Sunday, April 19, 2015

Psalm to the Non-integrated conciousness

If you want to know how liberals 'think' then BBC Radio 4  Points of View is essential listening. This week it was the turn of the comic jewish novelist Howard Jacobson and  he pedals the familiar line of other earlier guests to the programme like John Grey that all ideology is suspect and  the antithesis of art and that anyone who posits a system of thought based on a consistent philosophy of life is the equivalent of intellectual poison which will lead to the gas chambers and Gulag or at the very least bore everyone to death.

Throwing the baby out with the bathwater Jacobson makes the common mistake of concluding that the answer to bad philosophy and ideology is no philosophy or ideology at all. A distrust of intellectualism is however a perfectly understandable defense mechanism except for the unfortunate fact that it is no defense whatsoever against bad ideas because in rejecting the field of ideas completely it is left wide open to the bad philosophers and ideologues to co opt it to nefarious ends unchallenged, which is why having the field to themselves they wreak so much havoc in our culture and polity today.

The unilateral intellectual disarmament that Jacobson articulates is an abject surrender to the field of ideas and can only lead to the rushing in of a monstrous regiment  of amoral knaves and collectivist hobgoblins of the mind who will willingly occupy that empty space where reason and rational philosophy has fled.The sleep of reason brings forth monsters indeed.

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