The list is endless. I know, because I briefly fell under the spinfluence of this festering sump hole of debased anti-scholarship back in my addled daze as a leftist. In my case, my motivations weren't the least bit cynical, because I innocently assumed that I was dealing with virtuous and prudent men. Only now do I realize the extent of their moral -- and intellectual -- depravity.

Memory can have nothing to do with prudence unless it is actually capable of retaining and understanding "the past." The doctrine of deconstruction and the cynical practice of historical revisionism are explicitly founded on the idea that this is impossible, and that what we naively call "history" is just a narrative invented by People of Pallor, rooted in power for the purposes of oppression and control. It couldn't be more simplistic, because it all reduces to raceclassgendersexualorientation. It's their answer for everything.

Thus, for example, the readily available historical facts that document the genocidal intentions of Israel's Arab neighbors are dismissed as racist "orientalism" or some other such wackademic nonsense. This is pure projection, because leftist "scholarship" begins and ends with the manipulation of reality for the purpose of accruing political power. "Truth" doesn't even enter into the equation. If it does, it is merely as an accidental means, not the essential end, that guides thought at every step of the way.

For example, I have a relative by marriage who is a highly respected leftist historian. He wrote a well-received book on how there is nothing special about the Holocaust, except in the calculated manner that Israel has cynically used it in order to consolidate political power.

But one cannot imagine a leftist writing a book on how, say, the "Palestinians" were invented by genocidal Muslims for the very purpose of being a permanent dagger aimed at the heart of Israeil; or how sociopathic shakedown artists such as Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson cynically manipulate guilt-ridden white liberals in order to accumulate wealth and political power; or how lying demagogues such as Al Gore have done the same thing with environmental hysteria; or how woman-hating feminists manipulate statistics to make it appear as if (biological) females are a repressed and persecuted group.

But "the virtue of prudence lies in this: that the objective cognition of reality shall determine action; that the truth of real things shall become determinative."

Again, the left is almost excluded from objective cognition due to the pervasiveness of political correctness, which makes certain perceptions impermissible and drains language of meaning as soon as a word accumulates unwanted content. For example, once "liberal" became too tainted with noxious associations, they changed it to "progressive"; once "global warming" no longer worked, it became "climate change"; once racism faded into the background, it became "code words" and "institutional racism"; once racial quotas were recognized for the evil they are, they invented "affirmative action" and now "diveristy."

The list goes on and on, but in each case there is a systematic attempt to place a barrier between language (and therefore thought) and reality. Thus, the falsification of recollection renders thought dysfunctional and action imprudent, for "memory is the spiritual proto-reality from which thought and volition take their origin.... There is no more insidious way for error to establish itself than by this falsification of the memory through silent retouches, displacements, discolorations, omissions, shifts of accent" (and bear in mind that Pieper wrote these words before the left had taken over academia and institutionalized their assault on the possibility of history as a real container of truth).

And Pieper mainly addresses the falsification of horizontal truth. He doesn't even get into the left's actual denial and obliteration of vertical recollection, which is even more catastrophic (both intellectually and spiritually).

To cite one particularly obvious example, the very book we are now discussing -- The Four Cardinal Virtues -- is nothing less than an exercise in vertical recollection (or verticalisthenics), whereby we are re-collecting the distillation of some 2500 years of accumulated collective wisdom embodied in western civilization. But if you attend an elite university, you are more likely to learn about Indian sweat lodges, aboriginal dream time, or transexual wiccans than you are about the cardinal virtues.

Please note that true recollection is irreducibly infused with virtue, for Truth is the virtue of Intellect (just as, morality is the virtue of action, or beauty the virtue of art). Thus, "the honesty of the memory can be ensured only by a rectitude of the whole human being which purifies the most hidden roots of volition." It is no coincidence that the great universities were founded by religious orders, and that even America's most debased elite universities were once associated with particular religious denominations, for it is strictly insane to try to sunder the vital relationship between God and Truth. Eliminate one and you destroy the other; first comes anti-scholarship, then Anti-Civilization.


Van Harvey said...

Sorry for OT, but Science has just made another amazing scoop,

"A new and complex genetic analysis has revealed that Jews all over the world are related by virtue of uniquely shared genetic traits dating back several millennia."

