Friday, July 22, 2005

The Sleep of Reason

Western intellectuals have twisted themselves into a pose they can't get out of gracefully. There is a posture on the Left, an attitude taken up by the Left, a collection of cliches and 'critical analyses' that are so stupid and obviously so that only the worst of the intelligent can make pronouncements from them-- and they do. The dhimmi Left, those who've sold themselves into slavery to the Muslim barbarism, are standing exposed in the cold glare of reality, and they don't even shudder at their own disgusting spectacle.

It's time for us to move on from the 1960s. The 60's pose is torture to hold any longer. We must live in the world as it is, and let's stop pretending that everything is peace and love, because it obviously isn't. There is in the world a deep fascist tendency, and it's spreading, deepening, and bursting out, particularly from the Islamic world, and it's killing innocent passers-by at random. Islam is a form of fascism, and its old hippie cheerleaders are trying to pass it off as something other than exactly what it is. When our intellectual class stoop to self-dhimmification they too become fascists. Let's get over it. Let's regain our reason.

In dealing with the dhimmi Left and their critique of our societies and the relations we have with the Muslim world we are dealing in some sense with intellectuals, people who claim we have to 'understand' our Moslem enemies, to grasp the 'root causes' of their alienation from the world, to find out how and why it happened-- due to our faults, our Modernity, our progress in the past 250 years. But because our intellectuals are so does not mean they're honest intellectuals, and it does not mean they are rational intellectuals. They are, in the case of Karen Armstrong, for example, irrationalist intellectuals, and that irrationalism is a deep form of fascism. We have to look at what our intellctuals write and speak, and we have to understand their root causes before we can understand our own reactions to them. Once we see the nature of fascism, we will see the Left as a fascism all of its own working in concert with the fascist Islam of today.

Below we have three pieces excerpted from essays ranging from liberal suburbia to radical anarchy to pure science. The first piece looks at the nature of fascism as a political movement, gives some background and some bits of biography of some of the intellectuals who, mostly unwittingly, made fascism a social movement even unto our own time. If we look at the essay immediately below and interpret it in terms of Islam and Left dhimmitude the conclusion is clearly that the tradition of the Counter-Enlightenment marches on today on the Left and in the irrational response of the Islamic ummah. This alliance of Left and Islamic fascism is the enemy we must expose to all who will take up positions on the front lines of the battle between Modernity and fascism.

The second set of excerpts show that radical anarchism is an elitist and unimportant movement but that it too, from the Left, recognizes a common enemy in the fascist Left as clearly as do the majority of liberals and social conservatives of the West. Even marginal Left anarchists see clearly the fascism of dhimmitude in the West.

We end this post with a book review on the state of our intellectual classes and the nature of the fascist dhimmitude they practice. Irrationality is the general theme of our thinkers in the West, and it is a fascist response to Modernity. The review we end with is a call to Reason and the re-implemention of reason in our culture, particularly in our universities, places where today irrationality is the norm.

Why is Reason so important? It is the foundation of Modernity, and it is the enemy of fascism. Our Moslem cousins and their fascist dhimmi cheerleaders are intent on destroying Progress and Modernity for the sake of fascist reactionary revival. This is the war between Athens and Sparta continued. It will likely continue for the duration of the existence of Humankind. If we find that rrrationality is preferable to the so-called sterility of Modernity, then we should know exactly where we stand and with whom. If science and reason and progress and modern living are so hateful that we feel we should not continue in that pursuit, then we must take up arms to defeat it. We must join the fascists of Islam and the dhimmi Left. They are continuing the traditions of life as Men have lived it for 5,000 years, and it is we Modernists who are revolutionaries, those who are destroying the old and settled world of proto-fascism and primitive life that we as a species have lived it roughly-- forever. Ours is the life of Reason, and it might be bad.

Our enemies do not think in terms of Reason and Rationality. The fascisms of Islam and dhimmitude are based on hatred, violent emotionalism, outright insanity in modern terms of reference. There is no "understanding" to be found. There is only submission to the urge and Will. But we can at least know that our enemies are insane and filled with hatred so powerfull that they will kill themselves and you in their expressions of that hatred. We can sympathize with the hatred the primitives feel toward the disruption of their traditional lives, and we can provide cash to ease the transitions, we can even offer ourselves up as sacrifices to appease their hatred; but the fact remains that we cannot understand emotion, not theirs, not our own, because we can only feel it or see it at a distance. The choice is ours. We know them as insane and deal with their insanity as it objectively is, or we do not.

