Working as a Civil Engineer in the United States Reply

The roles that a civil engineer can play in our society are many and varied. At the core of what civil engineers do is a desire to improve the spaces in which we live, work, and relax in order to bring about general improvements in the quality of life of local populations. A civil engineer could find themselves designing a new railway system or airport one month, and then their next project could be deciding where to locate a new library for a city. Many of those currently working in the field of civil engineering cite the range of work available, as well as the opportunity to make a positive difference while doing something that they love, as being the primary reasons for pursuing a civil engineering career.

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Enough with the blue-baiting: The biggest threat on campus has nothing to do with free speech Reply

There are plenty of examples of universities and colleges imposing de facto censorship on leftists as well as rightists. Some cases in point can be found here, here, and here.

I think the problem is more of one where today we have mega-institutions like universities and corporations that are essentially states unto themselves, and yet are considered legally exempt from constitutional restrictions intended to restrain state conduct. Originally, when the Constitution was written, it only applied to the feds and not the states and localities. However, as the power of the feds has expanded and the states and localities have become more like administrative units the Supreme Court has established jurisprudence that has expanded the Bill of Rights to the states and localities as well. Today, we have a situation where corporations are merely the economic arm of the state and universities (along with the media) are the educational/ideological arm and yet these de facto states or state institutions claim exemption from the Constitution. Therefore, we need a new jurisprudence that extends the constitution to the corporations and universities.

By Sophia A. McClennen

Salon

One of the most disturbing and most predictable outcomes of the Charlottesville, Va., attacks earlier this month was that rather than lead to a reasoned and careful conversation about the rise of hate groups in our nation, it led to debates about whether the white supremacist neo-Nazis on display were the victims of discrimination. In Trumpland everything is on its head. Thus we have become desensitized to its dangerous combination of absurdity and malice.

But Charlottesville is not only a story about the mainstreaming of hate and fascism in the Trump era; it’s also a story about how the right has engaged in an all-out war to dismantle our public universities. As we have watched the rising public displays of fascism and bigotry sweep across the nation, it has been easy to overlook the fact that many of these rallies have been purposefully staged on college campuses. The decision to hold these rallies on campuses and to thereby provoke counter-protests also on campuses is a deliberate move by the right: one designed to allow them to further their narrative that college campuses are places that are hostile to free speech.

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Gold-Backed Scholarship Helps Students Cope with Runaway Tuition Inflation Reply

A major national precious metals dealer has just opened its gold-backed scholarship fund for 2017 applicants.  Funds will be awarded to students who understand that gold is money and are able to clearly articulate the many failures of the inflation-creating Federal Reserve System.

Money Metals Exchange, a national precious metals dealer recently ranked “Best in the USA,” teamed up with the Sound Money Defense League, setting aside 100 oz of physical gold, currently worth almost $130,000, to help outstanding students pay for ever-rising education costs.

“The Federal Reserve’s inflationary policies have jacked up education costs, and our company is proud to help students who understand this problem as they cope with this unfolding disaster,” said Stefan Gleason, president of Money Metals Exchange. “Because of abusive and ongoing devaluation of the Federal Reserve Note, we expect the gold that we have set aside to fund the scholarship program will grow in nominal value dramatically over time.”

This scholarship will be open to high school seniors, undergraduate students, and graduate students with an interest in economics, specifically the tradition of the Austrian school. However, one does not have to be an economics major to apply.

The ongoing devaluation of the Federal Reserve Note “dollar” pushes up the nominal prices of assets, goods, and services across America.

Central planners have further contributed to the problem of skyrocketing education costs through easy access to government-subsidized loans which are usually awarded regardless of merit or creditworthiness. Colleges and universities can spend frivolously and raise their tuition costs aggressively.  Meanwhile, students frequently leave college with debt that exceeds a home mortgage.

Essays will be reviewed by a blue ribbon committee of professors, economists, and executives of Money Metals Exchange and Sound Money Defense League. The panel will select two (2) undergraduate winners and two (2) graduate winners. All four (4) articles will be published on one or both organizations’ websites. The four (4) winners will also have the opportunity to win the People’s Choice Award which goes to the student whose article attracts the most interest from social media (Facebook, Twitter).

