Friday, September 01, 2006

Spreading The Flames - Part 6

Interviewer:”How does a Man learn to get himself into the frame of mind where he's willing to go into a situation where he is likely to die, in order to try to save the life of another?”
911 survivor/rescuer: “How does he learn not to?”

He is exactly right, people are educated to learn what to do, and what not to do, and also what thoughts they should pretend not to have until that becomes habit and Belief. How does he learn not to? We’re closing in on just that lesson – but first a quick review of the last 5 posts. So we’ve wandered down the dark lane from Descartes to Rousseau to Kant, how did it get from then and there, to the moonbat Leftists of today?

As the period of the Enlightenment grew, it enlarged men’s knowledge by clarifying their methods for acquiring, and defining what knowledge actually was. If it also drew too much attention to physical appearances, some excuse may be had in that it was the first “Time” in hundreds of years, that life here on earth was thought of as being of Value, as opposed to a mere set of sinful snares.

As with any extensive explorations into terra incognita, some false trails were opened up. One such false trail was blazed when some tried to analyze not only the world, but the analyzer himself. In trying to take the mind apart, they could not find something identifiable as “consciousness” in it’s several pieces, and so they concluded that a new piece of knowledge was that there was actually no knower there to know anything as knowledge, and the roots of Determinism were born.

This was a false trail that would have soon corrected itself, since it still sought correspondence to reality. However, the second major false trail found a way to extend itself into all maps, threatened even to remove the idea of the compass of reality from all cognitive cartography.

This second false trail was blazed by those such as Kant, who claimed to believe in Christianity, and who were very much concerned for what the growing body of knowledge would do to the faith of their fellow men. They felt that were they to be given reasons to question their faith, it would be found lacking, and all would then be lost for what they felt everyone else should think and believe.

The first false trail began with the false start made by Descartes, who in trying to find a foundation from which thought could begin thinking from, thought that by resurrecting the Cogito Ergo Sum, “I think, therefore I Am” that it would be just such a position. What he didn’t see, was that a mind that held itself to be the root of reality, in actuality pulled its very roots out of reality, and set them floating about in a haze of its own creation. You can’t get to “I Think…” you can’t even get to “I”, to the idea of Identity – something unique and differentiated from other Stuff, without first having had experience of a larger reality from which to begin differentiating entities, and yourself, from.

But as the history of Modern Philosophy demonstrates, thought cut free from reality must rapidly lose the ability to Reason with a capital “R” – which is the process of comparing and analyzing reality, experience, thought and feelings to arrive at conclusions supportable by reference to reality, experience, thought and feelings, in such a way that it can then in turn be corroborated by others following in the same steps. These floating thoughts must, and did, tilt into a method which was no longer self correcting, a method which asserted whims and increasingly erratic emotional and irrational systems and declarations, through thoughts wholly unmoored from reality.

Where Reason, properly practiced amongst peoples with differing views, can ultimately find not only agreement between them, but advancement for all as previously held errors are exposed and corrected, finds its most powerful tool to be Words. On the other hand, Irrationality when practiced amongst peoples with differing views, can only find unity through emotionally reactive words, ultimately backed up not by reference to reality, but to the threat of and the actual application of force, as people are made to tow the party line or face derision or violence from the view backed with the most weapons.

The modern degradation of the Liberal tradition began with the naive good intentions of some of the last of the Philosophes’, Condorcet in France, and William Godwin in Britain, both exceedingly admiring of Rousseau, and among the most prominent among them. Condorcet helped get the determystic ball rolling by removing responsibility from individuals and placing it with society (but isn't society made up of individuals? Shhh...). He said “ Is there any vicious habit, any practice contrary to good faith, any crime, whose origin and first cause cannot be traced back to the legislation, the institutions, the prejudices of the country wherein this habit, this practice, this crime can be observed?”. Godwin stated that “It is impossible that a Man would perpetrate a crime, in the moment when he perceives it in all of its enormity”, echoing Socrates who said that no one would knowingly do wrong. One wonders what people they ever met – and how well they knew themselves.

