A Journal for Western Man

 

 

 

America's Quiet War

Harry Roolaart

Issue VI- September 21, 2002

 

 
“In order to rise from the caves, man had to grasp the fact of values”, says Peter Schwartz. “Every step forward entailed the knowledge not only of how to take that step, but of why it was of value – of why it was a step forward.” (“Multicultural Nihilism” – Return of the Primitive). Prehistorically, man behaved like a pack of wolves. In order to survive he was forced to protect himself through sheer numbers: primitive man practiced tribalism in order to survive. He occupied himself with the hunting for food and fighting other tribes. In order to live, primitive man’s primary value was physical prowess.

Then, at some point, mankind discovered other means of satisfying his needs other than by sheer physical strength. Man learned to reason, to think, and began developing his mental capacity. Once man began to live by his mental capacity, survival no longer required physical prowess. The process of thinking became man’s means of survival. Primitive man fashioned tools. He learned to value tools as being better than the use of his bare hands. He discovered fire and learned to value it for its warmth and its use in cooking food. While other animals continued to rely on strength and speed, man began to rely on the process of thinking to guide his actions. In doing so, “primitive man” began a long course of evolution in which he sought to separate the “primitive” from the “man”.

Physical prowess, primitive man’s fundamental value, was greater when the number was greatest: for most of his existence, man required tribalism. Thinking however, can only be done on an individual level. It is not an external process, such as fighting, in which a collective number greatly enhances success. No matter how many people are gathered, the process that culminates in an idea being formed occurs in one individual. That he then communicates the idea to others - gives it to them - and that via choice his idea is imitated and reproduced does not negate the fact that thinking is, and always has been, an individual process and does not require strength in numbers – no collective action can reproduce this process. Just as he separated the primitive from the man, so man severed the requirement of a “tribe” from his means to “survival”.

Ideas do not originate spontaneously within a group. Ideas are formed in lone individuals. Nor do ideas happen frequently. It’s astounding to contemplate the fact that for most of human history, approximately 990,000 years, man lived like an animal. It took that long for the first “idea” to surface, for long range thinking to occur in man. And the one idea that more than any other enabled him to separate the primitive from the man occurred when some lone individual had the brilliant idea to plant a seed. That idea, that act, resulted in what we now call the agricultural revolution. That idea freed man from the necessity to spend all his time obtaining food. That one seed, the idea of it, was the birth of all civilization.

Having freed up most of his time, man got to the business of evaluating his life, one idea at a time. Man became a valuing animal. In order to grow crops he had to make the evaluation between the nomadic life of a hunter-gatherer and the life of a settler. Cultivation, he concluded, required that he settle down. A settled life was better than a nomadic one. Man began to value property rights. Each idea built upon the other, each value constituted the good, and with it man’s conceptual faculty flourished – he began to set long term goals. He developed simple technologies, then more complex ones. At first slowly as the process of thinking occurred only with the individual as he learned to evaluate the world according to the knowledge available to him. With each new idea, that knowledge increased and with the acquisition of facts, of truths, ideas began to occur more frequently. Civilization’s growth parallels precisely the volume of knowledge previously available to man and matches its growth to the rate at which new ideas occur within certain select individuals.

From the Agricultural to the Industrial and from the Technological to the Informational, man’s advancement has experienced an exponential growth unmatched to any other period in history. Where it took him 999,000 years to achieve the Agricultural Revolution, and 500 years to accomplish an Industrial one, it is estimated that man’s current goal – what we term the Information Revolution - will take him only 30 years to realize. One might say that man’s goal is to realize a Revolution based on knowledge itself: knowledge being the necessary counterpart to valuing man.