Islam is, as Hassan al-Banna, claimed, a total way of life, and it is imposed on the world by the vanguard of Islamic revolutionaries on unwilling people who must thereafter act in accordance with shari'a. But it didn't take al-Banna to theorize totalitarianism into the agenda of Islam. It was there from the start, and it will remain so as truly as totalitarianism is part and parcel of Soviet Communism. Our Left dhimmis are totalitarians and they now support the totalitarianism of Islam. We must see reason in our fight against both. And then we must ask "What is to be done?"

"Political Ideologies and the Democratic Ideal"

Terrence Ball and Richard Dagger.
Longman Publishing: New York. 1998.
Chapter 7: Fascism

The sleep of reason brings forth monsters.
Goya

[F]or totalitarianism is the attempt to take complete control of a society--not just its government, but all its social, cultural, and economic institutions--in order to fulfill an ideological vision of how society ought to be organized and life ought to be lived.
***
Mussolini and the Italian Fascists coined the word "totalitarian." They did this to define their revolutionary aims and to distinguish their ideology from liberalism and socialism, which they saw as advocates of democracy.
***
...in their view the masses were to exercise power not by thinking, speaking, or voting for themselves, but by following their leaders to glory. As one of Mussolini's many slogans put it, credere, obbedire, combattere-- believe, obey, fight. Nothing more was asked, nothing more was desired of the people. By embracing totalitarianism, then, fascists also rejected democracy.
***
Like the Reactionaries of the early 1800s, they also rejected the faith in reason that they thought formed the foundation for liberalism and socialism alike. Reason is less reliable, both Mussolini and Hitler declared, than intuitions and emotions--what we sometimes call "gut instincts." This is why Mussolini exhorted his followers to "think with your blood."
***
[F]ascism in its most distinctive forms has been openly revolutionary, eager not only to change society, but to change it dramatically. This by itself sets fascists apart from conservatives, who cannot abide rapid and radical change. So, too, does the fascist plan to concentrate power in the hands of a totalitarian state led by a single party and a supreme leader.
***
Although fascism did not emerge as a political ideology until the 1920s, its roots reach back over a century to the reaction against the intellectual and cultural movement that dominated European thought in the eighteenth century--the Enlightenment. The thinkers of the Enlightenment dreamed a dream of reason. Taking the scientific discoveries of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries as their model and inspiration, the Enlightenment philosophers claimed that the application of reason could remove all the social and political evils that stood in the way of happiness and progress. Reason can light the minds of men and women, they proclaimed, freeing them from ... ignorance and error and superstition. The two great political currents that flow from the Enlightenment are liberalism and socialism. Different as they are in other respects, these two ideologies are alike in sharing the premises of the Enlightenment. These premises include:
1. Humanism-the idea that human beings are the source and measure of value, with human life valuable in and of itself. As Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) put it, human beings belong to the "kingdom of ends." Each person is an end-in-himself, in Kant's words, not something that others may use, like a tool, as a means of accomplishing their own selfish ends.

2. Rationalism-the idea that human beings are rational creatures and that human reason, epitomized in scientific inquiry, can solve all mysteries and reveal solutions to all the problems that men and women face.

3. Secularism-the idea that religion may be a source of comfort and insight, but not of absolute and unquestionable truths for guiding public life. The Enlightenment thinkers differed from one another in their religious views. Some, like John Locke and Kant, remained Christians; others, like Voltaire (1694-1778), rejected Christianity but believed in a God who had created a world as well-ordered as a watch, which the "divine watchmaker" had wound and left to run; still others were atheists. But even those who took their Christianity seriously regarded religion as something to be confined largely to private life, and therefore out of place in politics. The irreligious among the Enlightenment philosophers simply dismissed religion as an outmoded superstition that must give way to rational and scientific ideas.

4. Progressivism-the idea that human history is the story of progress, or improvement-perhaps even inevitable improvement-in the human condition. Once the shackles of ignorance and superstition have been broken, human reason will be free to order society in a rational way, and life will steadily and rapidly become better for all.

5. Universalism-the idea that there is a single, universal, human nature that binds all human beings together, despite differences of race, culture, or religious creed. Human beings are all equal members of Kant's "kingdom of ends" who share the same essential nature. including preeminently the capacity for reason.