Of Godwin, William Hazlitt noted in his essay, "A New Theory Of Civil And Criminal Legislation":

"... he [Godwin] makes no distinction between political justice, which implies an appeal to force, and moral justice, which implies only an appeal to reason. It is surely a distinct question, what you can persuade people to do by argument and fair discussion, and what you may lawfully compel them to do, when reason and remonstrance fail. But in Mr. Godwin's system the 'omnipotence of reason' supersedes the use of law and government, merges the imperfection of the means in the grandeur of the end, and leaves but one class of ideas or motives, the highest and the least attainable possible.”

Since neither had a strong understanding of Justice beyond the emotional moaning of it, it is not surprising that neither Elite had much of an opinion for the poor masses of humanity they wailed to help, rather they treated them as little more than human billiard balls. Condorcet said that the “human race still revolts the philosopher who contemplates its history”, Godwin declared that “the peasant slides through life, with something of the contemptible insensibility of an oyster”.

Well intentioned as these Enlightenment lights may have been, you should bear in mind as a rule of thumb, that if someone thinks you incapable of doing wrong of your own accord, you can rest assured that both they and their followers will think you of being incapable of doing right of your own accord – and they will soon conclude that since you are incapable all around, that you will need to be “guided” to “choose” correctly by outside sources. First up in that capacity was Rousseau, who Godwin credited as being “the first to teach that the imperfections of government were the only perennial source of the vices of mankind”, Rousseau compared the masses of the people to “a stupid, pusillanimous invalid” and that “They must be forced to be Free”, which his student Robespierre & Co. brought to bloody reality in the French Revolution.

Rousseau explicitly stated in very high sounding and eloquent words, that it was unreasonable to expect people to Reason, they should instead act on what they Feel what their Natures urged them to do instead (as long as it agrees with what his urges declared that they should feel). He applied this exhortation to politics, and more ominously and destructively to education, and his influence helped propel the French Revolution and its extremely self revealing use of Terror as a legitimate tool of persuasive power.

Whim Becomes Code
Kant came along at this point, after stiring from his dogmatic slumbers over the bumbling’s of Hume. Hume, though wrong in his characterization of reality, still at least assumed some connection between mind and reality, however low level; and so was still correctable by reference to reality. Kant saw that, and that in Humes grasping at the legitimacy of both Reason and Religion, red flags for his revered Rousseau and his literalized religion. He set about intentionally and explicitly, to lie for the betterment of all(“I have found it necessary to deny knowledge, in order to make room for faith”), to forever drive a wedge between mans mind and reality, so that even those who disagreed with him, would unwittingly buy into his methods and assumptions, and reinforce the core of both even in their attacking him.

Kant’s philosophy, with it’s noumenal and phenomenal worlds, in the very attempt to understand them – to give it place within your thoughts, took your very ability to perceive the world from out of your own mind & placed it in some 'Matrix' like space, where ‘Real Thought’ can only be created my Mega Numbers of people - according to Kant, you can't even claim responsibility for your own thoughts!

Kant’s Fancy Footwork to Save Religion Tripped It Up
Hegel, a divinity student with second thoughts, bought into the essentials of Kant’s philosophy, furthering the separation of mind from itself and reality, but swerved Kant’s goals from saving faith in religion, to putting your feelings and submission into an Historical Spirit, an over-soul civilization-spirit that all the puny people feed and serve in its unstoppable growth. This Spirit also embued History with determined cycles which fulfilled the Nation Spirit’s evolution towards the end of History when one triumphant Nation would rule over and swallow all others.

Hegel took Kant’s controlling nether world of collectively constructed thought structures, out of the hands of the people, and gave it life through the spirit of the State: “All the worth which the human being possesses, all spiritual reality, he possesses only through the State. The people would be nothing, living only to serve the Spirit.

"the State 'has the supreme right against the individual, whose supreme duty is to be a member of the State... for the right of the world spirit is above all special privileges.'" Hegel, quoted by William Shirer in The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich (1959, page 144)

Hegel’s new contribution to the Reality Removal game which obscured thought and furthered his Historicity, was his Dialectic. In Hegel’s Logic, he describes a dialectic of existence where Being and Nothing are merged into a process of Becoming, or what he termed Dasein. Existence was put forth as Sein or pure Being; upon closer examination, this is found to be equivalent to coming from Nothing Nicht. The result is that what is coming into being is also returning to nothing (think the circle of life), both Being and Nothing are united as Becoming – Dasein. The language Hegel uses to “communicate” this is described as torturous, even by his supporters. It would be given a more marketable spin by one of his followers, Fichte, as that of the better known triad of Thesis, Antithesis & Synthesis, and which Marx then modified for his purposes into Dialectical Materialism).