Today, we have the culmination of a ten thousand year process of man’s thinking, evaluating, and acting to gain or keep his values, in the United States of America. That it exists is a profound and heroic achievement unmatched in man’s history. The United States stands alone, as the last remnant of the Renaissance, of the Enlightenment, and of the Age of Reason. As a nation, it exists in a world that, unbelievable as it may seem, still harbors primitive cultures living in the Stone Age. In between these extremes we find an assortment of man’s previous experiments: from the tribal to the democratic, the theocratic to the royal, the totalitarian to the dictatorial. At one extreme stands the United States, alone, as it champions individual rights, liberty, and man’s right to the pursuit of his happiness. Its fundamental principles as set forth by its Founding Fathers are objective. They are based on the necessary requirements of man. They were written in recognition of the crucial role the individual plays in man’s progress, that without the individual - whose mind must be free to think, evaluate, and act - the United States, and in a larger sense civilization, could not exist.

Having said this, it must be recognized that just as primitive man required physical prowess to protect himself from other aggressors, so it becomes necessary for civilized man to protect himself from his enemies. That America has enemies can no longer be doubted. The recent terrorist attacks against the United States make one such enemy quite obvious. He is a caveman who used nothing more than the equivalent of simple, hunter gatherer tools – namely, box cutters – and brought down America’s two greatest icons. In the process, this caveman who calls himself Osama Bin Laden, slaughtered thousands of our true heroes, the men and women who ran the engine of the world: Wall Street.

Our government, stupefied, announced the attack on the United States as one of the most sophisticated terrorist operations ever staged against any country. It took years of planning, they said, thousands if not millions of dollars to finance it and involved the cooperation of several nation states. To do what, I ask? Grab a couple of box cutters, ride a few airplanes until you have the schedule down pat, and then read a technical manual on how to steer an airplane that you know you don’t have to land? Sophistication by cavemen? Or was it made possible as a result of careful planning by another enemy, one much more cunning and sophisticated than even you and I can imagine?

I referred to an enemy not so obvious as a terrorist, but one I consider far more dangerous. The threat this enemy poses does not lie in sudden and savage acts of brutal violence, such as those perpetrated on 9-11. This enemy's battleground is man's mind – man's tool for survival. This enemy counts his victories one small step at a time, each separated by an appropriate interval so as to pass by unnoticed. His patience is unmatched, his willingness to sacrifice man endless, and his drive to destroy Western civilization fueled by his seething hatred for mankind …

Who is this enemy? What makes him possible? To discover the answers to such questions requires us to cast a long eye back into history.

Western civilization, the account of it, is the history of a quiet war waged between the ideas of two men. Throughout this history, when we stop to admire the best in man, then we consider he who has inspired the very best civilization has to offer . Conversely, when we stop to observe the lowliest in man, then we must consider he who originated the ideas that have guided man to his worst excesses. The former gave us a few centuries known as The Renaissance and The Age of Reason, while the latter gave us 1500 years of horror known as the Dark Ages. Lifting man out of the darkness, saving man from his own self-destruction, we have Aristotle. Drowning man, sending him back to the horror of his own self-destruction, we have Plato. In the former, we have the student; in the latter, we have his teacher. And despite all who came after them, in essence, the intellectual battle between Aristotle and Plato continues to this day, some two thousand years later. And in spite of the teacher's power, it is certain that because of his student that man continues to exist.

And therefore, it is appropriate that this intellectual battle must now take place in the very institution named after Plato’s intellectual training ground: The Academy. Make no mistake: academia will host the battlefield upon which America's quiet war will be waged. Today, the enemies of civilization, those who champion the derivative ideas as originally put forth by Plato, reside in academia. By and large, they are today’s leading intellectuals: the teachers, professors, educators and administrators who have been entrusted with the training of man’s mind. Their target was, and still remains, the susceptible minds of their young and eager students – our sons and daughters.

