Monday, December 3, 2012

Expanding on a comment I wrote at Harry's Place

(Cross-posted at oldschooltwentysix)

Watching how the reaction has been to Israel's decision to build more settlements, it seems that the  instantaneous world, built on the sensational 24 hour news cycle and ability to manipulate the audience, has outstripped human capacity to think and reflect. Actions are reflexive and usually for the worst because, to a large extent, they are not self-driven.

Ironically, at a time of so much knowledge and technology, you'd think we could create a better world.

If some states and people cannot yet see through the Arab inspired Islamist imperialism, laced with genocidal intent and incitement, then it will require more of it. One can only bring the mule to the water trough, and you know the rest of that story.

It is particularly sad to see the lack of morals in Europe, where states entertain the status of diplomatic relations towards Israel, due to settlements as yet unbuilt, while giving reward to Palestinian violations of the most fundamental obligations of war to civilians, not to mention international agreements. The ability to see right from wrong appears lost.

On one level, it's as if they use Israel to try and purge their own history, putting the collective Jew in the worst place, blind to the fact that their disparate treatment constitutes and is a continuing pattern of antisemitism. Would their states in a similar circumstance live up to the standard of perfection imposed on Israel, the singular Jewish state?

In this environment it becomes easier to look the other way concerning basic facts about unlawful Arab aggression after the the lawful creation of a Jewish homeland and state, the unlawful occupation by Arab forces between 1948 and 1967, or the other clear indicators of malicious intent, such as poisoning the minds of their children toward Jews and even Europe itself. To the contrary, they act from fear of the aggressors combined with greed for resources. Eurabia has arrived.

A web post by Greg Lukianoff made an interesting point about how "smart" some people are, in the context of speech and toleration of thought at the university. It applies in Europe, too, particularly among the so-called intelligentsia that seeks out ways to prop up the "oppressed" at the expense of seeking a balanced narrative. He says:

If higher education were living up to its goal of making people deeper, sharper, and better critical thinkers, we could reasonably expect to live in a golden age of discourse. After all, more of our population is college educated than ever before. But I don’t believe anybody thinks that’s the case. By tolerating censorship and by making it risky for students to honestly speak their minds, universities encourage students to play it safe and talk only to those students with whom they already agree — a tendency that can’t help but spill over into the world off campus once those students leave. This means that higher education, an institution that should be opening people’s minds to new ideas and dissenting opinions, may actually be supercharging our political polarization.

One of the most intriguing pieces of data I came across while researching Unlearning Liberty is that there is an inverse relationship between how much education people have and how frequently they talk to those with whom they disagree politically (this research is covered briefly in Diana Muntz’s excellent Hearing the Other Side: Deliberative versus Participatory Democracy). In other words, there is evidence that the more schooling you receive, the tighter your echo chamber becomes. A truly educated person, however, should develop the intellectual habit of actively seeking out challenging debates rather than settling into a self-affirming clique.

I think Mutz has nailed it. The smartest are just too smart to hear anything from others besides agreement of how smart they are, so it must be right!

Hard to believe, but actions at the UN and in world affairs will need to deteriorate further before enough people become more cognizant of the forces at work, so that elitist, monotone high theories, developed in echo chambers, will garner the repudiation they richly deserve.

The tragedy is that, but for prevention, so much despair could have been halted and even reversed.

(Link to Harry's Place)


  1. Is there anyone dumber than a typical Kossack? Yes, almost all European politicians.

  2. School,

    Would their states in a similar circumstance live up to the standard of perfection imposed on Israel, the singular Jewish state?

    The hypocrisy is just stunning. It's monumental. Of course no other state would put up with hundreds upon hundreds of rockets fired into its territory.

    The irony is sick. Israel puts up with considerable Arab violence against it because they want connection to the rest of the world, but they know that if they dare to defend themselves they will be castigated as Nazis, which is precisely what happened.

    I am not comfortable with the concept of "evil," but if there is such a thing, the Jews of the Middle East are its foremost victims.