***

A diverse group of thinkers some call the Counter-Enlightenment mounted this attack on the Enlightenment.2 Among them were the linguist Johan Gottfried von Herder (1744-1803), the royalists and reactionaries Joseph de Maistre (1753-1821) and Louis Gabriel de Bonald (1754-1840), the Marquis de Sade (1740-1814), now notorious as a libertine and pornographer, and racial theorists like Joseph-Arthur de Gobineau (1816-1882).

***

They were united, for instance, in denouncing "universalism" as a myth. Human beings are not all alike, they said; the differences that distinguish groups of people from one another run very deep. Indeed, these differences---0f sex, race, language, culture, creed, and nationality-actually define who and what people are, shaping how they think of themselves and other people. Some of the Counter-Enlightenment thinkers stressed differences of one sort, while others focused on other kinds. For Herder, linguistic and cultural differences mattered most; for Gobineau, it was race; and for de Sade, it was gender. Men, de Sade observed, do not admit women to the "kingdom of ends." They treat them as means, as objects to be used, abused, and humiliated-and this is as it should be. Fittingly, our words "sadism" and "sadistic" come from the name de Sade.

***

The Counter-Enlightenment critics brought similar complaints against the Enlightenment's faith in reason. The problem with rationalism, they said, is that it flies in the face of all human experience. The prevalence of unreason, of superstition and prejudice, shows that reason itself is too weak to be relied on. Most people, most of the time, use reason not to examine matters critically and dispassionately, but to rationalize and excuse their desires and deepen their prejudices. With this in mind, the Counter-Enlightenment writers often deplored the Enlightenment assault on religion. Some of them wrote from sincere religious conviction, but others simply held that religious beliefs are socially necessary fictions. The belief in heaven and hell, they maintained, may be all that keeps most people behaving as well as they do; to lose that belief may be to lose all hope of a civilized and orderly society. If that means that government must support an established church and persecute dissenters, then so be it.

***

[H]umans are fundamentally nonrational, even irrational, beings; they are defined by their differences---0f ... race, sex, religion, language, and nationality; and they are usually locked in conflict with one another, a conflict sparked by their deep-seated and probably permanent differences. Taken one by one, there is nothing necessarily "fascist" about any element of this picture. Combining the elements, however, gives us a picture of human capacities and characteristics that prepared the way for the emergence of fascism.

***
The final element in the cultural and intellectual background of fascism was irrationalism. This term captures the conclusions of a variety of very different thinkers who all came to agree with the thinkers of the Counter-Enlightenment that emotion and desire play a larger part in the actions of people than reason. Among these thinkers was Sigmund Freud (1856-1939), the founder of psychoanalysis, whose observations of his patients-and even of himself-led him to detect the power of instinctive drives and "the unconscious" in human conduct. In a similar vein the American philosopher and psychologist William James (1842-1910) held that most people have a "will to believe." Exactly what they believe is less important to them, James said, than that they believe in something. Psychologically speaking, people need something-- almost anything, in fact-- in which to believe. For the one thing that human beings cannot endure is a life devoid of some larger purpose or meaning.

Another social theorist who contributed to the development of irrationalism--and one who seems to have had a special influence on Mussolini--was the French social psychologist, Gustav Le Bon (1841-1931). In his classic work, The Crowd (1895), Le Bon argued that human behavior in crowds is different from their behavior as individuals. Acting collectively and therefore anonymously, people will participate in acts of barbarism that they would never engage in as lone individuals. The psychology of lynch-mobs, for example, is quite different from the psychology of the individuals who compose that mob. People acting en masse and in mobs are not restrained by individual conscience or moral scruple. A mob psychology, or a "herd instinct," takes over and shuts down individual judgments regarding right and wrong.

In a similar spirit, Pareto examined the social factors influencing individual judgment and behavior, concluding that emotions, symbols, and what he called "sentiments" are more important than material or economic factors. And Mosca suggested that people are moved more by slogans and symbols, flags and anthems --by "political formulae" as he called them --than by reasoned argument and rational debate.

All these thinkers -- Freud and James, Le Bon, Pareto, and Mosca -- were more immediately concerned with explaining how people acted than in leading people to action.

