Tuesday, January 21, 2020

The Reichstag Is Still Burning, Jaffa


A brilliant essay by a newly discovered (for me) brilliant thinker, Harry Jaffa. My introduction is by way of the entertaining and educational Powerline Podcast, which I regularly enjoy while taking my walks.

An excellent discourse on one of my common themes -- when universals (like "chair" being a useful descriptive term) are denied, then statements like "all men are created equal" become meaningless, since metaphysical abstraction is denied along with metaphysics. If ALL is MATERIAL, and there is no use in any abstraction that can't be "resolved" (as in Object Oriented Programming) to a specific physical "object" (experimentally verifiable fact/thing), then all we can work with are "white men", "black men", "gay women", "undefined gender beings", etc ...

This discourse gets us quickly back to Hegel - Heidegger, who in believing in Historicism (that history is "progressing" to "the correct thought"), and Hegel declaring "we've arrived", then "universals are what smart people declare they are" (in this case Hegel).

Modern "progressivism" declares "there is no end" -- although thinkers like Francis Fukuyama have extended Hegel/Heidegger to say "we are REALLY there now" in "The End of History". 

When we can no longer think in terms of "all men", we are driven to "white men" and their "privilege", or a "Master Race" because POWER ("Might is right") is all that matters in the world of the completely physical.

The title refers to the example of American educational system being driven to add and remove areas of study through riots and physical violence, so that study of "dead white men" (the ancients, the founders, the Bible, Shakespeare, etc)  were driven from the academy.

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