“The history of philosophy can be divided into two different periods. During the first, philosophers sought the truth; during the second, they fought against it.”
– Jean-François Revel (1924-2006), French journalist and philosopher, as quoted in Roger Kimball’s recent book, The Fortunes of Permanence.
As a follow-up to last night’s “Blank Generation” post, these examples dovetail remarkably well:
From Mark Hemingway at the Weekly Standard: “Roe v. Wade is such a wonderful legal decision that the only way to celebrate it’s 40th anniversary is to put on some smooth jazz, swill some Courvoisier, and let some cheesey lothario get very, very intimate with it. Obviously, there’s no better way to represent how abortion on demand has empowered women than to equate it with a baldly patronizing and sexist stereotype. You’ve come a long way, baby.”
Bookworm Room on women serving in combat: “The decision to allow women onto the front lines is not because of military necessity. It is a purely ideological decision, resulting from liberalism run amok and, more specifically, from the Leftist desire to erase gender demarcations.”
From Stacy McCain: “Oh, did you hear about the 11-year-old transgender who ‘transitioned’ in kindergarten? This is the future America voted for: No future at all.”
And finally, just for fun, an essay on “The Danger of Making Science Political” with the following lede:
Many more scientists identify as Democrats than as Republicans, but threats to scientific thinking can come from any quarter. What must be preserved is the pursuit of science, away from irrational dogma.
It ran in the Atlantic.
Related: At Commentary, Peter Wehner on “Hillary Clinton’s Postmodernism:”
“With all due respect,” Hillary shouted, “the fact is we had four dead Americans. Was it because of a protest or was it because of guys out for a walk one night who decided they’d go kill some Americans. What difference, at this point, does it make?”
Let’s be clear what Mrs. Clinton is saying. It really doesn’t matter whether the president and his advisers misled the public on the origins of a lethal terrorist attack that claimed four American lives, including the first ambassador murdered in more than 30 years. What matters, she insisted, is what we do going forward. There is no useful purpose to be served by dwelling on the past. Get over it. Move on. Chill out.
What a perfectly post-modern approach to things. For Mrs. Clinton, like her husband, truth seems to have no intrinsic worth. It’s an instrument to be used in the quest to gain and maintain power. If people have to manipulate the truth, ignore it, or roll their eyes at it in order to maintain “political viability” (to use an infamous phrase from her husband), then so be it. If misleading the public is necessary to help a president prevail in a bitter election—well, you can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs. That, at least, is the Clinton logic.
But as George Orwell said, where is the omelette?