Prior to Hegel, the Dialectic was associated with Socrates’s method of philosophical inquiry through conversational discussion; deductive reasoning was exemplified by Aristotle’s syllogism which took two premises already established as being true, and which resolved into a true conclusion which wasn’t known to be true prior to the deduction.

All Men are Mortal.
Socrates is a Man.
Socrates is a mortal Man.

Despite what some professors like to profess, a syllogism that said:

All Men are Green.
Socrates is a Man.
Socrates is a Green Man.

, wouldn’t pass muster for Aristotelian deductive syllogisms, since one of the premises wasn’t true in the wider context of reality, and old Socrates would have either absolutely shreded such nonsense, or more likely would have had a chuckle, wished you well, and strolled quickly away in search of someone who could speak.

Hegel avoided the embarrassing possibility of being exposed as being a fraud by doing away with the whole notion of there being a need for any correspondence to truth in order to prove anything at all. In fact he does away with reality altogether; for Hegel there is no Thing, and no moment in time when a Thing can exist, all is instead dissolving into nothingness the moment it begins to form out of it.

Philosophical Review Vol. III, Issue 2, Winter 2003

Consciousness is then nothing but a bundle of untreated and unreflected sense perceptions. But as naive as consciousness is, as unaware of itself and of time as it is, it soon realizes that the “now” is never what it seems to be. For instance, even if “now” is the evening, shortly “now” will be night. “To say anything more about what confronts us in Sense-awareness is at once to pass beyond it, to dissolve it into a series of concepts or universals”… Following the animals’ lead, consciousness learns that senses give us no access to the real–sensed objects have no “intrinsic being,” and they are many things and nothing at the same time.18As Jean Hyppolite puts it, each of these objects “vanishes in the other, and this movement of vanishing is the only reality of forces that has sensuous objectivity.” Put in Hegelian jargon, an object is nothing “in-itself”; it possesses no reality. It is only at the disposal of consciousness, which alone exists “for-itself,” meaning that it alone is aware of itself.

You don’t follow the logic? Congratulations! You’ve got it! There isn’t any! The only thing you need to do to make it official and up to academic standards is to through in pages and pages of convoluted non-sequiters & equivocations (Just like his teacher Kant) to paralyze the readers thought, and use language such as “So obviously…” to humble the readers into pretending to get it.

Do you recognize the resemblence to the technique of Zeno's paradox we discussed earlier? Where Achilles would be forever halving the distance between he and a turtle, and so would never be able to pass him? You almost have to pick the bark from your teeth, so thoroughly does Hegel shove a single tree into your face in order to remove the forest from your sight.

What Hegel proposed was that all you needed was two opposing premises, which would “resolve” themselves into a new third premise synthesized from the first two. Not only could you resolve such premises as “Men should be Free”, “The People of Gov X aren’t free” into “Gov X free’s it’s people”, but more usefully you could also synthesize it into “Gov X will enslave the people of Country Y and Country Z to pacify the slaves of Gov X with more goodies”.

Hegel’s dialectical reasoning bases itself on pitting opposites against themselves, Athens vs Sparta into Alexander the Greats expanded Hellenic empire, Rome vs Carthage into the even greater Roman Empire, etc. The key is to have opposing ideas, which rub up against each other to create a more refined and truer result. What it doesn’t require is any adherence to truth or justice, just opposing forces. Through an inward discovery of being versus nothingness, his dialectical method changed the format for deductive reasoning into one in which a new “Truth” is obtained by pitting “sort of truth a” against “sort of truth b” to get a more potent “New Truth”, which can itself be used in another triad of thesis/antithesis/synthis. Hegel also added an added touch of genius by inserted mathematical-like symbology, so the act could be reduced into a “IF A, and B, then ipso facto C”.

And like Kant, Hegel provided the perfect method for allowing people to pretend to understand what it is you’re spinning – Feeling. Since reality isn’t really knowable to reason, and only accessible through a deeper understanding expressed through Feelings, all you need to do is nod and say “I can’t say exactly why, but I FEEL it is true” and you’re home free! You also get the added bonus of not having to conform to the Phenomenal world, but to a Spirit, the Spirit of your State! What you say doesn’t have to correspond to mere fact, in fact if it is True, it rises above Fact and resonates with the Truer realities, far above this mortal plane. And through your inspired feeling of the Spirits Truth, you become one with the Spirit as it overcomes opposing forces to evolve into a more perfect State! Don’t laugh, it’s worked wonders for Hitler, Marx, Lenin & company.