Men like Aristotle and Plato put forth systems of ideas, but it is the academic who imitates and circulates them. The academic does this in the classroom: he disseminates ideologies to his students. The student absorbs these ideas and readies himself to enter society. He grows up and through his personal and professional life circulates what he has been taught directly or indirectly to the public at large. The ideas he holds guide his every action. Though each individual is responsible for the ownership of his thoughts, and therefore is responsible for his own actions, it may still be observed that the degree to which the student becomes a willing or unwilling participant in this process, is due in large part to the academic’s methodology. Does the academic instill ideologies with a partisan view, does he perhaps fail to present an idea’s antithesis, or does he remain objective as he presents contrasting ideas to his students? Does the academic indoctrinate or educate?

Educators need to be taught that the immense task of training a student’s mind is a grave responsibility – and not an open license for indoctrinating our children to only their partisan ideologies. Consider the words of Professor Vivian Ng of the University of Oklahoma, who openly admits to using her lectern as a pulpit for leftist ideologies: “ I do political work,” she says, “both inside the classroom and outside it…My students come around and I convert them.” Or, Professor Ohmann of Wesleyan University, who makes no bones about his agenda: “We work in whatever ways we can toward the end of capitalist patriarchy.”

Professor Ohmann and Professor Vivian Ng, and thousands more like them, are not educators – they are indoctrinators. Under the guise of providing an education for our children they instead use their influential and powerful positions to train the student to oppose the very principles upon which their survival outside of academia depends.

For instance: Professor Ohmann, in seeking to end “capitalist patriarchy," fails to explain why he describes a statist-run, mixed economy as capitalism. Were he forced to explain it, Professor Ohmann would be faced with the uncomfortable task of explaining why his leftist ideologies applied to an economy have themselves failed. The answer is that the disintegrating nature of a mixed economy is all too apparent for everyone to see. And for that reason a mixed economy is often referred to as capitalism.

And what about Ohmann's students? Having been duped by the man they entrust to give them factual information, they, in turn, grow up with the firm notion that capitalism cannot work, that alternatives must be sought – particularly those alternatives that give even more power to the State. That, after all, is the political objective behind the Ohmann's of this world. So successful are these academic anti-capitalists, that today we wage war, not against terrorists, but against capitalism. Even more surprising is the fact that despite the overwhelming antipathy towards capitalism, this political and economic ideology has never before been practiced in our country. Not in the United States, not anywhere on earth.

But these two academics are not alone. In the Los Angeles Times November 1991 paper, Ann Rosenhaft, secretary of the Socialist Party of the USA estimated that there were 10,000 Marxist professors and administrators in U.S. colleges. Over a decade later, this number has increased, rather than decreased. The demise of the Soviet Union, the untold millions that have died in the name of Marxism attest to the horror of that ideology. And, how many millions of students have passed through these Marxist classrooms – today, and in our past?

Observe that the United States the only difference between this country’s inception and today’s version of it, is that in the beginning, it was freedom that dominated our system, whereas today, it is statism that dominates it. Freedom is the necessary requirement for individual rights. Statism is the requirement for collectivism. To assume that this transference from freedom to statism was an arbitrary idea disseminated into our political and economic culture via some collective mind is impossible. We have already seen that ideas originate and are disseminated by individuals. Who are the primary disseminators? Our academics who have been very busy indoctrinating the minds of our children. Over the last century how many individuals did it take to accomplish this transference from freedom to statism? One can easily imagine a number in the millions: the generations of bureaucrats, politicians, economists, and journalists who had as their point of convergence, the lower and higher institutes of learning. Who trained them to implement the ideas required to further altruism and statism? Our academics.

That these altruist academics are the enemies of civilization is true to the extent that they are the “distributors” of collectivist philosophies created by others, ideologies that may be traced back to Plato and his descendants. Though we may properly blame Kant for the invidious ideas that destroyed the Age of Reason, it is today's academics who continue to imitate him. Observe that this process of imitation makes academics second-handers, for the most part incapable of original thought. Having accepted Kant and therefore, rejected reason, and because they are but second-handed intellectuals themselves, today's academic is ruled instead by one, primary emotion: envy.

