If old truths are to retain their hold on men’s minds, they must be restated in the language and concepts of successive generations. What at one time are their most effective expressions gradually become so worn with use that they cease to carry a definite meaning. The underlying ideas may be as valid as ever, but the words, even when they refer to problems that are still with us, no longer convey the same conviction; the arguments do not move in a context familiar to us; and they rarely give us direct answers to the questions we are asking. – Friedrich Hayek
Conservatives and classical liberals are not famously good at telling their ideas. It seems that postmodern liberals aren’t doing it very well these days, either.
Democrats (and Democrats in the media) are running with the headline, “The Russians Hacked the Election”. What they mean is, “The Russians Hacked E-mail Accounts of Two Democrats”, which may be true*. They are hoping you will hear “The Russians Tampered with American Election Results”, which is not true**. Failing that, at least you’ll hear, “The Russians Wanted Trump to Win”, which is pure speculation, and unlikely***.
Before the election, Republicans were screaming that Hillary’s home-based e-mail server was a scandal, and that the whole administration’s information security was poor. Democrats found it unworthy to report on. Republicans claimed she had exposed the US to electronic spying, made secrets insecure and exposed personnel to blackmail. Democrats thought that was far-fetched paranoia. It seems a reasonable middle ground to say that confidentiality laws should be observed and enforced, we should act as though unfriendly powers will try to do bad things and absent any better evidence, this election suffered no more malfeasance than most.
* WikiLeaks, the conduit for the e-mails, claims it is not. The e-mails were not hacked but leaked by someone within the Democrat organization. It was probably a Bernie supporter, disgruntled by his treatment.
** Though it is an excellent argument for paper ballots, voter ID and accurate voter rolls.
*** If Hillary were president and the e-mails had not been released, the Russians would have some excellent blackmail material. They may still have information we haven’t seen. Vulnerabilities aside, Hillary did not show particular negotiation skill in Syria, Libya or the Ukraine. The opposing candidate, though untested, does have a reputation as a tough negotiator.
Nobody expected a bestseller, much less a canon of the American cultural revolution. Allan Bloom certainly never expected to be a conservative.
Here is Bloom’s “The Closing of the American Mind” on pleasure, addiction and rock music:
Rock music provides premature ecstasy and, in this respect, is like the drugs with which it is allied. It artificially induces exaltation naturally attached to the completion of the greatest endeavors–victory in just war, consummated love, artistic creation, religion devotion and discovery of truth. Without effort, without talent, without virtue, without exercise of the faculties, anyone and everyone is accorded the equal right to the enjoyment of their fruits. In my experience, students who have had a serious fling with drugs–and gotten over it–find it difficult to have enthusiasms of great expectations. It is as though the color has been drained out of their lives and they see everything in black and white. The pleasure they experienced in the beginning was so intense that they no longer look for it at the end, or as the end. They may function perfectly well, but dryly, routinely. Their energy has been sapped, and they do not expect their life’s activity to produce anything but a living, whereas liberal education is supposed to encourage the belief that the good life is the pleasant life and that the best life is the most pleasant life. I suspect that the rock addiction, particularly in the absence of strong counterattractions, has an effect similar to that of drugs. The student will get over this music, or at least the exclusive passion for it. But they will do so in the same way Freud says that men accept the reality principle–as something harsh, grim and essentially unattractive, a mere necessity . . . As long as they have the Walkman on, they cannot hear what the great tradition has to say. And, after its prolonged use, when they take it off, they find they are deaf.
Selected quotes from Goodreads and Wikiquote along with praise and condemnation.
America and Yugoslavia, what do they have in common? Quite a bit according to Shindler, and that should give us pause.
Schlicter has another Yugoslavic warning.
Canada is getting refugees and it was immediately decided that all goodthinking people will cheer this development because, of course, only badthinking people could possibly oppose or even have reservations. So I guess *this* isn’t one of those news items that will be getting the “stand by as the story unfolds” treatment.
When you see the “non-political” human interest stories there is invariably a subtext. Remember to watch for actual evidence to support the conclusion they are leading you toward. Sometimes the story ends like this.
Perhaps virtue signalling leads less to virtue than to popularity.
…and their descendants. This is one of those times the sequel is more compelling than the original.
Islam has a Quran; Christianity has a bible. Christianity has prophets (and a savior); Islam has prophets. Both revere one true God and agree that it is the God of Abraham. How are they similar and contrasting?
What about Islam and feminism?
The silence is a direct outgrowth of the way feminist theory has developed in recent years. Now mired in self-righteous sentimentalism, multicultural nonjudgmentalism, and internationalist utopianism, feminism has lost the language to make the universalist moral claims of equal dignity and individual freedom that once rendered it so compelling.