Not so Georges Sorel (1847-1922), a French engineer turned social theorist and political activist, Sorel [qv. no dhimmitude] insisted that people are more often moved to action by political "myths" than by appeals to reason, To...bring about major social changes, it is necessary to find a powerful myth that can inspire people to act. For Sorel, the idea of a nationwide "general strike" could prove to be such a myth. The "general strike" was a myth, in other words, in that there was no guarantee that it would really lead to the revolutionary overthrow of the bourgeoisie and capitalism. If enough people could be brought to believe in the myth of the general strike, however, their efforts, inspired by this belief, would indeed lead to a successful revolution. What matters most, Sorel concluded, is not the reasonableness of a myth, but its emotional power, for it is not reason but emotion that leads most people to act. And when the people act en masse, they can smash almost any obstacle in their path,

This was advice that Mussolini, Hitler, and other fascist leaders quite obviously took to heart. The slogans, the mass demonstrations, the torchlight parades-- all were designed to stir the people at their most basic emotional and instinctive levels. But stir them to do what? To create powerful nation states, then mighty empires, all under the leadership of the fascist elite. So it was not only irrationalism, but elitism and nationalism and the attitudes of the Counter-Enlightenment, too, that came together in the early twentieth century in the totalitarian ideology of fascism.

***

It is the work of professional intellectuals to think, and they think on behalf of the general public, a job as specifically definable as that of plumbers or airline pilots. Intellectuals provide us with the connections and the going to and from of thoughts that govern our daily lives. We are mostly too busy in our lives to think of the so-called big questions, and we rely on the inteelectuals of our societies to do that work for us. We assume they do their work honestly. We have been sadly betreayed in our trust, not just in the past 30 years but mostly throughout our history. It is up to us to ensure the correction of evil ideas, ideologies, and political agendas that threaten us even if we are not inteelctuals and don't have time to fuss with the details. we msut know what we can and act in our own best interests regardless of what our intellectuals tell us about ourselves and our world.

Below is a look at an anarchist's view of power, social relations, and intellectuals, and in it we see yet another approach to the problem of Irrationalism in the West in this time. If we look at the excerptsw as reflective of the minds of Muslims we'll see clearly the scope of unreason that we must deal with, and perhaps we'll begin to get a sense of how to respond to the threat of Islamic and dhimmi fascists in our midsts.

http://www.theidyllic.com/php/article.php?article=15


One need not reject the claims of a Hobbes or a Burke that humans are creatures of passion rather than reason to recognize that the most severe crimes perpetrated by individuals pale in comparison to those committed by organizations led by some sort of institutionalized authority. The modern serial killer is insignificant when contrasted with the death squad member or secret policeman. The greatest crimes of all are, of course, committed by the institution of the state, what Nietzsche characterized as a "cold monster". It is of the utmost importance to recognize that even persons of "normal" psychological make-up or moral temperament can be driven to act in the most atrocious ways when prodded by group norms or the direction of malignant leaders. This is borne out by the relevant studies in social psychology, particularly those of Stanley Milgram.(7) Hannah Arendt described this phenomena as "the banality of evil", a process whereby the most senseless and irrational forms of inhumanity acquire an aura of normalcy and take place within an atmosphere of dull mechanization.(8)
***
As power has never been quite so centralized as it is at present, the anarchist critique is now more relevant than ever. The essence of the traditional anarchist position is that the state is no more than a criminal gang writ large. The state exists to control territory, protect an artificially privileged ruling class, exploit its subjects or expand its power. Any other claims by or on behalf of the state are simply a matter of evasion, obfuscation, or perhaps mere naivete.
***
One of the most distinguishing characteristics of anarchists is the smallness of their ranks. This is likely rooted in the tendency of most anarchists, of whatever school, to focus on ideological abstractions and a type of intellectual elitism that disregards the sentiments and sensibilities of ordinary people. Most people are not intellectuals. Most people are not interested in ideology. Most people are not the rugged self-reliant individualists idealized by libertarians or the faithful crusaders for social justice that serve as left-wing archetypes. Instead, the nature of most people is to focus on their immediate day-to-day business. Most people seek security, identity and self-actualization in groups and get their ideas about what constitutes "right and wrong" from cues taken from peers, members of their own in-groups and perceived leaders and authority figures. The strongest attachments of this type seem to be family, ethnicity, religion, culture, language, geography and, to some degree, economic function and social class. Particularistic attachments of these types are commonly disregarded by leftist and libertarian intellectuals (and by establishment liberals and neoconservatives!) as reactionary, backward, overly parochial or provincial, ignorant and superstitious and even bigoted and hateful. Yet it is precisely these types of particularism that provide the social glue that holds organic and authentic human societies and cultures together.
***
Our struggle against Islam began the day Napoleon landed at Alexandria, Egypt in 1798. From that day to this and until the end, Islam, kicked in the teeth and beaten, was psychotic, and there is no turning back. The State of isreal, the War in Iraq, the Coca Cola labels maligning Allah, none of these things make any real difference other than that they are compounds of the napoleonic invasion. Napoleon brought, for the first time, Modernity to the islamic world, and there is no turning back. Islam lost its mind totally, and it cannot regain any pretense again of normalcy. Modernity came knocking, and the door opened in spite of Islam's best efforts to keep it out for good. Now we are at war, and there is no end until one side or the other is totally victorious. either the world of Modernity triumphs or the world slides back into primitivsim. We cannot co-exist. We will be ratrional or we will be enslaved.