Observe his nature: the academic’s profound hatred and envy for those who can “think”, “evaluate”, “and further their lives” makes him an advocate for egalitarianism – a collectivist doctrine that “levels all men, so that no one man may enjoy that denied to others.” “All men are equal”, he tells his students. What is the equality to which he refers? An equality of that which sets men apart in reality: their degree of ability, their talent, their skill, and their qualifications – intellectual virtues towards which the academic is envious and hostile.

In their world, when given the choice between an unqualified, black female and a qualified, white male it is the unqualified candidate who gets the job. But what about the candidate's talent, skill, and qualifications? They are equal, the academic says. No man is intellectually better, more talented than another. And what does set them apart? The color of their skin, their gender…precisely those attributes that hold no bearing on the position and therefore ought to have placed both candidates on an equal level.

On a political and economic level, the academic is hostile to capitalism because it is a system that is primarily intellectual: everything needed to survive is directly due to man’s application of reason to the problem of survival. The academic is hostile to individual rights because they rely on man’s right to life, to man’s right to engage in self-sustaining and self-generated action. The academic is hostile to reason because it is man’s only means to his survival.

Never a champion of merit the academic champions instead the disadvantaged – a class to which he “intellectually” belongs. Never an advocate for competition, he instead defends those incapable of it – himself included. Denying the validity of reality, he upholds the rights of those who seek to evade it.

For example: what is the prize so sought after by the academic? Tenure, with its way of shielding the senior staff from the reality which they claim doesn't exist. Working for an institution in which neither pay nor promotion is connected to performance, the academic’s job security is guaranteed (after tenure is attained). His pension arrangement is probably the finest in the country. Though he is anti-value by necessity, the academic does pursue one value: his own survival. He ensures that he is effectively shielded from public life – from reality - and from the disastrous consequences of his actions as a so-called educator.”

What are some of the consequences of his actions? Most Americans wonder about the state of our cultural atmosphere, its cynicism, its skeptical indifference, the appalling apathy, nihilism, violence and moral decadence that has spread like a cancer across our nation. Wonder no more. Take a good look at academia.

When the academic indoctrinates our children with his own envious predilection to faultfinding, criticism, and misanthropy is it any wonder that our culture reflects such views? When the envious academic hammers it into our children’s heads that reason is impotent, that ability is a non-value, that the individual must suborn his own pursuit for happiness to the will of others, is it any surprise that skepticism and indifference reign across our cultural landscape? When the academic relentlessly purges all concepts of self-interest from our children’s minds– without which their self-reliance and self-sustaining action is possible – is it any wonder that the pervading emotion in our nation is, not the passionate pursuit of happiness, but the apathetic acceptance for the lack of it? When the academic instructs his students that moral and cultural relativism constitute the good, that truth is whatever one chooses it to be, can we expect anything other than a Columbine massacre? When the envious academic instructs his students not towards a society in which the man of ability engages in peaceful trade, but rather a society in which some are entitled to the productive efforts of others, than is it any wonder that violence now spreads like a cancer across the American tapestry? And finally, when the academic tells his students that no thing is better than any other thing, then is it any wonder that our children no longer understand the difference between right and wrong?

Most Americans view their politicians worthy only of contempt, their government as corrupt, and taxes as a metaphysical fact of reality. And yet, they continually vote the same politicians into office, vote to grow government, and remain silent when their taxes are raised to the point that now most Americans work at least six months out of each year to sustain government, rather than their own lives. Why? Ask the academics.

If the academic himself works for an institution which forcibly takes its wealth from those who produce it, how can we expect him to educate his students that they have a right to their own wealth? If it requires a politician to vote in tax legislation that supports, for one, the taking of wealth from the productive and the giving of it to the institutions that shield the academic from having to survive via competitive means, than why are we so surprised if the academic teaches our future politicians that to do so constitutes the “moral good”? If the government has no principles and instead replaces - truths with statistics, morality with the taking of polls, and individual rights with the will of the common good - then is it any wonder that the academic who bristles at the very idea of principles, indoctrinates our children with the notion that compromise – the willingness to sacrifice one’s values - is a virtue?

