Thursday, May 16, 2013

Crisis of the Culture


Talking points. That’s all you hear from the media. Talking points! But what do politicians or reporters mean when they say talking points? They mean they’ve distilled their lies and obfuscations down to a precise, manageable, effectively efficient number which they think or at least hope will fool people. Let’s work on those talking points! Remove this. Can’t say that. Save face. The least—the very least ignored forgotten factor in their considerations is the truth of the matter.

The activist writers group I once belonged to, the Underground Literary Alliance, was destroyed and kept down by talking points. I’ve never seen them; no one’s dared leak them to me; but when everyone who writes or comments about you is repeating exactly the same distortions, untruths, and misconceptions then they’re relying on someone’s talking points. Do the talking points sound plausible? The truth? Nowhere.

The problem we see today with current political scandals isn’t with specific bureaucracies (though it’s in the nature of bureaucracies to abuse power), or even with specific individuals. It’s with all of it. Most of the individuals involved are products of an educational system carrying an underlying philosophy that places expediency above character and integrity.

The people running this country have no character. This statement has nothing to do with political parties, but with how people in power behave—how they’re expected to behave to achieve their station.

Hillary Clinton has no character and likely never had any character. Surely you know that, as a young lawyer, she was bounced from the Watergate investigation because of her unscrupulous behavior? No?

Great attack dog. Useful in certain situations. Not a leader. No character.

Why the obfuscations about Benghazi? The truth of the situation is easy to see. The administration’s ambassador—their own guy—and his team were trapped in an eight-hour firefight. Eight hours! Trapped! The ambassador’s bosses, Hillary, Panetta, Obama included, ran away from the situation. They threw their own people overboard in the interest of what? Talking points?!

The problem starts with the university system, to this extent.

Human beings are irrational animals. Read Gustave LeBon’s analysis of the French Revolution. Our task is to fight, every day, against our own irrationality, our flaws and drives and failings, and against the distortions of information we receive: i.e., talking points. We need touchstones. Touchstones for behavior and for viewing reality. Your touchstone might be A.) Religion used practicably. A set of values; rules of good behavior. B.) Devotion to classical principles; the teachings of Aristotle and the like.

America once had both these foundations of strength, combined.

What’s being taught in the academy today?

Students are taught a mish-mash of Marx and Nietzsche, and French postmodern/crackpot philosophy, with added dashes of feminist make-believe reinterpretations/distortions of history and human nature. Students graduate with heads filled with a nightmare of contemporary beliefs and confusions and little understanding of how the world works in reality. No foundation of moral principles and ethics.

They’ve learned how to recite back to their teachers indoctrinated information thought necessary to achieve. The one thing they haven’t learned is how to think.

They’ve learned talking points.

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