Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Establishment Philosophy vs. individualism

An exercise in the spiral:

If one googles 'individualism philosophy' one finds the same state of things, essentially, as what I pointed out nearly two years ago - a near-complete lack of interest among academic moral and political philosophers in individualism (and especially among the most "elite" of them - e.g., Oxford/NYU/Harvard's Derek Parfit, who also - mind-bogglingly - neglects Aristotle, eudaimonia, and virtue-ethics in his "state of the art," Oxford-published "magnus opus" on ethics).  This is a widespread corruption in the Intellectual Establishment, constituting an intellectual and moral betrayal of the American people and of the nation's founding ideals.  My observations remain as spot-on accurate now as they did then; spiral progression in the two years since has only further enhanced and solidified these findings.

I think the American people would like to know why this near-complete neglect of individualism is taking place in the Academic Establishment, wouldn't they?

There is an ominous parallel here to a culture- and polity-wide corruption in the Establishment - not in the universities (in this particular case) but in media and in government - when it comes to Noam Chomsky's near-complete absence from political discourse and exposure in (American) mass-media venues (outside of the internet, that is).

What I observe here are cultures of evasion, in which truth and justice are unpopular and inconvenient with regard to the status quo.

I don't think the Framers would stand for this status quo for one fucking second.

Do you?

As Walter Sobchak might very well have said, there's no reason - there's no FUCKing reason - for the national situation to be this way, or to stay this way.  One need only look at the complete failure of intellectual, moral, and political leadership in our nation's Legislative and Executive branches at doing the obviously-right fucking thing on cannabis legalization, to know our polity is a broken one.  I know it, you know it, and the American People (should damn well) know it.  Here we have overwhelming evidence and reasons for why cannabis should be legalized yesterday; we have a majority of the People showing support for its legalization according to polls; all logic, right, truth, and justice point in that direction; the de facto racist nature of the War on Drugs should sting at the conscience of everyone; the prison-industrial complex built up around this vicious War should likewise sting at everyone's consciousness; and, yet, no action from our national leaders.  The Democrat Establishment is no less corrupt in its ongoing support of this President despite the obviously-racist effects of the Drug Policies which he enforces (or does he?) and - worse - remains dubiously silent about in the face of all the evidence.

All this, no thanks to the Intellectual Class, and its culture of evasion and stagnation.  As the Intellectuals go, so goes the country - just as Rand said.

Do these Intellectuals even begin to wonder why even the leading one of their own, MIT's Prof. Chomsky, is nearly absent from America's public discourse?

It's their own fault, after all, having made philosophy almost totally irrelevant to ordinary citizens.

It so happens that Sade's Philosophy in the Bedroom would be of more interest in meaning-of-life terms to the ordinary people, than would Quine's "Two Dogmas" article.  That's just a fact.  While that should (of course) not be construed to denigrate what Quine et al have been doing, it is a severe problem when meaning-of-life issues are neglected by the Philosophical Establishment in the process.  (The Existentialists and Rand were addressing fundamental meaning-of-life questions well over half a century ago, at a time that Academic Philosophy was going out of its way to be as irrelevant as ever to the People and is only now catching up in the meaning-of-life area - a task which can't even be addressed all that well as long as Rand and individualism remain largely neglected.  That's just a fact.)

Perhaps it's high (ahem) time that someone, somewhere, founded an alternate Academy, as individual philosophers did way back in the day - only perhaps the term "academy" should be dropped altogether given the disrepute that has been brought upon that term by institutional insiders, and replaced with something along the lines of "lyceum".  Just a hunch.

Am I wrong?

(Why does taking on an entire Philosophical Establishment feel like shooting fish in a barrel?  Is it supposed to feel that way?  Is that how Rand - who was decades ahead of her time in the virtue-ethics department - felt, too?  Is that why so many in the Establishment hate Rand?  A frightfully high number of these entities don't seem to give a shit what Gotthelf and the Ayn Rand Society have to say about her, either.  These aren't worthy fucking adversaries.  [A notable exception is one John M. Cooper of Princeton, a preeminent scholar of ancient philosophy and chair of a recent Ayn Rand Society program, "Ayn Rand as Aristotelian" (2005).  Perhaps the ancients had more noble ideas about how to carry out philosophical discourse and make it relevant to people's lives?])

P.S. Aw, fuck it; spiraling back to this subject, I'll go ahead and perfectively fortify my observations as follows: Prof. Leiter is a vicious piece of shit.  That motherfucker had better retract and apologize for his appalling treatement of Rand and Rand-scholars, or else.  (See item #9 here.)  One might think a simple concern about one's long-term intellectual and moral credibility would lead to such a retraction and apology, irrespective of my threat to go on strike beginning 4/20, because his (and his vile little cronies') credibility will be ruined long-term - whatever happens - if they don't.  Whatever his academic accomplishment, the man is a disgrace.  Maybe some of his colleagues could light a fire under his rotund posterior and improve their own reputations in the process.  The American People are not going to take kindly to this unbelievable shit once they find out what their most vocal intellectuals have been saying and doing these past years and decades to stonewall progress.  Once again: as the intellectuals go, so goes the nation.  (A recent Leiter entry has him whining about capitalism, yet again, whereas the solution to our nation's economic and existential problems lies in an Aristotelian eudaimonist intellectual perfection.  Why the fuck doesn't he at least advocate that?  [Of course, that would mean getting cornered like a rat for his treatment of Rand, all the same.  Maybe that's why?]  He complains all the goddamn time about America's intellectual and cultural dysfunction, but then shits all over Rand and capitalism without providing any real alternative answers.  Fuck 'em!)

P.P.S. reddit's /r/philosophy and I have a date Wednesday (tomorrow), baby!  Woo!!!