Jp Cortez, Assistant Director of Sound Money Defense League, said, “Last year was a huge success. We had well over one hundred entries from students. Applicants are excited at the prospect of having their essays read and graded by some of the most notable sound money economists and thinkers in the world.”

The deadline for applications is September 30th, 2017. For more information, visit moneymetals.com/scholarship or email scholarship@moneymetals.com.

 

Why You Must Understand the System before It Can Be Dismantled Reply

Rutgers Online: http://online.rutgers.edu/master-library-info/

Many people who think of themselves as dissenters opposed to government regulations have hopes and dreams, and lofty goals of one day being the ones who help to take it all apart. Besides being able to recite the names of a few prominent pan-anarchists, do you fully understand the system that supports life as you live it today?

If the answer to that question is no, you will need to begin by working on your master of information education. You see, whether it is total anarchism or just a sense of social justice that you believe in, nothing can be accomplished if you have no clue what you are going up against. Reading books on your own will provide you with insights into the inner workings of traditional Western civilization, but you need to see these systems from the inside in order to dismantle them.

Why Information Is Power

You might not agree with the way that the majority people in this country live their lives or agree with the idea of one uniform power system. Most of them were raised to think that way, and in most instances, you were as well. At some point during your journey, you began exploring different schools of thought and came to the realization that anarchism was the most viable solution for modern society. It is likely that you did lots of reading and speaking to more educated people to come to that conclusion. The information that you can gain while completing an online master of information program will enable you to advance your individual ideas, even if they are contrary.

How You Can Resist Conforming

Growing up, you likely went along with everyone else because you wanted to fit in. Being socially well adjusted allowed you to earn the respect of your teachers, parents, and peers more easily. Although there are other benefits that you can get from conforming to group ideas, you won’t get the answers to many of your most controversial questions.

What if capitalism no longer existed and you didn’t need credit in order to make a major purchase. Would people be happier and more successful if they kept their money at home and didn’t allow banks to make profits from their deposits? With a formal education, you can still maintain your ideas but be prepared to give sources and cited materials that will back up your claims. Conforming is not necessary when you are pursuing your education.

Explaining Your Societal Ideas without Being Deemed As an Imminent Threat

As soon as the term anarchism is thrown out, people tend to think that you are in support of total chaos. Because few have been exposed to the reasoning behind pan-anarchism, there are lots who will think that you are not in support of freedom, liberty, or even personal choice. With a master’s degree in information, you will be looked at as an academic rather than a rebel. This will give you the opportunity to fully explain yourself and, hopefully, more people will begin to understand and support your cause.

In order to succeed in the pan-anarchism movement, more support is necessary. Those who have never logically thought of the benefits of leading their own lives can be intimidated by the thought of free rein. Use your education to quell their fears and empower them to be free thinkers.

 

Great Degree Choices for People Who Enjoy History and Politics Reply

University of Southern California, Marshall School of Business.

Find out more about this program at http://librarysciencedegree.usc.edu/resources/articles-and-blogs/six-innovative-library-programs-from-around-the-world/

When choosing that “perfect” career path it’s important to think about a variety of different factors and criteria with the goal of picking a career that is rewarding and enjoyable for you. Ideally, this is a career you want to be in for a long time, so enjoying it will certainly help to make that possible. For those who have an interest in history and politics, there are a number of career paths worth considering.

With that in mind, here is a look at the top degree choices for those who want to merge their love of history and politics.

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Chomsky at MIT: Between the war scientists and the anti-war students Reply

By Chris Knight

It is now fifty years since Noam Chomsky published his celebrated article, ‘The Responsibility of Intellectuals’. Few other writings had a greater impact on the turbulent political atmosphere on US campuses in the 1960s. The essay launched Chomsky’s political career as the world’s most intransigent and cogent critic of US foreign policy – a position he has held to this day.

No one could doubt Chomsky’s sincerity or his gratitude to the student protesters who brought the war in Vietnam to the forefront of public debate. On the other hand, he viewed the student rebels as ‘largely misguided’, particularly when they advocated revolution. Referring to the student and worker uprising in Paris in May 1968, Chomsky recalls that he ‘paid virtually no attention to what was going on,’ adding that he still believes he was right in this. Seeing no prospect of revolution in the West at this time, Chomsky went so far as to describe US students’ calls for revolution as ‘insidious’. While he admired their ‘challenge to the universities’, he expressed ‘skepticism about how they were focusing their protests and criticism of what they were doing’ – an attitude that led to ‘considerable conflict’ with many of them.[1]

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King Midas in the Post-Modern Age: Sales of Indulgences in Academia 4

By Aleksey Bashtavenko

Academic Composition

“Do we not hear the noise of the grave-diggers who are burying God? Do we not smell the divine putrefaction? —for even Gods putrefy! God is dead! God remains dead! And we have killed him! How shall we console ourselves, the most murderous of all murderers?” Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra

 

Image result for sale of indulgences

The Latin etymology of the word “religion” emphasizes the act of bringing the community together. In almost all European languages, the word that translates to English as “religion” derived from Latin ligare which meant to bind . As early as 1200 B.C, this word commonly described a sacred lifestyle, commending obedience to divine authority . Above all, religiosity centered on a paternalistic covenant between mankind and God where the former prided themselves on their capacity for total surrender to the higher power. Such circumstances immediately prompted the question of how such a supernatural force can be identified, and more importantly, who can guide mankind to its relationship with God. Although prophets such as Abraham or Moses were revered for having reported to encounter God directly, the mortal sinners were expected to interact with God through a vicar.

In the Catholic tradition, the pope was deemed to be God’s direct representative and in the Eastern Orthodoxy, the tsar served a similar purpose. Under these circumstances, it was presumed that to defy the patriarch of the church was to rebel against the Almighty Himself.

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Giving consent to compulsory thinking at Cambridge University Reply

By Keir Martland

The Salisbury Review

‘The State Conscience’ Artist Lindsey Dearnley

A few days ago, I was sat down in my College’s Hall at the University of Cambridge with the rest of the first year undergraduates to be, since the Matriculation ceremony was yet to take place, being welcomed by the Master and the Senior Tutor. This was a wonderful moment. After receiving my A-Level results of 2A*s and an A, and another A* in EPQ, I had been accepted by Cambridge in August. Yet it was only then, nearly two months later, when sat in the Hall, that it finally sunk in. “Yes, I’m actually going to read History at the best university in the world,” I thought to myself. I remain grateful to the University and my College for this opportunity which I intend to grasp to the full.

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When Everything is a Crime Reply

Few people understand the price of overregulation like Harvey Silverglate. Over his long career as an attorney and journalist, Silverglate has seen the rising bureaucratic class enact hundreds of thousands of federal regulations and vaguely-worded statutes. The result has been the criminalization of everyday life. From university campuses to corporate boardrooms, ever more citizens are facing severe punishments for behavior that was once considered harmless.

Silverglate himself has been repeatedly pursued by the FBI, only to see the investigations come to nothing.

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The Grand Inquisitor of the Ivory Tower: A Paradox of Freedom 7

By Aleksey Bashtavenko

“And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew, 18:13

“In the end they will lay their freedom at our feet and say to us, Make us your slaves, but feed us.”

― Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Grand Inquisitor

https://i1.wp.com/hrp.bard.edu/files/2014/10/here-lies-academic-freedom.jpg

In the aftermath of the assassination of John F. Kennedy, America was in for a drastic change. In stark contrast to the 1940s and 50s that were characterized by order and respect for authority, the cultural revolution raged on through the 1960s. Lyndon B. Johnson succeeded Kennedy and energetically responded to the public demand for social change by legislating the Civil Rights of 1964, effectively de-legalizing segregation. Galvanized by Martin Luther King’s fiery oratory, the Black community aggressively challenged institutions they viewed as racist and oppressive. College students rallied against the Vietnam war and the authoritarian formalism of campus administrators.

Echoing the tumultuous spirit of the times, student activist Mario Savio urged his peers to put their bodies upon “the gears and upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus” and “to indicate to the people who run it, to the people who own it, that unless you’re free, the machine will be prevented from working at all!”. Contemporaneously, the seditious spirit reigned in Eastern Europe as Soviet forces quelled the Prague Spring and less than a decade ago, the Warsaw Pact subdued the Hungarian uprising. Even the USSR underwent a period of “De-Stalinization” under Kruschev’s leadership.

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Augustus Invictus’ Letter to the People of Europe 7

Here’s the transcript.

To the People of Europe,
Fate lays upon me the task of writing you from distant shores. My name is Augustus Invictus, and I am a candidate for the United States Senate. Though I am an American, I am by blood a son of Europe. My ancestry is British, my name Roman, my religion pan-European. I am trained in Anglo-American law, educated in continental philosophy and politics, steeped in Western aesthetic. Though Florida may be a great distance from my ancestral land of Scotland, I am in blood and in soul your brother.
And though I am an American politician, the issues I raise in my campaign for the Senate here affect every man, woman, and child of the West. I write to you today not to condescend or to advertise my American arrogance, but to call for the unity of all Westerners against the powers that would destroy our people.
From New Zealand & Australia to the United States & Canada, and even to South Africa, we share a common civilization, born of Europe. This is impolitic to say in any country, and it is now evidence of “hate speech” in several. We must ask ourselves why the self-described elites in our respective countries would keep us divided, why they would insist that we have no common culture, why they would insist that we take literally countless immigrants into countries callously neglecting their rightful sons and daughters.
I hope that we may come to see each other as fellows. I pray that we may come to cherish what we share more than we might lament the differences between us. Though we have warred, though we have viewed each other with great suspicion, these misfortunes are, I hope, passed. We share a common bond that the millions of immigrants recently recruited to our ancestral land will never share. We, as Westerners, are brothers, though long-separated; they are foreigners being imported by your own governments to destroy the proud heritage and people of Europe.
Your officials have betrayed you.

Augustus Sol Invictus – Libertarian Realism: Folk, Culture & Borders Reply

Great interview with Augustus by Lana Lokteff. Listen here.

Augustus Invictus is an attorney and community leader in Orlando, Florida who is a candidate in the 2016 US Senate election. Best known as a radical philosopher and infamous social critic, he is Managing Partner of Imperium, P.A., the law firm he founded in 2013. As an attorney, Augustus has worked to defend those who have become collateral damage of America’s two longest-running wars: the War on Drugs and the War on Terror.

Augustus begins with an explanation of the name he has chosen to identify with, along with the mystical path that led him to study law and eventually pursue politics. He talks about his affiliation with the Libertarian Party (LP) and the problems he sees with its watered down, mainstream message. Augustus describes the main issues he aspires to tackle as Senator: the drug war, foreign policy, and the financial crisis. We get into the customary LP stances on open borders, immigration and equality, and we look at how these key concerns have been muddled with leftist contention. Augustus shares his view on the problems that will ensue for Libertarian ideals if non-Westerners continue to flood into America, and he also speaks to the Marxist degeneracy that has infected pop culture and the educational system. Then, we discuss the absence of natural law and hierarchy in the current US government system, along with the tyrannical forces pushing oppressive mandatory regulations, censorship and hate speech laws. At the end, Augustus sums up the actions he is taking to tackle the looney left’s war on White men and inspire a resurrection of the American front.

McDonaldization of Education and the Civil Religion of the Left 2

By Aleksey Bashtavenko

 

As I neared completion of my academic program in 2009, I was surrounded by professors who ascribed the economic crisis to “unfettered capitalism”. One of my instructors lamented “if only we had the state sponsor all of our classes, we ought to treat students as intellects rather than as clients”, implying that if only the universities had more influence over public policy, the disaster could have been averted.

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Modern Education and the Harlotry of Minds 18

By Aleksey Bashtavenko

Random Meanderings

Academic Composition

Attitudes toward hierarchies shed light on fundamental differences between the left and the right. The latter tends to be skeptical of them and for this reason, leftists often rally around the ideal of equality. On the other hand, the right views hierarchies as desirable because they promote social order. Meritocracy is the underlying premise behind the argument for the necessity of hierarchy. It is often assumed that the elites deserve to be in power because they are more qualified to govern than the ordinary people. Clearly, this principle can be abused and in many cases, an unworthy person joins the ranks of the elites simply by being born into the ruling class.

The elites aspired to remedy the intellectual weaknesses of their youngsters by subjecting them to a rigorous education. That is why it was quite common for nobles to be tutored by the leading scholars of their time. When Diogenes the Cynic was sold into slavery, he was purchased by an affluent estate owner in the capacity of a philosophy tutor for his son. Alexander the Great was educated by Aristotle himself and Descartes taught Queen Isabella of Sweden. In many cases, the children of the aristocrats simply lack the intellectual ability to be well-educated and the upper-class routinely import talent into their ranks. Edmund Burke is the case in point as he was not born into the aristocracy, but proved worthy of joining them.

Throughout the history of the Western civilization, the relationship between membership in the elite social class and education has seemed clear. The aristocrats made a special effort to educate their young to ensure that they would become worthy successors. As such, they were expected to not only manage their parents’ estates, but to also pursue political engagement to serve the class interests of the ruling families. This form of education has been unabashedly elitist and it is because of rather than despite that, the students who received schooling in this era achieved considerable intellectual growth. Those who were quite gifted were expected to work hard at their studies and the less talented were expected to work even harder.

Those who wished to make education available for the general public were often forced to concede that educators can only offer opportunities for intellectual self-enhancement. However, the onus was on the students to take advantage of these opportunities by displaying hard-work and natural talent. Yet the proponents of this position believed that when given such chances to get ahead in life, they would undoubtedly take advantage of them and positive social changes will occur as a result. It was even hoped that as more people born into plebeian surroundings gained access to higher education, society would become more egalitarian. At the core, those who agitated for democracy insisted that a well-educated citizenry was basis of social progress.

Yet, the advent of the Industrial Revolution soon cast doubt upon the viability of this strategy. As the emergence of capitalism greatly contributed to the prosperity of United Kingdom and the United States, these two countries began entering the third stage of demographic transition http://pages.uwc.edu/keith.montgomery/Demotrans/demtran.htm). Therein, their population increased because more children born to non-privileged families received the basic necessities for survival well into adulthood. Perturbed by the hypothesis of a Malthusian catastrophe, Francis Galton embarked upon a systematic study of heritability of intelligence.

Galton’s findings led him to believe that intellectual ability was heritable to a significant degree and that the elites were more likely to be genetically endowed with potential of this nature than their less privileged counterparts. Building on this premise, Charles Spearman developed the theoretical framework known as the “g-factor” suggesting that one is born with a certain degree of intellectual potential and his natural talent tends to be spread out evenly throughout various cognitive tasks. With these considerations in perspective, he was concerned that the seemingly uneducable crowd not only struggled with academic tasks, but also lacked the intellectual potential to contribute to society. In light of the troubling possibility that the less talented greatly outnumbered the most talented and the offspring for both groups could survive, the Malthusian catastrophe appeared to be a realistic possibility. In effect, this posed a troubling question to progressive activists wishing to “democratize knowledge” by making education available to all Americans. Is the education system truly making the average person more intelligent or is it unduly rewarding the least intelligent and the least industrious members of society?

By the early 20th century, American legislators have become preoccupied with the notion of dysgenics as those with the most mal-adjusted genes seemed to reproduce the most. Following the paradigm developed by Horace Mann, educators cherished very little hope in empowering all children to become intellectuals. Instead, public schools have mostly concerned themselves with creating a citizenry that was obedient, orderly and suitable for work in a highly regimented factory environment where conformity was deemed more important than intelligence or creativity. With these developments, an eminent 20th century sociologist, David Reisman chronicled a fundamental change in the American national character featuring a shift away from the inner-directed mentality to the other-directed. This shift emerged as the driving force behind the cultural revolution of the 1960s and its numerous implications for modern America.

Up until the middle of the 20th century, few disputed the notion that higher education was to be reserved for the few members of society who truly were intellectually gifted. The incontrovertibility of this precept came into question in the aftermath of World War II where the GI bill enabled hundreds of war veterans to receive college education. Accompanying the shift toward the other-directed perspective and the economic hardships of the Great Depression, the egalitarian left made inroads into college campuses. As students of limited academic potential changed the collegiate milieu, the meritocratic right struggled to defend their belief that education was to be reserved only for the gifted and the industrious. As the Red Diaper babies reached college age by the 1960s, the era of campus radicalism took root and laid down the foundation for doctrines that characterize the modern left including Marxism, Radical Feminism, and Post-Modernism.

Despite the evident differences between these schools of thought, their underlying assumptions were fundamentally egalitarian rather than meritocratic. Marxism presupposed that there is no such thing as human nature and psychological traits that people attribute to human nature are merely a result of capitalist exploitation. Therefore, the purpose of education is to divest the young minds of bourgeoisie assumptions about genetic differences in ability between people and their connections with positive life outcomes. Building on the Marxist assumption about human nature, feminists maintained that the subjugation of women was also a result of a “capitalist false consciousness” and students should be educated to abandon the belief that there are biological differences between men and women.

Many post-modern theorists did not explicitly borrow the Marxist premise regarding the negation of human-nature, yet they embraced the element of relativism inherent in Marxism. Similarly to how their intellectual forebears maintained that capitalism shaped the collective consciousness of society, post-modernists maintained that the prevailing ethos also define human character and social action. With this rationale, they argued that all human perceptions are shaped by societal phenomena and therefore, all truth is relative. The position of total relativism has been buttressed by the drastic change in the demographic character which made the American society more multi-cultural. As the American milieu became more diverse, it has become impolite for the majority group to insist that newcomers assimilate to the American way of life and renounce all values incompatible with the traditional American worldview.

The proponents of multiculturalism naturally forged an alliance with the academic left and together, they endeavored to achieve a profound transformation of the American collective consciousness. Altogether repudiating the traditional American values of individualism, inner-directedness and meritocracy, they unabashedly set about to instill the ethic of equality into the American collective consciousness. Almost uniformly, they were hostile to all theories suggesting that groups or individuals differed with respect to talent, ability, achievement or any other measure of merit. To them, the very idea of distinguishing between people based on merit resembled systematic oppression.

By their lights, Blacks scored lower on IQ tests than Whites because the Whites have colonized and oppressed Africa. If a student belonging to a minority group underperformed in school, the problem was never to be attributed to his lack of intelligence or industriousness. Instead, it was to be imputed to his circumstances such as domestic abuse or exposure to neighborhood violence. It goes without saying that these factors were not to be attributed to moral failures of his parents, neighbors or other individuals of minority status. Instead, it was to be ascribed to systematic oppression that condemns all minorities to a miserable existence. On the other hand, if a white student performs well academically, he ought to “check his privileges” instead of feeling proud of himself.

Conspicuously absent from this analysis of life outcomes concerning race is that Asians tend to outperform whites with respect to IQ, academic achievement, professional success and socio-economic status. Even more glaringly missing is the superior performance of high IQ minorities to whites with comparable IQs. What is furthermore problematic with the academic left’s position is that despite the enormous government assistance impoverished minorities received, a significant portion of them remain penurious and dependent on the state (http://www.amazon.com/Losing-Ground-American-Social-1950-1980/dp/0465065880/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1448020445&sr=8-1&keywords=losing+ground). Moreover, there is little evidence suggesting that merely preventing people from discussing differences in life-outcomes by race bridges the gaps of socioeconomic inequality. In other words, there is no reason to believe that the ethic of equality ameliorates the plights of those whom the left regards as the most disadvantaged.

Bounded rationality typifies all ideological discourses and the left’s position is not an exception to this rule. While they cannot address all of the aforementioned objections to their position, they can try to prevent people from entertaining such ideas. As the ideology of academia became more uniform and intransigent toward the end of the 20th century, the left increasingly concerned itself with controlling the scope of discourse on campuses. The proliferation of the hyper-PC environment across American campuses is the case in point and it bears testament to why universities are becoming places of intellectual coercion and behavioral prohibition (http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2015/11/the-new-intolerance-of-student-activism-at-yale/414810/).

The academic moral climate is not entirely relativist, relativism is merely one of the two pillars of the modern left’s moral compass. According to Jonathan Haidt’s findings, modern liberals base their morality on two maxims: that of care and fairness http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/guest-blog/jonathan-haidt-the-moral-matrix-breaking-out-of-our-righteous-minds/). Relativism buttresses the ethic of care as such an orientation urges people to regard all individuals and groups as deserving of compassion, regardless of how perverse and reprehensible they may seem. Fairness as the left defines it, is merely a euphemism for the ethic of equality. The left tends to maintain that because all people have “inherent worth” it is only fair for everyone to live in roughly equal material comfort.

