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  • Worthwhile Reading

    Posted by David Foster on May 4th, 2017 (All posts by )

    Roger Simon:  Will Fascism come to America through its colleges and universities?

    Case in point:  Brooklyn College

    Also from Roger Simon:  Roots of Liberal/Progressive Rage

    Joel Hirsch:  The Gulag and the Islamists

    In 1711, the Spectator had some positive things to say about merchants–not a common opinion among the smart set in that place and time.  (Original article here.)

    Thoughts about the archetype of the American farm boy and the present-day hostility of elitist ‘progressives’ toward people who fit this archetype:

    Then it hit me. The new American myth, carefully constructed by the SJWs and their ilk, is that farmers are stupid. Mechanics are dumb. Plumbers only ply their trade because they are too stupid to take gender studies courses. And since they are all idiots, of course their children must be idiots too. Indeed, they are all far too stupid to be permitted a say in how their own lives are run.

    Related to the above:  The roots of campus progressivism’s madness

     

    20 Responses to “Worthwhile Reading”

    1. dearieme Says:

      There’s lots of good stuff in the Spectator of Addison and Steele. We read some of it at school.

      “Roger Simon: Will Fascism come to America through its colleges and universities?” Wrong tense, matey, wrong tense.

    2. Mike K Says:

      The essay by the recent graduate makes me wonder if all students are this deluded or are there a majority that still hold intelligent, reality based opinions.

      My youngest daughter, who graduated five years ago, seems to have resisted the leftism but I wonder what percentage of recent graduates are of the SJW delusion ?

    3. Brian Says:

      Re: the farm boy thing, I recall being amazed in 2004 that John F’n Kerry used “cowboy” as a slur, and silly me, I thought he was making a huge mistake that showed he was completely out of touch with America. Shows how out of touch I actually was/am. Now farmers, cowboys, America, etc., are all Bad Things. Strange times.

    4. ErisGuy Says:

      The biggest cowards in our country today are many, if not most, of our college and university administrators followed closely by a fair amount of their faculty.

      And have been since the late 1960s. If I’d had $10 for every captitulation to Leftists made by university deans, chancellors, presidents, and administrators in the 1960s, I could have affored Harvard or Rice. (Not that they’d let me in.)

    5. David Foster Says:

      Brian..yes, the cowboy was an American archetype, however much romanticized…it is now used as a slur, to imply someone irresponsible and quick on the trigger. It would be interesting to track how this came about through popular culture, especially movies.

    6. Grurray Says:

      Sometimes I wonder if the British once thought this way, too. Before the Revolutionary War, did they consider Americans to be stupid hicks? Did they see us as rednecks too dumb to manage our own affairs?

      Not in the case of Edmund Burke. He defended America

      http://press-pubs.uchicago.edu/founders/documents/v1ch1s2.html

      He correctly saw the root of the problem was oppressive British policies. If they had listened to him the colonies would have been represented in Parliament, and the war may have been avoided altogether.

      Then, Sir, from these six capital sources; of descent; of form of government; of religion in the northern provinces; of manners in the southern; of education; of the remoteness of situation from the first mover of government; from all these causes a fierce spirit of liberty has grown up. It has grown with the growth of the people in your colonies, and increased with the increase of their wealth; a spirit, that unhappily meeting with an exercise of power in England, which, however lawful, is not reconcilable to any ideas of liberty, much less with theirs, has kindled this flame that is ready to consume us.

    7. David Foster Says:

      Victor Davis Hanson on Potemkin Universities

    8. Mike K Says:

      “Victor Davis Hanson on Potemkin Universities”

      It all goes back to Allan Bloom’s “The Closing of the American Mind.”

      He was right and the rest is just inertia. The student loan/tuition inflation thing has accelerated the trends. That’s all.

    9. Sgt. Mom Says:

      Regarding the American farm-boy essay, and how the current so-called elite scorn the working class, and those who work on farms, ranches, and in flyover country … it’s as if they have never heard of all those stories, jokes, and skits about how the city slicker got flim-flammed by the country folk.
      The education of the elite seems to be lacking, in that respect.

    10. Mike K Says:

      On the farm boy myth.

      Plumbers only ply their trade because they are too stupid to take gender studies courses.

      And yet, there are 25,000 auto mechanic jobs that are open. How many “gender studies” jobs are there ?

      But there’s a disconnect between those needs and today’s 20-somethings. Quoting Gary Uyematsu, national technical training manager at BMW, there’s “less of a mechanical interest and understanding among young people. They are not hands-on. Mechanics used to start with some gas station experience. Now the experience a person gets working at a gas station is selling slushies.”

      Earlier generations also gained skill under a shade tree, keeping their second- or third-hand vehicles running. But even cars that today are 10 or 15 years old are far more reliable.

