Thomas Sowell’s syndicated column this week took on Derrick Bell, whom Sowell knew at Stanford. Sowell writes that Bell was not a leading scholar, and that he found himself between a rock and a hard place in career terms:
Derrick Bell's options were to be a nobody, living in the shadow of more accomplished legal scholars — or to go off on some wild tangent of his own, and appeal to a radical racial constituency on campus and beyond. His writings showed clearly that the latter was the path he chose. (...) >>>
Mar 14, 2012
Inside out, upside down, the world of pomo Alice -
Melanie Philips has a new book out on the inside out, upside down world created by the postmodern Left (and increasingly also the postmodern Right). As Ayn Rand has pointed out, at root the problem stems from the religionist fallacy of Consciousness before Being -
Melanie Philips: "The World Turned Upside Down"
In what we tell ourselves is an age of reason, we are behaving increasingly irrationally. More and more people are signing up to weird and wacky cults, para-psychology, seances, paganism and witch- craft. There is widespread belief in ludicrous conspiracy theories, such as the 9/11 terrorist attack being an American plot.
The basic cause of all this unreason is the erosion of the building blocks of western civilisation. We tell ourselves that religion and reason are incompatible, but in fact the opposite is the case. It was Christianity and the Hebrew Bible that gave us our concepts of reason, progress and an orderly world-the foundations of science and modernity. The basic cause of all this unreason is the erosion of the building blocks of western civilisation. We tell ourselves that religion and reason are incompatible, but in fact the opposite is the case. It was Christianity and the Hebrew Bible that gave us our concepts of reason, progress and an orderly world-the foundations of science and modernity.
The loss of religious belief has meant the West has replaced reason and truth with ideology and prejudice, which it enforces in the manner of a secular inquisition. The result has been a kind of mass derangement, as truth and lies, right and wrong, victim and aggressor are all turned upside down. In medieval-style witch- hunts, scientists who are skeptical of global warming are hounded from their posts; Israel is ferociously demonized; and the United States is vilified over the war on terror-all on the basis of falsehoods and propaganda that are believed as truth.
Thus the West is losing both its rationality and its freedoms. It is succumbing to a "soft totalitarianism," which not only is creating an ugly mood of intolerance but is undermining its ability to defend itself against Islamic aggression. While the Islamists are intent on returning the free world to the seventh century, the West no longer seems willing or able to defend the modernity and rationalism that it brought into being. (...) >>>
Jan. 6, 2011
Intellectual flatulence -
Muck and Mystery: "The Pansy Left"
This, I have learned, is what Orwell called it. This bon mot is one of many in James Piereson's review of Absent Minds: Intellectuals in Britain by Stefan Collini. Pierson contrasts this work with The Rise and Fall of the Man of Letters (1969) by John Gross. (...) I'm reminded of this Roger Scruton review of Frank Furedi's Where Have All the Intellectuals Gone?
As an Englishman, I am bothered by the term “intellectual”, which came late to our language. Humane education was shaped in our country by Coleridge, Ruskin, Arnold and — in the political sphere — Macaulay, Gladstone and Disraeli, people who would have described themselves as educated men, but not as intellectuals. The intellectual is a synthesis of French bohemianism and Russian nihilism. Intellectuals have an inveterate tendency to be on the Left and to turn on dissenters with a venom that no educated person could comfortably endorse. Much of the decline that Furedi is describing in this book could be described in another way, as the gradual vanishing of the educated person as the goal of education, and its replacement by the intellectual instead. Intellectuals are critics of the established order; they are on the side of the victim, and against the bourgeois normality; they repudiate discipline, authority, family, tradition, and nothing gets up their nose so much as the calm forgiving acceptance of human imperfection. And, as we know from the cases of Marx, Lenin, Mao, Sartre, Pol Pot and a thousand more, they are dangerous. (...) >>>Jan. 3, 2011
10 pomo fundamentals -
Web Design Schools Guide: "10 Core Components of Postmodernism"
Postmodernism isn’t a term that’s easily defined, and its roots aren’t easily traced. We find it used to describe architecture, art, technology and literature among other areas; either stemming from modernism or opposed to it. Most notable is postmodern thought, which entails several core components that are widely acknowledged by many of those who subscribe to the philosophy. In this case, the philosophy is anti-modern, as evidenced by the list below. (...) >>>
Oct. 20, 2010
Sent on a pomo wild goose chase - The critic obviously doesn't get how pomo logic works: you see, the secular is relativist and reasonable, therefore the opposite, the 'religious' is absolutist and unreasonable, usually sarcastically referred to as "eternal truth" and "dogma" ... the rest is basically irrelevant. It also works the other way round: see anything unreasonable or absolute, it must be 'religious' -
The New Republic: "What is a Religion?", Damon Linker - A review and critique of postmodern scholar Ian Buruma's new book "Taming the Gods: Religion and Democracy on Three Continents"
