I’m French. What the article describes, the rise of radical left in Academics, happened in France 50 years ago, and can be traced back to the fight waged by Sartre onto Camus. This has since poisoned the country so deeply, that it is now a cesspool of hate. In this respect, Tocqueville, when he described the old Europe and its probable fate, was sadly right on point.
On the radical left side – Sartre – for whom existence precede essence, individuals can be (re)-educated, re-programmed since their life experience is the primary driving force of their beliefs. There’s no limit to what can be done, except what diminishes the political strength of their ideas. Humans become a means to an end.
On Camus’ side – the humanist & classical liberal – there is a transcendence that pertains to human beings. Anything and everything isn’t permissible. Humans are an end in itself.
It is important to note that at the time by French liberals – and there were many – made the mistake to fight on the battleground of ideas. It was never about ideas on Sartre’s side and his supporters. It was all about power. And the rise to power is all about logistics, nothing more.
Back then, gender was a matter of debate, but not a mainstream issue, so the political vehicle was ‘work’ in its philosophical and economical sense. It would take too long to describe why this was important to the French mindset, and so crucial to its identity. Sociology became the fortress of the radical left, producing armies of jobless citizens, who in turn would vote for more radical policies.
It’s now the US’s time. ‘Work’ is still unconnected to philosophy, and there’s acceptance that mobility is part of the deal. That won’t last for very long, considering the recent US elections, but in fine, the initial vehicle will be different. It’ll be gender and race (then work), which by all means, have become the reasons to die, to kill, or to hate for. I’m sure Camus would appreciate the irony.
To the left, these topics are just conduits leading to power. I see many US classical liberals making the same mistake as their French counter-parts, back in the 50s/60s and 70s. Oppose with ideas.
That won’t work, simply because the goals aren’t gender or race. There’s only one goal, and it is power. The left’s framework will adapt, morph, mutate, to escape any form of counter-arguments, to the point where only a few are allowed to participate (as in ‘do you know enough to warrant our attention?’). By that time, they’ll control the logistics.
It’s the first time I read ‘defund gender studies’, said by someone whose primary goal are ideas. Defunding something isn’t about ideas, it’s about logistics. I’m glad a philosopher has finally decided to do something with his hands (wink to E. Kant, just in case.)
Please, do carry on that path. In Europe, we did otherwise – we used common sense -, with admittedly very limited results.
Peter Boghossian Speaks at Gulf Coast State College CFI On Campus
March 26, 2014The event with Dr. Boghossian was a big hit! With help from Gulf Coast State College's Honors Program and Student Government Association, we were able to offer free pizza and drinks to everyone preceding the presentation. Then, at 1:00 PM, Dr. Boghossian kicked off his Critical Thinking Crash Course, where he presented wonderful thinking tools for tackling many questions in life! It was very informative, and we think everyone learned a lot from it.
Following the lecture, we held a question-and-answer portion of the event, where many people were able to ask Dr. Boghossian anything they desired. Questions ranged from the topics of free will and religion to other helpful strategies concerning critical thinking itself.
Afterwards, our own campus's GCSC TV was able to capture an interview with Dr. Boghossian about the event, and later in the evening, in association with GCSC CFI On Campus, Dr. Boghossian presented another lecture at Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Bay County, where he discussed Street Epistemology and related tools from his new, best-selling book A Manual for Creating Atheists.
Overall, it was a great day for reason. We at GCSC CFI On Campus are honored to have had such a renowned philosopher deliver to us his exceptional educational tools, and we can't wait till our next Annual Spring Lecture!
About the Author: Jake Brown
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