Many of our finest intellectuals in the West hate Modernity. They side with the fascists of Islam. below we'll see some of what that means to us in our daily lives. It comes down to simple things such as the irrationalism of trivia, for example, the "New Age" pretentions of our anti-modernist longings for authenticity, a fascist ideological thread brought to us thanks to Heidegger, of whom most of us know nothing at all, but who is implanted deeply in our social discourse regardless. We think orf the daily horoscopes in the paper as harmless or even silly but we don't think often of the political implications that it leads to, the furtherence of irrationalatity and the eventual disgust with Modernity, the repetitive harping of emotionalism over reason, and the decline of Reason into fascism, the love of barbarism, the excusing of violence and the acceptance of Islamic hatred of Modernity that our dhimmis claim as valid and right. We might get sucked in by our intellectuals, sucked into a vortex of fascism unexamined and unconsidered simply because we're busy and reliant upon the good-will of our intellectual class to give us the best products of fertile and excellent minds working professionally to make our intellectual ethos for us. Unfortuneatley, we ended up with dhimmis who are ruining the world not only for us but for the slaves of primitivism themselves. The dhimmis are selling out the primitives of the world as happily as they are selling out the trusting populations of the West. The dhimmis of our intellectual classes are struggling agianst Modernity and Reason. Below we'll see some reactions from those who value science and logic, reason and evidence, rationality and progress, and we'll see that they are concerned with those whom we here refer to as dhimmis.

http://www.humanists.net/

Smoke and Mirrors in the Halls of Academe

A Review of Higher Superstition: The Academic Left and its Quarrel with Science

Paul R. Gross and Norman Levitt

Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1994, 313 pages.

by Pat Duffy Hutcheon

Gross and Levitt have courageously tackled a subject which many worried academics have avoided studiously in the vain hope that it would somehow quietly go away. The issue is the rising tide of hostility within universities to the disciplined scientific approach to knowing. As the authors demonstrate, this hostility has been gaining ground for almost three decades -- and in the very place where the ordinary, trusting citizen would least expect it. It appears that a major source of what now amounts to a virtual epidemic of relativism and irrationalism is the very institution that has been assigned the privileged role of bastion of reliable knowledge and instigator of informed and reasoned inquiry: the university system of the industrialized West. Readers unfamiliar with what has been happening may find some of what they encounter in this important and timely book so incredible that they will be inclined to discount it. But anyone concerned about the future of our universities -- and, indeed, of the society they serve -- would be well advised to read Higher Superstition carefully and to consider the implications of its message.

The book is organized into chapters which include the following: (1) a brief review of the history and politics relevant to the topic at hand; (2) a general overview of the defining features of the "cultural constructivist" attack on science; (3) an introduction to "postmodernism" -- identified as a sort of "catch-all" phrase for a specific cultural constructivist approach pioneered within literary theory and subsequently enveloping the general field of cultural studies; (4) a critique of fundamentalist feminism (a radical branch of the womens' movement which seems to have assumed all the "perspectivist" premises and postures of postmodernism); (5) a critique of anti-science environmentalism; and (6) a discussion of a number of versions of social activism that have become impatient and disillusioned with the fact that science cannot create immediate Utopias. The latter include some currents within the AIDS movement, the extremist proponents of "animal rights", and the Afro-centrism which has become so popular in American universities.