There is nothing, no matter how obvious, that will ever get by these guys.

greyniffler said...

A few years back, there was a popular bumper sticker exhorting random acts of kindness and senseless acts of beauty. It may be possible to read this as oxymoron, but I suspect that far too few people are oxy and far too many are moron. So it must be read directly, and it becomes a frightening indicator of our society's debasement, thus:

If one is randomly kind, then is not one also randomly not-kind, which is to say randomly cruel? And only someone whose appreciation of beauty lies in the thrill up his leg (or nearby) could suggest that true beauty can ever be senseless.

So we exhort and celebrate random cruelty and the evisceration of true beauty.

mushroom said...

The movie Agora is apparently a prime example of historical revisionism, ignoring facts in the face of an agenda.
The Decent Films website has an article about the movie.

Even more devastating is David Hart's First Things post on Hypatia and the Alexandrian Library.

Susannah said...

Mushroom, I always turn to Decent Films and have never disagreed with their reviews of films I have seen. Thanks for those links.

Mizz E said...

“Nature, Mr. Allnut,” she declares, “is what we are put in this world to rise above.”

One of my all time favorite films, in which prudence and fortitude win the day!

Nova said...


I'm reading Hart's book on atheism now. As Bob observed some while ago, he tends toward the turgid and it's a bit of a slog for coons used to a stew well-leavened with gags and guffaws. Nonetheless turgid or not Hart is 100% one of the good guys, and he knocks the occasional observation out of the park (e.g., Hitchen's incessant deployment of enthymemes in his "book").

black hole said...

Well Bob another nice flogging of the left.

I know what you want.

1. The gradual elimination of atheism and leftist thought, perferably by peaceful means, from the USA and then the world.

2. The gradual taking over of government and academia by spiritually enlightened individuals.

3. The return to conservative economic policies and to conservative education.

4. The shrinking of government services and taxation.

When this four-pronged plan is completed, a world population who uniformly believes in O will be competently led by convervative politicians.

Global peace and prosperity will hopefully ensue, based on the presumpton that climate changes aren't harmful, and that raccoons won't war over the usual bullshit anymore.

At that point Bob or his distant relations will stand down from blogging as there will no longer be any need for political or religious guidance. The job will be completed.

What year will it be? 2110? More?

So, this is what the raccoons want.


ge said...

Van: i think their temperatures are higher

ge said...

inspiring song = onward to 2110!

You who have dreams
If you act, they'll come true
To turn your dreams to a fact
It's up to you
If you have the soul and the spirit
Never fear it, you'll see it through
Hearts can inspire
Other hearts with their fire
For the strong obey
When a strong man shows them the way

Give me some men who are stout-hearted men
Who will fight for the right they adore
Start me with ten who are stout-hearted men
And I'll soon give you ten thousand more-ore

Shoulder to shoulder, and bolder and bolder
They grow as they go to the fore
Then there's nothing in the world
Can halt or mar a plan
When stout-hearted men
Can stick together - man - to man...

Sal said...

ge, you crack me up! I love your comments.

Bh- yes, that's pretty much what we want, but unlike yourself, we won't be whining "are we there yet?" every five minutes b/c we understand that this takes forever. Or rather, it takes doing over and over again.
Which I'm afraid would bore you.

Brazentide said...

"The gradual elimination of..."

"The gradual taking over of..."

"a world population [...] will be competently led by convervative[sic] politicians"

I can't help but notice that BH's post reveals his assumption that the left's political opponents are in some sort of contest to see who's flawed politicians can build (or dictate) a better utopia.

The horizontal man always views himself to be seated on the summit of creation. Solutions for him must always be implemented top-down and always using himself as the starting point. His political resolve is unmatched, for if he (or his proxy) isn't at the controls of society, then -- in his mind -- the waters of hope and change will cease flowing, or even worse, be poisoned.

Fortunately for us, we don't have to spend our time, money, or our children's-children's money buying up the same age-old bottle of snake-oil panacea with a different label. We already know it doesn't work, we know the horrible side effects, and we know better than to trust anyone selling it.

We know that as individuals go, so does the family. As the family goes, so does the culture, as the culture goes, so does the nation, and as nations go, so does the world. Only when enough of humanity gets properly oriented and there is enough (↓) and (↑) flowing, will things begin to improve.