23 Responses

  1. Chris

    Thanks for the link, and I am quoting in in a followup. As far as this modern cult: I will not bow to their idol, nor serve — if I burn, I burn. I choose the LORD, not this facist progressive pile of academic shite.

  2. Korny Brazen Academic Facists. [quotage] | Dark Brightness

    […] What is new, however, is the brazenness of it all. That approach and tone comes when people generally feel invulnerable to their critics. The ideological left (which is what the academy is – it isn’t a centrist, pragmatic left, it’s generally an out-there, radical, ideological left) is basically doing a socio-political-cultural celebratory dance. Virtually all of their goals have either been achieved or are well within reach. They know this. Hegemony is theirs – at least for the foreseeable future. So, this gives them the courage simply to state explicitly things that previously everyone familiar with the academy tacitly knew, but didn’t expressly say – it’s the most brazen stage of the entire development by which the academy has become monolithic in outlook while at the same time hugely increasing its influence over the state and the society at large. […]

  3. evilwhitemalempire

    Who was it that said that when people don’t believe in God that they will believe anything?

    Whoever it was, it’s spot on.

  4. Opus

    Has not academia always been like this. Did not the late Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822) encourage his dismissal from Oxford University by reason of his refusal (as all, undergraduates were obliged to) by refusing to subscribe to the thirty-nine articles of the established church. In our own time we have seen a German Doctoral Candidate imprisoned for his Doctoral Thesis.

    It is also worth noting that Justice is surely a metaphysical concept. Its proper place is within the confines of the Courts, but even Courts are Courts of Law and not Courts of Justice. To make Justice the touchstone of academia is to beg the question for who is to determine what is just and what otherwise and on what basis. One might as well make happiness the criteria of the academy.

  5. Höllenhund

    Great to see this blog up and running again.

  6. Escoffier

    This is (yet another) instance of the working out or through of the modern principle. “Modern” meaning not 20th century, but 16th—the modern project launched by Machiavelli and picked up by his successors.

    Somebody on SSM’s site brought up Socrates, which was apropos, but not I think in the way intended. Yes, Socrates was persecuted for unpopular beliefs, and yes, this Korn person proposes to do the same, even to institutionalize the same. But there is a very important difference.

    What Socrates and his ancient and medieval successors understood is that philosophy is always in principle a threat to any ruling idea or orthodoxy, especially religious orthodoxy. I have argued, and I truly believe, that at a very high level philosophy’s investigation into the good is fully compatible with Biblical principle. The problem is that the investigation into the good is itself corrosive and tends to corrupt lesser minds. It tends to puff up certain people with misplaced and unearned confidence and, to be frank, it makes atheists out of them.

    So one lesson derived from the trial and death of Socrates was, be careful who you converse with, who you let into your charmed circle. Learn to spot and weed out the arrogant types who won’t do the really hard work of thinking things through, but who enjoy the sense of superiority from the common man they get and basically stop at the halfway point.

    Another conclusion was: society cannot be rationalized. Reason cannot rule. The ancients argued—convincingly, I think—that the only two just titles to rule are wisdom and being selected by the gods (or God). However, they present the possibility of wisdom (philosophy) ruling on earth as extremely unlikely and dependent on chance. Moreover, most direct attempts to establish the rule of the wise accomplish nothing of the sort and make everything worse. So they counsel moderation and mitigation in political affairs.

    What happens is that, through the victory of Christianity, philosophy becomes subsumed under a religious authority. It does not die, but it no longer has the freedom to question faith in the way that (say) the ancients questioned the Greek gods (however circumspectly). To the early moderns, this is completely intolerable. Philosophy must be free; moreover, it must never be placed in this situation again. Hence it must rule.

    So the project entails overthrowing religious authority (and destroying religion itself) and then establishing “reason” as the ruler. As an aside our term “PhD” or “Doctor of Philosophy” is an outgrowth of this notion, the professionalization of philosophy and the elevation of those professionals as a new priestly class.

