Phi Beta Cons

Anti-anti Barbarism

Writing at Democracy Project, Bruce Kesler examines how higher education has abjectly failed (as Wretchard nicely sums up Kesler’s point)

to provide an ethical basis for life in a world where technology, mobility and free markets have allowed the individual to attain a greater measure of autonomy than ever before. At the precise moment when each person required an inner compass to guide him through his environment, his elders have pointed him in all directions…
[T]he systematic teaching of moral relativism in the classroom resulted in…a culture of uncritical conformity in the guise of political correctness whose members, unprepared to think for themselves became fair game to any cult leader or demagogue….

Ultimately, Kesler’s topic is cultural decadence, regarding which the scholars he cites provide sharp insights. For example, he quotes Maimon Schwarzchild, law professor at Catholic San Diego University:

Our civilization’s peculiar misfortune is to be under a double assault, physically by the undercivilized from without, and psychologically by those surfeited with it from within. And these last own the classroom …

Thus we have, Kesler warns, “a civilization in the ‘process of committing suicide,’  whose dominant ideology is anti-anti-barbarism, where the highest value is not to oppose even the greatest evil.”