In spite of the subtitle, this is not a matter of left versus right as usually defined in the political arena of the larger society. Gross and Levitt make this point themselves, recognizing that any scholars seriously committed to solving social problems would seem to be deliberately crippling their own enterprise -- and betraying their deepest traditions -- if they forsake the scientific mode of inquiry for the New Age and "postmodern" doctrines now dominating the social sciences and humanities. They remind us that, throughout history, authoritative scientific inquiry -- far from being the enemy of social progress -- has invariably been the most powerful of weapons against exploitative authoritarianisms, whether social or intellectual. They also recognize that one of the two influential anti-science currents in the larger society today is led by the Creationists, who are right-wing in the traditional sense of the term.

As Gross and Levitt explain the issue, "We are using academic left to designate those people whose doctrinal ideosyncracies sustain the misreadings of science, its methods, and its conceptual foundations that have generated what nowadays passes for a politically progressive critique of it ( p.9)". They suggest that the term "left-wing" is justified because many of these people are former Marxists who have sought a congenial ideological home within the modern university. "Marxism, as understood by the American Left," they say, "has mutated from a revolutionary program driven by a strong sense of economic forces, to a philosophical impulse that mixes with other strains -- feminist, deconstructionist, Foucaldian, Laconian, ecological, and so forth -- to create the eclectic view of postmodern radicalism ( p.221)".

The authors caution that no designation of the proponents of today's anti-science current within academia can be hard and fast. "Each practitioner assembles his or her arsenal from favorite polemical bits and pieces -- a little Marxism to emphasize the twinship of science with economic exploitation, a little feminism to arraign the sexism of scientific practice, a little deconstruction to subvert the traditional reading of scientific theory, perhaps a bit of Afro-centrism to undermine the notion that scientific achievement is inevitably linked to European cultural values ( p.11)." The movement is joined by one common purpose, however, as Gross and Levitt make clear time and again in the examples they bring to bear on the argument. It is to "demystify?" science, to undermine its authority and to assign priority to competing and incompatible modes of knowing. We are reminded that this is not a new theme. "The notion that science is poisoned knowledge, the fruit of a Faustian bargain, has been with us for a long time, and its cry has more often come from reactionaries than from progressives ( p.219)."

The authors present a lucid summary of the history of the scientific method of inquiry, noting two major nineteenth century roots of today's "postmodernism". They trace the left-wing version of anti-science to the seductive Romantic exaltation of understanding over reason, as well as to Karl Marx's successful conscription of the prestige (minus the substance) of science to his own polemical ends. They look to more recent history to account for the prevalence, within modern departments of humanities and social/cultural studies, of academics with an anti-scientific mind set. A virtual "ball of exponential growth" in this direction was set rolling, they say, with the influx of doctrinaire militants during the late sixties, when North American universities were expanding rapidly. For anyone familiar with the power structure of the university, it is not difficult to accept the argument that, during the following twenty-five years, the entire process of recruitment into academic careers -- and that of "peer review" in academic journals, and the tenure and promotion tied to all this -- underwent alteration in a direction that selected and rewarded those with a vaguely mystical anti-scientific, holistic and "perspectivist" frame of reference.

This model which has gained such political success in the hothouse of academia is one that interprets the scientific world view as merely a product of the ideology controlling the society in which research is being conducted. Far from being a fruitful method of building reliable knowledge, science is, according to the postmodernists, "rather a parable, an allegory, that inscribes a set of social norms and encodes, however, subtly, a mythic structure justifying the dominance of one class, one race, one gender over another ( p.46)." Scientific verification is a matter of political/social authority only. Most amazing of all, the authors say, postmodernists disregard the obvious fact that science works, and that the propositions flowing from their own garbled obfuscations have been shown time and time again to have "all the explanatory power of the Tooth-Fairy Hypothesis ( p.47)."