      The shortage of mechanics has been building for decades, and while the advent of EVs might make the oil change obsolete, electronics issues in modern vehicles will more than offset that. Training programs are well established. So if America wants to get working again, we could start with a Snap-on tool set.

      I have a step grandson who works on old Porsches and makes a very good living while his uncle who owns the shop, rebuilds Porsches that cost over a million dollars.

    11. David Foster Says:

      William Jacobson, a professor of law at Cornell, sees an analogy between the current campus climate in America and the Red Guards of Maoist China. Read/watch:

      http://legalinsurrection.com/2017/04/the-new-cultural-revolution-on-campuses/

    12. Gringo Says:

      Thoughts about the archetype of the American farm boy and the present-day hostility of elitist ‘progressives’ toward people who fit this archetype

      It ain’t present day hostility at all- it’s been there for a long time. My farm boy grandfather got it over a hundred years ago at the in-town high school he attended. His becoming captain of the HS football team tended to stop those taunts.

      I attended a regional high school. The host town was more suburban, more affluent, and better educated than the rural town where I lived. All of my hometown peers remember the “dumb farmer” jeers from our high school days.

      Growing up on a farm was great training for becoming an engineer, as you learned to repair just about anything to keep the operation going.

    13. David Foster Says:

      Gringo…”Growing up on a farm was great training for becoming an engineer, as you learned to repair just about anything to keep the operation going.:”

      Tom Wolfe observed that many of the engineers in the US space program….and I believe many of the astronauts as well..had this background.

    14. PenGun Says:

      “It all goes back to Allan Bloom’s “The Closing of the American Mind.”

      He was right and the rest is just inertia. The student loan/tuition inflation thing has accelerated the trends. That’s all.”

      The man who agreed with Plato that music was a barbaric art form.

      Yeah, he’s an obvious idiot. There are so many rather intelligent idiots. To get there you have to convince yourself that you are right about batsh#t crazy stuff, and because you are half smart, you can!

    15. Grurray Says:

      David & Gringo,

      Wolfe made that observation about Silicon Valley also. The old Silicon Valley

      https://www.forbes.com/asap/1997/0825/102.html

      There was something in the water out there in SE Iowa because there were quite a few notable alumni from Grinnell.

    16. Ginny Says:

      Well, it’s complicated. Of course, my instincts were schooled by some experience. My father was a farm boy who got an engineering degree and came back to the village – where his family no longer had a farm and the demand for engineers wasn’t high. But my sister’s husband, grown up on a farm, has gone into research that that background surely impelled – and has become an expert on no-till. I knew those guys who could fix a car or a tractor, lay pipe or catch the football, then did well on the national tests.
      I have a sense that Tillerson’s trajectory (though of course exceptional) began at some of the same points: degrees in engineering, business acumen, and now a man who seems to have the qualities of a true statesman.

      Heroes haven’t already “arrived” – we look for ones who prove themselves. And when the search is for self-knowledge, as well, it is often a movement from the country to the town, where the skills and integrity of the boy are honed with the culture and experience of the man.

      One point: in many ways Star Wars is romantic, but the farm boy to the city is often a relatively institutional route or at least communal one. And that counters the romantic, back to the truths of nature, of individuality. Emerson and Thoreau celebrate leaving the city for the independence of life communing, alone, with nature. Lincoln and Douglass celebrate the traditions, culture, history they find in more urban settings – both see themselves becoming themselves not in lone communion with nature but assimilating a culture they find in books and speeches and institutions. The 18th century is full of boys that come to the city and find their inheritance – and in a metaphorical way, that is what Lincoln and Douglass do in the real world of the next century in America. The metrosexuals of manbuns do seem unable to cope with the country life – or much else. They seem less intellect, less experience and far more feeling.

      Which is a long way of saying – does the modern privileging of feeling come form the modern undercutting of the competent, wily, natural, rural man as hero? Early on in this blog I wrote about the barrel-chested house and the barrel-chested hero. In the years in between, that loss has seemed even greater.

    17. Mike K Says:

      PenGun with another unintelligible comment. Do you have a word processor that writes these ?

    18. PenGun Says:

      Mike, I read the articles. If you did, you might find I make more sense.

    19. Mike K Says:

      “If you did, you might find I make more sense.”

      I doubt it, especially given your language skills. I read them too.

    20. PenGun Says:

      “And yet, there are 25,000 auto mechanic jobs that are open.”

      This is and will develop as a problem. I fix my own stuff, always have, built a few nice cars as well. A lot of people are happy enough with traditional auto mechanics but really hate the computers and won’t work on that part. I routinely provide help for people in this area and diagnose things that need some knowledge and often a reader of some kind.

      I like it myself, I just ask the computer what’s wrong, but I think this is part of the reason so many auto mechanics jobs are open.