    They don’t tend to be the direct rulers, but the indirect rulers. This is most obvious in the way that social science commands such great authority in government at every level. It’s all assumed to be impartial “science” or “fact,” unassailable, something to which one must submit or else show that one is backward and perhaps insane. In fact, the very notion of “fact” is an invention of modernity.

    The ancients were of course right all along. Reason and wisdom exist, and philosophers are real (though there are perhaps no simply wise men) but reason and wisdom cannot rule. Just as all aristocracies are at root oligarchies, all attempts to rule “rationally” are in fact the partisan claims of one part of society dressed in academic robes. There can never be perfectly impartial scientific rule, because the essence of politics is competing, partial claims to rule. Politics is always a fight.

    And, also, ancient philosophy accepts that philosophy is the quest for truth, not the truth, and the quest never ends. There is a necessary, irreducible uncertainty about the whole enterprise, which is why it is necessary to maintain a certain humility and skepticism. Modernity dispenses with that, assumes it can discover the final truth and rule on that basis.

    Ms. Korn is unaware, but she is in the end a descendant of that hubristic tradition. Since the rule of reason necessarily failed, it now must be backstopped with compulsion.

  7. Escoffier

    Slightly OT but apropos

    http://www.kwwl.com/story/24831636/2014/02/26/u-of-iowa-president-sally-mason-apologizes-for-remarks

    Many things to notice here. First, the phrase “human nature” is now verboten at universities. What? Why? No explanation is given. We may let our imaginations run wild. My surmise: the far left today is “trans” everything. Nature is the ultimate thing to transcend. Nature means limits on man’s (oops! womyn’s) power and choice. Modernity begins as “the conquest of nature for the relief of man’s estate (Bacon) but now must culminate in the final transcendence of nature altogether.

    How sad this is may be surmised from the following: THE overarching purpose of two of the three divisions of the modern university—the humanities and the social sciences—is to study human nature. But now the very phrase itself is forbidden to be spoken and deemed hateful. You can only imagine how awful, then, the actual substance of that study is.

    Note as well how quickly she caves. We don’t have the whole story. But it appears that, without even asking “Why is what I said in any way harmful?” she just folds to the mob instead. She naturally lacks all confidence in any intellectual standards, in the purpose of the particular university she is paid to lead, or in the university in the general sense. She is either simply afraid of the mob or sympathetic to their Jacobin impulses and, like many oldsters in similar positions, rushes to get on the good side of the vanguard youth because she “knows” in her heart that whatever their latest enthusiasm is, it must be right.

    Finally, note the subtly classical (and reasonable) point that she tries to make: perfection is impossible. Even the best institutions cannot forever stamp out evil. Some misconduct will always happen no matter what you do to try to prevent it, so mitigation and minimization are the best we can hope for.

    The moderns recoil at this. “Institutions with teeth in them” can solve every problem. Reason can rule, chance can be conquered, the world is perfectible. To say any less is ipso facto to side with the malefactors (in this case men). Modernity must slap down hard any sign of resigned realism or measured moderation.

  8. The Struggle Of Our Time | Donal Graeme

    […] first post is called Lords of the New Church. In it he begins by discussing the call by one Sandra Korn for “Academic Justice” […]

  9. Desiderius

    “It’s quite telling that the ultimate justification, the “punch line” if you will, is that of having “the moral upper hand”.”

    The word “moral” here is superfluous (though telling in its own right).

    The question is which is to be master – that’s all.

  10. Desiderius

    “like many oldsters in similar positions, rushes to get on the good side of the vanguard youth because she “knows” in her heart that whatever their latest enthusiasm is, it must be right.”

    Curious for your thoughts on the roots of our descent into Puerocracy. The great clash between the Boomers and their parents endlessly played out over and over with the young as the good guys since the Boomers delude themselves into thinking they’ve never gotten old? Latent guilt over selling all future generations into slavery (starting with this one) to keep them living in the manner in which they’ve become accustomed?

    Of course the die was cast caving-wise in the sixties – it wasn’t the Boomers caving then.

