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Wednesday, October 20, 2004

The lesser-of-many-untold-evils theory

On the American Spectator site there is an interesting review by Paul J. Cella III of Intellectual Morons: How Ideology Makes Smart People Fall for Stupid Ideas [WS link to amazon.ca] by Daniel J. Flynn.

But what emerges as a central theme throughout this book is invincible loyalty, or frightful credulity, of many of the various charlatans' defenders. Chomsky, we learn, is the most cited writer on earth (according to one study). There is an Alger Hiss Professor of Social Studies at Bard College in New York. Rigoberta Menchu's thoroughly discredited autobiography is still assigned to undergraduates across the country as nonfiction. Men will go to their graves defending the indefensible.

Though I am just ordering the book now (go ahead and order it yourself in Canada using the above link and that way our magazine gets a little kickback which helps to keep the website going), and therefore haven't read it, it occurs to me that somewhere in all this we might find the real benefit of recently deceased Jacques Derrida's deconstructionism [RIP]; namely, it might have tangled up a whole lot intellectuals just long enough when they might have otherwise inflicted or unleashed worse ideas upon the earth. Keep them busy in the kitchen taking apart the toaster and that way they don't have time to go out to the garage and build a bomb.

Posted by Kevin Steel on October 20, 2004 in Books | Permalink


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It sounds like Paul Johnson's Intellectuals, but for -- not "dummies", but more of a popularization. I mean that in a good way. Will have to pick it up.

There is another book just out on the same lines but with a very "Catholic" bent, called Architects of the Culture of Death. H


Posted by: Kathy Shaidle | 2004-10-20 11:30:09 AM

We are indeed living in interesting times. No more do we enoy the fruits from the "Age of Reason" or enjoy the benefits of "The Enlightenment"

My friend Billy Beck coined the phrase
"The Endarkenment" to name this era.

I believe that this "Endarkenment" has it's roots in logical fallacies perpetuated by subjectivist epistemology and philosophy. I recall very clearly the first day at the halls of Higher Learning, Canadian Academia, when my Professor of Psychology firmly and unequivocably told everybody in the class "There is no such thing as absolutes. Reality is wholly subjective".
He cited Emmanuel Kant.

Nobody in the class objected to this statement and nobody seemed to get the irony of my question - immediatley following which was "How can you be "absolutley sure" that "reality is not absolute" if there are no absolutes?

He looked at me, in the manner that one examines the bottom of their shoe after stepping into doggy poop. Oh... then ther was the marxist womyns prof at North Island College who got very upset when I started to explain how marxist economics was complete bunk. She started shaking and vigourously claimed "I'll have you know that Marxist economics is taken very seriously by Academia."
I laughed and said "Yes... and that's the only place it is." I couldn't handle more than 2 years of unniversity under such tutelage.

Posted by: MWW | 2004-10-20 5:03:09 PM

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