The day after resurrecting the Clinton-era War on the Gun Culture, the former co-president of the Clinton Administration today brought back the Gender War into public discourse. Those of us who remember the 1990s recall that it was time when there were wars on everything: wars on drugs, wars on guns; wars on speech, wars on tobacco, wars on boys, wars on women, wars on children, wars on race, economic wars, academic wars, and a few actual shooting-wars in places like Yugoslavia. Bush Junior and Obama have expanded all of these wars to include lots of new domestic enemies and foreign countries.
Hilary Clinton couldn't miss an opportunity yesterday to exploit another major American media distraction, the so-called Stanford Rape Case. Today, Norwegian blogger Eivind Berge wrote an excellent essay on this case. Berge has written extensively on rape law over the years, and for those interested in this subject, his blog is a refreshing resource of common sense against the Politically Correct media droning on the topic.
Especially prescient was Berge's observations on the ways in which metaphors (or, more accurately redefinitions) of the language is shaping public discourse. This is a recent cultural phenomenon wholly absent from earlier public debates. How did this problem arise?
It began in Academia, beginning in the 1960s. There was a big push back then among Cultural Marxists on the Academic Left to dispose of traditional learning. The Clintons were a product of that social milieu, and in the 1990s, facilitated the Radical Left's complete control over public education. Many have forgotten that people like Johnnetta Cole---an outright Communist---were members of Clinton's advisory boards dealing with public education. One the first traditionalist subjects ousted from Academia was a subject commonly known as Critical Thinking, though it formerly went by various other names in the Academic curriculum.
Traditional Critical Thinking had its roots in Ancient Greece; a culture which Postmodernists like Clinton and Cole viewed with especial contempt because it gave rise to the values of Civilization---which they utterly despised. The traditional method of reasoning is based upon what is generally known as the Socratic Method. To explain this method rather simply, it is a method by which a given argument is logically to its root cause; the goal of which is to approximate an absolute based on known facts. The Cultural Marxists replaced this system with one generally known as the Dialectic Method. Simply explained, this is a method by which one party states an issue; another opposes it, and a compromise, or consensus is agreed upon.
Now, as in the 1990s, most Americans have no idea why methods of argument are actually socially important. But consider this: If one's method is flawed, will that not have an impact on society?
The Dialectic gives a huge advantage to special interest groups, which explains its popularity. Under this method of reasoning, policy is simply a matter of winning a debate. There are no absolutes which must be logically defended or opposed; hence public opinion is the definition of right and wrong. Put simply, the Dialectic is a philosophy premised on the belief that Might Makes Right. Does that not explain why special interests and identity politics now command our entire domestic and foreign policy decisions?
Under the Socratic system, cultural values, and by extension, laws and public policies were grounded in what was believed to a fundamental truth. These could be opposed and challenged of course, as new premises became defensible. Critics of the old system sneer that it upheld things like slavery and racism; all the while forgetting that the same system overturned such injustices as scientific advances began to contradict the original premises.
What Americans badly need today is a return to Critical Thinking. If we did, the Stanford Rape Case would be a local story instead of a national issue, as it should have been all along. Instead, Ameroboobs are at each others' throats arguing about persons they don't know and will never meet, and an alleged crime that occurred in San Francisco where less than one-half of one percent of Americans actually live. This while our space program collapses, our military declines, our schools fail, our infrastructure breaks down, our economy plunges, violent psychotics run wild in the streets, families fall apart, narcotics are proliferated, and we generally head toward 3rd-world status.
And that is what the real issue behind stories like Stanford. It's easier for the fat, Prozac-popping Ameroboob to be outraged over what amounts to a domestic dispute than to face reality. And the reality is, that he'll feel a lot more outraged when other countries and cultures start filling the vacuum his own hubris created. And when that happens, he'll also learn to his regret that his feelings don't count for very much in the face of Reality.