(...) Buruma certainly writes with authority throughout the book, marshaling an impressive range of arguments and evidence, as well as issuing informed judgments, on nearly every page; but the character of those judgments, and the ideas and assumptions that underlie them, are not quite as unimpeachable as he thinks. (...) in Buruma’s view, those militantly devout Muslims who once dreamed of murdering Salman Rushdie—like those today who threaten to murder the outspoken atheist Ayaan Hirsi Ali, who succeeded in murdering filmmaker Theo van Gogh in 2004, and who responded to the publication of satirical drawings of Mohammed in a Danish newspaper in the fall of 2005 by throwing a theologically motivated temper tantrum that resulted in more than one hundred deaths in countries around the world—are a problem;
but so, too, are those who uncompromisingly, and sometimes rudely, defend liberalism, the Enlightenment, scientific truth, and the right to free speech. In his book on the murder of van Gogh, he called them “Enlightenment fundamentalists.” Both sides, you see, are “religious.” Or maybe not. In some of the most muddled and maddening passages of his book, Buruma asserts something close to the opposite view, at least with reference to Islam. “The challenge posed by Muslims in Europe,” he writes, “is not cultural, civilizational, or even, in the end, religious. It is social and political.” Here Buruma edges toward yet another definition of religion, as an otherworldly, peaceful expression of spirituality that in certain rare and lamentable circumstances gets corrupted by an essentially non-religious “political rage.” (...) >>>
May 16, 2010
Remembering a time of spirit - Peggy Noonan lauding the British for their stance against the IRA terror campaign. Doesn't she know we live in postmodern times, in which pride of nation has made place for self-loathing by means of political correctness (the dialectic)? The entire paradigm has changed - enjoy the memories of a time when greatness was still a value worth pursuing. We have now internalized the consciousness the enemy has chosen for us -
WSJ: "Lessons From Another 'Long War' - The British stood their ground when they were under terror siege", by Peggy Noonan
New York remains on high alert. There is virtually no one here who does not understand that we and Washington are what we were on Sept. 11 almost nine years ago: the main and primary targets. Last weekend's events in Times Square demonstrated again that our enemies are persistent and focused if not, in the case of Faisal Shahzad (...) Britain faced a quarter-century of terror bombings from the Irish Republican Army, which literally calling its campaign "the long war."
But the IRA found itself up against a particular spirit, a national attitude that isn't remembered enough or lauded enough. We see some of it in these words: "There is no excuse for the IRA's reign of terror. If there violence were, as the misleading phrase often has it, 'mindless,' it would be easier to grasp as the manifestation of a disordered psyche. But that is not what terrorism is, however many psychopaths may be attracted to it. Terrorism is the calculated use of violence—and the threat of it—to achieve political ends." That is Margaret Thatcher. More on her in a moment. (...) >>>
May 7, 2010
Diplomacy, pomo style - And here's more of a similar nature ... antisemitic jokes, quite the thing in diplomatic circles - it tells of who these people see as their adversaries and of the brazen disdain they harbor - they don't even care who notices -
Image via WikipediaThe Guardian: "Pope 'condom' gaffe: Foreign Office apologises"
The Foreign Office was last night forced to issue a public apology after an official document suggested Britain should mark the Pope's visit this year by asking him to open an abortion clinic, bless a gay marriage and launch a range of Benedict-branded condoms.(...) Foreign secretary David Miliband (photo) was said to be "appalled", and Britain's ambassador to the Vatican, Francis Campbell, has met Holy See officials to voice the government's regret. A Foreign Office spokesman said: "This is clearly a foolish document that does not in any way reflect UK government or Foreign Office policy or views. (...) >>>
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- The Foreign Office's sick attack on the Pope: what did you expect? (blogs.telegraph.co.uk)
Apr 25, 2010
Dr. Stephen C. Meyer explains that the Climategate MO has also been at work in other areas where dissent collided with dogmatic science. The Sensuous Curmudgeon provides us with an instant illustration of the derision and ad hominem's you find your way if you happen to disagree with the "scientific"
Human Events: "Climategate Recalls Attacks on Darwin Doubters", by Dr. Stephen C. Meyer
Believers in human-caused global climate change have been placed under an uncomfortable spotlight recently. That is thanks to the Climategate scandal, centering on e-mails hacked from the influential Climate Research Unit (CRU) at England’s University of East Anglia. The e-mails show scientists from various academic institutions hard at work suppressing dissent from other scientists who have doubts on global warming, massaging research data to fit preconceived ideas, and seeking to manipulate the gold standard “peer review” process to keep skeptical views from being heard. Does this sound familiar at all? To me, as a prominent skeptic of modern Darwinian theory, it sure does. For years, Darwin-doubting scientists have complained of precisely such abuses, committed by Darwin zealots in academia. (...) >>>
The editorial in one of the Dutch mainstays of multiculturalism is more informative than its actual content. Gist: matters of national identity should be swept under the carpet; we should all just pretend the balkanization of our countries doesn't exist. Not Sarkozy! Let's shed some sunlight on the big, fat elephant in the room! Burqas aren't French.
NRC: "French identity debate is getting out of control"
The French government has successfully instigated a national debate on the French identity, but it is escalating into a free-for-all. (...) >>>
Dec. 22, 2009
- "Pomo Lingo"
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