Most Americans wonder about the state of the economy. Where once we were a free nation, engaged in free trade and a nation that championed the industrialist and business class above all others, we now legislate and regulate every aspect of trade, condemn the successful for being a success, and instead look to political action for the advancement of mankind. Who transformed America from a nation of self-reliant individuals to one whose people continually look to Washington, D.C. for solutions?

If the freedom to engage in free trade is the requirement of survival for a thinking and valuing man, then you must expect that the envious mind of an academic will attempt to take way from man that which is required for his survival. If the businessman is precisely that man who takes risks, who does not shield himself from reality, who does not use forcible means but rather free trade in order to survive, then we can expect the envious mind of the academic - who relies on tenure, eschews society to live only in academic circles, and who does use forcible means for his survival - to condemn the businessman for being opportunistic, materialistic and greedy (their euphemism for the proper virtue of self-interest).

And last, but not least, most Americans wonder about our War on Terrorism. How is it possible to declare war not on the terrorists themselves, but rather on their methodology? How is it possible that we praise the Islamic faith for doing exactly what it’s holy book describes, the annihilation of western man? How is it possible to drop food and bombs on the enemy at the same time? How is it possible to fight a long, protracted war without actually declaring war? How is it possible that the only revolt against this war erupts from within our own campuses?

Look no further than our academics. Their virulent hatred for America, its principles and ideas have been taught for decades to those students who now constitute our current political leaders. If it is the academic who teaches that America’s value system comes at the expense of those systems of lesser value, then it can come as no surprise that our leaders engage not in our own moral self-defense, but in an appeasement (apology) towards the enemy who view us as oppressive and tyrannical. For the same reason, if our culture is no better than anyone else’s, then it’s no surprise that our leaders in their fear of appearing superior - and therefore supposedly oppressive and tyrannical - continue to praise Islam. In its consistent policy of compromise, we need not wonder at the seeming contradiction of dropping food and bombs on the enemy. Our leaders have been taught that a consensus is necessary, that a policy of pleasing everyone is superior to morality. Why do we fight a war without officially declaring one, because it would mean officially declaring war against all nations harboring terrorists? And finally, how is it that only academia has expressed revulsion towards this war and how is it that only academia expresses a vicious anti-American sentiment?

The answer to this last, is that academia does not consider itself part of reality. Only that portion of society that is completely closed off from it, that is safely ensconced from man’s requirement to sustain himself, that officially denies the existence of reality, reason, values and principles can utter a statement no one else facing a direct attack against their lives would . It is precisely the terrorists’ gross attack against life, reason, our values and principles that have made America – those of us living in the reality of it – aware once again of what makes this nation great. That the academics refuse to do so, is the final proof that they now constitute civilization’s deadliest enemy.

In closing, let me say that there are those in academia who are not destroyers of the mind. In fact, there are many who remain objective, who educate instead of indoctrinate, who are advocates for reason, individual rights, and capitalism while teaching opposing views as well. My attack is most definitely not aimed against them. They are precisely what this country needs. They constitute the necessary reform our educational institutions require. They are our true intellectuals who seek, as we all do, to further mankind and civilization through the educational process.

Harry Roolaart is the founder and creator of the harryroolaart.com website and a writer and artist living and working in Charlotte, North Carolina.  You may contact him personally at hroolaart@harryroolaart.com.

This TRA feature has been edited in accordance with TRA’s Statement of Policy.

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Learn about Mr. Stolyarov's novel, Eden against the Colossus, here.

Read Mr. Stolyarov's new comprehensive treatise, A Rational Cosmology, explicating such terms as the universe, matter, space, time, sound, light, life, consciousness, and volition, at http://www.geocities.com/rational_argumentator/rc.html.

 

 

 

 

 

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