Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Let Us Imagine a New Culture

Writing in National Review, Victor Davis Hanson takes on the demolition of the liberal arts in the university after the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point announced it was shuttering various majors in history and modern languages and art. Not really a demolition, more a suicide, he writes.

I think that I would rather think of the leftification of the university as an opportunity. After all, the lefties have demolished the majestic western canon, for sure, but nobody wants to study the vile totalitarian cult that they have erected on its ruins, where everything is reduced to a binary narrative of victims and oppressors. And so they have flubbed their opportunity to create a real flourishing culture to replace what they have demolished.

Now I think that the western canon has been in trouble for a while anyway, because it has failed to produce a saving religion for creative people. I think we need new religion, culture, philosophy here in the west, and I think that this refounding should be based on my reductive notion of the Three Peoples. The totalitarian culture of the left has foolishly and cruelly politicized and dogmatized politics into victims and oppressors, religion into ideological activism, and culture into a cramped space that makes the culture wars of the Puritans look like a walk in the park.

So, as marine General Chesty Puller said when surrounded, we got the lefties just where we want them.
If young people are abandoning liberal arts majors, so much the better.

But what will replace the liberal University? Well I think the answer is cults. I was reading alt-right Vox Day getting outraged about the cultish nature of the Jordan Peterson phenomenon. He is missing the point. Anything outside the ruling class and its seminaries can't really partake of the teacher/student binary. So the way that culture and religion work is by enthusiasm: prophets and their disciples.

Now I would say that enthusiastic Christianity is the right and proper enthusiasm for People of the Subordinate Self. I think that something like Jordan Peterson's enthusiastic responsibility is the right enthusiasm for People of the Responsible Self.

That leaves the People of the Creative Self. What should their enthusiasm be? Well, I think that Jung and Peterson have a lot to say there too. They argue that there is such a person as the sacrificial hero that acts on the border between Order and Chaos, bringing a boon to society. The key thing, I think, is the absence of power. Whatever the creative person does, it should be beyond power.

Today, our educated creative ruling class thinks that power, political power selflessly wielded by educated activists, is the answer. They are wrong, and until they learn to lose their faith in political power they will spread nothing but misery.

But we are creative too, and it up to us to teach the lefty creatives how to do it.

1 comment:

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