Before that, college was supposed to be a shelter for the intelligent few (which of course it never really was). Afterwards it became a credential factory for the unintelligent mob. But in the words of the Aphorist, There is an illiteracy of the soul that no diploma cures. Or maybe you've never read Michelle Obama's mobster's thesis. As Christopher Hitchens said of it,
To describe it as hard to read would be a mistake; the thesis cannot be "read" at all, in the strict sense of the verb. This is because it wasn’t written in any known language.
Leftism ruins everything.
The expansion of our academia-industrial complex was "accompanied by the inevitable inrush of functional illiterates into academic positions" (Voegelin).
Naturally, this was the furthest thing from Bob's mind when he entered grad school in the 1980s. I'm trying to remember when I realized that these people possessed no more practical wisdom than my plumber, and probably less. In any event, there was a four stage process of 1) uncritical idealization, 2) gradual disillusionment, 3) utter contempt, and 4) comedy gold; or gods --> men --> beasts --> clowns.
Voegelin describes in the tenured clownocracy "a peculiar mixture of libido dominandi, philosophical illiteracy, and adamant refusal to enter into rational discourse, because the adequate form would have to be satire." And as anyone who doesn't work for the Babylon Bee knows, "it is next to impossible to write satire when a situation has become so grotesque that reality surpasses the flight of a satirist's imagination."
You can't really satire Joe Biden. Rather, only the people who don't perceive his cognitive nakedness -- or rather, apperceive that he's beautifully dressed, i.e., that he's the same old Slow Joe instead of the present No Joe. How do they not see what is right before their eyes? This -- negative hallucination -- is a big subject, but not necessarily the subject of this post, which is not yet known. It's still coming in, and the streaming is a bit slow this morning.
Voegelin found himself "surrounded on all sides" by "violently restrictive visions of existence," and "had to get out of that 'apodictic horizon' as fast as possible." Apodictic? Yes, the absolute certainty of the ideologues, which is to say, absolutism without the Absolute, rationalism without Reason, intellectuals without Intellect, truth without Logos.
Which reduces to Who and whom, Hammers and anvils, leftist elites and bags of wet cement. Leftism always results in kakistocracy, or meritocracy in reverse -- in other words, not just the denial of standards, but their inversion: the scum rises to the top: kamelacracy.
In plainasday terms, who attends college these days for the disinterested pursuit of truth rather than because it is a weigh station to power -- whether economic, political, or victim power?
For Voegelin's part, he was "attracted to 'larger horizons' and repelled, if not nauseated, by restrictive deformations" of ideology.
Same. Like I always say, if you feel that some ideology is sufficient to account for you, go for it. In all likelihood, feminism is sufficient to account for the constricted soul of the feminist, Marxism for the Marxist, progressivism for the progressive, scientism for the materialist, Darwinism for the Darwinist, etc. Just don't imagine our cloud of unknowing falls from your ideological droplet.
[A]ll of us are threatened in our humanity, if not our physical existence, by the massive social force of activist dreamers who want to liberate us from our imperfections by locking us up in the perfect prison of their phantasy. Even in our so-called free societies not a day passes that we are not seriously molested, in encounters with persons, or the mass media, or a supposedly philosophical and scientific literature, by somebody's Utopian imagination (ibid.).
Hang on. Let me fact-check that.
False: not a second passes.
In any event, "We have to break jail, and restore the philosopher's freedom of reason." Not to mention the media's freedom of inquiry and the humorist's freedom of mockery. We must slip the surly bonds of surly activists who want to inflict their dreams "of perfection by violence on everyman's humanity." But "Since our imperfection does not make sense to dreamers who know how to achieve perfection, it has acquired in the world of their phantasy the character of an Absurdity."
The real absurdity is, for example, pretending to know how to solve the problems of the Black Community, the most serious of which being the consequences of pretending to know how to solve them.
But what is ideology but a revolt against reality? Impossibility is beside the point. Just ask an Islamist who truly thinks he is contributing to the inevitable Islamization of the world. For the ideologue, permanent truth is a temporary condition. Just ask someone who thinks men can menstruate and some woman don't have a cervix.
The Lie is necessarily parasitic on the truth it denies. Before you pretend men can be women, you have to first perceive that there are men and there are women. Before you pretend to redefine marriage, you first have to understand actual marriage. Before you pretend Joe Biden is a Vital and Robust Dynamo because he rode a two-wheeler last weekend, you have to see that he's a demented husk. "The dream revolt against reality is structurally bound to the structure it wants to destroy" (ibid.).
Life isn't fair, and the world doesn't owe you a living. Thus, it will always furnish "the grievances from which a revolt can start." Yes, the left politicizes everything because it politicizes existence itself, which covers just about everything. But in so doing, it collapses vertical reality into the horizontal, from whence comes the "religionization" of politicized existence: ideologies are secular religions, always.
Not only is this absurd, it is necessarily absurd, because dreams are dreams. Unless you force them to be true, in which case they are nightmares. In reality, life is indeed a kind of perpetual dream, in the sense that it is certainly not a material object, or abstract equation, or philosophical system, but "reality itself becom[ing] luminous in the events of experience and imaginative symbolization."
Above we alluded to the apodictic horizon. The actual horizon
draws us to advance toward it but withdraws as we advance; it can give direction to the quest of truth but it cannot be reached; and the beyond of the horizon can fascinate as the "extreme" of truth but it cannot be possessed as truth face to face within this life (ibid.).
Conversely, "The devil who takes possession of man is man himself when he indulges his imagination to the extreme of self-divinization."
With which the Aphorist agrees:
Many think that the devil died, but he merely walks around today disguised as man.
Good news: we're finally finished with Voegelin, at least for the tome being.