Monday, September 10, 2012

Street Cred Can Be Insurmountable Because Progressives Rule!

Ah, if only I could finish writing a song that would be much easier to absorb than text, especially if the tune were so catchy as to....oh well, you get the idea. My brother was a top honors Stanford Graduate. I remember a book he passed to my Dad, then on to me, Allan Bloom's, "The Closing Of The American Mind" in 1988.
It was the very beginning of what we have come to view as "political correctness" and, in effect, the polarity within our culture that has delivered us to this point where the majority of us are incapable of discussing, let alone dissolving our differences. What exists is an annoying self righteousness on "both sides" that would certainly make Jesus blush. The link is to Amazon, because I find the comments so all encompassing. Mr Bloom's assertions were not political but philosophical in nature. Over the years since 1988, there has been a subtle selection process that has modified free debate in American Universities. I was so glad to hear about Bruce Bawer's new book, "The Victim's Revolution" that picks up where Bloom lets off.
It was refreshing that Mr. Bawer references Mr. Bloom. < An eye-opening critique of the identity-based revolution that has transformed American campuses and its effect on politics and society today. The 1960s and ’70s were a time of dramatic upheaval in American universities as a new generation of scholar-activists rejected traditional humanism in favor of a radical ideology that denied esthetic merit and objective truth. In The Victims’ Revolution, critic and scholar Bruce Bawer provides the first true history of this radical movement and a sweeping assessment of its intellectual and cultural fruits. Once, Bawer argues, the purpose of higher education had been to introduce students to the legacy of Western civilization—“the best that has been thought and said.” The new generation of radical educators sought instead to unmask the West as the perpetrator of global injustice. Age-old values of goodness, truth, and beauty were disparaged as mere weapons in an ongoing struggle of the powerful against the powerless. Shifting the focus of the humanities to the purported victims of Western colonialism, imperialism, and capitalism, the new politicized approach to the humanities gave rise to a series of identity-based programs, including Women’s Studies, Black Studies and Chicano Studies. As a result, the serious and objective study of human civilization and culture was replaced by “theoretical” approaches emphasizing group identity, victimhood, and lockstep “progressive” politics. What have the advocates of this new anti-Western ideology accomplished? Twenty-five years ago, Allan Bloom warned against the corruption of the humanities in The Closing of the American Mind. Bawer’s book presents compelling evidence that Bloom and other conservative critics were right to be alarmed. The Victims’ Revolution describes how the new identity-based disciplines came into being, examines their major proponents and texts, and trenchantly critiques their underlying premises. Bawer concludes that the influence of these programs has impoverished our thought, confused our politics, and filled the minds of their impressionable students with politically correct mush. Bawer’s book is must-reading for all those concerned not only about the declining quality of American higher education, but also about the fate of our society at large.>