Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Measles

It is hard to discern all the complex reasons why universities have decided to finally commit self-abortion of reason and free thought.

To be fair, not all of them do it. But enough – majority of them – do. The scale has tipped to the other side. Intellectual degeneration of Paul Krugman, who even if centre-left, was once pleasure to read, is just one of myriad evidence points. He even lost sense of humor, which to me is ultimate intellectual bankrupcy, the final stage of decomposition of mind. When philosophy commits itself to social action and involves itself in 'changing the world', like Marx wanted it to, it turns from this woman I loved into a mental, kooky whore.

My bet, as usual, is that it has something to do with base political emotion: the free thought starts with questioning existing order for, what exactly reasons? Aren't they emotional really? Is it not complex “gut feeling” of peculiar sort?

Once the free thought arrives at certain conclusions, however, and fatally for it wins - the gut feeling doesn't disappear. It continues working. And so the termite that has penetrated and weakened previous reactionary order begins to undermine its own house. The former champions of Enlightenment proceed to undermine its conclusions, for how can you trust the established truths? There must be something wrong with them. There simply has to be something... reactionary about them. So we go PoMo, feminist, socialist – in that order of destructiveness.

When destroying the monuments, Stanislaw Jerzy Lec says, save the pedestals – they come in handy. So we use them.

And when we win, the next logical step in revolution is to bring ourselves and our own monuments down. Sure, it's not this generation that does it, but the following one or ones. Not much difference.

Perhaps the free thought is self-devouring.

Strictly speaking, as something of a classical liberal I should be sitting behind Frederic Bastiat on the left side of the parliament, not the one that I describe as “modernist right wing”, where I am squarely located now, as a young man, but old-style revolutionary turned new-style reactionary. It's not my fault – I didn't leave liberalism, the liberalism left me!

My friend Stan says that proceeding from classical (Locke, Smith or American Founding Fathers style, broadly) to American-style left-liberalism is the next logical step in the development of this line of thought. I abhor this conclusion!

Anyway, I think he's wrong. Cancer is not a healthy development, even if it's “natural”. That scumbag Bentham with his utilitarianism must have had something to do with it.

But it's still not clear to me what exactly went wrong? What is it that we did wrong? Why the tough-minded, hard-thinking, gun-toting, lovely-women-humping men like Vilfredo Pareto, Benjamin Franklin or Henry Mencken turned into insecure, feeble-minded, touchy-feely progressive piss-pants wrapping themselves into security blanket of 'social justice' fiction because they are afraid of real world?

Distressingly yours,


Boxer

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