Thursday 28 March 2024

"Politicians are not the cause of a culture’s trend, only its consequence."

"Politicians are not the cause of a culture’s trend, only its consequence. They get their notions from the cultural atmosphere, particularly from newspapers, magazines, and TV commentaries; they speak as these media teach them to speak. Who teaches the media? And now we come down to the root: of all our institutions, it is the universities that are primarily responsible for this country losing its way—and of all the university departments, it is the departments of philosophy." ~ Ayn Rand, from her 1972 essay 'How to Read (and Not to Write)'

"If you observe that for decades past the universities have been indoctrinating people with the modern philosophies, irrationality with epistemological irrationalism, moral subjectivism, with the whole complex of ideas, all tending to prove only one thing, that we can know nothing, nothing can be specific, definitions do not matter or do not exist, words and concepts are only a matter of public or social convention. When men come out with that intellectual equipment, they are helpless to deal with political abstractions, with abstract ideas." ~ Ayn Rand, from her 1964 interview 'Enemies of Extremism'

"Walk into any college classroom and you will hear your professors teaching your children that man can be certain of nothing, that his consciousness has no validity whatever, that he can learn no facts and no laws of existence, that he’s incapable of knowing an objective reality. What, then, is his standard of knowledge and truth? Whatever others believe, is their answer. There is no knowledge, they teach, there’s only faith . . . . " ~ Ayn Rand, from her 1957 novel Atlas Shrugged

"Ladies and gentlemen, higher education today has a remarkable press. We hear over and over about the value of our colleges and universities, their importance to the nation, and our need to contribute financially to their survival and growth. In regard to many professional and scientific schools, this is true. But in regard to the arts, the humanities, the social sciences, the opposite is true. In those areas, with some rare exceptions, our colleges and universities are a national menace, and the better the university ... the worse it is. Today’s college faculties are hostile to every idea on which this country was founded, they are corrupting an entire generation of students." ~ Leonard Peikoff from his 1983 article 'Assault from the Ivory Tower'

[hat tip Tal Tsafany

1 comment:

MarkT said...

The title is undoubtedly correct. Politics is downstream of culture. But I no longer believe the ‘top-down’ theory that all bad things originate from the universities and other intellectuals.