The Stream Divides, and Reunites
This fine thrashing of thought soon split into two parallel streams. Hegel is the certainly the most influential philosopher of the Leftist, it is from his branch of the stream of Kantianism that Karl Marx drank the deepest from, and the American “Progressives” as well. The center court of philosophy of the early 1800’s had been moved to the German lands, particularly noticeable in the fields of Philosophy, Psychology and Educational theory. How influential was the new German ideas and practices? Guess where the concept of a “Phd.”, and the legendarily difficult process of earning one came from? It originated with educational reformer and linguist Wilhelm von Humboldt who founded, what was originally the University of Berlin, where Hegel also lectured. Interestingly, his linguistic theories are often cited by our old buddy Noam Chomsky, as one of the foundations of his theory of language structure.

Through Kantian/Hegelian school of thought flowed into the psychology with Wilhelm Max Wundt, a Hegelian psychologist (who first advanced the theory that man is “not accountable for his conduct, which was said to be caused entirely by forces beyond his control. According to Wundt's thinking, in a human being there is nothing there to begin with but a body, a brain, and a nervous system. Therefore, teachers must try to educate a person by inducing sensations in that nervous system” ) who through establishing the very first laboratory for experimental psychology at the university of Leipszig, formulated the essentials of Educationism which we have to thank for the university socialists of our day.

Wundt was a strong advocate of Gottlieb Fichte, the uber-hegelian popularizer of Hegel. Fichte was the head of psychology at the University of Berlin in 1810, and he felt strongly that "Education should aim at destroying free will so that after pupils are thus schooled they will be incapable ... of thinking or acting otherwise than as their school masters would have wished."

Other German psychologists with similar "ideas" such as Wilhelm Meumann, professor of Philosophy and education at Leipzig University expressed the theory in his book Mental Hygiene in the Schools (required reading for generations of education students in Germany), that "oppression of the children's natural inclinations", and that schools should be made to inculcate "preventative mental health functions".

Sadly, this German thought became the Meca (apt comparison) for students of Philosophy and Education theory throughout the West, especially for American students. Some of those who received and transmitted these theories were James Ear Russell, James Cattell, William James, Edward Lee Thorndike and John Dewey.

Cattell was president of the American Psychological Association, and was the true father of modern illiteracy by virtue of his pushing for the elimination of Phonics in learning to read, in favor of the "Whole Word" method - which sought to save students from the mental stress of learning the sounds of the alphabets 26 letters and key combinations in order to enable the reader to decode any word from there on - in favor of forcing children to memorize words by their shape and look, meaning that any word not memorized at the feet of an instructor would be "Greek" to him.

Thorndike in his "Elementary Principles of Education" (1929), called for a reduction in educational basics. He is the one who said "Artificial exercises, like drills of phonetics, multiplication tables, and formal writing movements, are used to a wasteful degree. Subjects such as arithmetic, language, and history include content that is intrinsically of little value". Why did he recommend that?

He was strongly influenced by Wundtian experimental animal psychology (who you’ll remember supported the theory that Man is merely an animal, more suitable for training than educating), he didn't think (which presumably implies that he thought HE wasn't an animal, only everyone else) that students should be mistaken for creatures of free will capable of learning and understanding, when in fact they were only creatures capable of stimulus-response behavior.



In this view, teachers aren't there to guide students to understanding, but only to prod them into desirable responses. Just very clever animals.

Interviewer:”How does a Man learn to get himself into the frame of mind where he's willing to go into a situation where he is likely to die, in order to try to save the life of another?”
911 survivor/rescuer: “How does he learn not to?”

Where does he learn such a thing? Where do you suppose that people might pick up the notion that the lives of their fellow men might be less than inspiring in and of themselves, even questionable as to whether or not they were worth risking your life over?

I’ll follow these two streams of Progressivism and Marxism, and their efforts to smother Individualism, Freedom, Individual Rights and Western Civilization through their development in America and back to Europe with Mussolini, Lenin, Hitler, Stalin and the rest of the Leftist homies in the next two posts.

No comments: