March 30, 2015

The Specter of Perfection

"We have discovered happiness, say the last men, and blink thereby." — Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra

For the last 500ish years, we have been in what historians have dubbed “Modernity,” as opposed to the Middle Ages or Antiquity. And one of the single most powerful driving forces behind the events of History in our current period (although some speculate that we have now moved into Post-Modernity) has been the idea of Progress—that the past was flawed and that we are moving forward, linearly, toward something better.

March 29, 2015

"Conservatives" Are the True Multiculturalists

Can you believe in Science and still support Multiculturalism?

In my new piece, I explore the contradictions at the heart of Liberalism's recent push for Multiculturalism in academia and pretty much every other institution in America today. The entire point of Liberalism, as originally conceived during the Enlightenment, was to replace opinion with fact based on evidence, i.e. Science. In order to undermine the power of the church and the nobility, they sought to show that Culture is accidental, whereas Truth is universal. Yet today Liberals hold themselves up as promoters of diversity and cultural difference. But Science is trans-cultural, meaning it necessarily undermines Culture.

So does that mean by default that "Conservatives" are the true Multiculturalists?

March 23, 2015

The Forgotten Genius Who Created The Modern World

"I do not care to please either the witty or the fashionable. At all times there will be men destined to be subjugated by the opinions of their century, their country, their society . . . One must not write for such readers when one wants to live beyond one's century." — Rousseau, Discourse on the Arts and Sciences

In 1750, a bashful, unassuming, "citizen of Geneva" named Jean Jacques Rousseau wrote a now scarcely remembered essay for a contest, and it completely altered the course of history. Yet despite its current obscurity, as the preface quoted above predicts, the untimeliness of the ideas contained within continue to be felt even today, 264 years later.

March 16, 2015

Rescuing Rhyme and Reason

"One day a small ship appeared on the Sea of Knowledge. It carried a young prince seeking the future. In the name of goodness and truth he laid claim to all the country and set out to explore his new domain [, but] the demons, monsters, and giants were furious at his presumption and banded together to drive him out."The Phantom Tollbooth

Despite the popular image of America as anti-intellectual—which don't get me wrong, the majority of Americans certainly are (of course, so is the majority anywhere)—our country has actually been a great stage upon which the most profound philosophical ideas of the last 500 years have played out. Although these ideas began in Europe, the comparatively tabula rasa nature of the American mind is uniquely susceptible to their influence. This, most certainly, is a consequence of America being the first (if not the only) country founded by Philosophers, but also of our unshakable optimism in the future and the resulting joy we get from novelty.

March 09, 2015

The Future is Ours to Create

"History consists, for the greater part, of the miseries brought upon the world by pride, ambition, avarice, revenge, lust, sedition, hypocrisy, ungoverned zeal, and all the train of disorderly appetite." Edmund Burke

What is "History"?

Only Humans have History: we are the only species that has a written record of our past accomplishments and follies, and the only ones capable of planning and projecting into the future. Every other species just is—they are as Nature intended—whereas Humans appear to be a bit more malleable.

March 02, 2015

Timing is Everything

"The idea that is overcome is not annihilated, only driven back or subordinated."Nietzsche

So why do I call these untimely meditations?

It doesn't seem like a very good marketing strategy to write a blog which has nothing to do with what is going on in the world today. I mean, isn't the whole point of a blog to be current and engaged; to be commenting on the latest news cycle in order to drive traffic and rack up hits? It would seem that the very nature of a blog is to be as TIMELY as possible.

And the answer to all this would be, yes—that is absolutely correct.