The combination of fairness and care creates a peculiar synthesis of fervent moralism and relativism which characterizes the mindset of the modern PC leftist. With such missionary zeal, the academic establishment maintains that if more people were to accept their point of view, a “better society” would be created under the banner of pluralistic tolerance, multiculturalism and equality of positive life outcome. Galvanized by these convictions, the Ivory Tower bureaucrats feverishly lobby the Democratic Party for increased government involvement in education. In light of the super-abundance of student loans that any student can access with ease, the proliferation of degree mills with over 90% admission rates and the rapid integration of degree mill curricula into four year universities, they have clearly succeeded.

Post-modernism heralds the end of the modern tradition in philosophy which was founded on objectivity of truth. The modern academic PC movement represents the integration of post-modernism not only into the scholarship of humanities, but also the general academic milieu. Given that truth is now deemed to be specific to cultural values all of which are deemed equally desirable under the rubric of equality, there is no basis for preservation of rigorous academic standards. Traditional education has always been founded on the concept of intellectual merit and because this ideal can no longer be sustained, academia has entered the post-educational era.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Post-Educational era: Academic Institutions in the Age of Philistinism 52

By Aleksey Bashtavenko

 

Attitudes toward hierarchies shed light on fundamental differences between the left and the right. The latter tends to be skeptical of them and for this reason, leftists often rally around the ideal of equality. On the other hand, the right views hierarchies as desirable because they promote social order. Meritocracy is the underlying premise behind the argument for the necessity of hierarchy. It is often assumed that the elites deserve to be in power because they are more qualified to govern than the ordinary people. Clearly, this principle can be abused and in many cases, an unworthy person joins the ranks of the elites simply by being born into the ruling class.

The elites aspired to remedy the intellectual weaknesses of their youngsters by subjecting them to a rigorous education. That is why it was quite common for nobles to be tutored by the leading scholars of their time. When Diogenes the Cynic was sold into slavery, he was purchased by an affluent estate owner in the capacity of a philosophy tutor for his son.

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Halal & Hypocrisy XIII: Remove Kebab? 1

 

KEBAB_MENARD_ROBERT_INTERDIRE_BEZIERS_RACISME_TWEET_TWITTER

New from the Inferno: A tyrannical tale of kebabs and killjoys.


The south of France, and one man finds himself deeply disenchanted by the culinary delights on offer in his locale. So much so, in fact, that he took to the press, voicing his determination never to let another kebabish open in his town again.

Lushes and reprobates – I give you Robert Ménard: ex-secretary general of press freedom group Reporters Sans Frontières and currently disgruntled mayor of the supposedly shish-saturated town of Béziers. This blowhard first came to my attention a couple of weeks back, when I read about his distaste for döner at the Daily Sabah. Already something of a national celebrity for his animus towards Allahphiles—making a point of illegally collecting stats on Muslim schoolkids and personally declaring Syrian refugees in his town persona non grata—the somewhat megalomaniacal mayor now wants to obstruct the opening of any further lamb-spit houses in his locale.

Reading about this reminds me of one reason I kickstarted this series-within-a-series known as ‘Halal & Hypocrisy’: to shine a spotlight on those for whom fighting the Islamification of the Western world serves as a Trojan Horse for their own liberticidal bullshit. Whilst I may not be thrilled about the concept (and existence) of borders (at least not on a nation-state level), I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have some sympathy for those who view them as a means of preserving treasured cultural and civil liberties—not to mention life and limb—in their lands (a la the late Pim Fortuyn). That said, I find it tragicomic how fervently those of such a persuasion appeal to the very institutions responsible for their malaise to make everything alright, especially when the latter either double down with a “solution” that further feeds the beast or take it as an opportunity to play bait ‘n’ switch by adding their own encroachments.

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The Real Issues You Won’t Hear from the 2016 Presidential Candidates This Election Year Reply

By John Whitehead

Rutherford Institute

“Apparently, a democracy is a place where numerous elections are held at great cost without issues and with interchangeable candidates.”—Gore Vidal

The countdown has begun.

We now have less than one year until the 2016 presidential election, and you can expect to be treated to an earful of carefully crafted, expensive sound bites and political spin about climate change, education, immigration, taxes and war.

Despite the dire state of our nation, however, you can rest assured that none of the problems that continue to undermine our freedoms will be addressed in any credible, helpful way by any of the so-called viable presidential candidates and certainly not if doing so might jeopardize their standing with the unions, corporations or the moneyed elite bankrolling their campaigns.

