Friday, September 24, 2021

Think CRT's a Problem? That's Just the Start

We lost a lot when Angelo Codevilla died the other day.

Ace excerpts a couple of bits from an essay on education Codevilla wrote for a collection assembled by Michael Walsh.  The entire essay is linked at Ace's post; here's a section that Ace and I find very telling:

...Without going to any depth in the debate between the human possibilities that nature and nurture provide, enough experiments have been carried out that show that nature does not limit babies born into primitive tribes to lives near the level of quadrupeds, just as it does not endow the offspring of Ph.ds's with high I.Qs. Quantification is unnecessary for us to know that much of civilization depends on the habits of body, heart, and mind into which we are civilized.

We may never have heard of Plato's prescription that the body and mind are best trained for reason by physical discipline, that the right kind of music enhances these and the wrong kind hinders it. We may no longer play musical instruments as much as earlier generations. And yet all who are part of Western civilization carry with us, among other things, a musical heritage based on mathematics and melody that also sets us apart from other civilizations.

What, then has education been doing to our civilization? The very concept of IQ, of Intelligence Quotient, of the Stanford-Binet test and things similar, is, as its critics argue, a cultural construct less a measure of potential than of capacities already developed. No surprise that persons growing up in environments that stimulate and enable the development of human possibilities do in fact develop more of these. Some studies suggest that the complex of what each generation conveyed to the next made those generations more intellectually/morally potent than their predecessors though the early twentieth century, but that this process has reversed itself over about a half century and average IQ has dropped by some 14 points. The decline seems to have come at the top of our civilizational pyramid. Speculation about the causes is less relevant than noting the effects.

But the deepest philosophical causes are not in dispute. After Descartes' Discourse on Method reduced reality into something wholly comprehensible by truncating it, the very peaks of Western philosophy reversed the relationship between reality and the observer. Kant and Hegel's "idealism" is neither more nor less than the further affirmation that the mind, for its own sovereign convenience, can take possession of what it perceives. From these philosophical peaks, any number of streams of far less sophisticated thought have flowed that effectively and explicitly place the mind's product under the sway of man's will, and hence of man's various interests.

The intellectual mechanism is straightforward: presume to abolish the objective status of what you see, and presume to retake possession of what you then suppose to be reality, based on what matters to you....

Notice "Hegel" in there?  His philosophy--and Marx's--underlie "CRT."

Notice that the Hegelian/Kantian model eliminates God (therefore, metaphysics) from reality? 

CRT is merely the current end-product of a civilization which cut itself loose from its anchor.  That 'abolition of the objective status of what you see' leads directly to such as the Cult of Covid and its abolition of basic moral principles; "What Is" is only "What I Want It To Be."

About time for another Awakening.

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