Terrence Moore writes a wonderfully thoughtful essay on the Marxist professor at Columbia calling for a "million Mogadishus", that is, a slaughter of Americans. Not only was Terrence a Marine officer in Mogadishu, but he was an undergraduate classmate of De Genova at The University of Chicago. This turns into a short treatise on scholarship, citizenship, and truth. Must read.
I know that Dr. Moore was well versed in Mill. It was in his history class that I first read Mills works. Questions which Mill wrestled with but where never fully answered by him drip from Dr. Moores article.
I bring this up because in my opinion there is a great perversion of Mill which has occured. "Great Conversation" is being replaced by drone like "labeling"(I mean by this describing ones self as Cartesian, Nietzschean, Machiavellian, Kantian, Lockean, Marxist, even Federalist or Millian.) Current Millians/Utilitarians supposedly abond in the environmentalist community. (too many outrages and perversions to mention in my opinion) Strangely enough the less diversity actually exists, the more of what is its destroyer is actually called for in the name of diversity.
"Mankind speedily become unable to conceive diversity when they have been for some time unaccustomed to seing it."(All quotes from of Individuality in On Liberty.)
"We have a warning example in China-a nation of much talent and, in some respects, even wisdom, owing to the rare good fortune of having been provided at an early period with a particularily good set of customs, the work, in some measure, of men to whom even the enlightened Europeans must accord, under certain limitations, the title of sages and philosophers. They are remarkable, too, in the excellence of their apparatus for impressing, as far as possible, the best wisdom they possess upon every mind in the community, and securing that those who have appropriated most of it shall occupy the posts of honor and power."
What has happened in "our" universities, is precisely what Mill warned had already happened in China. Dr Moore says: "The Soc class De Genova and I took apparently allowed us to emerge with equal chances of being Smithians, Marxists, Freudians, or Weberians. Indeed, he probably got a higher grade than I did."-Smithians, Marxists, Freudians, or Weberians take your pick... but remember that in order to occupy the "posts of honor and power" you must be one of them. The higher the grade, the better the post... Some get Columbia others get Ashland. "Dr. De Genova’s sudden rise to infamy has caused me to reconsider my abilities as a career forecaster." Looks like you memorized the wrong thinker, perhaps if you had spent more time at party meetings...
All Jesting aside this is serious! Dr. Moores quoting of Plato is part of the problem and not the solution. "Plato, you will recall, urged that the guardians of his imaginary republic be like good watchdogs, able to distinguish between friends and enemies." What has happened can be described as nothing less that the complete "watchdogness" of America. Those in power look only for those whos ideas support them. How else are they to distinguish between friends and enemies? The posts of "honor and power" are thus handed down to intellectual midgets who are willing to preach the party line (whatever party that might be)
That truth exists is not a myth, the myth is rather that in education today it matters to anyone. 90% of my classmates come right out and tell me that they just want the paper, so that they can get a decent job, have a familly...ext. The other 10% are rather sure that they already have the truth (perhaps they do, but they wont tell me) in any case these 10% are perfectly willing and in fact are serious about trying to be career forecasters, which ultimately means that they are somewhat resigned to simply figureing out what is demanded of them in order to suceed. What is required howhever is not independent-thinking, perhaps at best it is "group-thinking", in any case it is a variant of an attempt to appeal to a particular "watchdog" in the hopes of being noticed and given a "prestigeous" job. In short higher education has become a tool for being noticed by those in the posts of "honor and power".
Respectfully, submited for your notice. -John Lewis, Individual.