  11. Desiderius

    “though there are perhaps no simply wise men”

    No shortage of wiseguys, however, simple or otherwise.

  12. Desiderius

    Nova,

    “What we see here, however, is a brazen, naked display of pure ideological politics akin to a church, while the people who are doing this would claim until they are blue in the face that they are anything but that.”

    And in doing so, betray the very motto of the University they, and we, still, hold dear.

    Also glad to see you back and to see your eye focused with such determination at the root of the evil. It’s, it’s not a new one. I’d encourage some study and reflection on your part (no doubt Escoffier can chip in there) on that end.

    It markets itself as New (hence “Progressive”) to the youth it corrupts, and given that the American heart hath no greater love than Progress, conceding that ground one loses before one has begun. Needlessly, as it happens.

    Well, at least in the battle against that particular evil. As for fighting Progress itself, you know what they say. There are many of us who will join in the fight against the former, but have no interest in taking on the latter.

  13. The Foot Soldiers of the New Church: Episode 1, in which Muslim children are traumatized by bunny flyers. | Sunshine Mary

    […] In The Lords of the New Church, Novaseeker explains how our universities have become populated by the new priests who define the moral order: […]

  14. Escoffier

    No doubt the reason is complex and multifaceted. But here is one major contributor.

    The default assumption of humanity, we may say, identifies the good with the old or ancestral. We see this first in Genesis, in which the beginning is good and man’s rebellion messes everything up. The Greek poets also posit a decline over time, though not quite from a perfection as perfect as Eden. But the specter of the past is held up as a judge against the present and the present more or less always falls short.

    Aristotle in the Politics has to treat this very carefully when he wants to show that progress is possible, that sometimes innovation makes things better. But this is not infinite progress, or progress as a principle. Rather, it is the possibility of progress toward an ideal, a perfection, a single standard of what is best. It is, in the simplest terms, improving the worse to make it better so that it may approach the best, though likely never becoming the simply best. The very quiet severing of the necessary connection between the good and the old may be said to be the heart of ancient metaphysics and the deepest potential ground of tension between philosophy and religion.

    Even here Aristotle (and Plato, and all the ancients) are very careful. They know that innovation harms at least as much and as often as it helps. They also know that men making a partisan claim on their own behalf or on behalf of their faction will always couch that claim in terms to the good of the whole. That is, everyone seeking change always believes or at least says that it is change for the better, not merely for his own advantage, even though it is merely the latter in the vast number of cases. This is why Aristotle is very reluctant to recommend changing even genuinely bad laws and it is an element of the ancients’ conservatism and moderation. He also says that those most capable of leading a good revolution—the virtuous—are the least likely actually to do so. Contrast that with the modern notion of the revolutionary as hero and its archetype, Robespierre (a student of Rousseau) or Lenin (a student of Marx).

    Modernity flips this because it believes that perfection is possible so long as you don’t reach for the highest perfection. Plato’s Republic, Aristotle’s “best regime,” Augustine’s’ City of God, etc. are not possible. But something approaching Xenophon’s polity in the Cyropaedia is possible. In order to achieve it, the prejudice in favor of the old or ancestral must be discarded. And not merely quietly in the thought of the few, but openly, in the general mind of man. It must be attacked and ridiculed so that no one believes it any more. This also has the not-incidental effect of weakening men’s religious faith, which is part and parcel of modernity.

    For modernity to achieve its goals, there must be “progress.” “Progress” stands in contradiction or rebuke both to ancient philosophy and to Christianity. The former posits a cycle of “regimes” or “sects” that rise and fall. They are born, small and weak but internally vigorous and confident, they grow large and strong, and then they decline (undone by their very success) and the cycle starts over. This is simply natural and cannot be overcome, not even by the simply best political order.

    Christianity posits a perfect beginning, a fall, a redemption and (eventually) a Second Coming. So, there is “progress” of a sort, but not pure progress and (this is key) it is not entirely, or even primarily, man’s doing.