The following are just a few of the issues that should be front and center in every presidential debate. That they are not is a reflection of our willingness as citizens to have our political elections reduced to little more than popularity contests that are, in the words of Shakespeare, “full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”

The national debt. Why aren’t politicians talking about the whopping $18.1 trillion and rising that our government owes to foreign countries, private corporations and its retirement programs? Not only is the U.S. the largest debtor nation in the world, but according to Forbes, “the amount of interest on the national debt is estimated to be accumulating at a rate of over one million dollars per minute.” Shouldn’t the government being on the verge of bankruptcy be an issue worth talking about?

Black budget spending. It costs the American taxpayer $52.6 billion every year to be spied on by the sixteen or so intelligence agencies tasked with surveillance, data collection, counterintelligence and covert activities. The agencies operating with black budget (top secret) funds include the CIA, NSA and Justice Department. Clearly, our right to privacy seems to amount to nothing in the eyes of the government and those aspiring to office.

Government contractors. Despite all the talk about big and small government, what we have been saddled with is a government that is outsourcing much of its work to high-paid contractors at great expense to the taxpayer and with no competition, little transparency and dubious savings. According to the Washington Post, “By some estimates, there are twice as many people doing government work under contract than there are government workers.” These open-ended contracts, worth hundreds of millions of dollars, “now account for anywhere between one quarter and one half of all federal service contracting.” Moreover, any attempt to reform the system is “bitterly opposed by federal employee unions, who take it as their mission to prevent good employees from being rewarded and bad employees from being fired.”

Cost of war. Then there’s the detrimental impact the government’s endless wars (fueled by the profit-driven military industrial complex) is having on our communities, our budget and our police forces. In fact, the U.S. Department of Defense is the world’s largest employer, with more than 3.2 million employees. Since 9/11, we’ve spent more than $1.6 trillion to wage wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. When you add in our military efforts in Pakistan, as well as the lifetime price of health care for disabled veterans and interest on the national debt, that cost rises to $4.4 trillion.

Education. Despite the fact that the U.S. spends more on education than any other developed nation, our students continue to lag significantly behind other advanced industrial nations. Incredibly, teenagers in the U.S. ranked 36th in the world in math, reading and science.

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The University is the New Church 1

By Aleksey Bashtavenko

Random Meanderings

Academic Composition

In the Leviathan, Thomas Hobbes repeatedly expressed concerns that the Church and the University had the potential to undermine the sovereign’s authority. When I first read that passage as a naive college student, I saw no reason to challenge Hobbes’ position regarding the subversiveness of the University. After all, I thought that the University was home to many massive protests and it seemed obvious to me that the primary purpose of institutions of higher learning was to promote critical thinking.
Yet, I did not quite understand why Hobbes thought that the Church could be equally subversive. I was confounded by that bizarre assertion because the Church appeared to have the opposite influence upon young people from that of the University. Instead of promoting critical thinking, it encouraged its patrons to adhere to a religious dogma and instead of participating in protests, it promoted obedience to authority. Then, sobering realization dawned upon me: I’ve thoroughly misunderstood that passage from the Leviathan.

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Tyranny of the Weak Reply

By Aleksey Bashtavenko

“There is no progress in human history. Democracy is a fraud. Human nature is primitive, emotional, unyielding. The smarter, abler, stronger, and shrewder take the lion’s share. The weak starve, lest society become degenerate: One can compare the social body to the human body, which will promptly perish if prevented from eliminating toxins” Vilfredo Pareto

“Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth.” Matthew 5:5

The debate between Thomas Paine and Edmund Burke is widely regarded as the foundational difference between the left and the right. Thomas Paine regarded politics as similar to any other intellectual endeavor that requires the capacity for deep thought, critical analysis and creative synthesis. Resembling Plato’s Philosopher King, the politician regards the problems of society as that of “applied metaphysics” where solutions to all social ailments can be obtained through the exercise of reason alone. In line with Aristotle’s distinction between episteme and techne, Burke regarded politics as a practical rather than an intellectual endeavor. He rejected the doctrine of Socratic intellectualism that underpinned the Philosopher King thesis, asserting that people who know what constitutes the good are capable of acting in an evil manner.

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