In the Heart of Freedom, In Chains
By Ed Driscoll · July 22, 2007 04:29 PM · Bobos In Paradise · God And Man At Dupont University · The Future and its Enemies
I hope to have my own review of James Pierson's Camelot and the Cultural Revoltion online in the next week or so. In the meantime, Fred Siegel has a great write-up of the book's central thesis in Opinion Journal, and concludes:
Mr. Piereson's own argument is persuasive and well-presented, but liberalism was never as reasonable as he assumes. The irrationalism that exploded later in the 1960s had been a component of left-wing ideology well before. Herbert Croly, the liberal founder of the New Republic magazine, was drawn to mysticism. In the 1950s ex-Marxists fell over themselves in praise of Wilhelm Reich and "orgone box," hoping that sexual therapy might replace Marxist theory as the toga of the enlightened. And in the very early 1960s a veritable cult of Castro, informed by Franz Fanon's writings on the cleansing virtues of violence, emerged among intellectuals searching for an alternative to middle-class conventions.In the latest issue of City Journal, Myron Magnet extends those concepts from the mid-1960s to the present, with an emphasis on today's liberals' reaction to the Duke non-rape case, which Newsweek's Evan Thomas recently unwittingly crystalized down to a single sentence: "The narrative was right, but the facts were wrong".
Magnet explains how such a mindset can occur amongst seemingly sophisticated elites:
Part of what a university should teach is the critical reasoning power to analyze situations like these, with claims and counterclaims, and determine what actually happened. But the last few decades’ transformation of the academic worldview unfitted Duke administrators and faculty from making such a judgment. Like the scientists Swift’s Gulliver met in the kingdom of Laputa, they have one eye that looks inward at themselves and one eye that peers outward toward the farthest heavens, leaving no organ to perceive the reality right in front of their noses—the reality that, as George Orwell says, takes a constant struggle to see through the fog of orthodoxy.Needless to say, don't miss either man's essay.
Related: "The Kennedy Mythtique….and college snobbery…"
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