Over at The Belmont Club, Zenster contributes a brilliant comment on Wretchard’s post about the year the Clintons spent in Berkeley. I have reprinted it in total for ease of reference.
Boomers were one of the first generations to grow up completely immersed in liberal academia’s toxic brew of uncertainty and nebulous definitions.
It is impossible to overstate how damaging to young minds modern academia’s school of nihilist “thought” truly is. Let’s examine its “tenets”: (Try to recall how many times you told the following.)
1. You can never know anything for sure.
2. There’s no right or wrong, just shades of grey.
3. Truth is subjective.
4. Logic is conditional.
5. There are no absolutes.
6. Life is without meaning.
All of the above—now commonly held—”tenets” engender belief in a malevolent universe. They spawn pessimism, insecurity, cynicism and the ready dismissal of established norms. All of these behaviors are prerequisites for the subordination of less capable minds by those who seek to control them. Loosing an individual from the moorings of rational philosophy makes those cut adrift extremely vulnerable to programming of any sort. Cults and brainwashers are notorious for using such methods in recruiting new members or inducing political defections.
Let’s examine these modern “tenets” one by one:
You can never know anything for sure.
I’ve had people actually try to argue with me about how I can be so sure that the sun will rise tomorrow. My simple reply is that such debate is irrelevant because if the sun does not rise, all life will end and further dispute serves no valid purpose. Ayn Rand addresses this in her law of identity: A=A. Certain laws do hold with a degree of immutability whereby they can be accepted as absolute. The lack of surety bred up by this one supposition is amongst the most damaging of all to young minds.
There’s no right or wrong, just shades of grey.
Whenever confronted with this utter nonsense simply ask, “When is rape permissible?” There are certain things in this world that are wrong and to think otherwise is indicates an unwholesome degree of moral flexibility. It fosters an ability to tolerate the intolerable. This particular “tenet” serves as a cornerstone of moral relativism and represents a core driver of Multiculturalism’s refusal to condemn even the most hideous of traditions.
Truth is subjective.
There can be no better way of undermining an individual’s personal convictions than by making truth circumstantial. Welcome to the brave new world of “truthiness”. When a person’s moral compass is demagnetized its poles become interchangeable and from thereon it’s all a downhill slide. Once you leave the mountaintop of moral clarity all perspective is lost and certainty perishes swiftly thereafter.
Logic is conditional.
This is how you strip the mind’s gearbox and destroy any transmission of meaningful reality. Critical analysis is impossible without the guideposts of logic. Once this guardian of intellect is slain any barbarian can crash the gates of reason. Constructive criticism and the assassination of ideas suddenly become indistinguishable. Deform this vital toolset and there is no way to repair the damage done by the preceding “tenets”.
There are no absolutes.
Tear out the moorings of mental discrimination and personal judgment becomes impossible. Witness the recent pejorative cast given to the word “discrimination”. Although wholly different in meaning, it is now demonized with the same negative connotations attributed to the word “prejudice”. Little value is held in the ability to discern between right and wrong. Especially so when the difference between right and wrong has already been denied. When people cannot make up their own minds the time is ripe for someone else to do it for them.
Life is without meaning.
Here is the grand finale for those who seek to subvert humanity and civilization. Eliminate a sense of individual purpose in life and blind obedience becomes—not just a welcome relief from crippling disorientation—but an easy descent into conformity and total lack of free thought. Communism sought to do this by alienating workers from their labor, product and compensation. Make a person’s work irrelevant to their daily living and life rapidly becomes meaningless. Have the result of human labor bear no direct relation to personal survival and existence loses its importance. Reward individuals in ways that have little connection to their efforts and soon they lose all contact with reality.
Authoritarian religions do this as well. They attempt to channel all human spirituality into a more narrow definition that serves only their own ends. True liberation of the mind represents a least desirable outcome. Life’s meaning can only be perceived within the limited confines of hidebound doctrine and not via an individual quest for uplift.
Now, combine all of these “tenets” together and you brew up an intellectual poison so toxic that there is little chance of escaping its fatal effects. The antidotes of reason, logic and morality have all been diluted into impotence and little more remains than being led to the slaughterhouse. Welcome to Htrae, the Bizarro World of Politically Correct thinking and Multiculturalism.