    So there are similarities common to both concepts. In each we see both “progress” in the sense of “improvement” and “regress” in the sense of “decay.” The main difference of course is that Christianity promises a final redemption, at least in the next world, whereas according to the philosophic cycle, progress is never permanent or final.

    Modernity has to nuke both of these ideas. It does so in a clever way. First, it assumes that Christianity is a sect like any other, subject to the cycle. There is nothing divinely ordained which will ensure its victory. It will die, though perhaps man can help speed that up by giving it a push. However, modernity borrows from Christianity. Christianity was after all the first universal(ist) mass movement, something the ancient philosophers scarcely dreamed of. This is exactly what modernity aspires to be so it borrows from Christianity’s methods while rejecting in toto their purpose.

    Modernity wishes to kill Christianity (even while stealing from it) and to overcome the cycle. It aspires to be rational like ancient philosophy (and unlike, it argues, Christianity) but not fatalistic or resigned, which is one of its accusations against ancient philosophy. According to Aristotle, the reason why all regimes fall, and hence the reason for the cycle, is that all regimes are partial. Democracies look after the demos (the many or the common people). Oligarchies look after the rich. Etc. Even the best examples which make a genuine effort to secure the common good cannot but help to favor themselves even as they don’t fully appreciate what they are doing. This naturally gives rise to revolutionary fervor in those left out or insufficiently rewarded. Remedy, which is not a permanent cure, is a “mixed regime” which tries to incorporate elements of all and do justice to all. This is very rare in practice, dependent on circumstance and chance, and even where it can exist, it will only last longer, not forever.

    The modern solution is to find a way to make the few and the many “team up.” The new regime is therefore not inevitably partial, but designedly impartial. It avoids the flaw that Aristotle and all the ancients considered inevitable and inexpungible. “Progress” is necessary to overcome the cycle because the moderns begin from a basic agreement with the ancients: if human and political things are simply left to follow their natural course, decay is inevitable. Where they disagree is that the moderns think there is a permanent remedy: new institutions or orders that renew the initial goodness.

    This is the root of so many ideas that we take for granted. First, there is one fundamental revolution, the modern revolution, a revolution in thought. Hence the oft-repeated phrase one hears today that “you can’t turn back the clock.” Another is the idea of “History” as unidirectional progress. Or, perhaps, one step back, two steps forward: like a stock chart that shows some dips, but whose trend line is nonetheless always up.

    Modernity thus replaces the ancient prejudice that older is better with the conviction that newer is better. This is true most obviously of science and technology but it is held to be true of morality too. Innovation becomes a political principle or virtue, originally to overcome the cycle(s). That original purpose is forgotten but the principle of innovation and the faith in its goodness remains.

    This is “the narrative” of modern times. “History is on our side.” What was thought or believed 50 years ago is now embarrassing, replaced by newer opinions, which will be embarrassing in another 50 years, if not sooner. This is not a continual, gradual, asymptotic approach toward a final good, which is objective and independent of man’s will. Progress itself becomes the good and there is no end to the process. The inherent contradiction should by now be obvious but moderns don’t see it at all.

    This explains the root of why that dean caved. She believes in Progress and she wants to be on the “right side.” Modernity has a built-in preference for youth over age because it has a built-in preference from impetuosity over wisdom, which is based on its denial of any metaphysical standard of good supplied by nature. That dean remembers when she was the firebrand demanding “progress” against the (allegedly) regressive deans of her youth. And while she may be bewildered by the specific claims of today’s youth, she is not bewildered by what they represent. So, she defers to them, out of her eagerness to defer to Progress and see its march continue.

  15. Mission for the Manosphere? | Alpha Is Assumed

    […] (let alone do something about) the struggles ahead, the successful leftist takeover of our academic and religious institutions, our inability to face reality (fiscal, human nature, etc.), and about […]

  16. Elusive Wapiti

    Great article Nova! Linked it in a discussion here.

  17. Factory

    Good article. I’m nicking it for my new webzine. K?

    1. veritaslounge

      Fine with me, Factory!

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