To many scientists, perhaps the most amusing aspect of the posturing of postmodernists is their use of scientific concepts and authorities as grist for their ideological mills, even though they seem to lack elementary understanding of the premises, theories and bodies of knowledge involved. As an example of this, Gross and Levitt refer to the mountains of relativistic nonsense that have been written about Heisenberg's "uncertainty principle." They note wistfully that all this might have been avoided if Heisenberg had chosen a less emotive term. I would suggest that the same can be said about "chaos" theory. Nietzsche is (rightly) cited as an earlier prototype of the type of dangerously muddled, solipsistic and magical thinking that we find in today's postmodernism. The authors point out that Godel (another postmodernist saint) turns out -- on closer scrutiny -- to be an unadulterated Platonist, apparently believing that "an eternal 'not" was laid up in heaven where virtuous logicians hope to meet it hereafter ( p.102)."

The last section of the book raises a number of important questions. For example: What about the responsibility of scientists to ensure that university courses labeled as sciences are, in fact, teaching legitimate empirical methodology and reliable facts? What about the responsibility of all academics to be vigilant about the standards of excellence, and of evidence, applied throughout the university in the performance of its cultural function of providing intellectual and moral leadership? And finally, is it possible that the situation has now regressed so far that the only solution will be a schism within the system, with colleges of science providing their own courses in the humanities and the social/cultural studies?

This book will be sad reading for theorists and researchers in the exact sciences. For scientifically oriented social scientists like myself, however, it is much worse. It amounts to a tragic confirmation of personal experience. Gross and Levitt speak of attempting to recover lost territory for the scientific approach -- of physical scientists standing up for those of their colleagues in the social disciplines who are fighting the battle against relativism and irrationality. It is true that, for some time now, the struggle of a minority of social scientists to maintain scientific integrity within their professional communities has been a lonely one. It has been especially lonely for those, like myself, who have been attempting to define and justify an alternative approach to that of postmodernism. In my 1996 book, Leaving the Cave, I have proposed the scientific model of evolutionary naturalism -- built upon reliable knowledge from the life sciences and insights from the soundest work available in the social sciences, and incorporating the open-ended, self-correcting method of disciplined scientific inquiry.

I believe it is necessary to demonstrate that what the various versions of cultural constructivism offer is merely a grotesque metaphor for the real thing: scientific cultural studies capable of producing compelling evidence about the causes and consequences of human behavior. It is the absence of reliable knowledge that makes our social problems appear so intractable that "Cargo Cult" delusions can be peddled to gullible students as attractive options. The popularity of postmodernism today is, more than anything, a measure of the failure of the social sciences during the twentieth century.

***

One of the central tenets of fascism is irrationalism. There's little more to say than that we cannot understand irrationality rationally. We can attempt to intellectualize irrationality but the fact is that the world holds roughtly a billion Moslems who are having what amounts to a two year old's violent temper tantrum. We have to respond to that the way a mature and decent parent would respond to a child going uncontrolably insane. Our problem is that the Moslem world is huge and physically mature. They are insane, and violently so. The dhimmi intellectuals seem to like it. They excuse it. They pretend that it's our fault, that we took away the Moslems' favorite toy or some such, and that if only we stop what we're doing and make amends then all will again be right with the world. but it will never again be right. This is our time to either spread the revolutions of odernity or lose all that Humanity has gained in the past 250 years.

If we do not stop the insanity of the Islamic world, firstly by dismissing our dhimmi Left intellectuals as scum-bags, and then by controlling forcably the Moslem world, regardless of their reactions to that, then we are doomed to be ruled by lunatic and violent children out of control.

3 comments:

Undead Ed said...

Too many words. Too many references to authority. Not enough logical reduction.

You have a corrupt Facist in the Whitehouse who is waging a war over fossil fuels, whittling away at citizen's rights, substituting religious dogma for the scientific process and you are belaboring Islamic intransigence.

Why aren't you screaming for the head of G.W. Bush and his band of robber barons?

Thou hypocrite, first cast the beam from thine own eye...

Undead Ed

ASU DEVIL said...

If you're going to reference the works of political masterminds - such as Terrance Ball and Richard Dagger - you may want to give them credit for what they wrote.
[e.g. all of these thinkers - freud and james, le bon, pareto, and mosca- were more immediately concerned with.... (and much more!) all appear in "political ideologies and the democratic ideal 7th edition (p. 198 para. 3)]

Dag said...

"Political Ideologies and the Democratic Ideal"

Terrence Ball and Richard Dagger.
Longman Publishing: New York. 1998.
Chapter 7: Fascism

Thanks for the addition of:

"7th edition (p. 198 para. 3)]"

Those who refer to a different edition might not care.