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.
From what I know of Trump’s views of trade, liberty, subsidiarity, respect for law, natural law, complexity of thinking, potential for hubris and social positions, I’m agin’. But he’s generally right on immigration and gloriously right on political correctness. Maybe that’s enough.
My favorite observer of the Trump phenomenon must the Blogfather, himself.
The insights to this strange phenomenon accumulate:
Trump and Hillary are both paragons of the 60’s, just opposite ends.
What we know:
Predicting the course of society is chancy, but certain tendencies seem strong enough to worry about:
- An increasingly isolated cognitive elite.
- A merging of the cognitive elite with the affluent.
- A deteriorating quality of life for people at the bottom end of the cognitive distribution.
Unchecked, these trends will lead the U.S. toward something resembling a caste society, with the underclass mired ever more firmly at the bottom and the cognitive elite ever more firmly anchored at the top, restructuring the rules of society so that it becomes harder and harder for them to lose. [p. 509].
It is obvious that these conclusions have not been discredited in the twenty-two years since they were written. They may be more accurately described as prescient. Continue reading